Sunday, December 26, 2010

Obsessed with God?

One of the accusations made by Christians towards atheists that I find most annoying is that we are obsessed with God. I have been accused of this by my own family several times myself. Their reasoning is that for someone who claims a non-belief in God we sure put a lot of time and dedication into disproving his existence.

There are several reasons why accusations such as these do not hold water. I personally am not on a mission to demonstrate that the biblical god or any god for that matter exists at all. Belief in God is a personal choice and matter that each and every individual must make for his or herself. I know as well as any other thinking atheist that you cannot prove a negative. As it stands now we cannot prove or disprove conclusively the existence of God or gods, anyone who claims to be able to do so is a fool.

But at the same time it does not mean that with the evidence we do have, or lack thereof we can't make logical conclusions based on observation and investigation. Theists point to the order of the universe or the laws of nature to demonstrate that this world was intelligently designed or created by a higher power. But they neglect to mention all of the chaos that is also evident in nature, for instance there is no design in the extinction of plant and animal species. This suggest that it is rather a result of evolution through the process of natural selection.

The only reason I am so "obsessed" with religion and God is because it is relevant in our society. It holds positions of power amongst the elite and the poor in such things as politics and the advancement of scientific research. Religion permeates almost every fiber of our society here in the United States and it spills over into the secular realm as well where in my opinion it does not belong.

If you choose to believe in the myths and tales perpetuated over 5,000 years ago if you include the new testament then that is your choice as an individual. But when you try to force your beliefs upon the rest of society by manipulating politicians and impeding science then you are stepping out of the boundaries of your personal beliefs. The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution make it abundantly clear that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," this rule should apply both ways.

Theists want government to stay out of matters of religion but at the same time they want to manipulate and impede government. That is what you call having your cake and eating it too. Our laws should not be subject to those of any religions idea of what their god of choice has established. Instead our laws should be based on the betterment of our society and its inhabitants.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank God?

I think that one of the most used terms in the English language is "thank God".... personally, I think this is one of the most undeserved expressions of gratitude known to man. I have oftentimes caught myself saying it from time to time but now when I say it, it is more as a result of habit than of genuine gratitude.

One of the things I hate most about Christianity is that you are not allowed to achieve anything in life without giving any credit to the fictional guy in the sky. In fact, the bible reinforces this belief over and over throughout the scriptures.

For example, you are ready to sit down and enjoy a meal when someone decides that we should say grace. Grace for what? God did not put that food on the table, you did! If it were not for you getting up each morning and working for a living then you would not have anything to eat at all. The theist might say something silly like "but it is God that gives you the health and the strength to work", what a crock of shit!

This biblical God does not give a shit about you, and he can't, simply because he does not exist. The quicker you realize this the easier life becomes, once you realize that you have to pave your own way in this world then life becomes a lot easier. Life is about adversity, sacrifices, and struggles there will always be challenges and opportunities; some will be good for us and others will serve to our detriment.

In an earlier post I mentioned that once you look at the world naturally you have no reason to believe in God. There is no reason to acknowledge the existence of a mythical being. People love to be praised at home or at work for a job well done, it's in our natures to be that way. But when you serve God you have to give that up too, everything that is you must be surrendered to this mythical deity that you are to fear and praise for doing nothing at all. It seems like he is entitled to your praise simply because you choose to believe in him!

When you look at life and all of the baggage it hands us in our own individual and personal journey's from a natural perspective it makes so much more sense. Life is impersonal, it does not know race, or color, nor does it discriminate age. A child dies in a crib you don't need to ask God why when you realize that these things happen in life.

So theists, when you face adversities that seem too much to bear keep in mind that it is not Satan or God nor is it a test of your faith. It is just life and you can choose to let those things keep you down or you can stand up shake them off and continue your journey bravely and determined never to let life keep you down.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Faith is not a fact !

Despite what many religionist would like for the rest of us to believe, I am here to declare once and for all that faith does not equal fact. No matter how you spin it, faith is believing in someone or something for which there is no objective or empirical evidence whatsoever.
For the purpose of this article I will be quoting from the New Jerusalem Translation of the scriptures. The bible defines faith: 1 Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of realities that are unseen. 6 Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:1,6 (NJB). The biggest flaw with this definition is that you cannot “prove” the existence of the unseen you can only hope that he is there. In other words you only believe it because you read it and the bible said it.
According to the teachings found in the bible no man has seen God, and it is best that way since the bible states that if you did see him you would die! The bible states that Moses knew God face to face Exodus 33:11 and Deuteronomy 34:10 but then it turns around and says that no man can see God not even Moses in Exodus 33:20-23! The best look of God that Moses got according to the bible was a look at his back. Here is a problem, recent scholarship has come to doubt the very existence of Moses, outside of the biblical myths he is nowhere to be found!
It’s incredible that even in today’s modern era Christians, Muslims, and Jews insist on their beliefs as unequivocal fact! Nothing could be further from the truth. Religious beliefs skew the mental process to the point where up is down and down is up. There is no logic or reason for a belief in god or any other deities. It’s funny how Christians like to use the old “ where did everything come from, nothing can exist from nothing” argument. I am content to acknowledge that when it comes to origins neither science nor faith has the answers. But I am not willing to accept faith as a valid means of discovering facts or truths. There is a natural explanation for all of this as has been proven through the theory of evolution by the process of natural selection. We may never know how this all began, but saying some fictional deity invented 6 or 7,000 thousand years ago by some nomadic tribe is the source of everything is outright ludicrous and insane.
Christians in particular, speak about their faith as a fact. Everyone else is wrong and only their book and doctrinal beliefs are correct. Every other religion is of Satan and of pagan origins and everyone who does not accept their beliefs is a heretic. What they fail to realize is that the origins of Judaism and Christianity are derived from those same previous religions and myths that they condemn. Judaism and Christianity borrowed a lot of things from Babylonian myths and other cultures that they came in contact with. This is a known fact among those scholars and people such as myself who have studied comparative religion.
In particular I like Hebrews 11:6 which states that in order to please God you must “believe that he is”. It sounds a lot like the tale of Santa Clause doesn’t it? “If you don’t believe in Santa you won’t get any presents for Christmas little Timmy.” Even the fictional Jesus had issues with this in the N.T. where on one occasion he returned back to his home town and it states that he could not perform many miracles there because of the unbelief of the people.
In other words, God’s power is limited to how much you believe in him! How stupid is that? If you don’t believe he can’t show you anything because you have not submitted your will, mind, and reasoning skills to him. The bible literally requires that you suspend your critical thinking skills and take everything that is said there as fact. I guess as long as there are people with limited intelligence or great minds who refuse to use them there will always be religion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blood sacrifice

Isn't it odd how the biblical deity like the many deities believed before him share so many things in common? But the one thing they all seem to share is that most of them desired blood sacrifices. For some of the so called pagan deities the blood of animals was enough to appease them temporarily, this was also true of the biblical deity as well. For others the sacrificing of people was the only thing that satisfied them.

When God decided to institute the system of sacrifices he laid out specific rules that had to be followed by the people and the priests. The animals could not have any blemish whatsoever and they had to be of a specific type of animal, there were what God considered clean and unclean animals. They had to be sacrificed at specific times of the year for specific purposes. But according to the N.T. these sacrifices only temporarily covered the sins of those that made them. It did not wipe away the sins completely.

In order to wipe away sin completely the sacrifice had to be perfect and without sin. Christianity provides for this through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once and for all. They even refer to the O.T. system of blood atonement as a type of what was to come in the most perfect sacrifice of all: Jesus Christ the son of God. But if you read your bible carefully you will find out that Jesus was not the only human sacrifice the deity accepted.

In the O.T. there is a tale of a man named Jephthah who made a vow unto God where if he was given the victory over the Ammonites the first person that met him upon returning to his house he would sacrifice. It turned out to be his only daughter and in the end he had to do as he had vowed. You can read all about it in Judges 11:30-40. At times the bible mentions other groups whose deities required blood sacrifices.

All of this points me to believe that the institution of religion and the concept of God itself are all rooted in myths based on ignorance and superstition. People refer to the idea of God evolving but apparently he has not evolved much. He still loves the fragrance of blood. And even in Christianity it is only through the mythical blood pact of Christ that you can be saved.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Myth vs. Religion

Before I begin I would like to take a moment to define the words myth and religion. I will be citing both definitions from the Merriam Webster online dictionary. Let's look at the definition for myth: 1.a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. 3. a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence. Now let's look at the definitions for religion 1b: the service and worship of God or the supernatural. 2a: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.

Quite frankly I personally don't see the difference between religion and mythology. In fact mythology at one time served the same purpose as religion, it was a means of understanding the world around us as being the result of divine creation. At one time those same beliefs that we now call myths were just as real and believed by the populace of the various cultures from which they originated.

As the title of my blog implies the biblical god is in fact a myth, it's just a myth that many in our culture happen to believe in. Out of the two definitions I used above several characteristics stand out, one is that myths were a way for a people to explain some of their practices or beliefs (worldviews). Religion likewise refers to a certain set of beliefs and practices and also are in place to explain a similar worldview ( that God created everything).

