Congressman’s Wife Casts Demon Out of VCR

February 26th, 2010

When I was in college (back in the bronze age, when the bible existed only on stone tablets and it’s teaching that the world was flat was still widely accepted) I was involved with several campus christian groups and through one of them I found myself marching with a group of anti-abortion activists in a downtown parade in Lawrence, Kansas.  I don’t really remember much about the parade, but I do remember what happened directly afterwards.

At the end of the parade, we were told that a pro-life movie was going to be shown in the Lawrence public library.  They were serving coffee and donuts along with the film. That was enough to convince me to go.

When I arrived at the library, there was a short, blond, bustling woman wheeling a video cart across the meeting room.  I knew her because she was kind of famous.  She was married to a world record breaking runner who would eventually become a US congressman and serve Kansas from 1996 to 2007.  I had a close friend who was on the KU track team and together we had attended a few bible studies with this very devout woman and her Olympic silver medalist husband as they were both involved in the KU campus ministry for college athletes.  I worked my way to the front of the room to say hello, but before I reached her, she put a tape in the VCR and announced that the movie was about to start.

I sat down near the front of the room.  The woman then pushed the play button and the TV screen was filled with static and wavy lines.  The woman pushed a few more buttons on the VCR growing visibly frustrated and then she placed both of her hands on the VCR and began to pray aloud.

Holy Jesus… I ask you to cast the demon out of this machine and let this film be seen by all that are gathered here today.  Fill this room and this VCR with your holy spirit and let the message of this movie be heard…”

A librarian was hustled up by some of the event’s other organizers to fix the VCR.  She approached the video cart and began to fiddle with the wires in the back of the machine.   While the librarian worked on the machine, the bustling blond continued praying with her hands still on the VCR, and her head bowed over the machine.

“Almighty god… we need you to hear us… Listen to us!… Cast the demons out of this VCR and let these people hear the message you have for us today!… ”

I didn’t know what to do.  I kind of felt like I should be praying with this woman, but I didn’t know how to cast a demon out of a VCR!  Heck!  I didn’t know how to cast a demon out of anything! Besides! I didn’t want to close my eyes and bow my head!  I wanted to SEE what was going to happen next!

“In Jesus name I command the demons in this machine, in this room, in this LIBRARY wherever they ARE, I command them in JESUS NAME  to be GONE!…”

The discomfort of the librarian who was working on the VCR grew more palpable as she furiously plugged and unplugged wires frantically trying to get that machine going.

“Release this machine from the grip of the devil, Lord Jesus and set this movie FREE!!!…”

Finally, the librarian came around to the front of the TV set and pushed play.  The film flickered to life.  The blond, bustling woman who was married to the world record breaking runner finished out her prayer.

“Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Jesus!”

She kept repeating those three words as she rapidly clapped her hands and then thanked Jesus some more.

The librarian looked at the bubbly blond exorcist for a brief moment.  Her eyes were wide.  She looked out at us, the shell shocked audience seated in front of the TV as if she was waiting for someone… anyone… to say something sane.  We reserved the right to remain silent.  The librarian fled the room.

I don’t remember a single second of the movie that we watched that day.

But I vividly remember every moment of the fervent exorcism of the demon possessed VCR.

That was the last time I ever participated in an anti-abortion demonstration.

Comments

  • Jolly Sapper:

    HAHAHAHAHAH….

    Poor librarian.

  • Jamie:

    WOW that is hilarious!

  • Pam:

    ummmm, rechelle? why don’t you just rename your blog? something like “I am an atheist – hear me roar – i hate christians – rah rah rah”. then all who come here could be clear on what you’re currently about!

    • Pam Darling – Your comment reminded me that my nickname in highschool was ‘Rah-chelle’ because I was a cheerleader and also a generally spastic person. I still am kind of a spaz and also a huge dork, but I gotta tell ya sweetheart – I am just LOVING talking about religion and it’s cracked out beliefs on my blog! It’s fun! The conversation is FUN! Even people like you who are determined to make me feel bad about this are part of the FUN! So thanks for chiming in! Please feel free to add more comments whenever you would like. It just adds to the FUN of the whole thing. It really does. It’s like a sitcom and you are the cranky neighbor who uses the back door and yells at all the kids for playing too loudly. But the show wouldn’t be nearly as good without you in it. You are the salt. Yes! You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. What the heck does that mean anyway? Surely you can tell me Pam.

  • Sylvia:

    What a HOOT! Classic!

  • dalilonna:

    Why should Rechelle rename her blog anything? She never said she hated xians in this post. She merely recounted an event where she witnessed a person who thought it was more important to PRAY over a PIECE OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT than to simply check all the wires and connections. As if this congresswoman’s little video party was important enough in the grand scheme of life for the supposed savior of xian humanity to drop everything and FIX HER VCR????????

    Rechelle, this is a great post!

  • Steph:

    Well, I guess praying that it works is another tactic… though I’m more likely to make sure the wires are connected, first. Yay for science.

  • Well, I do hope this is another one of your exaggerated or possibly entirely made-up stories because otherwise it’s just a tad embarrassing to those of us who are Christians. If it is true, it’s a good reminder that we are all human and fallible. (Yes, even Christians.) As such, we are all prone to occasional insanity and bouts of asinine behavior–or just behaving like complete asses. I think I would have quickly shuffled out of the room as shocked and bewildered as the librarian.

  • Melinda Gerow:

    Have to side with Pam on this one. People in all walks of life make foolish choices. It’s not limited to Christians. Since your “awakening” many of the posts seem filled with hate. The whole Pioneer Woman thing and the deriding of your former congregation serve as examples of an intolerance that is ugly to read and definitely not fun. Maybe it’s just the zeal of having a new cause/belief but I thought from your “coming out” post that you were eager to focus on the good that could be done with the energy Christians put into congregational life? Maybe I’m just ignorant in your eyes but I wonder if you’re rushing to fill the place in your life Christianity once held with a lot of negativity and hate?

  • Spinny:

    Pam — when has Rechelle ever said she hates Christians? I think you may be reading her posts through Christian-colored glasses. Ones that make Christians think that anyone who points out the weirdness of the Christian faith is obviously an evil hateful person.

    I used to own a pair of those glasses and I wore them religiously for over 25 years.

  • Spinny:

    Rechelle — But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. What the heck does that mean anyway?

    OMG, I never thought about that before. I heard that passage thousands of times during sermons and bible studies and just nodded my head knowingly like it made perfect sense. Can salt even lose it’s saltiness? I need to google.

  • km:

    I have used this tactic too but it usually has been with a ferocious string of unprintables and a good thump to the electronic offender:)

  • heh. I’ve seen and heard so many things like this… a woman where I work was praying over her computer not working one day. It was after a shutdown, so the power strip was off. heh.

    Were the donuts at least good?

    I feel sort of bad for those who think these posts are hateful – it’s very difficult for atheists and religions to have real conversations where one doesn’t feel insulted. But for the Christians who feel that there is hate here or mockery – keep in mind that’s pretty much how we feel ANY time it’s mentioned how we’re going to Hell. Even when it’s not directed *at* us, when the “rules” are mentioned, it implies that you (the generic you, since I don’t know you all in person) think that we’re somehow awful people who deserve an eternity basting in our own juices. The dominant culture in the US is christian – these messages are ALL around us. It’s hard to perceive these things when you’re the majority (but seems the majority is quick to cry “persecution”)

    It’s sort of like the debate over homosexuality. Straight people are fond of saying they don’t want gays to “shove it down their throats” while not realizing that the dominant culture shoves straight sexuality down throats every second of every day. We don’t see that because we’re the majority, and so we only “notice” things that aren’t part of that.

    Rechelle isn’t being hateful – she’s being honest.

    And let’s face it, any time you come to a conclusion that a large part of your life was spent working towards something that you now consider bad or false – you’re going to have some deep feelings over it. You might feel like all those prior years were wasted, or you might feel guilty over things you said and did and believed. (and that goes both ways – I’ve seen folks who are “born again” do this regarding their former lifestyle – which I considered normal – and say things that could be taken as hateful towards me, even, since that’s the sort of lifestyle *I* lead).

