I myself come from an extremely devout conservative family. I was raised as a Catholic and became "born again" during a Summer Vacation Bible camp when I was in the sixth grade. I made all the sacraments, went to CCD (like Bible study classes), attended Christian Conferences and week long camps, and even went to a Private Catholic College. My husband went into the military shortly after we married and I think that was the beginning of my de-conversion.  I attended LSU and lived all over the deep South.  This really opened up my eyes to a world very different from where I grew up. I began questioning after attempting to find a church that "fit" us.  Listening to pastors talk about beating their kids, using Bible quotes to condone it, and then sitting through masses about tithing and speaking in tongues, I started to see how crazy religion was. I guess I identified as non-denominational for a while because I didnt want to have anything to do with man made religion. Then it was watching documentaries and specials on Jesus and I started questioning the Bible and whether or not he could have existed and raised the dead, and walked on water, turned water to wine, etc....My conclusion upon getting my degree in Science Psychology was no he couldnt have, those things are improbable.  If that was my conclusion then every other "story" in the Bible was improbable and where did that leave me?

My de-conversion was a process and progress if you ask me. I didnt just wake up one day and say "I think I'll be an atheist". I was a long sometimes painful process that led me here. I could never "go back" EVER, too many things about this world and Universe point to happen stance, probability, and accident. We are Serendipitous, the outcome of a happy accident. I'm fine with that, I'm happy with that! I no longer need a man in the sky subconsciously re affirming my every choice and "making" me feel guilty when I make a poor decision. My brain is far evolved from the mythology and going back is no longer an option.

The repercussions from my de-conversion have been slight. My Mom cried when she found out and told me I was going to Hell, now she just tries to get me to listen to Christian radio stations and referred to my recent raise and promotion as an "answer to her prayers". I deal with the religious rhetoric because she is family. I now look back often, especially when she looks at something purely scientific and attributes it to God, and wonder how I could have ever believed such nonsense. 

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Hi Kara,

I'm a Christian theist who loves philosophy, science, and history so I hang out here from time to time to see what my non-theist friends are discussing.

Your story makes me wish you had scrutinized your faith in Christ a little further. You may have discovered the reasonable grounds supporting the claims of Christ, as well as God's existence. As it is, I find your questions leading to your de-conversion honest and deep, yet rich with answers within your reach.

Best,

Kevin Harris

Does not the term 'Christian theist' mean ' God god believer'?

James - "Christ" comes from the Greek (the NT was originally written entirely in Greek), Khristós, and simply means, "anointed one."

Hi Kevin,


I'm what you might call a Catholic Atheist. Sort of like a Cafeteria Catholic, but who treats the cafeteria as if I were a vegan at a prime rib buffet.

Your repeated postings make me wish you'd scrutinize your faith in Christ and Christianity a little further. You may discover the reasonable conclusion that the claims Christians make about Christ and Christianity have some truth to it, but that God's existence is really only man-made and allegorical in nature. (Read the Jeffersonian Bible as an American example of this idea.)

Best,

John Siqueiros

Kara don't listen to him (Kevin)! lol

Choose your own belief system Kara, but don't let it damage your relationship with your Mom - your beliefs will be with you always, Mom won't.

Dear Kara:

My story is a little too long for this venue, but the short path list includes: birth, death, nerd, questions, logic, experience, education, history, marriage, abuse, death, death, age, wonder, yadayadayada...;p)

Just checking on the history of the belief in resurrection, speeking in tongues, etc, that such beliefs are or have been shared by other cultures for a very long time. Even the Greeks have a cultural history of 'speeking in tongues' which I found reference of. Here is a small qoute.

From Plato's Dialogue 'The Ion':

"The reason why the deity has bereft the poets of their senses is in order that we the listeners may know that it is not the poets who utter these precious revelations while their mind is not within them, but that it is the god himself who speaks, and through them becomes articulate to us." 

The belief in 'resurrection' seems to have atleast 12 examples in history. Myan, Eqyptian etc.

James, I hope Kevin Harris read this, I bet he doesn't know or he doesn't read anything else that is not in the bible.

Dear Sankev:

I guess I need to read Kevin's postings.

I started to read the source literature of classical philosophy in HS. Sadly, I have not read most of it. My first reading of Aristotle, was very hard going. I found that waiting till I was intellectually ready seemed to help.

There are several lifetimes of good reading, that most of us hardly scratch the surface of.

Reading Aristotle's 'Politics', seems to be a crash course in power and state craft. Adding Macheavelli's 'The Prince', could help us to recognize demogogery and power gamers.

I fear that we have learned the wrong lessons from history, and now do not know what to question or to change. We romance so much, but many question so little.  

Scholars reject the "christ-myth", "pagan-resurrection" similarities for several reasons.

First, similarity does not prove same source. No one thinks the story of Kennedy is "borrowed" from Lincoln. Yet there are dozens of similarities.

One can find similarities anywhere. Most are quite contrived and imposed.

Second, the similarities between Christ and "pagan saviors" is just not there. Examples are not convincing given the data.

Third, most of the sources we have for these examples (i.e. Osiris, Horus) come after Christ. Even though those stories pre-date Christ, most of the writings we have come after Christ and so "borrowing" could have actually gone the other way! This is especially true of Mithras.

Fourth, the information we have about Christ comes from a Jewish milieu which utterly rejected pagan myths. There is zero evidence of these pagan examples influencing first-century Palestine. Just the opposite!

Fifth, the pagan stories typically depict seasonal crop cycles of dying and rebirth, but nothing fitting the bodily resurrection of Christ and it's various nuances.

This is not just my opinion. I'm giving you only a FEW reasons that scholars of all stripes reject these accusations of "borrowing".

Dear Kevin:

So nada on borrowing due to creationist or apologist opinion, sounds ok. My suggestion was about parallels, not necessarily borrowings, but the postion that biblical stories do not borrow or recycle other cultural beliefs seems an open question.

Considering the proximity of the jews to a great many other cultures in the area, seems a ripe environment for conversation and borrowing.

Since your blanket denial is now posted, could you enlighten us with your insights on the sources of cultural beliefs in the bible? This could be your moment to shine or the alternative.

My posting was about readings that I had done over the years following my slow extrication from the catholic church and as codirector of the PSU secular society early 80's. I am not deeply commited to my insights, due to the apparent past unavailabilty of time and source materials. Some of these came from classes over years concerning the history of religion.  I general do not see real problems with possible cultural borrowings, and original creations are very likely, but denial only sets off the alarms that a group of people would denign the creativity or insights of other cultures that came before.

Examples, America, borrowing music and some governmental organization from the British, their cultural of origin. British borrowing from the Greeks and Romans. Borrowing or assuming from a parent culture or one held in reasonal regard seems common. This being a 'problem', is not clear. Asserting that Christianity is somehow illegitament, because of the borrowing, seems a streach. Pragmatism can appear in many forms.  

James, the Biblical creation myth was borrowed from the Sumerian/Akkadian literary work, The Enumma Elish; the flood story from a combination of an actual flood that occurred when the Euphrates River overflowed its banks and flooded the equivalent of three Mesopotamian counties, and The Epic of Gilgamesh; the tower of Babel fable from the construction of Akkadian ziggurats. Even the original god of the Jews was Amurru, a god of the Amorites (Amurrites) of Assyria, and didn't become Yahweh until, hundreds of years later, when the Jews encountered the Midianites and borrowed him from them.

So if anyone tells you there was no borrowing going on in the Bible, the Bible is full of it - and so are they.

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