'Good without a god': Faces of atheis...

'Good without a god': Faces of atheism in Oklahoma

There are 7527 comments on the NewsOK.com story from Jul 5, 2013, titled 'Good without a god': Faces of atheism in Oklahoma. In it, NewsOK.com reports that:

Rebecca Vitsmun is shown during an interview with a CNN reporter shortly after the May 20 tornado that destroyed her Moore home.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NewsOK.com.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2951 Oct 26, 2013
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
Arrogant, self promoting, leftist bias, trash talking, ideologue...and he wonders why people meet him and walk away unimpressed? LOL.
Your Jesus was a lefty, silly person.

I'll ask YOU: Do YOU heal the sick, feed the poor, shelter the homeless?

No?

YOU DO NOT GET TO CLAIM TO FOLLOW JESUS, then-- because you do not.

Hypocrite.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2952 Oct 26, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
It's the creationist troll poster, "educated what" back for more embarrassment and shame.
Indeed. It is-- he was bannated under his other monikers.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2953 Oct 26, 2013
Gillette wrote:
<quoted text>
Why don't you Google "former Baptist minister" ad get the link to Dan Barker's informative, enlightening book, "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist"
http://www.amazon.com/Losing-Faith-Preacher-A...
Losing Faith in Faith was helpful to me in my own break from the manacles of religious tyranny. Dan's book makes for both good sense and good humor.--Steve Benson, editorial cartoonist, Arizona Republic
Barker is compelling, humourous, and rational. His arguments are clear and thought-provoking.--Andrew Fandre, Huntsville Times
This book profoundly affected me. It's funny, and poignant, and most importantly, true! You must read this book.--Julia Sweeney, comedian, actress, "Saturday Night Live" alumna
Barker is compelling, humourous, and rational. His arguments are clear and thought-provoking.--Andrew Fandre, Huntsville Times
This book profoundly affected me. It's funny, and poignant, and most importantly, true! You must read this book.--Julia Sweeney, comedian, actress, "Saturday Night Live" alumna
From the Publisher
A challenge to believers; an arsenal for skeptics.-
Review excerpt:
Dan Barker was an evangelical minister and missionary who did everything from writing songs and skits for children to working with youth groups to preaching street sermons to adults. However, somewhere in the course of this career he began to be aware of the fact that his religious beliefs were in serious conflict from his intellectual knowledge about our scientific world.
This book brought many negative aspects of Christianity to light that had been completely ignored, conveinently explained away, or totally unknown to me in my super-religious past. I never realized the Bible was so anti-family and that the various qualities we attribute to God are so self-contradicting. It also further examined some parts of the Bible I had already wondered about, such as its blatant sexism and racism, and its inaccuracy in accordance to history, although I had been told by every preacher out there that it was correct.
If you are from a Christian religious background I can only imagine the response my little book review is illiciting, and I totally expect to receive self-righteous hate mail under the guise of loving Christianity. However, I completely understand, for if I had read a book review like this during my very devoutly religious stage, I would have felt the same way. All I can ask you to do is read the book for yourself. If you read it and disagree with my conclusions, that's great and there is no harm done.
Thanks for the review-- I may have to give that a read (even though I'm already convinced).

:)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2955 Oct 26, 2013
Gillette wrote:
<quoted text>
Testimonies of Ex-Christians
The Bible is no longer worthy of my faith
Sent in by John
http://testimonials.exchristian.net/2009/05/b...
I posted mine on there several years back. I doubt it's still around though, I let my membership lapse in exchristian.net .

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2956 Oct 26, 2013
susanblange wrote:
<quoted text>Most of the deluge came from the "fountains of the deep" and they contained salt.
You are lying-- the bible says no such thing, and underwater sources are always freshwater--never salt.

So you are lying in two ways.
LCNLin

United States

#2957 Oct 26, 2013
Atheism = Agnostics coming out of the closet.
UK = Keep Paying your taxes to the Church, the established one.
Jessup

