Yay for Atheist Women!

The clip includes Susan B. Anthony, Kathy Griffin, and Nicole Smalkowski among many, many others :)

(via toomanytribbles)


[tags]atheist, atheism, women, feminism[/tags]

  • http://thescienceethicist.blogspot.com/ Aerik

    Whoa! I don’t know that Kathy Griffin is an atheist.

    On her show “My Life On the D-List”, she ended the episode about her father dying with a shot of a cross on top of a steeple overlooking a sunset.

    Now, I’m pretty sure that as it pertains to her religious affiliation and sensitivities, she had authority to change that kind of thing.

    I think she’s still Catholic like her parents before her.

  • nowoo

    Great video, but it’s only a fraction of the impressive atheist women out there. I didn’t see Eugenie Scott, Carolyn Porco, or Ann Druyan in that video, to name just a few. There’s also the women at skepchick.org of course, and many more. Can anyone else name some more notable atheist women?

  • Mighty Favog

    Can anyone please name the women in that video? I only know about half of them. As a project I’m collecting names of famous and influential atheists.

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  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    A real man would try to help save women from a burning place. Why don’t you try to keep them from hell instead of encouraging destructive behavior. It takes far more love to confront then to ignore the situation.

    Would you let a blind woman heading for a cliff just keep walking also? Those women and your fate is in peril, don’t you understand? Be a man and stand up for what is right instead of encouraging women to perish. Repent and Trust in Jesus today because you are thankful. At least a real man named Jesus Christ paved a way to allow us all to be saved from the eternal lake of fire.

    God’s word declares that this is God’s plan of salvation; 1. Hear the WORD of God. 2. Believe that Jesus is the Messiah. 3. Repent of your ways that are contrary to God’s will. 4. Be Baptized INTO Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 5. Remain faithful to the Covenant you have made with God.

    No go help save those women, chivalry is not dead.

  • Brooke

    You’re right, Dan, shivalry is not dead. My husband opens doors, remembers anniversaries and birthdays, sends me kind messages during the day…and do you want to know the best thing of all? He encourages me to THINK FOR MYSELF.

    I am proud to be an atheist woman.

  • Mighty Favog

    Dan Marvin:

    Yes, Jesus was a real man. That is, he was a MAN and nothing else. Your god is too small to encompass that notion.

  • Miresse

    I’m sure your heart is in the right place Dan, but let’s face it; female atheists don’t need saving from you or any other man. Despite how the patriarchal male-dominated religion of Christianity would have you believe, we ladies aren’t wandering around waiting for some man to save us from our own brains. Thanks, but no thanks. ;) Thanks for sharing that video, Hemant!

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    Miresse: “Despite how the patriarchal male-dominated religion of Christianity would have you believe, we ladies aren’t wandering around waiting for some man to save us from our own brains.”

    “Many women don’t like what the Bible says because it calls wives to “submit to their husbands.” However, submission is not limited to wives submitting to their husbands. We are told to submit to God, governmental authorities, our boss, and leaders in the assembly. We are also told to submit to one another, which includes men submitting women and vice versa. God is a God of order. In a sinful world, submission to those in authority is the only way to maintain order.”

    Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

    Traits from man and woman equal make up “image of God”

    What about Genesis 2:18 where it says it is “not good” for man to be alone.

    How did God treat women? Remember story of Esther?

    You then have to ask, How did Jesus treat women? Like the woman at the well or Mary Magdalene or even the prostitute about to get stoned.

    “The women described in the Bible are not always homemakers and mothers. Obviously, the biological function of women is to produce children. However, Deborah was both a judge and leader of Israel.(Judges 4:4) Other women were involved in ridding Israel of her enemies.(Judges 4:21) Quite a number of women are described as being prophetesses.(Exodus 15:20,2 Kings 22:14,Luke 2:36) Other women in the Bible were involved in teaching the Word of God(Acts 18:26)”

    Countless other verses point to Jesus holding high regard for women.

    “God’s people are referred to as female, not male. In the Old Testament, God’s people are the “daughters of Zion.” The Body of Christ (including us men) is referred to as the “bride” of Christ and God is said to be our “husband.” Whenever referred to by sex, the assembly is described as “she” or “her.” (Ephesians 5:25,27)”

    In conclusion we have one verse that sums it all up: Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    Amen

  • Richard Wade

    This will go on and on, guys.

