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12/10/2007                                                                                       View Comments

My biggest regret? Being a Christian sheep

Sent in by exfundie

I just watched the Michael Moore film, "Sicko." Let me tell you, I laughed, I cried, and I pondered many things. Mostly however, I cried. Especially through the whole part where Moore took the group of sick 9-11 rescue workers to Cuba. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the movie for yourself. Anyway, this segment not only enraged me, but broke my heart too. Mostly because it reminded me of my biggest regret to this day... being such a sheep to the establishment of Christianity.

I was so brainwashed and closed-minded to things. I mean I voted for George W. Bush both times! I held him up as such a godly pursuer of right, and of truth, and of all things good. I felt like any attack on him must be either untrue or completely founded upon a misrepresentation of information. I wouldn't hear it! Some may not see the connection between the two, but I feel they are one in the same.

Every occurrence in our recent history with implications obvious to a freed mind, were a complete mystery to me. I think this is true of most Christians. And it's not because the information isn't available. It is because I didn't want to know it. As a matter of fact, I guarded myself against it. I only sought out and absorbed information that supported what I knew was right. Therefore, I believed in my heart that George W. Bush was the man god wanted as our president. I mean, every Christian leader, pastor, and friend of mine in the buy-bull belt both agreed and sought to further convince me of this truth. And voting for George W. Bush is just one of many examples I could use.

But now, it is too late for me. For the first time in thirty-one years of life I am truly able to think for myself. But it is too late, I have invalidated my ability to influence those around me, because... I am an atheist. As a Christian, I was a youth pastor and ministry leader. I was such an influence on young people, and even the adults I worked closely with. I mean truly everything I thought and said was golden. People would always align with my agenda, because I was their god-appointed leader. Now though, I am no influence at all. I am just the weak-minded person whose faith was too weak.

It almost makes me want to go back to church, walk down to the altar during the altar call, and pray to receive Jesus Christ as my personal savior again. Then, not only would my life be easier, but I could also begin influencing those around me again. You see, now that my mind is open and I am free to think for myself, I could influence free-thought over buy-bull babble. Maybe reverse some of the brainwashing I was responsible for. Who knows? I mean, my salvation truly wouldn't be any less real than it was the first time I did it. You know, when I really did think it meant something? The only difference would be now I'd know it meant nothing. But hey, I'd feel no guilt here... none!

41 comments:

tina said...

So, is fear a factor in religion? I know it must be. I have never been religious but I can imagine it is a very huge step to go from a religion to atheist. I applaud you for thinking for yourself and questioning everything.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

exfundie:
Even if you had caught up with clarity back when you were in the church, and started to shed the light of truth on your fellow parishioners, do you know how fast you would have been out of there? Maybe you're in a much better position now. It's not too late. What if you started up a clandestine "all those who doubt come to me" club? They already know you've fallen, I gather, right?

Spirula said...

I only sought out and absorbed information that supported what I knew was right.

This is key to understanding why it is so difficult to talk to your former Christian friends. They don't want to hear about other points of view. They are clinging firmly to a world view that is fanatasy and it takes a lot of work to keep that up. I seriously doubt many of us left Christianity because someone else convinced us to. It is because we began to think for ourselves, to think critically, to question our beliefs. This is what led most of us to the path of disbelief.

So, as much as we wish we could get these people to wake up, it won't happen unless they start it.

I'm not suggesting that you don't engage in those conversations, but it is much less frustrating when you recognize the change will only come because they want it.

Wade said...

Welcome to freedom.

I can relate to a lot of your story. I too voted for both George W's and was a christian for over 30 years. I have been out of the christian cult for around 3 years now.

Ever after 30 years I can't believe I ever believed that crap.

My only advice is worry about yourself right now. Living in a mind control cult has lasting effects. 30 years is a long time to be in the Matrix. It will take awhile to undo some of the programming.

Cousin Ricky said...

This article by Merle Hertzler might be of interest: “When You Feel Like a Loser.”

Ricky said...

That was a very good testimonial. I especially like hearing from those who have deconverted recently. It gives me hope that some religious people can, in fact, let rationality enter their minds.

I'm a bit interested in how, exactly, you became an atheist. Was it through the internet?...or did you just consider things yourself? I know you just sought out what you wanted to hear, but did you come upon something that you couldn't just disregard?

