The Redemption (and Apostasy) of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness

James Zimmerman grew up as the kind of Jehovah’s Witness who might have knocked on your door. Devout and fervent, he knew what the consequences were for apostates. And yet he found a way to break free.

His new memoir detailing his upbringing — and how his questioning of the faith eventually led him away from it — is called Deliverance at Hand!: The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (Freethought House, 2013):

In the excerpt below, Zimmerman briefs us on how serious his beliefs were growing up:

I was born into a family with a rich history as Jehovah’s Witnesses. My parents were Witnesses, as were their siblings, and their parents. But this did not mark us as extraordinary. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we were all family. We were each other’s brothers and sisters.

Though Jehovah’s Witnesses only trace their organizational history to the 1870s, we considered ourselves descendants of faithful followers from millennia past. We were not so much a new religion as a renaissance; a return to the way God intended Christianity to be.

But it wasn’t simply a rich past that kept Witnesses faithful and zealous. There was also the future — the glorious hope of living forever in a Paradise Earth. Jehovah soon intended to execute judgment on this wicked world and usher in a new order — a “New Earth” where only the meek live. The Earth would finally become as it was meant to be: no war, no poverty, no pollution, no sickness, no death. This Paradise would be a panacea for humanity’s problems. Absolutely every tribulation facing mankind would be exterminated. Even more thrilling, I had a good chance of never dying. Provided my faith stayed intact, I would live through the last days, through Armageddon, and be among the faithful Witnesses granted life eternal; full, satisfying life in a Paradise where centuries pass as weeks do now.

Life in this world, then, was temporary and fleeting. It was an inconsequential stroke of the clock compared with all that had come before and all that would come after. I was powerfully thankful to God that He allowed me to be born, and that He afforded me the chance to enjoy an incalculably beautiful, endless life. I loved Jehovah. I owed my life to Jehovah.

He later, thankfully, left Jehovah.

If you’d like to win a copy of his new book, just leave a comment explaining what the tipping point was that made you realize your faith was a sham. Use the hashtag #Deliverance in your comment to be entered in the contest! I’ll contact a random winner next week.

Deliverance at Hand! is available on Amazon beginning today.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mario Strada

    In catechism, the priest noticed that I was less than enthralled by the bible passages we were studying. So he told me to go sit by myself in an empty room and ask God for the gift of His presence.

    Needless to say, god didn’t call. He didn’t even text me (yes, it was the early 70′s but you’d think an eternal and omniscient god would know all about texting). He could have materialized an iPhone in my hand and sent me a text telling me to pay more attention in bible study class.

    Alas, none of that happened. In fact I kept trying to imagine this bearded man sitting on a throne at the center of our universe (which for me at that time it looked a lot like the Andromeda Galaxy, as a stand in for our own) and the more I thought about it, the more the galaxy remained, but the old man disappeared.

    The priest eventually came back and asked me if I finally made my decision about God and the Bible.

    I didn’t lie when I said that I did. INdeed I had made the decision. And I stuck by it all this time.

    #Deliverance

  • Red Yates

    I don’t think I had an explicit tipping point. I went to my grandparents’ Baptist church with them every week as a child. I was baptized at 8 years old, being the age they judge you to be mature enough to make that sort of choice. As I got older, I grew up, developed rational thought, asked the obvious questions and came up with the usual answers. I was agnostic by 14 years old.

    #Deliverance

  • alfaretta

    In the mid-70s, I had a conversion experience. I found a church and Christian youth organizations. My best male friend came out, and then I discovered that somewhere around a dozen of my Christian friends were gay/lesbian (not all were out at the time). Trouble was, some of them were the best people I knew, far more loving and accepting than some of my other friends. It didn’t take long to wonder, if the Bible/church was wrong about this, what else was it wrong about?

    #Deliverance

  • Dave

    Like Zimmerman, I was raised as a Witness. From my fifth birthday on, I believed. I was a good study, I was well-spoken, and I relished the chances I was given to share my faith with others, door to door, in talks, and in casual conversations. But late in High School, things starting coming together to make me question it all. The biggest killer for me was the concept that speech could be dangerous, that some ideas were just not meant to be heard, that all sins were forgivable except apostasy.

    The only way I could doubt my upbringing was to chip away at the foundation. And, so I did. Whether it was philosophical problems with the idea of an all-knowing all-powerful God versus Free Will, or the contradictions in the Bible, or deep moral misgivings with the way women were treated, I chipped away at the base until the building toppled.

    It took me years to shake free, but I did, decision by deliberate decision.

    #Deliverance

  • islandbrewer

    I wasn’t raised with any of the absurd day-age creationism of JWs or the belief that blood is “magic” or any of that nonsense, so it wasn’t like my childhood faith ever had to push back at reality, particularly.

    As what many would have described as an apatheist, the tipping point came at the end of my undergraduate years, when an evangelical started questioning me about my beliefs in a pretty aggressive manner. I’m sure his intent wasn’t to confirm my atheism.

    #Deliverance

  • islandbrewer

    Hey Joseph O.! You should get in on this! Get your copy! Tell us your story of torrid Witness twaddle!

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      You had to summon him…

      • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

        I think Joseph’s gone copypasta-crazy because he got ban-hammered from ExChristian dot net a couple of days ago. (Soon as I saw him pop up over there I outed him, and I and the other regulars chewed on him for a day or so before spitting him out and calling for webmaster intervention. We tolerate a lot of things there, but egregious waste of bandwidth isn’t one of them.)

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Yeah, we had to deal with him over at LJF, too.

          Same shit, different day.

      • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

        Didn’t even have to say his name three times, either!

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Next time pay more attention to making the pentacle secure. You have summoned the demon and now he is loose upon the Earth. There will be blood and gnashing of teeth. Well, maybe not blood but definitely gnashing, lots of gnashing.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        So how do we unsummon him?

        • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

          I think we have to walk up to a Kingdom Hall at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, ring the bell and read a copy of Awake! backwards.

      • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

        Definitely gnashing of teeth. My jaw hurts… :-(

      • islandbrewer

        Wait, this is sugar! I thought it was salt!

  • flyb

    Wasn’t really raised as anything, but you could say I was part of a Christian family. Once I realized that the tooth fairy and Santa were my parents, I began to question everything.

