Celebrate This

By now it’s well established that I no longer believe in the god I professed for ages, to whom I dedicated 26 years of my life. Yet I celebrate Christmas with much joy and happiness. I bestow and receive gifts. I revel in food and drink, and the fellowship of loved ones and friends. I let the music, lights, and colors of the season wash over me through the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

But what am I celebrating? Is not the holiday the most stark reminder of what I no longer believe, of what I have concluded is a delusion that is detrimental to the peace and growth of our society?

Well… yes and no. Continue reading

That Guy

I love this picture. I love it because it shows one man in a sea of thousands being true to what is right when everyone else is following the crowd.

bethisguy

The man is thought to be August Landmesser, a known detractor who, along with his Jewish wife, paid the ultimate price for his dissent. He was arrested twice and convicted once for trying to marry a Jew. He was pressed into military service with other convicts while his fiancee was sent to a camp and then a Euthanasia center, where she was murdered along with 14,000 others.

This meme has trod a well worn path through Facebook and Twitter, garnering thousands upon thousands of “likes” and shared and reshared, the posters insisting that they are that guy, and would stand up for what was right regardless. Continue reading

Boots on the Ground

One of the knock-on effects of leaving behind the Christian faith is that I have become very anti-war and anti-violence. So when I hear Republicans expounding on the virtues of carpet-bombing civilian populations, it sickens me to no end.

The worst comment came from the execrable Ben Carson, an evangelical neurosurgeon who is far more scientifically ignorant than you would expect a doctor to be. He was asked whether he would have the wherewithal to carpet bomb civilian populations when it meant killing hundreds or thousands of innocent children.

His answer is horrifying: Continue reading

When Pastors Attack

Many of you are at least a little bit familiar with my former pastor, Chuck. Since he’s pretty openly commented here in the past, I don’t see any need to cover up his identity.

I have this blog set to post new articles to my Facebook wall. I’m very open in my atheism and am fortunate to be in a position and a region where it’s mostly irrelevant to my work and social life (California, FTW!)

So in response to my last article, Judge, Jury, and Executioner, Pastor Chuck popped in for a visit. Here’s where it started: Continue reading

Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Several times over the past few years, as I’ve openly examined my past faith and criticized the elements that made it, to me, untenable, I’ve had believers make a particular accusation that always rankled me. It’s actually one that I leveled toward my wife when we were on opposite sides of the wall of faith.

An honest inquiry of the Christian faith requires examination and criticism of all foundational aspects, including the bible, it’s ideas, and particularly, the god it asserts exists and demands our obedient and correct response.

So at times when I have presented my thoughts and my conclusions, I have been accused of judging YHWH. Continue reading

A Little Class

First, I apologize to all my readers/fellow bloggers for not having posted in awhile. It’s all out of busyness. My work has been insane, but for mostly good reasons. I’m planning to get back to the R.C. Sproul book (Pastor Chuck has completed it and I’m well into it.) I also have several other topics I wish to write about and hope soon to find the time.

But in the meantime, a very interesting opportunity for dialogue has dropped into my lap. Back in the day, around 1986, in the first year or so of my Christian experience, Santa Cruz Christian Church began a College and Career group, a youth group for young people transitioning from high school to adulthood. T and I were there with about 15-20 others at that very first meeting. Continue reading

SLO, Seth, and Sacred Cows

I’m a bit late posting this, but better late than never.

While other folks fall asleep to the sounds of the Tonight Show or the dumbass dog barking next door… actually, that’s us sometimes too, but aaaaaanywayyyy…

We often listen to one of several podcasts we enjoy by freethinking secularists or atheists, or the occasional episode of Unbelievable. Well, I listen to the same show several times while T nods after in the first 5 minutes then listens to the next few minutes each night till she gets through the entire show.

One of our favorites is Seth Andrews, of The Thinking Atheist program. In his Christian experience he was a Christian radio host. He still has a very radio-friendly voice. In his book, Deconverted, he recounts his transition from Christian to atheist and the path that took him to his current internet gig.  Continue reading

Lights Out

I think one of the hardest aspects of realizing that we are but really smart members of the animal kingdom is accepting the reality that we are finite. When we die, we will not know that we are dead. It will be as it was before we were born. No us, no conscious knowledge of our state.

Nothing.

Darkness.

Lights out.

For the last seventeen or eighteen years I’ve struggled to get a full night’s sleep. Two years of working two jobs and living on four hours sleep per night wreaked havoc on my sleep patterns. I rarely sleep more than five, five-and-a-half hours. Last night was one of those nights. Continue reading

Double Take

One of my favorite atheist authors, and the one whose work played a key role in my deconversion, happened to find my story recently. I’m not sure how, but it was pretty cool.

For those who haven’t ready through my (overlong) bio, John W. Loftus’ book, Why I Became an Atheist, was instrumental in understanding my own doubts, and in understanding why the arguments of Christian Apologists were not making sense to me, why they were not satisfying my doubts. Continue reading