Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday: Good Things To Come!

Good Morning Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike!


I hope you are enjoying your Saturday, I know that I probably am….(I wrote this last night) Anyway, I just wanted to write a short update on what is to come for “The Godless Iowan.”

Recently, I bought everything that I need to start doing a podcast and videos. I’m looking forward to branching out into new directions. Have no fear there will still be plenty of new blogs for you all to read and enjoy. I am not going anywhere., there will still be plenty of Satanic Sundays, Deep Thoughts, Unmasking Doctrines, and much much more. I’m so happy to see how this blog has turned out and I want to say I appreciate each and every one of my readers.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on where I’m going from here.

The last thing I would like to mention is that very soon I will be putting together a giveaway of some sorts. Still coming up with ideas but it is definitely coming. Stay tuned!

Now I’d like to ask you what you’d like to see in the future? Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to see your suggestions.

Thanks Again,
The Godless Iowan


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday: More Human Than Human

You can thank me later for the great flashback to some classic White Zombie but today I want to talk a little bit about humanity. To be more specific I want to talk about those people who want to transcend their humanity and become something that’s better(?) than they currently are today. I’ll discuss some of the reasons that I see for this want of a better existence, why it’s not a healthy mindset to have, and how being human can already be pretty damn great.


So the first thing that we need to talk about is why someone might want to leave humanity behind.  The truth is that life can be pretty awful at times. We deal with disease, war, death, injury and all sorts of Kardashian bullshit. Life can be pretty damn depressing at times and when you are in this state of mind you might seek a way out and one popular way out is to imagine that this life is not the only one.

Let me list a few things that I was going through when my faith was at its peak.

  1. An Awful Marriage.
  2. A debilitating nerve issue which made walking nearly impossible.
  3. A job that sucked
  4. Lots and lots of stress

And so with this in mind I would consider that this life must simply be preparing me for something better. If I didn’t have something to look forward to then why would I even bother continuing on with this shitty life? If you think my story is unique, think again, time and again I have spoken with other former ministers who had the same set of circumstances going on in their life. Now I’m not saying that you cannot be a happy person and faithful, you can. What I am simply pointing out is for you to truly dwell on wanting to transcend humanity, your life has to be bad enough that you want to leave this world behind.

Going with the first reason I laid out is the feeling of being powerless. Maybe you have no clear ability to change your current life situation and so you believe that if you could simply transcend this world you would be able to exist in a powerful and fully in control state. Perhaps this comes in the form of a blissful heaven that exists somewhere after this life? It could come in the form of transcending humanity and becoming pure conscious thought. Maybe it’s integrating your mind into some form of technology that would allow you to do all the things you have always dreamed of doing but were too scared to try.

Lastly, maybe you just don’t like people…

I don’t personally like people. Being autistic and not knowing it means that I lived for over 30 years of my life without the knowledge of why I was so different from everyone else and thought that if I could just figure out the right things to say and do I could be normal just like everyone else. This led to an intense hatred of humanity. I saw my fellow human beings as idiots who were here to be little more than an annoyance to me as I tried my best just to get through life.  This led me to the desire to escape from this reality and was probably one of the biggest draws that religion had. Once in heaven there would be no pain and so I would no longer feel the pain of being the odd one in the group, I would be normal just like everyone else.

Why is this not healthy?

So let me tell you about something that happened today. I took my family out to dinner at a local establishment. We sat at what looked like a quiet table and ordered our food. Not long after sitting down I realized the massive mistake we had made.

Two women sat beside us having a discussion about a sick friend that had recently passed away. Soon their topic moved on to religion, then psychiatry, then every little fault about every single person they had ever known, making sure to point out exactly why they were better than those people and how it was god that made them these superior beings. You might be saying…why were you listening? I tried not to but one of the women wa so boisterous and mind numbingly annoying that there was no possible way to not hear every single damned word that came out of her mouth, dontchaknow?


Now why do I mention these women? I mention them because of how sad their lives must be. They are incapable of enjoying life and instead spend their time looking down on everyone that they see as sinful or even a little bit different. That is exactly what this mindset breeds and it is no wonder because at its core it is nothing but a cheap form of delusional narcissism. The only thing that these women take joy in is that their god loves them and has set them apart to be superior to their fellow human beings.