    #DuelingBanjos

  • pawpawskeptic

    I went from being very Christian to new age mysticism. I would say things like “god is love, joy, freedom, etc.” or “god is a verb”. Eventually, I realized that I can just call these experiences love, joy, and freedom. Funny to think how long I clung to the word “god”.
    #Deliverance

    • Latraviata

      Tell Oprah.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I didn’t exactly put all the dots together at once, but for the most part, when I was four and it suddenly occurred to me that giant talking Mice and Ducks were not possible? #Deliverance

  • http://www.persephonespath.com/ PersephoneK

    I had 2 primary tipping points in my deconversion from Christianity.

    1) I read an article that discussed the lack of evidence for the Bible’s Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, and questioning the existence of King David. It was a house of cards. If the Exodus didn’t happen, if David didn’t exist, then nothing else in the Bible could be true.

    2). It’s cliche, but 9/11 made me think hard about the randomness of our beliefs. Where one is born and who our parents are are more responsible for our beliefs than any other factor. That’s not the work of a just god. That’s the work of random chance of birth.

    #Deliverance

    • Faithful & True

      Same thing happened for me. When my professor told me the Exodus story was a sham… it all just unraveled for me too. I was a devout JW up until that point.

      • John O’Brien

        I’ve heard JW’s can’t go to college

        • islandbrewer

          They’re taught to actively avoid anything that might question their worldview. They rarely go to college, and definitely avoid any subject (eg, biology, sociology, or … nearly anything) which might call their worldview into question.

          So, they can, but ought not.

          • Gehennah

            Great way to keep people from learning new things and straying away.

    • Gehennah

      The Exodus is one of the big things, as with the flood and with the Garden of Eden.

      No Garden, no Adam and Eve, no original sin, no fall from grace.

      • http://www.persephonespath.com/ PersephoneK

        Agreed, but for me the Exodus and David are the bigger sticking points due to the claim of Jesus lineage to David. The flood and the garden stories could be chalked up to parables or stories/metaphors. The ancestry of Jesus is harder to explain away. Not that it really matters anymore. I’ve gone from that to having a larger issue with the entire biblical myth narrative. Those were just the things that got me really digging into it.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    It’s been a gradual process, rather than a sudden “oh shit” moment. George Carlin gave me a big push in my teens. Not much of a #Deliverance…

  • stevenkickingbird

    Please read with an image of Joel Osteen’s smiling face, fluttering eyes and soft voice.
    #Deliverance In 4th grade:
    Back in the 1950′s; I attended a Christian day school and played hooky (didn’t go to school one day). A week before the “hooky” day I had broken my arm.
    Of course, I was caught playing “hooky” . The school principal looked at my arm in a cast ( a pedophile BTW) and reprimanded me saying: “God punished you by breaking your arm for playing hooky!” I replied, “But I broke my arm before I played “hooky!” Principal says: “God knew you were going to play “hooky” and broke your arm. Well, that got me to thinkin and I dropped out in the 5th grade.

    • Latraviata

      One of the great British conductors (sir Malcolm Sargent??) told the orchestra during rehearsal, the horns are too loud! People told him the horns aren’t here yet, he replied, when they come in tell them they are too loud….

  • closetatheist

    The push into doubt was when an open lesbian at my fundamentalist Christian school dared to say, “The Bible doesn’t prove the Bible is true, we need OTHER sources to confirm it – so what will we use?” to the Bible class teacher. His wide eyes and the way his mouth flapped for a few seconds without any noise coming out made me really uncomfortable. Nothing else could confirm the Bible?

    The push into accepting myself as a full-blown atheist came during a late night spent with Tim Minchin on youtube. Especially his brilliant, “Thank You God.”
    #Deliverance

    • Latraviata

      When my late moderate catholic mother read the story of Genesis to my 4 year old (late) youngest son he asked “what did god do before he created heaven and earth?’. I think the question is as simple as brilliant, at least for a 4 year old.
      Since the day I was born I didn’t have a religious bone in my body and even a catholic upbringing couldn’t change that.
      Granted being an atheist in my secular country is very easy, nobody cares….

  • Mitch

    It began less as a thought process and more as a feeling. Eventually I stopped feeling the joy, peace, contentment, etc. that my faith was supposed to provide. Looking at my beliefs without all those emotional attachments made it hard to keep holding onto them. Emotional and intellectual #Deliverance

  • GHN

    I was in an orphanage for a while when I was a child, and it was a very Christian place – strict, with mandatory Sunday School, prayers at meals, and pushing bible stories and god. Not a nice place to be, for reasons that had nothing to do with religion. Then there was a change in administration, with the brooms sweeping the religious stuff out, and it was amazing how much nicer the place got after that! #Deliverance

  • RowanVT

    I was raised non-denominational Christian, and because Mom is a kind-hearted person what I grew up with was lots of tales of a loving God, and not as much of the hellfire and damnation (though I got plenty of that from other relatives). But because she was not super devout, she never had me read the Bible.

    Fast forward to my catholic High School, and now I had religion classes to take. I was excited about reading the Bible at first. By the time I was finished with Genesis, I was finished with Christianity. There was not loving and gentle God in genesis, but an immoral monster. I discovered I had more kindness and compassion than God, and so decided I could not follow such a deity even if he did exist.

    #Deliverance

    • FTP_LTR

      Reading comprension Joseph:

      RowanVT said “By the time I was finished with Genesis, I was finished with Christianity” so you quote Matthew and Colossians? Are they part of Genesis now?

      • RowanVT

        I love the assumption you made there regarding my gender.

      • Andy_Schueler

        [Joseph-mode]
        Argumentum assertio. Prove your claim.
        [/Joseph-mode]

      • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

        No, Joseph, I’m pretty sure that the rabbi who transcribed the book of Genesis, the anonymous author of Matthew and Paul of Tarsus were three different people.

        • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

          You’re welcome! Always glad to share My thoughts with iffy “experts” like yourself. :-D

        • islandbrewer

          Ad hominem

          You said you didn’t respond to those. Shocking that you’d employ ad hominems with such abandon.

          (Actually, no, it’s not shocking. You “ad hom” all the time.)

          • islandbrewer

            You don’t actually understand the whole “sarcasm” thing, do you.

            And you still don’t understand what an ad hominem is. You dismissed her argument and refused to engage it (as always) by implying that her opinion was not sufficiently “expert.” A little oblique, but still an ad hominem. Whether she thanks you, sincerely or insincerely, is irrelevant.

            • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

              I think he missed the grinning emoticon, too.

            • islandbrewer

              Sorry, does being a Jehovah’s Witness make you ignorant, or do you have to be sufficiently ignorant to become a Jehovah’s Witness?