It's my hope that the internet will finally give nonreligious people a voice. You are right. When you are a religious leader, you have so much power to influence people, but when you become an atheist, all that is gone. BUT...the internet has changed this. This website, for instance. And YouTube. Some people who only talk about atheism and debunk religious teachings have over 10,000 subscribers, and probably many more that view at least one of their videos. Now, some people, no matter what, will insult them in the comments section. You have to suck it up. The internet isn't filled, like a church, completely with like-minded people. But, on the other hand, there is a greater chance that you can reach someone who would have never known about you.

Some people on YouTube who I subscribe to include "patcondell", "KingHeathen", and "JohnLArmstrong" (the last guy is a Deist). Maybe you have what it takes (the oratory skills, etc) to become another one. Maybe it's not too late for you.

At any rate, it's definitely not too late to enjoy your life and broaden your horizons.

Ex-Fundie said...

Ricky asked,
I'm a bit interested in how, exactly, you became an atheist.

It's ironic actually. I wanted to research and create a sermon to preach at a youth ministry I directed. A lot of the kids struggled with believing in God because they were not raised in church to do so. I wanted to find evidence of the redeeming, exclusive, and original ideas behind Christianity that make it the one reasonable truth. So I researched and found well... you know exactly what I found.

tinachristina said...

What does George Bush got to do with whether you believe in what Jesus did for you on the cross? You are always going to find someone to agree with your doubts about Christianity because the enemy is at work and people are very hateful about it. One thing to think about, maybe the influence you had was God's spirit working in you because it was the truth and that is why you are not able to influence anyone now. Go back to church or at least be still and know that he is God. Tinachristina

Ricky said...

Thanks, exfundie, for that explanation!

Too bad that some people like tinachristina don't have the courage to question their beliefs.

stevie said...

TinaChristina have you ever seriously considered that you might be wrong about your faith? Thought of how you might act differently if god, heaven, hell and all that simply wasn't true? Do you even think it is in any way *possible* you could be wrong and Ex-Fundie just might be right? I am suggesting you try to walk a mile in our shoes before you leap to the automatic sermon.

You see, even with all the circular reinforcements of Christian thought most people here walked in your shoes and have rejected your faith. There are no enticements to do so (no promise of eternal life, no fear of eternal torture, no "special place" in the universe, no relationship with God herself) but it is liberating to face reality and honestly try to understand what we can about our wonderful universe and our place within it.

As for Ex-Fundie its clear you miss feeling important within the community of believers. The reason you had influence is you were part of a group with shared beliefs. If you want to oppose Bush then join an appropriate political group that has that goal and honestly defend your ideas. I'm sure you'll find it better than answering some alter call and hiding behind a cynical facade.

Steve

Ex-Fundie said...

Stevie said,
I'm sure you'll find it better than answering some alter call and hiding behind a cynical facade.

Oh I agree, I'm way beyond doing that. Writing that last sentence was (my obviously failed) attempt at humor/sarcasm.

stevie said...

Ex-Fundie wrote:

"Writing that last sentence was (my obviously failed) attempt at humor/sarcasm."

Nope, just an irony failure on mine. I've come to realize there's more honesty here than in the world we used to inhabit. I've come to think of deception as the modus operandi of many leading xtians.

Stevie

not the me you want me to be said...

wow. I just found this website this morning, and this is the first article I read, and it resonates.

trying to find your way again surrounded by people who once supported your every decision and now see you as the enemy is a very, very tough thing, indeed.

Anonymous said...

This post is not only sacriligous but it is unpatriotic as well. I don't know how you can get on your soapbox and disparage the president of this great country. I'm not saying Bush has been the perfect president but he has led our country through probably the toughest times we Americans have ever seen. Legislature introduced by the Bush administration like the Patriot Act has reduced the number of terrorist attacks since 911 to a big fat zero. Bush has led our defenses to fight terrorist over seas to prevent World War III and keep the terrorist from attacking us on our own soil. You can thank God and the Bush adminstration that you are able to safely post this article from your computer. We should be so lucky to get another president in 2008 that is a devout Christian and sees Jesus as Lord and Savior. Bush was able to install conservative judges to the supreme court and if we can continue we can get Roe v Wade overturned and stop the infanticide with another great conservative in the office like Guliani or Thompson. I think the country has a lot to think about if they are thinking someone like Obama or Clinton is going to restore our values. I question the motives of this article. It's almost as if you are supporting the cause of Islam and terrorism.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous,

Either that was a brilliant spoof, or you are one scary person. I honestly don't know which it is, so either take a bow or take offense.

xrayman said...

