I ruined my parent's Christmas Day and I feel very guilty

Sent in by Joseph

You remember Cypher? The traitor from the movie called The Matrix? There was a moment in the film when Cypher tells Neo..."Who oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill". Neo laughs at first...and then he becomes quiet...because he was silently wishing the same thing" Remember that moment in the film? Well, I had my Cypher "I wish I took the blue pill" moment today...of all days Christmas.

I ruined my parent's Christmas Day and I feel very guilty. I've been harboring doubts about the existence of God for a very long time and today...I felt I had to express my feelings. I had to let them know what I felt...and now I feel guilty.

I love my parents very much...but too much faith in religion and all belief involved and I had it. I had to tell them what I thought was the truth. The truth is, from my perspective...God does NOT exist. I feel guilty because I told them this on Christmas Day. Am I wrong for saying this to them? Especially on a day like Christmas Day? I don't know.

I just know I can't keep this inside of me anymore. I had to say it...regardless of the consequences to me and my future. I love my parents very much...but I felt my gift was at least telling them MY truth from the many years of studying the Bible, reasoning, and thinking about God...which no longer made any sense for me.

Nevertheless, I tried to reason with them and they wouldn't listen. I understand why they won't listen...but I felt hurt for letting them think they let me down because I didn't believe their religious faith!

In essence...I tried to reason with my mother specifically. I was in the kitchen with her and we were having discussions about politics, music and then...at one point - religion and the Catholic services. (I grew up Catholic, by the way).

Something in me snapped and I had to tell her the truth. It all started with me telling my mother an innocent remark about a recent admission from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He announced to the world that the Nativity Scene of the Birth of Christ was most definitely a myth. I wanted to say something humorous to my mother about this...but she got ahead of me and gave me a shock..."Of course the Nativity happened."

It stunned me to realize my mother still actually believed this nonsense. I felt sorry for her and I wanted to open her eyes. Just once I wanted her to see something of what I learned and grasp what I've discovered. But to my horror...her religious faith in believing "God" and "Jesus" and the Catholic Church was so strong...no matter what I said...she wouldn't give in and felt heartbroken that I didn't "believe". Silently I thought to myself and I'm telling all of you out here...we really are all alone in this world and it's impossible to get through to people who refuse to see reason! That's the true meaning of nihilism! No wonder Nietzsche went mad!

In any case...I decided to lower the boom on my mother for the heck of it. Yes, I felt a vindictive streak and tried to show her that my reasoning was stronger and more logical than her faith. I gently told her this: all the Gospels that have been written about Christ...NONE of the people who wrote them EVER saw him. Not a single one actually saw the Christ. She simply said "so what". I told her the Gospel of Mark was the most underused of all the gospels because it was the most embarrassing. No Nativity scene, no Resurrection scene, not even a mention about Christ's genealogy. I rounded up my argument by telling her..."if you believe in God...why bother? Since God is "real"...there would be no need to "believe"! She still refused to see reason and I felt defeated.

In the end...I realized my mistake in making my own mother broken hearted...so I backtracked on my "truths"..and "lied"...and told her I simply had alot of doubts about God and I still need a lot of "faith" to continue believing in God. I'm telling all of you this for a reason...if you have parents and people who really love you...something like this truth about the reality of existence is something too brutal, too frank for some people to absorb...like my parents. So...you just have to let them continue to believe in the myths they believe to be real...because otherwise they'd lose their reason to live and just die of apathy.

So in a way...I'm like Cypher now...I have this knowledge..and I wish I had taken the blue pill...but now I'm stuck because I chose to take the Red pill and can't go back. I just wish I had my own Trinity to comfort me right now and tell me...I"m alright and I made the right decision. I just feel very sad...because the truth not only hurts...it can hurt you if people you wish to learn the same thing...refuse to listen and lament you're unwillingness to "believe" and have "faith" in God.

93 comments:

sidnarb said...

The word sophmoric was coined for a reason. I wouldn't worry too much about your parents losing their reason to live. If logic reason and evidence would make them change their minds, it would have happened years ago.
When I was your age, I thought I could make people see how irrational religion was merely by making rational logical arguements. It took me a while to realize that doesn't work. Think about what made you become an ex-christian. I am sure it wasn't because someone explained to you how silly religion is. I'm sure it started with a question about some specific issue of your faith for which you could not get a satisfactory answer. That was the first seed of doubt. Once it was planted it grew and grew and grew. That's the only way anyone ever leaves their faith.

Trans-man said...

There is probably nothing more hurtful to a christian to "lose" their children from religion. They take it so personally and so gravely that it's ridiculous, and many have stopped talking to their relatives, because they left a particular sect (Jehova's witnesses for example).
Religion can be so destructive to human relationships.

I find myself to be in the position that I want to tell my christian friends so badly what the truth is, just as badly as they would like me to accept their Jesus. I know there's no reasoning...religion has such a stronghold on people. They have to find that way for themselves.

Ro-bear said...

You picked a lousy day for full disclosure. These things must be done delicately. Sometimes loving people means letting them be "wrong".

no god/no fear said...

I wouldn't feel too guilty about what happened; as long as we are making movie comparisons, Christians are a lot like the Terminator and have an uncanny ability to heal almost instantly when assailed with logic and reason.

Personally, I've never had the urge to 'take the red pill' and continue living in a fantasy that we have no control over. THIS is the world that makes sense. This world is the one where there is a reason that bad things happen to people--not one where we live in fear because of the whims of a capricious being. This world is where WE have the power to change how we relate to one another through education and reason.

I've never really understood people who wished they still had faith, except maybe those in situations where they have lost their family and friends because they were shunned in some way. If you think about it, is living in a world where you are terrorized by a god who won't show himself, tests you without even telling you what the test is, makes false promises, advocates genocide when he thinks it's appropriate, really a 'better' world? Seems to me that it's exactly the same world as we live in now except that we actually have control in this one--we're not pawns in some 'plan' that even its creator appears to have limited control over.

Sophia

Left of Center said...

Logic can no more convince those infected by the meme of religion than it can cure any other virus.
Theists are like those snails that get a certain parasite that takes over their brains and makes them climb high onto blades of grass so they are easier to be preyed upon. The snail is powerless to avoid illogical behavior.

Pull The Other One! said...

Joseph,

Don't feel guilty. You were simply being honest.

By the way, is your mother aware that the heads of her Church relocated this year's Vatican Nativity scene 'away FROM a manger' to Joseph's workshop in Nazareth?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/14/wrome114.xml

Looks as if they aren't so sure either!

Sally Davis said...

Joseph,

Being "outed" or "outing" yourself is something that we don't always have total control over. The moment just occurs, in my case without any warning whatever.

You are a separate person from your parents. While you may feel you owe them something (and you do in a way, depending on the conditions under which you were raised), they do not have a claim on your inner self. What you believe or do not believe is your business, and yours alone.

I thought that when I "came out" to my mother, she would have a heart attack or something. The prospect scared me so badly that I avoided the moment for years and years, to my own detriment. When it finally happened, she didn't die at all. She simply has refused to ever discuss it, and our relationship has been destroyed as a result.

And that is sad. But the person who is hurting now is her, not me. And from my viewpoint, that's far preferable to the way it was. She made a choice, many years ago, to believe a fantasy. She taught it to me. I have chosen to reject it. This is not my fault and I will not accept the blame.

If she chooses now (along with the rest of my family) to consider me "mentally ill" or "backslidden" or whatever the latest excuse is, that's her problem.

Live your life. Stand tall. It's okay.

billybee said...

If it (de-conversion) was easy, everybody would be doing it.
I'd bet that lots of people have stories about "The Xmas Day from Hell". As a society we have built Dec 25th into a emotional time-bomb. Don't feel too bad. Maybe a simple apology and an agreement to disagree could be a step toward keeping the peace.
The 'cat is out of the bag'....aren't you glad that you've (at least) gotten this far....?

Anonymous said...

I came out to my parents, both as a gay man and as an atheist in one e-mail. They were honestly more upset with me being an atheist.

They were hurt and my dad, true to form, tried to rebut with verses from the bible. Unfortunately, my father passed away before I could talk to him face to face.

I've had a couple of discussions with my mother, but she is still a believer. And that helps her cope.

We are now at a place where we agree to disagree.

We live 1500 miles away from each other. When she visits, she stays with me and when I visit her, I stay with her.

It could be tough, but try to stay in contact. Show them that nothing about your love for them has changed. That you are still the same person they love.

Madame M said...

One decision I made when I deconverted was not to tell my parents. Sometimes I don't know if that is the right thing, because I feel dishonest. My parents are old though, and my father is in ill health and prone to health issue worsening from stress. Stress for him would be to think I am going to hell. I really think it is too late for them. Since you used a Matrix analogy, I'll point out that Morpheus said that there was a point when someone was too old to be disconnected from the matrix because the mind couldn't handle it. LOL! Sometimes I also wish I had taken the blue pill, stopped questioning and just went on with being in the religion. That feeling was strongest when I first deconverted and has lessened over the years.