              • ranjuro

                Both. People born into it are carefully indoctrinated with ignorance and people who join as adults are generally ignorant in the first place. I was one of the former but I left 10 years ago.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          If you haven’t made lifelong studies of seventeen different historical and linguistical specialties, then by the arguments YOU YOURSELF have made, you are required to accept what Astreja says.

          You don’t want to be a hypocrite, do you? Jesus didn’t seem to care for you them too much.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      The problem with the good parts in the bible is they’re surrounded with shit.

      Tell me, which one do you think is preferable:

      “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything”

      or

      “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        What system of slavery states that women, and children born into slavery, remain slaves?

        Or that slaves can be beaten so long as they don’t die right away?

        You keep pointing to good bits, and we keep pointing to bad bits. The problem is:

        They’re part of the Bible, expressing the thoughts of the ‘exact same author’, discrediting the whole thing, unless you assume that the ‘exact same author’ is schizophrenic.

      • Gehennah

        It also allows you to beat your slave.

        • Gehennah

          So in other words beating a slave is moral in your eyes?

          And you don’t have to be god to have moral values. Evolutionary speaking, they are beneficial to the species.

          • Andy_Schueler

            “ii. http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/07/…” :-D
            Hey Joseph, you should copypaste the crap you wrote in this link more often, this is easily the stupidest (and definitely the funniest!) Strawman you came up with so far!

          • islandbrewer

            *snork*

            You don’t even read the article to which you’ve appended copypasta!

        • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

          It doesn’t have to be objective. Would *you* like to be a slave, Joseph? If not, why do you think it’s a good idea for anyone to be enslaved?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Answer the question, narcissist liar.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Answer the question, narcissist.

    • Gehennah

      Even Jesus was fine with slavery, which is extremely immoral. And don’t give me the whole “it was more of a servant” because the Bible clearly states that they are property that can be passed to your children and you can beat them as long as they do not die within a day or two.

      Yes, there are some good things in the Bible, but there are tons of horrendous things in the Bible too that Christians are too eager to just ignore.

      • RowanVT

        Oh, you mean the special slavery for other hebrews that was different from the slavery of foreigners, who were inheritable property.

        • Gehennah

          And they were also slaves by which you could keep as your own forever if you gave them a wife and they wanted to stay with their wife after their “servitude” was up.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
          If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them”

          Leviticus 25:46-48

          So poor Isrealites can sell themselves as slaves, and retain the right of redemption. The right does not exist for foreign slaves.

          • Gehennah

            Did you not actually read what he wrote, or are you incapable of comprehending the Bible quote he quoted.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I can copy and paste the translated text of Leviticus, but I can’t make you either read it or understand it.

            There’s also Exodus 21:4 “If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.” which clearly indicates that women are not treated as men, and are not set free after six years.

            • islandbrewer

              You ignored my question … again …

              Aaaagh! The irony! It burns!

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              You ignore plenty of my questions.

              I tend to ignore your stupider questions for which there is really no hope of getting you to understand. I gave you my personal view of objective and absolute morality days ago. Not my fault if you didn’t pay attention or forgot it.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Your desperation shows your dishonesty, liar. You’re imploding.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          btw, your passage doesn’t even obligate the payment of compensation to the slave.

          “The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years. If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them. If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly”

          Note: “based on the rate paid to a hired worker” as in, they’re not hired workers. Their redemption amount is calculated on the same scale. They have to pay their owner, the same amount of money he would have had to pay them if they had been hired workers.

          Do you reading comprehension?

      • Gehennah

        And they were also slaves by which you could keep as your own forever if you gave them a wife and they wanted to stay with their wife after their “servitude” was up.

        (I can copy and paste too)

        • JohnnieCanuck

          So many words, so little comprehension. Go pray quietly in a closet, as you were commanded.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          In some cultures, slaves could own other slaves. That didn’t make them free. Jesus but you are ignorant.

      • Gehennah

        Please cite where that says they can be rich.

        What moral being allows for owning another person as property and beating them?

        • Gehennah

          i I don’t see anything about wealth in that. And it also doesn’t pertain to non-Hebrew slaves. And those slaves are still allowed to be beaten.

          ii Are you incapable of answering a simple yes and no question? Even you link didn’t even come close to answering it.

          • Gehennah

            i What version of the Bible are you reading, I’m not seeing it on the quoted scripture.
            ii So you are not incapable of answering a yes or not question. So do you agree with slavery and the beating of slaves, is it moral?

            • Gehennah

              i Nevermind, was on the wrong verse. It allows them to pay off their debts, still doesn’t say it is a moral slavery since they can be beaten.
              ii You know what slavery is. The owning of another human being. That human being being property of that individual or family.

              • Gehennah

                i What about it? It has a loophole for certain classes.
                ii Where does it state that the slaves were paid? Just because you can do a side job and make money doesn’t mean you are getting paid

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Yes, it IS what they practiced on other nations. Your magic book makes it clear that they took rape-slaves from conquered people. You apologists are sick, ignorant turds.

                If what is described in either the OT or NT is not the definition of “slavery”, then nothing in the Bible can be trusted to mean what it says, because they use the word “slavery”. Congratulations, you have defeated all of your own arguments. Good job wasting your time on those three and a half thousand obsessive, dishonest posts, narcissist.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  “ii. Only for those who quote mine. For the rest of us, however, it couldn’t be clearer.”
                  - Indeed, that´s why we see right through your mined quotes.

      • midnight rambler

        The system of slavery used by the ancient Hebrews and outlined in the Bible. Not unlike Roman slavery where slaves could sometimes buy their own freedom. Next question?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          So all the slavery in the bible was cool then? Is that your stance?

          • Gehennah

            How so? Non Hebrews are salves for life. Hebrews can be tricked into being a slave for life if you give them a wife and they want to stay with them. You can beat your slaves so as long as they do not die within 2 days, and it doesn’t really state a punishment if they do it, other than they shall be punished.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Murder in a legal sense only applies to citizens in some cultures, including that one you revere. Jesus but you are bad at this.

    • RowanVT

      Uhmm… Did you miss the repeated mention of Genesis? I continued reading after that, and just about everything in the OT confirmed my opinion of God. Jesus doesn’t even enter into this. I’m not going to believe someone who says “Oh, my Father is kind and loves everyone!” when behind him his father is busy beating someone to death.

      The plain fact of the matter is that as God is described, he is a monster.

      The mere theological existence of hell shows that God is a monster. I would never send *anyone* to something like hell. I am more compassionate than God.