Ricky said,

"It's my hope that the internet will finally give nonreligious people a voice."

I am the epitome of the internet atheist momement working like a champ. I drifted for 42 years in various stages of religious confusion. I wanted to believe so bad, but something was always nagging me and pulling me away. I guess I believed just because everyone else believed. I never really felt the love and that in itself was not a good feeling.

In March of 2005 I stumbled on a couple atheist sites that evaporated any God belief I may have had like a drop of water in the searing desert sun. It took about two days of reading to make this guy a total atheist. Where religion made no sense and left so many quetions unanswered, atheism made perfect sense and I will leave the unknown questions to future science.

It's nice not to feel like there is an invisible vouyer in the sky watching your every move and reading your every thought.

Welcome to the club Ex-Fundie. I think there is plenty of company in the liberal secular word of politics. And for the record my mom goes to church every Sunday and can't stand President Bush.

exfundie said...

Damn Anony! That was some fucked up shit! You have swallowed the Religious Right propoganda like a champ! And for the record, I am not a Democrat either. I'd probably vote Ron Paul before anyone else (even though he's a christian, I won't hold that against him.) I have lots of Christian friends, come to think of it, all of my friends are Christian. I'm the only Atheist I know. The reasonable ones are still my friends, while the brainwashed ones have written me off as the devil!

exfundie said...

You know what Anony, I almost forgot. What you posted is exactly how I used to feel about ole W. Man, I can't believe how ignorant I used to be!

Anonymous said...

Forget about Politics and forget about people.

What matters is do we believe there is something "supernatural" behind everything?

Nobody knows, it is all up to the individuals belief.

No human has any clue how things are actually controlled behind the scenes of life, even if there is a "Creator controller" behind it all.

If a person is angry and curses "there is no f---ing God", that does not mean there is no God.

If a person prays and their prayer is answered, nobody really knows if God answered the prayer or if is was just happenstance.

Cousin Ricky said...

Anonymous #3278407727772360965 wrote: “Forget about Politics and forget about people.

“What matters is do we believe there is something 'supernatural' behind everything?”


Does that really matter?

After Mitt Romney very carefully explained separation of church and state to the American people the other day, an acquaintance of mine agreed that a candidate’s religion says nothing about his qualifications for office. But then she qualified that: as long as the candidate believes in a higher power. I asked her, using her own logic, how that can affect the person’s qualifications. She couldn’t answer, except to say that she couldn’t trust such a person. No reason.

So, does it really matter, apart from irrational gut feelings that, in any other context, we’d call “bigotry”?

Anonymous wrote: “Nobody knows, it is all up to the individuals belief.”

I’ll take that as a “no.” If we can’t tell whether or not the supernatural is here, then it can’t matter. And if it doesn’t matter, then our belief won’t matter unless we try to force it on others.

Anonymous wrote: “No human has any clue how things are actually controlled behind the scenes of life, even if there is a 'Creator controller' behind it all.”

Oh, we have clues all right, even if we don’t have the total answer. I daresay that the clues are entirely consistent with consistency; that is, the world appears to run all by itself according to inviolate rules. Not only is a god unnecessary, it would f--- up the works.

Anonymous wrote: “If a person is angry and curses 'there is no f---ing God', that does not mean there is no God.”

Agreed. But while anger may lead some people to question God’s existence, it is rarely (if ever) the reason for rejecting his existence. If you read the testimonies here, you’ll see that disbelief in God is a well thought out conclusion—even if the journey away from Christianity began in anger.

Anonymous wrote: “If a person prays and their prayer is answered, nobody really knows if God answered the prayer or if is was just happenstance.”

Actually, thanks to the aforementioned inviolate rules, we can derive a tentative conclusion from statistically analyzing the results of numerous prayers. The Web site Why Won’t God Heal Amputees has a good overview of this method. All evidence shows that prayer is no more effective than a lucky horseshoe. Maybe less.

stevie said...

