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Old 04-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #2321
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Yeah, I think I'm too old though, NZ won't want me.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #2322
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What a treat and how refreshing to read all your truthful posts. It's been quite a while since I was on and I am enjoying catching up on your intelligent and witty posts. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:10 PM   #2323
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Thanks for the compliment to the group! I know I've learned a lot from so many of these ladies!
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #2324
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What a treat and how refreshing to read all your truthful posts. It's been quite a while since I was on and I am enjoying catching up on your intelligent and witty posts. Thanks.
You are welcome! This is a great place to just be yourself.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:15 PM   #2325
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From what I've observed, I think if you tell people you are atheist, they think you can be changed...

Christi
I've noticed this, too. It has seemed to me that most of them (door-to-door religious "salespeople") aren't very knowledgeable about other belief systems - that they aren't sure how to argue if you say you're a Pagan, for example. However, it seems as if they think atheists simply haven't been properly introduced to religion, as if we're lost and just waiting for some guidance...

which strikes me as very odd, because it seems to me that most atheists are more certain of their non-beliefs than the "average religious person" is certain of their beliefs. I could totally be wrong about that... might just seem that way since most of the nice atheists here in this thread seem pretty certain about where they stand.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #2326
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When the Pew Forum studies religious knowledge, atheists always know more about world religions than any religious group. Close behind are Jews, and Mormons.

U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey - Who Knows What About Religion - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #2327
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I took a sample test and got 15 of 16 correct.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #2328
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Oh, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. I would honestly trade Christmas for another Halloween. We too create the graveyard on our front lawn with the likes of "Brock Lee" " Anita Knapp " "Chris P. Bacon" and of course "Seymore Buttes" on the tombstones. We also host a small, amateur haunted garage for the town. I make all of our costumes and have to have two of my own (one school appropriate and one to wear out because my husband DJs at the bar every year). I also love Day of the Dead which I teach about in my Spanish classes. It's like Memorial Day on steriods. Day of the Dead has become very secular for me and is just a cool chance to remember those who have passed on. I love the old Aztec aspects of the celebration!
Anita Krapp!!! I'm dying laughing here!
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:17 AM   #2329
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ETA: Ah, I just noticed that you had a much more mature 'Anita Knapp', which of course I read as 'Anita Krapp'. My only excuse is that I have three boys (10, 7, 3). My apologies.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 AM   #2330
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Oh my, three boys! They must keep you busy - and yes lots of potty humor!
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #2331
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I personally like the Anita Krapp! LOL!

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Old 04-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #2332
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When the Pew Forum studies religious knowledge, atheists always know more about world religions than any religious group. Close behind are Jews, and Mormons.

U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey - Who Knows What About Religion - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Do you guys think that's because atheists and other non religious peoples have explored different religions and have seen them for what they really are (brain washing crap) so we know more about what is going on in those religions then the people involved in them do? Does that make sense? I was raised christian, married a hindu, and saw thru each religion. My hub thinks god is just an alien like in the matrix movie, which I actually find interesting. I tend to go the more natural approach and believe that we are all in control of our own destiny and believe something created us, but what I'm not sure. Wouldn't it be great if we could have concrete proof either way? I think there would be less conflicts. Ok, sorry for the rambling. Off to watch the Lord of the Rings The Twin towers with my little monkeys.

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Old 04-14-2013, 07:45 PM   #2333
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Do you guys think that's because atheists and other non religious peoples have explored different religions and have seen them for what they really are (brain washing crap) so we know more about what is going on in those religions then the people involved in them do? Does that make sense? I was raised christian, married a hindu, and saw thru each religion. My hub thinks god is just an alien like in the matrix movie, which I actually find interesting. I tend to go the more natural approach and believe that we are all in control of our own destiny and believe something created us, but what I'm not sure. Wouldn't it be great if we could have concrete proof either way? I think there would be less conflicts. Ok, sorry for the rambling. Off to watch the Lord of the Rings The Twin towers with my little monkeys.

Christi
I think many atheists got there through questioning, and that led them to read and study and research, so they learned about more religions. Obviously if you've swallowed all the indoctrination you got as a child and never question, you'd only know a little from maybe classes or friends or media.

I know Muddy Otter has mentioned that Jews are encouraged to question and study, so that explains their knowledge. Not sure about Mormons.