      • Gehennah

        I’m also willing to bet that you are willing to forgive someone for something without having to sacrifice yourself to yourself to teach yourself how to forgive.

        • RowanVT

          Very very true that.

          Of course, I also think that the person who was *actually* wronged is the person who you (generic) have to get forgiveness from… and that they are not required to provide it. But it still doesn’t mean you get lit on fire.

          • Gehennah

            Was speaking more of the view of the person who was wronged. For example, someone steps on your toes on accident. Now you have to sacrifice yourself to yourself so you can forgive the person who stepped on your toes.

      • RowanVT

        You don’t think the theological idea of eternal torment is monstrous? You think it’s okay for someone to be in agony forever?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          He’s a Witness. He doesn’t believe in Hell.

          #smallfavors.

          • RowanVT

            Fascinating… because the concept is in the bible. I guess he thinks Jesus was a liar! :D

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            However, he is a self-absorbed sociopath, fully ready to commit rape and murder here and now.

            • allein

              Sometimes I wish, when someone gets deleted, that the posts would stay visible, or give you the option to show them, and just disable the ability to reply to them. Because I’m apparently a masochist and I miss all the fun. Not that I can’t get the gist from the replies to him, but still I wish I could read the whole conversation sometimes.

      • Andy_Schueler

        Awww, It is sooo adorable when one christian cult calls all other christian cults liars because they cherry pick differently :-)

  • Steve

    It was reading the bible that caused me to lose my faith. At the time, a 20 yo, I was studying in a Christian missionary organisation. I thought, if I’m going to be taking this message out to others, then I should know what it is. So I really took reading the bible seriously. What I discovered appalled me, especially the genocide and infanticide. I looked at the bloodthirsty cry-baby God of the bible who usually couldn’t think of a better way to solve his problems than killing everyone and I didn’t want any part of that belief system. I later came to understand that Christianity was just the religion of my culture and that it’s absurd nonsense, but it was the immorality of worshipping a god who delighted in killing children that caused me to utterly reject the bible’s deity.

    #Deliverance

    • FTP_LTR

      No, I’m pretty sure you’re right there. Still not sure of your point though?

      Because some pretty nasty people were once children, it’s ok to delight in killing children?

      Because some pretty nasty people were once children, infanticide is ok?

      Help us here, Joseph O.

      • RowanVT

        Or…….. you could let him grow up and catch him right as he’s about to do his first monstrous act… and then arresting him.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Humane imprisonment, of course.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Still believe that slaughtering “evil people” (aka the people who live on land that the israelites really would like to have for themselves) is A-OK as long as you slaughter them for Jehovah, eh? Jehovah demands a lot of blood sacrifices apparently.
            You should open with that line when you go from door to door and try to recruit new people into your death cult.

            • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

              Blood sacrifices but not blood transfusions. Curiouser and curiouser…

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Who said anything about execution? Humane imprisonment, therapy, if needed; rehabilitation, if possible; training in life and job skills, where appropriate.

            Some, unfortunately, due to the nature of their crimes, must be imprisoned indefinitely or for a life term. Even they, however, should be treated humanely.

            Execution just takes us down to their level.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              How does it NOT?

              It’s morally wrong to execute people, period, and in what world does it make sense to say, “hey, don’t kill,” and then turn around and kill people for violating the rule? It’s a double-standard.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                Nope, I asked you first — how, precisely, does my statement “not” answer your queries?

                (And what the hell is your problem with treating people humanely? Even prisoners have some basic rights, you know.)

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Because it lowers us to their level, you fucking idiot.

        • Gehennah

          Suitable punishment for the crime.

          You don’t torture someone for stealing. You don’t torture someone ever really.

          • islandbrewer

            Joseph’s version of True Christianity (TM) doesn’t include hell.

          • Gehennah

            The punishment should fit the crime.

            It depends on the crime. If someone steals some candy from the candy store you don’t execute them or give them 20 years hard labor.

            • Gehennah

              Life in prison. I am not completely opposed to the death penalty in all situations, but those situations would be extremely rare, and not include torture.

              • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                So your god supposedly drowned the planet because it knew that everyone and everything except Noah’s family — Cats, cows and koalas, worms and wildebeests — would all become sadistic murderers someday?

                Heeheeheeheehee! Good one, Joe.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  Argumentum reductio ad absurdum

                  Thanks for acknowledging that Astreja destroyed your idiotic claim with a reductio ad absurdum.

                • Discordia

                  Looks like the banhammer nailed poor ole Joe once again.

                • FTP_LTR

                  I’ll miss poor ole Joe.

                  And I’m curious about the plethora of “This comment was deleted.” Well, curious as to what brand of rampant nutbaggery was in them.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  Don´t worry, he simply moves on to the next blog every time he gets banned and he never updates his list of canned responses that he spams all over the place – he is even too lazy to fix spelling mistakes in his canned responses ;-)

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  he copypasta’d MY comment at least twice, as response to other people in other threads, so it wasn’t like he was trying to be ironic. If I saw it twice with just my stuff while skimming a relative handful of his comments, imagine how much of his repertoire was stolen from his opponents just on one blog.

                  I don’t know what this behavior is, but it’s the third or fourth time I’ve seen it, and the perps always act exactly like him.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  he copypasta’d MY comment at least twice, as response to other people in other threads, so it wasn’t like he was trying to be ironic.

                  Oh yeah, he sometimes does that as well. But when he does that, he usually slightly modifies the stuff he steals to make it sound ultra-pretentious. For example, when I used Weitzenhoffer´s classic: “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.
                  - Scott. D Weitzenhoffer”
                  he immediatly stole it, but replaced “craps” with “defecates” and removed Weitzenhoffer´s name so that he can pretend that he came up with the line.
                  Or when I asked him “how can you write such crap without taking a shower afterwards?” – he immediatly stole that line as well but replaced “crap” with “putrid filth”.
                  When it comes to pretentious verbiage, Jo is unbeatable ;-)

                  imagine how much of his repertoire was stolen from his opponents just on one blog.

                  A lot, the rest is copy-pasted verbatim from the Watchtower and William Lane Craig (of course without citation).

                • Andy_Schueler

                  The pretentious dog latin however is usually his own invention – “Argumentum falsum analogiam”, “Argumentum responderund innterogavit” etc. But he cut back on that a little after he got schooled by some people that actually know latin :-D
                  My personal favourite is his “Argumentum reductio ad absurdum” – at least a dozen people explained to him that a reductio ad absurdum is actually a perfectly valid way of reasoning and not fallacious at all (not to mention that he usually uses that as a reply to a comment that actually wasn´t a reductio ad absurdum at all), but he tries it again and again and again…

                • FTP_LTR

                  Hmm… maybe he was double-trolling… copy comments from an Atheist blog, paste into JW blog. Copy replies from JW blog, and paste into Atheist blog… “repetere usque vitantur, similis piger asinus“.

