My religion

For years I’ve been ranting against organized religions, but I was never comfortable calling myself either an agnostic or an atheist. I couldn’t fit on any of the two types. Tonight, I finally figured out what I truly am.

I am an atheist Christian. Or better yet, an atheist humanist.

I live by the core teachings of Christianity which is forgiveness, love, and occasionally being the good Samaritan when the opportunity arises. I try hard to be what someone would call a “good person”. And at the same time, I don’t believe in the existance of God, or any supernatural power for that matter, or the fairytales of Jesus Christ coming back from the dead (nice trick Peter).

“Religion” should just be a way of life, a code of conduct, a guidance on ethics (as long as these ethics are not abusive or narrow-minded). The old stories, the clergy and the churches never had and will never have a place in my life (or death).

Update: Apparently some have similar beliefs too (not necessarily exactly the same).


david van brink wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 7:56 AM PST:

Ha ha. You’ve disproven one of my oft-repeated quips: “You know, a fair number of people refer to themselves as Jewish atheists, but I have yet to hear of a Christian atheist.” Thanks for diversity!

karhu wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 9:33 AM PST:

Apologies for the possible harsh tone of this message.

What, hypothetically, do you do about Paul’s stuff? Last time I checked, Paul was by far the more influential leader of the church at the time.

Additionally, you and I both know that it is impossible to be completely perfect. What do you do about Jesus’s demand that we “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

If you attack the text itself, I ask you how you can believe that he said _anything_ as recorded in the Gospels. You can either believe that they are accounts of what he said, or that they claim do be so but are actually lies. In other words, you can take it all as truth or condemn it all as a lie. Which are you picking?

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Eugenia wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 11:51 AM PST:

I am picking the CORE of Christianity. And the core of Christianity, is LOVE. I am not picking any of the stories said there, but the core of what Jesus preached, which was love, compassion and forgiveness. That’s what’s Christianity ALL about, no matter what Christian group you are in.

Thom Holwerda wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 11:53 AM PST:

Atheist Christian? You might as well call yourself an Atheist Muslim then, or an Atheist Jew, as the three major faiths are all the same anyway.

Interesting tidbit: the verb “to forgive” occurs 62 times in the Bible… But 120+ times in the Koran :).

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Eugenia wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 12:06 PM PST:

The Koran and New Testament have quite of the same ideas, yes, but the Old Testament is not the same. A lot of “revenge” takes place there, so I wouldn’t put it up together with the Koran/New Testament.

The “important” part of Christianity is the New Testament, at least for Orthodox Christians.

Thom Holwerda wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 12:57 PM PST:

but the Old Testament is not the same

It is exactly the *old* testament that is very similar to the Koran. Adam and Eve, eviction from paradise, Abel, Kane, Noha’s ark… It’s all the same stuff. Same for the Tora, of course.

The New Testament is exactly the part that is different from the Koran. The Koran indeed speaks a lot about the life of Jesus, but in a completely different way. No wise men from the east, no Joseph, no stable (in the Koran, Jesus is born in the desert, Mary being alone), and, of course, no resurrection and such. Jesus does have disciples in the Koran.

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Eugenia wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 1:24 PM PST:

Ah, I am not talking about the actual stories that are similar/same. We all know that the Old Testament is the only part that’s similar for all 3 religions. I am talking about the CORE of what they *preach*. The Koran is preaching the same things the New Testament is, which is forgiveness and love — although a bit twisted at times. The Old Testament does NOT. The OT is more about God’s revenge rather than a morality guide. Thankfully the Jews have a strong culture so that morality guide is part of their culture rather than part of their religion.

I don’t like the Old Testament as you might understand.

Cesar wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 3:57 PM PST:

Eugenia, you’re an atheist just as I am. Our moral and ethical principles has nothing to do with Christianity. Some would say it is a genetic trait and I’m more inclined to think that’s true (based on evidence and not beliefs).

So being a “good person” doesn’t mean you’re following those old christian “rules”. You’re just proving that the evolution of altruism helps us [the society] as a whole. I like helping people out. I do it because it feels good to do so and not because “God” has reserved a nice place in heaven for those who does it 🙂

By the way, I enjoy reading your texts.

Alex Forster wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 9:50 PM PST:

Agreed, completely. And in fact you’ll find most atheists have the same core values and are in general good, level people.

Andreas wrote on December 6th, 2007 at 9:53 PM PST:

Eugenia, “atheist christian” does not make sense. From the clarifications you give in your article and comments I believe that “atheist humanist” would be a more appropriate term.

Stefan wrote on December 7th, 2007 at 11:23 AM PST:

“So being a good person doesn’t mean you’re following those old christian rules”

No, but your parents were. Or your grandparents. Or your grand-grand parents.

You fail to understand the impact that religions have on human societies. Our so-called morality is inspired by religion.

Cesar wrote on December 7th, 2007 at 12:44 PM PST:

“Our so-called morality is inspired by religion.”

I think it’s the opposite: Religion is inspired by our natural morality and so it’s taken as some “spiritual” good property.

You are not considering all the biological implications. Elephants don’t have religion but they do have some moral behaviors. The same is for dolphins and some other species.

What I am trying to say is that it’s possible to behave morally without religion.

Stefan wrote on December 7th, 2007 at 1:14 PM PST:

“What I am trying to say is that it’s possible to behave morally without religion”

True, nobody denies that. But, these values were profoundly influenced by religious beliefs and passed on to us by generations.

Dan wrote on December 13th, 2007 at 11:31 AM PST:

For many years I was a recovering Catholic. Now I consider myself a moral person who no longer believes in the stereotypical god. The more I think about it the angrier I become that I was fed fairy tales as a kid under the guise of religion.

My wife was Jewish, though non practicing. My children did not have any formal religious training even though they were exposed to both Christianity and Judaism. In my opinion, in spite of the fact that neither believes in a god (it’s was their choice, not mine) they are good people. They are honest, care about others and they will stop to help a stranger in need. They are moral people without the baggage that religion brings with it. They are the kind of people of which this world could use a lot more.

Look how many so-called religious people use their religion to spread hatred and bigotry in the name of god. Apartheid in South Africa was justified by many white clergy based on their selected versus from the bible. Many of the televangelist preacher tell us how we should hate homosexuals and lesbians, while sending in our money. So much for love and understanding.

In my opinion religion for many has become a cloak behind which one can hide while promoting their own hatreds and bigotries. If there is a devil I expect that he would work behind the scenes to destroy good people. What better outfit to hide behind than the false garment of religion.

Just my opinion.

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