• The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

 The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

I have been thinking about doing a post – or series of posts – about deconversion from Christianity.

I do not identify as an atheist, but am somewhere between being a Christian and being agnostic (or possibly a deist).

I see Christians routinely mishandle how they discuss or talk to people who have left the Christian faith (or who may be considering leaving it).

One of the most common – and annoying and disrespectful – approaches they use when talking to or about someone who has left the faith is to say the person was never a “real” Christian to begin with.

This may or may not be accompanied by the No True Scotsman Fallacy, where an ex-Christian or a doubter may point to all the hypocrisy or abuse committed by self-professing believers, and the Christian will retort by saying “thus and so was not a “real” Christian,” or, “so and so who is now an atheist was never a ‘real’ Christian'”

Here is a blog post, hosted on an atheist or agnostic blog, about this (there are maybe one or two points in this essay I am not in complete agreement with, but most of this is spot on):

The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism

Snippets:

by Captain Cassidy

…Everyone, Meet the Scotsman. He’s Very True.

The No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy. Technically, it’s an ad hoc reinterpretation of a situation to prevent contradictions and refutations of one’s position. As that link reveals, it’s also a circular argument.

Christians adore it. Within their own culture, it’s a devastating way to quickly negate a fellow Christian. They also use it to dismiss and invalidate ex-Christians.

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• The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

This editorial summarizes many of the issues I have with Christianity. There are several factors that have been driving me from a conservative Christianity I was raised in all my life towards agnosticism, or maybe deism.

I haven’t completely rejected the Christian faith at this stage of life, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay, seeing how so many Christians do things like excuse, turn a blind eye to, or support child molesters, wife abusers, or support sexism (but they swear that they don’t; it’s just “biblical” to bar women from certain positions, due to their biological sex alone).

I’m a conservative, but I did not support politician Roy Moore and was thoroughly put off and disturbed to see other conservatives who were supporting the guy – he, as an adult, was hitting on teen-aged girls, which is not acceptable or moral.

The following editorial’s reason- for- being was that conservatives and Christians were supporting a known child predator (Moore) who was running for political office, but its points, or raison d’etre, are exploring the broader problems in regards to conservative evangelicalism and other forms of American Christianity.

Emphasis added to this by me:

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

by David French

The desire for certainty in an uncertain world yields terrible results.

…This second temptation is pernicious. Theologically, it fundamentally denies a very uncomfortable scriptural truth: that this side of heaven we can’t eliminate uncertainty or temptation. We “see through a glass darkly.” We simply don’t have all the answers — for raising children, for sustaining a successful marriage, for thriving in our careers, or for responding to sickness and adversity.

The scriptural response to this fundamental uncertainty is unsatisfying to some. Faith, hope, and love are vague concepts.

The Bible doesn’t have a clear, specific prescription for every life challenge. But rather than seeking God prayerfully and with deep humility and reverence, we want answers, now. And thus we gravitate to those people who purport to offer more than the Bible.

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• Women (and the men) Who Argue Against Feminism, Who Claim Men and Masculinity Are Under Attack, Or Who Insist That There is Little, to No, Sexism In The U.S.A.

Women (and the men) Who Argue Against Feminism, Who Claim Men and Masculinity Are Under Attack, Or Who Insist That There is Little, to No, Sexism In The U.S.A.

I am in the process of writing two or three different posts for this blog, and they are in Draft status. This post is an off-shoot of one I’m working on right now.

I may go ahead and publish this post right away, but it’s one I may come back to in order to edit, to add more thoughts or more links.

Most of the content below was originally part of another, separate post I’m working on.

I discuss Sommers quite a bit below. She is an anti-feminist feminist.

