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11/27/04                                                                                       View Comments

The Awakened Mind

sent in by David Williams

Most of these stories are emotional. I could tell mine that way, but I consider those emotions sick now, so I will not indulge them.

The day I stopped being a Christian was when I was reading the Bible and realized it was all only a belief. You had to "believe" the stories were true. I asked myself, "What does it mean to believe?"

Then I realized, believing is accepting claims without proof. Now what mature person would conduct their life that way? You would be subject to every con, wacko scheme and political crook that came your way. Why would I be obligated to accept a claim without proof?

Christianity's short answer is God will kill you if you don't. I summarize it this way now: There is a giant invisible man who will kill you if you don't believe there is a giant invisible man who will kill you.

My moment of freedom came when I realized that the fear was a belief too. This has led to the realization that I choose my emotions by choosing what I focus on. If I focus on a Mad Daddy in the Sky, pretty soon I will be afraid. If I focus on reality, I relax and live realistically.

All this flooded through my mind after that first flash of freedom, and once I stepped outside the manipulation of being told to accept claims without proof, I never went back.

By the way, I discovered that all the guilt over leaving the faith was a choice too. I could choose to give others control over my choices, or I could take responsibility and choose productive feelings.

Today I recognize that supernatural beliefs are behind the worst attrocities of our time. Allah wants terrorist to kill innocent people. God wants us to kill Iraqis. Jesus plans to come back and kill all non-Christians (John 3 16). The world's major religions all promise to resolve the problem of non-believers with violence.

I have realized that belief in Jesus, the so-called Prince of Peace, has led to Christian Terrorism throughout the ages, from the Crusades to the Ku Klux Klan. The Bible records terrorism in the name of God in 1 Samuel 15 3, where Saul is supposedly commanded by God to murder infants. Early terrorism.

Today, I do not accept any claims of invisible creatures, magic powers, "energies" or thought power. I would gladly change my mind with proof. Happily, I know I will not be killed for recognizing belief (accepting claims without proof) as a dangerous habit.

For those of you in the middle of fear and guilt over doubting the faith, I am here to tell you that you do not have to feel bad for labeling nonsense as nonsense. I live prosperously, lovingly and joyfully without any invisible creatures.


Became a Christian: Born one
Ceased being a Christian: 30
Labels before: Chrurch of Christ, Presbyterian
Labels now: Atheist
Why I joined: Because Jesus was introduced to me when Santa Claus seemed real--while I was still gullible
Why I left: I decided to get real