                  Like playing two chess games at the same time – one as black, one as white, and just transferring each opponents moves from one board to the other…

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Head over to Camels With Hammers, he’s posting the exact same comments in out-of-date threads there. :P

                • Discordia

                  Well since you asked, I will copy+paste you one of his replies to me on ExChristian since I take my time about emptying my inbox.. I Googled the first few sentences and found where he had copied the post from another site that he did not credit. He likes to claim that a complex universe needs a creator but something complex to create the complicated universe does NOT need a creator. He is apparently a huge fan of Aquinas’ tired ‘proofs of God.’

                  Some of his drivel is still here if you are still interested, though a number of his comments are pending moderation after we all reported them: http://new.exchristian.net/2013/10/science-and-religion.html#comment-1080816794

                  Just a warning… I speak constructionese quite well.

                  ***************************

                  “Ex nihilo nihil fit.” In other words, something can’t come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s or Krauss’ mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” (“The Grand Design”/ ”A Universe From Nothing“) but the concept that describes no state of affairs, relations, potentialities, properties, that is to say, no “anything”.) If it could, why doesn’t everything or anything? Why aren’t dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren’t we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence and crushing us as they fall from the sky? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? Conspicuously, then, such an appeal is laid bare as nothing more than fallacious special pleading.

                  Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:

                  - A posteriori causality
                  - Being does not arise from nonbeing
                  - Whatever begins to exist has a cause
                  - Information does not spring from chaos
                  - Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness

                  Given these unshakable abecedarian truths, the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain requisite properties.

                  Therefore -

                  (1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
                  (2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
                  (3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.

                  (4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
                  (5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
                  (6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.

                  Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the premisses of this elegant syllogism. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes has no basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert’s Grand Hotel” if you’re interested in a more in-depth analysis:http://bit.ly/1dq935A)

                  Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.

                  Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.

                  Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn’t exist in space-time.

                  Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I’m sure you’re well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.

                  Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.

                  So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.

                  But we’re not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we observe of the universe. Before we get to these, though, we first need to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here’s what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it’s effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can’t have one without the other.

                  Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)

                  The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn’t the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn’t the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we’ve also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.

                  The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.

                  Last but not least, this beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who i s the very paradigm of good.

                  So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving.

                  This is the very definition – of God :)

                  Q.E.D

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You didn’t miss much.

              • Gehennah

                So again, no free will with your argument. If there is no free will, then your god is simply playing with toys. And somehow I doubt that they would all be evil doers.

                Then again, do you have evidence of the great flood?

                And I said execution would be a very rare thing. I’m not really sure how bad the crime would have to be to execute them. A simple murder, I probably wouldn’t.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  ii. There’s ample geological and anthropological evidence for the Noachian Flood: http://bit.ly/110nraJ

                  :-D Right, then please come back after you have disproven the last 250 years of geological research.

                  Btw, the shit in your link is copied verbatim from the Watchtower, just like the shit in your link about the historicity of Christ is copied verbatim from William Lane Craig. And you pretend those are your ideas – so you are a liar and a thief, eh Joseph?

                • Gehennah

                  i I’m not clicking on any more of your links, you can do what adults do and actually type.
                  ii Again, type it out, I’m not clicking on links anymore. I’d love to hear your evidence.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                • Gehennah

                  I’m not trolling. But if we are willing to actually take our time to type an actual response then the least you could do is give us the same courtesy. Simply copying and pasting links is just trolling.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  No, there is none. ALL scientific fields refute it. Read a book, narcissist.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  Yes and, as we all know, Science is omniscient and, more importantly, infallible …

                  :-D Every time you find a scientist who agrees with your idiotic preconceived ideas, you treat his / her opinion as infallible. But if an entire scientific community rejects your BS, they obviously must be wrong. Hypocrisy for the win eh ;-)

              • Andy_Schueler

                So if, in your view, death is an appropriate penalty for sadistic
                murderers, why do you protest when God does this with those he knows
                (being omniscient and all) would inevitably become evildoers?

                Yeah, let´s translate “would inevitably become evildoers” from christianese into english: “a non-hebrew man, woman or child that the israelites wanted to kill”. And “not inevitably become evildoers” in english obviously means “a pretty virgin that an israelite soldier really wanted to rape”.
                Praise Jehovah! :-D

              • RowanVT

                Why doesn’t God then cause them to be miscarried, if he knows they will do evil? That doesn’t violate ‘free will’.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Humane imprisonment, for life.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                Cutting him off from society, and holding him in a cell for life is not about punishment, and certainly isn’t a “reward”.

                It’s about keeping the rest of society safe, and that can and should be done humanely.

                • islandbrewer

                  He doesn’t understand the word “humane.”

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  There are a lot of words he doesn’t understand.

                  Unfortunately, he keeps using them.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Once again, it’s about keeping the rest of society safe.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Keep murderers and rapists and abusers out of society, in a predefined secure location, and they won’t be able to harm anyone in society.

                  DUH!

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Only a sociopath like yourself considers imprisonment to be a reward for anyone. Your lack of empathy is sick. Sadly, sociopathy is considered untreatable, so you won’t get any help. All you can do is wait to abuse someone, again, and hopefully get caught this time so you can get some free room and board.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              They’re not a murderer if you use your God-powers to stop them from murdering. Really, do you not actually speak English?

      • Rob Bos

        Evil Baby Orphanage. Obviously.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Your perverted sex-fantasies about mass infanticide just get more and more convoluted. Isn’t there a porn site or ten that you could share them on instead, please?

    • Anat

      So? When they were children they had yet to do anything seriously wrong. (And even people who do wrong should not be killed for that.) BTW Margaret Sanger, while indeed another person who was a child at some point, did over all much good in the world. I’d replace her with Mother Theresa.

    • Gehennah

      Yes, they were children once. But you don’t punish someone for what they may become, you punish someone for what they have become.

      Everyone has the ability to be a murderer, this doesn’t mean its ok to execute children because they can become a murderer.

      • RowanVT

        Because typing is hard.

      • Gehennah

        First, try typing instead of pasting a link, it makes you look dumb if you keep doing that.

        Second, if that was the truth, then we have no free will because everything is preordained, therefore your god made us the way we are, we have no control over it. So your god is playing army men with his toys already knowing which toys will do what.