Sommers is certainly not the only woman I’ve come across online I’ve seen who criticizes feminism, or who insists masculinity is under attack, or who thinks that boys are treated unfairly in schools, or, perhaps, my biggest pet peeve:

Sommers is not the only woman to make the argument that girls and women in the United States have life just great, sexism is a thing of the past, and…

Because, supposedly, the Sommers-types of the world think, American women generally don’t face as severe a level of sexism as often as their Muslim counterparts in the Middle East, that American women who bring up American sexism are either…

  • Whiny cry babies
  • Lying about sexism
  • Reveling in perpetual Victim-hood Status
  • or Manufacturing outrage

Most of the research I was doing in regards to sexism and so on, for another post I was working on, kept turning up results for Sommers, which is why a large portion of this post focuses on her.

At this stage, I don’t really have the energy or time to devote a more thorough investigation and report on this. I may at a later date edit this post to add more examples of women such as Sommers, or in regards to related subjects.

At any rate:

LIVED EXPERIENCE

I am right wing.

I have never been a liberal, nor do I use the label “feminist” to describe myself, because, far too often, the word “feminist” is associated with far left wing causes and views I don’t agree with or support.

I am a conservative. In the past, I’ve always voted Republican.

On these issues of sexism, marriage, sexual harassment, and so on, I take things on a “case by case” or “issue by issue” basis.

I believe both the left and right wings, both the pro and anti feminists, get a lot of things wrong, but both sides also get some issues correct.

I am not fully on one side or the other (depending on the particular topic).

One of the things I can say as a conservative woman, who was brought up in a traditional values, Christian household: sexism and sexual harassment are real, both do do exist, and I’ve been personally subjected to them from the time I was  girl and in my adulthood as well.

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• A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

(Link to the article about the study is farther below)

I’m one of the few right wingers who concedes that sexism does exist in the United States – even though, arguably, for the most part, women in the States do not generally suffer from sexism as severely as women in other nations.

But sexism both within and outside of the United States is very real. And there is gender bias.

I, a conservative woman, have personally been…

  • cat-called by men when out in public (which turned me off, and part of me thought in the back of my mind, “is this guy going to stop at the sexual comments, which are bad enough, but is he going to drag me back to the nearest alley and rape me too?”),
  • I’ve had men talk over me or interrupt me in business meetings,
  • or condescendingly “man-splain” things to me regarding topics I was already knowledgeable of,
  • have been subjected to male co-workers on former jobs make inappropriate sexual jokes about women in front of me,
  • and so on.

– this sort of prejudice against women and such gendered slights do in fact exist, but a lot of my fellow conservatives, even some conservative women – want to deny it happens.

Or else, what I typically see of my fellow conservatives on blogs, news sites, television news shows, or on Twitter, is that they want to water down sexism – its prevalence or severity – and portray any woman who critiques such sexism publicly as being nothing more than whiny, cry-baby, sensitive, politically correct flowers, because they think to admit such sexism, or any sexism at all, exists (even within the United States),  is to give an inch to the left wing, secular, feminists.

When it does no such thing. Admitting to reality – that sexism exists, even in America – is not to cave in to liberal, secular feminists. It’s being intellectually honest.

I find that my fellow conservatives, or plain old misogynists, tend to argue over articles such as this one, and claim they are flawed, because such conservatives (or sexists) do not want to admit the findings of such studies are true – it’s far easier to combat left wing, secular feminists by acting as though the charges of sexism are over-played or the product of over- active imaginations or based on nothing more than irrationality or emotions.

A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

Snippets:

by Stephen Turban, Laura Freeman, Ben Waber

October 2017

…We went in with a few hypotheses about why fewer women ended up in senior positions than men: Perhaps women had fewer mentors, less face time with managers, or weren’t as proactive as men in talking to senior leadership.

But as we analyzed our data, we found almost no perceptible differences in the behavior of men and women.

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• Men of the World: Please Condemn Sexism and Sexual Assault On the Basis They’re Morally Wrong – and Not Primarily Or Only Because You Have Daughters or Sisters

Men of the World: Please Condemn Sexism and Sexual Assault On the Basis They’re Morally Wrong – and Not Primarily Or Only Because You Have Daughters or Sisters

I’ll admit this has become a minor pet peeve of mine over the last few years: men who don’t or won’t speak up to condemn sexism unless they frame it in terms of their daughters, sisters, or grandmothers.

