549 Comments
May 24Liked by Jess Piper

My moment came when a book I was reading pointed out that the Bible was written by men in a patriarchal society who had a vested interest in keeping it patriarchal, not by God. I am now a devout atheist and feel deep sorrow for all the war, killing, and hatred that has occurred because of religion. I agree that church groups and other religious organizations have done a lot of good for their communities and brought comfort to believers but that doesn't make up for all the harm that has been done. Maybe if fewer humans had believed in Heaven, they would have done more to create a heaven on earth.

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May 25Liked by Jess Piper

What fascinates me is that so many religious people perform acts of charity to please their god, not out of true love and compassion for others. It's bargaining. If the deity is pleased, it will bring good fortune. This is a belief shared by pagans and monotheists alike.

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So much in our life is transactional (some would argue, philosophically, that *everything* is, in one way or another, transactional), and there is great utility in that, but only a cold kind of beauty, if any. We glow when we transcend the transactional.

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Must be why they ID with Trump. Always making a deal.

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You can’t earn your way to heaven. It’s a gift.

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Uh huh. A “gift.” And the alternative is torture.

Wouldn’t a loving god do something to end the torment of Hell?

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A loving god would not create hell in the first place. And that's because this god would not create bad people.

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Then we would all be good puppets. I like having a brain to critically think, make mistakes and improve, etc. “Free Will” allows us this. To see all the options, explore it all, and then decide what makes sense in our views. Jesus came to build a bridge between God & people. It’s hard for us to understand because we can’t see everything the way God does. That’s where faith comes in. It’s the hypothesis in science and it’s critical for both.

Maybe Satan caused the evil in our world? My Bible knowledge isn’t perfect but I remember a GARDEN OF EDEN, that sounded pretty perfect.

Hmm.. always more to learn. Meanwhile, I’m happy that God will judge the Covid elite planner’s of the virus/ vaccine genocide. “ Vengeance is Mine” Romans 12:19

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He did do something. He bought your salvation from Satan by sending his son to die on the cross. That’s the reason you can’t “ earn” your way to heaven. Because God already won the spiritual war for us. He didn’t make us puppets that automatically follow him. We have the choice to believe or not. God could have created a world without wars, without pain & suffering and he tried. Adam and Eve paved the way for sin by rejecting God’s instructions.

They HAD everything, and still gave in to the temptations. That’s what we have done for centuries. Got rid of the one thing that is good, true, and holy; God. There will come a day, and everyone will see Him and know the truth. All your questions will be answered about love, Satan, & hell. We don’t have to understand everything & we don’t. We only have to have faith enough to follow God. It’s not complicated, love God & love others. That’s it. Simple. We don’t have to be perfect, because we never could be. Only Jesus was.

Read “ Mere Christianity”- C.S. Lewis explains this so brilliantly. I just know for me, nothing else makes sense. Plus, I’ve seen true miracles in my life that are otherwise unexplainable. HE is too good, to not believe. You don’t know what you don’t know. And you can’t know, unless you get closer to God to find out. It will blow your mind. Seriously. Take a step of faith & see. Many have researched to prove it’s all a myth, or brainwashing, or whatever & what they find is it’s all true. Everything in the Bible historically, has come to pass. The great flood? It happened. Proof is out there, go find it.

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I’ve read 11 of Lewis’s books. Still an apostate.

I’ve heard this exact song and dance before. I lived it for 22 years.

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Yes, great floods (plural) happened 12,000 to 15,000 years ago when the glaciers melted, which is why so many regions have tales about it. There's also one in the tale of Gilgamesh Jess Piper mentioned above, along with a tree of knowledge guarded by a talking snake with a human head. Gilgamesh is Sumerian/Babylonian (remember, where the Biblical Jews were slaves?) and is twice as old as the Bible, as are a lot of ancient Egyptian myths they also borrowed (where they were also slaves.)

I've mentioned elsewhere all the previous men-gods that died and were resurrected long before Jesus. And Lynn Manley is right the so-called Church Fathers dumped a lot of other gospels (James, Thomas, and more) because they all said Mary Magdalene was Jesus' beloved and best apostle to turn Christianity into a male-dominated faith. But they're available to read now in some collections called "The Apocryphal Gospels". Apocrypha means shunted, put away, which is exactly what they did. And some of them are far more spiritual than what got shoved down our throats, imo.

I'm afraid that it's your take, and CS Lewis's, that shows little or no research at all. Real Bible scholars find just what I said above, and more. You're both just listening to preachers.

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C.S.Lewis isn’t my “ research”, but he explains human nature & God in a way I appreciate.

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I'm an atheist.

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No, it's a myth.

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The book “ Believing is seeing” by Michael Guillen talks about science & the unseen. He is a PhD and was an atheist until he started researching the similarities in science & your “ folk tale religion/ mythology “. ( I call Christianity)

There’s so much science doesn’t know and can’t be explained. I’m sorry you don’t feel there’s more to life than what you see or believe. God is real to me. It’s always been that way for me. I was not brainwashed from youth, if anything, my mom tried to squash my wanting to know more. I asked to go to church. She went so much as a child, and was around many religious hypocrites growing up. I get that. But people make the church and the experience negative, not God.