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    Does it ever seem like men are overrepresented among atheists? Maybe it is just me, but I’m always happy to hear about atheist women because there seem to be so damn few of them.

  • Darren

    I’ve thought many times that we should try a matriarchal society. It seems to me civilised society would be much better off with more (mostly) women in charge.

    @Dan Marvin: quoting scripture to atheists is like using a chocolate teapot. Pointless, ineffective and mildly irritating.

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William

    I have to admit, when I first saw Dan’s mention of a burning place, I thought he was going to refer to the burning of witches.

  • Jen

    Shorter Dan Martin: Women are stupid.

    I am not going to say that atheists are completely gender-neutral, or that we have entirely thrown out the gender roles our society has given us, but at least we aren’t reading a book that basically encourages and supports the Dan Martins of the world. Some people see the Bible as supportiveof women; I have never felt that way. Sure, the OT has some awesome women who kill men, have sex with the king even though they’re Jewish, who talk to dead people, who actually do something. The NT is all virgins, mothers, virgin mothers, and one sinner. Boring. When I was a Christian I was disenchanted by the NT, thinking, what’s in this for me, besides the basic “try to be nice to your dumb little wife” message.

  • Karen

    There’s no doubt Kathy Griffin is an atheist. She just got censored at the Emmys because of her negative comments about religion and religious people. Also, there’s this.

    People recently asked Christopher Hitchens and Ayaan Hirsi Ali about the paucity of females in atheists groups and they had some interesting responses. Hitchens related it to the fears of child-rearing being assuaged by religion and Ayaan talked about how women are thoroughly indoctrinated and sublimated in Islam, so they’re less likely to ever have a chance to think for themselves. I think that’s true, but to a far lesser extent, in some versions of Christianity as well.

  • Mriana

    That’s exactly what I’m trying to say when I start talking about the Psychology of Religion and all the neurology behind it. It’s all chemistry in the brain triggered by some external stimili. The more it’s encouraged in a religious manner in childhood, the stronger it is in a dogmatic religous sense. However, I think nature itself, without religious teaching, could develop this area of the brain and probably far better, esp if science and alike are encouraged. Whatever the case, it’s all neuro-chemistry and as Thomas Paine said, “Religion is the opium of the people”. In this case, it is a natural opiate found in the brain~ Religion to stimulate it, is optional.

    Loved the video, Hemant. Thanks for sharing it. :D

  • Karen

    Mriana, if more kids were not indoctrinated with religion in childhood, I bet they’d have the same reaction to the bible that Richard Wade described reading it for the first time as a young adult. It would be obvious that it was metaphor and that much of it made no sense.

    The reason we don’t get more reactions like that is that most of us were taught about religion from the young age when kids don’t question what trusted adults tell them. It takes a long time to grow out of that, and for many people it never happens at all, as you well know.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Thomas Paine said, “Religion is the opium of the people”.

    He did? I thought that was Marx. “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

    By the way, I know you all are going to be going on about Hitchens’ take on Thomas Paine, I’d recommend going right to Project Gutenberg and reading him direct and unfiltered by the conveniently ex-Trot toper. Talking about self-medication. Thomas Paine is a very readable author, better than Hitchens because he’s not a hypocritical, opportunistic, careerist contrarian.

    There is no “The Bible”. The Bible is an anthology of disparate writings by various people representing various viewpoints in vastly different times. Many of the books are assembled from other sources. A lot of the problem with “The Bible” comes from some, even well meaning, attempts to turn it into a unified religion. The only honest way to read it is in the various contexts, to the extent that those can be recovered.

    I’m really struck about how many of the angry atheists out there seem to be recovering ex-fundamentalists. Maybe fundamentalism leads to atheism. Wouldn’t that be a fun theory to play with and kick around?

  • Mriana

    Karen, I think what you said was what I was trying to say. If we didn’t indoctrinate them into religion, the awe of nature might take that place, but whatever the case, the Bible and religion would not look the same.