If you are a man, it really should not take you having a daughter (or other woman relative or woman friend in your life) to condemn sexism or sexual assault.

Just acknowledge and realize that women are fully human and deserving of respect and dignity just as much as any man. That’s all it should take.

Viewing women through a prism of male relation or being ‘owned’ by a man (father, brother, or husband, whomever) and condemning rape or sexual harassment on that basis is itself troubling and sexist.

Here are some links about this phenomenon (and related):

Stop Mentioning Your Daughters When You Denounce Harvey Weinstein

Snippets:

by Hunter Harris

Something happens when a dude has a daughter: Women, once mystifying, vexing creatures with shoe racks, eyelash curlers, and vagina holes become fully formed three-dimensional human beings.

The mere and sudden fact of fatherhood pushes men into a new realm of cognizance: They have to care about what happens to women — but only some, and only if they’re of a certain race, class, or status — and maybe even take misconduct against them a little personally.

A daughter gives them skin in the patriarchal, sexist game they once could look past.

I know this because every time a man is accused of something bad, or when someone he knows is accused of something bad, the same quote surfaces: “As a father of daughters, I …”

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• Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington

I would ask that you visit the Patheos blog post I am linking you to. It’s very long but a good read. I am only providing some excerpts from that page here on my blog.

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical by Ben Witherington, June 2015, on Patheos

….Never mind that the Bible does not have categories like ‘senior pastor’ or ‘pulpit minister’, the NT has been used over and over again to justify the suppression of women in ministry— and as I was to discover through years of research and study, without Biblical justification.

…So in this post I am going to deal with the usual objections to women in ministry, one by one.

….1) Women can’t be ministers, because only males can be priests offering the sacrifice of the Mass etc.

The root problem with this argument is that the NT is perfectly clear that apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, elders, deacons ARE NOT PRIESTS IN THE NT.

There is no need for a separate order of priests in the NT because Christ’s sacrifice made obsolete the entire OT sacerdotal system of priests, temples and sacrifices.

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• Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

 Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

What may become my standard opener for posts about death and grief:

My mother died a little bit before the year 2010 (yes, I am being intentionally sketchy about specifics because I would like to remain anonymous).
I discovered the hard way after my mother’s passing, and I was shocked and deeply saddened and disappointed to find, that most Christians are terrible at helping someone who is in grief.
Many Christians do not even want to try to be there for someone who has experienced loss, whether out of laziness, selfishness, or feeling uncomfortable with open expressions of emotional pain.
Whatever the reason, most Christians do not want to weep with the one who weeps and therefore leaves them to cope with the loss completely alone, which I feel is terrible and insensitive.


I watched a Christian program that involved a man whose wife died of breast cancer. He started hiking to cope with the loss.

Before I get to the link and his story, I wanted to use his story as a reminder: conservative Christians keep offering this fairy tale story that marriage will solve all a person’s problems.

The conservative church portrays singleness after the age of 25 as being second class or merely a waiting period until one eventually marries (what if one never marries? they never address this possibility).

Getting married is not a solution to loneliness, financial problems, or about anything else problematic, as so many Christians like to portray it.

Should you marry, your spouse may turn out to be abusive (whether physically, emotionally, verbally, or financially), your spouse may announce one day that he’s not in love with you any longer and wants to divorce you to marry another; or, your spouse may come down with a mental health problem or get into a car wreck and become paralyzed.

And, of course, as this post shows, should you marry, your spouse may die from a physical cause.

Hiking Through – One Man’s Great Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

Snippets:

Each year thousands of people attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from start to finish. Only one in four completes it. When then 58-year-old Paul Stutzman took his first steps on the 2,176 mile journey, he wanted more than a great adventure. He was looking for an encounter with God.

Years before, Paul was busy living life. He was happily married, had three children and a great job managing a large restaurant in Ohio’s Amish country.  Then in 2002, doctors diagnosed his beloved wife Mary with breast cancer. Although they did everything they could and believed God would heal her, Mary passed away four years later.

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