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Monday, January 12, 2015

On Being Apostate


These are some of the things that people encounter upon leaving Christianity. The questions are endless, the loss impossibly painful. Some of us are rejected straight out by family and friends. Some are harassed in the name of evangelism. Christianity says that you can't leave. Leaving means burning in hell forever. (Or, if you're Calvinist, you don't even have a choice, saved or not whether you like it or not.) Leaving is unthinkable. Leaving means losing everything that makes life worth living. Leaving means losing your community, your support, maybe even your job. The whole system is arranged in such a way that leaving isn't even a choice for many.

They try to beg you, reason with you, using not reason but emotional manipulation. "How can you do this to yourself, to your family? Aren't you afraid of hell? Don't you care about your children's eternal souls? Don't you care about how this makes the church look? If you leave, we can no longer be your friends; you cannot be part of our family, God says so. We must now treat you like an unbeliever." Excommunication, rejection, anger, irrational cliches.

Do they really think these tactics will make us want to stay?

People will come up with all sorts of reasons why you must be apostate.

"You just never knew the real God."
"You weren't saved in the first place."
"You are deceived by Satan. You love your flesh more than God."
"You just want to live a sinful life."
"If you only knew God the way I do, the REAL God, you could never leave him."

If I had a dime for every time someone told me that last one, every time they said "that isn't God, this is God" and pointed in another direction, a way I've probably already been, I'd be rich. You can only be told so many times that the God that hurt you, the church that rejected you, is not the real God and the real people of God because eventually  you realize that all gods are made in the image of men and all humans are human no matter how other they claim to be.

I need people to understand something. You don't have a formula for why I walked away from your faith. From MY faith. You cannot justify to yourself some way that I am different, some way that I was broken that you are not, some way I got it wrong, in order to feel secure that you got it right. It's difficult to fathom when you've been taught that if you do xyz, you will be saved forever that someone could do xyz and yet not be saved. I get it. I was you once and I didn't understand and it was scary and I read all the cliches that supposedly explained what was wrong with the apostate that could never be wrong with me. Yet.....here I am. And there you are. And you can try with the best of them to continue to figure out "what went wrong" but your answers will never be satisfactory. Because they will not be true. There is no formula that can keep your faith intact. I realize that according to all the rules, I was not supposed to happen. I've also come to realize the rules are broken, not me, and they lie. I know this doesn't fit into the Christian paradigm. I don't fit. That's OK by me. But someday people are going to have to stop hiding behind their paradigm with all the answers that dismiss everyone who doesn't fit, and start addressing the hard problems that just won't go away and that they don't have answers to.

The truth is that sometimes people wake up and they know something isn't right and they change. It can be sudden or it can be gradual, but it happens. They wake up and they realize they swallowed a lie and life is not what they thought and they can't keep going on pretending that if they just keep on trying, maybe it will work out the way they were told it would. This can happen to anyone, I am not special or unique or flawed. I am human, just like you. No one is exempt from such awakening. It's a choice that we make to continue to live with cognitive dissonance that grows ever worse until we shut down parts of our hearts and minds to stop it and just keep doing and believing what we are told, what is safe. It's also a choice to choose to walk through a door that is scary and foreign but that is honest and true to ourselves. I have chosen the latter. And, for me, that means walking away from belief in god. For some of my friends, it meant re-defining who god is and what that means for them, and I respect that. I hope they find peace in that. I cannot. I've tried. It's dishonest for me.

Please, on behalf of all my ex-Christian friends I beg you, stop trying to save us. It feels very dismissing and disrespectful. I know it's your reaction based on fear that we will rot in hell, but it's a hell that men made to control people's behavior and I reject it. You must believe me when I tell you that there is nothing you can say to me that I haven't heard and probably once said to someone else. The childhood religious indoctrination was complete. There is no scripture you can quote that I don't have memorized. You cannot out-Bible an ex-fundamentalist. You cannot out-Christian-cliche me. I know my Bible better than most pastors. I know the hymns by heart. I was a worship leader. I know every nuance and flavor of Christian culture quite intimately. I know the Greek and Hebrew words. I know the apologetics and the proof-texts and the sermons and the doctrines and all the "right" answers to everything. I was fervent and devoted and loved Jesus with the best of them. You cannot dismiss me by a wave of your hand and a proclamation of "you were never saved". I was the saved of the saved. I was on fire. And now I have seen differently and changed my mind.

