12/29/2002                                                                                       View Comments

deconversion

by Paula Hay

all I know, all I believe
are crumbling images no longer comforting me
this ground is not the rock I thought it to be
thought I was high, thought I was free
thought I was there: divine destiny
I was wrong. This changes everything.
-- Maynard James Keenan



The late fall afternoon is peaceful as I cozy up on the sofa for a few hours of cable television movies. Flipping through the channels, I happen upon a prerecorded televangelist rally. I pause to observe. The small man on the stage shouts into his cordless microphone about the power of God and the salvation of Jesus, stomping up and down the length of the stage, visibly energized by the clamorous feedback of his audience. Although the program is nearing its end I know he has been performing in this manner for about an hour. He concludes his sermon with an emotional prayer backed by a solemn minor-key melody on electric piano. I watch then as hundreds of people stream from the arena seats to the stage, seeking salvation in the small man's invitation to become "born again." There are close-ups of teary-eyed individuals with upraised arms, singing and praying, overcome by joy to have finally found salvation.

The scene transports me back in time to my mid-teens when I, too, once responded to an altar call in a very large arena. I know what the people on the television are experiencing. I know also that many of them will one day abandon their "salvation."

Fundamentalist Christianity was for me an 11-year ordeal of confusion, self-censorship and self-abasement. After the joy of my initial religious experience wore off, I moved into the modus operandi of Christian fundamentalists everywhere: I shut down emotionally and instead relied on the Bible to dictate my feelings. In Christian fundamentalist circles this is known as "living by faith."

In my mid-20s I experienced a severe crisis which led me to question the wisdom of living in this manner. Over a period of about a year I allowed myself to think the doubtful thoughts which I had been filing away in the back of my mind for so long. I felt as if I was issuing a direct challenge to God himself, and lived in great fear of divine retribution. My doubts led me to discover that it was indeed possible to make sense of life, to make decisions for myself, to set and attain goals, and to know my own heart. My spiritual path forked. Do I remain true to honesty, or true to the faith? I chose honesty. Thus was I deconverted.

For several years I believed my experience to be unique. In time I met another person who had defected from the ranks of Fundamentalist Christianity; then another, and others still. I am now convinced that the number of Americans who have had a "deconversion" experience of some type is much greater than one would suspect.

Deconversion is currently an under-studied phenomenon which could provide an important perspective from which to understand religion in America. The specific psychological, sociological, cultural, and political implications of large numbers of religious deconverts are beyond the scope of this paper. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that deconversion births as radical a psychological shift as the original conversion experience. It is quite enough to impact American culture and religion, just as conversion experiences produce "born-again" Christians who impact American culture in clearly manifest ways.

To understand these questions I turn to Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists, edited by Edward T. Babinski. This volume is a collection of 33 deconversion autobiographies from people once active and highly visible within the ranks of Fundamentalist Christianity. These essays give articulate voice to the deconversion process. They are at once diverse and congruous. Leaving the Fold is not intended to provide scientific statistical data; rather, it is an informal survey which provides much useful anecdotal material.

Surprisingly, the testimonies present only two key factors in their authors' deconversions. The first is related to external circumstances, including the behavior of other church members, leadership, or the denomination. The second is wholly internal: church doctrine simply becomes untenable.

The most common and compelling motivation for leaving fundamentalist Christianity cited by Leaving the Fold's contributors is, by far, a loss of personal faith. For the majority, the deconversion process begins with a single question, or group of questions, for which he can find no answer. This pattern emerges repeatedly. It is as if their fundamentalist faith is a large puzzle. Slowly at first, random pieces begin to fall away, creating holes in the overall image. These holes weaken the puzzle structure, allowing more pieces to fall away. Eventually all the pieces fall away leaving the deconvert free of the fundamentalist worldview. While this process is painful in many ways, all the writers consider it to be, ultimately, a great liberation. It is surprising how many of Leaving the Fold's writers consider their deconversion experience to be a "rebirth," or liken it to being "born again."

