“Jenny”

An individual — we’ll call her “Jenny” — often visits not only my blog, but several others who write from non-theist viewpoints. By all indications, Jenny is a devout Christian; however (to her credit), she does not fall into the evangelical mindset. Instead she tends to take a more “intellectual” approach as she strives to persuade others that Christianity is not the “Big Bad Wolf.”

Nevertheless, based on the simple fact that Jenny follows the Christian god (via the Trinity), and the tenets of the book endorsed by the Christian faith, she regularly attempts to persuade non-believers to look at life through different lens.

(Of course, to those of us who believe Christians wear rose-colored glasses, we tend to discount not only Jenny’s reasonings and pleas, but others who fall into this category as well.)

An example of Jenny’s advocacy was recently illustrated on another blog where she pointed out that “confessing one’s sins” provided …

a good opportunity for honest self-reflection, to focus on our lives and think about if there are any ways we might be harming ourselves or others, and if so to take steps toward reconciliation and an amendment of life.

She added that through such actions people often experience a good measure of encouragement and healing.

Naturally, to those of us who discount the theory of “sin,” the actions outlined in the quote above are simply good practice as we traverse through this event called “life” — and we wonder why there needs to be any mention of “confession.”

To her credit, Jenny has shared that she greatly benefits from conversations with non-believers. She said it causes her to “really think deeply” about what she believes –and why– and makes her want to dig deeper to see if there might be another perspective to consider.

And to that, I would say … YES! There definitely is a far better perspective to consider!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

To Jenny and others who are convinced that “sin” exists, I strongly urge you to take a long and thorough look at the core beliefs of your Christian faith.

In so doing, I’m convinced you will see that Christian teachings and instruction are all meant to debase and devalue the human spirit — and then “renew” it by denouncing “sin” in your life and asking some unseen entity to make things all better.

Please! Stop allowing yourself to believe you are “fallen” and need “saving.” This is a fallacy to the nth degree. 

Instead, Recognize and Accept That
You Are Unique … You Are Special
Simply Because You Are YOU.

TV Special About Atheists

Did anyone watch the CNN Special last night — “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers”? I did and my considered opinion of it was “What a bunch of crock!”

Firstly, the interviewer was, at least to me, a believer. Her questions might have been legit, but it was often the tone in which she asked them that gave it away — at least to me.

And the time spent with the family of the first atheist. Awwww. Poor Christian family who has a son that identifies with atheism. What really galled me was their comment about how they feel they’re talking with a “dead person” when discussing his non-belief.

And the preacher-turned-atheist who still “holds church” (albeit an atheist church) made me think the guy really has an ego problem. He apparently loved the attention and adoration when he was preaching the Christian message so now he’s hoping for the same from his little group of non-believers. (Did anyone notice the collection plate?)

I was hoping for a more serious discussion of WHY people have turned to atheism, but all I got was a bunch of people who claim the title … along with a bunch of fluff.

This is not to say there weren’t a few good parts. But overall, I found it sorely lacking.

Maybe because I’m biased?

Patheos talks about it here. As the author said: “I’d love to say this was a comprehensive look at atheism, but it didn’t even come close to that.”

Your thoughts?

Sharing My Feelings

After reading a post on Out From Under the Umbrella about how believers and non-believers sometimes react to those who disagree with them, it got me to thinking.

During the course of my de-conversion, I remember having very negative feelings towards those who were still bound to Christianity. Whenever believers tried to “convince” me I was on the wrong pathway, I felt anger … indignation … frustration. I wanted to tell them how blind they were. How indoctrinated. How easily swayed by rhetoric and tradition.

Instead, I would say nothing. Oh sure, on occasion I might mumble something like “I think you’re wrong,” but mostly I remained silent. I knew from years of having “been there, done that” that nothing I could or would say would change their thinking. Besides, by nature I’m not confrontational, so silence (and a smile) was my “weapon of choice.”

As I’ve looked back, I think this was the primary motivation behind writing my book. Communicating my thoughts and feelings through the written word has always been easier for me than one-on-one conversation. Through my book, I was allowed to share what I had learned about the Christian faith (which was at odds with what I had been taught) without direct confrontation.

Interestingly, since the book has been published,  I’ve noticed my feelings towards those who still “believe” have softened.  I’m now able to earnestly say … “If it works for you, that’s well and good. Each person has to follow what feels right for them.” This is not to say that when the opportunity presents itself (in person or on the internet), I won’t share what I have learned through my research. But I no longer feel disdain for those who are still trapped by doctrine and tradition. It is now more a feeling of sympathy, but also understanding in that for most, this is all they know.

Of course, down deep inside, there is always the hope they will read my book and learn the “facts” behind many of the things they are taught in church and Sunday School. wink

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?Sometime back, on the Finding Truth blog, one of the visitors directed a couple of rather intriguing questions to both believers and non-believers. With this person’s permission, I am publishing the questions here. As a Christian or as an Atheist, how would you answer them?

1. If everyone else you knew turned away and stopped believing what you believed, would you still believe?

2. Furthermore, if some of these same people treated you differently, harshly and excluded you because of your convictions, would you still believe?

I tend to think atheists would be less likely to change their thinking because they have generally done a thorough investigation of Christian claims and feel comfortable in their decision. However, if some irrefutable event occurred that strongly indicated God existed, what then? Would they be able to hold on to their “non-belief?” Especially if other non-believers became convinced of the validity of Christianity?

For Christians, the first question is especially pertinent. How many would be able to hold onto their convictions if everyone else stopped believing? I have a hunch many would say this wouldn’t matter — that they would continue to believe. But let’s be realistic. Facing banishment and ostracization from friends and family is not a walk in the park. And, as in the case of the atheists, if former believers were able to present undeniable evidence that Christianity was false, would this make a difference?

Think about it. What would you do?

Who Ya’ Gonna’ Call?

When I was a Christian and something happened in my life that was out of my control, it was natural for me to turn to God for guidance. I believed “He” was somewhere “up there” looking out for me. Whether any help arrived or not was inconsequential. It was the idea that I had an invisible friend who cared about me.

I no longer believe in the existence of this God; however, I sometimes catch myself in times of crisis asking for “His” help. After only a second or two, I come to my senses and remember there is no “Heavenly Father” sitting on a throne somewhere above the sky that is going to set things right.

The brainwashing is undeniable.

These incidents got me to wondering — what do non-believers and/or other ex-Christians do when a crisis over which they have no control enters their life (e.g., health issues; accidental death of loved one; unwanted pregnancy; etc.)? Or they are faced with a major decision that could change their life? How do they handle it? Do they turn to family and/or friends for guidance? What if the issue is so personal and/or sensitive that they would prefer to keep it to themselves? How do they work through it?

I’d love to hear some real, personal experiences rather than rote answers from atheists about how there is no help from supernatural sources and all the reasons why they believe that.