I normally associate the Republican Party with creeping theocracy, so I am surprised to read this very logical critique of religion by a State Representative who is a Republican. Even for a Democrat this would be a rather daring statement. For a Republican it is astonishing.
Religious people by definition have this problem, not only children.
I'm a gun owning, college dropout, atheist. Good thing I'm already married.
If you get a set amount of time to speak why isn't there just like a clock or something that does a countdown?
Why is the person who is sponsoring and wrote the bill even able or allowed at all to cut you off and shorten your time? Shouldn't that person NOT be involved in that aspect of the process?
Who designed this awful method of conducting business? That's the real question. Why isn't changing this being discussed ?
Religion is not a harmless hobby, it is very dangerous. It creates a tolerated precedent that a group of emotionally attached people make beliefs in unproven claims - often nonsensical - dominate over ratio and facts.
A fatal consequence that religion shares with all ideologies as well, also creating a mindset for dictatorship and oppression of major parts of the people.
edit: ratio => rationality
"But Christians never hurt anyone!" -- My Fundie Mother
And it doesn't matter how much evidence I show where where Christians DO hurt others - a lot - "They're not true Christians!"
You can't beat this sort of self serving bullshit you know. No amount of evidence in the world will be self serving bullshit.
I was a church leader for over 10 years and I went to a Christian university to study the Bible. After 5 years of soul searching, I now renounce Christianity.
I am posting this as my "coming out of the closet". I have not told my friends and church from my hometown or my alma mater, and I am certain that it will cause an uproar. This is my way of getting my thoughts out, and hopefully give some other people some insight about a former-indoctrinated Christian.
Throughout my childhood, I was absolutely convinced that God was real. I believed the Bible was infallible, and I behaved essentially like the "perfect" Christian - I stayed away from dating, never got in trouble, never swore, went to church at least twice a week, led Bible study, etc. I went to a Christian school, and everyone believed that I was going to become a pastor. In college, I heavily studied the Bible, including Christian apologetics. I refused to ever waiver from my morals, and a lot of my friends and peers admired me for that. I was 100% indoctrinated into Christian ideals.
But through all of that, there some concerns. It began with me quietly disagreeing with their anti-gay and anti-abortion stance and how that was somehow more important to them than actual issues like racism, poverty, health care, etc. But that's reconcilable - the Bible warns against people who claim to be Christians all the time.
Further concerns arose when I realized I didn't have this same "relationship" with Jesus that everyone seemed to be talking about, no matter what I did. Praying, worshipping, even reading the Bible seemed so unnatural and forced to me. Meanwhile, everyone kept talking about how much God "blessed" them, which I just couldn't relate to. Not only does the Bible not say ANYTHING about God Blessing his followers (Actually says the exact opposite) but I had lived a rough life with narcissistic parents and abuse from certain church leadership. It annoyed me how much people talked about how God "blessed" them.
Post-graduation, I started falling further away from the church and started to have more questions. But I had taken apologetics, and those arguments were enough to convince me. But as I moved away from home and started seeing the real world, and experiencing how the world really works, I started wrestling with these questions more and more.
The past couple years, I'd characterize it as turning me to agnostic. I wasn't sure about it one way or another; I still would call myself Christian but I wasn't actively doing anything Christian-related.
Over the past couple months, I knew that I had to make a decision. I began researching everything related to the Bible, to Jesus, and to Christianity. I reviewed all my Christian apologetics arguments. I realized that not a single one was convincing. The majority of them have some form of circular logic (ie. arguing for the existence of God based on statements already believing it to be true).
I had a nice, long talk with my brother, who expressed similar concerns to me and how he fell away from the church as well; same with a few students I went to school with. I knew that the answer rested in whether or not Jesus was resurrected, which I was convinced base on arguments I had learned in college to be true.
I poured over everything I could find on the resurrection, on the gospels, on the new testament, to everything I could find. I looked over as many sources as I could, including Christian, atheist, and neutral perspectives. I had to dismiss many arguments from both the Christian side and the atheist side because of major holes.
While it is pretty much impossible to be 100% accurate, and my conclusions come almost entirely from second hand sources, I believe I've pieced together enough that I have a convincing argument. Based on my research, I had no choice to to renounce Christianity.
One of the biggest arguments that Christian scholars gave was that the gospels were first-hand narratives written about 20 years after Jesus' death, that they corraborate each other, and that Jesus was seen by over 500 witnesses post-resurrection. Based on this narrative, it is very difficult to deny Jesus. But I delve deeper. What I found was that this was all based on a lie. All the gospels were probably ghost written; Mark was a 2nd hand narrative, and Luke and Matthew were essentially third hand narratives based on Mark. And Mark's narrative is based heavily on an extra passage that was added later about Jesus' resurrection because Christians didn't like the original ending.
So we have two narratives that embellish the first already embellished narrative. Then John comes in and embellishes it further. I then studied Paul's letters, since those were written before any of the gospels. But even Paul probably never met Jesus in his life, and none of them give enough background.
The more I studied, the more inconsistencies I found. Jesus' childhood had to be made up, not only because Luke and Matthew's narratives are different and there is none in Mark, but because there was no way anyone was around to witness Jesus' birth. None of the "prophecies" really came true, and Jews had very good reason to not see Jesus as Christ. Moreover, how the Canon was chosen was based entirely on incomplete information - how can some books not make it in solely because they were ghost-written, but many books in the Bible were found to be ghost-written after it was considered canon? This "rigorous" process wasn't rigorous at all.
It doesn't help with what's going on in politics now. With the religious conservatives seemingly focused more on moral issues instead of social issues and actual rights of human beings, how the fuck could I ever support this?
tl;dr: I was an indoctrinated Christian leader for most of my life. Realized that the entire Christian faith is based on a fabrication passed on from the very beginning. And I want no part of a religion that cares so little about human rights in the name of "religion".
I just want to say that this story shows tremendous intellectual independence and strength. It's not easy to reject such basic aspects of one's worldview.
Don't worry, Trump plans on fixing that barrier so they can keep their tax exempt status and advocate all they like.
After much thought I have decided to leave my right wing, ultra conservative, evangelical, Christian church.
The straw that broke my back was a picture in a children's book the church had bought. It showed Moses parting the Red Sea and a Brontosaurus wading across.
After talking to some evolutionary biologists I realized this was false. They also opened my eyes to a world of scientific truth and wonder I never could have imagined. I spent 35 years in the dark.
Now I need to untangle myself from the church. This is a small town and it's the largest church in town. I will see members everywhere I go. What can I do to prevent being harassed? The church is part of my social life, my employer is a deacon (I'm definitely losing my job when he finds out), and my landlord is a deacon as well. Slightly more protection there but I have to sign a new lease in July so my rent will probably be doubled.
I never fit in there anyway. I'm a member of SP USA, and give money to the ACLU, SPLC, and other "liberal" causes. I support gay marriage and LGBT rights in general. Pro choice. This was pretty much inevitable. Sooner or later I was going to leave the church.
What's the best way to untangle myself from the church and minimize the damage?
A lot depends on the tolerance of the people. If they are not tolerant, you may have to decide between moving, taking abuse, or hiding your true beliefs.
Take it slowly. Once the proverbial cat is out of the bag, your options change.
From where do these proverbs originate? Half of them sound like the writings of an emo high schooler in black eyeliner; the other half sound like the shitty fortunes from my local Chinese restaurant's cookies.
Let's play the Bible Game.
1 Timothy 2:12
"I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."
Do as Mr. Joel says. The Bible says so.