Hi all. Your friendly neighborhood Atheist witch here.  It has been a while since I have posted some of my delicious internet finds.  Christians are often horrified at the word "Atheist".  They don't understand how anyone could not see the "wonders" of God's creations and the signs of his mercy and love.  I have never seen any actual sign that a god entity exists or that he has any control over our lives.  This excerpt was taken from an anonymous essay on the website www.positiveatheism.org.  It explains my position very well and maybe you will find something that you relate to as well.  The author gives his permission to print and to share any part of his essay, so I feel justified in doing just that.

Divine Intervention
Many people turn to religion for comfort and answers. I can understand how religion gives people comfort. But it certainly doesn't provide any answers. 

After September 11, I saw so many people praising and thanking God, reaching out to him for answers. If they believe that God rules the universe, then they must accept that he also caused, or at least allowed, this catastrophe to happen. Most fundamentalists, in fact, believe that all natural and human events are part of some grand plan of God’s. So why would you want to praise God (unless you were a terrorist)!

I see this same phenomenon after natural disasters, people thanking God to have survived. How can they be thanking God – this God of theirs may have just killed a thousand people and they’re thanking him!
 
A mother’s son dies in an automobile accident, and she says “thank the Lord he didn’t suffer long”. For heaven’s sake lady, wake up; your Lord just took away your son, and you’re thanking him?

Then there was the lady whose home burned down after being struck by lightning. “God was taking care of us” she said, referring to the fact the family was not home at the time. Apparently, he wasn’t looking after the house very well. She said she could only wonder why this happened. “I’m hoping the Lord will give me an answer.” Why do people think there has to be some divine reason for everything that happens? Lightning strikes because of known electrical properties of the atmosphere, not because some god pushed the lightning button.

A family grieves over their infant son who was borne with a rare liver disease. These people are praising God, saying things like “God has chosen (our son) for a special purpose.” or “We pray that He will receive the glory in whatever outcome we face.” and “We fully trust that God will provide for our every need.” Surely they must realize that if their faith is true, God must have created their son’s illness in the first place.
 
A mother grieves for the loss of her baby. While resting in the hospital, a sparrow flies onto the window ledge. She remembers the scripture passage: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” (Matt. 10:29) She thinks: “God had sent this little bird to bring a message of love to me.” She goes on to remark how God cares for her. “Thank You” she murmurs, before drifting off to sleep.67 Hello – this scripture reminds us that God controls everything in our lives and yet, after God takes away her baby, she is thanking him for his love and care? What am I missing here?

In his eulogy to his father, Michael Reagan talked about how his father would hug him whenever he entered the room, even though Alzheimer’s disease had robbed his father’s memory of who he was. He referred to it was a gift from God. I just don’t understand this kind of reasoning – why would he thank his God for a hug when this same God had erased his father’s memory?

I saw an interview on TV recently with the father of a lady who died of asthma, leaving her 21 month old son alone for four days before anyone knew what had happened. The grandfather said that he thanked God for sparing his grandson. That doesn't make any sense - that was the same God who took away his daughter!

After Hurricane Jeanne hit Florida, President Bush said he went to church “and thanked God that so few people have lost their lives.” Of course his God had just decimated Florida for the forth time, killed over a hundred people all told, and yet he was thanking God?
We worry about manmade “weapons of mass destruction”. But natural disasters and disease have killed on a grand scale since time immemorial. Pandemics have killed millions of people. The Asian tsunami of 2004 was a colossal disaster of biblical proportions. So many innocent people lost their lives and countless more were left homeless and grieving for loved ones. There was suffering beyond anything I can imagine. Such a disaster makes 9/11 look like child’s play! And yet we don’t call God a terrorist. Why? He certainly meets the definition: someone who purposely kills or injures innocent people. And what would be God’s reason? Is he trying to tell us something, as some would have us believe? That’s just about the dumbest thing I can imagine! Others believe that he creates our misery because Adam and Eve disobeyed him – another totally insane idea. Or maybe he just hates us for some reason. None of this makes any sense whatsoever!

