This Is How I Lost My Religious Faith

May 2, 2017 | | 7 comments

One of the things I know from having grown up indoctrinated in religious teaching and the belief in the “truth” of this literature is that you don’t wrestle yourself free from it by learning and knowing all about science. The only way to wrestle yourself free from the unconscious belief that this composite document is important to your life is to wrestle with its draw, to critically study it and analyze it until you see the obvious truth of it. It is written by men, who did not agree with each other, who reinterpreted each other and the religio-political legends associated with it. Until this is done, you’ll be a science understanding and supporting believer who still somehow inexplicably feels that this document has important relevance to yours and others lives. It’s the nature of the human psychological mind. You must wrestle with the teaching ingrained in youth until there is nothing left to cleave to in the face of the obvious self-evidence. Then, you will find yourself free to embrace your humanistic path and live life genuinely self-empowered for the sake of the generations to come. – A post I had shared on International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, June 16, 2015 in relation to the well-written article below. #Judaism #evolution #creationism #Science #archaeology #anthropology #history #torah #bible

This is how I lost my faith – science helped, yes, but finally I accepted the holy texts were written by man
http://www.salon.com/2015/06/14/this_is_how_i_lost_my_faith_science_helped_yes_but_finally_i_accepted_the_holy_texts_were_written_by_man/
Wherever I turned, I discovered that ideas I had once taken for granted, trusting in rabbis and sacred texts to convey absolute truths, were dubious at best. The universe was not six thousand years old but closer to 14 billion. Humans shared a common ancestor with apes—and all living things, for that matter— and were not the exalted species created by God’s hand out of clay of the earth on the sixth day of Creation. The sages of the Talmud, by our traditions infallible, were demonstrably wrong in their understanding of the natural world.
Nothing, however, had a more shattering impact on my faith than the realization that, stripped of religious exegesis, our primary religious text, the Hebrew Bible, had the markings of human rather than divine authorship; it was beautiful, intricate, layered in poetry and metaphor and heart-stopping drama, but human nonetheless.
The very essence of our faith, passed down, it was believed, from generation to generation over 3,300 years without change, was most likely a collection of ancient documents authored and compiled and redacted over many centuries. This was the view of all modern Bible scholars. I didn’t have to take their word for it, but the evidence for their view was compelling. Suddenly, all the strangeness of this text, the contradictions and anachronisms and troubling tales of fratricide and genocide and great family dramas and tales of wondrous miracles, all of it now made sense—but in an entirely new way. Seen through the prism of history and anthropology, buttressed by studies in archaeology and laid side by side with other texts from the ancient peoples of the near east, the Bible was an endlessly fascinating window into the world of our ancestors. But as a basis for theology, to me, it simply fell short.

“Wherever I turned, I discovered that ideas I had once taken for granted, trusting in rabbis and sacred texts to convey absolute truths, were dubious at best… The sages of the Talmud, by our traditions infallible, were demonstrably wrong in their understanding of the natural world… Nothing, however, had a more shattering impact on my faith than the realization that, stripped of religious exegesis, our primary religious text, the Hebrew Bible, had the markings of human rather than divine authorship; it was beautiful, intricate, layered in poetry and metaphor and heart-stopping drama, but human nonetheless.” – Shulem Deen

“Losing your faith is not like realizing that you got an arithmetic problem wrong. It is more like discovering your entire mathematical system is flawed, that every calculation you’ve ever made was incorrect. Your bank balance is off, your life savings might be gone, your business could be in the red when you’ve imagined it to be flourishing… When everything you’ve ever known is suddenly up for question, what are the values you retain and what do you discard?” – Shulem Deen

because they need to learn, too – #inhisimage #inhislikeness
#Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

Posted in: Civil Rights, Family, Health, History, Jewish, Life Experiences, Non-Theism, Politics, Racial Issues, Relationships, Religion, Science, Society, Theology

7 Responses

  1. “I consider knowledge to be the soul of a republic, and as the weak and wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to diminish the number of the former as of that latter. Education is the way to do this, and nothing should be left undone to afford all ranks of people that means of obtaining a proper degree of it at a cheap and easy rate.” – U.S. Founder John Jay to Benjamin Rush, March 21, 1785

    Unfortunately, United States culture idolizes sports and entertainment at the expense of education. Until this changes and a comparable amount of money is invested into education for all – “as a citizen right”, then appreciating teachers is just a thing we say that is without substance. #NationalTeacherDay

    Event Toolkit—Teacher Appreciation Week
    http://www.pta.org/TeacherToolkit
    Join us as we celebrate the hard work and important contributions of teachers during National PTA’s Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12, 2017.
    Use these resources to personally thank teachers for making a positive impact on your life and the lives of children across the country. 
    Share photos and your activities during the week by using the hashtag #ThankATeacher on social media.

