||Finally, more Fan Mail!
I thought it'd be interesting and helpful to post some of the testimonials I've gotten from fans and their conversions to atheism. If you have a conversion story that's interesting, sexy, outrageous or centered around me and my site
Hey bob how are you today? I just thought that you would find it interesting to know that I was once a Pentecostal evangelist for about 3 years. Yes,I was one of those self righteous bible thumping hell fire preaching pricks too. I have been an atheist for the past 10 years, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
When I finally came to my senses and kicked that fictional bastard called god and christ to the curb I was finally free. Over were the days of following some fucking weirdo named christ. I must say with no hesitation that I find religion in all its forms demeaning and disgraceful. Hell the fucking christians cant even agree upon the bullshit they get out of that most heinous book called the bible. They are a confused bunch if you ask me. When I gave god up I burned my bible and vowed to never bow to any religion ever again. I am an atheist till death. Hey I just thought I should give you a suggestion. It would be a good idea to add a testimonial section on your site for ex christians who have turned atheist, to testify as you will on what turned them away from god and into the realm of logic.
Sorry for the long email and I hope to be hearing what you think about this idea.
Till freedom and logic reign supreme:
Dear Normal Bob,
I grew up in a small conservative town in Northern California. I went to church, and sunday school. All up until I was about 16, I am now 18 going on 19 in April. It was about then I started realizing that religion is dangerous. It makes people ignorant and dilluted. People will pray for riches, or forgiveness. Which is stupid. It's like having a reset button on life. "Oh, I fucked up. If I pray and god forgives me, I'm a good person again. All the most insane people in the world are religios fanatics. A guy was locking up women in his basement and sexually assualting them in the name of god. There are the people who hate blacks and homosexuals because they are less-than-human. If you think about it, GOD MADE THEM THAT WAY!!!! So, there's not much they can do about it stupid asses.
Anyway, being an atheist in such a small comunity is hell. If people new I would be euthenized without question - no joke. That's why I love the internet. Many open minded people to share ideas with. That's why I love your site.
Well, that's it for me. Thanks Bob for being a mentor and a teacher. Peace out.
Huge fan... you're the heat. I wish I had the courage to pursue my dreams in the manner that you're doing. You're an amazing inspiration. You're living life to the fullest; I'm just so damn impressed with that. Your one Humanist example is more inspiring than any Sunday school lesson, hymn, or sermon I've ever had to sit through. The world would certainly be a better place, with more color and more vibrancy if people could find the will to live and love from an internal source... themselves...and I just think you're one of those kinds of people. Thank baby jesus for that....
I've attached a really long, and perhaps boring story of my exit from Mormonism... feel free to edit at will, or not to use it... I just want to contribute to your site... because I think you ARE making a HUGE difference. You are absolutely influencing thousands, and that's threatening to those who would keep us in the dark. And if there's some small way I can help, I'm definitely there...
I've been reading the letters on your fantastic website, you have yet another Fan, I find your Philosophies, open and suggestive, you tend to cover all aspects of your thoughts taking into account the thoughts of others and you put accross your arguments and veiws like a true professional.
Theology: a study of a theory of the word of god, thank you for pointing out the only thing I missed:
GOD IS THEORETICAL therfore not as people percieve and open to all and any input regardless of content.
Circle of Life Studies,
Lincoln Chapter, England UK
Three years ago, I was a hardcore Christian. You know the type I'm talking about: church twice on Sunday, once on Wednesday nights, Bible study on Thursdays, ministry meetings on Saturday, and Singles ministry "gatherings" on Friday nights, where we would bowl or go to the movies while single Christian women scoped the single Christian men and tried to figure out who would be the most godly husband.
I spent most of my free time proselytizing to my friends, pleading with them to change their lackadaisical ways concerning GOD. My friends, who considered themselves good Christians and me crazy, starting inviting me out less and less.
During this time, I was in church appointed counseling for my sinful interest in BDSM. I was convinced that my past deeds had been expunged after my baptism, but that Satan was waiting for me to slip back into my old ways and I must be on constant watch for any masochistic or lustful impulses. The counselor, of course, wanted all my juicy, I mean SINFUL details.
My best friend of nearly ten years took me out to dinner one night. She told me that she was worried about me. I explained to her that she should be worried about her own soul. She asked me some carefully worded questions about God. How could an all loving God cast people he created into hell for eternity? When in the neat seven day creation story did the dinosaurs exist? There are obvious contradictions in the Bible (How Judas died, for instance.) -- if God was overseeing the writing, couldn't he have corrected any mistakes? For that matter, couldn't he have just written it himself? And did I really believe in talking snakes and bushes, women turning into salt, water turning into wine or blood and the whole world flooding? I argued with her for a few hours, but in the back of my mind I felt the beginning gnawing of doubt. I had heard all of the questions before, but when they came from my best friend, who loved and cared for me, it seemed different.