Of course, the Arab media is blaming the tsunami on the wrath of Allah. They say that it was Allah’s retribution on all those infidel tourists for their sinful ways. The vast majority of victims, who were Muslim, died as martyrs, they will tell you! Talk about convoluted reasoning! Why is it every time there is a disaster, religious people will say it was God’s retribution or punishment? 
Now the worst natural disaster in US history has struck the gulf coast. Before it’s all over, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will have killed over a thousand people and caused unprecedented economic loses. As I am writing this, the television news channels are showing the utter destruction of this horrific catastrophe. We are only beginning to realize the absolute misery and human suffering this storm has caused. And yet already I am hearing the inevitable references to God’s judgment. One writer states that “this should truly be a wake-up call for (these people) to find Jesus”. Others have suggested that these mostly poor, black survivors somehow deserved this calamity because of a perceived sinful lifestyle of crime, loose morals and prostitution, the clear implication being that this disaster was some sort of divine punishment. How these alleged Christians could be so incredibly insensitive to the plight of so many people is beyond me.

In the wake of such disasters, we hear all kinds of angry criticism and blame for the inadequate preparation, slow response and poor relief efforts of government officials. These suffering people are understandably angry; but the curious thing is, you never hear anyone venting their anger at God, who after all is supposed to have caused all this misery and destruction. Instead, we hear praises to God for his blessings! One Baton Rouge parishioner was quoted as saying: “We understand a lot of people have lost faith and hope. We want to help them turn their eyes to God. God spared so many people.” Doesn’t that seem like an odd thing to say after God has just wiped out the entire Gulf coast, killing hundreds of people? Is everyone afraid to blame God for fear that he might take offense and bring even more calamity?

If someone flies a large commercial airliner into a building, killing thousands, or blows up a train killing hundreds, we call him a terrorist and seek justice. If someone creates an earthquake, hurricane or tsunami that kills hundreds of thousands, we call him God and give thanks!
Think of a scenario where someone encounters two friends on the street and tries to rob them. One person puts up a fight and gets shot dead. The other survives the ordeal. Now imagine the survivor thanking the robber for sparing his life! Now wouldn't that be ridiculous!

On the Larry King Show recently, religious leaders were asked the question: why would a loving God allow these things to happen? All sorts of answers and excuses were given, all involving God and references to some sort of divine plan or purpose. But the obvious question was never asked: why would we even think there is a God who would cause this to happen? To me, natural disasters illustrate a perfect argument against the existence of God. Doesn’t it seem more logical to assume that natural disasters occur because of natural processes, not because of some willful act?

Believers, when confronted by contradictory information or logic will find any reason to deny the obvious in order to justify the existence of their God.
These people say that we cannot understand the will of God. Every time you point out something that doesn't make sense, they will say "well, God acts in mysterious ways; it is not our place to question him." Or "God has a plan which we cannot understand." Billy Graham would say “it is a mystery”. And besides, these people believe they will all meet again in heaven anyway, so perhaps they can accept suffering more easily than the rest of us. Rather than search for convoluted reasons to explain why God would allow something so horrible to happen, wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume there is no God? If we assume there is no God, then we can at least begin to understand these calamities. Natural events occur for natural reasons, much of which we already understand. When the facts do not reasonably support a theory, one should suspect the theory is false.

