Missions

In a group I am in on Facebook we were talking about Christian missions and how they seem kinda silly.  People spend lots of money and time to go places to spread the word of god.  I understand as Christians you are called upon by god to spread his word but when you are going to countries where Christianity is already abundant what is the point? It has always seemed to me like an interesting way to get your congregation to pay for your family vacation/homeschooling field trip.  

But my real serious question that came up was why do Christians not actually try to spread the word to the people who really need Christianity?  Why do I only hear about missions to places like South America and Africa usually?  There are a lot of people in these places but a lot of them have not only been introduced to Christianity but are active Christians and many are already there doing missions.  Why don’t I hear about missions to the Middle East?  Isn’t that the real test of your faith?  Really go out there are try to spread the word to people who have no access to your god’s word.  Sure it would be dangerous, but wasn’t it dangerous for Jesus to run around telling everyone he was the son of god? Of course you aren’t as good of a person as Jesus but shouldn’t you, as a Christian, aspire to be as good as Jesus?  Go out and actually experience real persecution.  Not persecution of your faith because a judge decided that gays can get married in your state but the type of persecution where you have to have secret meetings in basements of sympathizers to even share your message and then hope nobody rats you out to the government whose laws are the laws of their majority religion (and by majority I mean only) because you will likely be hunted down and killed.  

What you don’t want to die? Don’t you trust that your god is stronger than the evil and that you are good enough to be saved from that? 

This is where I think that deep down christians do doubt the whole thing – they are not willing to make that sacrifice.  They are not willing to put their life on the line because they do not believe that their god will save them because time and time again christians have seen evil win over and over despite the supposed power of their all-knowing and loving god.  

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Answers from an Atheist Part 2

Q:  What do you think is the “final straw” that causes most atheists to become atheists?

 

A:  I always like this assumption – that there was a “final straw.”  I think for most atheists there was no defining moment where they were like “Oh hey this god stuff is bullshit.  I am done with it.”

Sure I do think there are some people who have things happen in their life that are so drastic and life altering that they literally do lose their religion.  This is especially true when they would have been considered good christians and who prayed and asked for god to help them and nothing happened.  When you are told that your prayers will be answered and they aren’t you tend to think its a bunch of lies especially if it happens over and over.  So you either have to believe you aren’t good enough for god to answer your prayers, you didn’t pray enough or that there is no god listening.

I didn’t have a “final straw” moment.  I did have a moment where  logical things I had seen that drew me towards Mormonism became the logic that pushed me out the door.  Sometimes I think I should have the missionaries over to discuss this and see what they have to say about it.  Even so that moment didn’t make me have a sudden disbelief in god though it did provide a loophole in which to take a look deep inside myself.  It still took a few years before I was able to actually define the feelings I had been having about god.

Its incredibly hard to be raised to believe in this god  in a country where everyone seems to believe in it too and have doubts.  I truly believe there are many people out there who say they believe in god simply because everyone else does.  Peer pressure is incredibly hard to overcome.
I think that more likely Atheists’ “final straw” is more a coming out – when they are finally fed up with hearing things like “it was in god’s plan” or “god is good” or just any of the other things that are thrown out on a daily basis by well meaning Christians.  So then they post it on facebook , or tell their family and there is a relief to be able to be who you are and openly (maybe) not believe in what everyone else seems to believe in.

Becoming Atheist is a process of introspection and logical and reasonable thinking over time but coming out as an atheist is the “final straw”

Answers from an Atheist part 1

I guess either no one really reads this anymore – and can I blame anyone when I have barely been posting? Or every one who is Christian isn’t actually interested in getting to understand the other view. Or you feel like you have heard it all already.  Whatever the reason – it’s ok.  So there were not many questions but I am going to spread them out over a few posts because no one wants to read a novel here.

Q: If I’m recalling correctly, you said earlier that you *wanted* to believe. What percentage of atheists do you think feel this way? Do you still feel that way yourself (again, if I am remembering correctly)?

A:  When I say that I “want” to believe it is because it would be infinitely easier to feel that I wasn’t in control of my life sometimes.  Oh that bad thing that happened? It’s god’s plan, not my fault.  For example when Jack fell off the bench at the soccer game last year and I watched his eyes roll into his head as he passed out and I wasn’t sure he was breathing.  I watched his entire future life pass in front of me and all I could think was it was all my fault.  If he died, or had brain damage, or was paralyzed then it was all my fault because I wasn’t paying enough attention. People who believe in god seem to feel that way at first about things but then they say that it is god’s plan.  That  god doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  All those lovely phrases that to most atheists (and many christians) are insulting at the worst and insensitive in the least.