    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

    “Whenever a youth is ascertained to possess talents meriting an education which his parents cannot afford, he should be carried forward at the public expense… to the completion of his studies at the highest.” – U.S. Founder James Madison in a letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

    “The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” – James Baldwin, A Talk to Teachers, October 16, 1963

  2. Thomas Jefferson, “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814 … Hmmm. Who is the “despot” of our age? Who are “the priest”? Evangelicals, public education and separation of church and state is the only historically proven way to ensure liberty!

    Donald Trump, illegitimately-elected, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore. And we will never, ever stand for religious discrimination, never ever.” – said while announcing his religious liberty executive order, that loosens political activity restrictions, on March 4, 2017

    Atheists Sue President Trump Over His ‘Religious Liberty’ Executive Order
    The government would favor religious nonprofits over nonreligious ones, a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims — just look at Trump’s campaign rhetoric, they add.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/05/atheists-sue-president-trump-over-his-religious-liberty-executive-order
    The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit Thursday in federal court against Trump and the Internal Revenue Service, claiming the order is unconstitutional because it makes government favor religion over nonreligion. Although the executive order applies to all nonprofits, FFRF believes it will be selectively enforced so as to only benefit churches and religious organizations.
    FFRF calls that and the order a “message to Christians, and particularly evangelicals” that the government will no longer bar them from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, or otherwise engaging in politics.
    “President Trump’s EO creates the appearance of government endorsement of churches and religious organizations and a preference for these religious organizations above similarly situated nonreligious organizations,” the suit reads.
    Meanwhile, the lawsuit claims secular nonprofits will still be prohibited from endorsing candidates or otherwise participating in the upcoming 2018 elections if they want to keep their tax-exempt status. Those groups are classified as 501(c)(3).

    #religiousliberty #executiveorder #trump #FFRF
    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

  3. What the Founders of the United States had to say about religion (in 15 quotes):

    John Adams, “Since the promulgation of Christianity, the two greatest systems of tyranny that have sprung from this original, are the canon and the feudal law… Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” – in A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

    Richard Allen, “If you love your children, if you love your country, if you love the God of love, clear your hands from slaves, burden not your children or your country with them.” – in An Address To Those Who Keep Slaves and Uphold the Practice, 1794

    Abigail Adams, “I acknowledge myself a Unitarian – Believing that the Father alone, is the supreme God, and that Jesus Christ derived his Being, and all his powers and honors from the Father … There is not any reasoning which can convince me, contrary to my senses, that three is one, and one three.” – in letter to John Quincy Adams, May 5, 1816

    Ethan Allen, “While we are under the tyranny of Priests, it will ever be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.” – in Reason the Only Oracle of Man, 1784

    Thomas Paine, “HE THAT BELIEVES IN THE STORY OF CHRIST IS AN INFIDEL TO GOD… My own opinion is, that those whose lives have been spent in doing good, and endeavouring to make their fellow-mortals happy, for this is the only way in which we can serve God, will be happy hereafter.” – in Age of Reason, 1794-95, 1807

    Benjamin Franklin, “If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution.” – in a letter to the London Packet, June 3, 1772

    Thomas Jefferson, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – in a letter to Peter Carr, his nephew, August 10, 1787.

    Samuel Adams, “In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator. They are imprinted by the finger of God on the heart of man. Thou shall do no injury to thy neighbor, is the voice of nature and reason, and it is confirmed by written revelation.” – in a speech to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, January 17, 1794

    Alexander Hamilton, “In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.” – in the Federalist, No. 1, October 27, 1787

    John Jay, “Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous.” – in a letter to John Murray, October 12, 1816 – John Jay is the only founder that considered the United States to be a “Christian” nation, all the other founders outright rejected this notion.

    Joel Barlow, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen (Muslims).” – in Treaty of Tripoli, November 4, 1796, which he negotiated and drafted with a Muslim nation

    George Washington, “I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” – in a letter to the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, May 1789

    James Madison, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” – in a letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

    John Adams, “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” – in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 3, 1816

    Abigail Adams, “When will Mankind be convinced that true Religion is from the Heart, between Man and his creator, and not the imposition of Man or creeds and tests?” – in letter to Louisa Adams, January 3, 1818

    #religiousliberty #executiveorder #trump #FFRF
    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

  4. Rev. Wallace Bubar, “For whatever reason, the religious right evangelicals have developed a persecution complex here in the last few years, and I think this (‘Religious Liberty’ EO) is intended to address that.” – Aug 5, 2017

    Benjamin Franklin, “If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution.” – June 3, 1772

    It’s not the issue of preachers promoting and endorsing political candidates from the pulpit. They’ve been doing this openly for decades now. The issue is the nation’s government endorsing religious political activism/funding in direct violation of the United States Constitution – which outright prohibits this.