I don't think you should feel guilty though about being honest with your mom. That is a personal decision and your mom should undersand that the people in one's life will sometimes say or think things that that one doesn't want to hear. That's life.

Jamie said...

You should feel guilty, because by your own admission you felt a vindictive streak.

And you didn't HAVE to do it on Christmas.

That was cruel to your mom.

notabarbie said...

Joseph,
Those of us who have deconverted totally sympathize with your dilemma. You said that you wanted your mother to see that your reasoning was stronger and more logical than her faith. There is nothing wrong with that--it is stronger. That is a simple reality you should always remember. Don't feel guilty about being honest. Your experience just shows how twisted up we can get from our religious indoctrination. Welcome to the world of free thinking and, even if it doesn't feel like it now, freedom

Larry said...

I do not think or believe that you should feel any guilt. The guilt should lie with your parents creating a atmosphere that made you feel guilty for speaking out about your thoughts.
This is how the insidious evil of religion works, and the christians are masters at it, make you feel guilty so you won't dare see reality and leave, so we can have total domination and control over you until the day that you die.
They are the masters at giving guilt trips to anyone that does not see things the same way that they do, preaching hellfire and damnation to all who even dare think for themselves, the whole while robbing your wallet and purse every week so the preacher can sit back like a tin plated god and molest the children in the congregation.
Religion must be stamped out if we as human beings are to survive, and the one two that must be stamped out first are judaism and its twin christianity.
My answer to you is hell no you should not feel any quilt at all.
And the people that say you should have need to get off of here and quit spying on us and go back to their damned church so they can robbed and molested every week.
There can be no niceties in this, the christians view this as a war against them and they will and are fighting against people waking up as if this is a war, and they will stop at nothing no matter how low the tactic, or strategy to achieve their total domination of mankind , including open warfare and the killing of millions to achieve this end, which they have done with relish in the past.

notabarbie said...

Oh and Jamie, way to show some love and compassion...geez.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

Larry, those among us who feel compassion not only for Joseph but for his parents receiving this news are not necessarily from any church. I'm certainly not, as a proud card-carrying atheist. Just because something is true, logical and sane, doesn't mean the person who cannot hear it should hear it, right now, when they are least ready for it. Joseph is struggling with very legitimate feelings and obviously loves his parents, regardless of their beliefs.

Soma Sight said...

Would you feel guilty if your parents were Muslim and you told them that it was a lie?

I didnt think so.

The only reason you feel guilt is cause deep down inside you have a small shred of Faith in Christ left.

Richard M said...

Joseph-

What happened yesterday was tragic, not immoral.

It is tragic that your parents are part of a belief system that has such enormous difficulty just agreeing to disagree and go on living and loving each other. Not all belief systems are life that; not even all *religious* belief systems are like that, but your parent's apparently is, and that isnt your fault.

I agree with those above who said you have to be true to yourself. You have the right and the duty to make up "your own damn mind" (as the Oracle said), just like your parents. It just happens to conflict with your parents conclusion, and they happen to have a belief system that cant tolerate that. Thats painful, it sucks, its unfair, its tragic - but its life. To use a idiom from our former faith, its the cross you will have to bear.

Sometimes we get to choose when these issues become public; sometimes the time chooses us. Life is messy like that, and its no ones fault.

My advice would be twofold: one, go easy on yourself, you did what you had to do and what was necessary. Two, go easy on your parents. You weren;t reasoned out of Christianity in one or two conversations, and you know of course that many people never are, so dont expect them to, either. So dont hound them about it. Their faith means as much to them now as it did to you, when you were a beleiver, and that emotional signficance with trump reason and logic every time. You know that, of course, just remind yourself of it.

Theyre still your parents. Be your better self and love them desipte their flaws. Even more, try to accept them for who they are, which is of course what you are asking of them. Show them what it means!

Good luck-

Richard

Cousin Ricky said...

“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into” —Jonathan Swift (attributed)

I came out to my mom within weeks of my own acceptance of my apostasy. It was inevitable, because we went to the same church, and as a fellow recovering Catholic, you know that missing mass is a burnable offense. Fortunately, it was nowhere near Christmas.

However, anticipating a negative reaction, i did a Web search on coming out as an atheist. I think that helped. She actually ended up concerned about how I in felt coming out to her!

I simply explained myself, and didn’t try to deconvert her or launch into a tirade. In retrospect, i think i explained a bit too much in response to her prodding questioning, but in any case, i left myself on the hot seat, and avoided putting her on the defensive. I did reassure her that i still know where the confessional is, and tried to anticipate any concerns about her kids burning in hell. My story may be to late for you, but perhaps other closeted apostates can learn from both our experiences.

Over time, she has (mostly?) accepted that i’m not coming back to the fold.

My dad, although he tends to take Catholicism more literally than my mom, doesn’t go for the “one true religion” business.

My family relations have not suffered. Perhaps i’m fortunate in that my family considers family ties more important than sectarianism. (I also do not broadcast my apostasy, and my mom, probably in the mode that unbelief is shameful, does not broadcast it either. I thus have some control over who finds out.)

Gypsy said...

I agree with ro-bear.

Seems like more and more people these days feel entitled to clear their conscience at precisely the moment they "have to", no matter the cost.

Jan 1st would have been a good day, too. Better results for you and them.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

Soma -
what about the guilt that he caused his parents pain, that they are disappointed in him, that he did not live up to their expectations, that he overturned the family apple cart? There are lots of reasons.

Yule Goat 2 Hell said...

Soma said, " Would you feel guilty if your parents were Muslim and you told them that it was a lie?

I didnt think so."

Bull shite! Are you one of those fundibots who think only True Christians™ can love their families? Muslims have feelings, too.

Madame M said...

Soma,

It is common in any religion that when someone leaves they feel guilty or bad or whatever for leaving. Jews feel bad, muslims feel bad, buddists feel bad, mormons feel bad, hindus feel bad..etc. Even when one knows that it isn't true, it is hard to leave a way of life behind and it is hard to disappoint people who love you. Religon creates a community of sorts and disbelief creates a disconnect from that community where people you still care about remain. According to your view, a Muslim or Hindu should never ever leave their religion because if they feel guilty about it, it must be that Allah or Shiva are for real.

But your answer was typical of christians who always need to twist anything into a proof for their worldview.

Anonymous said...

gimmeadrinkawater said: "what about the guilt that he caused his parents pain, that they are disappointed in him, that he did not live up to their expectations, that he overturned the family apple cart?"

That sounds like Christian reasoning. One of the reasons I left Christianity was because I was tired of all that emotional manipulation. You can't control how other people feel. Granted maybe the timing could have been better for Joseph and his family, but it truly was only bad timing because of their own ridiculous fairy tale about Jesus' birth. Otherwise it would be like any other day. Probably just as painful to his parents, which is not his problem. That's like saying, when Joseph told them he no longer believed, they should have agreed with him, or felt guilty that they had hurt his feelings by not agreeing. (Does that make any sense?)

I just think you have to live how you think you should and not worry about making someone else feel bad or good. That's not your problem. Even with a spouse, you shouldn't live your life to make them happy. Only they can make them happy. The fact is, if you're happy, it will help them be happy. My sister always says "If you stand in your power, you allow those around you to stand in theirs".

By Joseph coming out about his feelings, he's allowing his parents to a)accept him and continue to love him, or b) feel like bad, inadequate parents who failed. . . I imagine it's very christian of them to feel the latter. So, even though it doesn't seem like it, he really is allowing them their power. He really has given them a gift. Now they can pray for him and feel superior because they still have the truth and he wasn't strong enough to keep it. That truly is a gift for a Christian.

My parents know that I'm not christian anymore. My daughter and I live in their basement. Though I know they'd be happy if we "came back to the fold" they don't really bother us about it. In fact, the people in the community are much more annoying. I've lived there most of my life and they are trying to seduce my daughter into religion. She's 12 and they come over when I'm not home, of course, and my mom lets them in and they try and socialize with my girl and make her think she's missing all this fun youthful stuff.

Sorry to deviate. I'll end with one suggestion: The Four Agreements by Luis Ruiz. Everyone in the world should read it. It's a little repetitive, and has some vague image of God that you can take or leave, but if you're feeling guilty about anything involving other people, you really need to read it.

Anonymous said...

I realized several years ago just how important my mother's faith is to her and that it would probably be a bad idea to convince her that it wasn't the truth.

I used to try to reason with her by discussing bible scripture, asking rational questions, etc. One day, I said something that must have hit a nerve with her.

I actually saw horror in her eyes! It was then that I realized how badly she needs that belief. She wouldn't know how to cope with life if she didn't believe in God/Jesus and all of the related dogma.

I decided then and there not to challenge her beliefs anymore. I'm sometimes tempted, especially when she challenges my lack there of, but I just remember that look on her face. Then I smile and let her believe...