But some atheists are that way at such a young age, that they never feel the need to study religions, except as to how they relate to cultures. I remember asking a friend who has "always been an atheist" about Richard Dawkins and she didn't know who he was.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:15 PM   #2334
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Have any of you heard of the book, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up and Burnt Out?

Amazon.com: The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out (9781590525029): Brennan Manning: Books

I applaud anyone who tells followers of any religion that they should behave better.

The author, Brennan Manning, has said, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

But that, I might argue with.

I was over 50 before I ran into a real person who actually was a young earther. This person actually believed the earth is - what, six or eight thousand years old. I was stunned.

I think some atheists were moved to question their faith by the behavior of others. But that behavior doesn't CAUSE atheism. It causes a search for truth. And that's when the house of cards falls down. Because you can have good behavior without being a Christian.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:19 PM   #2335
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My Lutheran church / private school taught that the Earth was only around 6,000 years old.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #2336
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Really?? Did they teach that fossils were placed by the devil?? I didn't realize they were so extreme!
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:59 PM   #2337
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I don't know what they said, other than not teaching evolution and that the earth was around 6k. I don't think I learned about carbon dating until I was a teen or in college.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:15 PM   #2338
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All this talk about questioning "faith" has made me realize that I have never really believed in much at all. I had no faith to question for the most part. Our family didn't go to church and religion was not a part of our conversations.

I attended church with friends from time to time when I was growing up, and went to quite a few Vacation Bible schools, which I enjoyed for the arts and crafts that we got to do. I listened to the religious lectures that were the "price of admission" but nothing sounded meaningful to me in a personal way.

A story was told in our family about how precocious I was at age 4 because I asked "Who took care of Adam and Eve when they were babies?" I had been to Sunday School with the neighbors next door. I guess I've always been a "Doubting Thomas."
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:37 PM   #2339
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I read up on Lutherans a bit, mostly Wiki. They do teach the Genesis version of creation and believe it. Led me to RationalWiki.

From RaionalWiki:
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod believes, teaches and confesses that Adam and Eve were real historic individuals and that the Genesis account of Creation is true and factual, not merely a "myth" or a "story" made up to explain the origin of all things. We would also be making a very serious error simply to accept the theories of science without question. Many aspects of evolutionary theory are directly contradictory to God's Word.

They did note: The Catholic Church accepted evolution as compatible with Christianity without watering anything down.

So that explains why I learned in second grade, from the nuns, that "a day, to God, could have been a million years."

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/What_Ab...d_Evolution%3F
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #2340
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All this talk about questioning "faith" has made me realize that I have never really believed in much at all. I had no faith to question for the most part. Our family didn't go to church and religion was not a part of our conversations.
Same with me. No church or no religious conversations at home. We did have a bible in the house (along with many books on science) and I remember wondering why the bible was the King James version when surely if god was true there wouldn't be different versions of the bible. Nothing about Christianity made sense to me.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:34 PM   #2341
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Question Book Club

New topic! I joined a new book club and one of the upcoming selections is the book The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. It is by a christian writer and is not something I would want to read. I initially thought I would not attend but now I'm wondering if I should read it.

I'm somewhat afraid I might just get very loud about what I consider the stupid parts. But I thought it might be interesting to read it and work up my own questions so I would be less likely to get crazy.

What do you all think?
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #2342
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New topic! I joined a new book club and one of the upcoming selections is the book The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. It is by a christian writer and is not something I would want to read. I initially thought I would not attend but now I'm wondering if I should read it.

I'm somewhat afraid I might just get very loud about what I consider the stupid parts. But I thought it might be interesting to read it and work up my own questions so I would be less likely to get crazy.

What do you all think?
Martha, if you have the patience and tolerance to read the book, I say go to the meeting and see what they have to say. Myself, I've said before I tend to be non-confrontational and avoid conversations about religion in general, unless someone invades my emotional space and attacks me in a rude way.

You reminded me why I don't like book clubs, lol. I've belonged to several through the years and finally realized I don't like someone else picking out something for me to read.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #2343
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I've never joined a book club. When I was a kid, I was always reading. Always always. Off to the library branch frequently, then jobs in libraries. Shelving books. Circulation Dept. lol

But in school - announce what I HAVE to read, and I had the worst time forcing myself. I would try to find out what we might have to read that year and read it before they told us. Ha ha, rebellious much? My friends would help me with plot details because they knew it wasn't that I couldn't read, it was a mental block! So I've read parts of a lot of the classics most students have read..........

