The Not-So-Subtle Message: Believe and Be Saved!

free_from_religionA recent post by Zoe related to the closing show of American Idol prompted me to write this post. It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately in relation to the bill that was passed in Mississippi … and directly corresponds to what Zoe had to say.

The following was in our local paper (I didn’t note the origin):

It shows why we need this bill, so people can not only believe, but act in accordance of their beliefs and not violate their conscience.

Have I missed something? Is there something in the Constitution that says you can’t “believe?” And why is a “law” needed to allow people to “act in accordance with their beliefs?” And whose “conscience” are we talking about?

I’m really getting sick and tired of the religious trying to tell people how to live their lives. So I don’t believe in their fairy tales anymore. Do I try to force my non-belief on them? No. Do I initiate laws/bills that “order” them to stop proselytizing? No.

I may offer input on blogs that counter Christian beliefs, but I’m not coercing anyone to leave her/his faith. It’s just conversation and I’m simply presenting my reasons for not following the path of the believer. Sometimes I offer evidence to (hopefully) help them to see that what they have been taught is false, but in the end, the conversation usually ends up in a draw. They don’t convert me; I don’t convert them.

The way I look at it is if someone wants to believe in an invisible entity, read their Holy Book everyday, go to church on Sunday and listen to their pastor/priest/minister present myths and legends, that’s their prerogative. But DON’T try to force me to do the same!

The American Idol example that Zoe presented demonstrates how sneaky religious adherents are. A closing song of “Amazing Grace?” Sheesh.

I know all about the commands that the “saved” are to bring in the “unsaved.” But why must it be slipped into TV programs, movies, and other media that one expects to be secular? Besides, one-on-one conversations are far more effective if a believer truly wants to win over someone they feel is “lost.”

Some have said things are changing … that there are more “nones” in religious polls … that atheists are becoming more outspoken … that organizations (e.g., FFRF) are stirring the pot. This may all be true, but I tend to feel this is only because we, as non-believers, latch onto any news that indicates our tribe is growing. In reality, I think we have a looooong ways to go.

You Say You Believe in “God”

Siriusbizines at Amusing Nonsense wrote the following in a recent post:

At noon, even in a windowless room or outside on a cloudy day, one knows that the Sun should be somewhere overhead. It isn’t because of an unjustified belief resting solely on the faith that the Sun does what it does; it rests on repeated observations of the Sun doing what it does throughout our entire lives.

A visitor (Seth Scott) responded (in part) …

See, this sort of evidence, I think, is very much in line for many of my reasons for continuing to believe in God …

He goes on to say …

In my mind, atheists who assert that my “relationship with God” is actually a construct of my brain are somewhat on par with someone saying, “The sun doesn’t really exist — your brain just happens to hallucinate one moving in the exact same way in the exact same place in the sky every day.”


As I read this, it once again raised the question in my mind: how can people believe in something that cannot be seen, heard, or felt (tangibly). The sun, at least, is visible and we are even able to “feel” its existence through the effects it has on our bodies (e.g., sunburn), as well as “see” its actions on the world around us.

And when atheists assert that a person’s “relationship with God” is a fabrication or a construct of the mind, I believe they do so because there is absolutely NOTHING to prove that such a “God” exists in the real world.

Superstition Still Rules

Essentially, belief in the Christian “God” — or any god, for that matter — is simply a result of superstition. That’s how it was from the beginning and that’s how it remains today.

Early humans did not understand the constant changing of seasons, the movement of the sun, moon and stars, the storms, dry spells, floods, earthquakes, etc. And what they did not understand, they feared. As a way to help explain the world around them, they created gods. Knowing there was a supernatural being in control gave them a sense of security in the face of natural forces. This is still the case among many tribes throughout the undeveloped world.

While “modern” folk now understand more about the forces of nature through (ahem) science (which some believers tend to discount), many still have a need for assurance that “something” is in control. This is why they “pray” to an invisible being to act in certain ways and why they “thank” this same unseen entity when things turn out in their favor. It seems the superstitious nature of the early humans is still present in our DNA.

It’s in the Book

In today’s world, the concept of “God” is found in a set of books written by a number of different people and put together in a single volume (Hebrew Bible c. 250 BCE; New Testament c. 300 CE) by “church fathers” who felt they knew best about what this “God” was saying. Many believe this book is “holy” and they refer to it frequently as “proof” their god exists. Yet it is a book. Nothing more. Just a book. It has no divine powers, just as its protagonist lacks existence.

Belief = Truth?

Michael Shermer once wrote, “… our brain reasons our way to supporting what we want to be true.” For me, this is nowhere more true than in the world of god-believers. And while this may describe non-believers as well, I have found they tend to use objective and concrete examples to support their reasons why something is “true.”


You say you believe in “God.” And I ask, who or what is “God”?



Someone once asked this question of God:

“Do any of us actually know what you are all about? We worship, revere, and pray to you but have absolutely no clue about you — who you are, where you came from, why you are, where you are, what you are … or if you even exist.”

Great question.

Stepping Out of the Mire

In a recent post, Siriusbizinus wrote:

Not everyone can make that step. Leaving faith behind is a long process of unpacking emotions, thoughts, feelings, and other trauma associated with indoctrination and forcing oneself to believe the unbelievable.

I would add … but it’s well worth the effort!

I became a believer in my early 20’s. I had little to no “indoctrination” up to that time as my parents were not religious (father was lapsed Catholic, mother was indifferent). So when “the event” happened, I jumped in full-force.

And, during “those” days, I believed. I mean, I TRULY BELIEVED!!

I lived and breathed Jesus. I was totally convinced this was the ONLY way to live and anyone who couldn’t see that was, well, blind. There simply was no other way. And the “unsaved” surely needed to be told how to “get right” with God … or else!

Today, as I read some of the postings and comments made by believers on Christian blogs (e.g., holdingforthhisword, truthinpalmyra, etc.), it’s not surprising to see their fervor and dedication as they “preach the word” to their non-believing visitors.

It’s also not the least bit surprising that no matter how many facts are presented related to the inconsistencies and fallacies of their belief, they often belittle the writer because they feel that anyone outside the faith simply doesn’t have the “holy spirit” to open their eyes to “The Truth.”

And the thing is … I can totally see/feel where they’re coming from because I was there! Living in the (so-called) cocoon of safety that Christianity represents, you believe there is absolutely no better way to live your life — and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool of the first degree.

That’s why siriusbizinus’ statement that “not everyone can take that step” (leave the faith) is right-on. There are those who will never leave. The indoctrination is so deep and so complete that to take such a step would be like leaping across the Grand Canyon.

Nonetheless, just as Christians have the driving need to evangelize the world with their stuff and nonsense, so the atheists/non-believers feel they must counter it with facts, reason, and rationality in hopes someone will take that step out of the mire.