    Sorry for rambling. Too much caffeine, not enough food. :)

  • I think you should direct all of your new-found energy to helping Pomplamoose get a CD!!!

    I would buy it in a heartbeat. I have signed onto you-tube several times and if I listen to Expiration Date one more time my ears are going to bleed.

    Is ear bleeding a form of stigmata?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist…..

  • Cathy:

    This is funny! I work in an academic library and I remember reading an article in a world music journal regarding one researcher’s experience with a shaman that had cast a “spell” on the tape deck he used for field research. It never quite recovered….

    Apparently possession of media equipment isn’t limited to Christianity.

  • Melinda – I have not once ‘derided’ my former congregation. I love those people and always will. I may have told a few stories related to bizarre prayer requests and mentioned the costs of maintaining my former church, but I have derided NO ONE.

  • km:

    Rechelle, a suggestion . I am enjoying the discourse in the comments section. Is it possible for you to have a sidebar with the latest comments included. That way if there’s action on another installment we could see it. I think the conversations in the comments section have been awesome lately.

  • “Since your “awakening” many of the posts seem filled with hate.”

    I’m gonna have to disagree there…Rechelle’s posts have been filled with intelligence, humor, logic, and a clear, newfound sense of freedom (a gift she’s given herself through the use of the previous three).
    If you think that writing about religious ideas and why she thinks they’re incorrect or misleading is the same as intolerance and hatred, you might need to rethink what those terms actually mean.

  • LisaMae:

    You know, I just have to say the people who think this has turned into a “hate” site must never have been on the receiving end of actual hate.
    You should check out some real hate sites — the ones against gays, blacks, Jews, Muslims and others — there are probably some against middle-class, white Christians, too I just haven’t seen them.
    They’re the ones praying that people get AIDS or suggesting that everyone of a particular type be bundled off to prison camps, enslaved, shot or hung.
    Honestly, the hyperbole gets to me sometimes.

  • OK. That is hilarious! whack-a-doodle zealotism at its best! I have prayed to find tennis shoes that were missing 5 minutes before we HAD to leave… but never have I felt the need to CAST A DEMON out of anything! Wow. That is special.

    I dont do pro-life rallies either. I dont see the point in using shock tactics( have you seen the graphic images they use???) to change peoples minds. Would I ever have an abortion… I say no, but I have never been a 12 year old girl knocked up by her “father” either. To each there own on that one!

    • Jaclyn – I am with you Jaclyn on abortion. Until I have walked a mile in another pregnant woman’s shoes, I sure ain’t gonna tell her what to do. It’s hard enough walking in my own pregnant shoes… when I was pregnant… which I am surely not pregnant now!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    Oh, this is a funny one! (Gee, wonder who that could be?! LOL!) I’m sure sorry I wasn’t there to see that but I likely would have made a loud snorting noise and blamed it on someone else. This way tops my odd use of praying story — when a college friend didn’t study for the German final and frantically read her bible for the hour before the test, rather than a bit of reviewing.

  • Martha in Kansas:

    btw, check out the Google ads today! LOL!

  • Pam, I honestly don’t see anything even close to hate of christians in this post or any other post on Rechelle’s blog recently. I don’t understand why so many seem to take her rejection of christianity personally. She has rejected the ideology, not the people close to her that still choose to believe.

    And as for the laying of hands on the VCR or whatever was going on, that sounds hysterical! I would have freaked out, myself, much like I did when I once went to a pentecostal church service with my bff and a guy started speaking in tongues and someone else translated. That was ca-ra-zee!

  • I love this story! I would’ve freaked my freak too. Like when I went to a Pentacostal summer camp where people were being “Slain in the Spirit” (basically falling down & crying/laughing/whatever the Holy Spirit had them do), & I remember writing letters from camp to my friends & family about how freaked out I was!

  • Syl:

    Anyone who thinks this is exaggerated really hasn’t spent much time in Charismatic/Pentecostal groups… Having been for many years (in what now seems like a former lifetime, long ago) as sincere and true a born-again, spirit-filled believer as you might hope to find I can assure you that this type of behavior is not atypical or thought of as odd in those circles. Rechelle isn’t being hateful – she’s just being honest. If it’s a bit spiced up, I’m sure it’s not by much. This is hysterical – and it sure brought back some memories! Thanks Rechelle – love your blog.

  • Mindy:

    I find it interesting that some people find it “hateful” to recount a story about a person who tried to exorcise a VCR. I wonder if those people actually think that demons live in VCRs or if they are just so ingrained to “respect” others’ beliefs that they see it as normal that someone else would think that VCRs make great living areas for demons. I also wonder if it would still be “hateful” if the lady in question weren’t Christian…

  • Annette:

    I once was in a car with several ladies, one who was an evangelical christian. The parking lot we were circling was full, and we couldn’t find a parking place. The evangelical started praying for a parking spot to open, and as with all parking lots, one eventually did. She mentioned that jesus had answered her prayers. I told her to pray for peace in the mideast as well as cures for cancer and Aids and an end to world hunger. I got a dirty look from her. I try very hard to respect others beliefs or non-beliefs, but with some people, it’s very trying.

  • Christine from Canada:

    @Pam & Melinda: Rechelle’s story about the VCR and the crazy lady is hysterical. We atheists “get” that not all Christians behave like the congressman’s wife. We “get” that she doesn’t represent all Christians.

    But, hate-filled? Pfft!

    Listen, once I came to the realization that there is no God in a raindrop, or in a baby’s laugh, or watching me in bed with my husband, then I felt free. I also felt just a tad “pissy” and sarcastic toward religion. I was angry that I’d been duped, that people continue to brainwash their children, that our good time/money/energy goes toward keeping this archaic institution alive.

    Hate-filled blog?! Rechelle is being far too kind, as far as I’m concerned.

  • S:

    HA! But it’s sad, because she really believes in magic, rather than technology.

  • km:

    ooooh, oooh, oooh. completely off topic but I read in a mag at the doctor’s office that there are Nancy Drew games for PC Wii etc. I thought of you immediately.

  • Cheyenne:

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  • It’s great to see how the positive people out number the negative people here! I hope Rechelle never says “Meg Darling” to me! If she does, I know I’ve said something ludicrous.

  • Ted Powell:

    km wrote: I have used this tactic too but it usually has been with a ferocious string of unprintables and a good thump to the electronic offender:)In the business, we call that “percussive maintenance”—a common cause of electronic equipment failure is a connector that isn’t quite connecting, because of being loose, having a thin layer of oxide on the metal, whatever.The stress-relief ritual can be effective too, clearing the mind for thinking through the possible failure mechanisms.

  • Dee:

    Hmmm. I learn something new every day. I didn’t know demons could possess inanimate objects. Who knew?

    Anyway, this reminds me of an anthro course I took in college where we studied a Central American tribal group where the village shaman would rub a guinea pig-like critter over a sick person’s body. If the guinea pig’s back was broken during this “procedure” then the person was indeed possessed by sickness or some such thing. I can’t remember exactly (it’s been 15 years).

    Either way, if I were to recount the shaman story most people would think this behavior was ridiculous. They wouldn’t suggest that my telling of it was hate filled.

    Clearly Rechelle is making fun of this woman, but why are these other commenters so defensive? Do you, too, pray over your electronics for exorcism that this touched a nerve?

  • Maria:

    As an atheist academic librarian, this post gave me the sad. I can only imagine that the poor woman was thinking something along the lines of “I SO don’t get paid enough for this crap” which is what I typically think to myself when dealing with silly people while on the job. No, you can’t order a pizza to be delivered to the third floor study room… no, you can’t call ahead to request me to pick out the books you need for your paper which is due tomorrow… no, you can’t hold an exorcism over our crap VCR…

  • Joel Wheeler:

    “People in all walks of life make foolish choices. It’s not limited to Christians.”

    Agreed. But what IS limited to Christians (and believers in other faiths) is foolish behavior of this specific nature; praying over stuff (electronics, disease, behavior) instead of actually trying to fix it.