Another interesting aspect of the deconversion experience is that it is largely involuntary. Not one of Leaving the Fold's contributors relates a process in which he consciously decides to leave the faith with deconversion as a goal. The testimonies are of those who set out to find their answers in an effort to maintain their faith. Only grudgingly did they come to accept that the answers for their questions were to be found outside church doctrine. In various ways each describes how he was forced by intellectual honesty to face his discoveries.

It may seem surprising at first to think of deconversion as an involuntary act. However, I would point out that the initial experience of being "saved" is very often itself involuntary. Converts are generally not provided with all the facts necessary to make an informed decision. Instead, revival meetings and proselytization efforts are engineered to create a specific vulnerable emotional state within the target. The convert is then manipulated into accepting whatever religious message the evangelist has to peddle. Individuals converted by such deceptive methods have not voluntarily chosen to convert; they have been coerced. It is a difficult thing to accept that one has been duped. No one chooses discover that he has been lied to.

Because of their experiences, Leaving the Fold's contributors demonstrate a thorough disgust with Christian Fundamentalism. None view it as a positive religious expression.

The least hostile view its role as a stepping-stone toward greater faiths, such as Dennis Ronald McDonald's essay titled From Faith to Faith and Joe Barnhart's Fundamentalism as Stage One. I found Ernest Heramia's The Thorn-Crowned Lord/The Antler-Crowned Lord the most interesting of the stepping-stone testimonies. His deconversion path led him from Christian fundamentalism into neo-Paganism. I find this distinctly courageous, considering that of all religions, Paganism draws the wrath of the Fundamentalist like no other. In a very real though metaphoric sense, this particular move requires standing up at the Gates of Hell, facing one's demons, turning to the so-called "dark side." Neo-Paganism is eventually where my deconversion process brought me as well. His spiritual path is in some ways quite similar to my own.

Many of the testimonies are openly hostile to the very existence of Christian fundamentalism and view it as a kind of sickness. David Montoya's The Political Disease Known as Fundamentalism, Marlene Oaks's Old Time Religion is a Cult, and Kevin Henke's A Little Horse Sense is Worth a Thousand Inerrant Doctrines portray especially dysfunctional religious experiences. Frank Zindler's innocuously titled Biography depicts a deconversion which propelled the writer into anti-fundamentalist activism. So convinced was he of religion's evil that in 1978 he joined Dr. Madalyn Murray O'Hair "in her lawsuit to remove religious graffiti from American currency." Their efforts were unsuccessful, but to this day Zindler remains a pro-atheism activist.

In all, Leaving the Fold provides a solid overview of the deconversion process and what it means in the lives of ordinary Americans. The lack of data regarding the wider implications is disappointing to the say the least. Until scientific data are available, there is no way of knowing for certain how large a segment of the population has had a deconversion experience. However, the public status of most of this book's contributors may indicate that there is indeed significant impact being made throughout the American religious landscape. For this reason religious deconversion should receive the full benefit of future scholarly inquiry.

reposted from here with permission of the author

12/25/2002                                                                                       View Comments

CANDY CANES and their meaning

I found myself in church last Sunday, being supportive of a young family member who was performing some music.

While there, I heard this story. I suppose many of you have heard or read the same story, or some variation of it during the month of December. Well here is what was said:

The Christian Origin of the Candy Cane

A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols from the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

The candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Every time you see a Candy Cane, remember the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas, and that His Love remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.


Well the story is just not true. Candy canes were not created by "a candymaker in Indiana" who "stained them with red stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received." Candy canes were around long before there was an Indiana, and they initially bore neither red coloration nor striping -- the red stripes were a feature that did not appear until a few hundred years later, at the beginning of the 20th century:

About 1847, August Imgard of Ohio managed to decorate his Christmas tree with candy canes to entertain his nephews and nieces. Many who saw his canes went home to boil sugar and experiment with canes of their own. It took nearly another half century before someone added stripes to the canes . . . Christmas cards produced before 1900 show plain white canes, while striped ones appear on many cards printed early in the 20th century.