    He did? I thought that was Marx. “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

    OK I got my people mixed up, thanks for straightening that out for me, Olvlzl.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    Kathy Grifith said “My parents sent me to Catholic school, which only made me the vehement militant atheist that I am today”

    olvlzl, said “I’m really struck about how many of the angry atheists out there seem to be recovering ex-fundamentalists. Maybe fundamentalism leads to atheism. Wouldn’t that be a fun theory to play with and kick around?”

    Let me clear something up Catholic is NOT Christian. The vast number that is turning towards atheism is a very good indicator that catholicism is a man made religion and not of God. The Bible says to evaluate everything to see if it is of God by its fruit, good tree = good fruit; a bad tree can never bear good fruit. We don’t even have to address the Catholic Church and the mass pedophiles, and the crusades to determine the fruit, it is obvious.

    Don’t turn away from God just because man or satan did something to you. Stay with, and honor, Christ for what he did and you will not perish.

    God’s word declares that this is God’s plan of salvation; 1. Hear the WORD of God. 2. Believe that Jesus is the Messiah. 3. Repent of your ways that are contrary to God’s will. 4. Be Baptized INTO Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 5. Remain faithful to the Covenant you have made with God.

    There is nothing in the New Covenant about popes, priests, or confession to a man or countless other man injected practices of the catholic church.

    Karen said ” It would be obvious that it was metaphor and that much of it made no sense.”

    The Bible is infallible, inspired, and inerrant word of God without fail. There is a reason for it making no sense. It is like reading something in Chinese to some of you. Give someone in the U.S. a book written in Chinese and they don’t understand any of it. If you give that same book to a little 4 year old Chinese boy and he can read it with no problem. That’s why we must be born again to truly understand His word for what it truly means. Once you understand that “other language”, it’s easier to recognize when we hear it. We must be born again into the language of the Lord to understand his book. To the unsaved it is just Chinese. Seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7: John 14:21.

    Mriana added “If we didn’t indoctrinate them into religion, the awe of nature might take that place, but whatever the case, the Bible and religion would not look the same.”

    This statement reminded me of a cartoon that I added to my blog. HERE

    You are all looking at created things (nature itself) with awe when the awe goes to the Creator of said things, sad.

  • http://acriticalmass.wordpress.com Darren

    Dan, I can’t believe you said “The Bible is infallible, inspired, and inerrant word of God without fail”. You’re either a troll, or quite worthy of ridicule.

  • Richard Wade

    :roll: Troll= don’t ridicule, don’t even respond. You’re just feeding it, believe me.

  • Polly

    @olvlzl no ism no ist,

    Maybe fundamentalism leads to atheism.

    No doubt about it. (excuse the pun)

    It’s all-or-nothing thinking that leads directly to either viewpoint. It’s the xian moderates who seem to have the most tenacious grip on their faith. I say this, of course, as an ex-fundie.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    TROLL, noun, often used as an acerbic, puerile, exclamatory insult — a knee-jerk _ad hominem_ often employed in a feeble effort to discredit another poster because one has been flummoxed, proven to be wrong, ignorant or incompetent. TROLL rarely has any practical effect and can be considered a form of farblondzhet, flustered, frustrated spleen-venting by the person who employs it.

  • Karen

    You’ll be surprised, Polly, how many moderate believers you’ll probably come across who are now non-theists. It’s not only us ex-fundies who deconvert, but we’re undoubtedly more vocal about it because it’s more difficult for us. Moderate deconverts don’t have as far to fall, in a sense. ;-)

  • Polly

    “Moderate deconverts don’t have as far to fall, in a sense. ”

    Everyone “falls” in their own way, I guess. Did you go through stages?

    I went through them really fast:

    Literalism – not so literal – “there’s something out there” – benevolent deism -deism – agnosticism – ATHEISM (yaayy!)

    Boy, I’ll tell ya’, it was a busy week! :D

  • http://acriticalmass.wordpress.com Darren

    Interesting definition Dan. Unique, even.

    @Richard….not even a little ridicule? Please?

    Oh, ok. Do not feed the troll. Got it. :)

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    Polly: “Literalism – not so literal – “there’s something out there” – benevolent deism -deism – agnosticism – ATHEISM (yaayy!)”