Strangely enough they must have missed this scripture…

“Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.”
-Proverbs 6:16-19

So the reason that this type of mindset is not healthy is because it prevents you from enjoying the life that you already have. When you spend your time attempting to get to the next world or the next state of evolution you will ultimately miss out as this life passes you by. However, you’d never hear a complaint from these people because the more they miss out on and the worse their lives get the more they will extol the virtues of your superior lifestyle. Your delusions must grow in comparison to the life that becomes less and less satisfactory which leads to even more self-ostracizing from the people around you.

Being A Human Is Already Pretty Damn Great

Look at the animal kingdom and tell me of a single species that has developed music, art, poetry, literature, medical science,  automobiles, space travel, the internet, etc…. Only a single species on earth can lay claim to these things and that is us, humanity. We have, at our fingertips, every work of fiction and non-fiction that has ever been written. We can enjoy Mozart and Bach. In the western world, even the poorest of Americans can still enjoy more leisure time than at any other time in history.

To put it simply, being a human is awesome. We are the thinking man, Homo Sapiens. Though our mental powers we have risen above our nature and progressed as a species in ways that no other species on earth ever have. In the history of this planet humanity is nothing more than a blip on the map and yet look at all that we have been able to do in the 100,000 or 200,000 years that our species has existed. Think of how much further our species might go in the next thousand to two thousand years if we put our minds together and put our superstitions in the past where they belong.

Now, it is possible though not probably that there is another life after this one. Maybe you will exist in a better form than you do today and I will be completely wrong, but…if it isn’t and you waste this life attempting to escape from it, you’ll be none-the-wiser but a life will have been wasted and that to me is truly sad.


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday: A Response of Sorts

I’m not one to do response blogs but I felt like this one is warranted. I will not be referencing the blogs that I am responding to as I have no interest in starting some sort of back and forth war with theist bloggers. That’s not the point of this blog and so if you are interested in finding these blogs just search the tag atheism and read through a few of the posts written by believers.

Over the past few days I’ve read numerous blogs by theists who believe they are clever by adding Atheist or Atheism to their blogs. As a small side note…Theists….no one has ever decided to convert to your faith because of the tag you place on a blog. It actually just leads to atheists reading your drivel and then wondering how someone survive and write a blog without a single working brain cell.

Anyway, today I’m responding to blogs which make a claim along the lines of the following…

“God’s power would be shown on Earth if more people had faith.”


My first criticism to this is that it runs completely counter to the biblical narrative. Reading through the old testament we see countless tales of God using his power in great and mighty feats due to the faith of a single human being. A few examples of this would be Abraham, Noah, Elisha, Elijah, Ezekiel, David, Daniel, etc… According to the scriptures, god has absolutely no problem showing his power in the world of men even if the faithful are down to one or two people.


So the obvious argument is going to be that all of the examples I gave were from the old testament and that the new testament brought about changes that nullify the former examples. Well a look at the new Testament we find the apostles working numerous miracles amidst non-believers. We also find Paul who is constantly using the power of god to prove his ministry in one way or another. So even in the new testament the power of god was not confined to times when believers were the majority. So to take the theists claim at face value is to nullify the scriptures that their faith is supposedly built upon.

My second criticism of this is that it is simply a poorly thought out argument. If your god is so small that he can only perform wonders if the majority of people believe in him then he is not a god to be followed. Think of it like this. If your employer only paid you on weeks that everyone had perfect attendance, you probably wouldn’t stick with that job for very long. If god requires faith as some sort of currency which builds his power, then your god is nothing more than a trickster who gathers his power from those weak enough to worship him.

For my last criticism of this argument I’d like to point out that when you use this argument you are actually arguing for the reverse as well.

The statement…


If people had more faith, then god’s power would be shown.

is the same as saying…

People have no faith because god doesn’t do shit.

What you are saying is that while it’s true that god doesn’t do anything to warrant faith in him, we should simply give faith in a hope that he might one day actually do something. This is like putting your money into an investment that constantly loses money out of the hope that one day more people will invest and it will all be worth it. Maybe one day the Amish will take over and carriage sales will fly through the roof but it still isn’t enough of a chance for me to start investing in carriage sales today.

FAMILY GUY: Peter and the guys go on a quest to find God and ask Him to stop interfering with the outcome of professional football games in the all-new “3 Acts of God” Time Period Premiere episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, March 9 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. FAMILY GUY ™ and © 2014 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Now, theists, I understand your point of view better than most would, as a former Pentecostal minister I understand how you feel. You go to church each Sunday, you read your bible, you pray, you give your tithes, and yet still you see no evidence of god actually working in your lives. Maybe your marriage is falling apart, you just lost your job, maybe you are depressed or longing for some otherworldly feeling of faith, and so you are looking for answers to why this feeling is outside of your grasp or why god won’t fix your marital or financial situation.