Today's myths are nothing more than yesterdays religions and beliefs just as today's beliefs are nothing more than today's myths. In myths the definition states that it involves a person or thing of imaginary or unverifiable existence (that sounds a lot like god). You can't prove or disprove the existence of the biblical god just like you cant disprove the existence or non-existence of Zeus, Thor, or Loki.

Many of the ancient myths were polytheistic, they had many deities to worship and as is demonstrated by Greek mythology they seemed to have a deity for every natural phenomenon to the then known world. Sort of like the Catholic church seems to have a saint to intercede for just about any specific need. The only difference between myths and religion is that myths are religions that we no longer believe in and religions are myths we do believe in. But who is to say that today's religions wont be tomorrows myths?

Through the process of anthropomorphism man has created his mythical deities of yesterday and his deities of today to suit his religious beliefs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Indoctrinated Mind

One of the many things that fascinates me most about Christians, especially the fundamentalist kind, is their tunnel vision. Christians can't seem to see beyond the boundaries of what they have been taught to believe. They literally possess selective hearing and sight, and no matter what may be presented to them that is contradictory to their beliefs they will not be moved.

I have often stated that faith itself is the ultimate equalizer when discussing or arguing with theists about religion. The reason for this is that faith requires absolutely no evidence whatsoever to be deemed true. Believers love to wave the faith flag when they are backed into a corner, and for the most part it works to their own satisfaction.

I can sympathize with them myself because I was very much the same when I was a theist over 16 years ago. There wasn't a man in the world or any evidence that could sway my faith, I was like a stone when it came to my belief in the biblical god. I was unbreakable, immovable, and determined to let everyone know about my beliefs and about the one I served as lord and master of my life. What we must understand as atheists is that most Christians are happy with their beliefs no matter how ridiculous or false they may be.

Many are content to bury their heads in the sand and miss all of the joy and pleasures that life can bring. Most people I know including members of my own family have referred to me as crazy for not believing in the biblical deity they choose to believe in. Many atheists are treated as outcasts by their own families who in some sick way pity them for not accepting the indoctrination that they have.

Even the most atrocious acts committed by God in the bible are explained away by theists with such stupid quips as "he is our creator and he can do what he wants" or "who are you to question God?". Yet if any living man or woman did even half of the horrible things God has done to mankind according to their book of fairy tales he/she would immediately be called a tyrant, lunatic, mass murderer, and a host of other demeaning terms.

When your mind is clouded by faith nothing else makes sense, but the nonsense you spew. Faith makes fairy tales true, through faith it is easy to believe what is known to be impossible. Jesus ascended to the heavens, Moses parted the red sea, the walls of Jericho came down with a unified trumpet blast, etc. You don't need reason to be a Christian, all you need is its opposite: faith.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No God? No problem.

One of the problems that has been a thorn in the side of most theologians is the problem of evil. They have no way to explain the existence of evil, since according to them God is benevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. The argument itself basically points out that the very existence of evil, is contradictory to the attributes of the biblical God.

My own take on this argument is simple: when you think about the many inexplicable occurrences that we experience in life, such as death, rapes, murders, birth defects etc. It is easier to explain them when you take God out of the equation. There is for instance a perfectly scientific and sound explanation for birth defects, as opposed to trying to say that the child was born that way because it was God's way of testing the faith of the parents etc.

I call the act of trying to rationalize the existence of God, trying to make sense of nonsense. Christians remind me of that kids learning game where you have to fit certain pieces into a box with various shape cut outs. No matter how much you try you cannot fit a square piece into a circle. But by trying to rationalize the existence of their god this way, they are doing exactly that.

Ancient man was very superstitious and to this day even with all of the knowledge and understanding that we have gained about the world we live in, there are still many who refuse to let go of ancient superstitions. I personally count the existence of God or gods in general as superstitious and mythological in nature.

When you remove the concept of God out of life's troubles and hardships natural disasters, and whatever other calamity you can think of, then you can see them for what they are: natural occurrences. When you come to the realization that life is nothing more than a continuous string of random occurrences, then you will see the world with clarity.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is God?

Although I am now an atheist, every now and then I ponder the idea of the existence of God. What interest me most about this topic is the insistence of theists on the existence of God based on faith. There is no objective evidence for the existence of God and I am pretty sure that there never will be any to validate the theists claims.

I would like to share with you a theory regarding the existence of God or in this case non-existence of God. If you think back to ancient times and religions and religious beliefs you will see right away that in those days, most beliefs were based on ignorance and superstition about the forces of nature and the world in general. People interpreted things that they did not understand by calling them gods.

Things such as natural disasters, disease, famine, etc. were all interpreted as a result of a deity being displeased with the tribe or civilization. Gods in the most ancient of religions had to be appeased, and at first such things as fruits and vegetables of the land were sacrificed to those gods in return for their favor. Men throughout religions history have worshiped trees, astral bodies, animals, and in some cultures even other men! In China the emperor was considered a god among men, and the same goes for Egypt's Pharaohs.

As is illustrated for instance in Greek mythology man later began to worship objects within their environment such as the sun, moon, planets, and stars. They later gave all of these objects names, personalities and things that they would control or oversee. This process is called anthropomorphism. Wikipedia defines anthropomorphism as the attribution of human characteristics to animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts.

The God of Moses is a being that is in objective terms undefinable, and whose existence relies solely on ancient texts that propound the beliefs of an ancient people. Jews and Christians have in an essence followed the path of those that came before them. In order to define God or make him easier to comprehend, they have anthropomorphosized him. They have taken the idea of God and personified it by giving this idea human traits. God gets angry, he hears and see all things, he is defined as a male, he is said to speak.

Here is my theory regarding today's general idea of God (specifically the Judeo-Christian God), I am convinced that this God is nothing more than an abstract concept.My reasons for believing this is simply because this God cannot be defined.Ask any theist what is God and all you will get are dogma or abstract ideas about God. Theists claim that he is unknowable, beyond our human comprehension. If this is so then why are so many theists claiming that they know God and have a personal relationship with God?

What I find comical about this is that at least the ancients were personifying objects that they did not understand, such as Ra or R'e the Egyptian sun god. Jews and Christians don't even have an object to personify, they are personifying an idea/concept. From a logical standpoint this is absurd! Jews and Christians choose to worship a deity they neither know nor can define, now what can be more insane than that?

Using the so called order in the universe as evidence of God would not suffice either because along with that order there is massive chaos as well. Of course we don't fully comprehend what exactly took place at the beginning of the universe, but I can assure you that it certainly was no imaginary guy in the sky!

People of the more charismatic bend tend to claim to feel his presence or hear his voice, but as I state in my video could this be just symptoms of their own delusions? All of these experiences are of a subjective nature and in no way constitute evidence for the existence of God. Therefore based on all of these points made in this post I conclude that there is no God, but in reality the onus is on you my dear theist to prove me wrong since it is you that are making the positive claim that there is a God and that he exist.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Self degradation in the name of the Lord!

Those that chose to be "servants" of the Judaeo-Christian deity must first acknowledge that you are disgusting to your lord 7. And Yahweh said, 'I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created -- human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven -- for I regret having made them.'Genesis 6:7 (NJB)

In order to serve this deity you must accept that fact that you are nothing and that he is everything, and that there is nothing you can't do without him (John 15:4,5). I personally find the very language used in the scriptures to describe the relationship that man supposedly should have with this god offensive and appalling.

If you have ever taken the time to read the bible regarding these matters you will immediately recognize a pattern. That what the language describes is nothing more than slavery. God is often referred to as the master, and you the ever so humble worshiper is described as a servant/slave. Your whole purpose in life is to please this non-existent megalomaniacal deity.

Within the scriptures there is also a system of punishment and reward for your service to the Lord. If you do good and walk upright you will be rewarded, but if he is not pleased with your performance you will be punished. The very idea of bowing down to some primitive deity who is obviously an invention of man. The bible instead of teaching pride in oneself and ones achievements teaches you that you must remember that you are nothing without God. That because our "first parents" sinned we by default have inherited this sinful nature and now are in his debt forever.

We are according to the scriptures born in debt to God for something we did not have anything to do with. So much for God being loving ands forgiving! And the only way to pay off this debt is to accept the fable that he became incarnate in a man (Jesus) and suffered at the cross as a sacrifice to atone or pay off our debt. If you ever want to make progress in this world we need to cast away all these silly and ancient superstitions and embrace the world for what it is. A natural and wonderful environment which can be both friendly and at times hostile, but would be a much better place to live if God were taken out of the equation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A violation of free will

The bible states that men were created with free wills, and that they have within them the choice to do either good or evil. It is also said that the biblical God cannot violate a persons will and so based on this understanding man does as he pleases.Yet,there is one story in the bible where God has done just that! It is the story of Jonah.