> Forget about Politics and forget about people.

In one sentence we dispose of any desire to improve this world or care about others who share it with us. I am sincerely glad there are people who care about other people - its one of humankind's best traits.

> What matters is do we believe there is something "supernatural"
> behind everything?

Says you. I say what matters is evidence. There is *no* credible evidence for something supernatural let alone something supernatural "behind everything'.

> Nobody knows, it is all up to the individuals belief.

Why is it down to belief? Surely you want to know if your belief is correct rather than just some false mental palliative that just makes you feel good. If you want to know if something is real you conduct some kind of investigation.

Why? Well as a young child I believed that the inside of people must look like Turkish Delight. Honestly. So if I chopped my arm off the inside would be uniform and look just like that lovely candy. Of course, such a belief was easily disposed of - because it is was false *and* subject to disproof.

> No human has any clue how things are actually controlled behind
> the scenes of life, even if there is a "Creator controller"
> behind it all.

You seem to think there's a "magic" or unknown force needed to explain things that is external to themselves. So far we've found no need of any such magic as science probes deeper to understand nature as a system without need of external contingencies.

> If a person is angry and curses "there is no f---ing God", that
> does not mean there is no God.

Ditto for curses of Shiva, Quetzalcoatl and Zeus. Its not a positive proof of anything either just a statement that person (probably) thinks to be true.

> If a person prays and their prayer is [APPARENTLY] answered, nobody
> really knows if God answered the prayer or if is was just
> happenstance.

Well, believers have been praying to gods and believing at least some prayers answered for thousands of years. Of course, they've been praying to a wide variety of deities and so your particular god maybe no more effective than the others.

BTW, you don't seem to be the same right-wing idiot that posted as "anonymous" earlier in this thread. Best adopt a pseudonym if you expect any kind of sensible discussion.

Steve

Anonymous said...

There's another way around this: I told my church that the true opposite of faith is not unbelief, but certainty - that the inability to question belies a weak and insecure faith. They bought it, and I have now turned the religious education program from a brainwashing experience to something that makes all the children think about what they are doing.

Simply disguising humanism as the 'right thing to do' and discussing the matters of religion in a matter-of-fact manner has gained the new program kudos from both the children and their parents.

Use what you had to try to regain influence over the children and open up their minds in a truly positive manner.

It's really devious, but isn't that what Paul / Saul said when he meant he was Gentile to the Gentiles and bla bla bla? The truth is that without the superstitions, our church could really be doing some good. Instead of abandoning ship, help steer it around to the REAL truth: that we're all we've got, and there is no God to save anyone.

My 2 cents.

exfundie said...

Anony said;
My 2 cents.

...but worth more than that. That really is an awesome story! It could really have a tremendous effect too. I read somewhere that in marriages where one partner is Atheist, and the other Christian, over 70% of the time the children turn out Atheist. Perhaps if they are exposed to reason even if it is among all the belief propaganda, they will see the light in spite of.

Patrick said...

Anymouse's right wing Christian Bush Love-in post shows why o many people from Canada to those of Eurpopean nations use the USA as the butt of so many jokes. Bush and the religious right scare me more than Osama, Iran or any islamic group.

odilive@yahoo.com said...

