Of all of the negative aspects of religion, I have found none of them to be more profoundly damaging to human dignity and self-respect than the threat of Hell for non-believers.
Here’s my (satirical-but-all-too-true?) version of the bishop’s anti-Obama “Statement on Religious Liberty”.
In a nation with 3 million hungry children and 2 million prison inmates, the abolishment of Planned Parenthood seems unreasonable. Once again, religion can be found where reason is lost.
This series will focus on some of the many errors within the Bible in the hope that those who are questioning these beliefs will find the information helpful.
By Frank Schaeffer
The truth is that when it comes to pandering to powerful religious/ethnic “blocs” in the US the biggest game in town is the across the board bowing to the white Evangelical “base” of the Republican Party.
Most religions posit the existence not just of a supernatural realm, but of supernatural persons, with loyalties, preferences and other human psychological qualities including emotions.
Jim Etchison discusses the three factors leading to American beliefs in a skewed version of history.
I was not an honor student at Brimstone Biblical Academy…but I did grow up to write the book.
Watch music videos for the first two tracks off of Recovering Fundamentalists co-founder Drew Stedman’s upcoming EP “If the Fires Exist”.
A one-act play inspired by a real event, this dramatic story takes on the hurt and frustration created by deep religious differences in a family. A minister father debates with his grown daughter until both are shouting and then crying. Through the conflict they finally reach other, relieved to find a very human connection.
Enjoy and reclaim our gratitude for what IS. I do believe that when we experience directly, without the intervening “author,” we can appreciate more. We can look at the amazing night sky and let it permeate our being.
By Frank Schaeffer
Other boys might have been worrying about baseball; I was worrying about discerning God’s will for my life. Ours was a life of self-examining spiritual intensity.
This was originally a journal entry, but I edited it and decided to share it.
Imagine a situation where Bibles or Korans are literally the only written texts around. Imagine, too, that schools are virtually all in the hands of sectarian interests.
I know what you’re going through. Really I do. Partly because I’ve been there and partly because you are facing the same things that all of us face.
A federal prosecutor in Michigan says authorities decided to arrest members of the Hutaree Christian militia after learning “they were prepared to kill.”
This is a transcript of the keynote address at the annual meetings of the Eremos Institute of Australian Spirituality in Sydney, 1996. In the talk, Winell addressed the need to understand spirituality more broadly and to find ways to experience spirituality in daily life.
Occasionally, there is an issue that seems to come up regularly with clients. Recently the topic has been a lingering fear of hell. I invited one client to comment on the way he was dealt with this, and he was kind enough to share with you these thoughts. I invite you to also email me with the methods you have developed to deal with this fear.
My historical studies reveal today’s church views on sex have more to do with Greco-Roman Platonism and Augustine’s warped perspective—despite his wisdom on other topics—than a rational reading of scripture.
Palin is on a mission from God and she’s fighting a spiritual war. While that may sound extreme, it is exactly the mindset she has. It fits the bible-believing fundamentalist/evangelical subculture she is part of and it fits her language and behavior. Most people who have not been a “born-again” true believer do not realize what all of this really means.
Colleen Sutherland, you could say, is my alter ego; the main character in my book The Brimstone Legacy. She is the new student at Brimstone Biblical Academy who just doesn’t quite fit in, much like me at her age.
I learned one of the warped mindsets of heavily financed political activism is an us vs. them mentality. Today, this attitude continues to fuel the Christian Right in their quest to save America from moral depravity and reclaim it for Christ.
Biblical creationism, repositioned as creation science and most recently intelligent design has lost the contest of ideas on all counts: the rules, the criteria and the judging. It doesn’t follow the scientific method; it doesn’t allow us to explain, predict, and control better; and the jury of relevant experts keeps returning the same verdict.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, philosopher and author of the new novel 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, discusses mind-body problems with her husband, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker.
This is a poem written by fictional 6th grader Colleen Sutherland from The Brimstone Legacy: The Misadventures of Brimstone Biblical Academy
Dr. Marlene Winell speaks about the abusive effects of indoctrination by authoritarian religion. Keywords: ex-christian, fundamentalism, ex-fundamentalism, recovery from religion, spiritual abuse, toxic religion, freethought, freethinker, athiesm, secular, humanism, deconversion.