So what are you doing…

You make excuses for why god’s power can’t shine through the darkness. It’s obviously not the more logical answer that god doesn’t exist because, let’s face it, you’ve invested so much of your time and energy into this game that you can’t just accept that answer. So the reason is clear to you, the blessings that you seek from god would be granted to you if it wasn’t for all of these evil sinners and atheists in the world today. It’s our fault that god can’t do anything and if only we would recognize the need to worship a god that can’t do anything, then your life would be fixed and the world would be perfect.

Sorry…it just doesn’t work that way. Life is a mixture of good and bad times. We live and we die. Marriages fall apart, jobs come and go, life goes up and life goes down. God doesn’t fit into the equation because there is no need for a god to fit into the equation. Life is both good and bad for theists and atheists alike. Your faith or lack thereof has no bearing on the quality of life and while I know you will simply scoff it truly is that simple.

Oh….and I cleverly used the tags Christianity, Christ, and Bible in an effort to deconvert you all….did it work? LMAO


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday: My BS Is Better Than Your BS

Good evening readers. If you haven’t guessed by the title, tonight’s article is about how a person can see straight through the illogical stance of one group and yet still fall fully into a giant vat of their own bullshit. It seems strange but someone can be incredibly logical, rational, and a well-rounded person for the most part, yet fall off the deep end in other facets of their life. So tonight we will take a look at the reasons for this phenomena.

For the most part, the reason for this is that we all like to feel as if we have a good understanding of the world around us. We live in this world, we survive as best as we can, and yet there are large portions of the world and our own bodies that we don’t understand or at least don’t have a full grasp.  Add into this that admitting you don’t know something is very hard for the majority of people and you will see why it is so easy to be blinded by your own illogical or dogmatic stances.

Let’s use myself as an example.

When I was a minister of the Christian faith I could tell you exactly why the Islamic religion was false, I could point to the illogical nature of the Mormon faith, and I could let you know with great detail the history and various fallacies of the New Age movement. However, my own faith was filled with illogical and asinine dogmatic stances. Homosexuality was wrong, why? Because god said so. Drinking was wrong, why? Because god said so. Tattoos and pork were ok, why? Because god had changed his mind on those things…. God was the same yesterday, today, and forever….yet I knew every verse of scripture where god explicitly changes his mind and does the opposite of what this supposedly timeless being had set out to do.

How is it that I could easily point out the bullshit of others and yet could not see through the muddied waters of my own former faith. Simply put, I didn’t want to. To expound on that, I didn’t want to because my own beliefs made the world a much easier place to understand and so to admit the error of my own faith would add a level of confusion to my life that I did not want. I’d like to say that there is more to it but sadly this is the case for the majority of people in the world today.

The second factor that plays into this issue is something that has been mentioned several times before on this blog, confirmation bias. It’s easy to find articles online that agree with your chosen stance, regardless of the topic. Just to prove my point here are a few idiotic ideas that I came up with on the spot and found articles in support of my idiotic idea.

Is tap water turning people gay?

Can Lemonade Cause Cancer?

North Korea Doesn’t Exist?

Now perhaps you’re going to say….but those articles don’t actually support the things that you say they support. One is an expose of a crazy person is parliament, another talks of the possible dangers of aspartame, and the last is simply a reddit thread. The point here is that it doesn’t matter if they actually support my stance or not, the point is that I can do a google search on just about anything and come up with one or two articles that agree at least in part with any stance. These are the articles that a person who wants to continue in an illogical ideology will accept and promote.

To bring this back around to me.


Dino Hemoglobin

When I was younger and more prone to young earth creationist ideology I loved to point out that a dinosaur fossil had been found with intact hemoglobin, proving that the earth was much younger than science proposed, You will still see this promoted today as evidence against an old earth, yet when you take a deeper look you will find that the truth of the matter is that intact hemoglobin was not found but only the remains of what would have formed hemoglobin and that the fossilization of this tissue was consistent with the time scale supported by science. The whole idea that this structure couldn’t survive millions of years was actually simply made up to support the argument made by young earth creationists.

What this should show is that the actual evidence pertained in any article is secondary to where a person wants the evidence to point.