So yeah, I learned a long long time ago not to let someone else tell me what I had to read by a certain date. Suggestions, thankfully, are no problem.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:54 AM   #2344
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I have benefitted from joining a book club. Itjust depends on who the members are and what type of books are chosen. Mine was a Unitarian book club and books that were chosen provided new views on meaningful topics and great food for thought. One book on war that I remember was "Three Day Road" by Canadian writer Joseph Boyden (he teaches at a university in New Orleans). I would never have voluntarily chosen this book, but it is on my top ten list. A short sample of more recent selections - "Can You Be Good Without God", "The Bishop's Man" (about child abuse in the Catholic church), The Book of Negroes Lawrence Hill, Little Bee by Chris Cleave and just for fun and the love of language The Uncommon Reader as well as the Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Joan Simonson. I share your concern about getting angry when discussing books with a "religious" group. Perhaps we should consider discussing meaningful books that our members have read with this group. I think you could expect truthful, respectful and intelligent comments here.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #2345
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So yeah, I learned a long long time ago not to let someone else tell me what I had to read by a certain date. Suggestions, thankfully, are no problem.
Yes, That is the problem I seem to be running into the last few years. Part of the reason I joined was for the social aspect. This group does meet for wine tastings etc. not just book discussions.

I have so many other books I want to read. They seem to have been doing a lot of post apocalyptic/zombie books lately which interests me not at all. No offense to any zombie fans out there lol!

A long, long time ago I belonged to an AAUW book group. That one voted on which books to read and had rules about how long it could be. Plus we took the summer off so there was lots of free time.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:26 AM   #2346
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I have benefitted from joining a book club. Itjust depends on who the members are and what type of books are chosen. Mine was a Unitarian book club and books that were chosen provided new views on meaningful topics and great food for thought. One book on war that I remember was "Three Day Road" by Canadian writer Joseph Boyden (he teaches at a university in New Orleans). I would never have voluntarily chosen this book, but it is on my top ten list. A short sample of more recent selections - "Can You Be Good Without God", "The Bishop's Man" (about child abuse in the Catholic church), The Book of Negroes Lawrence Hill, Little Bee by Chris Cleave and just for fun and the love of language The Uncommon Reader as well as the Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Joan Simonson. I share your concern about getting angry when discussing books with a "religious" group. Perhaps we should consider discussing meaningful books that our members have read with this group. I think you could expect truthful, respectful and intelligent comments here.
These sound like some good reads. I have often thought of suggesting discussing books here. But since I'm already in this local book group I don't think that would work right now

As Kathy said I adore suggestions, especially history!
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:32 AM   #2347
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Martha, if you have the patience and tolerance to read the book, I say go to the meeting and see what they have to say. Myself, I've said before I tend to be non-confrontational and avoid conversations about religion in general, unless someone invades my emotional space and attacks me in a rude way.

You reminded me why I don't like book clubs, lol. I've belonged to several through the years and finally realized I don't like someone else picking out something for me to read.
After reading everyone's comments I'm wondering if I should waste my time. It may cause ill feelings and get me booted out. The idea of being the devil's advocate does have it's appeal
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:42 AM   #2348
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Smile Still thinking...

I read a lot of atheist blogs and watch stuff on Youtube etc. So I guess part of what attracts me is the idea of letting people know I'm an atheist so the christians get confronted with the fact that not everyone believes as they do and let people who are non-believers know they are not alone. At the fundamental level I do like the idea of being the devil's advocate especially since this sounds fundagelical. Plus I could bring up how Catholics are Christians too but they don't believe in salvation by faith alone, among other things...
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #2349
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New topic! I joined a new book club and one of the upcoming selections is the book The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. It is by a christian writer and is not something I would want to read. I initially thought I would not attend but now I'm wondering if I should read it.

I'm somewhat afraid I might just get very loud about what I consider the stupid parts. But I thought it might be interesting to read it and work up my own questions so I would be less likely to get crazy.

