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TABA last won the day on May 7 2017

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About TABA

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  • Birthday September 24

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    West Virginia
  • Interests
    Life, the Universe and Everything
  • More About Me
    From childhood Catholic to lukewarm conservative Christian. But now the spell is broken. I've come to realize I was probably always an atheist by nature.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. TABA


    I listen. I tell them I’m sorry they’re going through such a rough time. I tell them I wish them the best. I offer help if I can. But I don’t pray so I’m not going to offer that. Hi pk420! I hope you’ll introduce yourself...
  2. Evidently he is....
  3. If a terrorist yells “Jesus Saves!” I’d be inclined to call it Radical Christian Terrorism. If he yells “Allahu Akhbar!” I’d be inclined to call it Radical Islamic Terrorism.
  4. I don’t think that rash labeling is an effective antidote to rash labeling.
  5. I haven’t seen anything about the killer being a Christian. Did I miss something?
  6. Welcome, Jerry, and congratulations on your new-found freedom. The most precious freedom is freedom of the mind - nobody can take that away. It's not easy being a closeted unbeliever, but I've found being part of this community - even if it's only online - can make a big difference. You can come here and say what you really think and the people here "get" you in a way that nobody else does. I like how you used the word "refreshing" to describe how it feels. That's a word I've often used myself. No two deconversion stories are exactly the same, but we do all have quite a bit in common! So again, Welcome, and I look forward to hearing more from you. We all gain when a new member shows up and I hope you gain the most of all. Cheers, TABA
  7. Hmmm... I had you pictured as an Old Fart, yelling at kids to get off his lawn...
  8. Hi Jojo! I was a member of the Church of Christ for almost 25 years before deconverting within the past five years. Although I was raised Catholic, in my twenties - even as I started to drift toward unbelief - I learned about the Restoration Movement of the early 19th Century. The idea of stripping away all human additions and selective interpretations and to let the Bible speak for itself really appealed to me. The Restorationists, like others before them and since, sincerely believed that Scripture would make all things clear if only it were given the chance. Unfortunately they were wrong. Scripture speaks with a forked tongue. It shows us different and incompatible pictures of ‘God’. It shows the evolution of theism from the polytheism of the early Old Testament to the monotheism of the post-Babylon period. You can see the evolution of both Hell and Satan all the way through from Genesis to Revelation. And many theists’ picture of Hell comes not from scripture at all but from the medieval Dante’s Inferno. The New Testament can't even agree with itself as to whether Jesus is going to return in the lifetime of the writers. The fact that you and @Christforums have such sharp but sincerely held differences on important aspects of Christianity speaks volumes. I was attracted to the Church of Christ because I wanted to know the truth. I gradually realized, but only lately admitted, that the truth is that scriptures are human beings’ attempts to make sense of the world and all that is in it, nothing more, nothing less. They got some things right about human nature: there is wisdom among the pages of scripture. So I’d say to the Restorationists: you tried, you really did, but it just doesn’t add up. The Bible is evidently no more the word of God than the Quran or any other holy book. And letting the Bible ‘speak for itself’ gets you the plethora of denominations that emerged after the Vatican lost its monopoly on interpretation and people were able to read it for themselves. The Reformation created more confusion than the ‘Lord’ did at the Tower of Babel.
  9. I hereby ‘like’ this post. Evidently there is no ‘like’ button for posts made by our administrator @webmdave. I wish there were, especially since you’ve been ‘coming out of your shell’ and commenting more lately!
  10. That’s a familiar experience, haha! I think it’s more like if you scratch the surface of the average person in the pew you will find a POTENTIAL fundamentalist. As long as a person identifies as a Christian in some way, there is the potential to be drawn from casual belief into fundamentalism or fanaticism. As long as one regards scripture as somehow the Word of God there is the possibility of one day acting on its more radical commands. Entire communities, nations even, can slide from a relatively liberal, laid-back observance of a religion into taking it much more seriously. It fascinates me to look at a country like Egypt as it was in the middle of the 20th century: it had become increasingly westernized and more liberal. It was rare in the cities at least to see women wearing any form of the hijab. Night-clubs were plentiful. But then, starting in the 1970s, the Islamic world started turning back to the conservative version that dominates today. Just compare street-scenes of Cairo and Tehran in the 1960s to the same places today. And this was possible because the populations largely continued to identify as Muslim, and were swayed by calls to return to the true, pure practice of their religion. When you continue to believe that there is a god who cares deeply how you live your life, what you wear and who you sleep with, there are few limits to how far it can take you. So are casual Christians in the pews in danger of becoming radicals? It’s not that big of a stretch. So while liberal or casual Christianity might seem unthreatening and ineffective, it holds the seeds of something much more aggressive and dangerous to the rest of us. That’s why I’d like to see as many people as possible reject Christianity and theism entirely, all the more so they won’t indoctrinate their offspring and produce a new generation of potential fundamentalists.
  11. I did a double-take when I saw that headline. I thought it was some archived article from the 70s or 80s.
  12. First off, Pilgrim, welcome to our community! I think and believe you'll find this to be a welcoming place with plenty of people who "get" you in a way that your fundamentalist friends never could. One book that I personally have not read - but which I keep seeing recommended by others - is Marlene Winell's "Leaving the Fold". One that I CAN personally recommend highly is "The Reason Driven Life" by Robert M Price. Price is best known, especially among non-theists, as an outstanding Bible scholar. He has written a lot of books dealing with the Old and New Testaments. He is able to effectively dismantle Christianity - especially Fundamentalism - but he does it gently and with humor that is quite different from some of the better-know atheist writers. The book I am recommending though is a bit different from most of his work: it's a rebuttal of the bestselling "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Although I get why he titled it the way he did, it should have a subtitle that says something like "How to have a life of Meaning, Purpose and Joy without any god-belief". I'm only part-way into it but I have really been enjoying it. I think it would help any ex-Christian become more comfortable in their non-theist skin. Again, welcome and I hope you'll be an active member! TABA
  13. Having grown up in Ireland, I suggest that the conflict was not primarily religious. You had two tribes - Republican and Loyalist - who did indeed identify strongly as Catholic and Protestant respectively. But they were fighting for their tribes, not in the name of religion. Members of the terrorist groups were not known to be devout. Of course the religious divide contributed to the problem for sure. Likewise in the former Yugoslavia (where I served in the NATO peacekeeping mission): the Croats, Serbs and Bosnians had different religions but I don’t think it was religious violence per se. Not the way Al Qaeda and ISIS conquer and kill entirely in the name of their god.
  14. I'm a bit older, 58. I was an Army helicopter mechanic and crew-chief for nine years. Again, welcome to our community! I hope you'll be active here.
  15. This points to how Christians keep their theology together: it starts by choosing a denomination (or more likely, your parents or distant forebears chose it for you). Each denomination then focuses on the parts of scripture that support their doctrine and either ignores the parts that don't or insists that those parts don't mean what they say. It's very dangerous to the faith to do what you did: embark on a reading and study of the whole Bible without having somebody tell you how to interpret it. The problems and contradictions are laid bare. Luther and the other early Reformers thought they were promoting Christian faith by making the Bible available in the language of ordinary people, whereas the Catholic church had inserted itself between the scriptures and the faithful to make sure they got a coherent story. But instead the mish-mash of 66 (or 72) books - some of them in turn being compilations of various writers - led eventually to the huge number of denominations we have today, each with its own unique highly selective reading and application of scripture.