Another great example of this is the absolute disdain for fluoride that many people promote. Fluoride is claimed to be the cause of numerous maladies, it’s said to dull the brain and make the populace docile, it is claimed to be the cause of mental issues and yet when you look at the actual evidence you will find that fluoride is relatively harmless and that the benefits far outweigh any possible negatives. For the majority of time that the human race has existed bad teeth were one of the leading causes of death. Fluoride is introduced and people stop dying from bad teeth. Life was made better by this chemical compound that a huge percentage of the world now has demonized. Here’s a link that exposes some of the myths surrounding fluoride.

I hope that you can see by these examples just how easy it is for faulty information to find its way into the psyche of those who want to find it. Now I would like to give some helpful tips in how to avoid bullshit traps in the future.


1.) Is a doctor advising you? (Doctor Oz and your neighborhood herbalist do not count)

If the answer is no, then any information that you are receiving is to be considered suspect. I don’t care if your uncle cured his herpes with whale sperm, anecdotes are not evidence. If the answer to this question is yes then you can be reasonably certain that the information being given to you is accurate and helpful.

2.) Does the information cite its sources?

This is a big one. If the article, video, or podcast does not cite its sources then you should eliminate it from your research. However, you also want to be sure that the sources actually lead to helpful and corroborating information. If they do not then you should disregard any information given.

3.) Are the sources well-respected?

When looking at sources you want to make sure that they are actually good sources. Lets say you are looking at a paper that cites a source which proves that kale causes cancer. If the cited source is then you can be sure that the information contained is biased and should be disregarded. Medical and scientific journals are great sources of information, for regular news look for items in Reuters or the Associated Press. Scientific studies can also be a great source of information but public studies tend to be more reputable than private studies which are often paid for by the industry in question. The sugar and tobacco industry are famous for biased studies attempting to prove the health benefits of their products.

4.) Does it sound too good to be true?

The tried and true method to see through most bullshit is to ask yourself, does this sound true or do I simply want it to sound true because it sounds good to me? A recent example of this were the supposed health benefits of eating chocolate every day. The story was completely fabricated, none of the facts had been checked, but since we all like chocolate and the sound of eating chocolate every day is good to us, many people fell for it without a second thought. We wanted chocolate to be healthy and so when a supposed study was released promoting that idea we simply accepted it without a second thought.

In the end, seeing though the bullshit of others is easy, seeing through your own bullshit is not so much. However, if you follow the steps above and double-check your own ideals from time to time you can avoid some of the negative aspects of bullshit. I’m wrong at times, there are many times where I do not know the answer to a given question. It might not always feel good to say I don’t know but it feels much better than once again diving headfirst into a giant mound of bullshit.




Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #7: Uninformed Opinions

For last weeks Something Different Saturday: Sex, click here.

So today I want to touch on a topic that is really annoying to me. It’s people who read the headline of an article or blog and then come to their own conclusions of what the blog is actually about. Nearly every day I have to explain to someone, that this blog is written from the mindset of a former theist and is not pro-theism.

For example: I write an article called Satanic Sunday, which is about something that I was either taught was Satanic as a child or I knew someone who believed that thing was Satanic. The post satirized these beliefs showing how asinine those beliefs were. However, ever single week I have someone attack me for promoting the idea that these things are satanic.

The name of the blog is An Atheist in Iowa, the url is How on earth do people come to the conclusion that this blog is promoting Christianity? FUCK! The only thing that I can come up with, is like said before, they read the title to the blog and not the article itself. This has become such a pain in my ass that I nearly stopped blogging about atheism and completely converted this to simply a blog about my life, autism, and simply things I find interesting.

So what do these folks do, once I point out that it is obvious they haven’t actually read my blog? They open it, skim it quickly and find some sentence that seems to give credence to their stance. For example, my blog about the belief that Atheists are Satanic contained a bold headline, “All Homosexuals are Atheist and all Atheists are Homosexuals,” someone took that line and said that I was promoting the idea that atheism equates to homosexuality. If you actually read the blog you would see that this portion dealt with people who had promoted this idea and my utter rejection of the notion.

I write my blog to provide information, entertainment, and as an outlet for me. Writing calms me down, but being forced to constantly defend myself from people who are far too lazy to take a couple of minutes and actually read the article makes the writing far less therapeutic for me.

I guess it’s quite common for people to do this. The idea is completely foreign to me. I would never give an opinion on something that I don’t know something about. I see this in every day conversations when someone will say something like, “I’ll tell ya’ll wut we do wit this middle eastern crisis….wut you just gotta do is dis…” and then it is obvious they have no idea what the crisis is about and probably have no clue where the middle east even is.

