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5/19/2008                                                                                       View Comments

Love for fellow human beings

By Clair

Most of us come in regular contact with others, and when the subject of religion comes up a person can react in many ways:

1.Happiness and agreement.

2. Silence and a vague pleasant expression.

3. Silence, waiting for them to drop it.

4.Irritation and voicing non-agreement, with or without eye rolling.

5. Louder more serious disagreement.

6.Shouting with very unpleasant outcome.

But, we move on, get over it ASAP.

People that we truly care about though can cause serious mental anguish. Parents can push buttons with great emotional dexterity.

This is no suprise, since they are usually the ones who at least helped to indoctrinate their children. When the kids are grown, and have their own children, some grandparents are secretly afraid that all that bullshit has been found out. They want the illness to be carried on so they will be assured of having someone to agree with them. Or maybe they just want everyone to be physically uncomfortable for a minimum of two hours at the same time each Sunday, right down to the toddlers. Itchy suits and ties for the little boys and pressed dresses with bows, tights, hard shoes with sharp things for the girls. A great group S+M that proves you really love Jesus.

I woke from the religion coma in a family/community of comatose people, most of which are still asleep now. So, I tread carefully so as not to destroy or hurt those I love and or care for. I may insert thoughts of interest, tiny chisels to work in their closed mind.

My arsenal of choice is: the Bible.

A couple of weeks ago, my Christian mother was pointing out the correct way to raise my children, and my son was misbehaving at the same moment. I suggested that we take him to the elders and have him killed (he's four). She was quite shocked, and I pointed out that the bible says that. She didn't believe me, so I showed her Deut. 21vs18-21. She started to stammer something like, "We don't believe that!" which opens the door to "Well, which parts do you believe?"

She had no more commentary. That was an easy one, because most so called believers in the bible have never read it. Only small, easily chewed bites during the sermon, please and thank-you,and only sweet wooly lamb of god and all that.

I have lost a handful of my very best friends, people I've known for many years, and that hurt. It would be nice if getting rid of religion did not mean having to start all over, but it often does.

I'm glad to still be married to the same person (Stronger Now), but my old friends are gone. So I have begun new friendships, and I wouldn't go back for anything. The freedom I have experienced outside the gates of religion has been wonderful and an awakening like no other.

I hope more people wake up and step out of that prison and shake off the self-induced coma. To learn, grow, and stand on their own with eyes open and live without guilt and fear -- that is "born again" (finally awake!), but with actual results in reality.

It's more than nice to be there for someone when they begin voicing doubts about a long held crutch called Christianity. Everyone can use a hand when the rusty bolts begin to let go.

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32 comments:

Jackie said...

Thank you for your post. Your story seems a lot like mine. As a Christian, I was always curious as to why and how atheists knew more about my faith and the book which I lived by than most Christians. I actually started researching to be better than these so called heathens and lo and behold, here I am.
I, like you, don't understand why people just can't admit that they could be wrong and just get along with others.
I also believe that deep, deep in the hearts of most christians (like, so deep it's subconcious)
that they believe this whole thing has gotta be bull crap and made up. But then they get scared for thinking that and back to brainwashing they go.

I do have one question. Did you and your husband leave christianity together or was this prior to your marriage. My husband and I left together and what a blessing that was! (pun intended)

Bill said...

Loved the story about your four year old and your mother. Priceless !!!!


It is so ironic how much this atheist has learned about the Bible since I have become an atheist. I'll bring up little quotes like you mentioned to your mother and so called seasoned Christians look dumbfounded. You hit the nail on the head when you said the Bible is the greatest weapon against Christianity.

Hey Jackie the real proof of what you say(that deep down most Christians believe it's B.S.) is the fact that they avoid death like the plague. If they really thought all this eternal paradise were fact, shit people would be celebrating terminal illnesses, but the most devout of Christians will go to the ends of the earth in hopes of curing a serious life threatening illness.

xrayman

clair said...

We left the faith after being married for a pretty long time, but within a few years of each other. We each follow our own path. We annoy one another not too much, so the marriage has survived.
I agree, the subconcious fear that the Christian carries around is what keeps them in line.
Fear of the Holy Ghost, BOO!
Fear of being horribly wrong, Boo!
Clair

adwads said...

Have any of you read Nietzsche's Antichrist? I highly highly recommend it.

PJ said...