Without Christianity, I am free.  I have no desire to go back into that damaging bondage.

This is not a decision that I, that any of us, take lightly. It is insulting to my intelligence that you would think it's "a reaction" to my past. It's true there's an emotional component to my choice. I am an emotional being. But I am also rational and the two are not mutually exclusive. I know what I am doing. Can you please take me on my word at that?

For those of you walking the same path, I want you to know you're not alone. There are resources out there for you. Here are a few that have helped me:

Journey Free~ Religious Trauma Syndrome
Recovering From Religion

Celebrate the journey. Life is precious and far more valuable than I ever imagined. Drink it up. Love much. Pursue your passions. Leave a legacy. Write your story. Love others regardless of their religious beliefs. Peace be with you on your journey.


  1. Wow! Just Why? Can you honestly say that you don't see the goodness of God in any of your life? Do you think it's all in the way you do things now?

    1. I don't understand the question.

    2. Sorry Darcy..I wrote that rather quickly and after reading it again I think I should just ask this. Do you no longer believe there is a God of the universe who created all things? Can you honestly say that you don't see the goodness of God in anything in your life or the life of your family? Do you see no evidence of Him in your life or the world you live in?

    3. Who's version of god? Yours? Mine? Various religions'? Any one of the hundreds of versions of god throughout the history of Christianity? Which one of the various versions of god am I supposed to be seeing in my life and how do I know that is the real version? And don't tell me "the Bible says so" becuase every person in the history of Christianity has said that and it's no more clear now than it ever was. Man makes gods in his image. Always has, always will. You are no different.

      There is good in my life. There is no evidence to support the idea that a deity (any version of one) caused that good. To say "this good I see is God" is just confirmation bias, supporting an idea you presume to be true. As a matter of fact, everything evil in my life currently and past was directly caused by ideas of God, church, and religion. There is no "evidence" of any god, not when you get outside the christian box and truly critically examine life, the universe, and everything. An honest examination, done over several years, has yielded no compelling reason to believe in anyone's god, and hundreds of reasons not to. My post answers your questions, as do these:




    4. I really appreciate your answering. I'm really sorry that everything evil in your life currently and past was directly caused by ideas of God, church, and religion. I do believe in the God that the Bible talks about as well as seeing to much evidence factually and in my own life to deny he exists. Once again, thanks for answering and I will go back and read those other posts by you.

  2. Yes. Yes. Yes. To this whole post. Thank you for posting this Darcy.

  3. Loved this article! Thank you for writing and expressing these thoughts.

  4. Hey Darcy, I just saw a post from Jan of 2012 where you talked about your relationship with Jesus and shared two Bible Verses.

    1. .....and? I used to be a Christian.. I'm sure you can find many more times I quoted the Bible and talked about being a Christian here and elsewhere on the internet.

    2. But January of 2012 was before the end of the world. It doesn't count.


      Darcy has said that that the process of questioning that led her away from religion/deities lasted several years- so in 2012 it is possible that she was still holding onto whatever she could of Christianity.

      The point of her being an ex-fundamentalist is that she once was a fundamentalist and now is not. There were undoubtedly a great many degrees between those two states.

      I'm not sure what the point of your comment is?

    3. I've read the others now. ..

    4. www.mundanefaithfullness.com

  5. OOPS...I meant www.mundanefaithfulness.com

  6. Darcy,

    For the most part, I try to stay away from internet debates... However, I've decided to make an exception with regards to you. I hope we can debate in a Christian way that is above reproach.

    From your posts, I gather that you view Christianity as bondage. It isn't freeing. It's a sort of slavery. You also seem to believe that being apostate is freeing. It doesn't have rules and regulations.

    Please allow me to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Being apostate means you are a slave. A slave to your sin! It means you can never be rid of an overwhelming burden. It means a heavy weight that will never be lifted. You are enslaved and never to be set free.

    If you are a Christian, your burden has been lifted. You can rejoice and be glad. You are no longer a slave to your sin. You carry no burden.

    Some may see Christianity as rules and regulations. I don't see it that way. Are there commands we have been given? Yes. Those commands are there for us to live a better life, to walk with Jesus, to be a better Christian. When we don't follow those commands, we aren't happy. For example, when a child does something wrong, that wrong thing may not be as great as they thought it was going to be. They will be much happier when they obey. When we obey the commands we are given, we are happier. All of God's laws make us more like Christ. What a glorious thing!

