My Story Part 1

21 Jul

I’m going to start with my birth, because its wrapped in God’s arms as well. My parents tried for 9 years to have a baby. They prayed and prayed for one. People told them that God gave Abraham a child through Sarah when she was 90 years old. I commend my mother for not slapping them and reminding them that people can’t give birth when they are the age of my grandma anymore. But she trusted God with all her heart.

And finally, I was born.

I’ll give a shout out now to the doctors who helped my dad’s sperm join with my mom’s cells in a tube somewhere in some lab. I don’t know much about fertility medicines and work, but I do remember distinctly the day I noted to my mother that I must have been a “valentines day” baby because of where my birth falls. She turned and smiled at me and said, “No, dear, you were conceived in a tube.” Yuck. Happy birthday to me. And happy romance to my parents! :)

Anyhow, my dad received a Doctorate in something bible related while he was working as a pastor in a church in the midwest. Two more kids arrived on the scene and we were a little family. I don’t remember my Christian conversion, because I was too young to understand what was happening, but by the time I was six years old, I was baptized (of my own choice…we are conservative evangelicals who don’t believe baptism is necessary for salvation) and saved.

I told everyone about Jesus. He was real and I was proud to call him mine. We talked to each other all the time. And when I felt especially bad, I would pray to receive him into my heart again. I also prayed for my brother and sister to find Jesus. And they did; very early on as well. I’m pretty sure I was the one who led my sister to Christ, and I was very proud of that.

Many children had a big fear of hell, but I will say I’ve never been afraid to die. I knew that Jesus loved me and that he would call me home one day. And any time I saw the clouds parting and the sun coming through, I was just sure it was Jesus, ready to take his remnant home. It was a wonderful feeling.

I started kindergarten at our local public school, driving there with my neighbor friend, Ryan, who was, well, crazy, and had a brother who was a pyro and a sister who is probably in therapy now and a few other siblings from other dads and, oh well, my neighborhood was a total mess. But I’m not complaining; growing up in the projects was really good for me. We were the Christian-unbroken-bed at 8-no drinking-white-pastor family who helped everyone else and showed them the love of Jesus. But as a kid, we were all just friends. I don’t remember judging many of them or thinking badly of children for having bad parents or druggies in the home. I do, however, remember being fearful of this one girl who looked a lot like Jody Foster as a kid. I was always told she had “boy parts” but now I’m thinking she probably didn’t like boys much at all. Either way, I don’t remember being highly judgmental; I just knew that Jesus could help everyone be happy the way I was.

In third grade, the teacher finally blew it. We were all sitting in our chairs, watching this old projector video about dinosaurs and the narrator began telling us about the story of the world. And a number hit my ears that I had never heard before: MILLIONS OF YEARS. Millions? I thought to myself as I sat there. Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago? How was that possible? And then, even more devastating, the narrator said, “And humans were not even around yet.”

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Stop right there.

Dinosaurs came BEFORE humans????

I knew this was impossible. My Bible told me that God created the world in 6 days, with land creatures and humans coming at the same time.

I went home and reported this to my parents. The next year, I was homeschooled and continued to be until I graduated from high school. This was the first big mistake my parents wrought on me. I am not angry at them, but I do feel badly for them, because they haven’t found out yet that homeschooling me–thus shielding me from learning about evolution and cosmology–was the biggest factor in launching my life as a freethinker. When I finally got my hands on a book about evolution (20 years later!), I was floored by the astonishing discoveries made by brilliant scientists all around the world.

So, the first part of my story is mostly about shielding. Although my parents were WONDERFUL at teaching us to love other people and not to judge those who are different, they failed to realize the importance of giving me a well-rounded scientific education. Hiding someone from truth can only last so long. And once they find the real story, its very hard to go back.

More to come!

Christy

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An Atheists Journey

13 Jul

We love you.

Heaven is a wonderful place for an angel like you.

Sweetie, Jesus came into your heart when you were four; you just don’t remember it.

I’ve seen the spirit of Jesus in you over and over this year.

I’m so glad you’re a follower of God. I can see his power working in you.

Congratulations! You’ve really given everything to him now, as a teenager!

We are so proud of you for wanting to be a missionary. We can see God’s hand in your life.

I’ve wondered for years, but now at age twenty-seven I can see for certain: you are a child of God.

Yes, this time, you certainly asked Jesus to be your Lord and savior.

God may tempt you, honey, but I know for sure he has a plan for you.

We love you.

I’m starting to wonder about you, honey. Do you really believe in God?

Do you think that maybe God never was part of your beliefs?

You don’t remember being saved at four years old, so it wasn’t real.

I don’t think I ever really saw the work of God in your life.

I am starting to wonder if you are a follower at all.

Oh, you’re not. I see.

See, God is real to me, so that means you’re a godless sinful unrighteous person.

God left you because you let Satan in.

You are a bad influence on your friends and family.

Remember last year when you dedicated your life to God? Yeah, that wasn’t real because you forgot to ask him into your heart.

You were never saved. Not once.

You are going to hell. Please don’t bring anyone.

We weep for you. 

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Closeted Atheist Preachers Stuck in the Pulpit

7 Jul

I have a friend like this…..a pastor who doesn’t believe in God anymore.

Listen!

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The Ledge

6 Jul

Exciting news! The great-great grandson of Charles Darwin has come out with a new movie, The Ledge, in select theaters and available online for downloading! This movie is kinda like Brokeback Mountain—but atheists instead of gay guys—as it defies cultural qualms with non-believing adults. I assume the movie will be a little too racy for the teen audience, but I’m super excited that the movie will begin what I hope is a trend to give people the right to think freely, without God or a religion. Oh, and Liv Tyler (the girl from Lord of the Rings) is in it, so how can you go wrong?