AtheistToothFairy said...

Soma Sight wrote:
The only reason you feel guilt is cause deep down inside you have a small shred of Faith in Christ left
---
Soma,
Talk about a person being a prime example of "short-sighted". You win the booby prize for that game category.

Why is it that xtians can never accept that someone who once believed in their crap, no longer holds even a tiny morsel of 'faith' about it being real.
They so need to believe that once you've been part of the club, that you can never ever leave it fully.
Of course, anything that goes wrong in your life once you reject their creed, is because you no longer have god protecting your back.
Any guilt we feel about anything, also must be for the same stupid reason.

Soma, it's time to open those two eye's up and see what's outside your bubble walls.
Your faith is nothing but an emotional need to believe in something bigger than yourself, that you can turn to when you're scared or troubled.
Beyond that, it's all just an imaginary friend....or would that be 'fiend'.

ATF

Norm said...

Your parents are the ones with reason Joseph. I used to be like you and debate the Christian faith with my mother but I was blessed with a conversion experience many years later. Today, I realize just how lost I really was all those years.

You and I were blessed to be born into families that are part of the religion that has the fullness of Truth. Your testimony only affirms the bible and its prophecy of the great apostasy. We are living the great apostasy. You and millions of others are being misled by the world and its belief that everything must be explainable through rationality (ie. rationalism).

These are really sad times for this reason but the good news is that we are also living in a time of extreme grace. You already know that your parents will respond with more prayers for you, don't you. You should also know that God will intervene in your life in response to their prayers.

Whether or not you listen to His call is your choice.

The supernatural is more real than the natural and God has testified time and time again to this Truth. The Catholic faith has the fullness of Truth and you should really have a long hard look again. With a humble and sincere heart God will hear your call and remove the scales from your eyes.

Blessings,
Norm

Anonymous said...

Joseph,
Don't feel guilty. Coming out to your parents on Christmas day was apropos. You were going to have to do it sooner or later, and the day that we use to celebrate Jesus' fictitious birthday was most appropriate. They'll get over it and so will you.
Yes, as others have mentioned, religious people don't change their minds just because they are presented with facts opposing their sacred beliefs. They believe because of emotional reasons. Deconversion, if and when it ever occurs, is a personal realization - they have to do it on their own.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

By the way, Norm, your comments on rationalism and the truth in the Catholic faith are disturbing. You like countless others have chosen the blind road of comfortable falacy that faith can only bring. You debunk reason and rationality for a god that never existed simply because it makes you feel better. You are lost.

SEO said...

Ya know Norm, it sure would have been nice of yer, all-powerful, god, to have remove 'the scales' from Joseph's eyes before he had 'screwed up' his mom's Christmas.

Sweet of yer god to waylay one of his pious fellowers on such a holy day.

Must be a test.

Your god isn't mysterious; he's just an asshole.

Eris Discordia said...

Wow!
What a sad story! It is sad because we all have families and most of us enjoy spending the holidays with our families and friends. Regardless of our religious beliefs, many of us will celebrate the holidays and enjoy that precious time we have with our loved ones.

I am fortunate that my family is pretty Zen about the whole religion thing. We respect each other's different religious or non-religious beliefs and nobody gets their panties in a bunch about it. However, if my parents or my kids or anyone else in my family had a strong belief in God I would respect that and steer clear of any religious talk.

I know that many of us get caught up in our new found freedom from religion and feel the need to share our joy but we also need to be sensitive to other's feelings. It was Christmas, a very special day for Christians. It is a time for sharing love and food and friendship, not destroying peoples dreams and illusions. There is a time and place for everything. Clearly this was not the time!

I remember when I was a little girl and my whole family would get together for Christmas. I really enjoyed spending time with my cousins and aunts and uncles. I had one aunt and uncle who were Jehova's Witnesses. They were so obnoxious that they insisted in trying to convert everyone during those precious few times we got together. Eventually, my parents and other aunts and uncles got fed up with them and stopped inviting them over. I never saw my JW cousins again! How sad! We lost touch because of their inability to respect others beliefs!

If we don't learn to be more respectful of others beliefs than we are no better than those obnoxious Jehova's Witnesses we pike fun at all the time! We don't need to "play along" with their religious traditions but we do need to respect their right to believe what they wish.

.:webmaster:. said...

Norm is our resident Catholic troll most recently known as "passerby." He goes by half a dozen or so names and feels duty bound to preach his religion here, although he's been asked to cease and desist innumerable times.

Norm is a prime example of how religion excuses and even applauds the invasion of other people's business, not to mention an apparent opinion that religion grants a divine right to trespass on private property and ignore the just requests of the property owners.

Again, troll, please do not post here ever again. You are not welcome.

Kisses, hugs, a pat on the rump, and a sharp kick to your posterior, in love.

sidnarb said...

Norm, I have a question for you. Why do you believe that your faith is the one true faith. How do you know that the muslims or the hindus or the bhuddists(spelling)don't have the one true faith? Certainly they believe in their faith just as strongly as you believe in yours. Or evn if you assume that the christians are right, how do you know which sect to follow. There are different sects because each interprets the scriptures differently. How do you know that the catholic church is right? Maybe the evangelicals or the presbyterians or the mormons have the right interpretation. And finally, even if you beleive that catholicism is the right path, how do you explain the difference between catholic beliefs now and catholic beliefs a few hundred years ago when it was blasphemy punishable by being burned alive to say the earth revolved around the sun. I know Galileo escaped being burned at the stake but only after he recanted and begged forgiveness. There was a time when it was doctrine in the catholic church that there was such a thing as witches and being a witch was punishable by................... (you guessed it)being burned at the stake. The Holy Inquisition was once accepted church doctrine, but it isn't any more.
Was the church right in the middle ages or is it right today. Shouldn't the one true faith be the same now as it was then. If it was wrong in the middle ages, but correct now, can you pinpoint that moment in time when it went from being wrong to being right?
I'm not just being difficult. I'd really like to know how you resolve these issues.

Anonymous said...

Somebody here mentioned the scene where Morpheus tells Neo the dangers of trying to "convince" someone too far involved with the Matrix and it being hard to let go.

The Matrix was a good reference point to use in the original post because The Matrix was a brilliant way of showing people that what they believe in can be turned upside down...Cypher, ironically says in the movie in the beginning..."Fasten your seatbelt, Dorothy...because Kansas is goin' bye bye."

The original poster talked about the Gospel of Mark...very observant...because it's also the only gospel where Christ's *own* mother thought he was being unreasonable. I'm saying this charitably because others who've read this scene in the Mark gospel have stated it proved Mary thought Christ her own son was insane. It doesn't say this explicitly...but the thought did occur to me as I looked through that part of the story over and over.

There is no day to leave the "faith" and hope to escape unscathed. Whether it's Christmas Day or New Year's Day or whatever. Leaving the fold is a painful process because you're going to lose friends and family forever. Melissa Etheridge explains this powerfully in the song "Meet Me in The Dark". That song was about her affirmation for being gay...but it applies to other situations such as coming out as an atheist. The world needs a voice like Melissa Etheridge. She is a bright light in an otherwise darkening horizon filled with bigotry for "other".

Religious faith, if believed uncritically can be as dangerous as Nazism. Especially if religious belief is coupled with a blinding "love" of a social cohesive network - like the Catholic Church or any other Christian "faith" group. Anyone...no matter how kind, gentle or considerate who is *not* of that fold...is ignored because that person doesn't "believe". That person is in danger of being "damned" or condemned to "Hell".

I do hope we get more courageous announcements like the one from the Archbishop of Canterbury telling people to get over their infantile beliefs in fairy tales which simply have to stop being believed in. All religious believers who believe in their own faiths are atheists to any other religious belief system which they naturally call "evil".

Madame M said...

LOL @ Norm!!!!

Rationality is bad? If you can't figure something out through reason, what have you? Blind faith. How do you know, except for the happenstance of birth, that the Catholic religion is the true and correct brand of religion leading you to the true and correct god? You can't use reason to figure it out, only blind faith. Having faith means you pretty much accept the first faith message introduced to you. I could replace the "Catholic" with any denomination of Christianity and it could have been said by anyone in any of those denoms- baptist, mormon, lutheran, JW, assembly of god..etc.

I do though have to say, having married into a catholic family after being raised baptist, that catholicism was the must ludicrous and inane of the two options.

Good luck with that.

Madame M said...

Sorry Webmaster, I should have read your post before feeding the troll.

One last thing though before Norm hits the road. True story. Two days ago I was cleaning the house and ran across a rosary my MIL left here, I pitched it in the garbage. In the past I have also thrown away annointing oil, holy water, a mary statue, smashed a joseph on the floor and probably half a dozen rosaries of various sizes and colors. Pbbbbbbt... idol worshipper.

Anonymous said...

There are some decent and kind-hearted Christians out there who just need to believe that life has a purpose beyond this mortal existence ... why's that so hard to understand? So long as they're not being obnoxious about their faith and are using it to better their lives and the lives of others, what difference does it make?