Uninformed opinions run rampant in society, hell our president is one big uninformed opinion. The problem is, they lead to absolutely nothing constructive and are nothing more than mental masturbation. An uninformed opinion is equitable in my mind to the term “thoughts and prayers,” it does nothing but make the person stating it feel smart and superior for a few moments. It is entirely self-serving and more annoying to anyone who actually has an informed opinion about a topic.

No this article is not about criticism. If you feel like I haven’t touched on a topic well enough or you feel that maybe I got something wrong. let me know. Countless times I have made edits due to something that I said which was misunderstood or wrong. I am open to learning and expanding my knowledge always, but if you want to state an opinion without actually reading…go fuck yourselves….

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #6: Sex

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

So for today’s article I’d like to talk about one of the most taboo topics in all of christianity, something so wrong and evil that everyone who is alive today is the result of it. That topic is of course sex, intercourse, the horizontal polka, fucking, screwing, making love, and doing it.

So first off let’s try and figure out exactly why sex is so sinful and taboo. In the book of Genesis we find that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they saw that they were naked and were ashamed.  Yet it doesn’t mention the sex act whatsoever. However many modern fundamentalist christians will point to this passage as a condemnation of sexual intercourse without ever knowing why. They will make broad assumptions to prove this point, stating that eve had sex with the serpent, or that the fruit was actually sodomy, but nothing in the Bible points to this. These are nothing more than explanations of original sin doctrine that have been passed down since at least the time of Augustine.

“Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.” – St Augustine

To Augustine, sex was seen as an act associated with the downfall of man. He taught that god excused sex between married couples but only so far as for reproductive purposes. Sex for the purpose of fun and enjoyment was seen as incredibly sinful. Note that in the Catholic church not much has really changed in this regard, their hatred towards any form of contraception is the evidence that their ideals about sex are still firmly centered around reproduction.

The Protestant church has their own mascot in the form of Martin Luther.

“Intercourse is never without sin; but God excuses it by his grace because the estate of marriage is his work.”

Once again we see that god only excuses sex in regards to the reproductive faculties of marriage. So is it any wonder that these beliefs have been passed down through the ages in one form or another? Perhaps you would believe that christians themselves are chaste individuals who have sex far less frequently than the rest of the world yet this is not what we find in reality.

People, regardless of if they are Christians or not are having sex with one another with great regularity.  Teenagers of parents who teach an abstinence only style of sex education are much more likely to get pregnant by having unsafe sex, most of these being from the faith community. So then if this is the case then why do Christians still regard sex with such shame?

Homosexual relations are completely shunned by many denominations and churches within christianity. We can point to scriptures that actually condemn such acts, yet there is no condemnation for sex in general. I am not saying that homosexuality is wrong, I am simply saying there is a biblical basis for those who speak out against it. Homosexuality is completely natural, exists throughout the animal kingdom and should not be shunned whatsoever.

From my own opinion, the only reason that sex is regarded with such shame is that generation after generation, since early christianity, have been told to view the sex act with shame. Today, folks no longer actually have any idea why this began and yet the meme continues on down through the years. I have my own assumptions as to why this was originally promoted. The following should be taken as opinion and not as a statement of fact.

Sex creates a euphoric feeling, if it’s good, you may seem to reach heights of pleasure unfound in the rest of the world. Sex is also fun and cheap for the most part. It is something that people can enjoy equally from the richest to the poorest of people. Sex can provide feelings of comfort, security, intimacy, joy, desire, etc… You might also note that the church promotes itself as the only true source of these experiences. Why would anyone want to pay tithes, offerings, and spend years in service to the church if they can get the same experiences in a safer and much cheaper way?

So the next question is, what effect has the churches feelings on sex had in the real world? Already mentioned is the high number of teen pregnancies in the faith community, but much more than that is found when you look deeper. Having a celibate priest system in the Catholic church has led to numerous issues which we all know very well. As Christopher Hitchens would have put it, “No Child’s Behind Left.”

Just as serious are the effects of sexual repression in the psyche. When sexual urges are repressed, they have a tendency to come out in violent and sudden ways. Men begin to view women as the enemy, carrying around with them a pleasure trove that is incredibly sinful. Women face the fear of rape on a daily basis, many times due to sexually repressed men acting out in a dangerous and unsafe fashion. Would these have still occurred if religion didn’t stand so strongly in objection to safe and consensual sex?

The fact that the church has promoted marriage as an excuse for couples to have intercourse has led many couples to marry when they are not actually compatible. Now coupled with the guilt of a possible divorce, these couples continue to procreate, and in many times abuse the children of this procreation. A child born into an unloving home is much more likely to have a rough life, filled with the same mistakes that their parents made. They are more likely to have drug and alcohol abuse issues, as well as even more mental health issues.