In the Bible, Job says "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Paul says "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus." Yet these men suffered terrible misfortunes. So why would they praise God?  Religious people somehow reason that, since their God is a loving God, he must have a good reason for our suffering and that we should just accept it and give thanks. “The lessons of Job’s encounter with God should reverberate through all who question God’s reasons for their lives and sufferings. When contrasted with the glory of God and His larger purposes, our minds are far too puny to ever fully grasp His overall plans and purposes. We need to trust that hardship and suffering, while hard to accept, are part of that plan.”
Why do bad things happen to good people? Religious people will say that we simply cannot understand God's will, that we should not try. (Romans 11:33) Some will explain that it is a test of their religious faith. The Quest Study Bible offers these insights: “God uses our unpleasant experiences to accomplish his higher purposes in us. Suffering for our faith builds character and develops faith within us… Physical suffering can cultivate wisdom, teaching us to depend on Christ… We should welcome persecution for our faith – which promises to strengthen us.”66 In other words, God makes us suffer for our own good! “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (1 Peter 4:19) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2) This sounds to me like no explanation at all, like a convenient way to avoid the obvious: that bad things sometimes happen for natural, and in most cases, understandable reasons.

In the case of 9-11, it was because nineteen idiots flew four airliners into heavily populated buildings!
Some families of passengers on the ill fated United Flight 93 thought that perhaps these people, many of whom were athletic and pro-active, were placed on the flight by God for a higher purpose. They believe that to ascribe the events of September 11 to fate is to absolve everyone of responsibility. “It’s easier to think it was fate,” Joan Glick said “Then everyone is off the hook.” But it’s also easy to say “it was God’s will”.

In an article recently, Jessica Lynch, the rescued Iraqi prisoner of war, was said to have asked the question: “Why did I survive when others didn’t? I mean, obviously, there has to be a reason.” Why does there always have to be a reason for why things happen? Why do people act like there has to be some sort of divine plan for everything that happens?

After the Columbia space shuttle disaster, there were people in Iraq – and probably throughout the Muslim world – who said that this was “God’s retribution on America”. People try to find a divine reason for everything. They will say that a disaster was God's wrath for not being faithful. Or people will say that we cannot know God's reasons for letting something bad happen. Why can't people accept the idea that things often happen for natural and understandable reasons? A tornado happens because of the convergence of warm moist air with cold dry air, cars wreck because someone wasn't watching where they were driving, and planes fly into buildings because of someone's perverted religious beliefs. Things just happen; why does there always have to be a purpose; why does there have to be a god involved?

Ancient cultures attributed natural disasters to the wrath of their gods. The 1804 Hawaiian epidemic on Oahu killed thousands, and to the kahunas or spiritual leaders it was clear that the gods were very angry. Offerings were prepared: hundreds of hogs, coconuts and bananas, even human sacrifices, were of no avail and the epidemic ran its course.
 
Many religious fundamentalists (e.g. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson) say that the events of September 11 were a wake-up call from God to repent of our sins (abortion, homosexuality, paganism, feminism, sex in entertainment, forbidding prayer in schools, etc.). They believe God was sending us a message. Are they telling us that someone capable of creating the universe is unable to come up with any better way to communicate with us? 

Why doesn't God tell us all, in a clear and consistent manner, exactly what he wants us to do or not to do (which he is surely capable of doing) instead of casting down calamitous retributions every time we fail to understand these indirect, obscure messages he supposedly sends to us by way of signs (strange, unexplained happenings), prophets, saviours and ancient texts. Why would God create suffering to “get our attention” or to “send us a message”? Can’t you just picture this all powerful God, sitting on his throne in heaven, thinking “now how can I send a message to my people? On the one hand, I could speak to each person and convey the message in a clear and convincing way. On the other hand, I could cause a calamity that would kill thousands of people in the hope that mankind would understand that I was trying to tell them something, and also that they might be able to figure out what that something was.” Those who think God would choose the second option certainly don’t give God much credit for intelligence!

Are you thinking YET??

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Comments:

iluvc...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 8:06 PM I am a Christian and I am not here to bash or tell you that you are wrong or anything. I have zero problem with anything you said or the article you posted- I would just like to address the "Are you thinking yet?" at the end. Are you implying that us Christians, because of our beliefs, are not thinking? Have your own opinion- that is fine but don't imply that others are stupid or unintelligent because they believe otherwise. Thats all I have to say. : )

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witch...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 8:23 PM

Well, dear, Faith, by definition, implies not thinking.  Just believing--that's all the pushers of the God concept want from you.  Intelligence has nothing to do with it, does it?  Christians are the sheep--those who have to be led and protected--and Christ is the shepherd, telling them where to go and what to do.  The man who wrote this essay did get blunt.  And he did rant--testosterone does that to men, I've heard.  But the truth is that I lost my faith, just as he did, with a series of unexplained, horrible events and unanswered prayers.  I was let down.  I realized that there are more signs that there is no God than proof that there is.  I got demeaned and chastised for this in, of all groups, Trust in Yourself.  I thought I could express myself freely and found that I couldn't. 