Sometimes we need to push back when the more militant and obnoxious Christians want to force their beliefs on the public through various legislation, of course, but Christianity does sometimes have its usefulness to get people through the day. Not everyone is strong enough to live in a nihilist's universe!!

- James

Michelle said...

When I see my Christian relatives, I have to mentally prepare myself for the godtalk I have to endure. I haven't come out to my family as an ex-Christian, but they would definitely classify me as a backslider, so they gently try to win me back to Jesus. I just listen patiently, nod occasionally, and smile when it's over. It's my way of keeping the peace between us. They get to walk away feeling like they earned some brownie points with god, and I walk away slightly amused and glad that nobody's feelings had to be hurt. I'm not saying my way is the right way, it's just how I've chosen to deal with it. But if they point-blank ask me if I still believe (which they haven't), I will tell them the truth, but I think they're afraid of hearing my answer.

Southern Baptist said...

The catholics don't have any room to talk due to the fact they have made the Virgin Mary, an idol over the real and true savior "Jesus Christ".

So therefore catholics are all hell bound.

Southern Baptist said...

That includes you too Norm. You are also going to find out how hot hell is one of these days.

Southern Baptist

.:webmaster:. said...

Marc, (Norm & anonymous)

You are insane. Get some help. Seriously. Or the story of your arrest for something heinous may show up on this site.

Your most recent homily has been deleted.

R. Black said...

Pfft...only in religion do you become more powerful, by being more pathetic. It is always about me me me me. Look at me, at what I have been through, at what I have to do. Jesus did this and that for YOU. The least you can do is take it like a whore, for me, or for jesus. After all I have been through, after all the suffering jesus went through 2000 years ago, and has spent all the time in heaven.

wha wHA WHA

Cousin Ricky said...

@Southern Baptist,

We are here to cope with the realization that we were mistaken, and to cope with a world that feels obligated to foist their mistakenness back upon us. Sometimes with loving threats of everlasting torture. If you’re here to thrust your rod of correction into our faces then you don’t belong here. We don’t swallow that any more.

Nobody goes to hell on this blog. Not Catholics, not atheists, not pagans. Please take your idle threats elsewhere.

Nor do we play favorites with the various Christian schismatics. You, the Catholics, the Moonies—you’re all equally mistaken. Please take your pointless arguments over Jesus, Mary, and other fictional characters elsewhere.

Don said...

I don't think you can say so dogmatically the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses. There are many convincing studies and scholars that argue they are.

Dave the human said...

"Norm is a prime example of how religion excuses and even applauds the invasion of other people's business, not to mention an apparent opinion that religion grants a divine right to trespass on private property and ignore the just requests of the property owners."

wm,

When you say "private property" I assume you mean this website. If you want to keep it private then assign usernames and passwords. Otherwise it seems as though you are inviting anyone to post whatever they like here. If this website really is to support and help those who have left Christianity behind them then allowing non-xians to post here seems counter-productive to that end. All the arguing and slander, from both directions, does keep the attendance up though doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

wow! i've seen this wm do this before and i've just realized that i'd rather hear the christian responses over wm's abusive deletions of posts.

you, wm, are a pathetic individual that is clearly afraid of what certain christians have to say. your behavior only raises my doubts about believing in a world without purpose

you can take your site and stick it! i'll look to other sites that don't manipulate discussions to have it reflect their opinions!

oh! gawd forbid should someone attempt to answer some questions

sheesh

Cris said...

I've never told my parents of my deconversion, though I think over time they have figured it out.
This Christmas I got the book "I don't have the faith to be an atheist" from my dad. Last year he gave me another apologetics book. We are a very non confrontational family. He is a literal Bible fundamentalist, I am a former 20 + years Christian. We couldnt be more far apart in philosophy, but we get along great in the garden and working on home improvement projects. In my opinion, I would rather help my dad pick tomatoes than argue Bible contradictions.
If he wants to talk about religion, then I will let him bring it up.

Please explain your post anonymous said...

Anonymous Said:
"your behavior only raises my doubts about believing in a world without purpose"

Care to clarify on what your version of a "World Without Purpose" means Anonymous?

Jim Arvo said...

"Dave the human" said "When you [the WM] say 'private property' I assume you mean this website. If you want to keep it private then assign usernames and passwords. Otherwise it seems as though you are inviting anyone to post whatever they like here."

In general, people can post whatever they want here. The WM is extremely tolerant of off-topic discussions and/or dissenting views. But occasionally there are visitors who abuse this privilege and they need to be reined in. In extreme cases, expunging their posts is appropriate. (More on this below.) In any case, that it totally up to the WM. It's his web site.

Anonymous complained "you, wm, are a pathetic individual that is clearly afraid of what certain christians have to say."

Anonymous, your comment is absurd. Look in almost any thread here and you'll see dozens of long rambling posts from Christians. They proselytize, evangelize, debate, complain, explain, plead, threaten, and essentially filibuster all the time. But sometimes enough is enough. Take "Norm" for example. He has spewed essentially the same nonsense in dozens of threads under numerous pseudonyms, and many of us have had very long (and fruitless) discussions with him. Over time he proved to be simply repetitive and annoying, so he was asked to leave--numerous times. Because he continued to post his dreary redundant self-centered monologues, the WM finally decided to start deleting his posts. If you think this is somehow unfair, I'd love to hear your rationale.

By the way, NOBODY here is afraid of what Christians have to say. They are routinely invited and even cajoled into explaining their points of view. Indeed, I go out of my way to LOOK for visiting Christians who might be able to maintain an intelligent discussion. Unfortunately, those are few and far between.

Anonymous concluded "you can take your site and stick it! i'll look to other sites that don't manipulate discussions to have it reflect their opinions! ...gawd forbid should someone attempt to answer some questions"

Can you show me a Christian website that allows atheists and skeptics to post as much as they like? There may be some out there, but they are surely in the minority. Most do not take kindly to having dissenting views being posted. I've been castigated at Christian sites for merely divulging that I am an atheist. Others have had their comments deleted for bringing up evolution. Surely you can see the difference between the WM's policy and such blatant censorship.

As for answering questions, the majority of visiting Christians are very poor at it; often they ignore what is said to them, or they simply cut-paste-and-run. In contrast, anyone who wishes to ask questions of us will normally get full and direct answers. The favor is rarely returned by visiting Christians (although some do).

skeptic said...

The discussions in this post have gotten side tracked from the original post. I just want to say to the original poster: I can completely relate to you feeling guilty about coming out to your mother, and I can also say, as an outside observer, that you have nothing to feel guilty about. All of us who have been brainwashed with guilt-mongering "faiths" need to hear that, repeatedly, esp. when dealing with a family member who helped foster your guilt in the first place.

You spoke of feeling a "vindictive streak," and one of the other posters used this to say that you should feel guilty. That's nonsense. The "vindictiveness" you feel, it sounds like, is just self-protective anger against someone who is defending a brainwashing system. That that person is your mother makes the need for protection stronger, because our parents, re: of our age, have strong emotional holds on us.

This is not to say anything against your mother--in all likelihood, she is doing, now, what she was taught was right to do, just as she did when she raised you Catholic. People can do harmful things with the best of intentions.

My advice is to stop beating yourself up. Given that you are a recent "deconvert" of Catholicism, I am fairly sure you have already beat yourself up far more than any person unencumbered by Catholic guilt.

I'm glad for you that you have the courage to come out.

.:webmaster:. said...

Jim,

I couldn’t have stated things any more clearly than you just did. Thanks.

Dave the Human and anonymous:

When I say "private property," I mean that this website is privately owned. Obviously this website is not intended to be only privately viewed.

This blog has been up and running in its present form, with periodic upgrades and adjustments, for nearly six years now. I don’t see a reason to make any major changes at this point, but thanks for the politely worded suggestions.

By way of analogy, my house is private property and sits on a public thoroughfare in a crowded city neighborhood. The house is not surrounded by a privacy fence and is clearly visible from every direction. My doors and windows are generally wide open during nice weather, and pedestrians stroll right past my front and side doors. Sometimes I have guests in. Sometimes beggars knock on the door asking for handouts. However, I don’t believe an open door policy at either my home or on this website gives an implied right to every passerby to camp out on my lawn or set up housekeeping in my living room.

As delineated in the Site Purpose and Disclaimer, “ Posters can expect to have all of their posts deleted if they simply copy and paste the same basic message repeatedly on multiple pages.”

Marc, otherwise known as Norm on this thread, has repeated violated this part of the disclaimer. I would suggest that those who have not already read the site disclaimer might want to do so soon.

Oh, and believe it or not, many of the Christians who post here quite often do succeed in significantly encouraging those of us who have decided to leave religion behind. For some reason, one very effective apologetic against religion seems to be religionists.

Now, might I make the request that we just get back to the topic of the original thread?

Peace.

Cousin Ricky said...