    As for the alleged anger or frustration that Rechelle or any other recovering Christians may experience, I would say that it’s entirely justified based on the colossal deception that’s been unveiled, and that you, too, may one day know the feeling. In my view, Rechelle has been openly joyful, actively celebrating her new freedom… and some beliefs and behaviors simply earn and DESERVE derision. (See original post.)

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Rechelle is such a great storyteller, whether it’s about gardening, or architecture, or people, or her latest topic of interest – religion.
    Love it!

    And I’m not a big fan of SOME of the nit-picking in the comments, but I have to say that I almost blew a wad of snot on my laptop when she wrote, “It’s like a sitcom and you are the cranky neighbor who uses the back door and yells at all the kids for playing too loudly. But the show wouldn’t be nearly as good without you in it.” Priceless writing!!! Like she said, the blog posts are FUN. It’s the crazier comments and people getting SO worked up that make it insanely funny and more entertaining.

  • ElleBee:

    I am one of those people who used to read this blog regularly and thoroughly enjoyed it. I removed it from my reader when I no longer enjoyed the content. Earlier this week, while reading April’s blog, I thought “I wonder what Rechelle is writing about.” and came back. While I still didn’t “enjoy” the posts, I just reminded myself that it’s HER blog and no one is forcing me to read it.

    I am a Christian. I don’t understand atheism, but I certainly don’t pity, hate, or otherwise revile people who subscribe to those beliefs. Some of my fellow Christians would tell me it’s my “duty” to pray for those people and try to show them the error of their ways; to lead them to Christ. That’s just not how I roll. I’m not an evanglizer (yeah, I know it’s not a word), just don’t feel comfortable in that role.

    That being said, what does make me sad are the Christian commenters (or any commenters for that matter) who feel the need to blast authors for their blog content, religious, atheist or otherwise. If you aren’t into homeschooling, don’t go to homeschool blogs and slam the author. If you think “mommybloggers” are self-absorbed children paraders, stay away. If you’re a Christian, don’t go to blogs of self-proclaimed atheists and leave comments about how “far they’ve fallen” from their original blogs.

    What would Jesus do?

    If he were a blog reader at all, He’d probably just read on, leave an “interesting thoughts” comment or two, and move on. If He really felt the need to engage a dialogue, it probably wouldn’t be a guilt-inducing, pity-ridden, vitriolic monologue.

    And if He felt He was getting nowhere in the conversation, He’d probably just leave quietly.

    And maybe come back once in awhile just to see what all the commotion is about.

  • Carol:

    May I just say a belated “THANK YOU” to the librarian that fixed the dang VCR?

    And, we always ask Gladys, the Goddess of Parking Spaces to find us a parking space. Radical Faeries get very specific. (Not that I am one, I just hang with them.)

  • just a farm girl:

    Not sure why I am here……the atheist “speak” is really the same as the homeschool “speak” and the pentecostal “speak” and all self righteous where ever they are. I can see where they’re headed immediately and every one has their ax to grind. NONE of them really wants to listen and hear and think and let others have their point of view. They all just want to be right.

  • pam:

    Now that was just funny!!

  • Marilyn:

    Thank you ElleBee. I needed that.

  • I once had a very Catholic boyfriend whose VERY Catholic mother, every time she dropped a spoon or broke a plate or stubbed a toe would should “DEVIL BE GONE!” I always thought that was the epitome of laziness. Blame your clumsiness on the devil. JUST WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

  • Jadehawk:

    oh, this was hilarious!!!

    I have used km’s method of fixing things, too. i once threatened my car with leaving it and having a mean man tow it home if it didn’t start. and it worked, too!!

    And to those who said this blog has become intolerant… I think you confuse the meaning of the word “tolerance”. rechelle isn’t banning anyone, isn’t deleting christian comments, isn’t being personally abusive towards any particular person, etc. she’s tolerating christians just fine. I think what you meant to say that she’s being disrespectful towards christianity and the silliness it spawns. Respect for ideas/opinions/behaviors is a completely different from tolerance and respect for people themselves. ideas/actions/opinions need to EARN respect; preferably by making sense.

  • Ted Powell:

    Steph wrote: Yay for science.Hear! Hear! And here is some science-y stuff: Symphony of Science.

    The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. Here you can watch music videos, download songs, read lyrics and find links relating to the messages conveyed by the music.

    The project owes its existence in large measure to the wonderful work of Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steve Soter, of Druyan-Sagan Associates, and their production of the classic PBS Series Cosmos, as well as all the other featured figures and visuals.

  • Alison:

    I haven’t heard a word of hate from you, and I STILL can’t find the post where you apparently hated on PW!! People are crazy. Keep doing what you love girl :)

  • Alison:

    ElleBee, you’re a good egg.

  • Anon:

    I’ve been coming here for years. Haven’t said much that I can recall, but my last comment was wow – just, wow. Unfortunately it wasn’t posted. However maybe this one will, can only be hopefull. I have to say great google ads. They are a riot! And I also just wanted to pipe in and say for once I really enjoy reading the comments, much more than post. Can’t reckon what it reminds me of….

  • Apparently the devil likes to possess VCRs, wow! I’m so converting! He might possess my iPhone next!

    I think it is wonderful that you are telling us such great stories. The comments crack me up. I may have more colorful comments to share in the future about some of the “holier-than-thou” commenters, but for now, keep those great stories coming!

  • Mary:

    This reminds me of my aunt who asks Jesus to find her a good parking spot at the beach or the grocery store, and praises him fervently when she does find a good spot. It was sort of a funny, endearing little quirk, until suddenly, it wasn’t. Several years ago, she suffered a stroke and couldn’t move her left leg. She hobbled around, and asked Jesus to give her a sign when she should see a doctor, and continued to do so for nearly a year, until her large colon ruptured from untreated diverticulitis and she had another stroke. Even then, she was waiting for her “sign.” College educated. Health field professional.

  • Darlene:

    First, those whose hearts are filled with hate tend to see it everywhere else. It’s called “projection”.

    Second, what a great story! I only recently found this blog, but I am really, really enjoying it.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Spinny

    Technically, yes.

    Iodized salt is “saltier” than natural rock salt for one, and it’s because of this that some cooks I know are VERY pick with the salts they use for cooking.

  • DenverLARK:

    Hey Rechelle, Thanks for the laugh. This story really hit my funny bone. Keep on entertaining me, please!

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Rechelle

    Your anecdote reminded me of a scene in the documentary Jesus Camp, where the camp supervisor prayed over a video projector so that it wouldn’t be “possessed” by the devil during their presentation.

    Apparently, the sort of crazy the lady you narrated about isn’t as isolated as some may assume :P

  • Jenny:

    Jesus hates VCRs, he likes Dvds better… ;-)

    Thank you for a good laugh.

  • LucyGolden:

    Rechelle, while I agree that your detractors who comment here do add “spice” to the comment sections, if they’re so disdainful & upset with how they feel the tone of your blog has changed, perhaps they need to go elsewhere. I think they like wearing their rose-colored glasses…

    In the mean time, RAH, RAH RAH-chelle!

  • LucyGolden:

    Oh, by-the-by, the post is HEE-larious!

  • Kristin:

    Wow….I could use a super-powered prayer warrior like that around here sometimes. Somehow this reminded of a time in grad school when a friend told us that her Baptist youth group was going to be visited by a group of Mormons who would explain their faith. Some of the Baptists decided to pray that the Mormons would have an accident on their way to the Baptist church. Oh, and my daughter pointed me to an online article this week about “religious” people who are praying that President Obama will die. Not be shot, mind you, because that would make him a martyr…just an untimely, natural death. Nice, huh?

  • priscilla:

    Hey Pam. Shove it.

  • LucyGolden:

    Wow, Kristin…my jaw dropped at both of your coments. Sad…

  • Kristin:

    Guess I should’ve said that it happened when she was in high school…not grad school, that’s just when I knew her & she shared (and she was not proud of their behavior). Doesn’t make it MUCH better, but…

  • Joe L.:

    Sounds like a story Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone recounted in his book, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire. He went under cover to a fundamentalist Christian retreat in Texas, and talked about a mass demon-expelling session they had, where the preacher was expelling the demons of people in the audience.