Its not that I want to believe because I think it would be better but it is more that often I don’t want to take responsibility for everything that I don’t like or to think that there is a higher power out there that knows better than I do and will make everything right.

The analogy of god as a parent really is accurate – someone who will let you fall but then pick you up, kiss your boo-boos and make it all better.  Who doesn’t “want” to believe in that?  So yeah I want to believe but I just can’t.

I still feel this way but again only when I am feeling like I just don’t want to take responsibility for what is happening in my life or when I really wish there could be a big giant daddy that comes in and makes everything all better.

As for other Atheists I know some have said they do think this too, but again only sometimes.  The problem with having this deity who is always in control is the inverse of having them take responsibility – its when god is given all the credit.

Right now I have the best single semester GPA I have ever had in my life.  I have worked hard for this and my family has  sacrificed – especially my oldest who babysits a lot so that I can go to the library and study or even just lock myself in my room to get my homework done.  This is my hard work and my success.  Not god’s.

So even if sometimes I say I want to believe – its only because I want someone else to blame when things are going down the toilet.

Science vs Religion

In January I started back to school.  I already have a Bachelor’s degree but it is in Sociology and not a science so I have a lot of prerequisites I need to do before I can apply to the School of Nursing.  
I am taking both Biology and Chemistry right now and what I cannot understand is how do scientists combine their belief in a creator with what they know scientifically to be true?  

My chemistry professor has a Master’s in Biochemistry yet from what I have gathered from his Twitter account he is very much a Christian.  I think he might even be Mormon from some of his tweets.  I don’t want to ask him about it because even though my grades are not subjective I don’t want my lack of belief to effect his grading but also it might be slightly inappropriate.

Then my biology professor has a PhD in Marine Biology.  He has to believe in evolution or how else could you really teach it to a 132 people a semester? I only know he is a Christian because I am sure that is not a T he is wearing on his neck everyday. 

How do you believe in evolution and the story of Adam and Eve at the same time?  How can you even be part of a culture that has people actively calling your kind (scientists) fakes and in cahoots with Satan to fool the public in not believing in god?

Like I really do not get it.  

Found a Church (at least for now)

Last Sunday we had a soccer game to go to here in Las Vegas. It was huge.  Real Madrid (the Italian League Champions) versus Club Santos Laguna (the MExican League Champions).   Real Madrid won 2-1 as expected though Santos put up a good fight.  It was a good game and I had a nice evening out with my husband and a friend (and no kids!)

Because my husband worked right before the game he had to meet me there so we obviously left separately.  He went straight home since he had to work in the morning and I went to get the kids from the babysitter’s house.  On the way I saw a sign in a strip mall that said “Epic Church.” I remember thinking that sounded interesting and I wondered if it really was “Epic.”

Well unlike every other church I have passed and I try to remember the name to, I actually remembered this one.  So it looks pretty cool.  Maybe even more laid back than my last church (if that is even possible).  So now instead of church in a school it will be church in a strip mall.

Its about 22 miles from my house so it’ll will have to be impressive to keep me going for more than 2 visits (I think twice  is fair, right?).  Though starting anew does bring up all the questions of before; do I admit my atheism right off? Do I keep it to myself and if so, for how long?  Should I just go with the flow?

This time I don’t have a friend to show me the ropes and I cannot believe I am actually excited but I’m going to jump back in and see how this all works out.

I Cried at Church Today

Like a blubbering sap I cried as I walked out of the service during ending songs.

Why?  all because there must of been at least 300 years of marriage that renewed their vows today along with one very young couple, that already had a child, and just needed the commitment of marriage to finish their family off.

I believe in marriage.  I always have.  Not just because it is a social expectation and couples who are not married aren’t taken seriously but because I believe in the commitment.  If a person is good enough to spend your life with, to share finances with, to make children with, then they should be good enough for you to commit to them in a permanent way that can only be undone by an arduous court process.

So in church today, as it was the final sunday in the marriage series, there was a chance for anyone who wanted to renew their vows.  After the message the Pastor called the couples up one by one.  Their picture and date they were originally married was on the big screen.  First the youngest marriage of only 3 years up to the longest marriage of 52 years!!   Finally the last couple was the young couple getting married.  They stood with all those couples who had been married for so very long; people who have survived through the good and the bad, the sickness and health and the richness and the poorness of life.