    I will not speculate as to whether or not you were ever saved. I would like to share some verses I find helpful. I think I John 2:19 is certainly a good one. " They went out from us, but we're not one of us. For is they had been one of us, they would've continued with us."
    I Timothy 4:1 is also good. "Now the Spirit expressly says that is later time some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and demons."
    Matthew 24:10 portrays the life of an apostate person. "And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate each other."
    II Peter 2:20-22 describes the apostate person perfectly. "For is, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become better for them than the first. For it would have been better than for them to have never know the way of righteousness than after knowing it, to turn back from the Holy Commandment delivered to them. What the true Proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to his own vomit, and the sow, after washing himself, returns to wallow in the mire."

    Darcy, you are correct. You have swallowed a lie. The lie the devil fed you. Please reject this lie. Please stop being miserable, sad, bitter, and angry.

    I will be praying for you the same prayer I pray for everyone who goes apostate. May The Lord give you no rest until you are walking with him once again.

    1. Did you miss the part where I said that you can't out-Bible me? That you can't tell me anything about Christianity, all it's flavors, that I don't already know? I know more Christian cliches and talking points than you could possibly fit into this comment. I know more Bible than most pastors. So, no, I won't debate you. It isn't a fair fight because I already know everything you will say, every scripture you will quote, every cliche you will trot out, every apologetic point you think is a trump card, every sensationalist argument from emotion, every ridiculous fallacy that religious people use when trying to talk to others. Because I walked it, talked it, believed it, breathed it, taught it, and lived it for the past 30 years.

      Please stop projecting your miserable, sad, bitter, and angry life onto my happy one. And keep your offensive, emotionally abusive prayers to yourself.

    2. Also, gotta say....love the cowardice of preaching at me behind an anonymous comment. Go you.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. I'm not touchy. You are rude and offensive and ignorant, and you hide behind your religion to be thus. I said no debate and I will not tolerated being insulted or having my children insulted on my blog.

    5. You are also really bad at trying to win people over to your faith. Everything you said makes me want to run as far away from you and your religion as possible. You have been the perfect example of everything I have spoken of that is wrong with Christianity. If you really desire for people to consider your religion, you might try changing your tactics. Because they're awful.

    6. She's right anonymous! I read the comment before she took it off. I have to run out the door to take my kids ice-skating tonight but I'll be back later. Not the way to talk to someone who has been through it..

    7. Anonymous lost me at "debate in a christian way". The christian way is jesusspeak for " my way or the highway". Debate is when you pick a side without the option of being open to the other point of view. You only argue your side. Discussion is an open minded exchange of ideas (hopefully). Great post, Darcy.

  7. Beautiful entry! Looking forward to reading more!

  8. Hey Darcy-
    Just wanna send you a cyber hug. I've read your posts for a couple years now, and I want to thank you for how REAL and unapologetic you are. I'm on my own journey out of fundamental BS. I too am really struggling to find my own voice and feet in the God/religion/Christianity discussion. Hope tomorrow is a great day for you!
    Hugs from someone with a similar journey! :)

  9. I read the anonymous post that Darcy had to remove. Written by a mom with kids. I know when you read this stuff, it's easy to think, how does this happen. How does someone who was a Christian become Apostate?

    There really are people out there who were raised in really legalistic homes or very unloving homes where the Bible was crammed down their throats. Angry homes with parents who just couldn't handle parenting properly. They used God's word as their authority and distorted it to the max!

    Sadly, there are also people who call themselves Christians who live completely opposite lives outside of church. Life is just plain hard sometimes.

    I actually have Darcy on a parenting page and she gives really good advice and good ideas. I know she really loves her family and kids. I don't know everything she's been through but after reading her posts it's obvious that she's been through it.

    I understand. Honestly I do! I think that Christians really need to understand that this stuff happens in peoples lives. Hypocrisy is alive and well in the lives of all people and sadly the church. I don't have an answer why.

    I'm not going to apologize for what I'm about to say next. I'm a Christian and believe in the Bible. I'm not going to quote any verses but I'm just going to say that it's the Love of God, and the goodness of God that brings people back to him.

    My husband should have been one of those people who Never believed in God or knew his love. He is the main person who has showed me the Love of God more then anyone else. He truly gets it and lives it. His life has been changed because of knowing the Lord and having him in his life.