When I was coming up this story used to be called the tale of Jonah and the whale, although the bible never says that it was a whale. The scriptures refer to it rather, as a big fish. Like the tale of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit people have somehow with the passage of time turned that fruit into an apple, although again the bible does not specify what type of fruit it was.

This tale is found in the book of Jonah chapters 1-3 in its entirety. Basically, God had told Jonah that he must go to Nineveh and warn them that if they did not repent of their works that their city would be destroyed and they would all perish. Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh, so he boarded a ship going in another direction. Because of his actions God brought up a huge storm at sea and if it were not for the crew tossing Jonah into the sea, they would have all perished. When Jonah was in the sea he was swallowed up by a big fish, and he miraculously was preserved from death in the belly of this fish.

After he repented and decided to do God's will he was then spit out on dry land, where he was once again given his instructions by his god to go to Nineveh and relay his message of warning. Now here is my problem with this story besides the obvious stupidity of the "big fish" and his apparently non-functional digestive tract. If God went through all of this just to relay a message to a people why did he not just do it himself.

The way I see it a thundering voice from heaven would have been just as effective, the bible is full of tales where God can manipulate matter and interfere in nature etc. yet for some reason he could not do anything here. Not only that, he forced Jonah to go to Nineveh, this was definitely one situation where Jonah had no choice or free will to deny the lords request. In my view this tale alone throws that whole free will defense to the dogs. It states that Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord, as if this were possible. Since the bible teaches that God is everywhere present or omnipresent.

This is just one but there are many, it is theological inconsistencies like these that let me see the bible for what it is: a fraudulent work by fraudulent men.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

God's actions contradict his attributes

According to most Christians and the bible itself God is omnipotent (all powerful) Mark 10:27, omniscient (all knowing) 1 John 3:20, omnipresent (everywhere at all times) Psalm 139:7-10. If these attributes of God are true then why would God create mankind only to then later in Genesis 6:6 regret having ever created mankind? If he were truly omniscient he would not be surprised that man was a “sinful” creature, yet here he regrets having created man in response to man not meeting his expectations.

If he is omnipresent, then why would he have to “come down” to see if what he heard about man building a tower with the intention of reaching heaven were true Genesis 11:5? This passage and many others puts in question the claim that he is omnipresent, in fact, there are many instances in the bible where he relies on angels to relay messages or give him information about certain things.

If god were omnipotent, then why could he not help Judah dispossess the inhabitants of the plain simply because they had chariots of iron Judges 1:19? Are we to believe based on this scripture that iron is to God as kryptonite is to Superman?

Basically, what I am saying is that if we were to take the bible seriously we would be in some serious trouble. As you can see in this post it tends to contradict its own claims and I believe this is because it was written, edited, and produced by man. There is no divine influence whatsoever in the entire bible. If were to step back and put your reverence aside, you would surely see the reflection of man in all of its pages.

My approach is simple: if you get your concept of God from the bible, and the bible is wrong, then your god does not exist. He is exactly what the bible shows him to be; a creation of man and nothing more. You can sit back and say that when you pray you “feel” his presence but in reality all you are feeling is the result of your psycho-emotional attachment to your imaginary being. You are not thinking with your mind, instead you are trying to interpret with your heart.

All of God’s so called attributes can be placed in some point in time in our history and be put to question based on his inactivity. For instance, where was God while his “chosen people”: the Jews were being summarily exterminated at the hands of Adolph Hitler? I am sure that out of the over 6 million Jews that died there were many pleading for God’s help and intervention.

In mankind’s most dire moments of need God has been absent, and the only reason or explanation I have for this is that he does not exist. It is not that he does not care, it’s because he cannot care. Fictional beings have no emotions other than those that their creators give them. It’s time for man to push these old and silly superstitions aside and stare life in the face and make the most of it, because believe me when I tell you this, it will be over before you know it. Enjoy your life, make the most of it, live long and prosper etc.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The stupidity of Mormons and Mormonism

I personally do not care for neither Christianity nor Mormonism, I think they are both as true as the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. But one thing I have noticed is that Mormons don’t know a thing about the bible, because if they did they would reject Mormonism outright. When I was a Pentecostal evangelist I found that when I was out witnessing and ministering to people on the streets the easiest religious sect to refute was the Mormons.

It was all in the so called foundation of their church where I found the one major flaw that basically made all the rest of their doctrines obsolete and completely worthless. The founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith claimed that he received a visitation from an angel named Moroni that basically told him that he would lead him to some golden tablets buried under a mountain in upstate N.Y.

Smith also claimed to have received a Urim and Thummim, two seer stones that were supposed to aid him in translating the text of an unknown language on the plates into English. Of course when he was done translating what is now known as “The Book of Mormon”, conveniently the angel Moroni came back to claim the tablets and the stones. So once again to be a Mormon you have to accept this charlatans story on faith.

Mormonism in my opinion is just one of many other religious sects that just goes to prove my theory that people are willing and gullible enough to believe anything regardless of education. My problem with Mormonism is that if you are going to be an offshoot of a religion you should at least follow the rules set down by the religion you are borrowing from. Obviously, Joseph Smith must have overlooked Galatians chapter 1 verses 6 through 9. Mormons when you have a chance you can read it for yourselves.

The main focus of Galatians 1:6-9 that interest me the most and that is the most damning to Mormonism is particularly verses 8 and 9. 8 But even if we ourselves or an angel from heaven preaches to you a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let God's curse be on him. 9 I repeat again what we declared before: anyone who preaches to you a gospel other than the one you were first given is to be under God's curse. (NJB) The apostle Paul knew and even experienced in his day opposing doctrines and beliefs, so he warned the Galatians apparently because some of them were being led astray.

Now let’s look at this text in perspective, Paul said “if we ourselves” (the apostles) and in this case Joseph Smith or an angel from heaven such as Moroni was purported to be, preaches to you a gospel…. As you can see the entire foundation of the Mormon church based on the words of Paul come crashing down. Although both religions are false; Christianity being the parent religion takes precedence over its bastard child Mormonism.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The hypocrisy of Christianity

Christians claim to be followers of Christ; and to this day they claim that they are in all things only doing God’s will, yet they demonstrate with their deeds the very hypocrisy of their beliefs and their own convictions based on those beliefs. According to the scriptures Jesus supposedly said: 36 “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. 37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6: 36, 37 (NJB)

Upon first glance it seems like a simple and direct commandment, but it is not as simple as it seems. I don’t care who you are or from what walk of life you come from it is in our nature to judge one another. Not necessarily on religious beliefs and convictions but also on societal norms. We even judge each other on the weirdest things such as how a person dresses, smells, walks, or talks. It is natural to judge certain people, places, and things based on our own life experiences and convictions. John 15: 18-20, Matthew 5: 13-15

Because of the many commandments of the biblical god from the old testament under the law and the commandments from the new testament under grace, Christians are filled with unreasonable biases. Christianity in general is sexist, homophobic, pro-slavery, bigoted, etc… In order to be a true Christian you must be willing to sacrifice your ability to reason and rationalize, you must put unquestioning faith now matter how impossible it is first.

You must accept that you are nothing more than a piece of navel lint and that without God you are absolutely worthless, you must sacrifice your will for his will whatever you believe that will might be. You must be untrue to yourself since everything that might bring you joy out of life for instance a homosexual relationship is a sin before the Lord. Or not having an abortion after having been impregnated by a rapist simply because the church tells you it is a sin before God.

Once the poison of Christian beliefs and biases enter your system and take over your mind, you become the most hypocritical bigot on the face of the earth. All of a sudden the world and everything in it has to conform to your beliefs and what you believe to be your gods will. The world becomes a hostile place and everything you can possibly think of as wrong with the world centers on its lack of submitting to your religious convictions and beliefs. What you fail to realize my dear Christian is that religious beliefs have been around since mankind’s infancy, and that throughout its existence it has varied and changed as knowledge about the world we live in has changed and increased.

Religious beliefs are a personal choice and are not meant to be shoved down the throats of those that differ or refuse to accept them. An atheist has free will in that he is much more closer to living his life and doing what makes him happy. As long as his life choices are benevolent and do not harm his fellow members of society they are acceptable. He is not a slave to dogma or religion everything he does is because he wants to and chooses to. He does not behave a certain way because it is what is required by his deity of choice, he does not withhold those things in life that bring him pleasure because it violates a command of an imaginary deity.

The atheist enjoys life to the fullest and when he decides to help out a fellow human in need he does so not because he is trying to do God’s will, but because he is doing his own will. And whenever he does a good deed he feels good and can take the full credit for his labor of love. Not having to hand over credit to the grace of God but rather to the goodness of his own heart and convictions. Christianity breeds hypocrisy, and hypocrisy separates man from his true nature and self.

Friday, October 1, 2010

No one has come back from the dead! Ever!!

Religious beliefs aside from being nothing more than wishful thinking and delusional; are also guilty of perpetuating a false outlook on life in general. Christianity for example emphasizes the so called spiritual life over that of the physical life, it teaches that this life is temporary which it is, and that it is that afterlife which is eternal and that each one should strive to achieve.