Can you imagine the power of getting married not just in front of family and friends but getting married at the same moment as at least 4 other couples whom had been married over 40 years?  Not to mention all the other couples.  That would be simply powerful.

I looked at that group and had my husband and I been up there we would have been only second in line.  Our 5th anniversary is coming up in July and I realized we have so much further in our lives together to go.  This is not a first marriage for either of us so statistically we have the odds against us.  But screw the odds.  On July 7, 2057 when I am 80 and my husband is 83 we will hobble down an aisle and our children, grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren will watch us renew our vows and proclaim that if we survived this long we will make it to 7-7-77.

Every bone in my body knows we will make to at least 50 years.  My husband promised me that.  And in case I have forgotten to mention it to him, I also promise that we will make it to 50 years.


That’s why I cried.

 Not because I was sad, but because I was reminded of what my own marriage has brought to me and seeing others make it to where I want to be made me silly happy.

42.

Everything was such a slow start then – BOOM.  Explosion.  And everything moves at lightning speed.

Without my husband even going out to Las Vegas we have some more questions answered.

  •  He has accepted the job officially.
  • That job is technically with a different company even though the parent company remains the same
  • He has a start date.
  • He will be making more money (but just a little)
  • He gets to keep his original date of hire with the parent company.
  • He needs to be out there 4 days earlier than we expected this time around.

FOUR. DAYS. EARLIER.

This really messes with our original plan.  He was going to leave on Thursday but since he needs to be there on thursday he is leaving tomorrow (tuesday).  My husband is going to get off work in the morning, come home, load up the moving van, then leave for Las Vegas.  Once he arrivesin Las Vegas (about 15 hours later) he is going to go to the place where we have a storage unit reserved and unload our life into a 10’x12′ space.  Then he can go to my dad’s house and sleep til morning when he has to meet with the bosses at what will soon be his new place of employment.

Its all happening  quickly.  We are all packed up essentially.  I think this is because we have been working on getting to this point since before Christmas.  The prospect of a big move is exciting and nerve racking at the same time.

I have been trying to keep up on reading the bible, going to church, etc but how does one do this with everything else going on?

I did try to read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel but it was the student edition and therefore, I felt like it was written for 5th graders.  What I had been hoping for was a condensed version of the full book.  I am hoping  a full book is better and doesn’t just use the premise that the bible is 100% true to make all of his points and expect me to believe them.  (I did not finish the book, even in its shortened format, so maybe it was better later?)

My best example is if there was a nuclear war and all but a few died and the only book left was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, would that mean that Dolphins are the smartest animals on the Planet?  Would that mean that the reason that almost all life had been obliterated was there was a mishap with the bulldozing of the Earth for a galactic bypass?   No, but you can bet that people would believe that because they had no other answers to their questions.  Instead of God there would be Douglas Adams and instead of Jesus there would be Arthur Dent.  And all those answers would be 42.

Its really not that far of a stretch.   My point here is that if an author is going to use logic and reason to convince me of an existence of God then it needs to do it with more than just its own guide to life.

Losing my Religion

As we get closer to moving, or I think we re getting closer I am realizing  few things.

As much as I don’t like it here I have made a life for myself.  In the 6 years my husband and I have been together (married for almost 5) we have traditions.  Its those things I will miss.

Every summer, the local City Park (the big one) opens up their mini amusement park.  It has little kiddie rides.  Most are sized for the under 48 inch crowd but  a few things are good for everyone like the roller coaster, the horrible spinning thing that watching makes me sick to my stomach, the train that goes into the park and around the fishing hole and the 100+ year old carousel.  The best part about this mini amusement park is that every ride is a quarter except for the train and carousel which are 2 quarters.  My entire family can have 2 hours of fun on $10.  We will be able to hit this up one last time since they usually open up the weekend before memorial day but we go a few times a summer.
Another thing that is new to the area but we love is the Wild West Fest.  It is put on by PBR (Professional Bull Riders) as they are headquartered here and it is the same weekend as a big PBR event at the State Fair Grounds.  Its a big street fair (one of many put on over the summer) but the part we love the most is the Duck Drop.  10,000 yellow rubber ducks are “adopted” by the community for $5 each.

Then the 10,000 ducks are dropped into the Historic Arkansas RiverWalk and they “Race” to a finish line.  The first few ducks that cross the finish line are winners for the adopters.  There is  big monetary prize for the first duck and then other prizes for subsequent ducks.  The prizes are donated and the money raised from the duck adoptions goes towards the county’s project that supplies each third grader with a dictionary at the start of the school year.

