Category Archives: Uncategorized

You are a mouflon: encouraging truth against Christianity’s anti-humanism

Encouraging thought of the day: you are a mouflon.

Wikipedia tells me that the mouflon is the precursor to modern domesticated sheep. This majestic, wild creature was slowly changed by humans into the fluffy creatures we know today.

I bring this up because I’m so tired of Christians telling me that I’m a helpless little sheep in need of a shepherd.

I was at my parents’ church this Sunday, and the adult Sunday school class was going through Max Lucado’s Traveling Light, a study book based on the 23rd Psalm. You know, the famous one about the Lord as your shepherd.

I’m surprised at how anti-human this teaching is. Even more surprising I would have accepted it just a few years ago.

The whole chapter this week was about the “burden of self-reliance.” Continue reading


Religious chemotherapy (Who cares about atheism anyway?)

Why talk about atheism? Why would anyone want to gather to talk about what they don’t believe? How can you define yourself by what you are not? You don’t make gatherings for people to talk about how they don’t believe in unicorns, or faeries, or leprechauns. So why make such a big deal about not believing in a god?

Chemotherapy is of no use at all without cancer. It is a powerful poison that can kill instead of cure a patient if it is not administered carefully. It is nothing at all but an anti-cancer.

Why would doctors get together to talk about chemotherapy, an anti-something, when they could be talking about what they are for instead of what they are against?

If there was no cancer, there would be no chemotherapy.

If there was no AIDS virus, there would be no AIDS medications.

If there was no smallpox, there would be no smallpox vaccine.

If there were no major bacterial infections, there would be no antibiotics.

I don’t know how every atheist thinks about atheism. I believe for me, and probably for a lot of other ex-Christians out there, atheism is a vital tool to help us truly escape the clutches of fundamentalist thought control we grew up with.

Now, some people escape fundamentalism without the use of atheism. Some can trek from conservative, literal Christianity into a more progressive, inclusive form of the religion, and that’s okay for them. But for others, the fear of hell, and the need to obey an almighty god, are drilled into our heads so much, it takes a radical shift to truly throw all that off.

I think it’s nearly impossible to have a constructive, free exploration of what is right and wrong, what is true and false, if at the same time you have the threat of hell hanging over your head. Christianity has evolved to keep people silent, unquestioning, and obedient. That’s how it gained its power.

I wasn’t always for marriage equality

July 2015 and marriage equality is a real thing. Who knew this would happen?

In 2010 I was fresh off the boat, so to speak, back from a year of intense missionary training and missionary work in Africa. I’d been isolated from the “normal” world and seeped in an environment which made it easy for me to only think in one way. I’d gone back and forth on my thoughts about homosexuality up to this point; I couldn’t see how it could be wrong, looking at the facts, but I couldn’t see how it could be right, looking at the Bible. Missionary culture made this easy; the Bible is always right, and anything else is just an error. We even heard testimony from an ex-gay man, who said God had shown him he’d marry a woman someday.

In this mindset, there was no question in my mind what I should do. So confession time: The Iowa Supreme Court had just legalized marriage in Iowa, and there was quite a bit of uproar. In 2010 there was a movement to vote out as many of those justices that were up for retention. I was glad, at the time, to be part of the movement voting them out.

I’m happy to say two years later, the remaining justices that had made that decision were up for retention, and this time I had the pleasure of voting to keep them. At this point, the tide had turned against Bob Vander Plaatz and his coalition. The vote for retention caught on, not just as a pro-equality thing, but as a “protect our democracy” thing, with the idea that judges shouldn’t be subject to the whims of the electorate. The remaining judges won retention by a wide margin, and I have to say I’m proud I was part of that.

What about you? How have you changed in your thoughts on homosexuality and gay marriage? Do you have votes and positions you made that you just look back on now and shake your head? I’m sorry I voted against equality, but I think on a day like this all of us former anti-gay folks can look back and celebrate how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve changed.

Verses on healing

Recently I was talking with an online Christian about healing. One of the many reasons I don’t believe the Bible anymore is the Bible contains many, repeated promises that prayer can heal people. The Christian told me this was not the case. Here’s her direct quote:

God does not promise to heal those who pray. Never does the Bible make this promise, although I was once in a group who taught this very thing. It is false, and it is an evil lie, giving false hope to desperate people and then destroying their faith when God doesn’t heal them or their loved one.