I went to talk to my pastor about it. His answers were less than satisfactory -- God can do anything he wants to (except proofread the Bible) and quit asking questions. Have I prayed about all these doubts? Because they're a tool of the Devil, you know.
I started really paying attention to what I was saying when I defended God and the Bible. I realized that I sounded ridiculous, petulant and childish. I went less and less to church. I couldn't return my prayer partner's phone calls. As I pulled away from the indoctrination of the church, my brain breathed a sigh of relief and started confronting the inaccuracies in what I believed. With each dogmatic idea I dismissed and set aside, I felt lighter and more hopeful than the promise of eternal life had ever made me.
Finally, I determined that it was more logical that God didn't exist at all. It took me nearly two years before I would admit that I was an atheist, however. Living in Oklahoma certainly didn't help matters. No one wants logic and reason when he/she is convinced that the mystical is in charge and looking for people who need their asses kicked.
|Now I am an active proponent of BDSM, gay civil rights and atheism. I feel I've given my own life purpose instead of waiting for an invisible god to strike everyone around me down for not following his crazy edicts.
Wow...where do I begin? After stumbling across your site a few years back I've been keeping up with reading new hate mail and your comics, etc., etc. I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly intelligent (and sexy) you are.
But...back to what I wanted to tell you...I wanted to thank you for making this site because for a long time I felt like a horrible person for not believing in god or jesus or all of the magical stories written in the Bible. About four years ago my Mother signed me up for CCD classes (CCD classes are evening Bible study classes for children who plan on receiving their first holy communion). When I arrived to class for the first evening the teacher asked a very obvious question: Do you believe in God? Of course everyone said "yes" but when it came time for me to answer my response was I don't know. (At the time I was still on the fence because after thinking a great deal about everything I was told in church about god and sin and all of that wonderful stuff of fantasy, I decided that it didn't make any sense.)
Well let me tell you, Bob, after the answer I gave I was completely shunned. The teacher made a huge spectacle about evolution, saying things like So you think we came from MONKIES? Is that what you believe??? She even, at one point, told us (and I quote) "Don't believe anything scientists say because they just make things up." No lie, I'm not exaggerating. That is exactly what she said.
I knew that what she was saying was wrong, but I still felt bad. I felt like I was the most horrible and evil little girl in the world and that I would die a horrible death and be damned to hell. But visiting your site has put those fears to rest. I'm surprised that it has taken me this long to thank you for presenting your beliefs in such a clever and amusing way.
I don't feel alone anymore and I thank you for that.
|Bob, you are the greatest.
Your site helped me see how idiotic and irrational Christianity really is. I
was raised in the Bible Belt, and I was a good little Catholic girl until I
started to question my faith at the age of 16. I really thought there was
something wrong with me for a while - everyone around me (including all the
adults, poor souls) was buying into the idea of this all-powerful Guy in the
Sky who just wants everybody to be friends . . . so why couldn't I just accept
His wonderful, unconditional love?
I continued to go to church every Sunday (if I didn't, I would be grounded), and
it was another year before I had the guts to tell anyone that I wasn't sure if I
believed in God anymore. When I told people this, they invariably paused
awkwardly, gave me a funny look, and changed the subject. My parents just
assumed I was going through a rebellious stage.
I tried not to think about religion too much. I was walking a tightrope - on
the one side, blind faith and a voluntary suspension of my higher brain
functions, and on the other . . . I wasn't ready yet.
I was beginning to realize, however, that science and religion do not mix, no
matter how much you try to contort them. When I was 7 or 8, I could accept the
idea that maybe six days for God was a really really long time here on earth,
but when I was in high school and trying to reconcile the theory of evolution
with the "fact" that Eve came from Adam's rib, I had bigger problems. Little
did I realize that I was slowly developing scientific thinking skills far
beyond the level of superstition required for my moldering religious beliefs.
But then, a few months ago, I stumbled across your website. I felt born again!
I had finally seen the light, and I was filled with awe and wonder and joy and
all those glorious feelings that I had always heard about but never really
experienced for myself. You helped me realize that it’s okay not to buy into
their bullshit. Your responses to the hate mails opened my eyes to the
absurdity of it all, and I can now tell people calmly and confidently that I
don't believe in their God, or in any supreme-being-type person who watches
over us and knows when we're sleeping or awake and keeps a list of who's been
naughty or nice and sends all the bad people to hell.