    Donald Trump, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore. And we will never, ever stand for religious discrimination, never ever.” – illegitimately-elected president, while signing his ‘Religious Liberty’executive order, August 4, 2017

    James Madison, “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” – July 10, 1822

    #religiousliberty #executiveorder #trump #FFRF
    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

  5. Because of our disastrous United States 2016 election debacle, France has gone a done the right thing! Go France! Donald Trump – opps, I mean Marine Le Pen – found no stolen victory there. #EmmanuelMacron #France

    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

  6. “Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ,… I am here on behalf of President Donald Trump as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians and all who suffer for their beliefs.” – Vice President Mike Pence to the BGEA today.

    What the Founders of the United States had to say about religious liberty (in 15 factual quotes):

    John Adams, “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” – in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 3, 1816

    Benjamin Franklin, “If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution.” – in a letter to the London Packet, June 3, 1772

    Joel Barlow, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen (Muslims).” – in Treaty of Tripoli, November 4, 1796, which he negotiated and drafted with a Muslim nation

    Richard Allen, “If you love your children, if you love your country, if you love the God of love, clear your hands from slaves, burden not your children or your country with them.” – in An Address To Those Who Keep Slaves and Uphold the Practice, 1794

    Abigail Adams, “I acknowledge myself a Unitarian – Believing that the Father alone, is the supreme God, and that Jesus Christ derived his Being, and all his powers and honors from the Father … There is not any reasoning which can convince me, contrary to my senses, that three is one, and one three.” – in letter to John Quincy Adams, May 5, 1816

    Ethan Allen, “While we are under the tyranny of Priests, it will ever be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.” – in Reason the Only Oracle of Man, 1784

    Thomas Paine, “HE THAT BELIEVES IN THE STORY OF CHRIST IS AN INFIDEL TO GOD… My own opinion is, that those whose lives have been spent in doing good, and endeavouring to make their fellow-mortals happy, for this is the only way in which we can serve God, will be happy hereafter.” – in Age of Reason, 1794-95, 1807

    Thomas Jefferson, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – in a letter to Peter Carr, his nephew, August 10, 1787.

    Samuel Adams, “In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator. They are imprinted by the finger of God on the heart of man. Thou shall do no injury to thy neighbor, is the voice of nature and reason, and it is confirmed by written revelation.” – in a speech to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, January 17, 1794

    Alexander Hamilton, “In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.” – in the Federalist, No. 1, October 27, 1787

    John Jay, “Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous.” – in a letter to John Murray, October 12, 1816 – John Jay is the only founder that considered the United States to be a “Christian” nation, all the other founders outright rejected this notion.

    George Washington, “I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” – in a letter to the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, May 1789

    James Madison, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” – in a letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

    John Adams, “Since the promulgation of Christianity, the two greatest systems of tyranny that have sprung from this original, are the canon and the feudal law… Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” – in A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

    Abigail Adams, “When will Mankind be convinced that true Religion is from the Heart, between Man and his creator, and not the imposition of Man or creeds and tests?” – in letter to Louisa Adams, January 3, 1818

    Constitutional Crisis Alert! We are not a “Christian” nation, rather a democratic secular Republic. Mike Pence’s words as Vice President and Trump’s executive orders that favor Christianity is violating constitution-established separation of church and state.

    Today, at BGEA, Mike Pence said as Vice President: “Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ,… The faith is under siege,… I believe ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith, and it is time the world called it by name,… I am here on behalf of President Donald Trump as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians and all who suffer for their beliefs.” – Vice President Mike Pence at the World Summit In Defense of Persecuted Christians, organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), and endorsed on the White House web site as U.S. policy.

    VP Pence Speaks at Persecuted Christians Event – Canada Free Press
    Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians – White House Gov web site
    Pence: No Group Faces ‘Greater Hostility Or Hatred’ Than Christians – Daily Caller
    Pence: America will prioritize protecting Christians abroad – Washington Post

    #libertycounsel #mikepence #persecutedchristians #bgea #religiousliberty #executiveorder #trump #FFRF
    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

  7. ICE 6-week anti-gang operation arrests 8 Hispanic gang members, 933 Hispanic U.S. citizens, and 445 Hispanic foreign nationals. Only 384 are illegally in the United States. This isn’t protecting America. This is making the United States WHITE again! Which happens to be what that illegitimately-elected Trump guy campaigned on, and the Republican party endorsed.

    “Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced its largest anti-gang operation ever on Thursday, a six-week operation that netted more than 1,300 arrests nationwide. Though the effort was led by ICE, the focus was not exclusively on immigrants. Of the arrests, 933 were US citizens and 445 were foreign nationals, with 384 in the country illegally.
    ICE said three of the arrested individuals were previous recipients of protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, instituted by the Obama administration for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. Criminal violations or being deemed a public safety threat can void a person’s DACA status.
    ICE also noted that 10 of the arrests were of people who crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, eight of whom were confirmed to belong to the MS-13 gang, ICE said.” – CNN

    ICE announces major anti-gang operation, mostly US citizens arrested
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/11/politics/ice-gang-arrests-operation/

    #ICE #Trump #DACA #GOP
    #Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
    #Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.

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