There’s a reason the Bible has been around so long and there’s a reason some can’t see it, while others can’t look away. I don’t have all the answers, none of us do. But I know my redeemer lives and I know there’s great evil in this world. I’ve seen too much to not believe. I first had faith and still do but the miracles I’ve seen solidified my faith. He is not a myth & he stands up for women & treasures them. We can’t make babies alone- we are meant to love others.

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Okay, well then you really have more faith than I do. There’s no way I could look at all the inexplainable beauty of the earth, look at a newborn baby, watch miracles happen, and not think it’s all coincidence. That’s faith that you have in a world full of evil & lies. I see God everywhere I look. I guess whatever you focus on, you see more of. I choose Joy. I choose Hope, I choose Love. Not fake happiness or living without problems. We all have that. I have the same power in me, that rose Jesus from the grave. I’m protected here on earth. I know where I’m going when I die, and I have no fear in dying. Bring on the next adventure. God will have mercy for most that accepted Jesus & then walked sway. The pull of the world is strong. I just want to be stronger than those desires. I don’t have to understand everything to know that following God helps my life flow, in a way it didn’t before.

I love that you read Lewis books. He’s the best. I ordered a few books from a response on this post. “ Unraveling Faith” by Rachel Evans. I like new ideas and opinions. I’m not so stuck that I stop looking at new ideas and thoughts. My mom was raised much like this post. She went to church 3-4 days a week and her father was a self- ordained minister. ( a-hole, crazy man) 🙈

He beat his boys like a bar room fight, and used his belt regularly. My mom had no interest in church after marrying and having kids. She had seen all the hypocrisy & said she lives everyday of her childhood, thinking God was coming the next day. So I get it.

I’m not judgmental to those that fall away from God, it makes me sad for them. I’m not involved in a church right now and I know it’s important. I will. I’ve seen my share of church members that don’t live up to what?! My expectations? The Bible’s? Who knows. 🤗

It’s not about “ religion” it’s about a relationship. I don’t know what I would do without that steady rhythm of support I feel from Jesus. I don’t/ can’t get that from anyone else. Everyone else has let me down at some point.

I won’t go on & try to convince you of something you seen so certain of. I’ll just say that if you could look through God’s eyes at you, and see what HE sees in you, you’d get it. HE sees all your troubles, flaws, & questions, & loves you more than a human parent could. HE can make your life here so much more manageable. HE is just waiting for you to ask for help. Prayer changes everything. It does. Ok, I’m done. Take care & go live your best life. ✌🏼💕

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Meant in the beginning that I couldn’t look at this world and think it’s all random evolved beauty & coincidences that happen.

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Why would something that's evolved necessarily be random? There are a lot more things in this world that have a factual, knowable, scientific explanation than things that are random and coincidental. And the things that are random and coincidental are things that you would expect to be, like running into a friend you haven't seen in several decades at an airport in another city kind of stuff.

Just because I don't know and understand something doesn't mean it's not capable of being explained and understood. It certainly doesn't compel me to draw on folk tales from previous millennia and a misogynistic creation of gender roles in a way that permits more physically powerful men to dominate and women to be considered rib afterthoughts, dependent on the most important physical capacity they have that men don't: the ability to incubate babies.

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That’s not what the Bible teaches. You can’t “ earn” your way to heaven by doing good deeds. At the same time, I believe that living a life full of sin after sin, without repentance, doesn’t ensure your future either. God knows your heart & is full of Grace. We don’t have to be perfect. We never could be. Lots of people see hypocrisies with churches & organized religion. That’s the people, not God.

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May 25·edited May 25Liked by Jess Piper

If you think about it, what could be more boring and unsatisfying than an eternity sitting around the throne and singing praises. For eternity! That, too, would be a form of hell.

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May 25Liked by Jess Piper

Yes! I've always thought eternal life sounded really exhausting. Tho what I think I would like, would be to be able to come back for a brief visit, maybe every five years or so and probably in invisible form, just to see what was going on. Curiosity being a major motivating characteristic for me. But no, I don't believe in any form of afterlife and wouldn't care to.

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May 25Liked by Jess Piper

I’ll take nothing please :)

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I’ll let you know. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Remember the feeling you had on your very best day? Like hitting the grand slam to win the championship? That’s the feeling it will feel like, 24/7 every minute. Loving God and my people and others forever? I’m in. 💕 Sorry your life has been so sucky that you can’t imagine a perfect

scenario like heaven. I can.

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Funny you should mention that. Actually, my life has gone the way I wanted it to:; exciting and fulfilling. That's why I can't imagine heaven as a perfect scenario. And, sorry, "imagine" i'm afraid, is the operative word here.

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I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk by Your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes would see

When Your face is before me

I can only imagine

Yeah

Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for You Jesus

Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence

Or to my knees, will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

When that day comes

And I find myself

Standing in the Son

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever, forever worship You

I can only imagine, yeah

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you Jesus

Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in your presence

Or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine, yeah

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you Jesus

Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in your presence

Or to my knees, will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine, yeah

I can only imagine

I can only imagine, yeah-yeah

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever, forever worship You

I can only imagine

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Bart Millard

https://youtu.be/N_lrrq_opng?si=NwVxEBwLM-JhtXd8

I can ONLY imagine, and that’s fine with me. 😇

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Whatever works for you is just fine.