I thank you for your response.  You did not resort to treating me like a misbehaving 2-yr. old.  That speaks well for you.

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Beyac...
Jun. 4, 2008 at 1:37 AM

Well, dear, faith is believing what you cannot see, but have evidence of, kind of like the air we breathe, but can't see? The wind move the leaves on the trees, but we can't see it, right? Scientist are even now coming to the conclusion, this on the Discovery channel that there are other universes out there other than our own and its so complex they are considering it must have been created by an intelligent greater being.

I am not one of those Christians that are horrified at the word Atheist or Witch, you are people just like us. But you ask us to start thinking as if we are empty minded, when you quote a bunch of stuff without giving it thought at all.

You say Adam ans Eve make no sense, why? If a creator, make a beautiful creation (earth), fills it with beautiful animals, creates two creatures in His image to commune with, gives them free will because he does not wish to have robots but children to love, a whole garden to eat from and says just from this one tree don't eat from, ALL the rest are your, this one is mine. He walks and talk with them every day, all is well. But they decide they know better, even though God said if you do you will die. But they did anyway. But God loved them and  did not want them to die so He cast them out of the garden and now sin was in the world and they had kids  and one even killed his brother and the ONLY  way God could save this world He loved and mankind was His Son. His son could make the sacrifice of  righteousness and come down and explain to us in person His love for us. WHAT is so hard to understand about that?

We Christians UNDERSTAND that God does not cause the disasters in this world, that natural  causes make disasters happen. Look what we have done with global warming, all human made. But we Christians know where we go when our loved ones die, or we die and we can have perfect peace in our times of trouble. I personally have had cancer twice, went through chemo, radiation, double mastectomy. And let me tell you, I KNOW God is real because He was with me,even supernaturally spoke to me. (You being a witch should be ok with that). I do NOT think God gave me cancer, I think I got it because we live in a messed up world filled with pesticides, pollution, hormone filled milk, diseased meat, etc. And we are all subject to disease while we live here. But I do know I was given a poor prognosis, I had a tumor the size of a small basketball in my chest, was told no matter what I would have a mass the size of an orange the rest of life. And at the end the doctors office was calling me the miracle girl and I have no mass at all. And that was my 1st cancer 17 yrs ago. Lots of prayers were lifted for me and its a long story, but I know what God did. I know that my relationship with God became closer, I became a stronger person. I was alot stronger for my second bout of cancer and my kids were able to deal with it better. I am able to minister to alot of other people going thru it and to women dealing now with breast cancer and losing their breasts. They can look at me and see a healthy vibrant person and have hope, and that is how God uses us.

Job is the only person in the bible to whom satan went before God and asked if he could test him and was sure if God removed all His protection, he would curse God. So God allowed satan to test him but not kill him cause God knew Job would be faithful. And guess what,satan lost, Job found out who his real friends were, did NOT curse God, and God blessed him with double of all he had. He does allow things to happen, I don't believe He gives us illnesses or disasters, but when they happen, we don't walk alone.

He does tell us all clearly and consistently what he wants and has been for a long time its called the bible. I grew up in a religion that was confusing and strict with manmade rules. Everything cost me my salvation. When I left that church a found a non-denominational church, got a NIV(new-international version)Bible interpreted by hundreds of Hebrew and Greek scholars of all backgrounds so it would not have any one denominational bent, and started reading it for myself. And Gods word is very clear. Don't lie, don't kill, don't worship other God's, don't commit adultery, don't steal, basically everything society says we need to live in peace. But people don't like to hear it. Oh yeah, love your neighbor as yourself. Alot of  hard stuff like that. Stuff that takes thinking...........