United States

#2958 Oct 26, 2013
Gillette wrote:
<quoted text>
Why don't you Google "former Baptist minister" ad get the link to Dan Barker's informative, enlightening book, "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist"
http://www.amazon.com/Losing-Faith-Preacher-A...
Losing Faith in Faith was helpful to me in my own break from the manacles of religious tyranny. Dan's book makes for both good sense and good humor.--Steve Benson, editorial cartoonist, Arizona Republic
Barker is compelling, humourous, and rational. His arguments are clear and thought-provoking.--Andrew Fandre, Huntsville Times
This book profoundly affected me. It's funny, and poignant, and most importantly, true! You must read this book.--Julia Sweeney, comedian, actress, "Saturday Night Live" alumna
Barker is compelling, humourous, and rational. His arguments are clear and thought-provoking.--Andrew Fandre, Huntsville Times
This book profoundly affected me. It's funny, and poignant, and most importantly, true! You must read this book.--Julia Sweeney, comedian, actress, "Saturday Night Live" alumna
From the Publisher
A challenge to believers; an arsenal for skeptics.-
Review excerpt:
Dan Barker was an evangelical minister and missionary who did everything from writing songs and skits for children to working with youth groups to preaching street sermons to adults. However, somewhere in the course of this career he began to be aware of the fact that his religious beliefs were in serious conflict from his intellectual knowledge about our scientific world.
This book brought many negative aspects of Christianity to light that had been completely ignored, conveinently explained away, or totally unknown to me in my super-religious past. I never realized the Bible was so anti-family and that the various qualities we attribute to God are so self-contradicting. It also further examined some parts of the Bible I had already wondered about, such as its blatant sexism and racism, and its inaccuracy in accordance to history, although I had been told by every preacher out there that it was correct.
If you are from a Christian religious background I can only imagine the response my little book review is illiciting, and I totally expect to receive self-righteous hate mail under the guise of loving Christianity. However, I completely understand, for if I had read a book review like this during my very devoutly religious stage, I would have felt the same way. All I can ask you to do is read the book for yourself. If you read it and disagree with my conclusions, that's great and there is no harm done.
Well from me you won't get that response. I was raise in a 'religious family' and being religious and being a Christian is two very different things. I know you understand what I'm saying. The church I was raised in I do not agree with what was preached as gospel. I came to that understanding at the grand old age of 14. Since then I have developed a criteria to what is acceptable and unacceptable to me as a responsible, caring adult with a family.

Thanks for the book suggestion.
Lisa

United States

#2959 Oct 26, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Your Jesus was a lefty, silly person.
I'll ask YOU: Do YOU heal the sick, feed the poor, shelter the homeless?
No?
YOU DO NOT GET TO CLAIM TO FOLLOW JESUS, then-- because you do not.
Hypocrite.
1. Homemade chicken soup heals the soul and the sickly but I don't have a medical degree.
2. I donate to and sometimes volunteer in a homeless shelter.

As far as politics, it's my belief both republicans and democrats including the far left of the democratic party is full of hypocrites.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Do you think just because your an atheist that gives you a free pass for compassion to your fellow man?
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#2960 Oct 26, 2013
Whoever you are, stop changing your name every post to make it look like there are many of you and you all agree with each other.

Pick one name and stick with it.
Jason

United States

#2961 Oct 26, 2013
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Homemade chicken soup heals the soul and the sickly but I don't have a medical degree.
2. I donate to and sometimes volunteer in a homeless shelter.
As far as politics, it's my belief both republicans and democrats including the far left of the democratic party is full of hypocrites.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Do you think just because your an atheist that gives you a free pass for compassion to your fellow man?
Mmmmm, I like chicken soup, lol
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#2962 Oct 26, 2013
It's interesting how often this idea comes up in the de-conversion stories of fundamentalist Christians -- the idea that it was reading the Bible that started the process of them "losing their faith" and rejecting Christianity.

From the link I posted earlier today:

Testimonies of Ex-Christians

The Bible is no longer worthy of my faith
Sent in by John

http://testimonials.exchristian.net/2009/05/b...

Excerpts taken out by GILLETTE:

The Bible is no longer worthy of my faith
Sent in by John

In college..... I was lonely and insecure, and unsure of what to do with my life. For reasons I cannot remember now, towards the end of college I registered for a class on the new testament and really got to read the bible. I was amazed at the words of Jesus. As Matthew 7 says, he seemed to speak with authority, and his teachings were unlike anything I had ever heard or read before. I was stricken by parables like the good Samaritan and the prodigal son, and the way Jesus treated the poor and the sick.

I attended a Pentecostal church near my home for about a year. I took bible study courses there and learned about the life of jesus, prayer, and the basics of evangelism. I began to read books by Christian authors like CS Lewis and Philip Yancey. I also spent many hours in prayer and did outreach to the homeless once in a while.

After a year at the Pentecostal church, I decided to respond to an invite from a Christian friend and began attending a smaller, more fundamental church. I developed a close relationship with the pastor, and I was a devoted member of this church for over 3 years. I attended bible studies, led bible studies, attended prayer meetings, led prayer meetings, taught youth group, tithed faithfully, and went to many retreats and fellowship events.

But, there were things about the church, and Christianity in general, that became more and more troubling to me. The pastor was a fundamentalist who preached 6 day creationism and did not allow women to collect offerings or give sermons. I noticed that Christians gossip and fight just like non-Christians do, and that churches regularly split into different factions. In fact, it often appeared to me that the church was more dysfunctional than my own (non-Christian) family.