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Amen

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Have you been there? Do you know anyone who has been there, come back and told you about it?

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Laughter is good. Satan is not. My accountability is just fine. How’s your judgment of others? You can laugh & be sarcastic as much as you want. I only have love for you, truly. I hope you see how God sees you soon because He couldn’t love you more. 😇 💕

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Same peace to you. I wasn’t saying you’re in hell. I don’t believe it’s one or the other. God has a plan after we die. I’m not a believer just to be part of that plan. There’s support & love right here on earth that remains unchanged no matter what. Too much here divides us. I’m hoping one day we all can live without the judgment & sorrows of this crazy place. Best wishes to you for a long healthy life. 💕

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The irony of you saying “too much here divides us” and “I’m hoping one day we can all live without the judgement” and yet…your original comment included the line “Sorry your life has been so sucky that you can’t imagine a perfect scenario like heaven. I can.” That is a divisive statement that drips in judgement, implicating you’re better off because of your beliefs. It’s the hypocrisy for me. Yikes.

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People are full of messiness & sin. God is not. Hypocrisy is seen because humans aren’t perfect. I never will be. You never will be. Only Jesus was. I hope you take the time to know Him & don’t put all your faith in people. That’s why churches can fail. They are run by people, as much as God leads them. I know my heart and God knows my intentions. I only have to answer to Him.

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“God knows my heart.” — a Christian’s favorite way to avoid accountability 🤣

Anything to avoid saying “That wasn’t very Christ-like of me.”.

Thanks for the laughs! Have a blessed day, sweetheart.

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You actually won’t let anyone know if you experience this…that’s just another hang up of the whole system 💕💕💕

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Amber, how do you know? Really KNOWS?! You don’t. God has infinite powers & has a sense of humor too. If HE told me to go tell someone what I saw, I’d do it. I’m so grateful to my God, I’d do that, no question. There’s no problems with the “ plan”, the only problems are people that lack faith. They see what the world shows them. I’ve had a type of ‘knowing there was more’, from childhood. Not from indoctrination either. My mom never talked positive about “ religion” and more annoyed that I was curious.

Maybe that made me more willing to explore?

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God has a sense of humor? I guess he thought it was hilarious when he watched Israel blow up 38,000 Gazans...and when he tortured my mother for years before he killed her.

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God is sad for everything we are sad about. There have been deaths on both sides of the Israel war. The narrative we see lately demonizes Israel but if you get your info. from uncensored news, and look at the real history, Israel has fed Gaza in the past & allowed shipments essential for them. The same cannot be said for Gaza. There is an approved narrative on mainstream, just like the Covid mess, that doesn’t allow truth to easily be seen. That’s why I like Substack.

I’m sorry about your mother but God didn’t wish that on her. I don’t know the circumstances but this world is full of pain & suffering. We were never meant to walk it alone, without His help. I watched my best friend die at the hands of a narcissist husband & hospital protocols that allowed her to suffer far too long before she passed. I wouldn’t have believed it’s possible in modern times to allow this. The hospital finally stepped in & eased her physical pain. ( husband was not allowing pain meds as P.O.A.) 🙈

I’m truly sorry about your mom. The death of a mom is the worst heartbreak. 💕

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How do you really KNOW? You don’t period. I have had many believers in my family die and guess what none of them have reported back on the experience.

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Sorry for all your losses. I grew up going to funerals a lot too. It’s a lot harder on people left behind. I was talking about after we both pass away & I somehow get to let non-believers know.

I think God will have Mercy & Grace for some in certain circumstances. I just know the best is yet to come. ✌🏼💕

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I have a similar story. My religious Southern Baptist biological family kicked me out of their house when I was 15 years old because I refused to marry the much older man they'd picked for me. I had told them I wanted to go to college and that was when they informed me of my upcoming marriage. I hadn't a clue they were planning that. I told them I wouldn't marry him and came out as LGBTQ. They quite angrily kicked me out. So at age 15 I was suddenly homeless... but within 3 blocks of leaving my parents home I felt profoundly relieved to be away from them and their religion. The non-religious friends and their families that I stayed with were far kinder to me than any of the religious people had been, the religious people who had known me all my llife.

Before age 15 I had begun reading about art and art history - quite against my parents wishes - and was beginning to be aware that there were many artworks and poems etc far older than the bible. There is a reason many of the religions forbid education, forbid women's education particularly - the religious men can remain in control of our bodies and minds that way.

We can fight such misogyny, bigotry and hatefulness by education by reading widely by learning more about the real world and doing that all of our lives - and by sharing what we learn.

Thanks for sharing this Jess!!

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I suspect there are many who share a similar story. In the end, your unfeeling parents did you a favor. We have a wonderful granddaughter who is LGBTQ, and neither her parents nor we would dream of turning our backs on her. And we are all atheists.

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💚💚💚💚💚💚

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GOOD BLESS YOU AS WELL!!!

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I’m so sorry you went through this. At 17 my southern baptist parents tried to have me locked in a nut house for I’m guessing being a normal teen (I didn’t sleep around, drink, smoke, dope, skip school or sneak out) and refusing to go to their church that didn’t fit my beliefs.