    In what form do these demons exit your body? THrough vomiting, of course. Which you do into a paper bag that is thoughtfully provided to you.

    And what kind of demons are cast out? You know – normal stuff. Incest, sexual abuse, lust, cancer, intellect, handwriting analysis, anal fissures. pretty basic stuff, really.

    A shortened version of the story (everything I said there is true!) is in his RS article Jesus Made me Puke

  • Great post! Frankly, I’m a bit bewildered that the VCR started, since it sounds as if it was never annointed with oil first. Odd.

    I blogged on this topic once, so I’m a girl in the know when it comes to “Boyce and Boice: The Demons of Electronic Malfunctions.” Go to http://www.demonbuster.com/ to learn about them – and many other demons. (As a precaution, make sure your speakers on. It’s a tedious tune, but, according to the website: “The demons absolutely hate this song or any song that is about the Blood of Jesus. The more this bothers you, the more demon infested you are.”)

  • Well, I’m an atheist public librarian that spends a lot of time fussing with technology and fixing it for the patrons who visit us. The most offensive thing about this story is that the woman didn’t thank the librarian!

    How rude.

  • Susan:

    Can you please stop posting about religion/no god/etc…..very tiresome

  • Twin-Skies:

    So I take it you missed Rechelle’s post on her visit to NYC and her bet with her son on snow?

    Those were her previous posts – the only time religion came up in their comments was when somebody brought it up.

    So please stop making an issue out of a non-issue.

  • LucyGolden:

    Bravo, Twin-Skies! Rechelle is my favorite blogger!

  • Susan:

    She has had ONE post out of the past EIGHT that didn’t mention religion/god/athieism. For a woman who no longer believes in God, she sure spends a hell of a lot of time writing about it.

    BORING.

  • That was funny. And I’m certainly having FUN reading your blog. I’m so glad I found it.

  • @susan (and others complaining about the influx of religious-y posts lately)
    I’m not a long-time reader, nor do I comment often (have I ever? Er, not sure, honestly) but I just wanted to make one little point.

    This is a personal blog, right? And personal blogs usually focus on what’s going on in a person’s life, at least, in my experience.
    And when something BIG happens, it usually shows up in blog posts repeatedly, and sometimes for quite awhile.
    This doesn’t just apply to religious experiences (sidenote: does the conviction that religion is a hoax count as a religious experience? Or is there another word for it? lol), but can apply to cancer, childbirth, loss of loved one, etc.
    In other words, any major event.

    And it’s normal. It happens in real life, too. Why all the “OMG, you suuuuck. Write something New! and Different! Or else.” attitudes?
    Seriously, you can’t tell me you didn’t realize *just by the title* what this post might cover. If it bothers you that much, why even click-thru?

  • Becky:

    I think the problem is the “tone” of the posts. The tone I get is angry and deriding, even though Rechelle says she is not purposefully doing that. The senator’s wife is one instance. Why couldn’t the story be told without including all of that identifying information? Rechelle says she wasn’t deriding them, and she loves them, BUT a commenter stated that Rechelle was making fun of this woman. I wonder if the senator’s wife feels the same kind of love for Rechelle? I think this is the problem most people have with the new “flavor”. It’s not just the change of belief, it’s the lack of tact, maybe not intentional, but that is how it comes aross to me.

  • Becky:

    I should have said…this is what most of the people who disagree with the new direction of this blog have a problem with, but then again, I would be putting words into others mouths.

  • bPer:

    Susan, I count THREE of the last EIGHT posts that make no mention of religion. Starting from the Valentines post, there’s the Valentine post, the NYC post, and the snow bet post. Given that Rechelle only come out as an atheist a month ago, and surely has lots of pent-up stuff to get off her chest, I think it’s quite understandable that she’s posting about religion right now.

    Two comments in a row from you whining about being bored. Yet lots of people (including me) find Rechelle’s writing interesting. What does that say about you, Susan?

    Love your stuff, Rechelle. Looking forward to more.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Susan

    Her blog. Her opinion. Your choice to read or not.

    And btw, you’re beginning to sound like a troll.

  • Twin-Skies:

    And Rechelle, that congressman’s wife was right – the damn VCR IS an infernal machine. My dad’s old VCR kept eating our tapes – imagine the look of horror on his face when it ate through his James Bond collection. T_T

    Betamax, the anointed one, should have won the format wars, but the poor thing was crucified and forgotten by the film companies faster than Judas gave Jesus the kiss of death.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Becky

    Pardon the triple post, but I missed your comment:

    In retrospect, the congressman’s wife would have still looked silly without the use of colorful, emotionally charged language. Some stories are just that crazy :(

  • Dan:

    Amazing that people show up in the comments here telling Rechelle what to write about, like they’re ordering up some articles at a restaurant. What a sense of entitlement to demand that other people entertain you! If this website is tiresome to you, stop reading it, simple enough.

  • Becky:

    Twin-Skies, when I said why can’t the story be told without all of the identifying information, this is what I was talking about:

    “She was married to a world record breaking runner who would eventually become a US congressman and serve Kansas from 1996 to 2007.”

    It’s tactless to me to make fun of someone on here, even though it’s her blog, it’s still tactless if she “loves” these people.

  • Becky:

    I guess I should have directed these questions more towards Rechelle herself, because all of these people answering for her is wierd.

  • Lori Anne:

    We may currently be on opposite sides of the fence, but that’s funny!

  • Becky:

    I made a mistake! She didn’t say she loved the senator and his wife. She said she loved her former congregation. I’m sorry I was wrong. So this makes sense now. She doesn’t know these people personally.

  • sandy:

    I have no words. I am laughing too hard.

  • Brian V.:

    I think that all VCR’s and many computers are certainly controlled by Satan. How else can one explain it? Maybe we made a pact with the devil like Haiti did (according to Pat Robertson) and instead of the earthquake, we got Satan in our electronics! I have recently witnessed my half-century old brother be sent into paroxysms of tongues while trying to save a .pdf file on his Satanic windows machine. I cast out whatever I can but he still curses and rolls around over the simplest of keystrokes! Can I please have the senator’s wife’s phone number? I wonder if she does home visits?

  • Wow! Just Wow.

  • Pam:

    ElleBee – point taken! you are absolutely right, and i needed your comment!

    Precious darling rechelle – sorry for venting. over and out.

  • Priss:

    @justafarmgirl who said this: >>Not sure why I am here……the atheist “speak” is really the same as the homeschool “speak” and the pentecostal “speak” and all self righteous where ever they are. I can see where they’re headed immediately and every one has their ax to grind. NONE of them really wants to listen and hear and think and let others have their point of view. They all just want to be right.<<

    There is some irony in what you wrote. You say you can see immediately where the atheists are headed in their comments and how they don't want to listen and just want to be right. And yet you're seeing where they're headed without listening and hearing and letting them have their point of view. Kind of like you think you're right and they're wrong. Just struck me as funny.

  • SideNote: Many people in the film industry contribute the death of betamax to the porn industry. VHS was a cheaper format, allowing the “films” to be cranked out faster and cheaper. Which was a boon for the porn industry. And rather than people buying two machines ($$!), VHS just kind of took over.

    Thus ends this episode of more or less useless info. We now return you to your regularly schedule comment catfight ;)

  • *contribute should be attribute

  • just a farm girl:

    dear miss priss

    The difference is that I don’t pretend to know what is truth FOR YOU. I see hypocrisy in the homeschoolers and the pentecostals and the religious right AND THE ATHEISTS! I see a lot of answering for Rechelle and the answers are all the same. Everybody is so damn sure! And not one of the atheist speak folk would stick up for her for one moment if they didn’t think she was on their bandwagon at the present time. Rechelle thinks the atheists have been nicer to her than some of the religious right. But I noticed the atheists can be catty too. Just sayin’

  • AnnB:

    Thinking. Thinking.
    I am wondering if Rechelles “disgust?”, “frustration” at religion is really at herself? She’s a grown up and if she lacked the insight to live an examined life, well blame every Christian homeschooler in Kansas if you want, but sister, you’re old enough to of figured out your life well before this point. ( I think that’s what the 30′s are for, if you haven’t managed it before then…) You’re lack of courage is your own battle and you’re the only warrior you needed to confront.
    Neither the nays or yays are going to make a case for or against God here. All agreed? But Rechelle, the opposite of love is not hate but apathy or disinterst. I think Rechelle could not be accused of either of those lately! Rechelle, perhaps you are still “wrestling” with God (even if you’ve little “g’ed” him in your writing, lol).
    Rechelle, what if the Spirit of God moves in you again? Would you have the same courage to acknowledge that faith has returned to you again? Don’t say it could never happen-I am sure Christian Rechelle would be shocked to know there would one day be a Athesist Rechelle!
    I always enjoy a good discussion and thank you for allowing to happen.