    Translation: Literalism (Faith) – not so literal (Doubt) – “there’s something out there” – benevolent deism (trust)-deism (Less trust) - agnosticism (More doubt) – ATHEISM (yaayy!) (Denial)

    Sad!

    The Bible talks a great deal of doubt as you know.

    Deuteronomy 28:66 “And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:” Matthew 14:31 “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Luke 12:29 “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.” Romans 14:23 “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

    Doubting your belief system and entire denominations (man made) is healthy I feel. We are after all in Jesus’ rest and not much is required of us because all the work had been done already. We must not trust our own lying wickedness and make sure we are not pushing our own agendas over or replacing God’s. It is about leaving God entirely and abandoning Him.

    To doubt God Himself or that Jesus is not Lord is so damaging that this atheism is a move from light to darkness. This is the point that 2 John the 7th verse it is clear about.

    Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    I beg all of you not to depend on, or lose faith because of, anything that mankind had done. We must have faith that God’s plan is true and sound and no one will get to heaven without Jesus.

  • Mriana

    We are after all in Jesus’ rest and not much is required of us because all the work had been done already.

    I thought Christ was in us.

    No matter, but what makes you so sure JC is it. I mean, Brahma is in everything and everyone. We are Brahma, the table is Brahma, but Brahma is not the table or us.

    I don’t see a whole lot of difference. Must make Moksa!

    Those who worship Allah, say Christians are infidels and they are going to hell. Gee… Seems like only Muslims are going to Heaven and there won’t be any Christians in Heaven.

    Oh but no worries. The Jews are God’s choses. Meanwhile, Yahweh will smite you with plagues.

    Oh Buddha. I missed Buddha. What can I say about him? Ah Nirvana. What’s the difference between that an heaven. I don’t know.

    What it all boils down to, Dan, is that heaven, hell, and God are just a human concepts. This human concept was started by primitive people to explain what they could not explain and to give comfort to those who felt the need for a supernatural being to protect them- a security blanket. It’s all just a human concept and nothing more.

  • ash

    Oh Buddha. I missed Buddha. What can I say about him? Ah Nirvana. What’s the difference between that an heaven. I don’t know.

    i thought one of your kids was buddhist? you’re missing half the joke – in buddhism, there are several levels below nirvana where you too can become a god! the really funny bit? in buddhism this undesirable – if you become a god, your chances of reaching nirvana are actually lessened, due to the higher chance of your becoming complacent, lazy and enjoying the good life at the expense of developing enlightenment. god = rubbish position to be in!

  • Karen

    Boy, I’ll tell ya’, it was a busy week!

    Wowee – a week!? Yikes, that was one quick drop. :-) DagoodS, whose blog I’ve been enjoying recently, deconverted over about a six-month period and I thought THAT was about the fastest time period I’d ever heard of.

    My stages: Absolute Christianity, all doubting repressed or dismissed – 30 years of repressed doubts resurface during midlife crisis – research to “assuage” doubts – doubts not assuaged but reinforced by research – decision to pursue doubts & research despite fear & trembling – drop Christian belief for generic theism – drop theism for deism – drop deism for agnosticism – eventual surrender: “Oh hell, I’m an atheist, I might as well admit it!” :-)

    The process total took about 5-7 years although once I shed Christianity itself the slide into atheism was probably only 1-2 years.

  • Polly

    @Karen,

    That all sounds very familiar, especially the “fear & trembling” (LOL!) during research. I think it built up in the background for years and then something broke open the floodgate.

    Ah yes, the repression…(not so) good times. :)

    I think for me it was “Xianity or bust.” That’s why it didn’t take very long. I’d vaguely considered other religions before, but I had a real problem with the concept of a loving god and harsh universe, anyway. If it wasn’t believable in xianity, why would it be in any other religion?

    Did you look at any other religions during the downUPward spiral?

  • Mriana

    i thought one of your kids was buddhist? you’re missing half the joke – in buddhism, there are several levels below nirvana where you too can become a god! the really funny bit? in buddhism this undesirable – if you become a god, your chances of reaching nirvana are actually lessened, due to the higher chance of your becoming complacent, lazy and enjoying the good life at the expense of developing enlightenment. god = rubbish position to be in!