holy cow and gee whiz!
i have absolutely loved reading this. its amazing how 'ex-christians' feel so very empowered when they leave the flock. i was a youth leader and very very involved in the church. i also have tattoos and piercings etc. i never changed my beliefs ... i simply chose express myself differently than was 'ok'. the church began to look at me very differently when i didn't adhere to what they though i should look like. thats when i began questioning. why does what i wear to church or look like or how much i put in the offering plate dictate how other christians will view me?
it shouldn't. god wouldnt care what i looked like.
then i was told i was going to hell for my tattoos. are you seious? really?
i researched and researched...and give me a break. what i now believe..which may or may not be true...is that religion was something made up by man in attempt to get man to go against his nature. humans are barbaric in nature. whay back when...when a man needed a woman he went to the tribe across the river and took one. when he wanted something he took it. the strong survive. as children we are programmed to not hit or take etc. to conform to mans law. which i agree has to be done if we are to have 'society'. religion is a wonderful way to get that to take place. "when you live a good and noble life (by going against your nature) you will be rewarded in the afterlife. its a pretty ingenious method.
i am not a bad person simply because i choose not to believe in god. god is not my crutch. i do not praise him when something good happens and i do not curse him when something bad happens. i am responsible for my family, my friends and myself. i choose not to pray to a higher power to give me strength. i know i am strong enough to do what needs to be done.
i also do not hate those that choose to believe. people need different things. some (most) people are not strong enough in themselves to go against the grain. to think and make decisions. i am. many are. but we are shunned. i would not walk into a church and berate them. but they can walk into my tattoo shop and spout out nonsense because they believe they are trying to save me. save yourselves.
god or no god. i take care of my family, i am a member of the pta, i am a wonderful mother, i will stop to help you if you have a flat tire in the rain. i also happen to not believe in god (why'd he let you get a flat tire in the rain? or let 2 year old babies get raped?), i have tattoos, piercings and an opinion.
im not as well spoken as most of you that have posted are (blame it on my 2 year old trying to help me type)...but i wanted to share.

Rhianna said...

heya, can i just ask what made you stop believing?

I am a 14 year old Christian from England, and I cant say that much of what you've said applies to me at all - I wouldnt be on this site if i wanted to protect myself against other ideas, and im always debating my faith with friends both at school and those who are far older than me.
Obviously, I didnt vote for George Bush because i dont live in America, but you can hardly blame your faith for that decision - God gave us free will for a reason, not just so that we can copy our vicars.

And think about it this way - if you believe that God exists, the 30 years of your life were not wasted, but used wisely, however if God doesnt exist, the whole of your life is a waste of time anyway as there is no point in us being on this planet.

Also, Christianity can not be seen as a cult because there are so many different branches of it, and you cant be a sheep if you're a christian because we are all encouraged to see our own faith in our own way, unless you went to an etremely weird church.

I dont mean any offence in this comment, but Im confused about your view point and interested in why you think the way that you do.

thankyou

dunno how this site works really, but if u can then please reply to this.

Rhianna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhianna said...

oh, and in England, unless you go to a very strange church, nobody cares what you wear, so I'm supposing that there are different issues for the person who commented before me

I go to a great church where i can dress as i like, say what i like when i like, run the kids sessions when i want to, and nobody has a problem at all - my church believes that Jesus loves me the way i am, it's how he made me and trying to influence or change me would just be against him, so i think that you are stereo typing christians quite unfairly.

boomSLANG said...

rhianna...heya, can i just ask what made you stop believing?

Who are you addressing? If it's the person who posted before you, notice the date of post. If you truly seek to understand why people deconvert from Christianity, read the testimonies on this site.

rhianna...I wouldnt be on this site if i wanted to protect myself against other ideas, and im always debating my faith with friends both at school and those who are far older than me.

It's good that you are investigating philosophies that oppose your own, notwithstanding, it is a pointless concept to "debate" one's "faith". "Faith", by definition, is merely a form of agnosticism; the whole premise of "faith", is to believe, and to continue to believe, irrespective of whatever evidence you might find in "debate".

rhianna...God gave us free will for a reason, not just so that we can copy our vicars.

If this "God" you refer to is all-knowing(omniscient), then our "free will" is an illusion, at best. With minimal thought, you can figure out why.

rhianna...if God doesnt exist, the whole of your life is a waste of time anyway as there is no point in us being on this planet

Really? Says who?

Astreja said...

Rhianna, having a god in the picture does not add meaning or value to life.

Why, you may ask?

Because meaning is something we ourselves create, not something that's assigned to us. We express our respective versions of purpose by learning about the world around us and being active in it.

There is no magical "Oh, so *that's* why..." awaiting at the end of the rainbow.

None.

So live your life to the fullest, as if it's the only one you will ever get. Even if you believe in life after death, make good use of the life you know. Work to fulfill your dreams, and strive to do good things for self and friends and family and total strangers alike... Because, religious or not, the world can always use more passionate, creative and loving people.

Rhianna said...

Boomslang, you are right that faith is to believe, and to continue to believe, but it isnt a form of agnosticism, as agnostics are people who dont know what their faith is. And the reason that I go on these sites and have these debates is because it makes my faith stronger.

