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

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  1. There's a slash story in there, somewhere.
  2. One of the problems with throwing around the word "cult" in a discussion about religion is that there are many ways that it can be used. At its barest, "cult" means "a system of beliefs and rituals" (the Latin root simply means "worship") - a meaning which can be applied to *any* religion. Cult can mean a religion that's seen as unorthodox and spurious; or it can mean a religion characterized by obsessive, devoted followers of a charismatic figurehead. Most of us ("us" meaning English speaking people in general, not Ex-Christians), when using "cult," tend to mean the latter - a smallish religious group with an obsessive, highly devoted, slightly brainwashed followers who are willing to follow their charismatic leader into a bizarre suicide, if he asks them. Jim Jones and Heaven's Gate. We also tend to use "cult" to refer to non-religious groups where adherents/followers exhibit cult-like behavior - such as "health cults" based around the dogmas of their proponent/leaders, or "cult classic" films like Rocky Horror Picture Show. If we at Ex-C decided that the great almighty Dave was always right and could speak no wrong, and sat at the edges of our seats waiting for his great pearls of wisdom each week, we would be a cult or would, at least, be exhibiting cultish behavior. It is possible that Amethyst's stepmother is using two or more meanings of cult or at least a different meaning that Amethyst is using, OR she may simply be presuming (or heard described) a group-think, brain-washing behavior in the hypothetical freethinker support group. Alternatively, she may be one of those Christians who believes that any decent person would have to be brainwashed not be a Christian, so anyone who isn't is in a cult.
  3. Honestly, don't waste the 37 cents. You have made your wishes known verbally, and they haven't respected them. If they do not respect your wishes after a clear written communication, they aren't going to no matter how many more cease and desist letters you send. You would do far better at that point to start returning any other letters or packages addressed to the nonexistent April Wilson. Let them waste the postage. I agree w/ Lloyd that the letter is too long and the list of organizations which acknowledge April NotWilson is not necessary. Your choice and wishes should be enough. If its not, then a permission slip signed by the IRS and the DMV isn't going to be, either. All *that* proves to them is that the government doesn't respect tradition and enforce what's good and right and proper in the world. I would edit the letter down to the first full paragraph followed by the lines "I've chosen this for personal reasons. If you are curious about those reasons, you are more than welcome to telephone me." Then the signature of your chosen name. Short, simple, and succinct. Then, get a "return to sender" stamp.
  4. Why would you expect to instantly dislike your favorite tunes just because you changed your religion? If you bought and listened to them only because you thought you *should* or were settling for pale imitations of the secular music you wanted to listen to, that's one thing. But if you liked them? You don't need to start listening NIN because you apostacized, nor do you need to defend keeping your Amy Grant collection. For myself, I was never a fan of contemporary Christian music or modern praise music. I did - and still do - enjoy some gospel and spirituals, hymns from the classical music era, and Gregorian chants. My Christmas albums are still all instrumentals because the words were cheesy but the tunes magical. I'm not throwing them out because I no longer believe Jesus's birth was a miracle. Listen to what you like and stop listening when you stop enjoying it. Don't be embarrassed by your tastes, and don't sublimate your tastes for the sake of groupthink.
  5. Welcome to the board, and hope you find what you're looking for here.
  6. A board suicide for this, crazy hamster? Are you serious???
  7. Agnostic. I do not believe in a personal god like Biblegod, but I am open to the possibility of a higher power, like the Tao or the Force or a universal consciousness.
  8. A cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral. A huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service. Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever. At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When all eyes turned to him, he said, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking of my own funeral...............I'm a gynecologist." That's when the proctologist fainted.
  9. I was actually rooting for Law. I think it would reflect the true spirit of the church leadership.
  10. Who cares about the dinner topic. What I want to know is if you're having Rat stew!
  11. What I want to know is what strong atheism has to do with butts? Other than that Assimov posted the thread and makes everything about butts...
  12. At least cartoonists will be able to draw The Church as a rat in a tall hat.
  13. Now Loren's got me wanting to have a Nativity scene at Christmas. Great testimony, Neil. Always love to read your posts.
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