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I'm sorry you went through it too. It seems that for the religious sorts like we encountered everything that is real-world normal they are offended by and seek to control because their beliefs are so fragile that they freak and can't

handle it if someone doesn't reflect their beliefs 100%.

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Yes it’s for sure a control thing

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Their beliefs are fragile if they can't withstand someone else who thinks differently.

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Yup like their masculinity

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So very true what you say.

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Your story makes me sad and angry. It *should* be illegal for parents to marry their underage child to a grown man.

Should be, but isn’t.

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So true. And the MAGA Republicans want to not only keep such child bride abuse going and make women's healthcare and contraception unavailable - they also want to do away with no fault divorce and make child labor possible again. I hope all Republicans are voted out of power in coming elections.

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Republicans also attack books and education. Basically, they want to keep women barefoot and pregnant. Easy to control.

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Sue, I just watched a show on HULU last night about child brides in America. A number of them came from very religious families. They weren't as lucky as you and didn't get away.

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Yes the whole child-bride thing that religious Republicans support is absolutely horrible too many ways to list here. I was indeed very lucky to get away. They were very angry when I came out LGBTQ and kicked me out on a reactive whim... after they calmed down they tried to force me into the marriage anyway. They tried the "pray away the gay" so called therapy as well as exorcisms in attempts to force me into that marriage. But I didn't succumb and even went to the police to get them to stop the abuse. It was a years long struggle back in the 1980's and

early 90s but they and their church were so horrible that even Southern Baptist anti-gay Oklahoma court system recognized what they were doing to try to force a marriage was wrong and granted me a lifelong victims protective order. So yes, I was very lucky indeed. And I have gone on to live quite happily with a partner of 28 years and over 2000 miles away from Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma. I'm not surprised. I lived there too. That's not where the pastor said those things. That was in Virginia. But it was very hard on me living in Oklahoma being a liberal. I can't imagine being gay and living there. I'm so happy you got to a more accepting place and are living a happy life with your partner of 28 years. I hope that one day, the rest of the country gets educated and stops being so mean.

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Grew up in Oklahoma. Also not surprised.

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💚💚💚💚💚💚

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I share your hopes for the country... and thank you.

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GOOD BLESS YOU AS WELL!

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

Thank you for sharing this. I have a similar story and it is so painful to break away. There are beautiful people and rituals and memories, and then there is the deep-down feeling of being duped.

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1John 4:16 "..God is love.." Please don't lose your love for God, by the selfish and sinful actions of men. That is not of God, but the enemy. He wants to dupe you. Please don't fall for it.

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Yeah, but--some man wrote that.

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One: why should that matter?, two: how do you know that?

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The entire Bible was written by men, preached by men, enforced by men, and benefits men.

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May 25Liked by Jess Piper

God who will send you to hell is not a loving and forgiving being. Believe what you like but thinking your answer is better and expecting others to believe as you do is wrong

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Maybe you should look at some of the Near Death Videos and see what kind of God people are actually meeting.

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Maybe you should look at the science of death and dying. A start would be “10 keys to reality” by Wilczek. When it comes to death, an orientation beginning with reality is a good start. I am a physician, and have many personal stories about death and dying, and not one of them leads back to an Iron Age God whose very book is filled with retribution against his own creation. That said I appreciate you reaching out, and I do believe life is magnificent, and you intended kindness. Thank you for that.

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I didn't describe the most common NDEs as I was hoping those in this conversation who believe in a Iron Age God would view some hoping to confirm this and instead meet a loving Creator who contains all Consciousness. Those that do have no fear afterwards. Religion thrives mainly on fear

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I am curious how you extrapolated ‘losing love for god’ in this beautiful self disclosing article?

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I don't believe in "the enemy" either. Humans are capable of both great good and great evil. The universe is itself morally neutral. There's no magical war. There's just reality. Which, once you learn a little about the amazing universe we live in, is quite inspiring enough.

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Absolutely agree. By creating “The Rapture” the authors of the bible removed all requirements for caring for the earth and environment, any need to prevent damage to the precious planet, all need for education, science, art as it was all futile when “The Rapture” could happen at any moment.

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How can you have so much love for the creation, and such apparent disregard for the creator of it?

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It's really easy. There's no creator. So there's nothing to disregard.

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The followers of your god believe that I am evil because of gender dysphoria that I did not choose to have. I’ll stick with gods who actually love me for me, thanks.

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There is, quite simply, no such thing.

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You aren’t alone. It is hard to fathom the hypocrisy among “Christians” who attend church, but do not practice charity. From evangelicals to mainstream Catholicism, there are cracks in the faith of many wonderful people who are struggling not with faith in God —but in their fellow man. A wonderful story.

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What a refreshing post. I truly related to the story. I was raised in a devout Catholic family. I went to an all girl's Catholic high school, then an all girl's Catholic college. The same religion classes I had in high school were repeated in college--I learned nothing new. When the world came crashing with a failed marriage and being shunned for being the one that left, I began to have an understanding that religion was about conforming--in other words, putting up with the crap. The marriage failed not because of what he did but because of me. I didn't love enough, please him enough, etc. My story can go on and on. After my divorce, I began work on another degree and I remember taking a Sociology of Religion course at a secular college and was thunderstruck at the similarities of world religions. All the religions have a fall where the woman is responsible and similar things mentioned in Gilgamesh. I tried to find a spot for myself in organized religion, but the search was unsuccessful. Now I immerse myself in secular works that support and show love to someone in need. Thank you for Gilamesh. I needed it.