In fact, the strongest connection one can make between the origins of the candy cane and intentional Christian symbolism is to note that legend says someone took an existing form of candy which was already being used as a Christmas decoration (i.e., straight white sticks of sugar candy) and produced bent versions which represented a shepherd's crook and were handed out to children at church to ensure their good behavior:


Soon after Europeans adopted the use of Christmas trees, they began making special decorations for them. Food items predominated, with cookies and candy heavily represented. That is when straight, white sticks of sugar candy came into use at Christmas, probably during the seventeenth century.

Tradition has it that some of these candies were put to use in Cologne Cathedral about 1670 while restless youngsters were attending ceremonies around the living creche. To keep them quiet, the choirmaster persuaded craftsmen to make sticks of candy bent at the end to represent shepherds' crooks, then he passed them out to boys and girls who came to the cathedral.

Claims made about the candy's religious symbolism have become increasingly widespread as religious leaders have assured their congregations that these mythologies are factual, the press have published these claims as authoritative answers to readers' inquiries about the confection's meaning, and several lavishly illustrated books purport to tell the "true story" of the candy cane's origins. This is charming folklore at best, and though there's nothing wrong with finding (and celebrating) symbolism where there wasn't any before, the story of the candy cane's origins is -- like Santa Claus -- a myth, not a "true story."

Fictional accounts of the candy cane's religious origins are the subject of a number of colorful Christmas volumes, including The Candymaker's Gift: A Legend of the Candy Cane by Helen Haidle (1996), The Candy Cane Story by Joy Merchant Nall and Thomas Nall, Jr. (1996), The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (1997), and the children's book The "J" Is For Jesus by Alice Joyce Davidson (1998).

What is interesting about this little story, is that I have never met a single Christian who ever doubted that this story was true. Yet I have never met one who bothered to research it before repeating it themselves.

The next time someone tells you this story, say this: "That candymaker in Indiana. What was his name?" No one knows because the story is not true.

Would it be fair to say that as Christians, we believed all things, and thought that it was good to do so?

Merry Xmas!

Sources for your own research:

Garrison, Webb. Treasury of Christmas Stories.
Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55-853087-8.

Gotshall, Rich. "Humble Candy Cane Symbol of Faith'"
The Indianapolis Star. 17 December 1994 (p. B4).

Green, Larre. "Candy Cane Steeped in Holy Symbolism."
The Dallas Morning News. 22 December 1996 (p. C2).

Samuels, Alisa. "Tracing Roots of Tradition."
The Baltimore Sun. 2 December 1994 (p. B3).

Symansic, Tricia. "Candy Canes Are Also a Treat for the Soul."
The Columbus Dispatch. 21 December 1996 (p. E10).

Wagner, Arlo. "School Blocks Christmas Notes, Leaves Sour Taste."
The Washington Times. 24 December 1996 (p. C7).

12/16/2002                                                                                       View Comments

12/15/2002                                                                                       View Comments

A Firefighter Speaks-Out

The following article was graciously submitted to ExChristian.Net by the author Bruce Monson. His website can be viewed by clicking HERE

Dear Editor,

I am a professional firefighter-paramedic for the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado; a beautiful but ultra-conservative city that boasts of its plethora of military institutions: Fort Carson Army base, Peterson Air Force base, NORAD (remember the movie Wargames?) and The Air Force Academy. It is also (I’m convinced) the fundamentalist Christian epicenter for the entire planet and serves as home base for Dr. James Dobson’s massive Focus on the Family corporate headquarters, the World Prayer Center, massive displays of tax-free wealth on practically every corner, and a local paper that caters to evangelicals. In short, there is no shortage of opportunities for encountering and debating proselytizing Christians, and that includes on my own fire department where I am currently fighting the presence of Christian propaganda bulletin boards that are placed in all the stations by the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters (FCF). While that is an interesting story in itself that I may be sharing with you in the near future, at this time I would like to offer something a little different, perhaps, than many of you are used to; a perspective through the eyes of a profession where the disconcerting tragedy of child deaths cut to your core and, unfortunately, is dealt with all too frequently.

