“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away”.
- Philip K. Dick

“ Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?”
-NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment

“ I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”
- Frederick Douglass, escaped slave

“ If thinking freely for yourself is a sure ticket to hell, then the conversations in heaven must be awfully boring.”
-San Francisco’s infamous *Dr. Weirde*

“ How can the Church be received as a trustworthy guide in the invisible, which falls into so many errors in the visible?
-John W. Draper

“ If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”
- Albert Einstein

“Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of awesome mystical power. We know this because they manage to be invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can’t see them.”
- Steve Eley

“ In a sense, the religious person must have no real views of his own and it is presumptuous of him, in fact, to have any. In regard to sex-love affairs, to marriage and family relations, to business, to politics, and to virtually everything else that is important in his life, he must try to discover what his god and his clergy would like him to do; and he must primarily do their bidding.”
- Albert Ellis

“ Do you believe God makes you breath? How did he lose Six million Jews?"
- Emerson, Lake, & Palmer

“ AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.”
- Jerry Falwell

“ If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
- Jerry Falwell

“ We will not, therefore, lose our time praying to an imaginary god for things which our own exertions alone can procure.”
- Francisco Ferrer

And the Lord Christ Jesus will Save you from the Devil and Sin, The Lord Marx Lenin will Save you from the Chairman of the Board, The Lord Smack Needle will Save you from the pains of life — But who will come and save you from your Lord?
-Leslie Fish

“ If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing”
- Anatole France

“ The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.”
- Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina

“I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.”
- Galileo

“If there is a God, atheism must strike Him as less of an insult than religion.”
- Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

“‘God works in many ways his wonders to perform.’ But He’s not a skillful mechanic. A man drives over a cliff and ‘by a miracle’ he only breaks his back. It would be more divine if he were a better driver and stayed on the road.”
- Paul Goodman

“ Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.”
- Graham Greene

“I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.”
- D. Dale Gulledge

“ Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure.”
- Harvard Lampoon

“ Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
- Robert Heinlein

“ God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.”
- Robert Heinlein

© 1999 Losingmyreligion.com, except where otherwise noted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions we're often asked. More questions? Drop us a line!

  1. Christianity is a big topic. What is the focus of your site?
  2. Christians make mistakes-- you should not toss the baby with the bathwater.
  3. You should not focus only on the negative things about God in the Bible.
  4. Why do you say God is immoral, unfair and cruel?
  5. Why do you quote things out of the Old Testament, when it no longer applies today?
  6. You are quoting Bible verses out of context. If you understood the times and the history surrounding the circumstances, you'd see it very differently.
  7. Why don't you try to understand the Bible more accurately then, instead of propagating the misinformation you accuse evangelical Christians of spreading?
  8. So why don't you study Bible history, understand "true" Christianity, and become Christians?
  9. Are you Satan worshippers?
  10. What are you then?
  11. Why are you so anti-God?
  12. What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
  13. Were you guys ever really saved?
  14. But Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.
  15. What you guys are lacking is faith
  16. "True Christians" vs. fundamentalists

Christianity is a big topic. What is the focus of your site?
Our site focuses on Christian doctrine. We do not deal much with issues like Biblical historicity or creationism vs. evolution. Though we may make references to them, these are not our fields of expertise, so we stay with what we know. Plus, we feel that there is enough within Christianity's core doctrines to show that it is an irrational and unethical belief system, and that is what we focus on.

Christians make mistakes-- you should not toss the baby with the bathwater.
Although it's true that we've seen hypocrisy among Christians, that is only a small part of why we reject it. Even without these wayward saints, Christian doctrine has more than sufficient rope to hang itself. 90% of the reason we reject Christianity comes from its teachings and beliefs, rather than the behavior of its members, as hypocrites abound in all belief systems.

You should not focus only on the negative things about God in the Bible.
We focus on the negative, because the Christian media that bombards us focuses only on the good, and as they taught us in Sunday school, half a truth is as bad as a lie. We're here to tell the other side of the story. Besides, focusing on the positive in this case would be like saying your spouse is usually good to you, and only beats you up once in a while.

Why do you say God is immoral, unfair and cruel?
First, the Bible and Christians say this about God, not us. We merely point out how they do. The best way to see this is to read some of our essays on things like heaven and hell, and salvation. Briefly, however, here are a few reasons.

Immoral and cruel: turning someone into a pillar of salt, killing 50,000+ bystanders because a few looked into the Ark of the Covenant, ordering the genocide of an entire race, including all the infants and animals, and tormenting people forever because of their religion. Christianity makes God to be worse than any human dictator.

