Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Greene’

Conversion, Pastors To Atheists

Posted in atheists on April 9th, 2012 by Jim Newman – 6 Comments

Post by Jim Neweman

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Christian News sites are having a field day with Patrick Greene’s conversion to Christianity.

Patrick Greene was an outspoken atheist until recently, when the generosity of a few Christians caused him to reconsider his beliefs. He now says he is a Christian.

Why don’t we ever get mass publication of Christians converting to Atheists? Perhaps, the media, including the so called liberal media is so religiously accepting of religion as to make these stories excluded.

Where’s the big news on Jerry DeWitt, the man with a voice that could call to Mars, who left his church?

Better still his coming out talk at the AA convention.

What about Richard Haynes, who once led a 12,000 member megachurch and quit to start Atheist Nexus International?

What about Teresa McBain and Michael Aus who both came out last month.

MSNBC had a blip on Aus:

Why don’t we hear how 1 in 6 Dutch clergy are atheists or agnostics?

Why are there no big news stories about the Clergy Project which supports pastors, ministers, and priests trying to leave their faith? My apologist brother-in-law seems fascinated, as a psychologist, with conversion stories to religion but never sends me stories of pastors leaving their fantasy-land mythologies. I find it  more interesting how people seek the truth. That’s what is cool. That is what will allow humanity to go forward.

What about news from Recovering From Religion? Are we to believe the news is liberal. It’s just more crap reframing from the right.

What about Nate Phelps who had to basically disown his crazy father and leave at 18?

The following from the Reason Rally.

Francis Collins converts to religion because he sees a waterfall and he doesn’t know what to tell a dieing woman. How is that a life motivating force? Maybe he did want to join a group, but it’s a group where one can succeed materially. What about the courageous ones who leave success because the truth burns through the lies revealing greater ability to meaning?

Cheap and easy conversion stories are no match for the drama of those who leave with bravery.

Losing one’s religion can often mean losing one’s family, friends, community, and social network. This risk can be especially great for those still active in their religious communities: one often can’t open up to those who are closest to them for fear of misunderstanding, overreaction, and outright rejection.

We hear about some nut guy, Greene, in Henderson, Texas who had been raised religious, who then after an act of kindness and becoming blind discovers faith again. But, he claims, there is no connection between the charity and his new disability to his faith and he totally respects his atheist wife.

But, we don’t hear about these professional preachers who after long and successful careers, and sometimes years of difficulty, agony, and tenacious loyalty come to reason and see how their faith caused great harm.

Now riddled with guilt even, sadly, at having lied to their members, lied to the world, and lied to themselves they struggle to find peace and success in a secular future. No, we want some cheesy story about some prodigal religious nitwit returning to the fold because strangers gave him $400 and that proved humans are different than animals in some super special way.

Jonathon Haidt and Chris Mooney were patting themselves on the back on a recent, March 19, Point of Inquiry episode, where they gloat how the new theists are so wrong to spend any time disproving religious idiocy. That truth is just irrelevant in group activities. Haidt makes sociology as sacred, groups as churches, and ideology as religious. It’s all about being in the group or not. He’s backed off that conservatives have any than a bit elevated disgust ability but is full on that social people are more spiritual than material (bright boy individualists probably have Asperger’s)—that, in politics, people are driven more by group think than individual expression–isn’t that the point of politics, to reduce a plethora of views to an agreed consensus or at least majority to a law?

Hmmm, why bother then with truth? Oh yeah, I forgot, if I don’t check the oil in my car it seizes when it runs too low. Or, if I don’t get the evidence I might put the wrong person in prison. Or if I make meat for my vegetarian daughter she won’t eat it period. Regardless of biases and prejudices and the leveling and cascade effects of politics, Haidt is feeding into conservative frenzy by convincing moderates to not rock the boat too much because it might upset others and entrench rather than coalesce.

I understand peacekeeping and political alliance and even rhetoric towards agreement rather than position but at some point, and for liberals, it is already difficult position to activate. We must come together in a social group as strong as one put forth by conservatives or lose politically and absolutely. Whether for religious, spiritual, sociological, or material reasons, religious fundamentalist along with accommodationists, apologists, and moderates will take the rights of others away. They are willing to revoke long held bill of rights’ freedoms for their ideology, philosophy, religion, world view, or memmissue (collection of memes into ideological or functional group).

Groups are stronger. That is all that has been proven, The bigger the group, the  more clout. The sad instantiation of power in numbers is the bottom line. Even a bill of rights, a long held constitution can be raped and pillaged by the power of  people willing to assert their cause.

Attacking freedom through issues of body searches, sexual rights, and bodily rights is a terrifying, debilitating torture stripping people of the will to resist because they know they no longer even own themselves. The Supreme Court 5 should be fired. If that is extreme so be it.

Every time FOX news bullshits it should called. Every time Rick Warren pukes his brains out he should be called on it. Every time a gay politician denies gay rights they should be called on it Accepting lies and damned lies because we want to get along is a neopostmodern nightmare. Using ants, as EO Wilson does, to encourage mass communion to singularity is perspicacious in its effectiveness and dehumanizing in its rights to the individual body and independence of thought.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.brightpride.com and www.frontiersofreason.com