My Conversion to Christianity

Back in 2014, I wrote a post in which I briefly mentioned some religiously-related events in my life and promised I would expand on them at a later date. I never did because “other topics” seemed more important, more interesting, and/or more pressing.

However, prompted by a comment and some questions made by rawgod on that old post, I decided to FINALLY fulfill my promise and write about my conversion to Christianity. Some of it may be “old news” as I made reference to the event in my book, and I think I’ve also related a bit of it in various blog comments. In any event, here’s the story.

Technically, I was not raised in church. There was a brief time when I was very young (4? 5?) that I was exposed to Catholicism — primarily to satisfy my father’s parents who were very (!) devout Catholics. He himself did not attend church and my mother wasn’t at all religious. Fortunately (I say now), one of the “Sisters” in catechism class treated me quite badly one day and that ended my participation in the Catholic faith.

Religion entered the picture again in my teenage years when I was invited to attend church services (Lutheran and Congregational) by a couple of my girlfriends. I found the experiences boring and declined any future invitations.

My next exposure came when I was in my early 20’s after marrying my first husband. Although he was not religious, his parents were. They rarely attended church but his father NEVER failed to read the bible EVERYDAY. In any event, my relationship with them was not how I eventually became a Christian.

It actually happened rather indirectly through association with a married couple that were friends of my husband. It had become a fairly regular occurrence for them to come to our house for dinner and we would sit around afterwards and chat. Oddly, on more than one occasion, we would get on the topic of religion. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have been interested, but the wife was a lapsed Nazarene and she often shared some of her more amusing church experiences. Then one night, for whatever reason, we began discussing the Book of Revelation (the last book of the bible) with its strange — and frightening — “end-time” events.

Since I had never been exposed to these stories, I have to tell you they made me very uncomfortable. Even so, I wanted to know more — so in between our get-togethers, I dug out the bible I had purchased many years before (simply because it had a white cover with gold lettering and I thought it was “pretty”) and started reading. Unfortunately, some of what I read was even scarier than what we had covered in our discussions and I became more and more anxious.

Eventually, my discomfort became so great that I approached my mother-in-law about my feelings. She obviously could see how deeply affected I was so she arranged for me to meet with the pastor of a Pentecostal church they occasionally attended.

As I sat down with “Brother and Sister” Weston (name has been changed) in their living room, I immediately began questioning them about all that I’d heard and read. They listened for awhile and answered a few questions, but eventually “Brother” (Pastor) Weston commented, “You can’t understand a story by reading the last chapter.”

He then went on to talk about Jesus, who he was, why he came, and how he could change my life. All of this was totally new to me and I absorbed it like a dry, thirsty sponge. Needless to say, by the time our meeting was over, I had prayed the “sinner’s prayer” and tearfully “accepted Christ into my heart.”

As I walked out their front door after our meeting, little did I know how drastically my life was going to change! Was it for the better? I thought so for 15-plus years.

But life is full of changes, is it not?

Here is where I am today.

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Reblog: —Why Religion Fails

Good thoughts to ponder–no matter which side of the fence you’re on.

TheCommonAtheist

Positive changes in religion are slow but happening. This improved faith bolsters an all-time low attendance with a lagging morality resistive to catch up to what decent people already know. They are inching their way towards the ultimate truth—all the while holding the book of books that for centuries has held all the answers to life’s important questions—that never came to conclusion. How long shall we give it to prove it’s efficacy? 2000 more years? 3000? “Just have faith”—then, just have more faith is is approaching eons of prophetic adjustments and obvious ostriching.

Thanks to the Bible, Quran,Bhagavad Gita (and some really nifty commentary) we know how the universe was made, how man was created, how to create a self-serving excuse for a system of morality, what happens when you die, and most importantly, why—why the gods created this artificial world and subjects to worship itself with all vainglorious…

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Facts and Faith … One More Time

I have two posts percolating and I planned to write at least one of them today, but when I read the recent conversation that “Ark” (ataleuntold.wordpress.com) is having with bottomlesscoffee007, I knew I had to write this one and my others would have to wait.

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In conversations between believers and non-believers, it is not uncommon for the non-believer to point out the fallacies of the Christian faith, often with hard evidence (e.g., information/facts from accredited scientists, publications by biblical scholars, testimonies of well-known deconverts, etc.)

Of course the Christian cries “foul” and immediately does one (or more) of the following three things: (1) attacks the non-believer, (2) references Christian apologists, and/or (3) quotes scripture (as if this has any meaning to the non-believer).

Case in point:

Ark: But don’t take my word for it – listen to any deconvert, and especially the numerous former professional pastors, priests and preachers, many of whom have considerable in-depth knowledge of the history of the Christian religion and its doctrine.

bottomless: The deconvert as you call them, the professional pastors, priests and preachers never believed to begin with. Early on they figured out that they could make a lot of money. So, the entire time they were just coning people.

You continue to cite other researchers, yet I get the feeling you basically just read something and the regurgitate it to sound intelligent.

