I just happened to find this forum by mistake and I was immediately intrigued. I read several threads with debates between Christians and atheists. While I cannot call myself an atheist, I very much sympathize with atheist arguments.
I was raised Catholic, which in my opinion, is the worst of all Christian faiths. A few years after a good friend had a rather negative experience with a member of the clergy (while serving as an alter boy), I was expelled from Catholic school because MY personal beliefs were not tolerated (yet students belonging to other ORGANIZED religions were accepted without judgement). At age 15, I chose to publically and permanently abandon Christianity in front of all my family and peers. I would consider myself a staunch atheist until about age 40.
I know many readers would think me insane, but I now identify myself as Pagan. Or, at least my beliefs are closer to Paganism than than they are to Christianity and not quite close to atheistic anymore at all.
Anyway, I just cannot buy into an "Invisible Guy in the Sky" who made everything, and controls everything. I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend. So call me crazy for worshipping the sun and the moon, but at least each offers some type of measurable power (solar energy, moon's effect on the tides). And believe me, I know the scientific reasoning behind those forces, I just find them to be quite divine. The way I feel when I am close to nature (forest, lake, beach), is also divine to me.
As for Christians, they don't offend me. It does irritate me how intolerant they are of my beliefs. I live in a very Christian neighborhood. My neighbors are always trying to "save" me, while I never try to correct their erroneous thinking. They say I should not celebrate holidays even though all the holidays they celebate have Pagan roots. I am called a "Satinist" even though my belief in Satin is less than an atheist's belief in "god." I cannot wear or display symbols of my faith at work, at my kids' schools, or the YMCA, while Christians walk around with crosses on thier necks all the time. That level of oppression is worse than blatant racism. People of my faith have been tortured and brutally murdered for their beliefs for centuries.
So after reading many of those disgusting verses from The Most Epic Fantasy Story Ever Written, I am convinced that I will never feel differently, no matter how many fictitious stories the Christians quote. Now, I know that I opened a can of worms, but I enjoy giving lecture and spouting off opinions rather than debating. My apologies if I don't resond to a challenge.
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