Hey Christians, Let’s Make a Deal

I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly how I feel. Thanks for saying it!

godless in dixie

baalsA few weeks ago, Rachel Held Evans wrote a plea to atheists, asking us not to judge Christians by their more offensive representatives, offering in exchange not to judge atheists by our most extreme spokespersons, either. I’ve already agreed with Hemant Mehta’s reply pointing out the false equivalency of statements made by Pat Robertson and Richard Dawkins. But I’d like to counter with an offer of my own:

I promise to treat your beliefs with the same measure of respect with which you treat my disbelief. That seems fair, wouldn’t you agree? Does that prospect feel threatening? If so, why? As you think about this matter, be on the lookout for something called “privilege blindness,” which means that people of a favored class often are oblivious to the ways in which social and cultural inequities affect those on the losing end of things.

Have you ever read the…

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Heaven and Hell

As I’ve alluded to in a previous post, there are some ideas and concepts from Christian Science that have stuck with me, and always will. It’s not all misguided illogical doublespeak. Some of it is logical and makes sense, to me at least. One of the biggest ones is the Christian Science concept of heaven and hell (I don’t capitalize these terms, as I do not believe in them as actual places). Continue reading

Reading the Wrong People

Reading the wrong things, in Christian Science land, it’s more like letting the “wrong thoughts” influence you. Many a Christian Scientist would think that I and everyone else who’ve had the good sense to run for the exit are under the pernicious influence of “mortal mind”. No, the only thing I’m under the influence of is a little thing called common sense.

Jericho Brisance

Table of Major Written WorksSome friends have considered that my departure from Christianity must be due to a misplaced emphasis of the sources that I have consulted. That is, perhaps I spent too much time reading “the wrong people”, and so came to bamboozlement. This is a legitimate concern, and I suspect that it may be more broadly held than I would hope. It struck me as incorrect on first blush, but I did go back and actually catalogue my sources by worldview.

Taking only the major written works that I read (a few dozen), the statistics sum as shown in the first chart. As can be seen, theist sources dominate the atheist/agnostic sources by 3 to 1. Neutral sources included generic information without direct bias or commentary on Christianity one way or another, while the mixed category denotes resources like “multi-view” type books.

Table of All SourcesIf the net is cast more broadly and extended to…

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Something Phallic This Way Comes


Image credit: News.com.au

This is a Google Earth image that’s been making the rounds on the web lately. I pulled this image off an article on an Australian news site, but it’s been all over many others. It’s a satellite image of a new Christian Science Society building recently erected (sorry, I just can’t help myself) in Dixon, Illinois. Yes, the puns practically write themselves with this one; and yes, it is fitting that the town this building is located in is called “Dixon”. It’s hard not to laugh every time I see this, although I do honestly feel somewhat badly for the Society in Dixon. Continue reading

Critical Thinking

“Ms. Eddy claims “the time for thinkers has come” but if you think critically about Christian Science, or the Bible, you end up somewhere quite different than she intends. As someone shared on my FB feed this morning”

This quote, in a comment in response to a blog post, comes from a fellow ex-Christian Scientist blogger and is a variation on the theme of her own blog, a play on the famous (to Christian Scientists) quote: “‘The time for thinkers has come…’–which is great, unless you’re thinking critically about Christian Science.” (kindism.orgIt got me to thinking about critical thinking and analysis of and about Christian Science.

Continue reading

Something I’ve Read

Here’s an article I came across via a Facebook posting in an ex-Christian Scientist group. It was written in November, 2009, so much of what is spoken of has come to pass–or not–it is worth noting that the payment for prayer provision that the Christian Science Church was seeking in the United States health care law popularly known as “Obamacare” did not make it into the final bill that was enacted, but it illustrates issues and efforts that are good to be aware of, especially as it relates to the issue of health care in the United States. Continue reading

F. E. A. R.

This is another in an ongoing series of posts that look at contradictions in Christian Science–it’s teachings, practice, or both. Look for others under the category ‘Contradictions‘.

Fear is a word that I remember from an early age being turned on its side as an acronym for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. Until I left Christian Science, I thought this was an action unique to Christian Scientists, as I had never heard this acronym used anywhere else. However, among my friends who are in 12-step recovery programs, I have heard it often. For the most part, I think it is a good explanation of what fear largely is. We always fear what we don’t know or understand, and what we don’t understand can appear different and sometimes scarier to us than it really is. Many of us also have completely irrational fears–for me, it is clowns (thank you Stephen King and your novel It), and being in a large building alone. On the other side of the coin, I also believe that to some degree, fear is not always a bad thing. Fear (usually) keeps us from doing stupid things that might otherwise harm or kill us (like putting our hand on a hot stove or walking across a rickety bridge or structure), or motivates one to seek help or remedy when something serious (and truly scary) crops up. Continue reading

Your Religion May Be Harmful If…

godless in dixie

Nonbelievers exhibit a wide array of reactions to the presence and influence of religion in public life ranging from cool indifference or mild disdain to highly vocal disgust and vitriolic public protest. Frans de Waal has reasonably hypothesized that each person’s background probably plays a major role in determining the strength of his feelings toward the subject. “Possibly, the religion one leaves behind carries over into the sort of atheism one embraces…my thesis [is] that activist atheism reflects trauma. The stricter one’s religious background, the greater the need to go against it and to replace old securities with new ones.” Makes sense to me. I’ve noticed that those with the least patience for charitable dialogue with religious folks often come from the most controlling, most abusive religious contexts. They have good reason to be angry, and they feel a strong internal motivation to combat religion because they’ve seen its dark…

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A Testimony

I’ve given a similar testimony before in this blog, but I just feel moved to stand up and give this one. The other day, I was dealing with a headache while I was in a meeting at work. In the past, as a Christian Scientist, I would have tried to quietly “know the Truth” in some way about the supposed unreality of this headache, but would have gone on suffering in silence from that illusive falsity–all the while, praying in Christian Science for a healing that never came. A woman who was attending the meeting with me offered me two Tylenol extra strength pain relievers. I gratefully accepted them, and within 15 or so minutes, the headache symptoms began to subside, and were soon gone. Continue reading