So I did a quick collection of some of the many Bible verses that do, in fact, promise healing.

Let’s talk about Jesus himself. What was Jesus most known for? Powerful preaching, and healing the sick. Flip through the book of Mark, and the headings are things like “Jesus heals a paralytic”, “A man with a withered hand,” “Jesus heals a deaf man,” “Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus,” and so on. Continue reading

Police, parents, and the problem of evil

The question “Why does a good god allow suffering?” is one of the oldest in religion, yet Christians seem to think they have the answer. The problem is, I’ve never heard a convincing answer.

A PhD Christian scholar recently wrote a piece in Christian today, saying that a god who allows evil in the world is no different from a parent who has a child, even though the parent knows that child may suffer someday.

He also says God does not stand by and watch pain; he comes down and experiences it with us.

The loving parent is not the one who never risks suffering in a child’s life; the loving parent – whether human or divine – is the one who is willing to suffer alongside his child, and willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to ensure that one day that suffering can be overcome.

[Jesus] is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.

The website has no place for me to leave comments or send email to the author, so I shall reply here.

Dear Dr. Vince Vitale, Continue reading

Why women must submit.

The Bible says all women must submit to their husbands. Or at least, you probably think that–if you’re not a Real True Christian (TM) with a spirit-filled understanding of the Bible. All the real Christians out there know the Bible only says that when you read it out of context.

That’s why Christians love to “debunk” it whenever someone brings up a verse like Ephesians 5:22.

Unfortunately for Christians, the Bible also explains why it is that women must submit. And that “why” creates an even worse problem. Continue reading

Free at last (from thought crime)

I’ve heard people talk about how coming free from Christianity set them free from fear. Libby Anne, of Love Joy Feminism, said she used to worry about demons; because even though her parents said Jesus would keep the demons away, that only worked if you “really” believed; and what young person wouldn’t be scared when told invisible powerful creatures that want to hurt you are real?

Then there’s the old fear of not being saved, no matter how many times you “confess” your sin and repent.

I don’t know if any of those fears plagued me—I certainly wasn’t too scared of evil spirits, except in Africa. But I was often worried about thought crime, or about wrong beliefs.

When I think about life with and without Jesus, one of the best parts about freethought is that I am no longer scared about what I believe.

Christians teach that “if you CONFESS with your mouth and BELIEVE in your heart” you will be saved. So, what you believe and profess is vitally important to your survival. Therefore it won’t do to believe in false things, or to embrace incorrect beliefs.

Is it right to drink, or should all alcohol be shunned? We know Jesus taught about standing up for the poor, but is it right to Occupy Wall Street or should you try to be more respectable than that? Is it right to stand up against the oppression in Palestine, or does the Bible teach that God is on the side of the Israelis in spite of how they don’t confess Jesus?

These aren’t just differences of opinion, or different ways of seeing the world. The danger here isn’t only that you may cause harm to someone. The problem is that you could be punished for believing the wrong thing. Also, holding those wrong beliefs could become a foothold that eventually leads you into further sin.

But the worst part is there’s no practical measuring stick to find if you’re right or wrong. You can’t run a simple test to prove which belief is true. You can’t measure it or experiment on it. You can’t even argue from logic alone, because you have to believe what the Bible says is true over and above your own logic. All that’s available to you is a mixture of logic, theology, and faith—trusting your gut to lead you right.

The Bible is no help because people interpret it differently. You hear different arguments, different interpretations. You can’t just trust your own logic, because those other arguments sound so Biblical—what if you’ve missed something? And you can’t just admit you don’t know—if you don’t know, how can you believe, and if you don’t believe then what is your faith?

I never realized when I was doing it just how much of a burden that is to constantly try to find ultimate truth based on such vague criteria.

If you’re an atheist you can make your decisions based on facts and logic. How they feel doesn’t have to enter into it, unless you really believe that such a criteria is useful in the circumstances. If it turns out you were wrong, you can change your mind; you don’t always have to “repent”. If you don’t harm anyone else, holding wrong beliefs has absolutely no negative impact. You can believe in pink fairies and unicorns and healing crystals, so long as you don’t let those beliefs stop you from being healthy, and absolutely no one can really condemn you.