Time For A Commercial Break

Many of you who follow my blog have already purchased and read my book, “Things I Never Learned in Sunday School: Facts about the Christian faith that will surprise and astound you.”

And I appreciate every single one of you!

But …

As I read some of the comments and statements in the blogosphere, it appears there are still many individuals who are relying on hearsay and false teachings related to the Christian faith. Even those who adamantly claim the title of atheist or non-believer occasionally share information that is (to use the vernacular of the day) …”fake news.”

I don’t claim to cover all aspects of Christianity in my book, but I do address — and often discount — many of the more popular beliefs circulated within and without “The Faith.” In fact, I think many people would be “surprised and astounded” to learn there are “holes” in what they have been taught.

Let me be perfectly clear. I do not claim to be an expert. And I’m most certainly no bible scholar. But I did spend several years doing research on many of the teachings of Christianity  and discovered that a considerable amount of what is stated as factisn’t.

For anyone interested, I have a blog dedicated entirely to my book — EscapeFromReligion.wordpress.com — where you will find a listing of the contents and also some excerpts. There is also information on where you can purchase various formats. The cost is extremely reasonable for the eBook version and less then $10 (on Amazon) for the paperback.

“Be sure to tell your doctor if …” Whoops! Wrong commercial. 😀

I welcome your comments and questions.


When is a Cross Not a Cross?

Located in suburban Maryland outside the U.S. capital, a symbolic cross stands to honor 49 men from Maryland’s Prince George’s County that were killed in World War One. The cross was originally erected in 1925 on private land but now stands on public land.

To many, the cross is considered a “War Memorial.” To others, it is a Christian symbol and as such, has become the subject of a religious rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not unexpectedly, the cross is supported by President Donald Trump’s administration, but also by members of the American Legion veterans’ group who hold “memorial events” at the cross. They (and other veterans) claim the monument has no religious significance, despite being in the shape of a Christian cross. For them, the lawsuit is misguided and painful. One army vet made the comment, “If you don’t want to see it, take another route.”

Lawyers defending the cross say that aside from its shape, the cross has no other religious themes or imagery. There is a barely legible plaque listing the names of the dead at its base, and while ceremonies are held every year at the site, they are not religious in content. Further, they claim such symbols violate the Constitution only when they actively coerce people into practicing religion. (!)

Those that believe the cross is inappropriate say that while they support veterans, the lawsuit is about the symbolism of the cross, not the fact that it honors war dead.

Thus far, one court has allowed the cross, but another reversed this decision and ruled the cross unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will hear appeals.

From my perspective, this “monument” is in a shape widely known and accepted throughout the world as a symbol of Christianity. Individuals who see it and are unaware of its significance as a veteran’s memorial will immediately recognize its religious significance.

If it were not on public land, the lawsuit would most likely be considered frivolous. However, as with other concerns related to religious monuments and structures (that continue to be) erected on public-owned locations, I believe there are valid reasons for this action.

Where do you stand?

The entire article can be found here.

A Scary Story

The following is an excerpt written by an individual who was once a dyed-in-the-wool, full-blown, dedicated Christian. About a year or so back, he left the faith. Since then, he has written numerous posts in which he talks about his “before and after” experiences. He is an excellent writer and has a real talent for sharing his thoughts and feelings.

I’m sharing a portion of his latest post because I believe the analogy is undeniable. And because I hope every Christian parent reading it will take a hard look at the questions he asks at the end.

When I was in the third or fourth grade we had a visitor at my school. He was a storyteller who was there to share some scary stories at Halloween time. He told a story that I still remember to this day…well at least one part of it. He told us of a man who one night fell asleep drunk in his home. As he slept, his arm dangled over the edge of his bed. Soon rats came and chewed off the tips of his fingers. In his drunken state, he could not tell that a large group of rats had made a meal of his fingers.

Now, what you need to remember is that I was only about 7 or 8 years old when I heard that story. This was traumatizing to me and after that day, I could not allow my hands to hang over the edge of my bed. I don’t mean for just a little while. I don’t mean for just my childhood. Even to this day, when my hand drifts dangerously close to the edge of my bed at night, I pull it back. I’m almost 41 years old now. I am old enough to know that rats are not going to come and gnaw at my fingers as I sleep. Yet the fear instilled in me as a young child still rears its ugly head and despite my better judgement,  my reaction is to recoil and protect myself.

Keep in mind that this was just a scary story told to entertain children. It had no real world consequences, although my mind made me fear rats that didn’t reside in my bedroom. What happens when the scary story taught to children isn’t labeled “entertainment” up front but rather labeled as “the truth” or “God’s Word”? What happens when rats are replaced with eternal torment as you are separated forever from a loving God?

You can read the full post here. And while you’re there, I urge you to read others that he has written. He has also published a short eBook.

**Just an added note for any Christians reading this — Ben does not write from an antagonistic or “preaching” perspective. His goal is not to “convert.” He simply shares his before and after experiences and lets the reader form their own conclusions.**

A Matter of Perspective

I just came across the following remark — not for the first time — and wondered why some people seem to believe that …

we are each of us an expression of God

I suppose if a person concedes the existence of “God,” then yes, there are similarities in that humans tend to exhibit the same attributes of anger and forgiveness. They also tend to favor a “get even” attitude when someone doesn’t meet their expectations. And on occasion, they have even been known to exhibit a measure of love that might be described as “god-like.”

On the other hand, if (as many believe) “God” was originally created by humans, then perhaps the “expression of God” is nothing more than what we see in ourselves.

I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective.

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.