I prayed for the conversion of my family and relatives, for the spiritual revival of the church and its members, for the Iraq war to end, etc. etc., none of which were really answered. Although there were always excuses and justifications for unanswered prayer (i.e., God is testing you and building your faith and patience, etc.) I started wondering whether prayer really made a difference to anything.

And although I “knew” I was prideful and lustful and greedy (i.e., a sinner), I also began to realize that no matter how many times I prayed or read scripture, I did not seem to be improving as a person, and did not notice any significant changes in other Christians around me either.

So recently, when I was still a Christian, I decided to do a morning devotional bible study. I started as I usually did, with a short prayer asking god for guidance and wisdom through his word. That day I came across the story of Jesus’ anointing at Bethany in john 12. This is the story of how Mary (sister of Martha) poured oil into Jesus’ head during a meal, which was met by indignation by the disciples and a subsequent rebuke from Jesus. But that’s strange, I thought. I had remembered it was some unknown, unnamed woman who poured the oil and got rebuked. I decided to do some research on the Internet. This was the beginning of the end of my faith.

continued
Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#2963 Oct 26, 2013
I found out that the anointing at Bethany is detailed three different times in the gospels: john 12, Matthew 26, and mark 14 (there is a similar account of anointing in Luke 7, but it is different enough to be considered a separate incident). In Mark and Matthew, the name of the woman is not given. However, the stories in all three accounts are almost identical: the woman, supposedly Mary, approaches Jesus and his disciples at a dinner table and pours an alabaster vial of expensive perfume of nard on him. The disciples, seeing this, say something to the effect of:“Why are you wasting this expensive perfume? It could have been sold for 300 denarii and the money given to the poor.” And Jesus rebukes the disciples, telling them to leave her alone, that she is preparing him for burial, that the poor would always be with them, but he wouldn’t, etc.

But this is the problem: the episode in John happens BEFORE Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, while in Matthew and Mark the anointing happens AFTER the triumphal entry. So there is no way it could have been the same event… yet the stories are so identical, that I found it IMPOSSIBLE to believe it happened twice, within the space of a few days!

My research led me to skeptical sites listing bible contradictions and absurdities, and I discovered the bible contained many other contradictions, some I had noticed before (and tried to ignore) and others that I had not.

The death of Judas Iscariot is another example. Matthew 27 states that after Judas had betrayed Jesus, he became remorseful, flung the 30 pieces of silver into the temple and hanged himself. Acts 1 says he bought a field with the silver, then somehow fell headfirst into it, and died when his guts spilled out after his stomach burst open. So the “Field of Blood” was purchased by the chief priests according to Matthew, and by Judas according to Acts. The cherry on top of this whole confusing contradictory episode is Matthew’s reference in 27:9 that Jeremiah is the prophet foretelling the whole 30 pieces of silver incident; the problem is, there is nothing about 30 pieces of silver anywhere in the book of Jeremiah!

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other contradictions in the bible, such as the conflicting genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, the conflicting accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb, the conflicting accounts of how the disciples were first gathered, etc.(and I haven’t even gotten to the old testament). So basically, my deep investigation of the anointing story opened the floodgates to my skepticism and doubt of the bible, and my faith in the book began to crumble and did not stop.

For quite a few days I was in distress, trying to find a way to reconcile all the errors. The entire worldview I had developed and lived for the last few years was breaking down! Eventually, I remember flinging the bible on my table, looking at it, and saying something like “You are full of errors. You are not reliable”. The next day I prayed my last real prayer, where I asked god, that if he was really there, to give me or show me an explanation of why his supposed book had so many contradictions and confusions, otherwise I could not keep on believing. I think the reader knows by now whether there was an answer to that prayer.

So there is my de-conversion story. I was converted through reading the bible and also eventually de-converted through reading the bible. It was my choice to join Christianity, and also my choice to leave. I spent over 5 years as a Christian. Although I can lament the fact that I spent so much time and effort believing something that turned out to be false, I believe it was also important for me to seek and investigate religion for myself, and come to my own conclusions.

After reading other stories of ex-Christians on the Internet who spent decades of their lives as Christians before de-converting, I feel rather fortunate to have gotten out as early as I did.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2964 Oct 26, 2013
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Homemade chicken soup heals the soul and the sickly but I don't have a medical degree.
2. I donate to and sometimes volunteer in a homeless shelter.
As far as politics, it's my belief both republicans and democrats including the far left of the democratic party is full of hypocrites.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Do you think just because your an atheist that gives you a free pass for compassion to your fellow man?
I spent many-many years as a volunteer in a child abuse prevention program.

The stories I could share-- of abuse to children by their parents (and all without fail, were church types) would break your heart.

I eventually burned out of that, and had to quit.