Don wrote: “I don't think you can say so dogmatically the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses. There are many convincing studies and scholars that argue they are.”

Convincing to whom? To those who already believe?

Nobody knows who wrote the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are guesses at authorship that were made in the 2nd century.

The authors of Matthew and Mark do not claim to be eyewitnesses. Luke says explicitly that it is a recounting of others’ stories (Luke 1:1-4). John makes an eyewitness claim, but does not claim that the author is the eyewitness. In fact, there is so much mind-reading in John that it can’t be an eyewitness account.

The gospels were written by Hellenists. There are too many errors in their “inerrant” works for the authors to have even been familiar with Judea. The crucifixion accounts tell of a wimpy Pontius Pilate and a Sanhedrin that ignores its own procedures. The whole set reeks of Midrashic extrapolations based on misreadings and misinterpretations of Septuagint mistranslations.

And then there are the miracles. Our experience tells us that miracles do not happen; indeed, if they did, then they would not be miracles. David Hume wrote, “no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.” In other words, it is more probable that the gospels are tall tales than that anyone saw the events reported therein.

One needs not be dogmatic to claim that the gospels are not eyewitness accounts. OTOH, one needs to be blind to claim that they are.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is important to let our nonbelief be known to family members regardless of how it may affect them. I came out to my mother years ago and we had some discussions about that for some time. Now we don't discuss religious subjects and I could care less either way.

My wife asked me to please not bring up religion at our x-mas eve get together this year and I said fine. I won't bring it up or discuss it unless someone else brings it up. That is my rule in my home. I won't bring up the subject but no one else had better bring it up either.

My 19 year old son was recently given the book, the Portable Atheist, by his girlfriend. His mother asked him was he an atheist and he replied he wasn't sure. Later, he told me he didn't have the heart to disappoint his mother. I was proud of him for that. Jim Earl

Dorothy said...

I understand PRECICESLY!!! I let my parents believe that I still believe in god, and it makes them happy. They know I'm not religious, but they probably don't realize I'm a real "honest to god" (horrible pun, I know) atheist. I just don't have the heart to break it to them. We just don't discuss religion at all anymore.

sheesh said...

Care to clarify on what your version of a "World Without Purpose" means Anonymous?

what do you think dumbass! everything you and the pathetic wm write about gives no purpose to life! at least these christians have some kind of hope. i'm looking into those veriffiable miracles this norm guy talked about because this beliving that we come from f---all is bullshit!

i'm starting to think that i'm a damned idiot to think that life sprouted from dick all! because of this wm, this site deserves one colloasal f---you boycot.

sheesh

.:webmaster:. said...

The purpose of life is to live, and life has as much purpose as you give it.

If you want to make religion your purpose for living, that's your choice. But from your tone, that purpose doesn't sound very appealing.

Have a great day!

darthwonka said...

Life has no purpose.. no agenda.. no direction. It just is. It came about by chance and it has survived by natural selection.

Here we are. WE are the only life on earth that seem to "require" a purpose. The purpose we require are chosen by each of us. Why is this so terrifying?

For me, I just try to enjoy my short time and see if I can't make the world I am apart of a little better. I live so my kids are better off and better prepared for their lives than I was. I live so that my wife and I can see how many orgasms we can reach before death (unfortunately we lost count long ago).

Food tastes better, sex is more potent, and my love is more genuine now that I realized god doesn't exist. I am in control of my own decisions and my own reactions to chance. No one is out to punish me (except people), no one is blessing me. It is all reaction and planning.

Submitter, I must say I hear what you are saying. We got through christmas with my folks with a lot of deep breaths and booze. After three drinks of tawny port, it didn't bother me that my family was so deeply deluded.

It is really hard when you are both an idealist and raised to be evangelical about your beliefs. I mean, damn!! I was raised evangelical christian, when I left christianity I became somewhat evangelical about atheism.. spread the good news, etc! I sometimes wish I was always atheist so I would feel so compelled to spread the word. Does that make any sense?

Anyways.. It is a shame there is so much hatred here and in the world at the moment. There is so much work to do and so many suffering, but I feel that many would rather increase the suffering of others rather than help to remove it. Maybe once my debt to society and banks is cleared, I can join the peace corps and try and make things better where there is so little hope.

Happy holidays everyone.

Cling to what is good in your life. Screw everything else.

wonka

boomSLANG said...

Sheesh...what do you think dumbass! everything you and the pathetic wm write about gives no purpose to life!

I've got news for you---whether Christian, Muslim, Atheist or whatever---if what the "wm" posts on this site dictates whether or not your life has "purpose", then you've got serious problems, jerky. lol!

sheesh said...

it's not specifically what the wm posts that i was referring to but the whole concept of atheism BOOBslang!

i've already decided you're all doorknobs for thinking that an inanimate universe produced walking, talking, thinking people! you've all got your heads stuck so far up your ass you can't see anything but your own shit.

you all talk like you know shit but its nothing but bullshit and you know it. what kind of shit for brains arrogance do you all have to think that the most complex thing in our universe, us!, came from random mutation! and f---you with your natural selection argument, you're still getting this complex organism from random mutation. not a f---ing chance.

if you think i'm arrogant and a jerk! take a long hard look in the mirror pal.

you can lol all you want BOOB but i'm taking steps to clean up this life i f---ed up and it ain't gonna happen by following or beliving any of the drivel from this slanted site

Sheesh Needs to grow up said...

Sheesh (The Real Dumbass) Said:
"what do you think dumbass! everything you and the pathetic wm write about gives no purpose to life! at least these christians have some kind of hope."

So you don't think that having the following brings purpose:

1) Having a good career
2) Having a loving spouse
3) Having a nice home
4) Achieving success
5) Having good friends

If you think those following 5 examples give no purpose in life, then I suggest the next time you call someone a "Dumbass" that you go look in a mirror.

You obvious don't have the capacity of carrying on a mature conversation due to your "Immature juvenile" behavior.

Grow up, and stop hiding behind your computer monitor. Nobody on this site is impressed with your so called "Tough Talk". You are a coward, and a loser.

Sheesh! *rolls eyes*

This means you Sheesh said...

The poster known as "Sheesh" is apparently a troll who has nothing else better to do with his time than hide behind his computer, talk trash, and hurl insults at others like the "True Coward" that he is.

Sheesh apparently has "No Purpose" in life himself. His only purpose in life is to come onto this site and call people names. He is not capable of having an intelligent conversation.

Thanks for showing all of us your ignorance Sheesh. Nobody is impressed with your so called "Tough Talk", and name calling.

You must be a really miserable and angry person.

FYI, if you don't like this site, then simply leave and go create your own message board. WM is not going to change the rules on this site just to please some little piss ant like yourself, so go whine and cry somewhere else.

WM will run this site any way he wants to so if you don't like it then that is just too bad for you.

Grow up and get a life. *rolls eyes*

Sheesh said...

I'm a teenager punk kid who has nothing else better to do with his time than sit around on the computer all day long surfing the internet calling people names, and showing my true juvenile adolescent behavior because I have no friends, no life, and no future. That's why I'm so pissed off, and why I have chosen this site to insult others. It is my own way of dealing with my own frustrations in life.

That's why I call people names and choose to insult WM. God should do us all a favor and remove me from this planet, because I am a waste of oxygen.

It also angers me because people like WM, Boomslang, and other non-believers actually have found a way to have a successful purpose driven life outside of christianity, which I have not been able to do.

Yours truly,
Sheesh

Anonymous said...

Hello Sheesh.

You can have a life outside of religion. We are all proof of that. I spent most of my life in christianity but my life has improved greatly since I left the flock. Shake off your delusions and enter the world of reality. It's hard at first but well worth the effort in the long run. Good luck. Jim Earl

Where To Find Life's Purpose said...

Have you ever visited the Rapture Ready website? Reading a few of the forums there is informative for anyone who wonders how a deeply held Christian belief gives meaning to life.

There, you’ll find True Believers™ commiserating with one another over how weary they are of life and how they are praying for the End Times® so they can leave this horrible, wicked world which provides them nothing but sadness.

Some take a more optimistic view, however. They are joyful whenever they hear news of new or worsening turmoil in the Mideast, signifying that Armageddon is at hand and this world will be ending soon. Glory!

You’ll also find some good advice. Example: Don’t waste your time pursuing a higher education because education exposes one to evil thoughts, and Jesus is sure to return before you finish your degree, anyway. Yup, it’s going to happen. Soon. Any day now.

Oh, one word of caution for atheists, agnostics, and other free-thinkers: Don’t even bother trying to post an opposing viewpoint. Like most Christian websites, Rapture Ready does not allow alternative opinions.

— Thackerie (who thinks that there’s no meaning in a life lived believing life is merely a waiting room)

sheesh said...

my mistake people. i realize now that none of you can ever stop being atheist unless god lets you.

what immense joy for me to know this fact of which so many can't grasp! not because i'm better that any of you but because i'm blessed! let the spirit continue to dwell in me and keep teaching me to stop cursing your foolish ways. you actually dont know any better

SEO said...