Now, as an atheist at the University of Michigan, I can walk by the fanatics
carrying gigantic signs and screaming that we're all going to hell (or the less
aggressive ones who just hand out flyers), and I laugh at them instead of
wondering if they might be right. I have you to thank for this, Bob – you and
you alone. Well, there's science and rationality too, but it was mostly you.
||I’m not quite sure that I ever really believed, but rather, I was brought to church, and found the idea of God, the Devil, Heaven, and Hell, very much appealing, in my younger years. I was baptized a catholic, went to bible school on Saturdays, got my communion and learned how to confess (what the hell does a little kid confess about anyway?) This is how it worked for the first 10-12 years of my life. Then, rather abruptly, my mother stopped taking me to church.
No real reason, and no explanation, as far as I can see. So, I pretty much had my Sunday’s open again, which wasn’t a big deal since Sunday morning cartoons usually sucked. A few years went by with me in a spiritual limbo. This effected me very little, as I had many more important things to do, such as play Nintendo, Heavy Metal, and girls (in that order, sadly.)
A few of my early girlfriends had claimed to practice witchcraft, or wicca, or wicka, etc. etc. etc., and I found that to be kind of cool, since I had a great interest in the Lord of the Rings books, along with some of the Terry Brooks series. I was a big fan of fantasy, and having hot, witch girlfriends (who for some unknown reason were always bi-sexual, but to my chagrin, NOT actively) was really kick ass, for me, the outcast 16 year old metal head geek. I played along, pretending I cared about their crazy religion, all the while developing my own theories on existence.
At 18, I had made up my mind, and started a new religion, which I called “Apathysm.” Apathysm of course is derived from apathy, one of the necessary traits in being a teenage male with a love of death metal. I decided that I didn’t care whether there was or was not a god. If god were to prove his existence, I wouldn’t care, because I felt that if God were a good god then he shouldn’t judge me for not giving a shit, and he’d let me go to heaven. If he were to judge me, and send me to hell for not giving a shit, I would then decide that I wouldn’t want to worship such an asshole of a god. This is where I remained for the next few years.
I got to the point where I was completely science and logic driven. For years I had determined that ANYTHING was possible, considering the infinite number of possibilities. Then, suddenly, I decided that this was a bullshit cop-out belief, one which should be left to the Christians and Agnostics. I now believe that all religion is based off of mans (and womans) wish to live forever, in one way or another. I believe our purpose is to make babies, so they can make babies, and so on. I believe Humans are TOO COMPLEX for an all-powerful god to have created us, not the other way around.
appeals to my desire for friends, and being made to feel a part of something. Anything. My final capitulation I remember very well: an emotional "revelation" that I wanted a father figure to replace my Dad, who'd divorced my Mom when I was very young and never really acted much like a parent, and Jesus (and the church!) could fill that void, etc, etc.
Well, that did it: I've been visiting your site for over a year now semi-regularly, and even chatted with you for a couple of short periods on yahoo messenger, but I've never bothered to waste your time with an email. Then I read your little writeup about the CityLight church, and the ridiculous four years of my life that I wasted as part of a flaky fundamentalist church came flooding back to me.
I spent the ages of fifteen to nineteen, what should have been some of the best party years of my life, in a church called Living Joy Christian Center. As a kid in school, I was considered a geek: I liked science, dressed poorly, and never had a very large number of friends. But like most kids that age, I was looking for a peer group who would accept me. My mom dragged me to church every Sunday morning, in the hopes that I would convert from my relatively atheistic tendancies. I had always been somewhat of a freethinker, even as a teenager, so of course, instead of "attacking" me with logical arguments about Christianity and God, I was drawn into the youth group through emotional means:
Anyhow, I threw myself headlong into Christianity, listening to Christian heavy metal exclusively, reading Christian "science" literature, proselytizing to my few friends, and all that bullshit. But after a while it slowly started dawning on me that I felt like a round peg trying to squeeze myself into a square hole. I was having difficulties resolving my intellectual naggings that something wasn't quite right. LJCC was a lot like that church you went to: people holding up their hands, dancing in the aisles, getting "slain" in the Spirit (falling down and acting passed out). I never really danced or got into the big emotional hullabaloo, but I remember being slain in the spirit a couple of times, and I just laid there on the ground, wondering what the hell was I supposed to do while I was down there. I sure wasn't feeling anything. No little voice of God or anything. I thought it was something wrong with me, so I lied to other people about how "fulfilled" I felt, and I pressed even harder to get close to God. When I turned 18 I signed up for an in-depth Bible study, and that's when things really started to unravel. I began actually READING that stupid book, and began to be completely unable to reconcile some of the ridiculous stories in the Bible. Questions were nagging at me, like how God stopped the Earth spinning for 24 hours, just so the Isrealites could commit genocide? How come there were three different versions of Jesus' "last words"? Did Judas hang himself, or did he jump from a cliff? I took a step back and looked around, realizing that things were not as I had thought they were. I had given control of my worldview and personal value over to a group of people who didn't really give a shit about me. People in church were just like everyone else, only they gathered on Sundays and smiled at each other like they were all hiding the same fucking secrets, and not very well, either.