    I think we all need to live our lives as Christians that when we meet someone who has gone through this that we can truly show them the love of Christ more then slamming them with Bible verses and our opinions of what they should be doing. I do pray for Darcy when she comes to my mind that someone will truly show her that someday.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Keri!

      I am a strong Christian and love my church family. That being said, I often feel as if we get caught up in crossing our theological 't' and dotting our theological 'I' and lose our love of The Lord. I want to be a Christian that is a light, that isn't self righteous, that has a genuine love for The Lord and shows that through everyday actions. I have by no means arrived at that, but it is certainly a goal of mine. While I know theology is important, I think many Christians have lost their love and zeal for The Lord. Would you agree?

    2. I agree Abigail. It's easy for our hearts to get hardened.

    3. I appreciate the sentiment, Keri, and the kindness and sincerity with which it was delivered. I do want to caution though against assuming that people who were abused by the church leave the church purely because of that abuse. While this may be true for some, it is only part of my story. The rest is due to much research and questioning and rational thought, going back to the beginning and starting over, examining everything i was taught was true. In the end, I can find no proof for most of what I was taught about the Bible, God, history, and the church. A critical examination of everything from the origins of the Bible to scientific and archaeological evidence, to written and unwritten history has convinced me that most of what Christianity teaches is false and is easily proven false. I can find no rational reason to believe in any of it, and dozens of reasons to reject it. So while it is true that abuse by the church has shown me church is not a safe place for me and others like me, it's only part of the story. Be careful to not take up the narrative of "reaction against abuse".

    4. "reaction against abuse" the narrative? I'm 54 and have Never Heard of That!!

      I love history and study it extensively so I find it very interesting that you would reject all the evidence that's out there that proves so much is real according to the Bible. Places, artifacts, people and events.

      We actually just had a man and his wife speak at our church. They are from Lebanon and are missionaries to Israel! It was fascinating what he shared.

    5. Keri,

      I noticed on an earlier comment you shared the blog Mundane Faithfulness. Thank you so much for doing that! She is incredible! I would highly encourage others to read her blog. It has been so influential in my Christian life.

      Darcy, in what places have you done your research? What is the standard by which you are making these claims and decisions? I hope these questions don't sound snarky, because they're not meant to sound that way at all. I simply want your answers as to what exactly your research and method of research entails.

    6. I don't really owe anyone my research or answers, and generally only take the time to share my years worth of research (which can be easily found by anyone seeking) if they are truly looking for answers for their own journey, and not just looking to debate me or practice their apologetics on me. I know how this discussion goes. I used to be on your side of it. :)

      Keri, when I said "reaction against abuse narrative" I was referring to the popular argument/story by Christians who have decided that people like me turn away from God and the church due to abuse. A reaction, and not critical, careful, rational thought.

    7. Darcy,

      Of course you don't owe us your research or what your research entails. Nor do you owe us your standard by which you are making your claims. My point is that if you are unwilling to give your research or standards, then please do not act as if your opinion of these matters is the truth. If you cannot say where you are getting your information and what you are comparing that info to, then I feel as if you should clarify that this is your opinion. Your posts don't say that and almost make it sound like your opinion and your own thoughts are the absolute truth. If you don't wish for me to refer to your writings as your opinion, than your MUST state what exactly you are basing these thoughts on, what standard you are using, etc.

      This isn't meant to be unkind or mean at all and I hope it doesn't come across that way. I simply want to say that all of the things you stated in this post and in your comments, are your own opinion. They're not based on anything but your opinion. Opinions are very often wrong

    8. Just as your own may be, Sarah...such as those in your comments.

    9. Sarah, a few thoughts:

      1. This is my blog. Who else's opinions would I be writing?
      2. I don't believe in "absolute truth" so we're good there.
      3. I couldn't care less how you refer to my writings.
      4. What you feel I should clarify is not anything I am concerned about.
      5. This isn't a debate. It's my story.
      6. You don't come across as mean or unkind, just kind of demanding and mistaken in the point of this post and mistaken in thinking I care about what you, random internet person, think about my story.

    10. Darcy,

      I either didn't display my thoughts properly or you didn't understand them as I intended them. Either way, they were obviously misunderstood.

