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Posted inReligion

The Handbook: Examining the Evidence

Reading Time: 10 minutes I wasn’t stupid, willfully-ignorant, or mentally will when I made the decision to become a fundamentalist, and I really don’t like it when someone implies that about anyone. I thought the religion had evidence supporting its claims. On that count I was wrong, and here’s the list of what I was wrong about.

Posted inReligion

A Particularly Ugly Episode in the Christian Culture Wars.

Reading Time: 15 minutes It’s been a rather mind-blowing week over in Christian Bizarro-land. The anniversary of the landmark decision Roe v. Wade was coming up, and it happened to coincide with the start of a legislative session in Congress, so naturally there’s been quite a lot of grandstanding and showboating going on as Christianist politicians and religious leaders alike jockey to demonstrate who loves fetuses the most.

Posted inReligion

Alex Malarkey and a Shocking Twist in the Old Story of Lying for Jesus.

Reading Time: 10 minutes You’ve probably heard of that genre of books called heavenly tourism. In these books, a Christian discusses a Near-Death Experience (NDE) they had where they think they visited an afterlife that looks remarkably like the Christian Heaven. They were allowed to return (or requested to do so) and now they feel that their life’s mission is to tell as many people as they can about their experience. Christians love these books. But now one of these heavenly tourists has recanted his story. Here’s how he did it, and why, and what it means for Christianity.

Posted inUncategorized

The Handbook: Why Arguments Aren’t Evidence.

Reading Time: 11 minutes We’ve talked before on this blog about what evidence looks like, and I don’t feel like I have much to add on that particular topic than I wrote last year. But today we’re going to talk specifically about why an argument alone should not constitute compelling evidence for the supernatural claims of Christians, how to spot someone using an argument in lieu of evidence, and how to short-circuit the tactic.

Posted inReligion

A Response to the Response to Ryan Bell.

Reading Time: 14 minutes We’re coming back to the Handbook for the Recently Deconverted shortly, but I saw this today and it just cried out for examination. Ryan Bell is a Seventh-Day Adventist minister who decided to go one year as a functional atheist. For one year, he’d abstain from prayer and all outward shows of Christianity; he’d read […]

Posted inReligion

The Handbook: Knowing What a Claim Looks Like.

Reading Time: 8 minutes There is a book. The book details everything people need to know. Everything. But especially it tells us about The Place. It tells us where The Place is. Who gets to go there. Who the owner decides to invite. Where they will stay when they arrive. What they will do when they’ve gotten there.

Posted inReligion

It’s Everybody’s Holiday (Plus: Link Love!)

Reading Time: 6 minutes I’ve always loved Christmas. This time of year in general is an important one for me–almost everybody in my family has birthdays in the three months of winter, and most of the anniversaries happen around then as well–and most of the important deaths (“light a candle for me every year,” she asked, and I always do, always, always). So I want to talk about Christmas today, and at the end there’ll be some link love to some posts written elsewhere by me and other folks in case you need something to keep you busy.

Posted inReligion

When Christianity Became About the Opposite of Social Justice.

Reading Time: 10 minutes When someone is convinced that the end of the world is coming, that person isn’t exactly going to care what his or her credit rating looks like, so to speak. I personally knew people who didn’t want to take care of their own bodies because they were so sure that they’d just be Raptured before they got old. I’ve met other ex-Christians who told me that their parents didn’t want to teach them to drive or take sex education because they were so sure that they and the end of the world would happen well before the kids became old enough to hit their teens. I’ve seen “Rapture ready” type websites that actually advised readers to take out as much credit card debt as they possibly could in advance of apocalyptic predictions. And we’ve heard countless Republicans in the Jesus Party claim that the reason they fight against legislation meant to reverse climate change is that Jesus is coming back anyway, so why bother with it all when he’s just going to destroy the planet in the last battle?

Posted inReligion

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers’ Abuse–er, Love.

Reading Time: 7 minutes You’ll never, ever see Christian love like you will when his most fervent adherents discover a dissenter in their ranks. They think they’ve been commanded by the author of the entire universe to love their neighbors. But ugh, who wants to do that when there’s all that abuse they’d rather be doing? Loving people is all hard and stuff.

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