Great googly-moogly Sheesh, you goober,

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan

And

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw

Carey said...

I suggest to any Christians longing to be with the Geezus to not take any medicines, or go to a doctor, or eat any processed foods, because the things of this world are not his. I wouldn't look before I crossed a street, because the things of this world are not his, they were invented by Satan, to deceive Christians (Notice Heavy Sarcasim)

Christians that desire to be with Gzus, do not do anything to prolong your life, you'll soon be with the Big J, just imagine spending an eternity worshipping a smelly old man with a beard, eating moldy bread and stale wine three times a day for eternity.

I'm not buying it Sheesh said...

You know Sheesh, after reading your hateful comments from your earlier posts, you have lost all credibility about anything you say on this site. You have already shown your true colors.

Your earlier statements tell all of us just what a miserable person you really are, so don't try covering up your earlier posts where you called everyone names.

You are a prime example of christian hypocrisy Sheesh. You cuss and call others names, and then you praise God next. Thank you for revealing what a hypocritical fraud that you are.

Don't insult my intelligence Sheesh said...

Sheesh Said:
"let the spirit continue to dwell in me and keep teaching me to stop cursing your foolish ways. you actually dont know any better"

You actually think people are stupid enough to believe what you say?

The only spirit that dwells in you is a spirit of hatefulness and bitterness. You are the one who does not know any better.

Yule Goat 2 Hell said...

"my mistake people. i realize now that none of you can ever stop being atheist unless god lets you."

LOL! That is sooo being submitted to the "Fundies Say the Darndest Things" website.

Cousin Ricky said...

sheesh wrote: “my mistake people. i realize now that none of you can ever stop being atheist unless god lets you.”

What god?

sheesh wrote: “what immense joy for me to know this fact of which so many can't grasp! not because i'm better that any of you but because i'm blessed! let the spirit continue to dwell in me and keep teaching me to stop cursing your foolish ways. you actually dont know any better”

Translation: “What immense joy for me to know that i’m privileged enough to spend eternity in heavenly bliss and you‘re not! Let the Spirit continue to dwell in me so i can enjoy watching you burn in hell. God will punish you pathetic fools because He doesn’t love you enough to let you know Him.”

fine example of christian hypocrisy said...

Well folks, it seems that another christian hypocrite has revealed their true nature on this site.

Let's recap Sheesh's outburts of anger from his earlier posts shall we?

Sheesh Said:
"what do you think dumbass!"

Sheesh Said:
"i'm looking into those veriffiable miracles this norm guy talked about because this beliving that we come from f---all is bullshit!"

Sheesh Said:
"i'm starting to think that i'm a damned idiot to think that life sprouted from dick all!"

Sheesh Said:
"it's not specifically what the wm posts that i was referring to but the whole concept of atheism BOOBslang!"

Sheesh Said:
"you've all got your heads stuck so far up your ass you can't see anything but your own shit."

Sheesh Said:
"you all talk like you know shit but its nothing but bullshit and you know it. what kind of shit for brains arrogance do you all have to think that the most complex thing in our universe, us!, came from random mutation! and f---you with your natural selection argument, you're still getting this complex organism from random mutation. not a f---ing chance."

Then Sheesh comes back on here and tries to cover up his screw ups.

Sheesh Said:
"what immense joy for me to know this fact of which so many can't grasp! not because i'm better that any of you but because i'm blessed! let the spirit continue to dwell in me and keep teaching me to stop cursing your foolish ways. you actually dont know any better"

Now folks compare Sheesh's earlier comments to his later comments. Does this sound familar? We have all just witnessed typical christian hypocrisy at it's finest.

His earlier posts speak for themselves. Sheesh has shown all of us how miserable he really is, and now he thinks that we are actually dumb enough to believe that he is a happy christian. How pathetic.

Another Christian has fallen flat on their face on this website and has once again revealed their true nature. Sheesh has lost all credibility after showing his true colors earlier.

May Sheesh one day get rid of his bitter spirit and learn how to love, and accept others who choose to believe and live different lifestyles that do not subscribe to his beliefs.

Renee said...

Sheesh Said:
"and by the way, i don't give a rats ass what you think of me mr. "fine example of christian hipocrisy" or is your head burried too deep in "something" to see that??"

I see that you are back on here with your little immature juvenile like behavior Sheesh. Grow up Sheesh. Nobody is impressed with your little typical male tough guy behavior.

I will remind you that "YOU" are the one who came onto this site with your immature juvenile like behavior.

You criticize and pass judgement on others, however you are not willing to be responsible for your own actions.

You use profanity, yet your so called holy book teaches that all christians should not use profanity. I wonder how your Jesus feels about your actions Sheesh?

I will remind you also that "YOU" are the one who claims to be a christian, not me. If you are going to claim to be a christian I strongly suggest that "YOU" act like one.

Sheesh Said:
"let the spirit continue to dwell in me and keep teaching me to stop cursing your foolish ways."

May you one day take responsibility for "YOUR" own actions, and bad behavior Sheesh, and stop relying on an invisible force to change you. You are the one who is going to have to change. You are the one who needs to learn how to deal with your own irresponsible behavior.

Don't worry Sheesh school will be starting back up soon, and you'll have plenty of school work to do after your little Xmas vacation is over with. Now go watch Sesame Street.

As for me, I will not be wasting anymore time replying back to your posts. You are obviously a troll who is using christianity on this site to attack others so you can get your thrills, because you have nothing else better to do with your time but sit around playing on your computer.

Get lost and grow up. *rolls eyes*

Renee

Renee said...

Sheesh is a troll who has nothing better to do with his time but sit around on his computer starting fights. Do not give him a reason to reply back. That is exactly what he wants you to do.

That's what trolls do when they have nothing going for them in life. He is obviously some kid who has too much time on their hands due to currently being out of school for Xmas break.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Thackerie said:
Oh, one word of caution for atheists, agnostics, and other free-thinkers: Don’t even bother trying to post an opposing viewpoint. Like most Christian websites, Rapture Ready does not allow alternative opinions
---
Thackerie,
Not only can't you post on their message boards without signing up, but I saw no way to even contact the webmaster on-the-fly either.

It's quite obvious that these xtian sites greatly FEAR having the scary, 'OTHER SIDE', viewpoints shown.

Some fundie here the other day, was bitching that the Webmaster was being unfair and deleting comments made by one certain annoying troll.
As rules go, it's obvious that our webmaster will allow almost any opinion, where the Rapture Ready site is worse in that regard, than a old-school catholic nun with a knuckler beater at-the-ready.


Here's a sample of "Rapture Ready"[drum roll please].... THE RULES
http://www.rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=2


[03] No blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in mocking God, His character, or using God's name in vain.

[25]No Blasphemy of God or the scriptures.....Mocking God, beliefs or members, baiting, inflammatory or sarcastic posts, will result in a loss of posting privileges.

So in a nutshell, one can't even discuss the idea that their chosen god might not be real, but that this rapture idea comes from the one true god amongst gods.
Say one tiny thing against their beliefs and wham, you're history.

[04] Defend God's infallible Word not the ways of the world

Do they bother to show in some FAQ why they think this god's word is infallible...NO.
This is no better than some UFO sites just assuming that everyone who enters, naturally believes that UFO's (with aliens aboard) are a fact of life on earth.


[06] Do not promote false teachings

Well folks, that means that the only false teaching allowed, is the one that their webmaster promotes. All others are of equal weight are disallowed and will result in one being banished to boggie-land.

[26]No Cultic material - Any teaching that does not agree with the Scripture is not to be promoted. This includes, but is not limited to, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Scientology, Christian Identity, New Age, Shepherd's Chapel, Sacred Name Movements, works based faiths such as Roman Catholicism, and Seventh Day Adventist teachings

WOW, first you have to be a xtian, then you have to believe in the form of rapture and 2nd coming that they do, then you may not talk about teachings that do not agree with all these OTHER xtian sects.
Sounds like someone is trying to form a huge niche group to me.
Perhaps this is the beginnings of another "comet" sect, who knows.

To any xtians reading this post
All in all, our webmaster Dave is vastly more lenient than 99% of these xtian websites are with their lock-down-one's-thoughts, type rules.

I really feel SORRY that this rapture ready site even exists!!!
It would have made more sense back in the 70's, but how on earth can there still be folks that are THIS blind today, to swallow those old lies still.


ATF (who wishes the drug companies would invent an anti-delusion pill for such xtians)

Christians are nazis said...

ATF,

Christians hate true freedom of speech and expression. If it were up to them we would all be enslaved to their faith. They are no better than Nazis and Muslims.

Before any christian comes onto this site whining about how none of them ever put jews in gas chambers and how none of them flew airplanes into the World Trade Centers, I will remind christians that they have already persecuted members of the GLBT community and they continue to stick their noses in politics and they continue to interfere in private affairs of American citizens.