    Yes my 18 y.o. says he is, but that doesn’t mean I understand what he says about it nor does he explain things very well. He’s not making much sense to me lately in general. :lol:

  • Mark

    nowoo said,
    “Great video, but itâ??s only a fraction of the impressive atheist women out there”

    6 minute video, no way to put them all in … so the ones that are there are among my favorites, or were neccessary to make a point. Nina Hartley for instance … a large segment of the religious population(currently & throughout time) do have/have had serious sexual issues and I needed her to bring that home. I had never heard of her before research for this video. She was just what the doctor ordered.

  • Karen

    I think for me it was “Xianity or bust.” That’s why it didn’t take very long. I’d vaguely considered other religions before, but I had a real problem with the concept of a loving god and harsh universe, anyway. If it wasn’t believable in xianity, why would it be in any other religion?

    I hung onto Christianity desperately for a few years, clinging to the personal experiences I’d had of feeling god’s spirit, hearing his voice or having prayers answered. A major turning point was when I heard someone say that all religious people have spiritual experiences that are valid to them. I realized that it was unbelievably arrogant of me to think that mine were legitimate, but the non-Christian spiritual experiences weren’t. They were either all true – the Buddhists, the Muslims, the animists, etc – or all false. That was a d’oh! moment for me. :-)

    Did you look at any other religions during the downUPward spiral?

    I went to some moderate Christian churches (non-fundy) for part of one year, but didn’t like them. It seemed like they were cherry-picking what they liked from Christianity, which ultimately felt wishy-washy and meaningless for this ex-fundy. Then I did some reading on Judaism (my dad was Jewish) and went to a couple lectures on Buddhism. Some of the principles of Buddhism were helpful in terms of coping with the midlife crisis and the loss of faith. I still meditate when I do yoga and I find it helpful, although in the end Buddhism seemed so complicated that I didn’t have a hope of really understanding the bulk of it.

    In the end, I found that I just didn’t miss religion. I seem to be able to live just fine – better in fact – without it. Maybe I don’t have the god gene or something, because I had very little of the longing to return to faith that some ex-fundies express.

  • Mriana

    In the end, I found that I just didn’t miss religion. I seem to be able to live just fine – better in fact – without it.

    Yes, I went to the Episcopal Church for years after I left my mother home at 19, but then eventually left because I just could not fathom some of the things that went on there even. Sometimes I think about going back for socializing, but then I think about Communion and Good Friday with all it’s barbarism, cannibalism, and primitive background in it and I just can’t stomach the idea of going just to have social contact. Maybe Bob Price can stomach it, but I can’t.

    There’s only one U.U. here and it’s clear on the South side of town. There’s also only three buses that run on Sunday here that go no where near the U.U., so that is out too. :( So, I have no clue where I can meet other non-theists at other times and trying to get a campus Freethought Group is harder in the Bible Belt. So, I’m at a loss. :(

  • Polly

    In the end, I found that I just didn’t miss religion. I seem to be able to live just fine – better in fact – without it. Maybe I don’t have the god gene or something, because I had very little of the longing to return to faith that some ex-fundies express.

    I must not have that gene, either. I don’t miss it. It’s startling how I could just drop such an important facet of my former life.
    I know what you mean about “Cherry-Picking” scriptures. Some can pull it off, but the fundie mind (and the atheist mind) just can’t accept that “compromise.”

    I read that Bhuddist texts can run into many massive volumes. I asked someone who claimed to be Buhddist if there’s a particular holy book or set of writings to focus on, she didn’t know of anything (I guess “nominal” isn’t just for Xians).
    But, really, other than my own coping method – writing – I don’t think I need much else, either. (btw, I typically spell Buddhist in EVERY possible permutation before getting it right)

  • Mriana

    I don’t think it is a gene. I truly think it is as they read on the video. Culturally, in many cases, that part of the brain is develop via religion, but I’m willing to bet it can develop via nature. What I mean is, as a child my family didn’t go to church much, except when we were with my mother’s relatives.