Its a great fundraiser but mostly it is beyond awesome to watch 10,000 yellow rubber ducks fall into the river walk and watch them race down stream.  We will get to go to this one last time also but this will be it.  The last time.  😦

I will miss playgroup, though I can find a new group and make new friends.  I will miss having a very inexpensive children’s museum to take the kids to a few times a year.  I will miss the excitement of going into the Rocky Mountains, hiking through some snow and lots of trees to find the perfect one to make into our Christmas tree for the 6 weeks of the holiday season.  Yes this is perfectly legal as we spend $10 to get a Christmas tree permit from the National Forest Service and Yes, the tree lasts that long because it was cut in November not September like the overpriced trees you buy off the lots.

I will miss thunder and hail storms.  I will miss ignoring the tornado warning in hopes of catching a glimpse of a twister.  I will miss the drive in movies.  Oh how I will miss paying $15 to get the whole family into not one but two movies and not have to shell out any more money for drinks, popcorn and candy.

Most of all I will miss Soccer.


It won’t be gone completely from my life but it will be missing.  This is what we do as a family. This is our religion.  We watch every game unless we are on our death bed.  We talk about soccer.  We talk about our local MLS team.  We talk about the English Premier League.  We talk about Barçalona and Real Madrid.   My husband referees for pay.  He has goals and aspirations as a soccer ref.  My kids play recreational soccer.  My oldest wants to go to a very expensive soccer camp so she can insure herself a spot on a high school soccer team.  We have dozens of soccer balls in every size made around the house.  We play mini games of hallway, bedroom or living room soccer all the time.  The baby says “GOOOOAL!!”  The preschooler knows the hand motion for diving and uses it appropriately.  We all wear our Season Ticket Holder Scarves proudly to every game – even if it is 90 degrees out.  Heck we just got family pictures done in our Jerseys.

Soccer is woven into the fabric of my marriage.
It sounds so cheesy and maybe excessive but it is true.  When we were dating my husband decided to take me on a mystery date.  I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me where we were going I just knew I could dress casual and should maybe bring a hoodie and it was in Denver.  Other than the Colorado Rapids I am not 100% sure who the other team was but it didn’t matter because it was my first game ever and it was pretty amazing.   We went to 2 more games that year.

The next year we got married and the 4th of July game was the start of our Wedding week.  We went to the game, saw the fireworks and then left from Denver and drove to Las Vegas for our 7-7-07 wedding that Saturday.  In 2008 our anniversary vacation to Corpus Christi Texas started with the 4th of July game.   In 2009 we took our first child together to her first game ever also on the 4th of July.  She was 3 1/2 months old. The music and fireworks were messed up and the show ended early so we ended up at a make up game with make up fireworks 3 weeks after that.  That August we bought our first set of season tickets.
April 3rd 2010 we went to our first game as season ticket holders.  Our Daughter had just turned 1 two weeks before.  In the time before kick off we were in the team store; there were some infant onsies and so I grabbed a few in 3-6 month size and said we should buy them.

My husband asked “in a different size?”
“No.  In this one”
“But that is 3-6 months, it won’t fit Tori.  Is it in case we need it one day?”
“We will need it around this time next year”

And that is how I told him I was pregnant with our second child.

That year we planned our vacation to Salt Lake City so we could catch a Real Salt Lake game and make it home in time for the Colorado 4th of July game.   We watched as much of the World Cup as we possibly could.  We found out we were having a boy after already deciding on a boys name which “coincidentally” a middle name that is also the last name of a star US Men’s National Team player. I spent my whole pregnancy going up and down the stairs at the stadium because we have front row seats.  This was pretty difficult at the end but I am still proud to say that I went to the final playoff game against the San Jose Earthquakes in 22 degree weather at 36 weeks pregnant and stood and cheered as much as if not more than any other supporter there.  We won that game and I cheered on my team, as they won their first MLS Cup Championship,  from the comfort of my couch since  1. it was in Toronto Canada and 2.  November 21st was a bit too close to my due date of December 11th.  Jack Donovan was born on December 1st.   I spent the offseason reading and tweeting, in all those spare waking hours while nursing my big baby, about soccer.

March 2011 – Opening day also happened to be our daughter’s 2nd birthday.  The weekend was planned around both.  That June we flew to Florida to see my husband’s oldest two children.  We made it a two city vacation so we could catch a USMNT Gold Cup Game in Tampa and then made sure we got back the night before our local team played again.  November our Coach got sacked.  The supporters groups had a farewell party/MLS Cup viewing party.  We went to that to say thanks for helping to win us the Cup and goodbye.