The following is a recent article I challenged the eighty-plus members of the Colorado Springs Chapter of the FCF with. It's interesting that not one of them has been able to give an answer to the dilemma (and some of them are ordained ministers and chaplains for our fire and police departments), but I have certainly received a few "hateful" responses—a sure sign that I have touched a sensitive nerve that is disturbing to them, but which they will never admit.

*************************************************


A FIREFIGHTER SPEAKS-OUT


If Jesus is really God, then he knows that I used to believe, and he also knows that today I am a doubting Thomas, a doubting Peter, a doubting Saul. If Jesus is really God, then he also knows that the only way I will believe in him again is if he proves his divine reality (at least to my satisfaction) by performing one little "miracle."


BRUCE MONSON'S PERSONAL APPEAL TO JESUS:

If Jesus will resurrect one (just one) of the many children I have seen die in my profession (usually under exceptionally tragic circumstances), I promise that I will devote my life to spreading His Word to all the world, especially to atheists, agnostics & people professing belief in all the thousands of other "false" religions extant in the world. I will give all of my possessions and money to the poor as He commanded (Luke 18:22); I will hate my father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even my own life in accordance with His requirements to be His disciple (Luke 14:26); I will do all of these things and be a suffering servant for Jesus. I will make it my purpose in life to be His greatest disciple!

Is it really so unreasonable to require physical proof? Was it "unreasonable" for those questioning Apostles?

In Luke 7:18-22 (and Matthew 11:1-5) we are told that John, who is in prison at this time, sends two of his disciples to go forth and ask Jesus "if he is the one [that should come] or if they should look for another?" And what is Jesus' response? Does he just send John's disciples on their merry way with instructions to "just have faith"? No, he does not! Rather, he provides physical proof to John's disciples through healings (the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, lepers are cured) and actual resurrections (Luke 7:11-17) in their presence, and then instructs them to return to John and tell him of these miracles they have seen!

WHY SHOULD I EXPECT ANYTHING LESS?

Obviously each person is different; as such, each person has different levels of skepticism and requirements of proof that will satisfy that skepticism. Throughout the Gospels we see the differences in the disciples; some need virtually no convincing at all, while others need more proof. Some need to see for themselves first-hand physical evidence, and these were the very disciples who supposedly witnessed all of these "miracles" allegedly performed by Jesus, and yet they still were not convinced! They either asked for or were seen by Jesus as needing proof, and they got it!

I ask you again,

WHY SHOULD I EXPECT ANYTHING LESS?

Resurrections seem to have been a fairly common occurrence in 1st c. Palestine (and not limited to just Bible heroes, it seems), so is it really too much to ask Jesus to provide just one single resurrection of a child today?

Surely, if Jesus was willing to provide physical evidence to convince Thomas, Peter, Paul (remember, like each of us, Paul never actually met Jesus, and he was allegedly a hater and persecutor of Christians prior to the incident on the road to Damascus), John’s disciples, and hosts of complete strangers, then He should understand that THAT is what it will take for me to believe again!

I am not picky. All I need to convince me is the resurrection of just one child, and I don't even need to see Jesus do it himself; he can have any one of his "believing followers" perform the resurrection in His name (John 14:13). After all, according to scripture, these abilities of healing and even resurrection are supposed to be possessed by any believing and faithful Christian!

Passages indicating that "believers" are to be afforded special "healing" abilities through Jesus.

Mark 16:17-18, 20 -- [17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. [20] And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word by the signs that followed. Amen. (my emphasis)

Matthew 10:8 -- Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. (my emphasis)

Luke 10:9 -- heal the sick in it [towns] and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you. (my emphasis)


These are just a few among many such passages, more of which I will be happy to provide upon request.

