Have you ever heard a preacher say “It’s better to give than to receive” during a tithing sermon? Did you know that the verse he was quoting was actually calling for the exact opposite of what he was doing? The Apostle Paul credited Jesus with this saying even though it appears nowhere else in the Bible—it never shows up in the gospels. What’s even more curious is that Paul almost never quotes Jesus. This is one of only two places… Read more

I spent 20 years devoting my life to the Christian faith, and during most of those years I wholeheartedly believed I was in a “relationship, not a religion.” I was taught to see the Christian faith as unique, exceptional, and sooo much better than all those foreign religions and cults out there because theirs were based on “works” while mine was based on “faith” or “grace” (depending on an ultimately minuscule theological variation). Now that I’m on the outside of… Read more

This week I started the ball rolling on something which could prove to be a long legal battle for me. I won’t divulge the details at present but like many other places where my non-belief has come in contact with my surrounding culture, this could lead to some difficult challenges. But if you don’t do something to try and change things, they just. stay. the same. This song is one of the songs I run to in the morning before… Read more

Have you ever known someone who showered you with promises but rarely kept any of them? Did you learn not to trust that person from that point on, or did you instead make excuses for him, insisting that he is still trustworthy? If you’re a reasonable person, you would learn from such an experience. Sadly, however, many do not. Some will go to their graves defending the integrity of those who have failed them time and again, and this is… Read more

I’m gonna come right out and say it: I’m not a big fan of Jesus. I know it’s hip and cool say you don’t like the church but you love Jesus, except I always feel the need to ask: Which Jesus do you mean? How do you determine what he was/is like? I see two basic ways to answer this question. One, you can take the Bible at face value and decide that whatever it says about him must be… Read more

In the early summer of 1844, a series of riots broke out in Philadelphia leading to 32 deaths, more than a hundred injuries, and the burning of dozens of homes and public buildings. The reason these riots broke out wasn’t hunger or political oppression or previous acts of violence. No, the reason these riots occurred was that all Philadelphia schools at the time began each day with a Bible reading and one Christian group wanted their children to be allowed… Read more

I’d like to tell you about the last time I was able to stomach going to church. First you must realize that this was the culmination of years of struggle and tension for me. Back when I was still a teenager, I had only been a devoted Christian for two or three years before I began to see some glaring inconsistencies between Pauline theology and the superficial religious fixations of the evangelical church. Reading the letter to the Galatians (which… Read more

Nonbelievers exhibit a wide array of reactions to the presence and influence of religion in public life ranging from cool indifference or mild disdain to highly vocal disgust and vitriolic public protest. Frans de Waal has reasonably hypothesized that each person’s background probably plays a major role in determining the strength of his feelings toward the subject. “Possibly, the religion one leaves behind carries over into the sort of atheism one embraces…my thesis [is] that activist atheism reflects trauma. The… Read more

I’d like to tell you a story about a woman named Maggie. Maggie is a very warm-hearted, loving, self-giving woman who poured herself into her faith, her family, and her church for many years. Maggie’s marriage was the envy of her church friends because she and her husband Josh made an excellent team, and they often led by inspirational example. Her career as an addiction therapist didn’t make them rich by any stretch, nor did Josh’s part-time maintenance job. But… Read more

CNN’s Belief Blog posted a short article yesterday by Rachel Held Evans calling for atheists to avoid using the worst of Christian extremism in their critiques against Christianity, offering to return the favor by not doing the same in reverse against atheists. Evans is a favorite Christian writer of mine for the simple reason that she speaks prophetically to the Christian church as an insider. By speaking “prophetically” I mean that she openly speaks up when she sees her friends… Read more

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