 

 

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ERICA_M
Jun. 5, 2008 at 2:02 PM

awesome subject :) personally I would have to agree with witchqueen. i do not believe that God is trying to tell us something or get our attention by these horrible events, it's hard to believe that a Father would want to get his Child's attention in this way.... I do not believe in the bible, these we not God's or Jesus's words. These were someone elses thoughts... Someone else's perspective of the word of God. Just like religions have opted to not include other books in the bible, (like the book of mary magdalene, and some of what is supposed to be Jesus's own writings) i think the bible is just not a dependable way of following God's way. So many things could have been altered in the course of sooo many years! things like 9-11 happen because people have different beliefs and different ways of carrying out their faith. Natural disasters happen because that is the way nature works, that is the circle of life. People die, to make way for others to live....

Maybe, the thought that you are not in control, that events are already planned and come into your life to test your faith in God make it easier for people to cope with horrible news....

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witch...
Jun. 28, 2008 at 5:55 PM Thank you Erica.  I fear I spoke too soon.  When the Christians cannot argue with your facts (because, like it or not, they are true!) they resort to demeaning you as a person.  Beyacubana uses the bible verses that have been spoon-fed to her--just as they were to me for the 30 years I spent in the Nazarene Church.  When I sat down and read the bible that I was supposed to be led and counselled by I was horrified.  Beya, honey, I don't think that you and I are reading the same book.  This man-authored version of a vicious and petulant deity is full of contradictions (there is a web-site devoted to these errors and contradictions, in fact).  Your lecture fell on deaf ears, just as this gentleman's honest and heartfelt queries obviously did.  God did not create man.  We created him and all the mythology surrounding him.  The only way I can look at a disaster like 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina is with the knowlege that there is no god in control of this world or any other--otherwise (presuming him to be the kindly, merciful father the church tells us he is) he would certainly interfere.  And there is more proof for evolution than there is for creation.  Believe in the word of educated scientists and hundreds of years of research or believe in the hen-scratchings of ignorant, bronze-age nomads.  Gotta side with the hundreds of years of proof.  Sorry.

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2auti...
Jun. 30, 2008 at 4:44 PM  Yep they sure do like attacking the post-er here don't they. Yes Beyacubana we cannot see the air, but we know it is there when the wind blows.  As you said yourself Faith is believeing what you cannot see, but have evidence of.... Ahhh let's stop right there. I have no evidence of God existing, so why then should I believe??  Because of some man's interprtation of writings thousands of years ago??  How do I know the person who translated it did so correctly?? How do I know he wasn't mentally unstable at the time?? Smoking weed??  Drunk?? No thank you. Now if God wants to come down and talk to me like he supposedly did several times over thousands of years ago that's kewl.  I will then apologize and take my due punishment. But I gotta say I agree with the post.

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Beyac...
Jul. 14, 2008 at 1:50 AM

QueenWitch

You say that when Christians can't argue fact we resort to demeaning you as a person? So, what is calling us Non- thinking? Calling us sheep, and NOT in a positive way? I don't recall saying anything demeaning to you, if I did I apologize.

I have never been spoon-fed ANY Bible verses. I first grew up in a Church, where yes, it was very strict, probably much like your church and all I knew was all I was taught., everything was no and everything cost me my salvation. But the problem was, they ADDED to the Bible and made their own rules, or made us follow the rules from the Old Testament for the Israelites from the Old Covenant. When I left that church and read the Bible for myself, I FOUND THE TRUTH, and it set me FREE.

I am pretty sure you and I are NOT reading the same book and the site you quoted I am sure is not run by Christians and BIASED. The Bible I use is the New International Version, Translated by many Greek and Hebrew Scholars, and many experts so that it would not have any bent from any ONE religion...... taken from all the old writing's they have found, that have been PROVEN, now historically buy different things, MOST recently the writings found hidden in the Dead Sea Caves, if you watch the news or the History Channel, you all would know that the Bible has been Historically proven, by dates, Kings & wars.