  • Amber:

    You know what’s funny? When I was still a believer, I thought even then that it was ridiculous when people would pray for stupid things. VCR’s, good grade on a test, for a guy to marry them, etc. My thought was that god gave you a mind so use it! He doesn’t care about your trivial life. Get out the instruction manual for the VCR, study for your test, use your brain.

    Now that I am an atheist it’s just funny.

  • shel:

    I was thinking that same thing, Amber! It’s like the participants of all those stupid reality shows asking for divine intervention to help them win. Have you ever read the recaps on Television Without Pity? They always compare that to kids bugging their mom with stupid stuff when she’s trying to take a bath. And we all know better to bother a tired mom when she’s getting a few minutes of peace, right?

    Reality Show Contestant: Please God, let me get a rose!
    God: Bish, pleez. I’m in the tub.

  • Jadehawk:

    The difference is that I don’t pretend to know what is truth FOR YOU.

    erm… truth, or more precisely reality, doesn’t work like that. there’s no such thing as one reality for you, and one reality for me, and yet another reality for someone else. there is only one reality in which we all live, which means that when two people disagree about the nature of reality, at least one of them is wrong. Reality is not like opinion or personal preferences, which indeed everybody can and does have different ones.

  • Priss:

    Jadehawk, I was just working on that very answer to justafarmgirl and my browser froze up. When I got back, you’d taken care of it. Miracle, lol.

  • AnnB:

    Priss and Jadehawk, a whole lot of fight’n words. Chill out dudes you’re giving all those nice atheists a bad name.

  • Ted Powell:

    Jadehawk wrote: there’s no such thing as one reality for you, and one reality for me, and yet another reality for someone else.Hear! Hear! Reality can intrude upon the most strongly-held beliefs. Once, a few years ago, a group of us went from our TGIF get-together to a Chinese restaurant, The Yong Yong Tree. During the meal, the “what is reality” argument broke out—again. The comment that settled the question, for that evening, was: “Reality is, whether you can get out the door without paying, before the cook gets you with his cleaver.”Philip K. Dick, the SF author, put it this way: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

  • raindog:

    Delusion is meant to be derided.

  • AnnB:

    “The difference is that I don’t pretend to know what is truth FOR YOU

    Truth=/Reality. Your arguing a point (not) justafarmgirl never wrote.

  • Jadehawk:

    truth isn’t reality?! that’s fiercely warped.

    sorry, but truth is that which is true/correct/real. so no, there cannot be more than one truth. to say that two contradicting things can both be true is to deny the existence of objective reality. it’s an extreme form of solipsism, and a form of denial.

  • just a farm girl:

    But it is the property of truth to diffuse itself.

  • Jadehawk:

    But it is the property of truth to diffuse itself.

    you do realize this is meaningless, right? and I sure hope this is not the prelude to that horrible, inaccurate and misleading “three blind men and an elephant” metaphor…

  • AnnB:

    you know what I really loved? When Rechelled did a tropical fruit tasting with her boys and a tea tasting another day! I love doing things like that with my kids–keeping their minds and taste buds wide open! Thats why they can snarf sushi and pho with the best of them. One day as a joke I packed minature pineapples in their lunches and giggled all day thinking of them pulling these 3″spiny pineapples out of their lunch bags. By the time the third son ambled up to the mean lunch lady for help, she yelled at him and told him to tell his mom to cut their fruit before she packs it. (Well, I thought it was funny.)

  • Ted Powell:

    Jadehawk, I once phoned a friend who had started a new and challenging job the week before, and asked him how it was going. He replied, “I’m still walking around the elephant.”

  • Jadehawk:

    Jadehawk, I once phoned a friend who had started a new and challenging job the week before, and asked him how it was going. He replied, ‘I’m still walking around the elephant’.

    lol!

  • just a farm girl:

    Mock me if you wish–pushing any truth out very far, you are met by a counter-truth. Who dares to say he alone has found the truth? I find the atheists as smug as the rest. The elephant in the room is that you are arrogant bigots also.

  • Alex:

    This is turning into the most fascinating accidental social experiment ever.

  • Priss:

    @justafarmgirl, why do you consider yourself on any higher moral ground when you call atheists smug, arrogant, bigoted, hypocritical, not listening, not hearing, not thinking, not caring about Rechelle except as an atheist, and so on. How in the world do you justify calling atheists such names and making such broad generalizations about them and yet still feel like they are the ones who are so bigoted?

  • “Rechelle, what if the Spirit of God moves in you again? Would you have the same courage to acknowledge that faith has returned to you again? Don’t say it could never happen-I am sure Christian Rechelle would be shocked to know there would one day be a Athesist Rechelle!”

    AnnB,

    Totally serious here. Can you imagine anything that would ever get you to believe in Santa Claus again? Seems pretty unlikely.

    Generally, that’s what it feels like for an atheist to consider believing in god again. Once you stop believing, it all seems so ridiculous (sorry, but for me at least, that’s true). Not speaking for every atheist, but from what I’ve heard and experience myself, there’s just no way you’d ever consider it again.

  • Jadehawk:

    “Mock me if you wish–pushing any truth out very far, you are met by a counter-truth. Who dares to say he alone has found the truth? I find the atheists as smug as the rest. The elephant in the room is that you are arrogant bigots also.”

    I’m not mocking you, I’m pointing out the flaws in your argument. And no one single person can claim they’ve found the truth, but those who accept that there is one, knowable, objective reality, and that there are reliable tools of studying it, and are willing to accept it when those tools disprove their pet ideas, are more likely to be correct than those who don’t. and anyone who can say such things as “there’s different, contradicting truths/counter-truths, and they’re all right” and “truth isn’t reality” is more likely to just believe what they’d like to be true, rather than what is actually true.

    and do you know the definition of “bigot”? because it’s not “disagreeing with me and telling me that”. a bigot is someone who excels at something called “special pleading” and puts their own irrational ideas on a pedestal while bashing others for their irrational ideas.

    I generally try to purge myself of irrational ideas. if they’re not rational, not based on and supported by fact and evidence, I will discard them. I may be rude or mean, but I am not a bigot.

  • Jadehawk:

    ‘Not speaking for every atheist, but from what I’ve heard and experience myself, there’s just no way you’d ever consider it again.”

    there are instances in which even staunch atheists convert. often this is because of dire life-situations (being afraid of death while having a deadly disease, for example), or mental illness, or sometimes even because of cognitive dissonance (i.e. some other desperately held belief clashes with atheism, and it becomes easier to give up on atheism than on the other belief). People are really good at lying to themselves and even making themselves believe their own lies. Atheists aren’t an exception unfortunately. staying a skeptic is a lot of active work.

    so, anyway, it’s not impossible for an atheist to become a believer, but it’s not very common.

  • just a farm girl:

    The sieve says to the needle “you have a hole in your tail”

    I came here to learn and saw only the same holier than thou hypocrisy that is easy for you to see in others.

    Although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off then she is—for she knows nothing and thinks that she knows; I neither know nor think that I know.

  • Jadehawk:

    “I know you are but what am I” is not really an argument, you know…

    I’d love for you to show where I or any other atheist have been bigoted or hypocritical, as opposed to merely critical and rational.