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I'd suggest you look into the Goddess religions too. They were around 10, 000 years before the Great Goddess underwent a sex change - which I highly suspect accounts for all the women-bashing in more recent religions.

You might read some of the gospels the early Church "fathers" threw away as well. The Gospel of James, one of the gospels of Thomas and others that said Mary Magdalene was Jesus' "beloved apostle" who understood him best. Or his wife.

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I grew up a very devout catholic. Our family fell apart due to terrible things going on in our home. The response from our church made all I had believed shatter into bits and pieces. That was the beginning. It took another 2 yrs to break away. I concluded if there is a loving god who knows all, he/she would understand why I left. Organized religion is not for me. I know I’m looked down upon by so called Christian’s in the family who say I will go to hell. I live my live treating others as I wish to be treated. If I go to hell, there will be many so called Christians in name only who will be joining me.

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Take comfort in the fact that "Treat others as you wish to be treated" was said by Confucius in 500 BC. And who even knows if he was first to say it. Plus Jesus got the idea of 'hell' from the Greeks and Romans. There is no mention of hell at all in the books of Moses, so I honestly see no danger of you going to Hades.

Just another PS to the post above.

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Phew! Thank you

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You're so welcome! Reading about religious history (& The Enlightenment - how we got freedom of beliefs to begin with) was more liberating than I can tell you.

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There's no such thing as hell, or a daddy god who sends you there because you were naughty. We are born as the most highly evolved of the mammals, and will die the same as they do. Heaven or any sort of afterlife is a human fantasy as well.

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We are the "most highly evolved of the mammals", as no other animal is capable of shooting themselves in the foot!

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Or starting one of the worst wildfires in US history by doing a "gender reveal."

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Thank you for such a succinct summary of reality — as we observe it, as we cannot deny. Our job really is not to ruin the planet by being alive, and we’re obviously failing that. But we can keep trying.

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Or sends you there because you didn't "believe." It's ridiculous on its face.

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When I left Islam, a Muslim man sent me a letter telling me that I will be cast into hell and burned on my back, then God would heal it only to order I be burnt again, over and over for all eternity - because I left the religion. My only thought was, wow, imagine being terrorized with the threat of eternal torture by Allah, most gracious and most merciful.

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If they're true Christians they wouldn't be saying you're going to Hell. No one knows where our spirit will eventually rest. We all have beliefs and living the best life on this earth ensures that we accomplished our best life. Take care.

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I was able to rid myself of organized religion without losing my faith in a God of love. Nowhere in the Bible have I seen a hell described that would be worse than some here on earth. Over the years fevered mammal brains have come up with some really strange ideas about what the Bible says. How do you describe the story of mankind without delving into filth? Of course it's going to contain misogyny, people are misogynistic;- The same is true for slavery and war. You don't have to be good or live a good life to "go to heaven". "You don't need no ticket, you just get on board". Jesus died on the cross so I am forgiven for my sins. Full Stop! (If I want it, I mean God won't force you) All the advice isn't so that you could live a good life go to heaven, It's so that you could live a good life here on earth and get along with humans. What other religions even preach heaven and hell? I heard a preacher, during an altar call, ask a reluctant prospect, "You don't want to join our church because of all the hypocrites? Well, come on down anyway son, there's always room for one more"

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Check out the book "Eve's Seed" for the best analysis I've seen of the rise then fall of goddess worship and the entrenchment of misogyny and patriarchy.

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Riane Eisler The Chalice and The Blade along with her other books will give you a good background and hope for the future. When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone is another.

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Thank you! Read the synopsis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve's_Seed) and I will check it out.

I'd also recommend "The First Sex" from 1971. It changed my life when I discovered it back in college (not that anyone was teaching it). Brilliant! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Sex

I suspect that Engels "The Origins of Family" may also have been an influence wiki leaves out, but I'd have to check.

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I'll certainly put this on my reading list. Thank you.

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Ehh. Early societies were egalitarian, not matriarchal. Marija Gimbutas’ conjecture is not supported by any evidence, and I’m tired of seeing books based on it trotted out 100 years later as if they mean something.

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They were matriarchal AND egalitarian - a difference! - according to Engels, based on the first anthropological studies of American Indians and other primitive groups still existing throughout Europe in the 19th century. And Margaret Mead's studies in Samoa found men wounding themselves to imitate menstruation and childbirth, as I recall.

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Agreed

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That's was a wonderful insight. I can't think of a religion that doesn't share the highest ideals with Christianity and all the others. It's when humans get hold of them that they go awry.

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I prefer disorganized religion 😸

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GOOD BLESS YOU!!

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

I don’t know who said it but I always think about. “What do you call a person who has read the whole Bible? An atheist “.

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Isaac Asimov said something similar; "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

I like this quote by him too; "If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul."

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That's absolutely true. You can't reject something you know nothing about.

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Uh, I think you absolutely can reject something you know nothing about. People do it to the Bible all the time. Don't discount reading comprehension.