      You are right, this is your blog. I never meant to say that you couldn't say whatever you wanted. What I intended to say, was that if you are going to make claims and want anyone to listen to those claims, then you need to provide research, standards, and some explanation. For example: suppose I was trying to prove that Type A tape is better than Type B tape. I need to say what standard I am judging these on. What exactly am I judging these tapes on? Stickiness? Length? Durability? I need to provide research to support my claims. If I say Type A is stickier than Type B, I need to prove that instead of just throwing that out there. If I'm going to make such a claim, I need proof and research.

      Obviously, what we are speaking of is much different than tape:p I only wanted to use that as an example.

      My point is that if you want people to listen to some of your points and claims, you should provide other things than just your opinion.

      I'm not saying that your opinion is most certainly wrong or that you can't state your opinion. I just will not look at an argue meant unless it's something other than one person's personal opinion.

    11. "What I intended to say, was that if you are going to make claims and want anyone to listen to those claims, then you need to provide research, standards, and some explanation."

      Obviously you have still missed the point of this entire post. I am not evangelizing. I am not trying to convince anyone that I am right and everyone should be an atheist. I couldn't care less what other people believe about the existence of god. I am not preaching, evangelizing, convincing, nor claiming. I am merely telling my story and trying to give people a glimpse into the mind of an ex-fundamentalist agnostic person. I have been told by my ex-christian friends that I expressed not only my own thoughts and emotions on the subject, but theirs' as well. It is not my fault that you and others cannot get past your conditioning to evangelize and convince and debate and be right long enough to simply listen to the heart of another human being without formulating your own rebuttal as we speak. I understand. I used to do the same thing and had no idea I was doing it. It was ingrained into me to "always be ready to give a defense". Here's an idea: how about instead, always be ready to sit and simply listen to the story of another, without trying to defend anything. Try it....it might surprise you.

    12. And just to be uber-clear.....I don't need a lesson on how to research or write a persuasive paper. I am 30 credits away from a BA in letters and science from my state university, and making plans for the graduate program in 2 years. Research is what I do every day, on a variety of topics, with deadlines and word counts and citations and grades (mine's a 4.0 btw). Baring my heart, telling my story, being vulnerable about my struggles, painting pictures with words to connect to the hearts of others.....that's what I do on this blog. Not all of life is a research paper or a debate club.

    13. The idea that there's some burden of proof on Darcy regarding her personal/spiritual journey, written about on her personal blog, is beyond absurd.

      If this is the fruit of the Christian religion, it shouldn't be too hard to begin to see where the glossy paint starts chipping away. You can't stack the deck so that your own standard is mere faith while requiring massive research and absolute proof from others and be taken seriously.

    14. Lewis,

      What makes you think I am going by "mere faith"???? That isn't my situation at all. Science proves and points to a creator. History shows who that creator is. I am a biology degree... Everything around us points to a creator. If you say that you cannot see that, you are blinded. I have an Organic Chemistry minor. Same situation. Everything I see points to God as the creator of the universe. I have a masters degree in Microbiology. Again, same thing! Read a science textbook, read a history textbook. They will both show the one true Creator. I don't have "mere faith". While I do posses faith, that is also joined with mountains of evidence pointing to the one true creator. God. Educate yourself on the facts. Even one biology professor I had, who was extremely anti Christian, said that anyone who cannot see the extreme amounts of evidence of God as our creator, is delusional and probably stupid. His exact words:p I believe that every word in the Bible is true, but I combine that with the huge mountain of evidence supporting God as our creator. So I am not going by "mere faith." :p

    15. Sarah, how can you expect us to listen to you if you don't have at least 3 legit citations for all of your absurd claims? I mean, really, how can I know your tape is sticky if you don't provide evidence? How dare you say anything without proper APA citations for every claim made?! I mean, if you "want anyone to listen to those claims, then you need to provide research, standards, and some explanation after all".

      (that was sarcasm, in case it wasn't clear. No, I don't need a source citation for sarcasm. LOL)

    16. Sarah...You just described mere faith. You can't prove anything you just said tangibly, and you believe it intangibly. Good for you. You should go on believing it if that's what you choose, and leave those who don't agree alone about it because you aren't making it any more appealing.

      Your degrees mean you have degrees. They don't serve as evidence of what you're saying, and using them as an appeal to authority doesn't serve as proof. If it's not enough for YOU to believe it, but you also need Darcy, me, or anyone else to believe it and agree with you, whatever you believe isn't worth believing.