  • Jadehawk:

    on a completely different note, i LOVE how you labeled the google ad spaces, Rechelle! :-D

  • AnnB:

    Ipecac-okay that is a funny name! (then again ,I’m a nurse and nurse humour is always a little off….)
    I do believe you are asking me seriously and that makes me happy because truly asking and listening is what makes a civilized society…or something like that.
    Your question is valid, but if I described my inner faith life and spirituality to you, I think you would find your analogy of Saint Nick lacking. Or maybe not, but I do! In my life, I have uber-religious home schooling friends and humanist friends and everything in between; I have no interest in fighting to the death to convince anyone of anything. I think we feel mutual pity for each other; me, because of my “delusions”, you for your refusal of the gift of God. But let’s not put each other into any boxes based on our faith or lack of it….Rechelle is, based on her writing, a loving mother of boys and that is shared experience that we will always share regardless of where her faith journey has taken her. And yes, I believe that journey may not be over. Or not. Or yes. Who knows. Not me. Not you.

  • Spinny:

    just a farm girl
    >>pushing any truth out very far, you are met by a counter-truth.

    Please give me a concrete example of this.

  • Melinda Gerow:

    That’s really lovely AnnB! I was an athiest from age 18 to 5o (card carrying, loved Bill Maher, Gearge Carlin, etc) and I did come to feel God’s presence in my life, again. No, I don’t believe in Jesus’ walking on water or immaculate conception or any of the scientifically ridiculous statements in the Bible. Eckart Tolle and Annie Lamott and gentle, kind spiritual people taught me that God is with me. Now that I feel His peace and love it is hurtful to hear your feelings about me. I have a graduate degree is world history, was a middle school teacher for 10 years and definitely don’t wear “rose colored glasses” but neither am I mentally ill, terrified of death, or have “cognitive dissonance”. I just KNOW that love trumps hate any day! As am older woman I can say with deep conviction “live is long and filled with amazing surprizes!”

  • Golly! I missed some good conversation here. Am enjoying catching up on comments. I would like to answer to one comment in particular. If I were to become convinced that a caring god existed and was looking out for me I would absolutely make just as big of a deal about it as I am about being an atheist. It would be an amazing event and I am sure I would not be able to shut up about it. This is one of the reasons I did not write about my faith very often before I became an atheist. It just made me feel like an idiot.

  • Brian V.:

    @MelindaGerow, While reading your note I realized that I found my way OUT of religion in much the same way, feelings of things and acknowledging those feelings. I too believe that love trumps lack of it but cannot go into the gawd rooms in the air… I feel very very human about all of it. My dad was a Baptist preacher and I am grateful to him for his honesty. When I was a card carrying Christian, I lived in dishonesty, and was saved several times. Since I have been lost (in Christian terms) I have a whole, honest heart (and am very imperfect) Religion is not for everyone and non-belief for me is a step in the direction of love. If God told you to put your child on a stone and gut him, would you do it? I was never able to stomach that part of things, even while some preachers told me it was metaphor and so on. One day, I said to myself that the biblical patriarch who raised his knife to kill his own son because he was commanded by God must have been a complete idiot…. later, I felt that same feeling about the big gawd too, who ‘gave’ his son for us etc. Any decent dad woulda found a way to keep his Christ child. Ya just got it or you don’t got it and I sure don’t. I see religion used today in America and elsewhere not to stop war but to justify and support terrible atrocity the world over and preaching disrespect to imperfect, good people. I see the opposite direction from ‘love your neighbor’ philosophies… The church is like a drunk man staggering up to me with his offering plate and saying he’s hungry. If you can’t feed the drunk, don’t give him money because he’ll use it for you know what…. That being said, in any religious people need a sandwich I want to feed them just as much as I do that poor drunk who only thinks of getting high. Such are the ‘fallen’ thoughts of someone who survived Christian life.

  • What difference does it make whether or not CDW is an atheist or a bathtist. She is funny. Also and too isn’t there a saying “hate the sin, love the sinner?”

    I prefer to spend my time loving people and not judging them.

  • Melinda Gerow:

    Holy Mackerel! I’m praying to God to put a spell check on the comments section here. (just a little levity; Christian trying to grow a sence of humor here) :-)

  • just a farm girl:

    Spinny

    Truth= there is no god and the universe is here because of an explosion

    What caused the primordial explosion?

    We keep asking why why why. IN the end the answer is either “just because” or “for God made it so”. Take your pick.

    I do not profess to “know”. I think most of you do. I am still a seeker. But at the end of the day I believe of what we cannot speak we pass over in silence and blindly take the leap into the unknown and CHOOSE WHAT TO BELIEVE.

    What I have noticed is the christians are not the only ones sitting in judgement.

  • Martha in Kansas:

    I came over to say something, but now that I’ve caught up on the comments, I forgot! Holy moley! And what is a bathtist? A person who believes in baths? — Oh yeah, remembered. I was imagining what would have happened if Rechelle and April had joined their blogs. It would be kind of scitsophrenic (sp?) blogging. And imagine the comments. Wow! On fire! This idea will keep me amused for a while.

  • Spinny:

    just a farm girl

    Your Big Bang example is not the concrete example I was looking for. You said ANY truth can be pushed out to a counter-truth.

    It is true that if I drop my coffee mug on the concrete patio it will fall to the ground and likely break. It will not just float in mid-air and hop back into my hand. If I tried that experiment 200 times, it would never fall UP. Always down. Where’s the counter-truth.

    But let’s take you BB example. You asked who caused the primordial explosion and say the two choices are “just because” or “God did it.”

    OK. Let’s say god did it. Where did god come from?

    Here’s what Carl Sagan has to say on the matter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34-1W_9BhoU

    I think it’s important to watch because he makes a good point. If you are willing to say that god made the universe, but that god has always existed, why are you not willing to just skip the god step and say that the universe itself has always existed?

  • Alex:

    @just a farm girl… that is true. I, a non-believer, most certainly judge the critical thinking ability and in some cases the mental or emotional stability of those who consider believing in fairy tales the best viable option when faced with a bit of uncertainty, and judge ME for not agreeing with them because it threatens their implausible view of the universe and their place in it.

  • Ted Powell:

    Melinda Gerow wrote: Holy Mackerel! I’m praying to God to put a spell check on the comments section here.It may not be happening in your environment, but if I type something into the comments textarea that it doesn’t recognize (e.g. “sence”) then as soon as I type a following space or punctuation mark it puts a thin red line under the not-word. (I’m running Firefox 3.5.8 with JavaScript and Java enabled.)Of course, this doesn’t help when one types a different word from what was intended, such as “you’re” for “your” or vice versa.

  • Kathy:

    These posts about who is or isn’t tolerant makes me think of a few Baptist friends and relatives I’ve known over the years. They tell stories about how this “group” at church doesn’t get along with that “group” at church so one “group” runs off and starts another church. Hmmm…makes me think about who is or isn’t intolerant.

    Oh, and another Baptist friend tried to set me up with a “good Christian boy.” Uh…I was living with my fiance at the time.

    And my Baptist brother-n-law (who used to be Catholic) constantly runs his mouth about religion…blah, blah, blah…and I remember all the abortions he and his wife got when they were young, stupid and unmarried.

    Really?

    I don’t care if a person is religious or not. Just don’t be a hypocrite.

    Oh, and extra glad I never voted for him!

  • Kimberly:

    Spinny, love that clip! What a great perspective in which to look at that question. For someone as knowledgeable in science as I am, that was a revelation even to me. Carl Sagan rocks!

  • Melinda Gerow:

    Wow, Thank you Ted Powell. It does tend to add credance to one’s argument when they can at least successfully SPELL sense!

  • bPer:

    Kimberly

    Carl Sagan rocks!

    He sure does. Whenever I think of him, I feel a pang of loss. So eloquent. If you’re interested in more Sagan, and apropos to this post, I recommend his book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

    βPer

  • Jadehawk:

    Truth= there is no god and the universe is here because of an explosion. What caused the primordial explosion?
    The Big Bang was not an explosion. if you don’t understand the science, you really shouldn’t form strong opinions about it.