I, too have doubted Christianity from the example of Christians who do not really believe or understand the bible very well. This has caused me to study it harder as many of you have. I can't say I understand everything, but the more I study, the more the apparent contradictions or problems have logical explanations. As to the example of Christians, Christianity is growing today faster than at any other time in history - just not in the west. It is because of the example of the Christians in those areas who are really taking things seriously and live like the early church, complete with miracles and rapid growth.

xrayman said...

PJ said,

"complete with miracles and rapid growth."

Would you care to elaborate on these so called miracles happening today? Ten bucks says you are full of shit.

By taking things seriously like the old church do you mean bringing back slavery and stoning unruley childen?

Laughing said...

Yo, xrayman, I'll take that bet, too. I say $1000 says he's a fucking loony, or just going to tell us some stories that only he can corroborate.

Hey, PJ... nice try, pal. Next time, think a little. Do you know how many forgeries have been discovered in the world because they were the only documents in existence that contained their information and were never referenced by any other sources? Really, now... you've GOT to be able to do better than coming here and asking us to believe third- or more-hand accounts of so-called 'miracles' that are only coming from your biased source. Give me the USA TODAY or NY TIMES headline screaming about miracles in Jebus' name, and then I might even listen to the whole story. Your way... ehh, not so much.

Free Thinker said...

hmmmm, pj must be a christian.....

Rich said...

I come here often to analyze the personal narratives people write. I am an independent researcher/writer with no formal training in religion. I am also a lifetime escape artist that grew up in a non-religious household.

I started a discussion on Amazon.com in the parenting forum because I wanted to go directly to parents and ask them to say why they thought they had the right to force religion on their children.

Boy did I get some reactions. The discussion has been going for over two months and is nearing 900 posts with about 130 participants. Most are religious. You can tell.

I have posted assertions that religion has downsides for the mental health of people and therefore it should not be entered into lightly. Parents, I say, may have the right legally to instruct their children in the tenets of their religion, but it is morally wrong to take advantage of vulnerable children, be they your own or not. Put aside the fact that all organized religions abuse their children this way.

I never got a single person to say, "you know you are right, we should wait until the child is at least (10, 12, 15) before we start brainwashing them"

Child development experts say around the age of 8 or 9 is when children can begin to discern that adults, which they are naturally disposed to trust, may not always truthfully represent reality.

Maybe some of you who have been wounded by childhood indoctrination could come and add to the Amazon.com discussion. Maybe you know the right questions to ask. Have any of you confronted your parents or do you feel it is best to just let it slide as long as they are not like Grandmother in this post.

Trancelation said...

Clair:

Thank you for sharing your story. Indeed, the Bible is the best weapon against Christianity. Logic, rationality and simple human decency simply will not work against Christians. I think most people have the mental capcity to escape - but they have to be given intiative. Revealing the parts of the Bible that their authorities don't want them to know about is a great tool. I, too, know the feeling of disconnecting from others because they simply can't live and let live, because they are too afraid and simple and weak-minded to do that. But it's worth it.

THE ACE said...

Miracles and rapid growth? I'm 54
years old, and a former avid
church-goer, and in all my life the
only miracles I ever saw were
a few born-again Christians who were of slightly above average
intelligence.

I will go back to something I posted on a previous subject.
Biblical miracles..a snake, burning
bush and a donkey that can talk, the sun defying physics and coming
to a dead stop in the sky, a man
who can change water into wine in a split second, and a man raised from the dead just by commanding him to come forth from his tomb.
These would indeed be miracles if
they actually happened. Yet in what book of history, outside of those books published
as Christian propaganda, are these also mentioned? And do the records kept by other civilizations of
Biblical times mention them?

PJ said...

Thanks for the highly intelligent responses. Name calling is surely a great sign that you have the upper hand. I realize part of the reason for this website is for you to vent your anger and call us Christians vulgar names. You are right that I am a Christian, but I do share some of many of your skepticism and doubts. I'm not quite ready to ditch the whole Christian things yet, but I have been reading and hearing about stories of the miraculous in Africa/China/South America. Those places do not come from a cultural perspective that denies the supernatural from the beginning like we in the west do. I think we miss some of the miraculous because the worldview we grew up in doesn't allow for it. This is why you will not hear it in the New York Times. They do not believe in the supernatural or religious beliefs of any kind, so the editors certainly will not allow a story that goes against their perspective.

I'll give a couple examples of the miraculous for now - a Chinese man name Hun spent time in prison for being a pastor. Because of his positive reputation in the prison, the warden (who had been very hard on him), asked him to come to his home to pray for his sick mother. His mother was healed and the whole family became believers. Mr. Hun also tells a story that when he was leaving the prison, he believed God told him to go to a certain address not knowing who lived there. His wife believed that God told her the same information and they both met up at that place without being caught by the authorities. Coincidence, maybe. I realize that you probably won't believe what I'm saying, because our experience and 20th century worldview that we have grown up in doesn't allow for it. It seems kind of crazy for me too, because I have never seen it. But the source is credible, so it is hard for me to dismiss it. Peace.