To try to end on a happier note. I find the christian churches stance against sodomy to be quite funny. Not due to the prohibition, but due to the fact that almost no one in the christian church understands what sodomy actually is. Sodomy, according to the Hebrews that condemned it, was any sexual act outside of vaginal procreation.  So if you are against sodomy, make sure you aren’t enjoying any oral sex, no hand jobs, no heavy petting, or toys. Vaginal sex in the missionary position is all you get.

Fun Fact: It might come to some people’s surprise that every single bible purchased today comes complete with a softcore porn story.

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #5: Theist Mindset

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

For nearly 30 years I was a theist. If you have followed this blog you will know that I was a Pentecostal pastor, raised to believe that I was an end times prophet. With that in mind I should be fairly well able to describe the theist mindset. Some will of course state that I was never actually a believer, they will assert that only a non-believer could ever really leave the faith and if god had actually touched my heart I would still be a believer. These arguments are used by those in the faith community to immunize their own beliefs from true scrutiny. Others will say that this is only my experience, which is true, but I think you will find that my experience is shared by many who have left the faith and so I feel it is good to share.

dinosaursGrowing up I always loved learning, that might seem strange to hear from someone who was a fundamentalist but it is true. Having Autism means that I have very focused interests with History, Archaeology, and Paleontology being a few of those interests. From as early as I can remember, dinosaurs were a huge part of my life. I still read any new article that I come across involving the subject.

So it might also come as a shock that I both believed in a young earth as well as admitting that dinosaurs made this fact an impossibility. How could this be true? How can someone hold two separate contradictory thoughts and believe them both just as firmly?

If you have ever partitioned a hard-drive than maybe you will realize just how this was possible.  A partitioned hard-drive can act as two completely separate hard-drives, each with their own programs, operating systems, and faults. The same was true for my mind as a theist.

evan.jpgMy brain was partitioned. The vast majority of my thoughts were logical and reasonable.  There was however a portion of my brain where logic and reason were not built into the operating system, this was my faith center. In that portion of my brain all of the things from the bible were completely reasonable; the 6 day creation, Noah’s ark, the tower of babble, angels, the devil, demons, etc…

It is my opinion that the majority of theists are of the exact same mindset. Part of their brain is closed off to reason the other is completely open. This is why when something forces both parts together, the believer can become the non-believer in a short period of time. The same can also be true in the reverse, some non-believers can become believers in a short period of time.

UnicornWhat proof do I have of this phenomena outside of my own experiences? Ask a theist if they believe in leprechaun’s, fairies, unicorns, or big foot? Some might, but the vast majority will state that these things can’t exist because they are completely illogical. Then ask if god fits into this same scenario and their mindset will switch. They will state that god is completely logical and apparent to anyone who actually looks…

Go one step further and ask about Zeus, Dionysus, Hercules, or any other god outside of the one they believe in. They will more than likely go back to the logic and reason center stating that these God’s cannot exist because they are illogical and make no sense.

How else can this be explained outside of the closed off portion of the mind?

So what can you do with this information? Sadly the answer is, not much. If religion was a matter that could be reasoned away from then I have a hard time believing that it would have existed to this point in history.  Like myself, I believe that the easiest way to break the barrier between these two portions of the brain is through life experience. Most often this comes in the form of a traumatic event.

Traumatic events have a way of refocusing the mind in ways that were impossible prior to them. This is especially true in the areas of faith. Think of it like this, what is “Free-will?” Free will was in essence an idea created to explain and answer the reason for suffering in the world. From ancient Greece, the philosopher Epicurus, came up with the following problem.

Epicurus_bust21.) If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2.) There is evil in the world.
3.) Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does not exist.

This problem has been the bane of believers and theologians for centuries. So the theologian introduced the idea of free-will, or that man shapes this world outside the ability of god, god cannot mess with free-will or else humans have no real choice in whether to serve him or not. So the equation becomes…

1.) If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2.) There is evil in the world.
3.) Free-Will Exists which allows evil to exist.
3.) Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does exist.

The entire idea of free-will is centered around the need for an out for god. If free-will does not exist and we are much more like the animals that we believe ourselves superior to, then god is the reason for suffering and he cannot be a good and loving god. In many cases a believer can be perfectly happy with the free-will equation until a traumatic event occurs that appears to be no fault of their own.