        • islandbrewer

          First, try typing instead of pasting a link, it makes you look dumb if you keep doing that.

          Too late!

        • Gehennah

          Your god had a choice on how he made the universe. He knew the outcomes to every possible universe. Therefore he already knew what was going to happen before he made the universe and decided to make one that includes sin and suffering.

          • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

            Joseph, I believe that you will never enjoy this mythical “paradisaic” Earth you dream of. I believe that you will lose all your beliefs forever at the moment of physical death, when all activity ceases in your brain, and that you will never, ever be resurrected.

            I think it rather more likely that you’ll supply some organic molecules to fertilize the plant matter above your grave site, and bask in the sunshine for a while before being processed through the digestive tract of an itinerant rabbit.

            • Gehennah

              Put a bullet in your head, when all goes black its proven.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                I know willful ignorance can be frustrating, but let’s not violent allusions? Please?

                • Gehennah

                  True, but it is the only way that he can actually prove to himself without a doubt whether or not an afterlife exists.

              • Gehennah

                I’m not the one wanting proof of an afterlife.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Given that you’re a nihilist, you should be more than happy to do so, by your own arguments.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Wait, you want Astreja to prove what it is that she believes? Not prove that it’s true, but prove that she believes it?

              Gee Joseph, could you please prove that you believe that God exists? Don’t prove God exists, prove that you believe that God exists.

              • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                I was very careful to state it was My belief, and not state it as a fact, but apparently that nuance went right over Joseph’s head.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  Yeah, nuance is not Joseph´s strong side – but in his defense, it´s hard to be nuanced when you rely on Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V ;-)

                • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                  I think he’s too busy searching his library of pre-written ready-to-C&P material to do anything more than troll-reading, quickly skimming and posting something tangentially relevant to the post above.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  He already got significantly better at his schtick compared to how he was a few months ago – back then, he used just 2 or 3 canned responses per thread and spammed them all over the place until he got banned. And back then, he also used to upvote all of his own comments until we told him that we can actually see where the upvotes come from.

          • Gehennah

            So your god isn’t all powerful?

            • Gehennah

              How do you know he chose not to know? And how is it possible for an all powerful being to not know something.

              You are squirming here.

              • Gehennah

                I think you are really trying to stretch it here. If you are all knowing, you are all knowing.

                • Gehennah

                  First, to prove that god can’t do that you have to demonstrate that there is a god.

                  But by definition, omniscient is to know everything. If he doesn’t know everything, he isn’t omniscient.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  i. Again? How many times do I have to do this? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/f

                  Almost completely copy-pasted from William Lane Craig´s website without citation. I thought stealing is wrong Joseph, but I guess you care as little about that as you care about commandments against lying eh? ;-)

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  The Flood. QED.

                  Here’s your toaster. Thanks for playing. Try to not stick your hand in it every chance you get.

                • Andy_Schueler

                  Argumentum reductio ad absurdum

                  I honestly don´t know if you are simply to stupid to realize that a reductio ad absurdum is not fallacious or if you think that others are too stupid too realize that. But in any case, it´s hilarious to see you trying this stunt again and again and again… :-D

                  Eight people survived as well as many, many animals.

                  [JoPolancoMode]
                  Argumentum assertio. Prove your claim.
                  [/JoPolancoMode]

                • RowanVT

                  Of course, there’s that pesky problem that the flood never happened and that a boat that size couldn’t hold either 4 or 14 (7 of every clean, the male and his female, making 14) of every species, or even every ‘kind’, plus fodder, for over 100 days. Plus, what happens when they are released from the boat? The predators in the first few weeks would kill most of the herbivores, then die out themselves, leading to almost no animals at all.

                • Discordia

                  This is a link to one of the best breakdowns of the whole Noah’s Ark fairy tale I’ve yet to see. I hope you enjoy it!

                  http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

                • RowanVT

                  I read the whole thing… and it was wonderful. :D

          • Andy_Schueler

            The question is, will you choose to do what is necessary to be there and enjoy it with the rest of us, or not?

            Oh boy! An eternity of listening to the most pretentious douchebag the world has ever seen (=you) and hearing your canned responses not only a few dozen times, but an infinite number of times! Where do I sign up?!?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            You’re claiming to know the mind of God. Enjoy sitting outside Paradise for eternity, false prophet narcissist.

            Also, you have no idea what “omniscient” means. Jesus wept but you are bad at English.

        • JohnnieCanuck

          Citation invalid.

        • Andy_Schueler

          And risk being accused of posting unsolicited commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses? Perish the thought!

          :-D :-D :-D
          Joseph Copypasta Polanco being worried about spamming… OMFG, you really can´t make this shit up.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Not only do you not understand evolution, you don’t understand ‘spam’.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o

    • Gehennah

      We don’t know what would have happened personally, so it isn’t our call.

      It still doesn’t change the fact that you do not punish someone for a crime that they have yet to commit or attempt.

      • Gehennah

        If we went back in time and was able to prevent Hitler from ever being born, we do not know the repercussions of such an event. Therefore we cannot say whether or not it would save lives or not. It’s fairly simple.

        Now you can claim your god knows, but then again if your god knows everything that will be for every scenario then he knew what Adam and Eve would have done, and it didn’t have to be done that way, and we also have no free will in that scenario.

        • Gehennah

          If god is omnipotent, then he knows everything and every possible outcome before he created everything. Therefore he knew what would happen since t=0.

          And he didn’t have to put the tree in the garden, it didn’t have to exist, yet he made it exist.

          • islandbrewer

            And he didn’t have to put the tree in the garden, it didn’t have to exist, yet he made it exist

            … and then said “Don’t eat any fruit, even though it will give you ‘knowledge,’ ‘cuz knowledge is bad for you, yup!” and then he left them alone with the magic fruit tree and a talking snake that he know would persuade at least one of them to try some of the wonderful magical delicious fruit right in front of their noses … that they can’t eat.

            God’s such a shit.

            • KMR

              And then send them to an eternal fiery torment for succumbing to the scenario he created in the first place. Don’t forget that little piece of the good news they call fundamental Christianity ;)

              • Lurker111

                Not to mention that the transgression occurred _before_ Adam & Eve had knowledge of good & evil, so they weren’t even culpable.