AtheistToothFairy said...

...a Chinese man name Hun spent time in prison for being a pastor. Because of his positive reputation in the prison, the warden (who had been very hard on him), asked him to come to his home to pray for his sick mother. His mother was healed and the whole family became believers
---
PJ,

Evidence PLEASE?

Was this story confirmed, and by whom?
Where did you hear this story...from some pastor?

Such stories are a dime a dozen...always have been in fact, even for more general non-god supernatural claims as well

ATF

clair said...

PJ, no one is attacking you, or calling you names. You are here, with your thoughts and feelings, to explain how hateful we are for not believing the way you do. You are quite sneaky, though that did not last, now did it. Explain it again, how backward and lost I am in the way of miracles. Do it in a condesending way, make me feel sad to live here in America, where some people still kill their kids with prayer and refusal of medical attention. If they had loaded that kid into a plane bound for China, or Africa, where they really do believe in miracles correctly, she would still live. Remember as you explain your views, that I am not an intelligent adult woman, loving and careful with people both young and very old. I am simply an annoyance to you, PJ. Only an ignorant child, desperate for you to set me on the right path.
P.S. I have a cousin who sells rattlesnakes for worship services. Would you like to hold one? Don't worry, you're completely safe if you are bitten, the Word says so.
Clair

Astreja said...

PJ: "Christianity is growing today faster than at any other time in history..."

This is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum - A greater number of adherents does not increase the chances of something being true or valid. Everyone in the universe could believe it, and it could still be wrong.

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Rich,

Can you provide a link to the Amazon discussion you described? I've poked around but could not find it. I'm quite curious to read the responses. Thanks.

Rich said...

Link to the Amazon.com parenting discussion for those interested. Here is the starting point.

http://www.amazon.com/tag/parenting/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_newest?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx20C498EK5JY4S&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx2CZZFKFXLZ0XM&displayType=tagsDetail

I hope that long URL works.

Since the discussion is so long, I suggest you jump to the last entry and then read back 20 or 40 posts to catch a flavor of what is current.

The Amazon.com forum software does not follow the ususal formula for these kinds of applications. Poke around at the colored text to see who is answering who.

Thanks

Rich said...

Clair,
I try to capture classic rebuttals. I have a special file category: how to put down a Christian dork. Your response to PJ made the cut by a wide margin.

The reason your reply is to good is that you find a way to pivot off every silly concept the protagonist advances. Perfect! Are you a student of debate?

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Rich,

I just popped back here to tell you that I found your discussion and already left a comment there. (And tried a little "experiment".)

Thanks anyway for the link. Here it is in a (hopefully) clickable form for the benefit of others here. (But please don't mess up my experiment, okay?)

PJ said...

Clare,

What I was referring to was those who said I "was full of shit" and "loony." Many of the comments and discussions on here are intelligent, but some comments like the above mentioned just make me feel like I am in junior high again. If you thought I was trying to be sneaky, I'm sorry. And I don't think of you or anyone as an "annoyance." I try to treat everyone, no matter what they believe with respect. The examples of some Christians are embarassing to say to least. The examples you give about kids dying for lack of medicine or rattlesnakes are a case in point. No arguments here that those people are extremists. Fortunately, those views are not very common anymore.

I have been reading on this post for some time and can understand many of the feelings, frustrations, and doubts that are expressed. Some days, I feel like I am on a similar path, even though I still believe that some of the reported miracles are true. I've seen some before my very eyes and even been apart of them before. Yet they do seem sporadic and not consistent. I'm interested in your thoughts on that one.

Astreja, I was not attempting to prove Christianity by the "popularity" argument. Just making a comment. There are alot of views that are popular - radical Islam for one, yet I don't think either of us believe that. Peace.

boomSLANG said...

Dear PJ,

A couple of things...

1) Your anecdotal stories are very convincing. Yes....to the already-convinced.

2) There's a good reason why the "New York Times" doesn't print all the stories that you read about in The National Enquirer. Figure it out.

Best',

Jacstar said...