Long story only slightly shorter, I left town to go to college, and slowly came to realize how much bullshit that religion is. It took a few years, but I gradually morphed from a backslid Christian, to a religious sympathizer, then agnostic, and finally to atheism.
Bob, your stories about visiting that church are great, and I think you should go maybe once more to give us all some more laughs. But definitely, don't believe for a second that anyone there really gives a flying fuck about how "clever" your website is or how "interesting" a person they think you are. They want to convert you, and that's it. They'll drop you like a fucking stone as soon as they realize there's no chance of you falling back in with Christianity (not that you didn't know that...).
Anyhow, I've written a short novel, and blown enough of your fucking time. Keep up the fight against the tyranny of Jesus! (and Allah, Vishnu, Dubya, Isis, etc)
Up until three years ago I was a dyed in the wool believer. I was raised in a conservative, Lutheran, Republican household down in San Antonio, Texas, and lived as a little messenger of Jesus until after my Freshman year in high school. It's very depressing even thinking back on it. I don't have one single, shining event that marked my deconversion after that year... I just remember struggling to reconcile what I truly WANTED to believe, with what I observed and what made sense. Over that summer, I talked with every Christian authority figure that was within my reach, and read whatever I could get my hands on. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't sublimate my rational mind for too much longer. I don't think I need to go over the flaws in Christian dogma/scripture, as any former Christian who will read this likely knows dozens by heart.
I eventually rejected Christianity after that summer, but like so many individuals down here (where religion is a permeating force), I wasn't quite ready to discard all dogma. I committed days and weeks on end to researching other philosophies and religions, wanting something that was both rational and non-theistic, yet still had that "spiritual" feeling. I, as others have, began to be interested in Eastern religion, especially Buddhism. I was a self proclaimed and practicing Buddhist for about a year, before I hit another growth spurt of rationality and began analyzing, as I had with Christianity, ALL of the tenets and doctrines of Buddhism that I could. Eventually, Buddhism was swept away by the powers of unrelenting reason and empiricism as well.
After being disillusioned with my own religious endeavors, I began going online and talking to others about religion in some more respectable chat rooms. It was here that I was first exposed to anything resembling serious philosophical debate. After watching others, and using my own limited knowledge and experiences, I eventually jumped into debating feet first, and with no life jacket. I was thoroughly squashed, many times, in my constant prodding, getting reamed by people who had been doing this far longer... but I was learning, and shaping philosophies. One thing I started noticing was how atheism, without any religion at all, was nearly always the more reasonable, understandable, and sensible position (I was an atheist by this point, but had not developed a very sound philosophical basis for it).
I'll save time, and just say that by this point, atheism and purely secular, rational thought had gotten it's hold on me, and it would be a relationship that I enjoy to this day. After further refining my philosophical positions, I started looking for other atheists and agnostics in my high school. Thus began the Holy Church of Happy Goodtimes, which is now an 80+ member atheist and agnostic society with members all across Texas, and even a few in New York. It's about a year and a half after the inception of The Church, and I am still fighting the good fight in Texas, getting invited to theological debates by seminary students, and generally having a ball. I (ironically) now go to Baylor University, the largest baptist university in the world. In order not to become too depressed, I have convinced myself that this is a mission trip for Reason in the buckle of the Bible Belt. It's fine though... I opened another chapter of The Church here as well, with nearly 40 members, which is astonishing in itself.
Satan's Salvation have been constant improvements to my days, even when the fundamentalists are at their peak of stupidity around me. I am thoroughly impressed by your hate mail section, Bob. I receive some "hate mail", but it gets old answering all of the exact some questions every time, month after month. I sincerely applaud you for your endurance. This email has already gone on too long, so I'll just let you go now, but keep up the good fight... from all of us isolated atheists in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, whom your site constantly cheers up.
Rev. Justin Mueller
High Priest of the Holy Church of Happy Goodtimes