The true Christian Symbol should be a picture of the cross with a swastika attached to the bottom of it.

Jim Arvo said...

To "sheesh":

You are one of those enigmas that pops up from time to time. It's absolutely perplexing to me which of your chief attributes is dominant: ignorance or arrogance. I'm going with ignorance, although one would need to work with uncommon dedication to top your arrogance, so I could easily be wrong.

Rich said...

quote
I've never really understood people who wished they still had faith, except maybe those in situations where they have lost their family and friends because they were shunned in some way. If you think about it, is living in a world where you are terrorized by a god who won't show himself, tests you without even telling you what the test is, makes false promises, advocates genocide when he thinks it's appropriate, really a 'better' world? Seems to me that it's exactly the same world as we live in now except that we actually have control in this one--we're not pawns in some 'plan' that even its creator appears to have limited control over.
End Quote
There are many wise comments on this young man's story, but I found this post succinctly sums up the problem with belief in God.

Don said...

Cousin Ricky:

>>Convincing to whom? To those who >>already believe?

Well no of course not. Take for example the most recent of scholars to argue they are eyewitness. See the review of Richard Bauckham's 'Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony'. Read the most recent review that come out two days ago in RBL. The book has even been deigned with its own academic seminar


Nobody knows who wrote the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are guesses at authorship that were made in the 2nd century.

That really would take too long to go into on here (if you want we can discuss this at lenth). See Martin Hengels 'The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Investigation of the Collection and Origin of the Canonical Gospels' To see how the authorships of the Gospels were assigned as far as scholars can tell from their inception. Also see the work of Graham Stanton.


>>The authors of Matthew and Mark >>do not claim to be eyewitnesses. >>Luke says explicitly that it is >>a recounting of others’ stories ?>>(Luke 1:1-4).

Yes you are correct Luke was not an eyewitness, he did use eyewitness material as his sources though.

>>John makes an eyewitness claim, >>but does not claim that the >>author is the eyewitness. In >>fact, there is so much mind->>reading in John that it can’t be >>an eyewitness account.

I don't understand what you mean by mind reading sorry

>>The gospels were written by >>Hellenists.

Well you are out on a limb there. Especially with regards to Matthew

>>The crucifixion accounts tell of >>a wimpy Pontius Pilate and a >>Sanhedrin that ignores its own >>procedures.

Practically all of the purported illegalities stems from the 2nd-3rd century rules, not 30 C.E. Again specifics would be helpful, otherwise I can't really respond.

>>The whole set reeks of Midrashic >>extrapolations based on >>misreadings and >>misinterpretations of Septuagint >>mistranslations.

I think I know what you mean but specific examples please.

Jim Arvo said...

Well, "sheesh", I think that last post of yours lends considerable support to my initial guess, however I do need to amend what I said earlier. I now suspect you're either a sock puppet, a moody teen, or possibly both. In any case, if you think dreaming up all that sophomoric claptrap caries any weight, then I've grossly overestimated you.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Don said:
See Martin Hengels 'The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Investigation of the Collection and Origin of the Canonical Gospels' To see how the authorships of the Gospels were assigned as far as scholars can tell from their inception. Also see the work of Graham Stanton
---
Cousin Ricky / Don,

I just finished reading a new book on this very topic you two are discussing here.

INFO:

Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ
By: Acharya S aka D.M. Murdock


Web link: http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/whowasjesus.html

INTRO:

Who Was Jesus? is specifically designed for Christians and uses mainly Christian texts and authorities. It starts out recounting the story of Christ found mostly in Matthew, followed by a short discussion of each of the other gospels, where they meet and diverge from each other. Next, I discuss the concept of "textual harmonization" as well as the gospel dates, revealing that the gospels are a mass of "variant readings" and that their authorship and dates are uncertain. I also delve into some Old Testament "prefiguring" and "prophecies," providing all-new, original side-by-side charts. Next come many reasons why people do not believe the story of Jesus Christ, along with the standard apologies for such objections and a chapter discussing whether or not the gospel story is history or propaganda. Finally there is a conclusion reminding the readers how much of our future rests upon this issue and how it should not be taken lightly

Now I admit Don, that I have not read any books by the authors you cite in your post.

However, after reading this particular book, it would take a god-miracle in my mind, to prove that a Son-of-God walked this earth, performing a venue of all types of miracles.
The book very much covers the topic of where the bible writings come from and who wrote them and when.
FYI...it was NOT anyone who walked with jesus, or even knew him, and the gospels were not written in the 1st century either.

D.M. Murdock takes on the xtian apologetics that try to prove the jesus had a valid secular history, and one-by-one the hard-to-find secular 'evidence' of any living jesus, crumbles to the dust.

Putting aside the bits and pieces of evidence that can found to support a living miracle working jesus, the one thing in my own mind that speaks volumes, is that such a supposed popular figure in history would have had all kinds of references made about his life, in various secular writings of that era.
They were really big on documenting events in those days, even the mundane things, so how could they possibly have thought this great jesus wasn't worth the 'paper' his history would be written upon.

What other great figure in history managed to escape the writings of historians?
Jesus was said to be just more than some great figure, but one who raised the dead.
Now either your average 'joe' was raising the dead back in those days, making what jesus did just commonplace, or something very mysterious has occurred in that such remarkable feats of 'magic' were not duly noted by anyone.

Just my two cents on the matter

ATF (who still think this jesus was nothing more than a figurehead, that some political agenda created)


p.s. to webmaster
Sure hope my post makes it thru the filter in place [g]

Jim Arvo said...

Don said "See Martin Hengels 'The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Investigation of the Collection and Origin of the Canonical Gospels' To see how the authorships of the Gospels were assigned as far as scholars can tell from their inception."

While it's true that Martin Hengel thinks the four gospels were never circulated anonymously, it's quite a stretch to say that this is the case "as far as scholars can tell". Hengel is a very conservative Biblical scholar who has been swimming against the tide of form-critical scholarship. While he's a formidable scholar, I find it hard to take many of his views seriously, such at the gospel attributions, and his denial that Christianity was influenced by prior myths.

As for the authorship of the Gospels, nobody references them by their present names before Irenaeus supplied them toward the end of the 2nd century. But even the very idea that there had been twelve apostles seems to be an invention of the church to lend credibility to their bishops (through apostolic succession). There is little if any historical evidence for them.

Marcion, who formed the first "canon" of Christian scripture, included an early version of "Luke" as well as the (apparently) authentic Pauline epistles. However, Marcion never associated the name "Luke" to his gospel; he refers to it merely as his "Gospel".

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia "...those titles [of the Gospels] were not framed, and consequently not prefixed to each individual narrative, before the collection of the four Gospels was actually made... It thus appears that the present titles of the Gospels are not traceable to the Evangelists themselves."

Don: "Yes you are correct Luke was not an eyewitness, he did use eyewitness material as his sources though."

On what evidence? Who were those eyewitnesses? What, exactly, did they see? Where? When?

As for midrash in the NT, there are apparently many instances of it; in fact, the entire passion narrative is essentially formed from passages of the OT bent to fit a different circumstance. For a "historical" event of such magnitude, it's odd that there is zero extrabiblical corroboration, and there are few if any details in the NT that do not appear in the OT.

There are also a few obvious gaffs in the NT that point very conspicuously to midrashic interpolation, such as "prophecies" being fulfilled or interpreted slightly differently depending on which version or translation of the scriptures the evangelist had access to.

One of my favorite examples is from Matthew's description of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Verses 21:6-7 read "The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.". Now, did this strange event come to "Matthew" through someone who witnessed it? Unlikely. Look at Zechariah 9:9: "See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Apparently either "Matthew" was ignorant of the poetic Hebrew parallelism that added emphasis in a way that sounded (to non-Hebrew speakers) as if there are multiple objects, or he was attempting to squeeze out every bit of symbolism that he could from a poetic description. Either way, the source was likely scripture, not eyewitness accounts.

There are plenty more.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Jim Arvo wrote:
Verses 21:6-7 read "The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them
---
Jim,

I see two things wrong with this event.

1. Unless carpenter jesus also had some training as circus performer, then that was some circus STUNT he managed to pull off.

2. At the very least, this would have made for quite the humorous situation to view and surely would have generated some laughs from those who watched this.

Now tell me, is there anyplace in the NT where we have an account of Jesus being a funny guy?
I've never seen one.

In fact, it makes perfect sense that the writers of this fable, wouldn't dare put this god-on-earth in such a light as to let anyone see a non-serious side of him.
For if jesus were shown laughing, then some might assume this his father also laughs as well.
Worse, for jesus to laugh might have made his god-mission seem not-as-serious and the writers sure wouldn't head down that rocky road with their hero of fiction.


ATF (who hates when one loses their post and has to write it all over again!!)

Jim Arvo said...