It teaches its adherents to abhor this life in exchange for a life that cannot possibly be proven to exist since no one has ever been known to return from the dead outside of mythology. You can argue that Christ returned from the dead but in doing so you face several dilemmas. Namely, having to prove that Christ existed as an historical figure, that the gospel narrative are reliable sources of information regarding his life and if possible provide secular evidence that corroborates those narratives.

There is also the issue of proving that he died by way of crucifixion, was entombed in a cave for three days, and finally that he rose from the dead. The gospels state that he was seen by his apostles and immediate followers, but according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:6 he was also seen by over 500 witnesses after his resurrection.

I don’t know about you but I find it hard to believe that if so many people saw Christ after he was allegedly dead that no one thought that this event was significant enough to write about. I do know that there was a huge amount of illiteracy in those days, but biblical accounts state that Jesus had contact with the scribes and the Pharisees often and they were certainly not illiterate. Yet there is nothing written by any of them that have survived or been discovered to this day.

According to Paul; Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 14-17). The bible is full of tales and myths of men being brought back to life after having been dead as in the case of Lazarus and several others both in the old and new testaments. None of these so called resurrected figures uttered on single solitary word about what happened to them on the “other side”.

Evidence of this so called afterlife is scant and the so called evidence that does exist is dubious at best and very suspect. Don’t get me wrong I personally had some experiences as a child that I thought at the time were actual sightings of full bodied apparitions and such, but as an adult I question myself and wonder if these experiences were not the result of a young child’s active imagination. Let’s not forget that there are also several mental illnesses that make it difficult for a person to tell the difference between reality and fantasy.

I therefore conclude that no one has ever returned from the dead, especially after three days or more of being in the grave. I know the bible states that Jesus did not decay while he was in the grave, but that would be a miracle and we know miracles of a divine nature don’t exist. With rigor mortis and cellular death after a few hours of physical death this just makes Jesus resurrection an impossibility.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sexual deviancy amongst the clergy

In an article entitled 'Celibacy of the clergy' found in the Catholic encyclopedia an attempt is made to defend the churches position that priests and those in the higher orders are to remain celibate, the reason given for this in a nut shell is that a celibate priest will dedicate himself completely and wholly to those things of God. It states that for a clergy to have a wife and family would not allow for him to fulfill his duties in the service of the Lord since his mind is also preoccupied with that of his family and if it came between putting his family or the church first that he would always choose family. With a family his service to the Lord would not be a way of life but rather more like an occupation.

In this short article I am going to state my position on this view and although in the article from which the churches position was drawn it has been refuted somewhat I intend to prove that it is a valid argument nonetheless. One of the reasons I believe that the Catholic church is plagued with scandals of sexual misconduct is that it seeks for its clergy to suppress what I like to refer to as their "natural instincts". I firmly believe in the theory of evolution and accept the fact that we are in fact a part of the wild kingdom, and upon being so we are genetically coded with certain instincts that are not unique but rather common to all species of life on this planet. Those instincts are that of survival and the propagation of our species or race. Natural selection teaches that a species must do both and not only that but that they must also have the ability to adapt to subtle changes in their environment to survive. Those species that fail to adapt end up going extinct.

The principal means through which one is to propagate the species and in so doing thus increase the survival rate of said species is through the act of sexual intercourse, although this should be done responsibly. Even the biblical God is said to recognize this fact when one of his principle commands to Adam and Eve and others in the scriptures was to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:27,28 27. God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.28. God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.' (New Jerusalem Bible) In the old testament the tribe of Levi was designated by God as the priests of the tabernacle and they all had families and stayed true to the initial commandment God gave man. Paul in the new testament was the one that stated that not all can bear the burden of being celibate but recommended it as a better way to serve God wholly. Here it is in Pauls words: 32. I should like you to have your minds free from all worry. The unmarried man gives his mind to the Lord's affairs and to how he can please the Lord;33. but the man who is married gives his mind to the affairs of this world and to how he can please his wife, and he is divided in mind.34. So, too, the unmarried woman, and the virgin, gives her mind to the Lord's affairs and to being holy in body and spirit; but the married woman gives her mind to the affairs of this world and to how she can please her husband.35. I am saying this only to help you, not to put a bridle on you, but so that everything is as it should be, and you are able to give your undivided attention to the Lord. 1Corinthians 7:32-35 (New Jerusalem Bible)

What the church fails to emphasize is that this in and of itself is not a commandment but rather Pauls own opinion on the matter he makes this clear: 25. About people remaining virgin, I have no directions from the Lord, but I give my own opinion as a person who has been granted the Lord's mercy to be faithful. 1 Corinthians 7:25 (NJB) Man is an instinctual animal and the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to rationalize things, to think things through. Before fornication was declared a sin man was doing it all the time, and even after it was a sin man continued to do it even unto this day. As a matter of fact taken in its cultural context the so called sin of adultery was loosely defined since in those days bigamy was not considered a sin. Many of the patriarchs and other figures in the bible had multiple wives and even concubines.

It is my contention that the suppression of the sexual drive is one of the many leading causes of the sexual misconduct that plagues the Catholic church and also Protestants as well. Although protestants are allowed to marry, there are very strict rules as to who you can marry etc. Of course there are also other psychological factors that may contribute to these problems but I think that suppression is the main catalyst.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm a liberal atheist

Contrary to what many theists think about atheists and morality I would like to state for the record that you don't need God to have morals, morals are taught and learned through the culture and society of ones upbringing. There were existing cultures where at one time or another cannibalism was very prevalent and in fact common place, mostly for sacrifice and ritualistic purposes. Something as horrible as cannibalism is frowned upon here in the West and in other corners of the world as barbaric and even savage. But to those people in those cultures it was the norm, even today there are still some obscure tribes that ingest a a beverage made of the ashes of their dead loved ones upon their passing. The tribe that does this specifically to this day is the Uape indians of the Amazon here is a brief description of the practice:

I am what I like to call a very liberal atheist, what I mean by this is that I have a very relaxed policy regarding my personal life and morals. I drink as much or as little as I want, I can sing, dance, and do so many things, and my only rule is that you don't harm anyone else. I am of the opinion that we only live once, heaven and hell are nothing more than ancient myths and modern delusions. Life is short and there is no time to waste you do what makes you happy and you enjoy every second of it for better or for worse because you only live once and you don't get a second chance at this.

Religion and religious practice on the other hand are a complete and utter waste of time, especially those religions that are restrictive regarding what you can and can't do. Many of mans natural pleasures for example are considered sins in the bible, but when you are an atheist you don't have to worry about offending the imaginary guy in the sky. Instead you live life and you live it to the fullest.You enjoy your friends and relatives, and especially your personal relationships with other people, as an atheist I don't discriminate against anyone for their life style. I have a live and let live policy, basically what you do with your life is your business. I remember when I was in 11 grade in high school that I commented to a friend that I liked Elton Johns music. His reply was "yeah but he's a faggot". My reply was "I don't give a shit what he does in the privacy of his bedroom I just like his music.

A lot of the prejudices that plague our society are biblically based, and I dare say that they are the result of religious teachings. The bible condemns gays, advocates slavery, discriminates against women, instead of being a message of love it is in fact a message of hate. It separates the believers from the nonbelievers and calls the believers special, the light of the world etc. It gives the believers that sense of being better than anyone else who does not believe as they do. Although the bible teaches that you should not judge lest ye be judged the first to judge and condemn the world are the Christian and Muslim communities. I am discriminated against for simply not accepting to believe in your fairy tales and myths.

I am called immoral for not submitting my life and my will to your imaginary guy in the sky, yet in the midst of all this I am enjoying my life. I don't concern myself with hell for hell does not exist. You may ask yourself, how can I be so sure? It's easy, a quick review of the histories of religious beliefs demonstrate clearly that they are legends and tales created by man to explicate the many things that they did not understand in a more primitive day and age.

My advice to all of you is that you live now, live right, and most importantly live right now. No one knows what tomorrow may bring nor how many of us will be fortunate enough to rise out of our beds to face yet another day on this glorious earth and indulge in this wonderful thing called life.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The futility of theology and apologetics

The futility of theology and apologetics

Apologetics: 1. systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine) 2. a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity
Hermeneutics: 1. the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)2. a method or principle of interpretation (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

I felt it was important to define those two words above in this article to try to bring to the understanding of my readers how believers (particularly Christians) interpret the bible, and also manipulate the text to fit their beliefs. First off let me let you know from the start that I consider the so called study of theology to be completely and utterly useless, since it is based on a book or books of myths. The study of God in the Christian sense is a dead end road in my opinion, since the facts of God's existence aren't there. Their source is a book written approximately 5 thousand years ago if you include the Old Testament with the New Testament. Arguing from the information provided in the bible regarding the attributes of God is an exercise in futility.