                • RowanVT

                  I’ve had people try to argue that even though they didn’t know the whole “good & evil” thing, that they still knew right from wrong. O_o

      • islandbrewer

        I don’t follow. …

        Wow, that’s the first time you admitted it.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      By the way, thanks for letting everyone know that you are terrified of your foul post history being known by those you intend to lie to (everybody) by hiding it. But that doesn’t actually work because: Page Capture.

      • RowanVT

        You have a definition problem I see. Nothing about what C.L. wrote makes them a creeper. The intern who would stand 5 feet behind me, silent, and stare at me was a creeper.

  • Gehennah

    There wasn’t a single tipping point I don’t think, just more cracks in the foundation that caused it to collapse.

    I was brought up a Southern Baptist, taught YEC and that the Bible is literal. The problem was that I was good at science in school and what I was being taught wasn’t meshing with reality. But my cognitive dissonance rationalized it as “God is testing you, or God is making it appear old.”
    Then I started actually reading the Bible. Not just the good parts about how god loved us and sent his son to die for us, but also about the genocide, the slavery, and the other things that god seemed perfectly fine with even though it was obviously immoral.
    Then I had a friend that was an Atheist. She wasn’t one to go around saying religion is stupid, but she’d always be willing to have a rational discussion about religion. While I wouldn’t say she was a reason i became an Atheist, she did make the conversion so much smoother because I had someone to talk to, and someone that I knew that was an Atheist, but in spite of what my church told me, she was a very nice and caring person. She helped me through the months after I stopped believing when I’d wake up from nightmares of Hell.

    #Deliverance

    • sam

      “Not just the good parts about how god loved us and sent his son to die for us…” I’d personally place that one in the ‘bad parts’ category.

      • Gehennah

        At that time as a Christian with my god glasses on, I saw it as a good thing.

        Now, yes, I see a blood sacrifice as immoral,

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    For the uninitiated, Joseph O Polanco is a Jehovah’s Witness who likes pasting the exact same thing in multiple threads. His repertoire fairly narrow, but he’s nothing if not tenacious. He also likes to quote Latin, badly, and claim just about every argument is a strawman.

    Simple understand what you’re feeding.

  • Obazervazi

    Shin Megami Tensei and Xenoblade.

    The two videogames gave me a very clear idea of what an evil god would be like. I rejoiced every day that the evil version of God, the god worshiped by Westboro, Fox News, and my father, was not the real god.

    Then one day, I was reading about the classic villain line “if you’re not with me, you’re against me.” on TVTropes. “Oh shit, Jesus talks like a villain!” Then it all clicked into place. Genocide, slavery, allowing Satan to continue to exist, punishing disbelief more harshly than murder or rape, it all made sense.

    #Deliverance

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life in oh, so many ways.

      (HTML was borked. Fix’d nao, kthxbai.)

      • Obazervazi
        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Eh, it’ll do both. Simultaneously. And really fuck with your head (and vocabulary) in the process.

          The number of times I’ve had to stop, mid-sentence, to explain a trope? If I had a dollar for each one, I’d be… not rich, but I’d have a good chunk of moneys.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Yeahhhh, I hate you people. I feel stupid when I have to stop mid-conversation and search for a trope definition so I can keep up. >.< Grrr!

        • Lurker111

          No, TV Tropes will cause you to lose hours without realizing it. I hear there’s a recovery group now and a 12-step program.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          That Which Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger, Except TV Tropes, Which Does Some Damn Thing.

  • Mick

    I wonder how many people he converted during his door knocking period?

    I wonder if he apologised to them when he realised that he had led them astray?

    • CS

      If he was like most jehovah’s, then he probably converted no one.

  • http://twitter.com/verawishes Vera

    I finally read a book about evolution. By the end of it, I knew I couldn’t be a Christian any longer.

    #Deliverance

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    No one real tipping point. Just lots of little nudges, and it finally coalesced into “I don’t think I’m really believing this” sometime in college.
    #Deliverance

  • FifthApe

    I was a child of a single parent fully devoted this faith (most of my family remains devout JW’s) The duality of my youth consisted of the struggle to adhere through fear and loyalty, and the compulsion to question. As a teenager in the faith, the very act of questioning any aspect of the doctrine (as I often did) was seen as the works of Satan. This thought oppression continued as I planned for higher education. On numerous occasions, I encountered resistance to pursuing a college education often being told that it would be a waste of time since the end is near (a clearly false prediction; one of many nihilistic predictions in the 20th century). Unfortunately they succeeded as I didn’t seriously attend college until my 30′s. Of the many negative and oppressive elements that should have caused me to abandon my faith (how strictly I was to groom my facial hair and how long it should be, type of clothing I was to wear both in an out of service, whom I could hang out with and with which chaperone, to masterbation, food , healthcare ….) I recall the exact moment the faith died. A friend in the faith and I were listening to the Pearl Jam Vitalogy album when his mother stormed in ripped the cassette out of the player, shredded the tape and tossed it in the trash… Claiming “this is devils music”. This simple yet terrifying act embodied all I ever needed to know about the JW’s and religion in its entirety. That day I came to the conclusion I was an atheist.
    This religion is poison. It fills the minds of undereducated, under employed which it preys upon to believe they will reunite with their deceased loved ones. I will conceded that this “bait” is quite powerful. While I have broken its grip on me, I also lost most of my family. It is a rather divisive cult which establishes a clear line where one is left to decide, if you are in or out…
    I Choose out

  • Tony Cummo

    My turning point was when i was 5 years old and first came into contact with religion when i started catholic school. It was very easy to see that these ‘scary’ people (priests, and especially the nuns) were quite obviously insane. I am 63 years old now and constantly amazed at the gullibility of people who believe superstitious, religious mumbo jumbo….. how obvious does it have to be???..lying to kids and terrifying them with supernatural demons is child abuse, mutilating children’s genitals is a disgusting, barbaric religious ritual that should be illegal…
    religion and the greedy, lying, psychopaths that control it make me feel physically sick…

  • suzeb1964

    It is actually hard to determine what the tipping point was. It was more a culmination of things:

    It was studying biology and chemistry and physics in school. It was understanding the concepts of evolution. It was never once being witness to a “supernatural” event that could not be explained scientifically. It was reading the Bible and reading about other current religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) as well as dead religions (Norse, Greek, Aztec, Celt) and realizing they all shared a common lack of rationality. It was listening to my Church of Christ grandmother telling me I had to believe in every single part of the Bible, even though that Bible encouraged horrific actions on the part of its believers, as well as her telling me that I was damned to Hell for being raised Presbyterian instead of Church of Christ.