      Just own it, live it as productively and positively as you can, and take people at their word when they tell you they don't wanna hear it because they've heard the Christianese a thousand times.

    17. Darcy,

      With all do respect, I believe that, I, an employed chemist, a biology major, an organic chem minor, and a masters micro biology degree don't need to provide research the way you do. Everything I will say is based on scientific fact and history teachings. You are making claims and saying they are true. Again, with all do respect, are you qualified to make such ridiculous claims? I DO realize this is your blog... BUT, you seem to want everyone to take everything you say and take it as the truth. How do you expect people to do this when you are no expert on history, science, or any of the subjects you are speaking so adamantly on? This is your personal blog. Please just don't make ridiculous claims and get upset with me for calling you out on your utter lack of evidence, proof, research, qualification, and standards.

    18. Dude. Get over yourself. Argument from authority is a fallacy. Also, that last comment was complete sarcasm, me throwing your own words back at you. But I see that your standards for me don't apply to you so this is a pointless conversation. I don't argue with arrogance assholes who are full of their own importance. I don't have time for that.

    19. Sarah, with all due respect, you're completely full of shit.

    20. Oh wait. This is satire, right? I mean, a real person couldn't really be this socially inept and full of themselves and woefully unaware? Funny! You totally had me there for a while. Kudos. :) Poe's Law strikes again. I was getting worried there for a bit. Haha!

    21. Lewis, for you, I will leave you with a Bible verse. Unfortunately, I don't believe you are mature enough to debate in an adult way. Therefore, I leave you with this and some future advice. Proverbs 26:17 "Whosoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like taking a dog by his ears."

      Darcy, I find it quite ironic that I am being called arrogant. Lol. I will leave you with a bible verse as well. Proverbs 18:2 says "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his opinion."

    22. I believe you because of your degrees.

    23. And Darcy, don't you love the Christian condemnation she just offered?

    24. hahaha! You're hilarious. Seriously, keep talking and proving everything I believe about Christians. Go ahead. This is making me so relieved I'm not part of your world anymore.

      LEWIS....you forgot to cite a source for your claim that she is full of shit. For shame.

    25. Sarah,
      I'm not really sure what Darcy has said that has you screaming for research. I looked at the things you cited and don't understand what the problem is. Allow me to go through them with you.
      "Have no desire to go back to that damaging bondage." There was a link to an article you can read. You could also look it up in a psychology journal.
      " There is good in my life. There is no diety (any version of one) caused that good." Darcy hasn't seen God, so I'm not sure what evidence she would use to make the connection that God made the things in her life that are good, good. I don't think she should have to preface every statement with "based on a lack of evidence..." (suggesting that God does good things for people in their lives in this example)
      "Man makes Gods in his image. Always has, always will." You, of course, believe this. The Bible says to not do that. So obviously someone is for it to be a problem. Hindus and Witches and Muslims are, of course, completely mistaken. They are just serving their own gods. The evolution of christianity should be evidence alone of the fact that God changes as people change the way they think.
      "As a matter of fact, anything evil in my life currently or past was directly caused by ideas of God, church, and religion." This an anecdotal statement, but it is a valid argument. If her entire life has been an experience of spiritual abuse, followed by abuse for leaving the spiritual abuse, this is a completely valid statement. Not all people can make this statement, but she can.
      "There is no evidence of any God..." Darcy is agnostic, which is actually a neutral position. The burden of proof is on the one trying to evangelize the neutral party to either side. So that would be you. But wait, you were told this wasn't the place for your apologetics, because its a blog. If you actually want to read some opposing sides to the neutral argument, I recommend William Lane Craig's "Does God Exist" and Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion".
      I don't believe you have any of the degrees you say you have because you did not provide any evidence, original research, actual knowledge of science, documents proving qualification, or really anything remotely approaching a non-fallacious thought process. If you do have those degrees than I also don't see how that matters to the context of this conversation. Being more educated in a particular area of science hardly qualifies you to speak down to people who have already dissected your poorly constructed arguments.

    26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    28. Drew,
      This isn't criticizing what you said (I agree with h it all!) but just letting you know an argument is only valid if it can be true in all possible worlds. Valid arguments cannot be valid for one person (or situation, etc). Rather, it is an inductive argument. The more you know!

      darcy, you're awesome!

  10. Darcy,

    From your responses, it seems I have offended you. If I have, please forgive me.