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

It takes real courage to be honest today in America about having moved on from any form, or every form, of Christianity. You’d might as well admit to being a cannibal as an agnostic or atheist, especially if you want to continue being a part of most families or circles of friends. I’m 65 and began moving out of Christianity about 15 years ago. Ten years ago we left the Methodist church for an urban UCC church because it was more liberal theology but mainly because it was open and affirming to LGBTQ persons. That church continues to be my community though I don’t believe in a tribal, metaphysical, intervening God any longer. Some old friends can’t let go of proselytizing which is tiring as well as ignorant and arrogant, but I believe they mean well. I know that leaving a life-long belief system is totally destabilizing and leaves you feeling very vulnerable. Each and every person who shows up for you with goodness and compassion and not because they are scared or trying to win eternal “points” is bringing the fullness of humanity to light, and that itself is sacred. Thank you for courage and honesty and saying what you mean. I would rather rely on kind and compassionate humans like you, than magical thinking, any day.

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May 24·edited May 24Liked by Jess Piper

The current "christians" are an embarrassment to Christ. Way back when Trump was elected I knew that he was the "anti Christ".

According to the Bible, the Antichrist is characterized as:

A deceiver (1 John 2:22, 2 John 1:7)

A liar (1 John 2:22)

A man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8-9)

A person who will exalt himself (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

As for the folks who support Trump because he supposedly will Christianize America, I think of the words of Jesus when he said "And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:23.

I say all of this as a follower of the teachings of Jesus, but no longer religious or active in the church. I used to be a worship leader and occasional pastor for a variety of churches over a period of nearly 20 years. But, the way I was treated and others were treated (including my family) by supposed christians, made me realize that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).

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Trump potentially as the Anti Christ is the one thing that makes me think the Bible finally manifested him.

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The antiChrist claims to be the savior of mankind. Trump has never said that and remains a humble servant. Many times people don't see themselves in the Bible, but read and see how the prodigal son was welcomed back by his loving father. Say this prayer every day, "Stay with me Jesus." And mean it. Doors that have closed will be open and you will see how much real work needs to be done.

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Humble? You think Donald J Trump, of all people, has even a shred of humility anywhere in his body?!?

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Yup, that's why he helps and deliver promises to common people. He visits hospitals and graves, he celebrates when we celebrate. He loves people and it shows when he gives their names in speeches. He gives and gives. He doesn't have to, but he shows kindness. You have to be humble to meet people where they are.

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He certainly isn’t perfect, but nobody is. He doesn’t HAVE to run for President & take all the constant abuse, but he is. The life-time politicians hate him because he doesn’t play the game. He handles the economy & doesn’t put up with shenanigans from other countries. He is NOT our savior, but knows how to run a country.

Biden is a puppet with Obama & corporate elites pulling the strings. We need some solid leadership. United Nations is already gearing up for 15 min. cities & “ master” development plans. It’s already happening. Biden has done nothing about this. 🙈 All citizens need to find a way to be less divided & stand up against Agenda 30. Gates wants us dead or enslaved.

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What promise did he deliver? How has he improved your life? (That's not applicable if you are a billionaire as he improved them big time.). He tried to eliminate Medical Coverage during the pandemic. He tried to defend Social Security. He eliminated the pandemic preparations a year before the pandemic hit. He eliminated regulations for train brakes and extra train personnel before the toxic Train derailment. I could go on.

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Actually with overwhelming needs of millions of gate crashers, that hurts the lowest strata the most because affordable housing and entry level jobs are absorbed by the non citizens. Crime hurts the poorest; it's the result of too many drugs and thugs entering the country. Stealing and killing, the Biden syndicates bribe to make their influence felt, ruining your life and mine.

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The housing market has been taken over by Private Equity Groups not immigrants. The rental apartments are also being bought up by corporations and they are running them as a monopoly. The prices are uniform, as are the requirements and rules to rent. There's little to none variation throughout a area like Los Angeles County. The smash and grab are organized by criminal gangs not some immigrant. LAPD caught some 900 of these people during the BLM Protests and none of them were connected with the Protesters. Some actually flew into L.A. with a Visa from Columbia, did the looting and then returned home. A lot of the problems we have are coming through airports but with you screaming about the border this real issue is being ignored Federally while locals deal with it. By the way since Biden took over, crime statistics have fallen way down in California. But murder rates in the Red States are way up.

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Remember becoming energy independent and gas was a little over a dollar? He worked together to get that done. Remember stopping border crashers, he pushed to accomplish it. Remember the programs for early release from prison and real jobs for offenders? Remember how safe it was to travel, strong enforcement policies, remember how our taxes were reduced, but now the WH is letting that initiative expire. Remember all the jobs we had in building pipelines and export, first day, all gone.