Most people who've written on this site seem to have converted because they felt that they were unwanted or didnt fit in, which is a bit of an antistatement because acceptance is a huge part of christianity. If the Lady with the tattoos had felt unaccepted at her church, then this doesn't disprove God, it just shows that humans aren't always as accepting as they should be, and maybe if she'd tried out a more modern church she would have felt far more welcome.


As for free will, I believe that we all havechoices, but God will know exactly what will happen which ever road we chose to take, and he gives us plenty of opportunitys to get where he wants us so that we can easily get there of our own accord.

Life without God - what is the point in life at all? You live you die, its over. If y look at it that way, you mayaswell go and rob a load of people, kill the people who you dont like as much as others and then kill yourself because you know that you're gonna die in the end anyway.

However, life with God - a life of serving your creator, praising him, thanking him, notjust through church but through your own good works -- I believe that a huge part of my faith is all about the value that i can add to other people through kindness, charity work, being friends with people who dont feel accepted and being the loving Christian that I feel that I was made to be.

I am ashamed of the people who made the people on this blog feel unwanted, because it goes against Christianity as I know it. If they really made people feel this bad, then it is not God that is to blame, but the actual humans that you feel converted you away from the church. Still, if your faith had been strong enough in the 1st place, you should have learned to forgive these people, and love your enemys.


And of course, for the people who've basically said that they dont believe in it because its just nonsense, they havnt really got a good reason in my opinion, as any theory for the creation of the world and the miraculous heealings and miracles which appear to be caused by prayer also look like nonsense, often which you simply believe because somebody told you to believe it.

that line, "you only believe because somebody told you to" is one that is said a lot to me, but its not true, as although I have grown up in a Christian family, I hav learned to find God for myself.

Astreja said...

Rhianna: "...Agnostics are people who dont know what their faith is."

False. I am agnostic, and a far better definition of agnosticism is, "The ultimate truth is unknowable." For instance, even if a god-like being teleported into My house at this very moment, I do not possess the necessary knowledge and perspective to definitively know that it is a god.

"Most people who've written on this site seem to have converted because they felt that they were unwanted or didnt fit in..."

Read a few more of our Ex-timonies, Rhianna. In many cases (including Mine), it was the Bible and the doctrines of Christianity itself that deconverted us. I, for example, unconditionally reject the concepts of Hell, Original Sin, and substitutionary atonement. I never even uttered the Sinner's Prayer because, to put it mildly, it's unadulterated crap.

Finding a welcoming congregation will not help one bit when one believes with all one's heart that Christianity is not only ridiculous but a blight upon humanity.

"As for free will, I believe that we all have choices, but God will know exactly what will happen which ever road we chose to take, and he gives us plenty of opportunitys to get where he wants us so that we can easily get there of our own accord."

You have just contradicted yourself. If we are manipulated by your god, even once, we have no free will.

"Life without God - what is the point in life at all? You live you die, its over."

Life with a god - What is the point in that? You live, you die, you go to some other place and get stuck there for eternity.

"If y look at it that way, you may as well go and rob a load of people, kill the people who you dont like as much as others and then kill yourself because you know that you're gonna die in the end anyway."

If that's how you think you would behave without religion, Rhianna, please stick with your faith.

We, on the other hand, figured out long ago that morality has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with social reciprocity, empathy and generally trying to co-exist peacefully with our neighbours.

Imagine yourself suddenly non-Christian. Okay, now imagine yourself robbing a bank. Would you do it, yes or no? Why or why not?

"Still, if your faith had been strong enough in the 1st place, you should have learned to forgive these people, and love your enemys."

Don't you ever tell us what we "should" or "should not" do. Don't even go there. Demanding forgiveness of someone is a highly abusive behaviour. People choose to forgive, or not, only when they are psychologically ready to do so.

"And of course, for the people who've basically said that they dont believe in it because its just nonsense, they havnt really got a good reason in my opinion, as any theory for the creation of the world and the miraculous heealings..."

What, ancient mythology and hearsay? Don't be so gullible as to think that the contents of the Bible are true. The Earth was not created in six days. There was no worldwide flood and no magic boat full of animals. And people don't come back from the dead and get whooshed up into the clouds, either.

If you believe otherwise, you have the burden of proof. Please Fed-Ex a real live talking snake to Me at your earliest convenience.

muttmutt said...