The main reason that I think it is futile to argue about God and his attributes from the bible is because to do so you have to first accept on faith that the bible is in fact the divinely inspired word of the God they claim to believe in. I have always stated that a revelation is only a revelation to the one claiming to have had it, to the rest of us it is nothing more than hearsay. If you are the second person that is told this revelation, you have to take the person that is telling you this on his word without any evidence since it cannot be proven, that is unless the deity decides to show up again and confirm it to you as well. There are many things in my opinion that contradict the bibles claims for divine inspiration, but the one that stands out the most is that a lot of the so called historical events in the scriptures have not been confirmed by secular historians. Aside from this, granted the bible was not meant to be a book on science it nonetheless makes scientific claims regarding biology,cosmology etc. Taking into account this fact, a lot of the so called science that is represented in the bible has been disproven thoroughly by the scientific community.

Aside from these problems there is nothing in the bible that screams divine inspiration, in fact when I read it it confirms even more to me that the biblical god is nothing more than a divine representation of man. The biblical god has all of the good and bad qualities of man, thus this leads me to conclude that man is not made in the image of God but rather that God is made in the image of man. Man created gods and have been doing so since time immemorial, what separates the Christian God from the other mythological gods is that it was embraced by the Roman empire and empowered by the state to overthrow any and all myths that were considered pagan or even heretical. This power that was gained by the Christians put them in a position of dominance and they used that power to eradicate all other competing belief systems in the region, thus expanding their empire and implementing laws that were enforced on their behalf by the Roman state.

Due to the many modern discoveries of science, religion was forced to sort of change with the times, they did this by reinterpreting scriptures to conform to scientific discoveries. Generally there are three main ways to interpret scriptural texts: literal, allegorical, and typical. One of the things Christians do well is circular argumentation, they can keep you on a merry go round forever if you let them. Here is how they do it: if a text or story makes no literal sense then they allegorize it and say that it is meant to illustrate a truth, or they typify it and say that it is representative of something else as in Adam being the type of Christ in the N.T. Quite frankly if you were to interpret the bible in a literal sense in its entirety you would have some huge problems trying to explain away the many absurd events and occurrences that supposedly happened in the biblical narratives. So to make sense out of nonsense you must use other methods of interpretation to try to save the text and maintain its integrity against any and all forms of scrutiny.

Christians were right to name the defense of biblical doctrines apologetics, notice the similarity between the word apologetics and apology? Taken in this sense although inaccurate, makes sense. They should be sorry for deceiving countless generations into believing in a delusion with several ulterior motives, namely: power and control through intimidation and fear of the masses. Theists would love nothing more than to turn the world into a theocracy based on the Christian tenets of belief, although this has been achieved in history it has proven to produce disastrous results. The maiming and killing of all those deemed pagans, heretics, witches, gays, etc. in the name of God is something that you cannot ignore or simply sweep under the rug. Apologetics is simply a means to maintain your faith against all evidence to the contrary through the manipulation of biblical texts and their interpretations.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

From Christianity to Atheism Pt. 13

After having left the church one of the things I found most amazing were the stories that were circulating around the church about me, I left and pretty much nothing changed about me except that I had eliminated God from my life. I continued doing what I always was doing which was basically taking care of my wife and family and working for a living, I never was into the street scene or hanging out or doing drugs or other illicit activities. My only vice that I still have till this day is beer, I enjoy my occasional beer from time to time at home with my wife. Yet some that knew me, specifically my brother in law said that I started drinking since I left the faith not knowing that I have been drinking beer since my last two years of high school.

When I joined the church of course I stopped drinking and smoking cigarettes, but when I left I picked up drinking on the weekends again but I never returned to smoking cigarettes. It has been 20 years since I last smoked a cigarette and I plan to stay this way since I find smoking a little bit repulsive, the very smell at times nauseates me. As I stated before religious beliefs are mostly fear based and I got my good dose of warnings and even so called prophecies about how bad things were about to get for me if I left the Lord. In fact, the total opposite happened; when I left the Lord and took back charge of my life things started to get better for me. Within a few months I was at a great job and ended up staying there for 7 in a half years. I was making good money and had a lot of perks that came with the job such as free access to books on all sorts of subjects before they even hit the market.

I recall one incident where I ran into a young man about my age after I left the church and it just so happened that when he saw me on the bus I was reading Darwins 'Origin of species'. He greeted me and he had his bible in his hand and the first thing that he asked me was what church I had been attending, I told him that I had become an atheist and that I no longer attended church nor had an interest in doing so. His reply was the standard trash about what a terrible thing it was to have known god then to have turned your back on him etc. Then when he glanced down at my book he said: " It is because you read trash like that that you have been lead astray". I immediately went on the attack and told him it is because you read and believe in your myths and fairy tales that you can't cope with reality. With that he seemed to get angry and walked away from me and that was the end of the conversation.

A couple of years later I ran into an old friend from the church on the street and when he saw me his face went pale, he called me and came running to me and gave me a huge hug. He told me that he had heard that I was dead and could not believe that I was still around, the rumor in the religious circles that knew me was that I had become a drug addict. Some even claimed to have seen me standing in various street corners nodding off on my feet as would someone addicted to heroine. It's almost as if for them to be able to validate their beliefs they wish you the worst to be able to demonstrate what happens to someone who turns his back on God. I grew tired of hearing from theists on the street that I met randomly after they heard my story would right out start with the death and hell threats etc.

I found that when I broke free from the fetters of religion that I was truly happy. I felt so free since I found that religious life for me was oppressive. Without god my thoughts and feelings are my own. I don't rely on fairy tales and myths to guide my life I rely on my own common sense and abilities to adapt to any challenges I face in my own personal life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 12

When I left the church there were two things that absolutely turned me off to the prospect of ever returning. I have always referred to Christians as hypocrites and even to this day I continue to do so, because of their beliefs they seem to be a part of an exclusive club. When I left the church I had contact with one or two of my friends that had visited me once afterward, but that was the last time I ever heard of them. As soon as I left everyone who I at one time called a friend and a brother in Christ turned their backs on me and did not even care to visit or call me to inquire why I had left. It was as if they never knew me, I followed suit and did not bother to contact anyone as well. I had so many questions and doubts, I was filled with fear regarding the consequences of my actions at the time.

Needless to say those fears were unfounded but I did not know this till I had done my research and had come to the conclusion that there simply was no God. It's funny but there are so many aspects of the Christian faith that are outright ridiculous and one of them was actually illustrated in the movie 'Bruce Almighty' with Jim Carrey in the starring role. When God handed his powers over to him and he began to hear prayers from the faithful in his head it was driving him crazy so he thought that he would devise a way to store and catalog those prayers. He thought about post its and the room including him were instantly flooded with post its, then he devised a computer system to receive prayers as emails but he was receiving email by the millions every minute. The idea of some deity sitting up in his heavenly throne, watching everyone and everything that is going on in this Earth is beyond ludicrous.

The idea of prayer is silly and seems more like an exercise in futility, the thought of a god coming to Earth and dying on a cross to redeem mankind from the mess that he himself created is insane. Jesus died and came back from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, he was supposedly seen by over 500 people yet no one thought to write about this amazing event outside of the scriptures. One of the things I did as a sign of rebellion was to burn my bible to ashes, I had made a conscious decision that I would no longer rely on an ancient book of myths and fairy tales to guide my life. Once I read the bible in its entirety I became disgusted with this God it spoke of, and I would rather die than serve him. Another thing I discovered is that if you read the bible you will notice that a lot of the language regarding the relationship with God and man is similar to that used by slave owners. Christians are called servants of the Lord, they refer to their deity as their lord and master, he dictates and you are to obey it is as simple as that. You don't really have free will when you serve the Lord since one of the first things you have to do is to submit your will to the will of your "creator".

Some questions you might have about God are taboo and border on you committing the horrible sin of blasphemy for simply doubting certain things about him, you are not allowed to question his rule or to criticize his actions as I have and always do. You are always told in church how great God is and how just he is but you are never told about the millions of people that he killed in the bible or had his so called "chosen people" kill for him. You are not told how his people owned slaves and bought and sold them, or how they would invade towns and cities and kill all the men, women, and at times male children and were instructed to keep the virgin women as servants to themselves.

7.And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 9.And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. 17.Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.18.But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:7,9,17,18. (KJV)

It was things like this that pushed me further away from God and even if he did exist I would not serve such a tyrant, I would gladly take my place in hell before I bow down to this beast. No matter how you spin some of the tales in the bible there is nothing just about this god.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 11

If there is one thing that I have learned from theism is that it relies on the ignorance of its followers. The whole idea of faith over reason is a major component of theistic beliefs, faith requires that you accept theistic principles without question. Theists have come up with apologetics out of necessity to justify their beliefs to skeptics. If you analyze for instance the bible and its various themes you will see them for the myths that they are, theist themselves admit that the bible makes no sense if you try to interpret it in a literal manner.

So to counter this problem the church has come up with several means of interpreting scripture, there is the literal, allegorical, and historical. Generally when a text either contradicts known facts and scientific discoveries then the text is not meant to be taken literally, it is mean to be interpreted allegorically. If a text is not too improbable then it is to be taken literally, but if it can be confirmed through secular means by historians then it can be interpreted as an historical document.