Now here we are in our third year as season ticket holders and we are going to be giving them up.  Forever.  Saying goodbye to our amazing seats.  Saying goodbye to seeing our team play live 19 times a year.  Saying goodbye to tailgates.  Saying goodbye to our soccer family.  Oh how they are our family too.  I actually talk to my soccer friends more than I do my own mom or dad.

When I think about giving this up it makes me want to cry.  Thinking about the game on May 19th and how it will likely be our last game this season almost makes me want to change our whole plan.  I know we can still travel to away games but it won’t be the same.  Our Rapids family won’t always be there.

Honestly I think this is how people feel about moving and having to change churches.  Sure you can find something new, and maybe it can be better but it doesn’t feel like that now.  I think that the way I feel about soccer is how some people feel about Jesus.  That may seem silly when you are a believer because to you it is so much more than just Jesus, but for me soccer is so much more than just a game.  It is a lifestyle.  Its not just something I do on Saturdays.  It is something we truly take part of  everyday and though some of that will still be there after we move a hugh chunk of it is going to be left behind.

Basically we are losing much of why we hold dear and that is what I will miss the most.

Blessed

Its been a super crazy time here at the Temporary Christian house and there is a break in the chaos – but only right now at 2:30 in the morning. 😉

First thing, THANK YOU to everyone who helped out.  I had some incredibly wonderful women bless me with financial help when my family really needed it.  I was able to put food in the fridge and fuel in my gas tank sooner than not at all because of their generosity.

One thing putting my situation out there for the whole world to read did was really make me get up off my butt and do something about that situation.  So I had a garage sale.  What I didn’t sell at the garage sale I either donated or pawned.  I made $500 from that and regained 3/4 of my garage back.  It was like a quadruple win because with that $500 I had the money to negotiate and extension on our car payments.  It will cost us more overall (which is, no doubt, why the finance company approved it) but making the one payment on each vehicle brought us up to date.  Good timing because we were about a week away from repossession on the car.  I used the extra to reward my helpers with Pizza for dinner; they deserved it.

My friend Stefanie, who I attend church with, helped in many different ways like donating her left over garage sale stuff to mine, bringing us dinner one night and letting me know that the church had a benevolence fund that might be willing to help.  Walking into the church office to get the paperwork out and then filling it out was incredibly hard.  I am extremely grateful that I even had the option to ask and the church approved my request and paid my electric bill.  Not just the past due to keep my lights on but the whole thing.   That was such a relief.

Through a contact with the local news station we hd a reporter call us about our problems with the State of Florida and the child support people.  We thought they would be able to help but, understandably, they didn’t want to sit on hold for an hour to try to maybe find something out.  So the story died and our possible help went down the drain.  Being told by yet another person that it just wasn’t really that important to help us get our $3200 back was really upsetting so what did my husband do?  He emailed the governors office.  Yes, he sent an email directly to the Governor of the State of Colorado about how the stet was not helping or caring that a law abiding tax paying voting citizen had basically had $3200 stolen from him because of a possible “computer error.”

If you want something done apparently you have to go over the heads of everyone and bitch to the governor because it worked.  The governor’s office called us, got the details and forwarded them to the state liaison.  The state liaison called us and clarified the details and called our local child support enforcement office and I am guessing told that lady how things needed to go.  It was still a few more days since nothing can be super quick, but eventually they did enough digging and found out that there were 147 people who had the exact same thing happen but because they were all in varying counties they didn’t realize it was an epidemic and not just single occurrences.  The state attorney general was brought into the whole thing and they took over and viola after they took over we got our money back from Florida within 10 days.  Which coincidentally was right before we needed to pay rent for May which we of course didn’t have.

:GIANT SIGH OF RELIEF:

So we paid some more bills, got my over drafted checking account back in the black, bought some much needed shoes for the 2 youngest, and as a splurge (and early mother’s day present) I bought some running shoes for me.  I don’t run but I am trying to be healthier and lose some extra weight.  We have extra in savings right now because we are going to need it to move.  I AM sure my husband will get the transfer he applied for (though he needs to go out there one more time) but even if we aren’t moving to Las Vegas we will be moving out of this house because we just cannot afford it.  Which brings me to my next unexpected blessing.