I too am an ex christian, been there since december 18 2004, one week before Christmas. @ tinachristina, youre a vile person. Christians are able to influence people, because evil people seek power to conquer this planet. napoleon tried it, and so did hitler. @rhinna, youre still young, I strongly suggest you take a course on comparative religions, the sooner the better. Non christiasn still have a voice too, Im not an atheist, but I sure as hell am not christian, muslim or jewish either. Most atheist dont want to bother with Pagans, because "they still believe in Gods" Well, you see, the Pagan track record doesnt consist of murder, rape, lying etc. As for blood sacrifices, the Aztecs, the ones that sacrificed things they werent supposed to, are gone. I like the idea of getting organized as a group of non christians. But i guess thats what websites like this are for.

boomSLANG said...

Rhianna is back, with...Boomslang, you are right that faith is to believe, and to continue to believe, but it isnt a form of agnosticism, as agnostics are people who dont know what their faith is.[bold added]

Incorrect. "Faith", as defined in a religious context, is to believe, regardless of any contrary evidence, or lack of evidence. In other words, it denotes uncertainty. For if one was "certain", they wouldn't need "faith". Thus, "faith" is simply the lack of certain knowledge, thus, it is a form of agnosticism..i.e..lack of knowledge.

You...And the reason that I go on these sites and have these debates is because it makes my faith stronger.

It might make your "faith stronger" in your own mind(because that's where faith originates), however, as far as objective, mind-independent reality, it doesn't bolster your position one iota.

You...If the Lady with the tattoos had felt unaccepted at her church, then this doesn't disprove God, it just shows that humans aren't always as accepting as they should be, and maybe if she'd tried out a more modern church she would have felt far more welcome.

By the same token, if the "Lady with tattoos" eventually found a "church" that would accept her, it doesn't mean that "God" exists, either. Thus, your analogy's premise is irrelevant.

You...As for free will, I believe that we all havechoices, but God will know exactly what will happen which ever road we chose to take, and he gives us plenty of opportunitys to get where he wants us so that we can easily get there of our own accord.

Rhianna, your philosophy is contradictory, as pointed out by Astreja.

If our future "choices" are known in advance, and thus, predestined, then our "free will" is an illusion. So, as far as being where "he wants us", that's the equivalent of saying, "If the puppeteer gets the puppets where he wants them..."

There is no "if"; the puppet ultimately ends up where the puppeteer "wants it". Either free will gets flushed, or omniscience gets flushed. Take your pick.

You caricature...Life without God - what is the point in life at all? You live you die, its over. If y look at it that way, you mayaswell go and rob a load of people, kill the people who you dont like as much as others and then kill yourself because you know that you're gonna die in the end anyway.

I just went over this whole line of questioning on another thread. It's titled, "I realised that I didn’t believe any of it". If you want my perspective on this topic, read it there; I'm not repeating myself.

You...I believe that a huge part of my faith is all about the value that i can add to other people through kindness, charity work, being friends with people who dont feel accepted and being the loving Christian that I feel that I was made to be.

Please notice that people can do all of the above acts of kindness, without a belief in invisible supernatural beings. Also notice, that some people can do all those things, and believe in an entirely different "God" than you. What is the common denominator? PEOPLE.

Furthermore, if the only reason you do those things is because you feel you are being "nudged" to do so, well, that doesn't say an awful lot about you.

You...that line, "you only believe because somebody told you to" is one that is said a lot to me, but its not true, as although I have grown up in a Christian family, I hav learned to find God for myself.

You may have investigated "God" for yourself, yes. However, you came into this world with zero belief; with zero knowledge of what the three latters, "G-O-D" meant.

Bottom line: The concept of "God" was revealed to you, at best; you were indoctrinated with it, at worst. Had you been born in Iran, you'd likely have "faith" in "Allah".

boomSLANG said...

Correction on the above: letters..not "latters".

JJ said...

Oh I am sorry that George Bush was the downfall of your faith. You do realize that the Church is not the government, right? That no man deserves the place of Christ? There is a problem when Christians adopt a political party and pushes its agenda. When the Church does that it becomes a puppet of the political will and not God's will, like we have seen. The Church isn't perfect though, it is made up of imperfect people. Maybe you should go back to church with the lessons you have learned and influence people to think more critically about what they are being taught - especially about the world and politcs; and not just be spoon-fed what to think.