My point about Zechariah 9:9 above may be a bit cryptic, so allow me to clarify. It was originally written in Hebrew, and employed an idiomatic "poetic" parallelism. Translated literally, it sounds quite odd, and is easy to misinterpret. For example, note how the King James and the New American Standard Bibles read:

KJ: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

NASB: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

To my understanding, the latter gives the best sense of the Hebrew idiom, which was merely an elaboration on the donkey, not an indication of a second animal (as Matthew would have it).

DUG said...

Here's a search for some 'crosstikas'.

http://tinyurl.com/2c8cqy



Here's one of my 'personal-favourite crosstikas'.

http://tinyurl.com/28co69

It really DOES show the 'spirit' of the "church". IMPO




Christians are nazis wrote:

ATF,

Christians hate true freedom of speech and expression. If it were up to them we would all be enslaved to their faith.

They are no better than Nazis and Muslims.

Before any christian comes onto this site whining about how none of them ever put jews in gas chambers and how none of them flew airplanes into the World Trade Centers, I will remind christians that they have already persecuted members of the GLBT community and they continue to stick their noses in politics and they continue to interfere in private affairs of American citizens.

The true Christian Symbol should be a picture of the cross with a swastika attached to the bottom of it.

Atheist_Easter_Bunny said...

Dug Said:

"Here's a search for some 'crosstikas'.

http://tinyurl.com/2c8cqy"

Just checked the link out. Oh Snap!!!!

Cousin Ricky said...

DUG wrote: “Before any christian comes onto this site whining about how none of them ever put jews in gas chambers…”

Who do you think the Nazis were? Buddhists?

Of course, most Christians aren’t Nazis, but historically, Christianity has been the motivation for most anti-Jewish bigotry. Hitler built upon a framework of hate laid by nearly 2 millennia of Christian thought and practice, including a vituperous rant by another famous German Christian. It was probably the holocaust itself that shocked Christendom into the realization that anti-Jewish bigotry is evil.

Of course, Christians will protest that True Christianity™ stands for freedom and tolerance. From within their bubble, they don’t see the xenophobia that has been instilled in them by their brainwashing. From their pews, most of them are clueless about the horrors in most of the Bible and are desensitized to the atrocities that they do know about, such the Flood and Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son. (Jephthah who?) From their books and TV sets, they swallow the lie that modern freedoms are based on Christian principles. But Christianity grows up only when dragged kicking and screaming by those under its yoke; in between sanctimonious speeches about love and peace, Christian leaders, from the pope on down, continue to reveal that Christianity remains a paragon of intolerance to its core.

It has been said that Christians are nice people in spite of their religion, not because of it.

Jim Arvo said...

Hi ATF,

I never thought of Jesus' stunt riding as his attempt at humor! I like that. He was trying to please the crowd, not fulfill scripture! That would have injected some much-needed humor into the dreary tale.

Why is it that religions are such humorless affairs? You'd think that an all-powerful god would have an onmi-sense of humor, wouldn't you? To the visiting Christians: can any of you tell me a god-breathed joke that will have me rolling on the floor? That would go a long way toward making your case (at least for me).

AtheistToothFairy said...

Jim Arvo wrote:
I never thought of Jesus' stunt riding as his attempt at humor! I like that. He was trying to please the crowd, not fulfill scripture! That would have injected some much-needed humor into the dreary tale.
Why is it that religions are such humorless affairs? You'd think that an all-powerful god would have an onmi-sense of humor, wouldn't you?
To the visiting Christians: can any of you tell me a god-breathed joke that will have me rolling on the floor? That would go a long way toward making your case (at least for me).

-------

Hi Prof. Jim,

So I take it that my assumption is correct then, that we have no jesus-humor in the bible we know about?
How SAD huh.

It just doesn't fit the bible's predominant character of jesus to do something funny, or to even show off something like a talent for riding TWO animals at the same time.
I state the latter because while he loved to show off his magical god powers, he is never seen elsewhere showing off any human fine-tuned abilities.

In fact, this jesus was said to be a carpenter, yet we never read about a single thing he built/created using that human talent.
We also never read about his human father teaching him that trade or anything else a father would be teaching his son; even a step-son.

Everything in my bones tells me that the NT writers inserted this circus act only because they once again wanted jesus to APPEAR to be fulfilling some prophecy of the OT.
It's pretty darn FUNNY to me that they screwed up and got it all wrong when they assumed it was to be both animals to be ridden...LOL.

Another thought now:

How is it that this jesus shows EVERY human emotion, but humor and libido?
I'm really thinking the NT bible writers were stern old men, who also lacked any libido.
The common picture of munks, easily come to mind when I picture who wrote all this lame stuff.

Wouldn't it have made sense to have an example where some female wanted this jesus in a sexual way, and then he shows everyone how he was strong enough to resist her?
Then again, Mary M. could have easily been just that female but jesus couldn't resist her and while the bible writers knew it, they didn't dare make it known.

Okay, I know jesus wasn't a real god-on-earth person, but this was fun to play with anyway.

Oh and yes, I would assume a real god who gave us all these emotions would at least appreciate what he gave us himself.
Of course at the same time, a god who knows it all, including the future, wouldn't have all these emotions we do.


ATF (Who wonders how many folks log into this site each day?)

Mandy said...

ATF wrote: "So I take it that my assumption is correct then, that we have no jesus-humor in the bible we know about?
How SAD huh."

Hi ATF,

Back in 2003 there was a movie that came out called, "The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John". Jesus was played by "Henry Ian Cusick" who also plays Desmond off of the popular TV Show LOST.

The movie had Jesus laughing and cutting up in it instead of the usual serious and uptight Jesus. This Jesus actually had a sense of humor.

Anyways, my father along with several people from his church protested over the movie and the way Jesus was portrayed in it. I remember several of them saying that Jesus did not go around laughing, and that he was a very serious individual.

They said that the movie was sacraligious, and they found it detestable.

That is an example of how silly and uptight most christians are.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Mandy wrote:
Back in 2003 there was a movie that came out called, "The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John". Jesus was played by "Henry Ian Cusick" who also plays Desmond off of the popular TV Show LOST.
The movie had Jesus laughing and cutting up in it instead of the usual serious and uptight Jesus. This Jesus actually had a sense of humor.
Anyways, my father along with several people from his church protested over the movie and the way Jesus was portrayed in it.

----
Hi Mandy,

Okay, now you just added another movie I have to watch to my ever growing list..haha.

I actually recall this same xtian reaction to the movie version of "Jesus Christ Superstar", back in the 70's.
In fact, the church group I was checking-out at that moment in time, tried hard to talk me out of going to see it, for this same sacrilegious reason you speak about.
My reaction to the movie: I went right out and bought the record album, as I had loved some of the songs in that movie.

As far as the TV show LOST goes.
I was never much one for serial saga type shows, but this show quickly became a fav of mine.
It has many elements within the drama that caught my attention.
You have the general mystery, the sci-fi/supernatural, the quest to get rescued, and even the battle between science or faith being the most valuable; in order to figure things out about this odd island.

I would say the one thing that does bug me LOTS, is that they create more mysteries each week, than they ever getting around to solving.
It kind of reminds me of a supernatural Gilligans Island.

Isn't it funny that I very much love shows with a sci fi or supernatural theme to them, yet I'd be the last one to believe such things to be part of our reality.

As someone once said; To wish hard that something is true, doesn't make it true.


ATF (Who wonders when LOST is coming back on again?)

Mandy said...

Hi ATF,

I will tell you that the Jesus movie that has "Henry Ian Cusick" in it is a christian movie before you go out an rent it. It's not like "Jesus Christ Superstar". Yeah, my dad didn't like that movie either of course.

The one movie that really pissed people like my dad off was "The Last Temptation of Christ". Didn't know if you were familiar with that movie or not, however that movie really got some christians mad.

I will admit that I did like the movie that had "Henry Ian Cusick" playing Jesus. Even though I do not agree with a lot of what the bible has to say, I did like the fresh new friendlier approach to the character of Jesus in that movie. I also remember some of the other girls saying that "Henry Ian Cusick" made a sexy Jesus....LMAO!!! I'm sure that would be considered a blasphemous statement by many hard core christians.

Yeah, I like LOST quiet a bit myself. To answer your question it comes back on January 31st.

Cousin Ricky said...

ATF wrote: “In fact, this jesus was said to be a carpenter, yet we never read about a single thing he built/created using that human talent…

“Wouldn't it have made sense to have an example where some female wanted this jesus in a sexual way, and then he shows everyone how he was strong enough to resist her?”


Although i didn’t see the movie, i understand that The Last Temptation of Christ featured both of these themes. The Christian Guardians Of All That Is Good And Pure really blew a gasket on the sexual temptation thing.

Jesus is said to have been human in all ways except sin. Now, Christians assure us that temptation is never a sin. But if they get bent out of shape by the suggestion that Jesus even had sexual feelings, doesn’t that suggest that, protests to the contrary, mere possession of hormones is sinful? (Yes, church fathers used to believe that sex was intrinsically evil, but nobody remembers that these days.)

billybee said...

Happy New Year!!

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