Hi PJ,
In regard to the example of parents refusing medical treatment and opting for prayer instead....
I guess my thoughts on the matter are if the bible is real, and real miracles do happen, and that there is a loving god who can answer prayer, then in that case, why not pray instead of seek medical treatment? Surely god could do a better job than human doctors? Yet we do seek medical treatment, and those rare few who don't, end up dying. This is one of the reasons I dont believe in a god who answers prayer or does miracles, ie. the christian god. Wondering what your thoughts are on that issue?
Respectfully,
Jacstar

Rich said...

Wonderful post Jim, if we could get all parents to follow your example our work would be done. I should tell you about our facebook group:

The End of Hereditary Religion

It is new, but growing fast.

PJ said...

Jacstar,

I guess we are discussing on two different threads. My thoughts on medical treatment is this. Please understand I am still assuming a worldview that believes God exists. I believe that God has given us the learning and understanding in medicine to help us. I guess you could say I believe that whether it is an instant miracle through prayer or "healing" through surgery/treatment, God is still involved.

I do acknowledge that there are times when it seems that God does not answer prayer. This is the reason for some of my doubts. But albeit anecdotal, I have seen some pretty incredible things happen that I cannot explain. Peace.

Trancelation said...

I, too have doubted Christianity from the example of Christians who do not really believe or understand the bible very well. This has caused me to study it harder as many of you have. I can't say I understand everything, but the more I study, the more the apparent contradictions or problems have logical explanations. As to the example of Christians, Christianity is growing today faster than at any other time in history - just not in the west. It is because of the example of the Christians in those areas who are really taking things seriously and live like the early church, complete with miracles and rapid growth.

PJ:

First things first: nobody here left Christianity because of what other Christians said or did. I have never met a non-Christian that is not a Christian because of the hypcocrisy of Christians. Other factors sometimes play a role, but by and large people leave Christianity BECAUSE OF CHRISTIANITY, not because of Christians. This notion does not exist outside of Christian polemics, and how you could arrive at this conclusion based on reading posts on this site is beyond me, and makes me think that you are intentionally espousing Christian polemics, or are intentionally deluding yourself about what you are reading. In any case, you are wrong in asserting that ANYBODY leaves Christianity because of other Christians.

Next: you are correct when you say that Bible study shows Biblical contradictions and problems have a logical solution. Logically, the Bible is A FLAMING WAD OF NONSENSE. Logically, the Bible is the psychotic ramblings of desert-dwelling pedophiles. Logically, the Bible is a window into the errant thinking of the ancient world. Logically, THAT IS IT.

Next: you are correct when you say that Christianity is FINALLY falling out of style in the West, and taking up residence in other areas. Thank GOODNESS. And you are also correct in saying that those areas in which it is growing is experiencing miracles and rapid growth.

Miracles, because when things happen in these places due to HUMAN interaction (our creativity, compassion and intelligence), instead of attributing them to HUMANITY, Christians attribute these things to their invisible man in the sky and flagellate themselves for having natural sexual urges.

Rapid growth, because Christians let NOTHING (not choldren, the environment, or other human beings) stand in the way of their ultimate goal of subjugating all humanity.

PJ, I can appreciate it if you're having doubts, but it sounds to me like you don't want honest answers. It sounds to me like your BSing, and you're not fooling anybody but yourself. If you want to act like a child here, you're going to be treated like a child here, so don't get all upset and pissy when somebody says something mean to you or something you don't want to hear. Go somewhere else. Just because you can't explain something doesn't justify aligning it with something as ridiculous as divine miracles and intervention. You're only fooling yourself here. Util you provide PROOF of miracles, I'm calling you out for the liar and snake-oil slaesman that you are.

PJ said...

Trancelation said:
"nobody here left Christianity because of what other Christians said or did. I have never met a non-Christian that is not a Christian because of the hypcocrisy of Christians."

I assumed that because of all the examples here of the hypocrisy and lack of love by Christians. Many testimonies here are given about the abuse of Christian parents. But I hear what you are saying though.

I am indeed interested in what you have to say. It seems you may have missed my last two posts. I am not hiding the fact that I am a Christian and am looking for honest answers to what I have seen. I have been to many miracle-type meetings. Most of what happens I can see as attributed to the power of suggestion or just plain emotion. But there are some things that I have seen - bones cracking, people walking that couldn't before, cancerous growths dissapearing - that I am interested in an explanation for them. I realize that my simple stories will not convince anyone to reconvert or anything like that. That is not my point. I have worked in the mental health field for many years and am always interested in discussing human behavior and what motivates people to do the things they do. Peace.

stronger now said...

Pj:"But there are some things that I have seen - bones cracking, people walking that couldn't before, cancerous growths dissapearing - that I am interested in an explanation for them."