Unfair: punishing people infinitely for finite crimes, punishing people eternally and sadistically (there is no remedial value to hell, so its purpose is merely to inflict pain), holding people equally accountable to the Gospel message once they've heard it, regardless of their situation or background (or lifespan), and healing a teary-eyed believer at a Benny Hinn crusade, while ignoring the pleas of starving children who die by the thousands every day.

Why do you quote things out of the Old Testament, when it no longer applies today?
Because Christians do. Confronted with space on a schoolroom wall, Christians feel the need to post the 10 commandments. At gay pride rallies, references to Leviticus pop up everywhere. And just try getting through a pro-life march without the Christians waving banners quoting Isaiah or Psalms. The fact is, Christians refer to the Old Testament all the time. The difference is, we try not to suffer from selective amnesia when doing so.

Plus, Christians say that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. In other words, He never changes. So if He thought genocide was okay back then, then we can only assume that He must today as well.

You are quoting Bible verses out of context. If you understood the times and the history surrounding the circumstances, you'd see it very differently.
True. We are not Bible scholars, and do not pretend to understand the historical, cultural and linguistic background behind ancient texts. In addition, we are looking at ancient documents through multiple filters spanning time, culture, language, and our own biases, so hold no illusions that we (or the opposition) understand the Bible as it was originally penned.

All this being said, we'd like to point out one thing: most evangelical Christians are in the same boat. They are not qualified Biblical scholars, nor are their clergy. They hurl their diatribes at society from a similar platform of Biblical misinformation. Our job, therefore, is to take their claims at face value, and judge them on their moral and ethical merits, rather than their Biblical accuracy. It is Christian beliefs and doctrines we take issue with, regardless of how Biblical or unBiblical they may be.

Why don't you try to understand the Bible more accurately then, instead of propagating the misinformation you accuse evangelical Christians of spreading?
Though we respect the field of Bible history, it is of limited usefulness to the average person, because the understanding of ancient texts requires a level of training and academic facility beyond most people. But more importantly, untrained Christian practitioners abound. And the most vocal of these-- the ones through which our society at large encounters Christianity--are the evangelical types whose work you see dominating the media, college campuses and car bumpers. They include the world's largest Protestant denomination, and America's most influential Christian political organizations. These people, unfortunately, are the de facto interpreters of scripture. Their narrow, literalist view of the Bible, and the weird morality it creates, are what most of us understand Christianity to be. These Christians take their English-translated Bibles at face value, and draw moral and ethical conclusions straight from what they selectively read.

In this arena, we are as qualified as they. We too can examine scripture on such a level, and weigh the resulting moral and ethical implications. Our fight, therefore, is against conservative, fundamentalist Christianity, which concerns itself more with faith and dogma, than ethics and reason, or academic accuracy.

So why don't you study Bible history, understand "true" Christianity, and become Christians?
First, we challenge evangelical Christians to do the same. Those who maintain that the Bible on their shelf is the literally true, inerrant word of God, have much to consider. An encounter with the sheer magnitude of the academic study of ancient texts is an eye-opening experience, one that we highly recommend to all Christians.

Second, we don't believe that God can only be found through scholarship. Certainly that would exclude most of humanity, were it a requirement. Rather we feel that an honest read of the scripture, with prayer and an open heart, and a genuine desire to seek God, should be sufficient.

We have done this for a combined total of over 22 years, without finding anything real. If the Christian God cannot be found this way, then he is either hiding, or he is not real.

Are you Satan worshippers?
No. Satanism is also a religion, and as such, we're pretty allergic to it. Once bitten... that sort of thing. Anyway, on that topic, we would like to add this: if you look at the amount of blood spilled, and the pain and misery inflicted on the human race, Christianity is by far the greater evil. Even though nasty things have been done in the name of Satan, these activities pale in comparison to what was done in Jesus name during the Inquisition, for example, or the Jewish pogroms of the 20th century. So in the spirit of Jesus' advice to remove the beam from one's own eye before complaining about the mote in another's, Christians would do well to examine their own bloody history, before being shocked at the actions of Satanists.

What are you then?
Emery is an atheist, while Russ maintains more of an agnostic view, though if you want to get nitpicky, atheism and agnosticism address different issues. Agnosticism concerns what you know, and in the ultimate questions about God, they are both agnostic, as the data just isn't available to know for sure if there is a being out there that we could call God. As for beliefs, Emery is an atheist because he does not believe in God, since he finds every definition of God he's encountered lacking believability (like the Christian God, for example), either from a rational or ethical perspective, or both.