As a brand-new believer in 1979 I tended to accept the pre-tribulation Rapture view that the Bible predicts Jesus would return a second time before a period of tribulation, to whisk believers up to heaven and leave unbelievers behind to face seven years of apocalyptic trials.
With some notable exceptions, most evangelicals I know primarily read the Bible devotionally, meaning they read it in a superficial way without regard to the conditions of history, culture, genre, or its own literary context. They also believe it is the infallible Word of God and expect God to speak to them personally through its message.
Surprise! Jesus didn’t found an institutional church. For that matter, he didn’t found a religion either. He also didn’t expect his followers to set up a Christian version of the synagogue, let alone create a parallel Christian universe where microbrews are banned.
By Michael Camp
OK, I confess. There are only nine lessons, but ten sounds better.
A quest for a reasoned faith based on honest questioning. That was largely what my 25-year sojourn in evangelicalism was about.
I just realized a new, deeper level of understanding of my anger towards my family, and it has shaken me up.
I am the black sheep, the exchristian. ALL the other family members are still fundamentalist believers – my parents and five siblings, with two doing missionary work.
Australian journalist Caroline Jones interviews Dr. Marlene Winell on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Search for Meaning radio program.
By Frank Schaeffer
I get lots of email and answer almost all of it (crank letters aside). Once in a while I get a letter I’d like to share. In this case here’s a letter that I think might help all of us remember that stereotypes about religion — Evangelical or otherwise — don’t apply to a lot of people.
For almost as long as I can remember, I was aware of certain inconsistencies or gaps in logic in the doctrines of my religion. But I learned not to worry about it, because I had a testimony, based on personal spiritual experiences.
by Frank Schaeffer
“You are like the Pharisees I used to know and who strained out the least gnat of others’ so-called misbehavior while turning a blind eye to their own wickedness, hypocrisy and lies. Remember my sayings about taking the beam out of your own eye before removing the speck from your brother’s?”
By Dr. Marlene Winell
I get this question so frequently, I’ve decided to make a better effort to reply. To be honest, I don’t like the question because it presumes we know what those words mean. Here are some responses, touching on more or less serious aspects of the topic.
This is a video of a children’s seminar run by the creationist group Answers in Genesis. The group’s founder, Ken Ham, indoctrinates thousands of children every year into fundamentalist creationist thinking.
By Frank Schaeffer
Here’s the Prologue for recoveringfundamentalists.com Contributor Frank Schaeffer’s new book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism). Read the prologue to discover why this book may not be what you expect.
By Drew Stedman
Somewhere deep within our soul
We wanted to be known
We were alone.
Does there truly exist an insuperable contradiction between religion and science? Can religion be superseded by science? The answers to these questions have, for centuries, given rise to considerable dispute and, indeed, bitter fighting. Yet, in my own mind there can be no doubt that in both cases a dispassionate consideration can only lead to a negative answer.
During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed among advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed.
Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development.
This excerpt is a letter written by Einstein in response to a 19-year-old Rutger’s University student, who had written to Einstein of his despair at seeing no visible purpose to life and no help from religion.
A child in the sixth grade in a Sunday School in New York City, with the encouragement of her teacher, wrote to this question to Einstein in Princeton on 19 January I936.
In January of 1954, the following letter was written to philosopher Erik Gutkind after reading his book, ‘Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt’.
Most modern Christians allow women to speak in church. Some of them even go out to Red Lobster for Sunday dinner! Isn’t it about time we got back to Biblical principles… like punishing this abomination by death?
By Drew Stedman
Much of Christianity condemns homosexuality. Is this righteous stand bearing the fruit of good works? Sure. If you consider suicide a good thing.
By Drew Stedman
Is homosexuality a choice? Does it occur in nature? It can’t lead to procreation so it must be unnatural right? This post includes portions of a conversation with a fundamentalist who believes that homosexuality is a sin. This will be part of an ongoing challenge to the traditional arguments used in favor of regarding homosexuality as sinful and damaging to society.