How Creationism Drove Me out of the Church

To be more specific, creationism led me to a crisis of faith that ultimately, through some twists and turns, drove me out of the Christianity. My parents did not realize that in teaching me that literal young earth creationism was the foundation of Christianity they did not simply fortify my faith but rather gave my faith an Achilles heel. And apparently, I am not alone. Really, really not alone.My parents taught me that Christianity was about being filled with the Holy Spirit and having … [Read more...]

A (Late) Christmas Rant

A while back I saw a church sign that said "I Miss Hearing 'Merry Christmas.'" You know what, Mr. Christian? If you miss hearing "Merry Christmas" how about you say it more often? You can't control anyone else, and you shouldn't want to. If it floats someone else's boat to say "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings," what is it to you? We have this thing called "freedom" in this country, and that means people don't have to celebrate the holidays in any one specific way, even in the way you want … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 4: How to deal with religious relatives

I know this is late - the holidays are now over - but I don't really have all that much experience with this one, having only been an atheist for a few years, and I wanted to let another holiday season go by before addressing it.When it comes to dealing with religious relatives during the holidays, my biggest strategy is simply keeping my mouth shut. First of all, some of my relatives know I'm an atheist while others don't, which makes things complicated and makes keeping my own counsel … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 3: Family, generosity, and the true meaning of Christmas

Most Christians want Christmas to focus on the birth of their savior. Mass marketing, on the other hand, forwards the idea that Christmas is about getting stuff. Children come into contact with all sorts of ideas about holidays, but it is a child's parents that set the tone for the holiday celebration at home. So as a parent, I ask myself, what do I want Christmas to be about for my children? What meaning for the holiday do I want to convey to them? I think that every parent should ask this … [Read more...]

On being an Atheist AND a Feminist

When I named this blog, I chose to call it "Love, Joy, Feminism" and not "Love, Joy, Atheism" for a reason. I knew that I would be blogging about leaving fundamentalist and evangelical religion as well as blogging about leaving patriarchy, but I felt - and still feel - that my feminism is more important to me than my atheism. I thought about it and realized that I identify more - a great deal more - with a religious feminist than an sexist atheist. Fortunately, the main atheist bloggers I follow … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 2: What to do about baby Jesus

My parents homeschooled me in part to "shelter" me - to keep me from what they considered "bad influences." They carefully monitored what movies we watched, who we were friends with, what we read and learned, and where we went or what we saw. The goal was to raise us to share their beliefs, unadulterated by potential corruption from ideas and beliefs they considered "wrong."Having been raised this way, I have to avoid falling into the same pattern. Sometimes it's tempting to think that I … [Read more...]

Fearing a Supernatural Boogeyman

I'll resume my Christmas series on Monday, but I wanted to take a moment to look at another issue. Those Christians who hear that I am an atheist often ask "but how can you live without God?" A few months ago I realized an important response: Being an atheist isn't just about living without God, it's also about living without Satan. I've mentioned this before, but wanted to take a moment to expound upon it further.As a Christian, I believed that God was all-powerful and that Jesus had … [Read more...]