    When I was outside playing or playing with my pets I quite often felt transcendence, as though I was one with nature. I’ve had that same experience a few times during an Episcopal Church service. It was the music, the candles, basically the stimulating surroundings. It is set up to do that.

    Given those experiences, I truly think we don’t need religion to help our children develop that part of their brains. Nature alone could very well take the place of that. Of course one may develop “Einstein’s God” with this idea, but it’s not a personal god or the traditional god concept. Even so, I think this would be a more healthy state and relationship with the world than the dogmatics and alike that religion imposes.

    Not sure if any of that made sense to anyone, but it is a theory and a very reasonable theory if you think about Einstein, Sagan, even Dawkins or Spong.

  • HappyNat

    Mriana,

    It makes sense to me. I’ve had “that feeling” when I was a christian and attributed it to god. As an atheist I continue to get “that feeling” watching the sunet or spending time with my wife and daughter. I believe the feeling is within, but people raised with religion think it is evidence of god in their lives.

  • Mriana

    Precisely, HappyNat. :) I’m glad I made sense at least to one person. I believe it is within too, but it takes an external stimili to trigger what is within and that which is from nature, family, pets, friends, even the universe are perfect examples of the external that triggers such feelings within.

    Thing is, it’s not evidence of god, but rather that which comes natural to the human. All these religious texts are just stories written by humans and the ideologies that go with them are made by humans. All the El, Ra, God are Oo’s and ah’s anthropomorphasized. So many people can look at the Grand Canyon and say, “Oh God!” in a majesty awe inspiring manner and all it really is is an expression of awe when you get down to the psychology of it. I’ve seen it so many times, but it’s the religious, esp the extremely religious that turn around afterwards and say, “See there? That’s proof of God.” No, it is a variation what is numinous, but not proof of any deity. It’s a shame few can separate the two.

  • Polly

    @Mriana,

    Is THAT what you meant? Oh, I totally get that. I’ve gotten that feeling, too. I used to attribute it to god when I was a believer. Usually while skiing and one time while mountain biking (slowly up a steEP mountain). Hmmm, endorphins at work? Nah, must be divine inspiration!

    But, you know I got that same feeling reading a science book not too long ago. That transcendent feeling of the beauty of the universe. I’ve also gotten other, more personal feelings that I would’ve ascribed to god – a sort of peaceful, “everything’s gonna work out despite the crap all around you” feeling.
    The funny thing is, even as an atheist, I get feelings of “peace that surpass all understanding” when I’m really stressed out sometimes.
    If I were to take note of the specific circumstances surrounding those moments and record them as sure paths for others, then that could rightly be called a religion. Only problem is, it wouldn’t work because I think the experiences are both personality-dependent and quite possibly random as far as our ability to predict.

  • Mriana

    Yes, Polly, THAT is what I meant. :) It’s also what I think needs to be developed to replace religion. That feeling comes from the very same part of the brain as the so called “God Part of the Brain” only it’s the awe of nature or what have you that triggers it instead. It’s as random as the “religious” experience.

    Only problem is, it wouldn’t work because I think the experiences are both personality-dependent and quite possibly random as far as our ability to predict.

    How often did you go to church, when you went, and feel that same feeling? I’m willing to bet it wasn’t every time you went to church and I’m willing to bet you could not predict it either. It wasn’t with me. There were times I longed for the feeling and didn’t have it in church or even within nature. It didn’t come and then all of a sudden it was almost everywhere I went- church, the nature trail, when one of my sons hugged me, a child’s smile… Then it disappeared for a while, but I maybe walking a nature trail this Fall or listening to some Native American music while going for a walk and it may hit me once again. So, even for those of us who don’t attend church anymore, the variability of it probably isn’t much different. Not to me at least.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    I just had a conversation with a psychiatrist and I pointed out some key points about God so I just wanted to share with anyone that reads this.

    Richard: “You are not asking yourself why the Law supposedly exists in the first place. It is not, in Christian teaching, about arbitrary “accountability,” for its own sake. It is about repairing a disrupted relationship.”

    I believe you are missing the point of the Law, friend. Let me explain it fully for anyone to understand.

    Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”

    Romans 7:7-8 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.”

    The law was made as a mirror for us. In the same way, we don’t realize what a bad state we are in until we look into the “mirror” of the Ten Commandments.