    In your comment, you say that you aren't trying to make others atheist... You say you aren't trying to evangelize others. However, in your post, I see quite a bit that says otherwise. For example: You say you "Have no desire to go back to that damaging bondage." You say " There is good in my life. There is no diety (any version of one) caused that good." You said "Man makes Gods in his image. Always has, always will."
    You said "As a matter of fact, anything evil in my life currently or past was directly caused by ideas of God, church, and religion." You said "There is no evidence of any God..."

    While you say you are simply telling your story, your comments and posts say otherwise. They show you trying to evangelize, just like me! :) That's fine, please just admit it, though. :)

    1. You should probably bow out as gracefully as possible,

    2. I am not offended. I am annoyed, like I always, am when people don't know how to listen and insist that they know my mind and my motives better than I do. Thank you for proving every point about Christians that I've written. I suggest, like I did before, that you stop defending whatever you think you need to defend, and learn some empathy and how to hear people. I will not change my story to make it palatable to you or anyone else.

    3. Not once, have I said or asked for you to make your story palatable. No, I suggested you provide evidence and research for these wild claims you make. Forgive me, but they are simply absurd. You certainly don't have to provide that evidence, but don't expect someone to listen to your story or have empathy if you cannot provide research, details, or standards by which you are judging.

    4. I don't think my reply came through so I will type this again. If I am replying twice, forgive me:p

      Not once, did I ask you to make you story palatable. No, I suggested that you provide examples, research, details, and evidence for the wild claims you make. Please forgive me but they are simply absurd. You certainly don't have to provide research, examples, details, and evidence but don't expect people to listen to you or have empathy to you if you cannot provide facts and proof.

    5. I don't expect anything from you. No worries. I'm over here laughing at the absurdity of a random stranger demanding I prove everything I write on my blog, that I fulfill your standard of what makes something worth reading. It's pathetic, really. I can't imagine interacting with another person with such social ineptness and inappropriateness as you have done here. SMH You came here for a fight, and no matter how many times I tell you I'm not fighting, you can't let it go. Not my problem, really, but maybe you should rethink your approach.

    6. When you realize that the Bible is basically an antiquated, primitive version of "The Matrix" or "Star Trek", it becomes something you are a lot less attached to.

    7. Jojo..Now That is debatable!!...lol.

  11. Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump.

    I said, "Don't do it!"

    He said, "Nobody loves me."

    I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

    He said, "Yes."

    I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"

    He said, "A Christian."

    I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?"

    He said, "Protestant."

    I said, "Me, too! What franchise?"

    He said, "Baptist."

    I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"

    He said, "Northern Baptist."

    I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist."

    I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern
    Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?"

    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."

    I said, "Me, too!"

    Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern
    Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"

    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."

    I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

  12. Naming degrees in the sciences means very little, especially when it comes to anything related to religion. Over the course of a few classes, we learn some of the rules of the universe (for lack of a less presumptuous explanation). Nowhere in these studies is there or should there be implication of a divine creator, assuming the education in question is done at an areligous institution. If not, then the argument is invalid because the source is biased. Side note: Don't start saying that nonreligious institutions are anti Christianity. STEM-wise, they should only teach facts as known through the scientific community, outside of any religious influence. Even if you believe, say, God instigated the Big Bang or breathes a soul into a fetus upon inception or pokes his divine finger into the sep funnel to help separate your products after reflux*, that is your personal belief and has no business in science. Period.

    *If we want to play the credentials game, I have: 1) A chemistry and materials science engineering B.S. with emphasis on organic chemistry, 2) An M.S. in materials science engineering, and 3) A PhD in the same field, all from one of the top universities in the world - if you want to believe various rankings. My GPA is near 4.0 (not that it means anything beyond undergrad), I've taught over a dozen undergrad classes, my publication record is sound, and I've given talks at international conferences and institutions. Regardless of all that, I wouldn't use it to bolster any claims on religion.

  13. Oh Darcy, God is love. He loves you!! That is why He has promised us Heaven! I'd rather have Heaven over Hell any day :) And if even you don't believe in Hell... how can you prove it doesn't exist? What IF it does? I'd rather have Heaven securely in my future than wonder if Hell is waiting for me because I chose to reject God and His love. God is soooo good to me!! He have given me many blessings; I can see them every day.
    I hope that someday someone shows you the love of Christ in a genuine way. You are loved by God and many others. The fact that Christ died for us is very humbling and shows me that Jesus loved me enough to die for me. Wow. Puts me in awe!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Can you even hear yourself? "God loves you! But if you don't love him back and give him the adoration he says he deserves, then he's going to burn you alive forever." There is nothing whatsoever attractive in that. It makes god sound like an abusive, sadistic boyfriend.

