Category Archives: Religion

The Aching Bellies of Churchgoing Folk

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The Aching Bellies of Churchgoing Folk

In the mid-90’s, an old friend of my family planted a new church. As I recall, we missed his virgin sermon, attending instead a morning service a few weeks later. I remember that day all too vividly.

My parents sat in the front pew; I felt more comfortable sitting five rows back with my brother and sister. We sang three hymns, read from the Gospel of Matthew, and then worked our way through two more songs. All things considered, the service progressed swimmingly. That is until the new visitors were encouraged to stand and introduce themselves.

My dad said, “Hello, I’m so and so,” and I duly waited my turn. As the introductions commenced, my mind started to wander to my mum’s delicious Sunday roast at home. There was no need for me to pay attention, after all; my siblings would be my cue to get ready. They’re older than me. Obviously they’d be asked to speak before me.

Boy, was I wrong.

It came to pass that the boy raised his eyes to the man on the pulpit. And he, this anointed agent of Heaven with the godly eyebrows and obsidian robes, pointed a quivering finger at the youth’s gluttonous heart, thus casting out the roast reverie and delivering the child from his gravy daydream. ‘Twas as if God himself demanded, “WHO ARE YOU, BOY?”

Who, me? I was a deer in the headlights of onrushing shame. Futilely, I gestured to my parents — suddenly, so far away — and then, I tried to explain myself. I said, “I am…my father’s son.”

Never let it be said that I’m a liar.

A punchline silence greeted my declaration, shortly followed by laughter — the entire congregation were rolling in the aisles. And after the bellies of these good churchgoing folk ached too much to continue, my wiseass brother affectionately nudged me and announced, “I’m his brother.” Another round of chortling ensued and my humiliation was complete.

I’ve never lived this faux pas down, and I don’t really care to. It’s a fun story to tell. And it served me well when I toasted my parents at my sister’s wedding. “I am my father’s son. I am my mother’s son. And I’m very proud of that.”

Why Do I Even Bother?

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Why Do I Even Bother?

I’ve devoted a fair amount of time writing to Ben, The Militant Christian. I thought our conversation could actually prove fruitful. Despite his blog name, he’s actually a very “liberal” Christian that appeared to have a genuine interest in science and reason. He started the discussion by trying to establish things that we agree on. A good sign, right?

Stop the presses! The conversation turned sour. Shocking, I know.

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That’s One Way to View It

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That’s One Way to View It

Re: OWIRAA {E} The Bible, Part 1: Absurdities

Ben has written his second response, titled, Is the Bible Believable? For a history of our discussion, see God at the Helm?I See Your Expectations and Raise You an Open Mind, and An Open Mind and an Open Heart.

In his latest post, Ben analyses my stated expectation that the bible ought to be believable—lest its authority be questionable. Read the rest of this entry

Questions for Theists.

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Questions for Theists.

What follows is 10 questions aimed at theists, along with an explanation as to why the questions are meaningful. The questions are sincere, as they have been the stumbling blocks to many a conversation about religion. What is contained in the explanations that follow the questions is not meant to limit a theist’s response, and […]

https://allallt.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/questions-for-theists/

I See Your Expectations and Raise You an Open Mind

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I See Your Expectations and Raise You an Open Mind

Ben, who writes as The Militant Christian, has written a response—one of many to come—to my post about biblical absurdities, and I rather appreciate that. Saying that believers shouldn’t be afraid of listening to atheists, he’s kindly encouraged his readers to read and respond to my work too. I’d call that a win. Please see his response here: God at the Helm?

Despite rocky beginnings, Ben and I have actually had some pleasant correspondence. Nice guy, wouldn’t mind having a beer with the fellow.

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OWIRAA {E} The Bible, Part 1: Absurdities

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OWIRAA {E} The Bible, Part 1: Absurdities

Main article: On Why I Remain an Atheist

If God directed a movie, what would its Rotten Tomatoes rating be?

A feature film by God would be nothing short of Certified Fresh, don’t you agree? With unlimited resources and the pick of the world’s foremost cast and crew, God’s picture ought to be a blockbuster that’d put all Kubricks to shame. That’s what I expect, at least, if the Creator himself was at the helm. So too I expect excellence from God’s literature. As such, I have a few expectations upon considering the Christian holy texts. Read the rest of this entry

OWIRAA {D}: Faith

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OWIRAA {D}: Faith

 Main article: On Why I Remain an Atheist

You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me—Jesus speaking to “Doubting Thomas,” John 20:29 (New Living Translation)

Faith is not a virtue, and yet, religion is rife with it. In the arena of the gods, faith is not only rewarded but necessary for survival. Why? What makes it so important that the godly demand it from us on pain of death? What is its value, really? And why would the gods covet it like Gollum lusts after the ring?

The answers have done little to curb my scepticism. I remain distrustful of faith, and we ought to be wary, in case you were wondering, because the essence of this thing is the same as that which compels the gambler to bet, just one last time, despite any better sense.

Faith is neatly threaded through the flesh of our hopes and fears, and using it—tugging at the thread as it were—can really hurt and cause damage. Read the rest of this entry