So let's recap--believers are supposed to be able to:

===> Heal the sick
===> Raise the dead
===> Drink any deadly thing without harm to themselves
===> Speak in tongues
===> Pick-up serpents [without harm]
===> Cleanse lepers
===> Cast out demons

Passages indicating that any believer who has "faith" in Jesus will have their prayers answered.

Matthew 21:22 -- And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (my emphasis)

Matthew 7:7-8 -- [7] Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you [8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Mark 11:23-24 -- [23] Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. [24] Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 11:40 – Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you have faith you will see the glory of God?’ [Note: Jesus is then said to have resurrected Lazarus from the dead, to prove to those present that He was sent from God (cf., v.42)]

John 14:13 -- Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (my emphasis)

Notice that the text says "you will receive" and does not say "sometimes I say no", the stock answer that so many Christians like to dole-out as an attempt at rationalization for why their prayers (even with millions of Christians praying in virtual unison for a common cause) did not produce the desired results--a perplexing dilemma considering that all it is supposed to take is just one "believer" to pray, and it will be
granted …"so that the father may be glorified."

And what kinds of prayers DO get answers?

James 5:17-18 [17] Eli'jah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. [18] Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

I think the obvious question being begged here is, if something so utterly trivial as praying for rain to stop and/or start at the whim of one man ("who is like ourselves"), then surely something as deeply personal and tragic as the sickness or death of a child would be a no-brainer for any all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving deity . . . well, one would think.

2 Kings 2:23-24 [23] He [the prophet Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, "Go away, baldhead! Go away baldhead!" [24] When he turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. (my emphasis)

Bears mauling forty-two children to death; and for what, making fun of a man’s bald head? Not only is this a supreme example of injustice, but again we see God dealing it out at the beckoned call of a man. I guess the next time we hear of a child getting mauled to death by a Rottweiler we should just assume that the child deserved it, and justice was served?

Joshua's long day fable is another example (but certainly not the last) of God allegedly answering to the requests of a mere human, and for no other purpose than to allow Joshua more daylight so he could finish his massacre of the fleeing Amorites:

Joshua 10:12-13 [12] Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Ai'jalon." [13] And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

Of course, I will contend that this is just another typical example of literary embellishment by the author(s) of the Book of Joshua. However, since many Christians believe this to be a literally true historical event, I will use it as a means for expressing the notion that the prayers of just one man (even for such an atrocious act as slaughtering people who are fleeing from him) was apparently good enough to receive an immediate and physical confirmation from God--and on a grandiose celestial scale.

WHY SHOULD I EXPECT ANYTHING LESS?

PART II

A DISTURBING SCENARIO:

I wonder... do you suppose Christians among the general public would be just as uncritical of us (professional firefighters) as they are of Jesus when He "fails to answer their prayers," if we, for example, responded to a house fire and arrived to the pleading shrieks of children trapped on the 3rd floor with steadily increasing black smoke pouring out of their open window, and having the direct power and means to save them, we instead chose to just stand and watch as they burned to their deaths, all along while their hysterical parents screamed for us to "do something!"? Hardly! In fact, the loss of our jobs (deservedly) would be the least of our worries, since we would most likely be brought up on charges of gross negligence for our "failure to provide aid," and probably buy a stinging jail sentence.

This is a troubling comparison to be sure, and one that is sure to anger those Christians reading this, but it is nevertheless completely accurate and a very serious argument against the reality of a personal savior who "hears our prayers."

Indeed, consider the two-year-old girl that burned to her death in Station 10's apartment fire this past December--that little girl's mother was pleading to God to save her child (as can be vividly heard on the 911 tape!) and "Jesus" did nothing! Unfortunately, it was also too late for even the valiant efforts of our firefighters to save her, and that is a tragedy!

Christians have a propensity for arbitrarily assigning credit for perceived "good" things that happen as being the divine works of Jesus (usually at the expense of the real miracles of modern medical science), but when things take a turn for the worse they will always find a way to rationalize such events so as to absolve their "loving" god from any responsibility whatsoever, but deep down I suspect they have the same feelings that I do (that most people do), but are afraid to speak the question that sits in the pit of their gut; afraid because they have always been taught to be afraid and to not dare question God. Well, I am not afraid! As the saying goes, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself."