    #Deliverance

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Someone consider sending this to Hemant (I brought up a troll recently and don’t want to spam him with griping):

    http://www.forumforpages.com/facebook/atheist-republic/petition-to-have-joseph-o-polanco-removed-from-these-forums/1426071115/0

    Joey Sweetums has overtly admitted in writing that his intention is to disrupt forums.

    If he was capable of absorbing information, I’d be all for letting him stay for all the abuse he wants. But he’s doing things like literally memorizing and regurgitating other peoples’ posts, without even trying to be ironic.

    He isn’t just really stupid; he’s declared that he is pissing on the couch on purpose.

    • islandbrewer

      As someone who can appreciate the irony of this phrase, *ahem* “Your prayers have been answered.”

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        *blinks*

        Well, that de-escalated quickly.

        • RowanVT

          Amusingly enough, he was banned and the comments deleted… about 2 minutes before your post showed up for me. So as you typed, it happened.

          …. Oh noes, does this mean that prayer actually works???

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I am become Stephen King:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_Processor_of_the_Gods

            Well, that works for me. I don’t like pressuring people about their own blogs (cept when arguments need to be rebutted, of course), so if it didn’t involve my post in the slightest, that’s great.

  • allein

    My faith was never strong enough that there even was a “tipping point”…I drifted away from church during high school and college and never thought much about it. It wasn’t until around 30 that I really started thinking about the whole thing and by then I was so far removed from any personal religious practice that it was really just a mild realization of “hey, I guess I’m an atheist” rather than any kind of traumatic loss of faith. #Deliverance

  • Tira Turtle

    I’m not sure what the “tipping point” was exactly, as it was a very slow gradual thing of my beliefs evolving and growing until I was eventually an atheist, but growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness I can probably relate to this story more than others.

    I think what really started me questioning was when my family broke apart due to my mothers delicate emotional state and her own questioning and searching. When she was disfellowshipped and our entire family wouldn’t speak to her I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of “loving” God was leading us who would insist, instead of helping those who had lost their way, we completely ostracize them instead.

    And as the only child out of three who chose to live with her, I was similarly blacklisted, and THAT was something I certainly couldn’t wrap my mind around.

    My mother’s own sisters didn’t speak to her for over twenty years. Not until she began studying again and was reinstated as a witness. To me that is one of the saddest things about religion. The forceful nature to which its lessons are enforced. There’s nothing remotely morally superior about that way of thinking.

    #Deliverance

  • Bob Speeter

    As I made my way through Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, I was struck by all the biblical knowledge, known by scholars, that was never shared by teachers and priests in 12 years of catholic schooling. Even though it was common knowledge that the gospels were not written by M,M,L & J. , this fact was never mentioned. This insight allowed me to look at the bible as a book, written by humans and continuously modified by scribes through the ages. Huge eye opener for me.

    #Deliverance

  • PattyT

    My grandparents were Reformed Mennonite. A long time ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away), when I was 13, I told Grandma I wanted to wear makeup. She told me that wearing makeup was vain and vanity was a sin. Though I had been attending a Christian church (UCC), I seemed to have missed that in the list of sins.

    I then looked at her walk-in closet. She had about 50 dresses. Granted, they were all various shades of grey or checkered black & white. But she had her good dresses for company, her worn out work dresses for doing chores, her best dresses for Sunday meeting. If vanity was a sin, my young mind wondered, why did Grandma care that she looked better for company than she did for her family?

    This one simple conversation led me to start researching religion and the bible at the age of 13. Who decided what is a sin? If there is only one God, and each religion thinks they have the “in” to heaven, which one is right? Who were these people who wrote the bible? Were they the equivalent of today’s fiction writers? The questions just rolled out, one after the other. Finding answers in the 1970s was not a simple task. There were no books at the school library that spelled it out. But I pieced it all together by the time I was 14.

    #Deliverance

  • baal

    I moved around a lot as a kid and had to learn to deal with the locals pretty quickly. While raised catholic, I saw pretty fast that different places held mutually contradictory positions on god(s) and that you could be in deep something if you pointed that out or mentioned that they ought to sort out the conflicts. I didn’t become all ‘militant’ until much later, however, when I started trying to answer the question, “Does religion do more good than harm?”. Turns out that once you start looking, it’s pretty hard not to see that “religion poisons everything” including my belief in belief. #deliverance

  • Karen

    I went to Catholic schools through high school, and it was all about loving your neighbor and helping the poor. I could get with that program — indeed, I’m still on it. Then in college I actually read the whole bible, not just the New Testament, and I started to have doubts. After awhile my husband insisted we stop going to (evangelical) church, since I cried during every sermon that declared we were all shit, and only saved by God. But the tipping point for me was when I was finally diagnosed with depression, got some good meds, and realized I was worth something. The Christian god is a monster.

    #Deliverance

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004052694896 Jack Dowell

    Honestly, I can’t really recall a tipping point when I decided I was an atheist, probably since I was no where near as religious as many of the people here used to be. A couple of memories relating to religion that have always stuck with me are me being really frightened by the idea of eternity in regards to Heaven. For some reason, the idea of an eternity in Heaven just really bothered me as an 11 year old, though I wasn’t really fazed by the concept of an eternal Hell. Another memory was that of me a few years ago at Youth Group when a preacher was coming to talk to us and we had to write questions for him. One of the questions (which he declined to answer) I wrote was something along the lines of “In thousands of years, do you think Christianity will be thought of the same way as Greek mythology, just something people came up with to explain things we don’t understand?” I still considered myself a Christian at that point, and the idea didn’t really bother me, or strike me as a possibility, but when looking back, I think that was the first time I really questioned the accuracy of my religion, so I suppose that’s the closest thing I have to a tipping point.

    #Deliverance

  • ranjuro

    Now this is what I call a discussion. Thanks Hemant for posting about this book. I hope it serves it’s purpose and lots of people read it.

  • Alicia Hansen

    I was raised a JW, never believed, pretended until I was a teenager. The main tipping point for me was being told by my mother I had to talk to the elders after I had been assaulted. WTF did they need to know about it for?! Yeah, I met with the elders and told them just that and then left…for good. Only time I stepped foot in a Kingdom Hall since then was for a funeral for a friend who had committed suicide. Never made sense to me as a child, truly suffocated me as I grew older.
    #Deliverance

  • GeekyMonkey

    My tipping point was when my 5 year old son asked me why he never met my sister. I’d shunned her for 17 years because the JW church forced me to out of fear of being shunned myself. That simple question that I didn’t have a good answer for started my mind to finally start working. #Deliverance

  • Masson Cedric

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