Why are you so anti-God?
Again, we have no problem with God, whoever he, she or it is. We make no assertions about God. What we're against is the notion of god that Christians have created. Christians describe God to be compassionate, wise and just, yet ascribe to him behavior that is unjust, foolish and downright evil. They claim that a religion like Christianity comes from God. We have more respect for God than that, and do not accuse him of being the author of such a corrupt belief system. If we disparage God in any way, it is the Christian-invented "god" that we address, not God himself.

What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
First of all, Jesus was who he was, regardless of what anyone believes. Saying "I believe Jesus was this or that" merely states your opinion on the matter, and has little to do with who he really was. What Christians usually mean when they ask that question is whether or not you believe that Jesus is who they say he is, usually some version of God incarnate who died for your sins. Obviously we don't believe this, but not for reasons most Christians are taught. We don't believe this mainly because of the multitude of problems it presents about the morality of God. Christians believe that God should be good and just. We tend to agree--that is one of the reasons we reject the Christian view of Jesus (see "Salvation: The Suffering Messiah" in our Essays section).

Were you guys ever really saved?
Well, I guess that depends on who you ask. We both came from predominantly Southern Baptist backgrounds, and according to them, we were. We say this because if you ask certain Church of Christ members, neither we, nor any other Southern Baptists, were ever saved, because we were not saved by baptism in a strictly Acts 2:38 sense. But if you consider "saved" to be a state in which you've asked Jesus into your heart to save you from your sins and be the Lord of your life, then yes. Believing in the blood of Jesus to wash us of our sins, having a personal relationship with Him, praying, going to church four days a week, trying our best to love God and neighbor, trusting the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, abstaining from sex, drugs and alcohol, passing out Bibles and tracts on street corners, embarrassing our friends by bringing our youth minister to their house and witnessing to them, and burning our Rick Springfield albums-- we did all that.

But Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship
So is any other religion. It's a relationship you have with God. Some relationships are more personal, and some are more formal. The relationship, however, always involves specific behaviors and rituals, and that makes it a religion. Christians, for example, observe many rituals, such as building churches, congregating on Sundays, singing hymns, closing their eyes to pray, Communion, and having to believe certain ideologies in order to join (for example, the plan of salvation). The statement is really a non-starter, but we bring it up only because we hear it all the time. Whatever you call it, a relationship or a religion, getting out from under it is what this web site is all about.

What you guys are lacking is faith
We all have faith. The question is what you put your faith in, and why. It's the why that is the important thing. We've heard Christians say that faith is a prerequisite to understanding God. But with faith as a prerequisite, then anything becomes believable. Otherwise known as blind faith, this sort of faith has no ability to discriminate. With blind faith you could just as soon become a Muslim as a Christian. Of course at this point Christians sometimes back away from faith, and return to reason as why they do not subscribe to other religions. Yet what is ironic and sad, is when faced with limitations in their own religion, they put away the light of reason they once wielded so mightily against others, and crawl back under the rock of blind faith. Most Christians we have encountered do this to some degree, dabbling for a while in logic, but always retreating to faith when reason shines too brightly. We once did this ourselves, so understand why one would. But we cannot overemphasize the importance of reasoning, and not backing away from it. It is the only way to separate fact from fiction. As Benjamin Franklin said, "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

How can you guys suggest that people should leave Christianity when the real problem is not true Christianity, but man-made religions and man's foibles and abuses committed in the name of Christ? You shouldn't imply that the Jerry Falwells of the world represent us real Christians.
There are as many variations of Christianity as there are people who call themselves Christians, and a close reading of the New Testament bears out the fact that it has been that way since about 33 A.D. If you have managed to find or create a version for yourself that emphasizes kindness to your fellow man, tolerance, and a feeling of peace and goodwill with yourself and all beings, that's fantastic.

But keep in mind that this site deals specifically with conservative, fundamentalist Christianity. The benevolent religion you practice is usually concocted by studiously omitting and creatively reinterpreting the more cruel, absurd and contradictory passages of Scripture, (such as most of the Old Testament, the entire book of Revelation and most of Paul's letters to the struggling early churches) and emphasizing a handful of positive, warm and fuzzy passages (such as parts of the Gospel of John and parts of Paul's letter to the Corinthians).

By contrast, the sort of faith we are discussing here on our site, and from which we are trying to provide an escape-hatch of sanity, is the Christianity that attempts to be Bible-authentic by staying as close as possible to a literal reading of the entire Bible, cover to cover. It emphasizes saving souls over saving lives, and finding the One Truth over being true to oneself. If you don't believe in a literal burning hell or a literal bodily resurrection of Christ, chances are good that the adherents of this Christianity think you are deluded and should not even call yourself a Christian.