Christians go out of their way to reconcile the bible and their silly beliefs to the modern world and modern discoveries. They grasp at straws to try to rescue their beliefs from sounding and looking silly from a logical perspective. One of the most common arguments is that of the seven days of creation. Some branches of theism say that it was indeed a literal seven days of creation, but others state that it was not meant to be interpreted as a literal seven days. I believe this latter interpretation is due to the pressure coming from the scientific community that states that the world is not seven thousand years old but rather 4.5 billion years old. In order to bring scripture inline with this discrepancy theists have come up with the allegorical interpretation that basically states that it's not a literal seven days but rather an indeterminate amount of time.

Between verses one and two of chapter 1 of Genesis some christians have inserted this undetermined amount of time to fill in this discrepancy between science and religion. It seems that every time that biblical interpretations come into conflict with scientific discoveries the theists must then reinterpret their holy texts to make them agree with science. I personally as a theist had many questions regarding my beliefs, and when I came across something in the bible that did not quite make sense I then had to try to make sense of it. I would read books on biblical exegesis and hermeneutics to try and see the various viewpoints that the so called church scholars would come up with.

Science on more than one occasion has proven theology wrong and has time and time again shown how false their beliefs are and how their deity God did not and could not have inspired the bible. The most frustrating thing was when you went to those that were supposed to help you with these issues (church elders) you would get some silly replies about doubt and how in the end times God would make all these things known to us and not to worry about those things now. I was not satisfied with that answer, and even to this day my curiosity pushes me to delve even further in to those things that grab my attention. Religion no longer serves as a stimulus for intellectual pursuit, I see it for what it is: a myth.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 10

There are many reasons why I left the faith, but one of the key reasons was that I had read the bible. There is an ongoing joke among atheists that states 'How do you convert a theist into an atheist? And the answer is that you should let him read the bible.' Regardless of context in the numerous cases of cruelty perpetrated by the biblical God against humanity, I found it hard for me to believe in him and found it more reasonable to accept that natural disasters for instance or birth defects are natural occurrences rather than acts of God.

One of the many things I found irritating about being a Christian is that you have to constantly defend the actions of your god at the expense of degrading yourself. We are supposed to be thankful to God everyday for giving us life and sacrificing his son/his self for mankind so that we can have eternal life in some imagined paradise up in the sky. The very idea of some creative being living in the sky or some other dimension, watching us, and dictating how things play out in every single individuals life is outright ludicrous. I've always said that when someone is praying he is supposed to be talking with God but when someone is talking to himself or some imagined person or friend he is considered mentally ill. I personally don't see any difference between the two acts.

The idea of people in a church singing to the imagined guy in the sky with arms raised above their heads jumping and carrying on is sad and at the same time looks foolish. I tend to pity Christians in general and Islamist who have to bow their heads in submission and pray 5 times a day facing the East etc. I personally think that anyone how does these things is mentally insane and completely deluded and out of touch with reality.

Life in general is what it is and I don't see us as greater than the animals, I see us as equal with them. We are all mortals and we have an expiration date that comes with our life, the thing is we don't know when that is. Some die at birth or in the womb, while others live to be a ripe old age and get to experience a lot of the things that life has to offer. Why waste your life praying to a deity that there is no evidence even exists? Why waste your time putting everything into the service of this deity and even sacrificing your life and what you want to do in exchange for your perceived idea of what this deity wants and desires?

In fact, what does this deity want and desire? Well, if you read your bible it seems that he can't get enough of worship and praise. He thrives on your submission to him and your complete obedience to him. He likes constantly reminding you that if it were not for his mercy you would not even be alive or spared his torment at the place he himself has made called hell after you die. I personally don't take too kindly to threats so the old torment after death thing does not sit well with me, and submission to an imagined authority fits in that same category.

One of the things I find most fascinating about life is its randomness and unpredictability, we are here today and may be gone a minute from now. That is why I live my life to the fullest each and everyday, without God life just makes so much more sense to me than if there were a god at all. I don't need to pray, I have no need for worship, I am content to enjoy the mystery and wonder that is life till it's my turn to check out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 9

The one thing I can say about my Christian experience was that at the time I wholeheartedly believed everything I learned and preached about, I was one hundred percent honest and sure of my convictions as a believer. Towards the last year of my ministry it seemed that almost every time I met a so called prophet of the Lord whether it was at a church gathering or while visiting another church of the same denomination they would always tell me that God wanted me to start praying for the sick. I was asked repeatably by many about why I was holding back since it was obvious that God had given me the gift of divine healing. I at times would go to church and when they would pray for me at the altar they would anoint my hands with oil and time and again proclaim that I had the gift of healing. People that have heard me preach at my home church and at other churches I had preached at would claim healings to which I never had any evidence of. Even as a believer I was very skeptical when it came to the topic of faith healing.

It was ironic that this was going on in my life because when I would be at home late at night in the solitude of my room, I would be on bended knee praying to God and telling him that I was willing to do anything for him including die if need be. But the one thing I would not and could not do in good conscience was involve myself in faith healing and implementing that into my ministry. You might say I was being rebellious but the truth is that I did not want to be associated with the many charlatans in the field of faith healing, I did not want to be counted among the scam artists out there such as Benny Hinn, R.W. Shambach, Robert Tilton, Morris Cerullo, and the list goes on and on. I was serious about my service to the Lord, my ministry for the Lord meant everything to me.

I was not one to jump for joy when someone I did not know would climb the altar to testify how God had healed him/ her from Aids or some other mortal disease or ailment and I felt I was right by doing so. In fact I had the bible scripture to back me up regarding this matter: 18And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.19Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. Mark 5:18,19 This tale tells of a man possessed of a legion of demons who lived in the tombs and would constantly hurt himself and run around howling and acting like a mad man, but when he saw Jesus he approached him and the Lord cast the demons out of him. Notice when he was healed he wanted to follow Jesus but instead Jesus told him to go to home and to his friends for the sole purpose of them seeing what God had done for him.

Simply put, if I did not know you your testimony was worthless to me unless you had adequate evidence that you were in fact at the advance stages of Aids. Evidence to me in those days would have been detailed medical records of your diagnosis from beginning to end, maybe some pics of yourself with all the tell tale signs of the disease such as purple spots and being extremely skinny and ill. But as far as your word goes it meant squat to me, since I knew that there were so many out there trying to make a name for themselves in the church with the ultimate goal being to use that as an impetus to prosperity.

I actually knew a man in our church who died from a hernia!! He was afraid to get surgery for it and so it ballooned out of proportion and popped, the whole time when he was asked about it he claimed that he knew God would heal him. As a result of his illness he did not smell to good either, but all in all he was a good man. He made a living selling hot dogs and lived alone. Many have died awaiting a miracle or believing that they have received one from some charlatan preacher telling them that they were healed.My own step father almost died from angina a couple of years earlier because my ministry partner prayed for him and told him to throw away his heart medication that God had healed him. Luckily for him my mother held onto his meds, he only lasted three days before he had to take them again. Faith healing should be labeled faith killing and now as then I despise the practice of it and pity those that fall prey to its lies that may lead to even death.

Monday, September 6, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 8

One of the many things I found most annoying was that my ministry partner used a lot of fear tactics to scare people into converting to fundamentalist Christianity. For example he tended to believe that all sickness was as a result of the devil, or a consequence of your disobedience to God. I recall one particular day when we were out preaching in the streets that he called a woman forward out of the crowd. He stared into her eyes intently and told her that there was a "spirit of Aids" standing behind her and it was itching to get in, but if she gave her life to Christ right then and there that she would be saved from contracting that disease. He pretty much demonized every natural disease or disorder and used that methodology to obtain converts. Honestly I don't know if he did that intentionally or whether he did it unconsciously and actually believed what he was telling these people, but somehow deep inside I thought it was wrong in so many ways.

After having left the church I realized that Christianity as a whole is fear based and also one big self imposed guilt trip for those who choose to subscribe to those beliefs, this was one of the first things I argued against when I first began refuting Christian theology. Think about it for a minute, about 7,000 years ago Adam and Eve disobeyed Gods command to not eat of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for in the day that they did so they would surely die Genesis 2:16,17. The rest of the story is told in Genesis 3 and according to Christianity this led to the fall of mankind because sin had been introduced in the world. God being pure and sinless etc. could not tolerate sin and so separated himself from mankind. He threw the couple out of the garden of Eden and imposed some curses upon all of mankind. I personally take issue with this matter since I don't like the idea of us vicariously being accused for something we had nothing to do with in the first place.