    Richard: “You are not “glorifying God” because you love him, you are glorifying God because you’re scared sh**less not to.”

    Again yes, that is Biblical while you are a proverbial ‘child’ learning about God.

    Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

    Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    The Bible describes hell as unquenchable fire,(Mark 9:43) outer darkness,(Matthew 22:13) a furnace of fire and a place where people wail and gnash their teeth,(Matthew 13:42) and a lake of fire.(Revelation 20:15) where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched,(Mark 9:48) and where people are in agony in flames.(Luke 16:24) Perhaps the most terrifying passage in the Bible describing hell says that men will “drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night.” (Revelation 14:10-11)

    That should make all of us have fear, like a child fears a spanking if they run out in the street after the parent told them not to.(milk) When the child grows up then the child understand the perfect love and doesn’t fear the spankings but honors and respects the parent.(meat).

    1 Corinthians 3:2 “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”

    Hebrews 5:11-13 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

    A proud unrepentant man, such as yourself Richard, needs the milk of hell and damnation and lake of fire talk. After you grow up understanding the Lord and you are ‘born again’ you don’t fear the punishment anymore because it isn’t for you, it’s for the sinners. Do you fear going to jail for a DUI when you sit at home drinking a glass of water? Of course not that is absurd, but if you were drinking scotch all day and then get behind the wheel then yes be afraid be very afraid. It is wise to face you heavenly Father in fear when you have broken His law. When you Repent ( turn away from sin, turn away from breaking His laws) and Trust and Faith in Jesus that he washed you clean and took your punishment for you, then you are forgiven and no longer need be afraid of Him but you respect and love Him for teaching you and you chose not to live to break His laws out of honor and respect, not fear anymore.

    Richard: “Indeed, what you picture is more akin to the “fire insurance” many Christians, including myself when I was one, were taught to be wary of.”

    That is perfectly fine at first but you, as most, never grow up and STOP sinning like they should. They want to keep fornicating or lying or whatever their sin is at the time and start to resent the “ol man” and thinks he is too hard because He will not let them do as they want. They are spoiled brats. It is Biblical and as you said “teaching you what an pathetic self-absorbed pervert (brat) you are, it offers you undeserved rescue.(out of love)”

    No where near what you are alluding to as Stockholm syndrome. Now if you get to heaven after being saved and God STILL PUNISHES you and tortures you by burning you in a lake of fire then I suppose that would happen. Hear on earth though, God is justified to use such tactics to ensure your salvation. Remember Job in the Bible? If he is being tortured in heaven that would be an unjust god but I assure you that just isn’t the case.

    Richard: “Honesty about motivations is the heart of self understanding, and of freedom.” I am motivated by the gratefulness that Jesus saved me from my deserved fate. I also bleed for the lost such as yourself, you are a like a little child playing in a burning house and I just want to grab you from that fire. I love you Richard and others. I love you enough to confront you. It takes far more love to confront to just ignore the situation. Perfect love is a constant confronter. Please, I am begging you Richard to just understand what I have said. Use pascal’s wager if you must, get the milk at first so you can enjoy the meat like me, at this point of my 39 years on this earth I am enjoying God’s love and it is difficult to explain it to the lost. God is not some tyrant, he loves you enough to save you if you let Him. Don’t be like that child that keeps wanting to run out in the middle of the street (sin), It is time to grow up and enjoy the gifts that the Lord wants to give you.(meat)

    The difference is experience with God (me) vs non experience (you and atheists).

    A mother tells a child not to touch that hot Iron and the kid listens and ‘believes’ his Mom. As soon as the Mom leaves the room the child touches the Hot Iron and gets burned. He just went from a ‘belief’ the Iron was hot to an ‘experience’ that the Iron ‘is’ hot with 100% assurance. No one can come and tell him otherwise because his experience tells him different. He is 100% certain the Iron is hot and he has the burn to prove it.

    Well I have felt the Hot Iron of God’s hand on me and cannot be persuaded otherwise because I have an experience that removed ALL doubt, I am 100% certain there is a God and he loves you very much.