Dave Ramsey.  The church is sponsoring Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  They were having a drawing for a free lifetime membership and of course I entered.  I didn’t win.  😦 I decided it would be worth it to pay the $70 for the class/membership and hopefully learn how to never be in this predicament again.  First I was offered a scholarship so it would only cost me $35 but I didn’t have the money on me.  That was ok and just take care of it at the first class.  Well when I got there they told me the church decided to gift me the full cost.  Maybe that is not a big deal for the church but it was wonderful for me.  Anytime anyone gives you a gift it is wonderful but this is something that will truly keep giving for the rest of our lives.

The help that has been provided to me has definitely been the type of help that Jesus gave to those around him when he was alive.  I know I said that God would have to prove to me his existence in a very large and tangible way but I just still cannot change my belief.  What I have come to believe is that there is a good in Christianity.

There is a group of people called “Anti-theists.”  They are atheists that no only don’t believe in a god but do believe that belief in one is harmful.  I can see where they get these ideas from.  Many atrocities have been done in the name of god.  Whichever god one believes in, it doesn’t matter, horrible things have been done for that god or because of the teachings of the religion that worships that god.
What this past month did for me was make me believe in the good in Christianity.  I still think there are some pretty bad things in it that I don’t agree with but there are some pretty awesome things.   Things like actually helping people without expecting anything in return.  Providing for the community because its the right thing to do.  The argument goes that an Atheist does these things because they are right not out of fear from a vengeful god.  But I think that the good parts of Christianity lead the good people to do even better and helps the people who might not have otherwise seen a reason to reach out to someone who is different actually reach out to them.

So whether it was god telling you it was the right thing to do or doing it because you’ve been there and want to pay it forward or just because you wanted to, helping other people when they need it is always a good thing.
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(Wow it took me an hour to write this post and it is really time to go to bed now.)

He Wants You To Fit In

There are 2 Christian Radio stations that I have found locally that I have been listening to.  I prefer the talk show based one since it has more talk radio and more religious music versus the “trying to be mainstream” Christian music station.  I was listening to one of the local religious radio stations last Friday  and the host said something that really moved me.

“He doesn’t want you to get in, He wants you to fit in.”

The host went on to talk about how at the Second Coming when Jesus comes you will get a new body, all your ailments will disappear, your body will be perfect, but your character is yours.  Character is something that one needs to be growing right now because the character you have at the second coming will be your character for eternity.  You get a new perfect body and hopefully your character is worthy of it, but I am not worried about my Character.  I am concerned with not being an outsider.

I don’t fit in.  I won’t fit in.  I have been trying to figure out how to address this for a month and every time I start to write it just doesn’t come out right but now I think I finally have the right words.

I don’t see how, even if I decided there was a God, would I ever fit in?

I do not believe that life begins at conception.  I support the right to have a abortion if a woman wants for whatever reason she wants only because I support the rights of all people, young and old to make their own decisions for their own body.  I support gays; I support them in getting married or civil unions or whatever the government wants to call it.  I don’t think they are bad people and I don’t think they are doing anything wrong just because they love another with the same sex chromosomes as them.  I believe in evolution.  I do not believe that the earth is just 6000 years old or that dinosaurs were just made up by atheist scientists to fool the masses into disbelieving in God.  (OK I’m not sure how many christians believe the 6000 year old Earth and Dino thing but really they come out in droves on the internet).

I know that America is not a Christian Nation built on Christian beliefs and even if we were? We were also a nation of people that at that time believed we could own other people.  Money didn’t have “In God We Trust” on it til the 50’s same with the Pledge of Allegiance; it did not say “One nation under God until then either.  Those changes were brought on by the fear of communism and Cold War.  (I am still not sure what one had to do with the other though- I should probably research that.)  I don’t believe that there should be prayer in school, not for Muslims, not for Mormons, not for Hindus, not for Catholics and not for Christians.  I think that sex education, though primarily the responsibility of the parents, should be taught in schools and that includes teaching about prevention not just abstinence.

It seems that my beliefs on social issues do not align with the bible or with the majority of the Christian populous.  I think that is must be ridiculously hard to be a Scientist, a Gay or Pro-Choice and still believe in a God that apparently doesn’t think you fit in.  I wouldn’t fit in and I don’t see myself changing my beliefs on social issues and from a few of the responses I can tell that though a few other Atheists that have become Christians haven’t changed their core social beliefs.

So even though I enjoy the learning aspect of church and I will still keep going because I do enjoy what I am learning; I still do not agree with most of it; I don’t fit in and I don’t see that changing.