Here are 8 ways conservative right-wingers convert people — to atheism

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      Here are 8 ways conservative right-wingers convert people — to atheism

      Testimonials at sites like show that people leave religion for a number of reasons, many of which religious leaders have very little control over. Sometimes, for example, people take one too many science classes. Sometimes they find their faith shattered by the suffering in the world – either because of a devastating injury or loss in their own lives or because they experience the realities of another person’s pain in a new way. Sometimes a believer gets intrigued by archaeology or symbology or the study of religion itself. Sometimes a believer simply picks up a copy of the Bible or Koran and discovers faith-shaking contradictions or immoralities there.

      Here are some top ways Christians push people out the Church door or shove secret skeptics out of the closet. Looking at the list, you can’t help but wonder if the Catholic Bishops and their Evangelical allies are working for the devil.

      Gay Baiting. Because of sheer demographics, most gay people are born into religious families. In this country almost half are born into Bible-believing families, many of whom see homosexuality as an abomination. The condemnation (and self-condemnation) can be excruciating, as we all know from the suicide rate. Some emotionally battered gays spend their lives fighting or denying who they are, but many eventually find their way to open and affirming congregations or non-religious communities.

      Prooftexting. People who think of the Bible as the literally perfect word of God love to quote excerpts to argue their points. They often start with a verse in 1 Timothy: All scripture is given by inspiration of God. (As if this circular argument would convince anyone but a true believer.) They then proceed to quote whatever authoritarian, anti-gay, or anti-woman verse makes their point, like, Whoever spares the rod hates their children . . . Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being. or Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination or Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. In doing so, they call into question biblical authority, because the Bible writers so obviously got these issues wrong. Literalists who prooftext are a tremendous asset to those who would like to see Bible worship fade away – because prooftexting on one side of an argument invites the same in return, and it is easy to find quotes from the Bible that are either scientifically absurd or morally repugnant.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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