    For Him +†+,
    Dan

  • Mriana

    Let me explain it fully for anyone to understand.

    Dan, how is quoting Bible quotes explaining anything?. That really does not explain anything, except shows us that you can quote verses from the Bible. God doesn’t punish anyone. You have man’s law and you have natural consequences. Now if you rob a bank, well you’re going to go to prison. To get Dr. Spock on you- you climb a tree, fall out it, and break your leg, you are probably not going to climb a tree again. Sleep around, you could get any number of STDs, including AIDS. This not God’s punishment, it’s a natural consequence. Plain and simple. God has nothing to do with it.

    A mother tells a child not to touch that hot Iron and the kid listens and ‘believes’ his Mom. As soon as the Mom leaves the room the child touches the Hot Iron and gets burned. He just went from a ‘belief’ the Iron was hot to an ‘experience’ that the Iron ‘is’ hot with 100% assurance. No one can come and tell him otherwise because his experience tells him different. He is 100% certain the Iron is hot and he has the burn to prove it.

    THAT is a a natural consequence. As my mother was fond of saying when I was little, “I don’t have to punish you. You already received consequences because you did not listen.” The burn was a consequence of not listening to parental authority, who has experience. Nothing more. Again, there is no god that had anything to with it.

    Now, if you still need a parental figure to tell you not to touch a hot stove, then I guess a supernatural anthropomorphic figure is your choice, but I can tell you, if you make a golden calf, nothing is going to happen. It’s just a golden calf. To be truly grown up is to let go of the security blanket, stand on your own two feet, and take responsibility for your own life. Even Bishop Spong would tell you that. Try reading some of his books for starters, then maybe move on to “The God Delusion” and alike.

  • Karen

    But, you know I got that same feeling reading a science book not too long ago. That transcendent feeling of the beauty of the universe. I’ve also gotten other, more personal feelings that I would’ve ascribed to god – a sort of peaceful, “everything’s gonna work out despite the crap all around you” feeling.

    Yes, the transcendent or numinous (great word, Mriana!) feeling does transcend (hee, hee) religious belief. That’s enormously interesting, when you realize that those feelings of peace or light or beauty can be experienced even without god.

    But I think what some people miss when they leave religion isn’t the occasional transcendent moment, it’s the certainty of faith. They pine for that comfort of knowing FOR SURE that there’s a benevolent purpose to the universe, or there’s a Loving Father in heaven working all things out for good in their lives, or there’s going to be a reunion with loved ones in the afterlife and death is not the end. That’s the “god gene” I was referring to: They want a spiritual connection with something bigger that has things all figured out, and minus that they feel a loss or bleakness that is tough to live with.

    I felt that too, for a few months, but it honestly didn’t bother me as much as it seems to bother some people. I conclude that’s because I highly, highly value honesty and objectivity – even bald, bleak honesty – over comfort. If life’s tough and death is the end, I’d rather acknowledge that and come to terms with it and do my best to make the world a better place while I’m here, than to adopt a happy fantasy that’s comforting.

    But that’s just me. I totally understand how that’s not how a lot of people want to live.

  • Mriana

    Yes, the transcendent or numinous (great word, Mriana!) feeling does transcend (hee, hee) religious belief. That’s enormously interesting, when you realize that those feelings of peace or light or beauty can be experienced even without god.

    thanks

    But I think what some people miss when they leave religion isn’t the occasional transcendent moment, it’s the certainty of faith. They pine for that comfort of knowing FOR SURE that there’s a benevolent purpose to the universe, or there’s a Loving Father in heaven working all things out for good in their lives, or there’s going to be a reunion with loved ones in the afterlife and death is not the end. That’s the “god gene” I was referring to: They want a spiritual connection with something bigger that has things all figured out, and minus that they feel a loss or bleakness that is tough to live with.

    You know, I don’t think I ever had that feeling. Probably because religion wasn’t a constant in my formative years. It was just enough to cause me to “fear” it, not care much for it. Not even the 3 or 4 years my mother took me to the Lutheren church until I left home, seem to have much of an affect. Yet I did spend a few of my adult years in the Episcopal church, but even when I left that, the only thing I missed was the social contact. Then again, I’ve never had the traditional God concept either.


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