    We keep asking why why why. IN the end the answer is either ‘just because’ or ‘for God made it so’. Take your pick.
    see, once upon a time people asked “why” there was lightning. so they invented Zeus, who threw lightning bolts at people when he was angry. Then we got science, and now we know that the “why” is actually a “how”: there’s no purpose to lightning, but there’s natural causes for it.
    And the same has been true with every single question that people once used to attribute to some supernatural magical being. every time, it turns out that it’s not a “why”, it’s a “how”. why should I assume that your answer to the made-up question “why” isn’t just another one of those instances where it’s just a “how”?

    point being, the answer is not “just because”. that’s answering a question that doesn’t really exist. the real question has always turned out to be “how”. and the answer to that, in the case of the beginning of the universe, is very difficult to understand, but it exists nonetheless.

    “I do not profess to ‘know’. I think most of you do. I am still a seeker. But at the end of the day I believe of what we cannot speak we pass over in silence and blindly take the leap into the unknown and CHOOSE WHAT TO BELIEVE.”
    I don’t believe in anything. if I don’t understand it, or do not have sufficient evidence for or against it, I withhold having an opinion on it and revert to the “null hypothesis” (i.e. if there’s no evidence and no need for its existence, I must assume it doesn’t exist until further evidence comes in).
    To “believe” something to be true just because I’d like it to be true would feel like lying to myself. Why would I do such a dishonest thing to myself?

  • bPer:

    just a farm girl:

    What caused the primordial explosion? We keep asking why why why. IN the end the answer is either “just because” or “for God made it so”. Take your pick.

    You’re employing a logical fallacy here – the false dichotomy. There are more than two answers to your question, including the obvious one: “we don’t know … yet”.

    If you don’t have an explanation for something, making stuff up is not the answer. As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out”. The eternal demand for an answer to the question of the origin of the universe has been an impetus for all religions’ creation myths, including Christianity’s.

    ‘The truth’ isn’t what makes you feel good; it’s what is revealed by evidence. There is no scientific evidence* for God or Genesis or Jesus, so the only appropriate position on the question of their existence is “I don’t know, but I’m willing to consider new evidence if/when it appears”.

    * The only reliable form of evidence that exists

    βPer

  • bPer:

    Geez, Jadehawk, I guess I should have refreshed before hitting Submit. I’d been thinking of responding to JAFG since she posted it, but was tied up. What a coincidence.

    βPer

  • I was that KU track person! How did I miss that episode? Hmm, must have been at a track meet.

  • Literarysnob:

    I’m afraid people like this lady makes my skin crawl!! I’d be with the librarian and flee the scene asap!!!

    Have you noticed since you have had you “lase” you have increased your readers and commenters???

  • Lori:

    @AnnB- your pineapple story was hilarious! Loved it! ;)

  • Cheyenne:

    Literarysnob,

    Not sure what “lase,” is, but I think I get your meaning anyway. I was thinking the same thing. Rechelle has a funny post (I think it’s in the Farmhouse Favorites section) about how her site counter (I think that’s what it’s called) went all wild and crazy, taking her shirt off and running around after she advertised on PW. I’d like to know how her coming out has changed her numbers now, not that it has anything to do with why she came out. I’m betting that the things the site counter are “doing” now would make a schoolgirl blush!

  • Spinny:

    bPer

    >>I recommend his book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

    It arrives here on Tuesday from Amazon! I’m looking forward to reading it so very much!

  • Cheyenne – my site counter is OBSCENE! Not really. Numbers are up – but it’s far from obscene, but I feel OBSCENELY better about what I am writing these days.

  • Spinny:

    bPer

    >>There are more than two answers to your question, including the obvious one: “we don’t know … yet”.

    Thank you, that is the part of her comment to which I forgot to respond.

  • Linda Joan:

    Hello Dear Rechelle,
    You commented,”If I were to become convinced that a caring god existed and was looking out for me I would absolutely make just as big of a deal about it as I am about being an atheist.”

    So, I’d like to ask if when you were living as a Christian, was there a time when it was obvious to you that God wasn’t looking out for you?

  • Ted Powell:

    Linda Joan wrote: So, I’d like to ask if when you were living as a Christian, was there a time when it was obvious to you that God wasn’t looking out for you?… not to be confused with: the Christian community, the courage and self-assurance provided by belief in God, the support of humanity at large, your country’s social safety net, your city, your neighbours, your family, your inner strength that you were born with and that was nurtured by your parents, your immune system to protect you from bacteria and viruses (who created them?), and the list goes on …

  • Ted Powell:

    Linda Joan wrote: So, I’d like to ask if when you were living as a Christian, was there a time when it was obvious to you that God wasn’t looking out for you?The twelfth of January 2010, would be the answer of 217,000 Haitians—if they were in any condition to answer anyquestion.

  • usawife:

    Enough about man-made religions. Enough about ignorant people. The picture is so much bigger than any of us. We, as humans are unique in that we have a conscience – a moral compass that alerts us to universal right and wrong. Where do you think that comes from? Why would we need that if this world was about survival of the fittest? There is no scientific explanation for faith, for the longings of something bigger, the expectation of eternity. Humans are the only species that worry about death – whether they live or die, at least on a level different from instinct. Over 90% of the world’s population believes in a spiritual life after death. What that looks like, I don’t really know. But I’m sure this is not the end. God chooses who He wants. I may or may not be chosen, but that doesn’t mean i don’t believe He is there. Those of you that think this world is all there is… good luck with that.

  • Judy:

    I think engeneers call them “gremlins” not demons, but it’s still funny how we all sometimes endow inanimate objects that don’t work well with evil-like tendancies. There is something called magical thinking. And because technology is like magic when it is sufficiently advanced, ( as Arthur C. Clarke said), maybe the crazy Christian lady should have tried using a spell to cast out the gremlins!

  • Potco:

    usawife,
    A few things, one, we aren’t that unique, you see in some other higher species like chimpanzees that they have some sense of morality. Bonobo’s and Dolphin’s both have recreational sex.
    Two, there is no universal right and wrong. Morality is a product of culture, and while some things are almost always unethical they have been widely accepted for huge sections of human history. Thing’s like slavery. Other things are almost always wrong but occasionally right, like killing or lying.
    Three, evolution by natural selection is actually very capable of dealing with this, I have seen this dealt with in multiple books, off the top of my head check out Dawkin’s God Delusion. If not that, I think Sam Harris’s upcoming book is on this subject.
    Four, it doesn’t matter what 90% of the world population believes, only what is reality, and the reality is that no one has presented any evidence for an afterlife that I have seen. Maybe you have the evidence, if so please present it, but otherwise my life is so much more beautiful, so much more important, and so much more precious because I know it ends. I work hard to give my life meaning, and to leave to world a little better when I am no longer here. This life is not an entrance exam to eternity.

  • Jadehawk:

    Where do you think that comes from? Why would we need that if this world was about survival of the fittest? There is no scientific explanation for faith, for the longings of something bigger, the expectation of eternity.

    “survival of the fittest” isn’t actually what evolution is. it’s a crude label, and does not reflect reality very well. humans are a social species. what that means is that we need large groups of us to survive “in the wild”. and if the members of a group can’t cooperate, can’t be altruistic towards each other, etc, then the group goes extinct. if you’ve ever seen a herd circle around the babies to protect them from the lions, that’s the same instinct as our morality. evolution accounts for morality just fine: those humans that didn’t have enough of it have gone extinct.

    and it’s not surprising that humans can’t imagine not existing for eternity. how do you do that? you’ve existed for all the time you can remember, and humans are REALLY bad at imagining things outside their experience.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Judy

    …Or she could have contacted Bugs Bunny :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1xqrdtJs8w

  • JJ:

    Too bad the librarian didn’t lay her hand on the woman’s head and say “you are welcome, my child”
    Of course it would have been tempting to just pull the plug on the whole video thing – sorry can’t get it to work…

  • JJ:

    Oh it sure is fun to watch all hell break loose isn’t it Rachelle – you little minx! I was going to call you a little devil, but if god’s out I figured that dude would be too – well and then saying hell break loose – that may not be the correct term either… Hmmmm – a quandry…