===> If Jesus is really God and he did not predestine this tragedy, but had the power to save that child and chose not to, then I hold Jesus responsible for not only the child's death (because he "failed to act"), but also the suffering that family will endure for the rest of their lives!

===> If Jesus is really God and he did predestine the death of this child, and in this agonizingly tragic manner, then I hold Him responsible for not only the injustice of taking the life of a two-year-old girl, but also for inflicting life-long guilt upon her five-year-old brother (who accidentally started the fire), and for the endless pain and sorrow that the mother and father will have to endure for the rest of their lives!

I will close with a restatement of my Personal Appeal to Jesus: If Jesus will resurrect this one little girl and return her to her mother's arms, I promise that I will devote my life to spreading His Word to all the world, especially to atheists, agnostics & people professing belief in all the thousands of other "false" religions extant in the world. I will give ALL of my possessions and money to the poor as He commanded (Luke 18:22); I will hate my father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even my own life in accordance with His requirements to be his disciple (Luke 14:26); I will do all of these things and be a suffering servant for Jesus. I will make it my purpose in life to be His greatest disciple!

Yours in Truth,

Bruce Monson






This article originally appeared in the September 2000 edition of Freethought Today - the publication of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

It served as the focus of Natalie Angier's recent article in the New York Times entitled The Bush Years: Confessions of a Lonely Atheist.

12/09/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Reminiscing

I was "saved" when I was 11 years old.

At that time (the late 60's) Billy Graham was emphatic that the rapture was sure to happen by 1980 or thereabouts. I remember being saddened by the fact that I would never have wife, never have children, never grow old and so on.The whole subject was very real to me.

I neglected my studies and devoted myself to religious meetings, believing that they were of eternal value, while scholastic endeavors were only temporary. I also was convinced bodily exercise was of no real value as well, since it had no everlasting reward.

The rapture and heaven mentality really damaged my potential for success as a youth and later as an adult.

I have been lately told that I should not be so aggressive in my campaign against Christianity. I have been told that whatever someone else believes is not material to actual reality. and I should live and let live - so to speak.

I disagree totally. I believe that ideas have far reaching consequences. Being indoctrinated with a death oriented religion that sees no real lasting value in anything on Earth and sees the ultimate reality in some mystical "heaven" is a terrible hindrance to both mental health as well as effective contribution to human society.

We see this starkly in the Muslim extremists of recent history, but Christianity has no less of a terrible history for those willing to research it.

Freedom from mind control is a great reward to those willing to overcome the pre-programming of their cultures and their respective families.

I offer a hearty applause to all those who have taken the hard step toward rational thought after months, years, or a lifetime of religious subjugation.

Join the discussion board at http://ex-christian.net and discuss this and any topic you wish.

12/04/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Just for fun !

A team of archaeologists was excavating in Israel when they came upon a cave. Written across the wall of the cave were the following symbols:



It was considered a unique find and the writings were said to be at least three thousand years old!



The piece of stone was removed, brought to the museum, and archaeologists from around the world came to study the ancient symbols. They held a huge meeting after months of conferences to discuss the meaning of the markings.



The President of the society pointed at the first drawing and said: This looks like a woman. We can judge that it was family oriented and held women in high esteem. You can also tell they were intelligent, as the next symbol resembles a donkey, so, they were smart enough to have animals help them till the soil. The next drawing looks like a shovel of some sort, which means they even had tools to help them.



Even further proof of their high intelligence is the fish, which means that if a famine had hit the earth, whereby the food didn't grow, they would take to the sea for food. The last symbol appears to be the Star of David which means they were evidently Hebrews.



The audience applauded enthusiastically, but a little old man stood up in the back of the room and said: Idiots, Hebrew is read from right to left. It says: Holy Mackerel, Dig The Ass On That Woman!