Where Taking the Bible “Too Seriously” Can Lead

Bible Weapon

Today's post is excerpted from a post written by my friend Brian over at his A Pasta Sea blog.  It is my opinion that the greatest impediment to the intelligibility of the Christian faith is, in fact, its foundational set of documents. Far from being an asset, the Bible is the Achilles' heel soft underbelly of most Christian systems of belief, especially the more fundamentalist ones. It is my observation that the more reliant upon the Bible a brand of Christianity is, the more easily it is co … [Read more...]

By This Shall All Men Know That You Are Baptists?


I grew up Southern Baptist. I went to a Southern Baptist college in Mississippi, and my family still attends one of the largest SBC churches in the state.  That was my tribe.  Having studied Southern Baptist life, theology, and even church polity, and later marrying into an SBC minister's family, I know how Southern Baptists think about themselves.  They are often quite proud of their way of doing things, particularly when it comes to the self-governance of their churches.SBC churches consider … [Read more...]

A Preacher’s Kid’s Deconversion Story


Today's guest post is written by David Simms of Alpharetta, GA:Inside the atheist blogosphere, it’s easy to read the growing number of stories about atheists coming out to their loved ones and to walk away with a dismal view of religious people and an awful sense of hopelessness.  Let’s face it – many theists don’t take the news that well.  But is their reaction really surprising to us?When we atheists say that we have no reason to believe in the existence of a god, our loved ones feel th … [Read more...]

Believe Me: A Christian Movie That Doesn’t Suck


Forgive me, but religious art isn't what it used to be.  There have been periods of history in which the Christian faith produced the most inspiring and sublime art of the day.  Today, however, is not that day.I will hasten to admit that the fledgling "freethought movement" has yet to produce a great deal of art of any kind, much less art of an inspiring quality.  But it's still in its infancy.  In time I expect that to change.  Certainly it must, if it is ever going to move beyond talking he … [Read more...]

Why Some of Us Don’t Come Out of the Atheist Closet


From time to time I hear people not from my region of the country scolding closeted atheists for remaining in the closet.  They remind us that Americans are already too judgmental towards non-believers and that the only way to counter that is for more of us to openly identify ourselves. They're right; that is one of the most effective ways to remove the stigma which religious skepticism continues to have in our country.  Just this past weekend at Apostacon I conducted a workshop about how to "c … [Read more...]

Apostacon: A Mature Conversation Disguised as a Party


This past weekend I attended my first atheist/skeptic convention, Apostacon, and I had a blast.  I’m not much of a “joiner” and I’m not one to voluntarily attend session after session of someone-else-talking.  Maybe it reminds me too much of church or high school, or maybe I’ve just become far too A.D.D. (thank you, internet).  But this weekend was fun because the people who put it on are fun people who appreciate the need for grown-ups getting to cut up and cut loose for a few days just to enjoy … [Read more...]

Liberty Interview with Kaveh Mousavi


This week I had the privilege of being interviewed by the pseudonymous Kaveh Mousavi, an ex-Muslim who lives in Iran and writes for Freethought Blogs. This is the fourth episode in a series of interviews about liberty from people with varying standpoints and views. Check out his previous episodes here. Kaveh:  Hello Neil and thank you for being here. Let me begin by asking you the same question I have asked all the other people who were interviewed here. In countries like mine, where the regime … [Read more...]

Letters to My Daughters


Ordinarily a father can speak freely with his children about his own faith (or lack thereof) in a fairly unguarded way.  But my situation is more complex than that.  At the beginning of my fatherhood adventure, I was essentially an evangelical Christian.  Now that my girls are entering adolescence, however, I more readily identify with secular humanism and as such I find myself in an awkward situation.  The culture in which they live is almost entirely Evangelical, and I myself am not.  To furt … [Read more...]

What Leaving My Religion Did for Me


People often ask me if my life is better now that I've left my religion.  My honest answer is that it's a mixed bag. On the negative side, I have to say that the reactions of people who liked me better when I still had faith have been at times very strong.  I usually become a target for re-evangelism for a while, but they eventually learn to quit pushing me after they realize that I've heard everything they have to say about this a thousand times.  Most people probably just decide I'm being stubb … [Read more...]

The Bible Is a Terrible Medical Textbook


Sometimes religion causes harm.I do my best to distinguish between the kinds that do and the kinds that don't, but there is an awful lot of overlap between the two.  No matter how hard I work to make my distinctions,  I usually end up angering the adherents of both kinds anyway.  It's more of a spectrum than a dichotomy, and in this spectrum all the gradations blend together so that any particular belief system can be both a blessing and a curse simultaneously.  Matters are further compli … [Read more...]