All you do is basically talk shit, you are not even 100% about the research you cite, since you never actually did the work yourself.

Arkenaten, you are simply lazy and insecure. You leach off of others you have never even met in an attempt to come off as intelligent.

The very first sentence of bottomless‘s comment is a mind-blower! Notice how he responds by making the totally unsubstantiated comment: [they] “never believed to begin with.”

You’ve probably noticed this is a very common argument among believers. In other words, there are no deconverts. There are only people who “faked it.” Yeah, right.

Notice also how he continues his comment with the typical insults.

Undoubtedly, this battle will go on … and on … and on … Nonetheless, whether Christians want to accept it or not (and no matter how many insults they want to throw at atheists and other non-believers), the facts (statements and/or assertions of verified information) will never take the place of their personal beliefs.

Wake Up Christians!

This morning when I checked headlines on my iPhone, I noticed this one: Every President Recited The Apostle’s Creed Except Trump. The occasion was the memorial service of former President George H.W. Bush.

The source included a video showing Trump standing, the usual frown on his face, staring straight ahead, arms hanging down in front of him, his (small) hands crossed with the program dangling in his left hand. His lips are not moving. (NOTE: Melania Trump also did not recite the Creed, but at least she bowed her head.)

Every other individual in the video (past presidents and their wives) were respectfully reciting the Creed.

THIS … dear Christian readers … is the man you put into the office of POTUS. The man you believe is “in your corner” and is going to help put Christianity into the lives of every U.S. citizen. The man that dedicated, evangelical pastors have “laid hands on” and prayed for him to lead this country for “God.” The man who flaunted his religious beliefs so you would vote for him.

Oh but, you say, it’s all in the heart! Outward displays are not to be accepted as proof or verification that inwardly a person is a True Christian.™

You are foolish if you think Trump is or has ever been a “Christian.” The only church he attends is Mar A Lago, and the only time he “prays” is on the golf course as he tries to score a “hole-in-one.” He does not attend regular church services (in contrast to many presidents before him). And I would bet dollars to donuts he hasn’t a clue of what’s in the bible. (Remember the Two Corinthians remark?)

Christians need to recognize and accept that the only reason Trump puts up with Christianity is to GAIN YOUR VOTES! Everything he says or does in a religious vein is NOT to assist you in reaching your evangelical goals. All he truly desires is for you to accept HIM as the one and only person who can further your desires of forcing every citizen of the U.S. to live according to your standards and doctrines.

You need to wake up and see Donald J. Trump for what he is … a tin-god whose only “religious” interest lies in promoting himself and his personal needs.

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I am closing comments on this post. I already know many/most of my followers will agree with what I’ve written. Those who don’t will either offer the familiar platitudes or won’t comment at all. Either way, I’ve said my piece.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust


More than anything, humans fear death. The end of life. The knowledge they will be gone from this earth, never again to share time with loved ones, watch a sunset, climb a mountain, or simply enjoy Life and all that that encompasses. It is this inevitable fate that creates a heaviness in the heart of every human being.

The ancients experienced this dread as well. So they put their imaginations to work and soon came up with ways to overcome (or at least minimize) this innate, and most unpleasant, emotion. They devised paradises, nirvanas, heavens, promised lands … final destinations designed to offer complete bliss and delight and peace. While not totally removing the fear of one’s demise, the hope of “something better” at life’s end became a rallying cry for the impermanence of human life.

At the same time, there were those who believed not everyone “deserved” to enjoy such pleasures at life’s end. They saw some humans as mean, cruel, evil, immoral. Simply Bad People. So they came up with another end-of-life solution to deal with these malevolent individuals. And while it takes many forms, the end result is pretty much the same — punishment in some sort of “hellish” environment.

The Christians, in particular, took this idea and honed it to perfection.

In Christianity’s early days, there was a contingent of esteemed individuals who claimed “heavenly” knowledge, and it was this assembly that set the standards for proper “Christian” living. They determined that all who lived “godly” lives would, at death, be allowed to spend eternity in “God’s Presence.” However, if a person chose to rebel against the standards set forth by this prestigious group, that individual would be required to pay a penalty for their “evil deeds.” The punishment would come at death and consist of an eternity of suffering in what these “godly souls” christened the Lake of Fire.

This revered group did, however, make a small allowance for those who might come to regret their evil ways. They instituted a simple solution in which “sinning” individuals were required to say a few words (and convince themselves they were Truth™) and they would be SAVED from the horrors of this established end-of-life event.

Even in today’s modern world, there are many who still cling to these tenets put forth so many years ago. They are totally convinced that by remaining “in the good graces” of a supernatural entity, they will be able to face death without fear and/or trepidation.

However, at the same time, there are scores who reject this approach to life … and death. They dismiss the stories and platitudes offered by the religious and believe it is far better to face life’s end with resolve and single-mindedness. These are the individuals who live life with gusto … facing their demise without trepidation or dread. For them, these ancient words contain the real truth … ashes to ashes, dust to dust.