Climbing (not Cutting) a Christmas Tree

Editor’s Note: Tis the season to enjoy the cheery holiday decorations that are all around town. They brighten up the darkest days of the year. Here is a unique perspective on Christmas trees by a former Presbyterian Chaplain. He has an unusual personal connection to the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of their [Read More…]

The Apostles Creed – Revised For Humanists

Editor’s Note: Mary Johnson, Clergy Project member and former nun with Mother Teresa’s order, gave Rational Doubt permission to reprint this post from her website. Thank you, Mary, and thanks for the enticing offer to readers to write their own variant of the creed. =================== By Mary Johnson I don’t believe in God, an imaginary [Read More…]

Lesson #6 in Vacation Bible School: Biblical Inspiration? Not So Much

(Originally published 3/8/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) ==================== Editor’s Note: Mike picks out some of the ugliest parts of the Bible, questioning why so much of the “good book” would contain such gruesome material.   Just a little inspiration from the “Good Book” to bless your week: “When a man sells his daughter as [Read More…]

Lesson #5 in Vacation Bible School: Paul Never Quotes Jesus

(Originally published 11/11/11, by Mike Aus, aka, paganpreacher) Editor’s Note:  Here Mike questions how the Apostle Paul can know what Jesus said at The Last Supper if he wasn’t there. ==================== Here’s another oddity of the Bible that Christians hardly ever mention, and apparently it doesn’t bother many people.  But it has sure bothered me [Read More…]

Lesson #4 in Vacation Bible School – Tweaking the Translation Alters the Meaning

(Originally published 2/16/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) Editor’s Note: This is the sequel to “Dishonest Bible Translations” in which Mike Aus, a nondenominational pastor at the time he wrote it, points out an additional instance in which a biblical translation makes a big difference in the originally intended meaning. ==================== The Old Testament prophet [Read More…]

Lesson #3 in Vacation Bible School: Dishonest Bible Translations

(Originally published 2/15/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) Editor’s Note: In this post, several Bible verses are used as illustrations of how meanings can be easily manipulated, mistranslated and misunderstood. ==================== Translating the Bible is a tricky and imprecise process which allows ample room for translators and Bible publishers to insert their particular theological agendas.  [Read More…]

Lesson #2 in Vacation Bible School: Good Reasons to Read the Bible

(Originally published 8/12/12 by paganpreacher, aka Mike Aus) Editor’s Note: The second lesson in this series was written over a year after the first one featured in this series, and several months after Mike “came out” atheist.  Here he uses several Bible verses to show how meanings can be easily manipulated, mistranslated and misunderstood. ==================== [Read More…]

Welcome to Vacation Bible School – Rational Doubt Version

Editor’s Note: For the next few weeks, in keeping with a long-standing tradition of vacation bible school, Rational Doubt will be featuring blog posts by Mike Aus, former Lutheran and nondenominational pastor and current humanist community leader. Mike has given permission to reprint posts from his paganpreacher blog, which he started writing in 2011 as [Read More…]

Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor – What about Me and Grandma in Heaven?

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our first “Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor” column. “Dave” will answer religion questions you always wanted the answers to, but were afraid to ask (like mine below), Even better, Dave will give you straight answers you never got when you did ask your pastor.  Dave’s sensitive and serious answer to my question [Read More…]

Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor – And He Will Answer

Editor’s Note: Dave, an atheist ex-Pastor with a “coming-out” book coming out in the fall, introduces a new feature on Rational Doubt.  If you have a question for Dave, please email him at askanexpastor [at] gmail [dot] com.  Check the Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor tab above for answers to questions asked by doubting lay people [Read More…]