For me this came in the form of my cousin’s suicide and the idea that a good and loving god sent him to hell. I was no longer capable of accepting a good and loving god in the equation. God became dark, distant and evil. My mind began to open where it had once been closed and I was finally able to use logic and reason on the subject of faith. Once this became possible, faith fell apart and what remained was one departitioned mind.

I try to remember this in the conversations that I have with theists. Many are quite intelligent, logical and reasonable, in all areas outside of their faith. They are who I once was for a long period of my life. With this in mind my discussions and debates with theists became much more civil and caring. I no longer resort to anger when someone challenges me on the facts of my former belief. They have to claim that I was never a believer in order to still keep the disconnect within their own minds in place. One day they might be in the same shoes as I once was and I would like to be there for them if that becomes the case.


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #4: All About You!

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

Today’s post is going to be all about you, the reader. First off, I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to read my blog. You have absolutely no idea how good that makes me feel and how happy I am each day to reply to your comments, whether that is here, on Twitter, Facebook, or through e-mail. Every day you remind me why writing my story is worth it and hopefully it will help others who are going through the same type of situations as I once was. Thank you!


Secondly, we will be coming to the end of the “Journey” posts very soon. It’s been a wild ride going back through my memories and putting them down for you to read. This hasn’t always been easy, the amount of stuff that has come up over the last few weeks that I had suppressed or thought I had forgotten has been immense. Reliving some of these stories has been incredibly painful but I feel better for having gotten them out into the open. Thank you for the kindness and love you have shown me through these rough moments that I have shared.

idea.pngThird, just because the “Journey” posts will be ending does not mean that this blog is soon to be over. I have many ideas running through my mind for future series and entries. Some of those ideas are listed below:

  1. A Pentecostal Atheist Bible Study: Showing you exactly how I was taught to interpret passages and scriptures during my upbringing. (This will definitely be humorous and scary at times)
  2. A guide to the different types of Christians you might meet and what arguments work best for each.
  3. Extra-biblical Teachings: Things that I was taught to believe even though they had absolutely no biblical backing. Conspiracy theories run rampant throughout the Pentecostal faith.
  4. Crazy Christians: Entries describing some of the stranger folks that I have met throughout my life and time in the ministry who believed in very strange things outside the normal bounds of regular Christianity and Pentecostalism. (Snake Handlers, Poison Drinkers, Poo Eaters, etc…)
  5. A personal blog describing aspects of my life not touched upon by the “Journey” posts as of yet. I’ve left out quite a bit that I didn’t feel was crucial to my journey and think you might find some of that just as interesting.

These are just some of the ideas that I have had over the last few weeks.

Fourth, I want this blog to be about you. What type of things would you find interesting to read about? Are there some aspects about faith or my life that you haven’t understood and wish I would expand upon those thoughts?

Free Thinker.jpg

Lastly, Free-Thought Friday is your opportunity to have your voice heard. If you are interested in writing a guest entry, let me know. Either message me through here, Facebook, or Twitter and tell me you’re interested. I’ve enjoyed all the submissions I have received so far and love to share your stories.

Once again, thank you! You all have made writing this blog worth it. I cannot possibly thank you enough.


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #3: Interpretation of Tongues

For last weeks post on speaking in tongues, click here.

So last week I discussed speaking in tongues, glossolalia, and so I thought I would talk today another “gift of the spirit” the interpretation of tongues.  Basically, after someone has given a message in tongues, according to scripture(At least in the Pentecostal church), someone else, or in some cases the same person, is supposed to stand and give an interpretation. This is also supposedly divinely given by god, as to what was just said in tongues. If that isn’t the most convoluted way to get a message across then I don’t know what is…

Imagine sitting in a bar with friends and all of you speak English. Yet you don’t talk to each other in English, first one guy talks in gibberish, then another friend tells you what he meant. The next round the second friend talks in gibberish and the first friend explains what he was saying. That’s basically how speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues works in the Pentecostal church.

Another aspect of the interpretation of tongues that I always found hilarious is that growing up, whenever someone gave an interpretation, god, speaking through the interpreter, almost always had an old English way of speaking.  I never once heard anyone interpret anything along the lines of, “Hey, people, god loves you and he wants you to keep doing what you’re doing. Good job.” Instead a “normal” interpretation would be something along the lines of this, “Oh ye my people, thine actions have been seen and thy glory has been shown to shine across the land. The lord thy god will bless thee and keep thee for the works that thou hast committed.”