What do you all think?
I read a few Amazon reviews of this book and it sounds an extremely painful read for an atheist. Without having read the book myself I would suspect it is all 'stupid parts'!
You could start to read the book and say that if it was written to help the reader find or rediscover their own salvation then it failed for you as you couldn't get past chapter one. However, if it was written to describe the Christian experience of salvation then, depending on how accurate you find the emotions portrayed, you could say it succeeded or failed on that point.
If you don't want to talk about the book itself then get the discussion onto what the other members think the author had in mind when writing the book. What was the author's aim?
If the other members of the book club are all Christian then this book has probably been chosen as a way of discussing their beliefs rather than the book, which makes the group a Christian Club rather than a Book Club
Stephanie
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #2350
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You could always read The Last Sin as science fiction
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #2351
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You could always read The Last Sin as science fiction
Or fantasy!
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:18 PM   #2352
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I think I'd only want to join a book club with people I was friendly enough with, to say, Hey if you make me read that, I'm going to choose one of Christopher Hitchens' books when it's my month.

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Old 04-17-2013, 07:29 AM   #2353
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Yes Wrose, I agree. The book club I was in consisted of people whose opinions I respected. We would meet once a year and present books and then vote on selections for the following year. I usually read reviews & overviews of books before devoting my time in a big way. Perhaps in this group just recommending good reads that members might enjoy would be worth considering, with no strings. Cheers!
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:26 AM   #2354
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I read a few Amazon reviews of this book and it sounds an extremely painful read for an atheist. Without having read the book myself I would suspect it is all 'stupid parts'!
You could start to read the book and say that if it was written to help the reader find or rediscover their own salvation then it failed for you as you couldn't get past chapter one. However, if it was written to describe the Christian experience of salvation then, depending on how accurate you find the emotions portrayed, you could say it succeeded or failed on that point.
If you don't want to talk about the book itself then get the discussion onto what the other members think the author had in mind when writing the book. What was the author's aim?
If the other members of the book club are all Christian then this book has probably been chosen as a way of discussing their beliefs rather than the book, which makes the group a Christian Club rather than a Book Club
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All good points Stephanie. Yes I have read the reviews and it does sound absolutely awful. I don't know that there was a discussion about it when I was not there. I was told specifically when I joined that they don't vote on books even in a casual way. It's just what someone put out there.

I suppose if I said something about it they might just say not to come. In fairness, I don't see any other explicitly religious books in the list of previously read books.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:27 AM   #2355
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You could always read The Last Sin as science fiction
LOL!
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:36 AM   #2356
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I think I'd only want to join a book club with people I was friendly enough with, to say, Hey if you make me read that, I'm going to choose one of Christopher Hitchens' books when it's my month.

Well I don't really know these people at all yet but as I said I wanted to make friends. I'm just afraid of making enemies before I make friends. lol I do like the idea of suggesting a Hitchens book though
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #2357
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Martha, I hope you manage to discover whether these people will indeed become friends, or whether they will want to preserve some sort of Christian clique. If you don't know them that well, it might go either way!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:47 PM   #2358
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Martha, I hope you manage to discover whether these people will indeed become friends, or whether they will want to preserve some sort of Christian clique. If you don't know them that well, it might go either way!
Indeed it could.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #2359
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I read a lot of atheist blogs and watch stuff on Youtube etc. So I guess part of what attracts me is the idea of letting people know I'm an atheist so the christians get confronted with the fact that not everyone believes as they do and let people who are non-believers know they are not alone. At the fundamental level I do like the idea of being the devil's advocate especially since this sounds fundagelical. Plus I could bring up how Catholics are Christians too but they don't believe in salvation by faith alone, among other things...
I applaud you for even considering this - you're braver than I am. (I know I need to work on speaking up... about a lot of things... but that's a whole 'nother story.) I'm a total bookworm, but I think I'd have trouble sticking it out with this book. But I must confess that I'd love to be a fly on the wall if/when you speak your mind to this group.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:41 PM   #2360
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I think many atheists got there through questioning, and that led them to read and study and research, so they learned about more religions.
This pretty much describes me to a "T", and probably explains why I also only missed one question on that little online test. (Thanks for linking to that, Wrose! I'm late responding... not enough Internet time lately.)

I did read it out loud to my hubby (a life-long atheist with no religious education, or really any questioning). I don't remember his score (should have written it down), but he still scored better than average. That's probably a more interesting outcome than me, as he isn't a big reader. Maybe it isn't *just* curiosity and study, etc., though I think that's a big part of it. Maybe it's also just a tiny bit of open-mindedness. Perhaps devout followers just sort of "block out" anything they hear about belief systems that differ from their own. Just a thought.
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