    3. Jesus willingly died for me; that is unconditional love. Brings me to tears that he would do that for me. Certainly Jesus is not acting like an abusive boyfriend. He never has and I'm certain that he never will. Jesus is perfect love.

      And as far as God goes, He knew that many would reject us and says so in the Bible. He forewarned about Christians leaving Him and their faith many many years ago,. He knew you would leave Him too.
      Psalms 14:1

      Praying for you in love and hope!

    4. You must not be Calvinist, Anonymous.

    5. I would love to believe in Jesus. By all accounts he seemed like a great guy. But the evidence to support his existence just isn't there. Many accounts of him were forged, others cannot be substantiated by any other historical source, written or not. And don't go linking to to "The Case for Christ", I've read them all. Everything from a Christian perspective citing why there was a historical Jesus, I've read. A critical, non-biased analysis suggests we don't have enough evidence to support them. If someone chooses by faith to believe anyway, that's their business. I used to. I can't anymore and be true to my value system.

    6. No, not Calvinist :)
      And I've never read The Case For Christ; never had a reason to, I guess.
      Believe me, I went through doubting God and Jesus at one point in my life. I think most Christians do actually; esp when they are in their teens or early twenties. I did a lot of searching and found a lot of proof that God definitely existed, there were miraculous events that only could be explained by a supernatural heavenly Father etc...
      In the end, I circled back around to still believing in Him and since then, "so many things" have fallen into place after Praying for God to prove to me certain things.... I could never deny He exists now. I basically laid a fleece out as Gideon did in the Bible, and God has shown me He is real and alive. And now, I'm eternally grateful that I am going to spend "my next life" in Heaven among the angels, rejoicing and basking in so much love, goodness, peace and beauty! I can't wait :)

  14. I just read this (so sorry for a comment on an old post) but I am going through a spiritual journey and honestly I am just to the point where I don't know what to believe or even what I do believe at this point. Having followed the links from HSA to read a post about your love story from 2010 which was written in full on Christianese to this point where you seem like a total different person writing, I envy the clarity you have found although I can only assume it came at quite a cost. I can't wait to go through your blog and hopefully by reading about your journey find some clarity of my own. Just wanted to say thanks for writing so honestly about something so difficult to articulate.

    1. Aw, this post isn't old. :)
      HSA? That's been a while! A lot can happen in 5 years. I think you'll see a bit of my spiritual journey and progression in the last 2 years of posts (there's not that many, I started college and had 4 kids and got super busy).

      As for my courtship story, you might be interested in this bit of a follow-up I just published yesterday on that very subject: https://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/the-courtship-that-wasnt-darcys-story/

      Good luck on your journey. If you want, you're welcome to email me. I have lots of connections, support, and resources I'd love to pass on.

  15. Hi Darcy

    I saw your comments on Neil Carter's blog 'Godless in Dixie' and was interested to know more of your story. Thanks for being so open. I feel empathy with you and Neil as I seem to be going through the same journey.

    Although I had lingering concerns for a while it was quite sudden for me to be prepared to consider the possibility'perhaps all this is not true'. But once I considered that possibility I started to find the evidence to the contrary overwhelming.

    But I am still working through the consequences of this change in view, especially in regard to my Church involvement.

    Thanks Again from Peter

    1. Thank you for the visit and the comment!

      I see spirituality as very fluid. I can accept that where I am now may not be where I stay. Perhaps I will even find a way to have an emotionally healthy spirituality that is reasonable in the future. I'm OK with that.

  16. Darcy,

    I also came here from Neil Carter's blog. Great post! I'm sorry you have to put up with so much criticism and inept evangelism.

    I like your pictures, too. I was thinking just yesterday (but not for the first time) that I want to add pictures to my blog as well.

    1. Thank you for visiting! I like my pictures too. It helps I live in a beautiful place to take pictures.

  17. Darcy, have just read through this thread and am very grateful. Your voice is song to me. Best wishes to you and yours...

  18. Thank you for putting into words what I have felt (and observed) for the longest time.