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We are pumping more Oil under Biden than at anytime in history while adding solar and wind to the energy grid. Gas prices are up thanks to Trump's dictator buddies in Russia and Saudi Arabian who want Trump re-elected. My taxes doubled under Trump while Billionaires got a huge cut. Trump only paid $750.00 in taxes. Most Billionaires and Corporations are enraged that Biden wants them to pay 20% yet they benefit from the infrastructure that the Public pays for without wanting to contribute anything. Democrats proposed numerous fixes for the Border which Republicans nixed. The last Bill was proposed by the Republicans and they got almost everything they wanted from the Democrats. Trump said to nix it because he wanted to campaign on it. So the people flowing into the Country aren't that big a deal if another year of them doesn't matter. The Stock Market is at a high not seen under Trump, so are jobs. Did you personally want a job on a pipeline as those people are being trained to work with alternative energy sources. Trump only built 80 miles of new wall and repaired 800 miles of already there wall and he took the money from Military Families Budget. He also pardoned Steve Bannon from pocketing several million dollars from the private Build The Wall scheme which robbed his MAGA followers but then Trump and his Family regularly robbed Charities for Children with Cancer and Veterans. As President he robbed the Taxpayers regularly and spent 300+ days golfing which is one year out of the 4 he spent as President. I could go on as he's been very busy exploiting us.

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"Only I can fix it"--(humble) DJT

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Well, at least we have one man. All the rest of the candidates I've seen have half the initiative, none of the business experience, and not even close to understanding cause and effect.

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

I hear you. I was raised Catholic. In recent years, several members of the US Council of Catholic Bishops -- the men who lead the US church -- have been calling for the assassination (!) of the pope. Why? Because he has solicited the feedback and counsel of groups of lay Catholic women, and because he advocates for greater respect and compassion to be accorded to the LGBTQIA+ community.

And that's me. I am a queer woman who has always considered herself to be Catholic. I've been devout for my whole adult life. And here are the men who I'm supposed to look to for pastoral care telling me that any clergy who show me kindness and respect deserve to be put to death.

What am I supposed to do with that? Am I just supposed to trust them, still, with the fate of my immortal soul? Increasingly, that just seems like a really bad idea.

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I think it is pretty clear they are not the ones to trust. Good luck finding support elsewhere. I’m sure your immortal soul will be fine.

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🏆

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If you believe in a god who doesn't make mistakes, you have to accept LGBTQ folks. That's why so many insist, wrongly, that it is a "lifestyle choice." Getting away from the theological, I wonder if they ever stop to ponder what a culturally barren country this would be without that community.

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Many are so culturally barren themselves and live in such culturally barren communities that they wouldn't understand the difference.

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deletedMay 25
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I suspect that the US Bishops are a law unto themselves (aka Heretics!)

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

I am very sorry that you experienced this, especially in a church. I was lucky to find a very progressive church, where we do our best to make sure service to others is foremost, and ALL are.welcome. I have many LGBTQ friends, who have terrible stories of how they have been traumatized by the church.

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

Congratulations! It took me 80 years.

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Doesn't matter, so long as you did it!

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I've been unchurched for decades, but I realized that I didn't really believe in a god when my 9 year old son announced to me that he didn't believe in god. It was a tiny shock to me to be able to say I didn't either.

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GOOD BLESS YOU!

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May 24·edited May 24Liked by Jess Piper

Powerful. As for the homeless man, I would have bought him both a meal (or more) and food for his dog.

Edited to add: I wasn't raised in a church going family, and weddings and funerals are the only time I go to a church.

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I live in Chicago. Plenty of homeless here. I will offer to buy a person a meal and coffee etc. If they accept, they were hungry, if they want cash, they often seek drink or drugs. I am always happy to get a meal for anyone without a home to go to. It’s the least I can do.

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I solve that potential problem by handing them $10 McDonalds gift cards. Sure, they could probably sell that to a high schooler for $5 and buy some drugs, but I doubt that is the main destination.

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Guys, when do handouts become enabling? We are not that wise, are we? We can't solve simple problems of homelessness locally. We had a man in our small town living in a tent, refusing to move to an apartment because he feared the voices in his head and knew no one understood him. Each man or woman has business to accomplish in life. Respect that.

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Nancy, I don’t know where you live or have lived surrounded by people without homes. I lived close to SF for many years and worked in San Francisco. Now Chicago. The homeless populations are very significant, not just a man in a tent. I’m really not sure what your comment is getting at… allow mentally ill people to stay in the parks? That’s their choice? What “business to accomplish” are you referring to?

I only buy someone a meal if they ask for food. It is best to advocate at the state and federal level, for sure. No one thinks a handout is a cure.

Chicago has started a pilot program, converting old abandoned motels into mini apartments to allow homeless to stay, 24/7 on site psychiatrist staff, doctor visits on premises and drug rehab/job training.

Many homeless need to be on drugs for schizophrenia etc. There are ex-cons who can’t gain employment due to their past and end up on the streets as well. As a country, we need to address our entire system that puts people in these situations in the first place. That means getting every Republican OUT! The start is to be sure Biden is re-elected to go forward.

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No, Biden's policies have driven homelessness. It costs so much more to let ve that people who would have donated can't afford to do nearly as much. Also with all the millions of border crashers, they are shoving community resources through crisis after crisis. What you propose is throwing fuel on the fire.

What I say is if you give some canned goods to the food pantry, give some money, drop off a snack pack, you pay yourself on the back for helping, then you forget about it. Meanwhile the glitter of a promise to panhandle or be provided for by random acts of knowing kindness keeps people on the line, like waiting for the lottery. These are real lives getting played and it needs to stop.

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Ronald Reagan started the major homelessness when he closed the mental institutions in California and bussed the people to downtown Los Angeles. I watched the school busses going to downtown Santa Monica and the next day we had homeless people for the first time. And he changed the laws so you couldn't do anything with them.