Well, here is one good explanation for them...from you!:

"Most of what happens I can see as attributed to the power of suggestion or just plain emotion."

Perhaps you are more susceptible to the power of suggestion and emotion than you realize.


Clair, I love the way you write. It makes me wonder how I ever tricked you into being my wife.


Sucker.

sconnor said...

PJ,

Here is an explanation for, some of the so-called, miracles of people walking, again: My cousin had a rare form of cancer which required radical surgery and experimental drugs, after a year the cancer was gone, but in the ensuing year, he needed both hips replaced, requiring him to be in a wheelchair, for the rest of his life. In a last ditch effort, he went to a miracle, working, pastor and they prayed over him, they cast out Satan, lots and lots of hoopla and guess what? -- a MIRACLE -- my cousin got up and walked. The crowd went nuts. HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD, IT'S A MIRACLE, IT'S A MIRACLE!

...But what the preacher shouted and the crowd thought was a miracle, was nothing of the sort. My cousin could always get out of his chair, for very short periods of time.

He had been used.

..and people believed a miracle had occured.

Sadly, for him his hips and legs deteriorated and now he can't even get out of his chair -- thanks for the miracle, god.

--S.

Trancelation said...

PJ:

Why is science and skepticism acceptable until it forages around in the dirty, pest-ridden underbrush that is religion?

We can go case-by-case on these so-called "miracles" of yours, both of which you claim to have seen (but have provided no evidence for) and those that you have only heard of (but have provided no evidence for). That's the funny thing about all these "miracles" that Christians keep speaking of - they're EVERYWHERE, but gosh darn it, when you wanna see one there don't seem to be any around. That, as my old Criminal Justice teach used to say, is damn right shady. And don't give me this crap about "cultural perspective" - so far, PJ, you only CLAIM to have witnessed miracles and only HEAR about them. Please, direct us to where these "miracles" are, so that we might see them for ourselves.

If all these "miracles" are so real, PJ, why are they so difficult to verify? I would think that something that is REAL would be verifiable, that something that had ACTUALLY TAKEN PLACE would leave some sort of imprint in this world. And why is it, when no one can provide a perfect explanation (lacking, of course, the EVIDENCE needed to make a thorough investigation of the case), it is automatically justifiable to claim the existence of an invisible man in the sky that sent himself down to earth, as his own son, to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself for the the things that he himself put into motion but blames us for?

PJ, let's face it: you haven't witnessed any miracles. The human body is one of the strangest machines on this planet. It sometimes does things we can't explain, because we don't fully understand the machine yet. And we're never going to understand the machine until we stop believing that it's "MAGICAL" when bones "crack," whatever the hell that means. What, have you never seen a cast, PJ? because lemme tell ya, they're pretty common, especially when bones "crack."

I would love to examine each of these individual, anecdotal "miracles" and poke holes in them, as would many of the posters on this site - but you have to show us them. I contend that you are seeing what you want to see, hearing what you want to hear, and filling in the empty spaces with both. Instead of asking US what might be another explanation besides "Gawdidit," why not ask that question YOURSELF?

Hells Bells said...

I think there are things we cannot explain - yet. But my faith in miracles...?

A few years before I left Christianity there were a flurry of stories about gold appearing in South American Christian's mouths. This was preached as truth and evidence for God in my own church. The discovery that it was a complete hoax somehow never made it to the pulpit - there was never any admission at all that the leadership had fallen for it.

A few years before that, there was the story about the man who had given a lift to an angel. When I heard it, it was the friend of a friend of a friend. Again, it was paraded as evidence for God, and again it was found to be simply an urban myth - and now exists as a story on the urban myth's website. Also, funny how far a friend of a friend of a friend can get you - in my case independently to both the British Royalty and the UK Parliament.

I know a few people who are convinced they have seen miracles, by which they haven't thought of any other ways that something could happen. But it's selective - most of them simply haven't tried to examine the psychology route or the possibility of stooges. Yet when watching someone like Derren Brown or David Blaine, where "impossible" things also happen, the same people dismiss them as trickery in some way. Double standards?

Trancelation said...

PJ:

I'm reading my psychology textbook and taking notes at the moment, and I found something that might be useful for you in your evaluation of these so-called "miracles":

Guidelines for Evaluating a Claim:

1. What is the statement or claim, and who is making it?

2. Is that statement or claim based on scientific observations?

3. What do statistics reveal?

4. Are there plausible alternative explanations for the statement or claim?

Think for yourself. Good luck with that.

Trancelation said...

PJ:

That's what I thought.