I also volunteered for many-many years with children's programs in my local Methodist church-- back when I still believed.

I've also served many-many dinners to the homeless, and my local atheist group still does that from time to time.

I've not sat idly by. What have **YOU** done?

Or are you just another hypocrite?

You have already admitted to being a salad-bar christian: you pick and choose here or there from the bible as you see fit.

How nice: you know better than god, what is right and what isn't?

Right?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2965 Oct 26, 2013
Lisa wrote:
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Do you think just because your an atheist that gives you a free pass for compassion to your fellow man?
I vote for politicians who are in favor of social helpful programs, such as welfare, food stamps and ACA.

I have to turn a blind eye to their shortcomings, though as all politics is corrupt to some degree.

But the most corrupt? Are those who are so greedy, they would deny a helping hand to the poor.

That would be the ReThuglicans and their TeaBagger greedy-guts.

All of whom claim allegiance to christianity.

Naturally.
So What

Newalla, OK

#2966 Oct 26, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Bill Full-of-Hate O'Reilly is only out to make more millions for himself.
He does it by selling his swill-and-lies to the stupid and the very gullible.
In fact? O'Reilly would not recognize a fact at all-- unless it came wrapped up in a $1,000 bill-- which they no longer print.
Leaving him pretty much fact-less...
LOL! Maybe there is some hope for you after all.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#2967 Oct 26, 2013
So What wrote:
<quoted text>LOL! Maybe there is some hope for you after all.
You can call me "liberal" if you like.

But labels like that hardly do an individual justice-- they make assumptions that all too often are not true.

But I am happy that you think O'Reilly is just a con artist.

That says to me you are still thinking, at least.
Lisa

United States

#2968 Oct 26, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
I spent many-many years as a volunteer in a child abuse prevention program.
The stories I could share-- of abuse to children by their parents (and all without fail, were church types) would break your heart.
I eventually burned out of that, and had to quit.
I also volunteered for many-many years with children's programs in my local Methodist church-- back when I still believed.
I've also served many-many dinners to the homeless, and my local atheist group still does that from time to time.
I've not sat idly by. What have **YOU** done?
Or are you just another hypocrite?
You have already admitted to being a salad-bar christian: you pick and choose here or there from the bible as you see fit.
How nice: you know better than god, what is right and what isn't?
Right?
Several years ago right after my husband and I married we decided to move to the West Coast. I guess I was blissfully unaware how truly evil some people can be to children but I soon got an education. It changes you when you deal with people who were horribly abused as children the damage done is scaring for the rest of their lives.

Salad bar? I guess in a way I understand that description. I believe in certain principals in life a personal guide if you will my personal compass. I don't hate all religions. But I do hate blind faith in religious leaders who clearly manipulate for their own benefit and power.

Anyway, I appreciate your efforts to make things better in those people's life.
antiatheist

Seminole, OK

#2969 Oct 26, 2013
anyone found any transitional fossils yet? Didn't think so
So What

Newalla, OK

#2970 Oct 26, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Your Jesus was a lefty, silly person.
I'll ask YOU: Do YOU heal the sick, feed the poor, shelter the homeless?
No?
YOU DO NOT GET TO CLAIM TO FOLLOW JESUS, then-- because you do not.
Hypocrite.
You claim you don't believe in God, but yet you pretend your God. I find that odd behavior, not the you don't believe part, but the part where you claim to know facts about people without even knowing the person.

I wonder what psychosis that would be classified as?
godisdead

Tulsa, OK

#2971 Oct 26, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
I spent many-many years as a volunteer in a child abuse prevention program.
The stories I could share-- of abuse to children by their parents (and all without fail, were church types) would break your heart.
I was in a foster home in Euless, Texas. It was the home of upstanding church members who would force us to go to church every Sunday A.M. and Sunday P.M. and Wednesday night. The walls were thoroughly decorated with pictures of jesus and crucifixes.

I was eleven years-old and was made responsible for three babies under one year old. I was forced to feed, bathe, and dress these kids. My little brother was nine and had to care for one baby.

Friday nights the foster parents would throw one hell of a cocktail party and we kids had to stay upstairs and keep the babies quiet.

The father of the house had a ping pong paddle he was fond of using for ANY reason he could think of. I got my ass beat at least twice a week for not "doing my chores in a timely manner" or some other weak reason. I think he just liked whipping young boys. Real christian.

After a couple of years praying for god to get me out of the house, or at least make the man stop beating me, I finally gave up and figured out that there was no god, or else he didn't care about me, so I had better quit asking him for help and help myself.

I told my little brother that it was time for us to leave. When the foster parents were asleep we sneaked out of the house and took off. We made it to Van Alstyne, Texas where my little brother was struck and killed by a car. I guess god was asleep.

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