God goes on to later deliver the Hebrews from Egypt and establish his laws that also entailed was in which mankind can still approach him through a system of animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people, individuals, and tribes. This was supposed to be a type of what Christ was later to achieve through his death and resurrection on the cross. And as a result of it we are supposed to be forever grateful to God through our service and acceptance of Christ as our Lord and savior. This deity is not much different from the many deities throughout history who craved blood as a means of atonement or to appease an angry god and to stay his wrath from coming down upon humanity. 'And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.' Hebrews 9:22

What many Christians don't know is that on two occasions God did in the one case try one of his servants by asking for a blood sacrifice and on another occasion he accepted a blood sacrifice from a human who had promised him one. These tales can be found in the bible you can read about Abraham's test of faith where God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis chapter 22. And you can read about how Jephthah sacrificed his daughter to the Lord in Judges 11:30-39 apologists have tried hard to explain this text without Jephthah actually sacrificing his daughter but the text is in and of itself pretty clear that he did so "as he had vowed". And not to mention the ultimate human sacrifice of Christ himself. Vicarious suffering in my view is ridiculous and cruel considering that it punishes the innocent for the sinners in Gods eyes. If you commit a crime the only one who should be held responsible for that crime is you and only you. You can't execute a man for instance for a crime committed by his friend or his brother.

Christians are constantly degrading themselves for the sake of their imaginary deity, they don't value life as us atheists do and apparently have no self esteem. To them self esteem is arrogance and pride. It irritates me to no end when I hear Christians saying that they are nothing without God, that is a load of bullshit if you would just let God go and live your life productively and enjoy everything it has to offer. God is nothing more than an inhibitor, living life under his rule is just as bad as living under tyranny. I choose life, freedom, and the right to enjoy myself and those I love.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 7

After having officially left the church I still did not consider myself an atheist, my search for God had ended but now I was on a completely different mission. I now had to find logical explanations for the various experiences I had as an evangelist and had witnessed in my ministry. So I started from what I thought was the most logical place, I began reading books on psychiatry and psychology. That later led me into studying traditions and mythology and eventually I ended up trying to explain each and every experience that at one time I had deemed supernatural. I had a lot of questions and needed answers so I began to read as objectively as possible everything I could get my hands on that would help me explain away (debunk) most of what I had seen as an evangelist.

I learned about the placebo effect and psycho-somatic disorders and began to apply what I had learned to the many so called people who at one time or another testified to being healed from some ailment through my ministry. I learned about hypnosis and how it was used to help people with addictions and also suppressed memories etc. The more I learned the more my former religious beliefs were becoming irrelevant and exposed for the sham that they really were. I look at religious beliefs now as something silly and foolish. People worshiping a deity that they have no evidence exists whatsoever just does not make any sense to me now, I actually feel pity for those people that I find today that are still trapped in those superstitions.

Traditions die hard and religious beliefs have been around as far back as man would allow himself to remember, religious beliefs have grown and evolved and continue to do so even today. Christianity and Islam have not evolved much in my opinion, the only thing that has evolved is the way the various believers of said religions interpret what they believe. The bible has been translated from its original languages to so many other languages and has in and of itself gotten lost in translation, every group or culture now interpret it according to how they view their world and society. Like Christianity, Islam is just an offshoot of the old Hebrew religions. All religions are influenced by the cultural beliefs of where they originated from. Have you ever noticed how in the middle east the women for instance are second class citizens? How the O.T. makes the woman be created out of man and therefore is supposed to be subject and obedient to man?

Every bad thing that our world could do without is contained in the bible, there is racism in that the Hebrews/Jews are supposedly Gods chosen people. The so called salvation that we as gentiles have obtained is as a result of the Hebrews rejecting Jesus as their messiah. Jesus stated clearly that he had come for the lost sheep of Israel in Matthew 15:24 the gentiles (anyone who was not a Jew) was oftentimes called a dog or a swine in the scriptures. As anyone reading the book of Matthew might be able to see by reading chapter 15 Jesus referred to a Canaanite woman as a dog and when she pleaded that even dogs eat from the crumbs of the masters table he was moved and did as she asked.

I found out that this biblical God was many things I did not want to be and that I felt were in fact detrimental to any society. He was a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a tyrant, and as evil as any man in history that I can think of. I eventually compared God to Hitler because I saw many similarities between the two that were just undeniable to anyone who would dare to analyze them both objectively without having his/her mind clouded with superstition and fear. The biblical god was a murderer and a self absorbed prick, I would rather go to hell if that place existed before ever subjecting myself to the service of a tyrant.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 6

The straw that broke the camels back for me once and for all and finally gave me that last impetus to abandon my faith happened in one of my churches seminary classes. I had been attending seminary and was very excited to see in our text book that we would soon be talking about the theory of evolution, but when that day came something surprising happened that upset me a great deal. In fact there were two things that happened to me while I was at seminary that infuriated me beyond measure.

The first and most insignificant incident was that we had a student in our class; a man who was at the time in his late thirties. He basically cheated his way through the entire year by various means, our tests were pretty simple the instructor used to give us an outline of what we needed to know for the test and on test day you just had to put it on paper. What irritated me about the fact that this man was cheating through seminary was that he outwardly projected the appearance of an upright and honest Christian, and instead here he was acting like a sheep in wolfs clothing. He had all of the elders of the church fooled with his charade of holiness and even though he was not a minister he was often allowed to sit on the altar with the rest of the ministers and elders of the church throughout the service. One day myself and a couple of other students brought this problem to the instructor of the class privately, it was a problem because he was the number one student because of his cheating, he always got one hundred on every exam.

What the instructor did shocked us all! He literally said "leave it in the hands of the Lord" and that was the end of it. He did not privately approach him or chastise him for it, in fact he did nothing at all. At the end of the school year during the graduation ceremony I ended up being the number two student of the class and the cheater ended up being the outstanding student of the year. I went home and tore my diploma and was at this time seriously considering never going back to my home church again, but I didn't and I stuck it out a little longer.

The second and most significant event that pushed me closer to leaving was when we finally reached the chapter on alternative theories of creation, I had been anticipating this for most of the year but my excitement that day was short lived. When the instructor came to the theory of evolution a big wide grin came upon his face, he had that look of mockery in his eyes. With that he looked up at the class and said "and finally we've come to the theory of evolution now know that I am a son of God so if you want to believe that you came from a monkey then feel free to do so". He laughed along with the entire class, I was the only one that was not laughing and then he skipped the chapter altogether.

One thing I can say about myself is that I have always been a studious individual, I love learning all kinds of things on all types of subjects. When I was a believer I used to study other religious books from their source materials in order to effectively refute them. I learned about the Jehovah's witnesses from their book 'Reasoning through the scriptures', I read the book of Mormon etc etc. once I took that challenge of reading the bible in its entirety I ended up reading the entire bible four times! I read it 3 times in English and once in Spanish just comparing the two languages I saw many differences in interpretation. As an atheist I have read books on atheism and I tend to favor the classics, but I have also been very interested in evolution and have read most of Richard Dawkins books on the matter and several other authors. I defend my unbelief as effectively as I defended Christianity and have been very direct with anyone who asks me about my religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 5

I remember one day as I was sitting in church our pastor made the suggestion that we all read the bible in its entirety at least once in our lifetime; the purpose of it was so that we as Christians can see Gods plans as they unfolded throughout time. I took this challenge on very seriously, and when I finally got around to doing it what I discovered shocked me. I believed in a god who was our creator, who loved us intensely, who took care of us, that guided us in the spirit as well as in our everyday lives, but that was not the god I found in the bible. The O.T. God was cruel and evil in so many ways, he was unforgiving and even tyrannical. It even said in Genesis 6: 6-7 'And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.' (KJV)

Upon learning about this and other cruelties that the Lord of the O.T. had perpetrated against mankind I began to have questions as to his judgment, I found this biblical deity to be more and more evil as opposed to the benevolent God I thought I worshiped. Then in the N.T. I discovered that he had changed his attitude and his tone, but at the same time the evil was even greater, for the O.T. God just smote you dead and that was it but this N.T. God was not content with just taking your life. This God wanted you to suffer eternally in a place called the lake of fire or hell Matthew 10:28. And what was the crime? The crime was for simply not believing or accepting his sacrificing of himself or his son on the cross. So no matter what kind of life you lived whether you kept the ten commandments to the best of your ability and helped out those in need, according to this deity you were hell bound no matter what. The only way out was to submit your will to his and accept his sacrifice as the only true way to salvation.

The second thing that made me doubt the existence of God was the miraculous aspects of the ministry. I was sitting at home one day watching a documentary on world religions and I came across a ritual that was practiced in India where these young girls did a dance supposedly under the influence of a spirit of a snake. It looked a lot like Christians who were supposedly dancing under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I began to wonder if it was all mental, if there was some kind of correlation between hypnosis and what I was seeing and experiencing in the church myself. I began to read books on therapeutic hypnosis and also its counterpart the entertainment version of hypnosis, I discovered that many of the methods hypnotists use on their patients or participants were the same as the ones used in the church. You had the loud music, the inspirational preaching, the hyped up emotions, and auto suggestion. When a preacher told a congregation that the Spirit of the Lord was about to be unleashed in a wave of blessings upon the congregation and he did a countdown the entire congregation would go into a frenzy. Speaking in tongues, passing out, dancing in the Spirit etc. would all happen at once, I must admit that I was genuinely afraid for the way I was thinking because I did not want to commit the ultimate sin of blaspheming of the Holy Spirit which Jesus said was the only unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:31.