AtheistToothFairy said...

JJ said...
You do realize that the Church is not the government, right?

JJ,
Not only isn't the church the government, but I think I can safely state that every member here has their fingers crossed that the belief in the "Son of god" and our government stay as far apart as the REAL Sun is from Pluto.

>That no man deserves the place of Christ?

Frankly, I can name quite a few men/women that I think would be more deserving of that trusted position, than your bible christ was.
Of course, that would greatly assume such a person as christ ever lived, which is doubtful at best.

>There is a problem when Christians adopt a political party and pushes its agenda. When the Church does that it becomes a puppet of the political will and not God's will, like we have seen.

Oh, you mean like xtians are sock-puppets to their biblical ancient sheep herder stories and included suggestions for human action?

> The Church isn't perfect though, it is made up of imperfect people.

Yes, and the sky is mostly blue to.
Your point is?

>Maybe you should go back to church with the lessons you have learned and influence people to think more critically about what they are being taught - especially about the world and politcs; and not just be spoon-fed what to think.

I can't speak for the author here, but I sure glad to be free of what various churches tried to spoon-feed me and would NEVER go back to church; other than a wedding or funeral etc..

However, would you mind telling us which xtian church on this planet holds no opinions on their country's politics and policies etc.?
It seems to me that the majority of churches stick their nose in those places far too often, even trying to sway their congregation's vote in political elections.

Of course, you may be one of the 'true xtians' that doesn't belong to a main-stream church and has it all figured out yourself?

It seems to me that if your god gives a damn about human politics, then he should be the one to hand all of us a memo that states his opinions.
Short of this god doing such, it's pure guesswork for you xtians to know what your god's desires would be when it comes to running this country or this earth.

Heck, you guy's can't even agree amongst yourselves, you know?


ATF (Who might start to listen, if and when all xtians on earth have just ONE common dogma)

webmdave said...

man! you are now closer to god then you ever were before! I think that's exactly what you SHOULD do, in a metaphorical sense... but don't commit yourself to CHRISTIANITY, commit yourself to Christ. Many christians can't stand the right wing bigots, and I'm one of them. i sympathize with your regret, I too have been long brainwashed and am now waking to my self-delusion in my 30's. God will redeem us! Read the story of Joseph or of Moses in genesis. have regret that is of Peter, let's not got down the self-mutilating road of Judas, nor the self-destroying road of Nietzsche!
Man, what a testimony to those who are in their 30's, 40's, 50's and older who have given up any hope of redemption we'll be!

webmdave said...

"....don't commit yourself to CHRISTIANITY, commit yourself to Christ" ~ kunzmeister

If not for a surviving frame of reference as to who/what "Christ" is/was, no one in this day and age would have access to such knowledge, in which case, you'd have nothing to "commit" to that is foundational. IOW, if not for "CHRISTIANITY", you'd be clueless as to who "Christ" is, and what "Christ" requires/desires of you. And no, the argument that a "personal relationship" with "Christ" can supply a believer with such information isn't convincing at all, because all believers who claim to have this "relationship" are coming away with different, sometimes completely contradictory, information.

So, evidentally, "Christ" is deliberately misrepesenting himself to at least a portion of his followers. Although, I say it's much more likely that no such being exists, and thus, "CHRISTIANITY" is the only thing that Christians have to work with.

webmdave said...

You call this waking up from self-delusion? Escaping your brainwashing? Wow, you are one deluded guy to consider this drivel to be waking up from delusion. Not believing in Christ/Christianity nor any other form of religion...now that would be waking up from self-delusion.

Now there is a testimony. I broke free of the chains of religion. I gave up my delusional thoughts of a man dying on a cross that "saved" me. I became a free thinker who gave real thought to who I am and what type of person I should be instead of excepting religious pablum.

webmdave said...

Kunzmeister: "but don't commit yourself to CHRISTIANITY, commit yourself to Christ."

How does one commit oneself to a now-dead rabbi who may not even have existed except as a composite of several now-dead rabbis?

And why bother? There's nothing of value in the Jesus message that is unique to Christianity.

"God will redeem us!"

Nope; sorry. Not going to happen.