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Freedom From Sin

At church this week (I go to keep the parents happy) I felt extremely uncomfortable with the message. It was another perfect example of how churches emotionally manipulate people.

The speaker began by asking the congregation some questions:

“Who has back pain?”
“Who has a bad memory?”
“Who is tired?”
“Who feels stressed?”
“Who has relationship problems?”

By the end of it, everyone had recognised the imperfections in their lives. He brought our problems to the forefront of our minds and reminded us that life isn’t “how it was meant to be” because of these woes.

Then, he explained why life is imperfect: it’s our fault. It’s because we sin. We turned our backs on God and decided to live our own way and that is why there is suffering and wrongs in the world. It’s not God’s fault, it’s something we freely chose.

By this point, everyone was feeling very guilty and hopeless. We were primed for the Good News. Then comes Jesus Christ. He’s born, he dies for our sins, he rises again, we are forgiven and restored. Cured of the disease of our sins.

This is a pretty standard format for a sermon, and I really do despise it. It makes you feel unnecessarily shit about yourself and your life, because if you feel shit then you will be more responsive to the message of Jesus. They pile on the guilt and the hopelessness until you turn to him in desperation.

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Being freed from the guilt and shame that I felt as a Christian has been one of the most life changing aspects of becoming a nonbeliever. Before, I would think about sexual things or accidentally say a swear word and I would be so upset because I had let down the Maker of the Universe. He died for me, and I couldn’t even stop sinning for him. The emotions I felt daily because of my faith were completely exhausting. Now, I no longer have to feel guilty simply for being human. Instead of focusing on the imperfections of my life, I try to be happy about all of the things that are good. I am a truly lucky person to have the life that I do. I am not a dirty, sinful, inherently bad and selfish failure. Rather, to quote Ehrmann:

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or the stars; you have a right to be here.”

I still make mistakes, commit “sins.” But I am free from the impossible expectations of a sadistic god. Sure, my life isn’t perfect, but in many ways I feel like that is what makes it so beautiful. Don’t let Christianity take that away from you.

God does not understand love.

God does not understand love.

The Bloody Pursuit of Truth

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Rachael Slick is a non-Christian daughter of a Christian apologist. Her Christian upbringing was really full on, much more so than mine was. In her guest post on the Friendly Atheist she describes how it felt when her relationship with God ended:

“I still remember sitting there in my dorm room bunk bed, staring at the cheap plywood desk, and feeling something horrible shift inside me, a vast chasm opening up beneath my identity, and I could only sit there and watch it fall away into darkness. The Bible is not infallible, logic whispered from the depths, and I had no defense against it. If it’s not infallible, you’ve been basing your life’s beliefs on the oral traditions of a Middle Eastern tribe. The Bible lied to you.


Everything I was, everything I knew, the structure of my reality, my society, and my sense of self suddenly crumbled away, and I was left naked.



I was no longer a Christian. That thought was a punch to the gut, a wave of nausea and terror. Who was I, now, when all this had gone away? What did I know? What did I have to cling to? Where was my comfort? 

I didn’t know it, but I was free.”

This is how it feels to become a non-Christian. It’s not fun. It’s not that we’ve “lost our faith” or given up on God” or “taken the easy route” or “given in to temptation”. Becoming a non-Christian hurts like hell. It’s terrifying. My Christian friends thought I was giving into my selfish desires, that I became an atheist so I could get away with sin. In fact, becoming an atheist was about letting go of my desires. I desired to believe in a loving God. I wanted there to be someone ensuring that “all things to work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:23).” I wanted my sins to be atoned for. I wanted to praise Him in heaven for eternity. But no matter how badly I wanted to believe it, I had to stop lying to myself. God was not love. God did not love me. Jesus was not my best friend. None of it was not real. I had to accept that He was gone and learn to live without Him. At this time I did not know how wonderful living without him would turn out to be.

You talk about atheists being angry and arrogant, I think that’s because a lot of us are hurt. We’re trying to live by integrity, but you make us feel like we’re alone and like we’re failures. You say that this is a choice and that we’ll be punished accordingly. We have to stay strong when our families makes it clear that you are not one of them. We have to take responsibility for our actions, no forgiveness. I have to face everyday without knowing there’s someone ensuring I will be okay at the end. Don’t you dare tell me I’ve “taken the easy way out.” After living your life with God for so many years, it’s incredibly hard to let it go. It’s embedded in every part of you. Losing that rips you apart, but lying to yourself is worse. I may not have the comfort or the joy of being in love with Jesus. The life I live might be harder, but I am free and nothing can beat that.