After watching this trailer, I listened to a great podcast by The Good Atheist, which interviewed Matthew Chapman, the director of The Ledge. They discussed the film, along with comparing “coming outs” of both gays and atheists, Charles Darwin, Christians, and much more. I’d have to rate this film with an “R” because the interview likes to use language in his podcasts, but I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast. Please give it a listen!

http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2011/06/28/the-good-atheist-podcast-episode-140/comment-page-1/#podPressPlayerSpace_1

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Is God Good? Podcast of the Day

1 Jul

PODCAST OF THE DAY!

This podcast is a gentle, clean debate by an atheist and a Christian. Today’s talk is about God and whether or not he can be called good. I like this podcast because they raise some questions, such as “How do you define ‘good’ for the person who created the universe?”, “What about hell?” and “Is God really good if he killed people, caused the flood to happen, and allowed evil to enter the world?” Just some thoughts.

 

Below is a link to the podcast. And here are some quotes I heard during it that I really liked.

  1. I don’t think God created evil; I think he allowed it to happen and then used it for his good. He cannot create evil…. (22:00)
  2. Is deceiving someone to harm them evil for God? (23:01)
  3. If God has a good cause (even for rape, hell, killing, etc) for doing something, is it good? (23:15)
  4. Do you trust God not to do evil?
  5. Where do you get the standard of morals that you are judging Christianity and God’s morals? (59:00)
  6. Is it possible that because God is averse to evil that the killing of a culture a way to take free beings to stop them from ruining morals in the future? (60:30)

 

http://www.achristianandanatheist.com/shows/cashow96.mp3

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PROLOGUE

1 Jul

I’d tell you the title, but then I’d have to kill you! :)

So, here’s the Prologue. I began the book tonight, and I hope to update it every day, and post at least once a week my first draft for that section.

Now, a lot of people SAY they are going to finish a book, but…I’ve already got 4 full length books under my belt, so THERE! I mean, I think I can take it. July is the month for this book, I can FEEL it!

So, all that blabbing….here’s the Prologue.


PROLOGUE

by [the all secretive] Autumn Raines

Dear Anna,
You know how everyone has a worldview? It’s what helps those on the outside piece together who you are on the inside: what you believe, your way of thinking, how you feel the world came to be, your purpose in life. All that good stuff.

I know you have a worldview. You’re a Christian, like mom and dad. You follow every rule in the Bible and believe that God created the universe in six days through the most powerful act of wonder the world has ever known. And I’m glad you are so strong. I’m glad you’ve always trusted the church. They are good people, not out to lie or cheat anyone.

That’s why telling you this is so hard. I didn’t even want to say anything, but I have no choice, because the facts are about to come out, and what happened to me is going to happen to you, whether you try to deny it or not.

Anna, what if I told you that the truths you’ve been taught about the universe, and about God and humans and creation and the Bible were all wrong? What if you woke up one day and discovered that the worldview you once held couldn’t possibly be yours anymore? That you had to give it up because it was a mistake?

Dear sister, please listen to me. Everything is about to change. You and I will become the first living proof that what we were taught is a mistake. Yes, Anna: you and I are the first impossibilities. Either we can’t be here, or you can’t believe what you believe now.

I’m so sorry.

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Local atheists say they ‘want a seat at the table’ | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

1 Jul

Local atheists say they ‘want a seat at the table’ | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

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Catholicism, Judaism, Homosexuality & Billboards

30 Jun

If you have an hour or two (or…1 hour and 44 minutes!), listen to this stream by Atheist News, featuring David Silverman, president of American Atheists. They talk about a lot of good stuff. I’ve been listening to it off and on all day long and enjoyed it thoroughly.

 
http://www.atheistnews.org/?powerpress_pinw=697-podcast
 

*RATED: R for infrequent use of harsh language.

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Contradictions

30 Jun

I love Mr. Deity, although when I watched them as a Christian [not now] I found it a bit jarring. So, I’m not going to post the whole video or anything, but I wanted to cut to a little part of this particular video and ask some questions.

Just so you know, in this video God (Mr. Deity) is on the right, and he’s talking to a magician to figure out the best way to create the universe and help people believe that it was created in 6 days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpe2n6FA_DE&showsearch=0#t=03m15s

Here are the misdirections he mentioned:

“I tell you don’t kill and then I order genocide”

“I tell you love your neighbor but I say kill the homosexuals and the nonbelievers”

“I tell them ‘I love you’ you’re free to do what you want, but I threaten them with hellfire”

 

Okay, so, I know that we can argue these…that God doesn’t actually say these things for people today. But I’d like to hear some thoughts!

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Do We All Have Double Standards?

28 Jun

Fate, destiny, God’s will, Satan’s torment, our fleshly desires, punishment, karma, rewards, payback.

All these words are basically saying “You reap what you sow”  or “there’s always a reason for your lot in life.”

The problem is that we all blame different things for what we’ve sown. Either God is smiling on us, or satan is punishing us, or we got what we asked for, or some other thing is to blame.

This video talks about double standards. All of us do it. We tend to look at the other person, who may have the exact same things we do (a new car, money, happiness) and say they got them for bad reasons because they are “bad” or whatever the case may be. I mean, we always want to think WE are in the right.

It’s a little harsh, but instead of taking offense, take a moment to think about how YOU sometimes have double standards. Against anyone! Why do we look at the world so negatively sometimes? How can you change your perspective?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpz8PMcRJSY

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