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Edits : It costs so much more to live that.... You pat yourself on the back....random acts of kindness keeps hopes up....

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May 24·edited May 24Liked by Jess Piper

I was a Christian for 30 some odd years. I have been identifying as an agnostic atheist since around 2011 or so. It was a metamorphosis - reading, exploring, watch YouTube debates etc. I read several books by extremely liberal “Christians”. They didn’t espouse a literal heaven or hell. Essentially, they were deists. I am so glad I ballasted religion and the baggage of fundamentalist Christianity. I have never been happier in my 50 years on this space rock.

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Here comes MAGA to burn those books

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Proud to be Americans do not burn or ban books, they just want to keep extremely vile books away until the kids grow up. Then they can choose to read what they want. Elementary ages especially are vulnerable because they are curious and easily impressed by what they see. If anything, judging from what was reported about book removals by Amazon, the historical classics are the books targeted and removed for social disqualifications.

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What you consider vile and what others might consider vile are two different lists. If we kept up with all the opinions, children would grow up illiterate and wouldn't be capable of choosing to read "vile" books when they're adults.

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Why does it appear you are slyly conniving a recipe for doom?

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Bryan, do you realize what you have done? You've sold your soul, you've lost the soul of yourself. It's the soul who magnifies God, who presses on, who lives forever in heaven or hell. Meanwhile you have abandoned the creator. Look around and ask, "Who loves me?".

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Wow - so quaint and original. I bet you think I’ve never been admonished that way before? Bet you think you’re the first? Get in line. It still baffles my mind how apparent rational adults can cling to fairytales of religious dogma made to keep the masses in line and obeying dutifully. I’m sure your “god” and your dogma are the one true ones, right. So says every other religious group on this space rock.

I will just keep living and loving to fullest in this one and only life that I know I have. You can continue to fear monger and peddle your own certainty of a life hereafter to adults. But please, don’t abuse kids with the fear of a nonexistent and nonsensical hELL that their iMmoRtAL sOUL will be bound to if not accepting your dogma.

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I think I'm gonna block Nancy. I don't need that BS at all.

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Believe in yourself or believe in perfect wisdom. That is your choice.

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I'm certain that, in the absence of religion, most people can still look around and find people who love them. In any case, do you think that an omniscient God is fooled by "belief" driven by fear or coersion? True belief cannot be influenced by either of those things. That is the is the failure of evangelists. They believe that a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient God somehow forgot to let his creation know about him. And because he loves them, he's going to let that mistake result in eternal torture. It's nonsense. As a Christian, I believe that my job is to follow in Christ's footsteps, but I also believe that lots of non-believers (maybe moreso than so-called Christians) are capable of being the people Christ wanted us to be. Because if I'm going to believe in a loving, omniscient, and omnipotent God, I believe he made all people capable of that because he doesn't make mistakes. And those who think it's up to them to make other people believe are rejecting both God and the teachings of Christ. Pray in secret, as Christ directs, and show your worth in good acts, not empty words.

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Love is healing and restoring; my God is a jealous God and a loving God.

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Sounds like an abusive husband. You can choose to stay, but you can't fault anyone else for valuing their mental and spiritual health over the abuse you describe. I'll kindly suggest that you worry about whether you have the right to speak on behalf of God - doing so is literally taking his name in vain. Thank you in advance.

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

Hi Jess , I read your posts all the time . Thank you for all you do . This post really put into words my thoughts and feelings . I too have left organized religion behind . The day I realized that my life was my own , my decisions are entirely up to me , and there was no old man in the sky keeping track of all my faults …. That was the day I felt really free … for the first time in my life . I was 50 + , now 75 and happy .

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It may seem like giddy pleasures now on the surface, but there's a massacre going on underneath in your being. You are made in the image of God, the devil is destroying every shred of that relationship you possess. In the place of real love, you have cheap thrills, distractions. Without God in your life, you cannot live. Turn to John 1 of the Bible, better yet, just cruise through the whole book! Every word there is a means of grace to save you from torment, hatred, and loss.

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

I have more paid substack subscriptions than I have time to read. I am about to upgrade this subscription to paid. In tribute to your journey. Because I was born without religion, encouraged to think and feel for myself, and so it has been easy for me. Easy to find reasons in my own humanity and not in otherworldly promises and threats. To me, rejecting (most) religion and authoritarianism is the same thing -- I weep at the damage done. I cheer your escape into yourself and your empathic humanity.

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author

Thank you, friend.

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I too will get a paid subscription now. As a third generation non-religious person, I am grateful to people like you who have such a high power of reason and ability to think critically about what you are taught. We all have to examine some things that we held as truth…such as…ours is the greatest country on earth etc.. and instead search for as much information as we can to question and challenge. A benefit of the information age and technology has been the ability to access the facts and to share our findings. This is all threatened by a Fascist MAGA takeover of our media and politics. But there are more of us! Always remember that!

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May 25Liked by Jess Piper

Huzzah!

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May 24Liked by Jess Piper

The religion of the Christ practiced by evangelicals and the faith of Jesus are two very different things. Jesus would be happier with what you're doing if he was still around, but he's long gone.

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