Now granted, in other countries where the native language is not English, I would assume that the interpretation of tongues does not have this Old English way of speaking.  There is one reason and one reason only why the vast majority of American Pentecostals speak in this manner during interpretation, they assume god speaks like that because that is how the King James version of the bible is written. One can only assume that if the bible had been translated centuries later, in 1930’s New York ,god would then give interpretations that sound much like an Italian Mobster of that time. This began to change as the popularity of more modern interpretations of the bible began to be accepted by members of the church, however the older the congregant the more likely the message would be in old English.

One other thing that always struck me about the interpretation of tongues is that they almost never had anything of substance. Not once did I hear an interpretation where god said anything groundbreaking. It was always one of two things, to praise the church for being the best darn church in all of churchdom, or to admonish someone who the interpreter had an issue with. God seems to have a whole lot of time to do a whole lot of nothing, and in other cases god always seems to dislike the people who the interpreter disliked…isn’t that odd?


Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #2: Speaking in Tongues

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:2-4

Anyone who was raised in the Pentecostal setting will be able to tell you how much speaking in tongues is preached. So much so that by the time you get old enough to question things, speaking in tongues has become such a normal part of life that you never think to question it.  Speaking in tongues is seen as the evidence that someone has been filled with the holy spirit and so it is crucial to the faith of Pentecostals. So much so that some churches teach you are not even truly saved without it.

This “gift” is seen as the epitome of what god can grant you, without this gift of the spirit its taught, within the church, that no real work for god can be done.  After you have been baptized in the spirit, and have spoken in tongues, then god can reveal to you his plan for your life and help guide you to your eventual ministry.  A key aspect of most Pentecostal churches is that everyone has a ministry, and we should all seek to find out what that ministry is.

So when I began to doubt my faith I started by looking for outward explanations to the things taught within the church. Some of the first things that I looked into was the different interpretations of the gifts of the spirit within various denominations and then I looked outward to the rest of the world. It was truly shocking to find that speaking in tongues or “Glossolalia,” as it is known, is fairly well explained and understood outside the church.

So when I began to doubt my faith I started by looking for outward explanations to the things taught within the church.

Glossolalia, not to be confused with “xenolalia”(The actual speaking of different real languages), is the speaking of known sounds and syllables in a rhythmic pattern that flows together into what appears to be a completely different language. That’s it, they are known to the speaker already but put together in a different way to make it appear as if a whole new language is being spoken. If you have ever made “Baby Talk,” you have spoken in tongues.

For your pleasure I am including a clip of the hilarious, Sid Caesar, displaying glossolalia, or what was called double-talk for him.

And here is an example of Pentecostal speaking in tongues, not the similarities….try to ignore the Seinfeldian dance moves.

There is another aspect though to the gift of tongues that is different from other forms of glossolalia you may encounter in everyday life. This is how it makes you feel. Speaking in tongues during a service has usually followed songs and prayer, already in a slightly euphoric state, speaking in tongues releases chemicals that take it over the stop, you feel in complete ecstasy as these syllables and sounds flow from your mouth.  It is this aspect that gives many the assumed right to claim that this language is being directly granted by god.

However, here is the thing, I can still speak in tongues, and have done so, so many times over the years that it triggers the same chemical release in my brain almost instantly. I am taken to those same euphoric feelings of ecstasy which I experienced during my time as a minister. I’m a godless atheist today which, as far as I’m aware, would negate me from being gifted anything from god. Today I even know that I’m just talking gibberish, I understand glossolalia, and yet it still has the same effect on my body and mind.  When I do this, I feel light and warm, as if a huge ball of light has enveloped me. It is much the same feeling as might be described by someone deep in meditation.

Speaking in tongues is nothing more than self-delusion.

Speaking in tongues is nothing more than self-delusion. It is speaking sounds and syllables that you already know in an effort to reach this “godlike” state of mind. Mystics throughout the ages have been using tongues as well as other techniques to reach the same state of euphoria. Look to the Sufi Muslims and their whirling dervishes, for another example of a practice that brings about this same mindset.  Basically, what I am trying to say here, is that it is not special, it is not god granted, and if a godless atheist can still experience the results of it, I’d say you can wipe god out of the equation almost certainly. To borrow from Penn and Teller, “It’s Bullshit!”

As a humorous side not I would recommend you looking up the missionaries in the early pentecostal church who believed god had granted them xenolalia instead of glossolalia. Venturing into unknown lands to find that the language they believed they had been granted was actually nothing more than gibberish.  They were so upset that many left the faith and pentecostalism nearly died out in the early years.