To all the people in the same place as I was a few years ago, please read this before go clear your internet history incase your parents see that you’ve been on an atheist blog. One day you won’t have to wait for everyone to go to bed before you can read your Richard Dawkins. One day you’ll be able to change your Facebook religious views to “atheist”. One day you will come out and you’ll inspire others to do the same. Know that you are not alone, and that it gets better. Don’t give up on pursuing the truth. It’s messy and it hurts. But it is worth it.

Catholics and Condoms

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This is wonderful. It’s a collage of the ex-Pope. Made out of condoms. LOL.

One thing that completely confounds me about Christianity is that it could oppose contraception. How ridiculous! I’m lucky that the Christianity I grew up in didn’t have a problem with it. Condoms save lives. Why oppose that? How can you oppose that and still consider yourself moral?

Mother Teresa herself said that: “living love is destroyed by contraception.” WHAT? Why? How? What gives you the right to say things like that? It destroys love?? No. Just no.

You would have to be a fucking crazy lunatic uncaring psychopathic moron to oppose condoms in a world with AIDS. Such idiocy is not acceptable at all in this age. Please stop. Just stop.

Jesus As Number One

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One thing I’be been thinking about lately is the importance of Jesus in the lives of Christians. Nothing else comes close to their dedication to him. Not their love for their families or respect for others, nothing. This post on Ruth Hadock’s blog really brought it home for me. I had a similar experience growing up.  I remember singing worship songs at church that have pretty full on lyrics. I used to sing them with all my heart:

“All I am is yours,”

“Every breath I take I breathe for you”

“Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause”

Now I cringe whenever my parents play songs like this at home. When I was becoming an atheist, it was a harsh realisation when I understood that my parents loved God more than they loved me. I wonder if they would go as far as their beloved Abraham did, sacrificing their own child on His command.

In church a few months ago, one of the speakers was talking about the death of his non-Christian father. When he found out his dad had only a couple of weeks left to live, he went straight to the hospital and started preaching to his dying father. His father did not want to hear it, so much so that he spent his last days with his lawyer, taking his son out of his will.

Some Christians seem to lose all sense of human decency and respect for others when it comes to proselytising. Instead of spending the precious last moments having quality time with his father, he ruined the entire relationship. All for the sake of Jesus.

Matthew 10:34 -37 jumps to my mind:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

I had a really uncomfortable and slightly upsetting experience at church this week (my parents make me go, even when I’m hungover like I was this week. Lol.) I’m moving away to go to university in a couple of weeks, and this same church speaker who preached to his dying father, wanted the whole congregation to pray for me. Now, this guy is a pretty close to my family. He knows I don’t believe Christianity. He knows that I don’t want anything to with the Christian God. Yet he called me up on stage to be prayed for. I said no. So he came down the aisle, put his hand on my shoulder and said a massive long prayer. It took all I had in me not to walk out. I was sitting next to my grandma (who still doesn’t know I’m an atheist) which made it even harder. Everyone in the church had their head bowed in prayer for me, while I sat there staring straight ahead, fuming. It was completely humiliating. I’m an atheist! Don’t fucking pray for me in front of a couple hundred people! He even prayed that God would help me through my questioning. It felt so patronising! Your God isn’t real, dickhead.

The guy even thanked God for my passion for law and that he would help me in pursuing it. I’m not even studying law. Thanks for getting to know me. (I only got accepted for law at shitty, small universities, so I’m doing International Studies instead. Which I’m totally cool with. Lot less debt.) As my boyfriend said after the service: “You’re not passionate about law, you’re passionate about what’s right and wrong.” Damn straight. And Christianity is bloody wrong. Especially when some Christians forget the “love your neighbour” verses in favour of the afore mentioned ones.

I fully understand that this guy honestly believes that enough prayer will save my soul. I know he means well. But please, have some respect for other people and their right to peacefully disbelieve without being put-on-the-spot unwillingly in front of so many people who are so disappointed in me.

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Just Saying: This post is more about venting than any logical objections to Christianity. Sorry if you don’t like swear words. Also, I understand that not all Christians are like this guy. It just made me a bit cross and upset and I need to let it out.