Written by men that walked and talked with Christ. There's is the book of Josephus a Jewish scholar, that mentions the disciples, not a christian. None of them drunks.

I'm sorry your prayers were not answered and you were disappointed. Not all of mine have been either, but I still believe he hears me. I didn't always say yes to every thing my kids wanted, and it pissed them off and sometimes broke their hearts too. But I knew what was best. More than anything, you seem to be angry and heart broken, and I am sorry for that too.

You are a witch, and you have you're beliefs in the supernatural. I know Whom I believe in, and Whose Hand I felt in my darkest hours, Whose voice I heard. You don't face death twice and not know God is with you, feel His presence. No amount of "brainwashing" can convince you of whats not there.

911 was the fault of crazy fanatics and Katrina is the fault of all we have done to the planet and our government.......

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witch...
Jul. 14, 2008 at 9:23 PM Let me make this clear.  This was posted on MY personal homepage, for ME and those who feel as I do.  It was marked with a warning that it would not be appropriate for everyone.  I am sorry for the Christians who felt the need to barge in and post THEIR beliefs.  Who feel their god is so weak that he needs to be defended from one little Atheist housewife.  I feel those long and elaborate replies would have been better put on their OWN home pages--not mine!!  But I intend to be fair to everyone who reads this post.  To Beya--I see no insult to Christians in the post.  I see a plea for answers, for reasons why.  I am truly glad that god still works for you.  I am asking you to accept and try to understand that he does NOT work for me!   And please stop quoting your mythology and legends to me.  I reject Zeus, Osiris, and all other gods and their myths.  Yours are no different.  I contend that we are both Atheists--I just believe in one less god than you do.  Certainly you would never accept that Jupiter is the king of the gods or that he exists, right?  That's all I want you to know and accept, whether you understand it or not.  Respect my point of view because it is just as valid as yours and I will do the same for you.  Disrespect it and I will fight back. I behave like a lady when I am treated like one.  And perhaps it would be best if you stay away from my home page if you don't want to be upset.  Thank you.

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Momof...
Jul. 31, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Wow! What a post! (meaning all the different replies)... I have so many questions in ALL areas.  I mean, I to was raised in a Baptist Church, was there every time the doors were open... and I believed EVERYTHING I was told/taught.  Then I got preggo with my first baby (she would have been 12 on July 1st) and when I lost her I began to question just how Loving and Merciful my God actually was.  And then my Dad was killed.. I began to rethink... and to be honest I truly don't know what to believe.  I am like a wandering lost soul trying to find the answers that I need.  I DO believe in a Higher Power!  I began questioning how the pastor at my church could look at us and tell us that we were the "right religion" and all others were wrong and would be punished.  So was he saying that my Native American ancestors who believed in MANY Gods are not worthy of His Heaven?... They believed in a Higher Being(s) did they not?... Sooooo after all that I have learned growing up.. and seeing the things that happen to not only me, but others around me.... I have to agree with Witchqueen... why?  Why do things happen like they do, if God is truly a Just, Loving, and Merciful God?  Eventually I trust that I will find my life path and I will find the answers that I need and so want to complete my life and one day be at peace within myself. 

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jenan...
Aug. 1, 2008 at 1:52 AM

You know every day God sends you a message Loud and clear.. Read the bible!!! He came himself to send a message that you can be saved thru the Blood of Jesus.. Please, you say in my question that you was got out after 48 yrs.. sounds to me like you were never in... A real Christian isn't about religion but about a relationship with a God that does care and not a dumb, mute god that doesn't give them any answer.. You have a vegance against Christianity.. Well it isn't me who you have a problem with it is God.. and if you don't believe in the Christian God than why do you attack the Christians that do.. He isn't real to you so why do you bother? 

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