I kept praying to God to show me a sign that my way of thinking was not wrong and that he would guide me in this venture to find out the truth, and ironically I came across a book written by a minister that at the time I felt I could have written myself. It was a book entitled 'Charismatic Chaos' by John MacArthur once I saw this book on the shelf at my christian book store the very title blew me away and spoke volumes to me. I read the cover and decided to buy the book, what I read in there confirmed all of my thoughts and emotions regarding the so called gifts of the spirit and its manifestation in the church. I was so impressed with this book that I wrote its author and he replied about a month later with a list of churches he was affiliated with in my area, I never attended any of those churches. I took it as a sign from God that I had to seek another church that did not emphasize the gifts of the spirit. I began doubting myself and my ministry and could not go on preaching one thing and believing another so I kept it up for a little longer and then I changed to another church.

There was one more thing that happened to me in the church that ultimately was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I was so angry that I left the church once and for all and it has now been 16 years and I have never gone back nor do I feel the need to do so. I honestly feel sorry for those that are still trapped in the delusion that is the belief in God, miracles, and the holy spirit.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 4

It was about 1985 when I back slid from the church and my Christian ways, I had been in the church for about a year in a half. At the same time it was a tough year in a half for me personally, so much so that I found it impossible to serve God and deal with my personal issues all at once. I had made an oath to myself in those days that if I can't serve the Lord one hundred percent then I would not serve him at all. It would not be until 1990 till I came back to the ways of God and began to serve him and returned to the church once again on a mission and on fire for God.

I had gone to the Park one afternoon a few blocks away from my house and all of a sudden this van pulls up. Out came the Spanish Pentecostals with mics and speakers etc. and within a few minutes of their arrival they were preaching and those that came along were handing out bible tracts to everyone around. I sat there and listened to the evangelist preach his message and when he made the altar call I responded but my only intention was to receive some prayer. Then as he prayed for me he stopped and told me that God had revealed to him that he wanted me to accept him then and there and that I should testify. I did as I was told and then after the street service was over the evangelist invited me to their next church service.

That day I arrived home from that service and told my mother that I had accepted the Lord back into my life and that I would be attending church very soon. I went straight to the garbage can and reached into my pocket and pulled out the pack of cigarettes I had there and tossed them in the can. As I did so I recall saying to myself : "If I am going to serve the Lord, it's all or nothing". With those words began my second foray into the search for holiness and divine guidance into whatever it was that I believed God called me for. I began once again to pray fervently and constantly seeking the presence of the Lord. I delved into the scriptures daily, seeking guidance and answers to my own situation; things that spoke to my heart and at the same time seemed to speak to me directly.

I began attending church and that same evangelist that found me in the park became my closest friend and ally in the church. It wasn't long before he invited me to partake with him in his street ministry which he conducted every weekend without fail. We would preach in two different sections of Brooklyn, NY on Saturdays and Sundays looking for the lost souls of the world and hoping to lead them into the light of Christ. It also wasn't long before I was back at it casting out demons and praying for the sick and watching people pass out to my own amazement just by a mere touch of my hand or stare. I had matured this time much more than when I was in high school so I was a much more effective evangelist my second time around.

Within a year I was already preaching in many Spanish churches in the community, and often would get invites to partake in outdoor tent revivals. Sometimes I preached or when my partner in the ministry preached in Spanish I would serve as his interpreter in English. With our combined efforts we were bringing in new church members every week and our congregation began to grow quite fast. I went on like this for about 3 years and then came two events that became the turning point in my life that led me to once again doubt the veracity of scripture and even the very existence of God! On my next post I will go into this in depth so I will see you all then.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 3

As a member of the 'New Testament Church' I quickly began to rise up in the ranks as one of the congregations most spiritually gifted and talented youths. I joined the youth association of that church and I remember that every Wednesday we would meet up and go witnessing for at least four hours handing out tracts and ministering to the public. In essence we were out proselytizing, but the goal at least for me was not just to bring more people into the church but rather to lead as many souls to salvation as I could.

During this time I had one particularly touching experience that stays with me to this day. I was out witnessing with a group of youths one evening and they were running down the street handing out tracts to anyone that would accept them. I noticed that they had ran by a homeless man that was sleeping propped up against the side of a building, I caught up to them and asked them why they had passed him by. One of them said "because he's a bum", I rebuked him on the spot and told him that he was not a bum, in fact he was another of gods creatures just like ourselves.

I went over to him and tapped him on the shoulder till he woke up and I simply said as I held out a bible tract to him; "Jesus loves you". This mans response touched me more than any other in all my days in the ministry. He stood up and immediately rivers of tears came pouring down his face as he grabbed me and hugged me. He told me that no one cared for him or even bothered to say a word to him, he was very grateful and I led him to our church to be fed and to see if we could find him some help.

The most heart rending experience I had in the church was when Micheal had back slid and left the ways of the Lord. Since he was the one that got me on this path of righteousness and salvation it hurt me gravely. I tried everything to get him to reconsider coming back, but he was overwhelmed with guilt because he had fornicated with another young lady. To my knowledge he never recovered from that.

It wasn't long before I was praying for the sick and casting out demons and utilizing all of the so called gifts of the Spirit in my personal ministry. But within a year I had backslid myself. I think it was the cumulative pressures at home and some issues I had in my head that pretty much kept me up at night. I can't to this day pinpoint on this particular occasion why I backslid, but my fall was as hard as my rise. And although I left the church I did not lose my respect and fear of God, I was just not ready to come back for a long time. When I did return it was the last time I did and the first time I declared myself an atheist and rejected God completely. More on this in my next post.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 2

The church that my friend Michael had taken me to was called 'The New Testament Church' and I immediately took a liking to it, the people were of various ethnic backgrounds and cultures and they were all in all very warm and friendly. My first day there was when I met what at the time I thought was the most amazing man I have ever met, his name was brother Carland and he was the pastor of the church. This man lived, ate, and slept Jesus and it was quite evident to anyone who met him that he was completely devoted to his church and his ministry. I remember on those nights when I would miss service he would either call me the next day or show up by surprise to see why I had not attended the service of the previous evening. Another thing he did was that if you were having troubles at home it did not matter what day or time you called him he would go out of his way to come see you and pray with you and your family if necessary.

I recall that about the second week of my attending that church there was one particular night when the Holy Spirit seem to be overflowing and God seemed to be pouring out his Spirit and gifts to those that did not previously have them. The church was in literal pandemonium as people danced in the Spirit, spoke new tongues for the first time, received new gifts from the Lord, and those that were bound by dark forces were apparently being set free in masses. The pastor called me up to the altar and said to me that God had told him that I was going to be used greatly and that I would be a powerhouse for the Lord and that God wanted him to baptize me that very night! After the service they took me upstairs to the "faith home" this is where all the senior ministers that were single lived along with the pastor, they brought a couple of witnesses from the service and they filled a bath tub with water and baptized me on the spot! I remember that when I ascended towards the surface of the water and broke through I felt like I was floating on air. I was euphoric for about two hours and could not stop speaking in tongues for about one hour, I was allowed to spend that night but I could not sleep. I spent the night silently praying and praising the Lord for all the blessings I had received on that night.

After that series of events I began to have a recurring dream that often came as I was between half awake and half asleep and my mind at these times could not differentiate from what was real and what was imaginary. I dreamed that I saw Jesus floating down into my room and he always appeared with snakes at his feet, I asked him what should I do? And he said "rebuke them in my name" and when I did they would always disappear. During those days I prayed and fasted often and was completely devoted to being as useful to the Lord as I could possibly be. I also had dreams where I saw myself ascending to heaven and every time I had this dream I was moving higher and higher than on the previous dreams. I began to experience new things spiritually and it was not long before I was displaying new gifts of the spirit in my own evangelical ministry. The new gifts came in the following order: first was the gifts of diverse tongues, the gift of faith, the gift of discerning of spirits, and finally the gift of prophecy. I was still a very young Christian and was growing at a fast pace. I was as fanatical as you can imagine, I knew most of the bible by rote and took it quite literally. By this time I had learned what I termed "power scriptures" that reaffirmed a believers authority in Christ. I employed the bible verses in the many exorcisms I performed during the early part of my ministry.

Our exorcisms were quite different from the practice of the Catholics, we believed in using the spoken word in an authoritative manner and employing the bible verses as the sword of the Spirit as commanded in the scriptures. I personally was on a mission to duplicate or if even possible supersede the miracles that supposedly took place in the New Testament. I followed Ephesians 6: 10-20 literally in my ministry and it always seemed to work. This was the first time I was in church because after about two years I back slid into apostasy, but even then I retained my fear of the Lord and he was as real to me then as when I was devoted to his cause.