  • Linda Joan – Yes. I could write an entire post on this and perhaps I will – but it became very clear to me last spring during my visit to a certain well known blogger’s house. At that point I knew that I could have all the faith in the world, and I was never going to have any real success as a blogger. At least as long as I was playing by ‘christian rules’. I was simply not christian enough and I did not homeschool my kids. I did not tout the bible, displaying bible verses in the right hand corner of my blog. I did not endlessly discuss my faith or the particulars of christian living in my posts. The reason I did not do those things is because it made me feel like a hateful shithead. I knew I had readers from other faiths (Jewish and Hindu) and I knew that I had plenty of readers who weren’t religious at all. For me to hammer them with my own beliefs made me feel like a creep. So I didn’t. But I could clearly see that by packaging myself as a devout christian I would gain ground as a blogger in the cracked out homeschool-o-shpere my blog existed in. It’s all about marketing. You can have faith the size of a mountain, but without marketing yourself in deceptive ways to maximize your audience- you have nothing. This was very depressing to me. I am an honest person. It is impossible for me to package myself in anything except for who I actually am. Therefore, I fail and certain other bloggers succeed. That ‘other’ blogger is happy to delude her audience by letting them perceive certain myths about what she believes and who she is. She is amazingly good at packaging herself in just enough bullshit to keep lots of different kinds of people happy from christian fundamentalists (because of the homeschooling and occasional pithy references to her faith) to the stupider secular humanists who also homeschool their kids and don’t require much intellectual stimulation in their blogs. She is a natural politician. She crafts herself very carefully – always sticking to the generally vague and utterly inane and using god to further propel herself when necessary. She is completely full of shit and people (dumb people) love it! I could pray and pray and pray and be a genuine honest person truly grappling with my faith and with reality and god was not going to make my blog a success. Because there wasn’t any god. There was only deception, marketing and money. This is what creates success. Not faith. Even if you are an extraordinarily talented writer who faithfully prays, attends church, teaches sunday school, tithes ten percent, and a million other things for Jesus everyday. God is not going to help you out. Because there isn’t one. After this sad realization, I started looking over my life. I started to see a pattern. I would have a dream or a desire or something that I wanted to accomplish. Sometimes these things were difficult. Sometimes these things were kind of crazy. Many times I was forced to rely totally on faith to accomplish these things and when I had to do that – I usually failed. However! When I had other people helping me – or when I was determined to succeed even if god was not going to ‘open a door’ I usually managed to do the thing that I had my heart set on. Let me reiterate that idea – when other PEOPLE helped me out or when I IGNORED what god seemed to be saying (which was usually – don’t bother) I succeeded ANYWAY, IN SPITE of god.

    Then we went to Europe and I realized that I had fallen into behavior patterns with my family and especially with my husband due to christianity and it’s insistence that I always put myself last and I always serve other people that were absolutely detrimental to my personal mental health. I almost lost my marriage because I expected my husband to understand the rules of servitude and constant humility that I have always followed. He followed the rules of making intelligent decisions and using reason and ignored the dictum of making himself last. I rarely fought him and instead just gave up what I wanted to do, because JESUS and SERVING! This made me a very bitter person – especially in PARIS because I could not fight for what I wanted and he was very willing to ignore my requests and do what he wanted. Since I refused to fight for my way, I grew more and more upset and angry. Hey! I may never get back to Paris! It’s not like giving up your own desires at home. This was a once in a lifetime trip. That’s when I knew that christianity was making me a miserable person. I already knew that I loathed what I believed because it sent most of the world to hell and now I knew that following my faith was leading me to divorce and a broken home. I came home. I started doing some serious reading and searching. I began to understand the christianity was one of millions of other religions that are all man made to explain the unknown. All that remained was figuring out how and when to disentangle myself from a church family that I loved and begin to live a life based on reality and not a pretend deity that made me miserable.

  • Beautifully said, Rechelle. This should explain most questions people have thrown at you asking why the change in your beliefs. Keep up the great blogging!

  • Joel Wheeler:

    Rechelle – powerful response. I’d like to apologize in advance for all of the apologists you’ve probably just inspired; I can already hear the accusations of selfishness….

  • Ted Powell:

    Rechelle, I love it. Your whole comment was golden. But one sentence really jumped out at me. Here it is, with emphasis of one word added by me:R: I began to understand the christianity was one of millions of other religions that are all man made to explain the unknown.

  • Linda Joan:

    Hello Dear Rechelle,

    Whew! Thank you for responding. I am thinking about what you wrote. I love you , you dear girl.

  • Ted Powell:

    Wow. Sometimes visiting several web sites in a row can result in interesting juxtapositions, but this takes the cake. After posting the comment just above, I started going through the sites that had popped up in my web feed aggregator. The second one to have something new was lol god, where sometimes things are funny, and sometimes they are social commentary.

  • Jadehawk:

    Rechelle, that was an awesome explanation!

  • Lori:

    So, because your husband was a jerk (that was my impression when I read your explanation) you are mad at all christianity now? The “servitude” the Bible talks about is not one of, um, “door-mat-itude” if you will. I know A LOT of christians have a warped way of looking at the whole “head of the house” scriptures and I haven no idea why they took such beautiful, loving scriptures and made it (nearly) abusive to women. It bothers me and saddens me. Serving others (to me) is about loving them like you love yourself, which is in the Bible also (as I am sure you know). I truly am sorry you went thru such a glitch in your marriage. I have been there (and have several years of counseling to show for it! LOL) and it is never fun or easy. I have always thought it odd society expects two “imperfect” people to get married and have a “perfect” marriage. Ridiculous really. I commend you for staying with your husband and working things out. I wish you hadn’t tossed Jesus out the window during your bumpy ride but that is your choice to make…

  • oh:

    So you became an atheist because you were jealous of that other successful blogger, and because your husband was mean to you. It’s sad — before reading your bitter rant above, I’d always considered you a successful blogger in your own right, and felt it was really admirable that you and your husband persevered though all those ups and downs of marriage. Just shows that happiness is a matter of perspective eh.

  • On second thought:

    It’s hilarious! God didn’t make me as rich and famous through my blog as I’d like, so OFF WITH GOD!

    • On second thought – Yes – I can see how you might come to that conclusion. What I was trying to say and perhaps not very well was that some people are very adept at crafting a perception of themselves to appeal to lots of people. They are like politicians. They figure out a certain formula – a certain perception that keeps lots of different people satisfied and then they continually send out signals to remind these groups. It’s like squirting out a pheremone. The christians are made happy when they see a cross or read about homeschooling or hear her swoon about how much she loves her husband. The more liberal homeschoolers are made happy when she makes tiny digs (almost imperceptible digs) at too much religion in her homeschooling curriculum. The conservatives are happy because she is rich, white and successful. The old people are happy because she doesn’t cuss. Young, stupid women are happy because of all the photoshopping that makes her world seem like a princess fairyland. The only people that see through all the bullshit are repelled and don’t come back – unless like me – they are mystified and keep trying to figure it all out. My experience with that blog was critical in leaving my faith behind. It made me realize that people can freely manipulate faith to promote themselves, which made me start to see that the BIBLE manipulates faith to promote itself. Once you dismiss faith – the bible reads like political propaganda. It is sickening. I am grateful for the immense dissatisfaction I had with my own blog vs her blog because it made me extremely dissatisfied with my life in general and that made me start asking very hard questions. I suppose jealousy played a role in this, but mostly I was stupefied at the success of that blog. The writing is bad, the photos are so fake, the instructions on cooking and photography are inane and make your head shrink. That blog is mostly about a seductive perception that lots of people want to identify with and sort of hero-worship her. Once I realized that it wasn’t about the writing and it wasn’t about the fake photos – I started to see exactly what was really going on. It was all about marketing the self. Creating a persona that people want to buy into. I can’t do that. I am not wired that way. I can only be my own thorny self. The thing is – that in the world of blogging – there is this idea that what you are getting is the truth. So if you are good at manipulating the truth to please the most people – you win.

  • AnnB,

    I understand where you’re coming from, I was a Christian for about 30 years. But I finally examined “faith” critically, realized that it made no sense, that Christianity was no different from the tens of thousands of other religions, and that there was no proof that any of it was the truth. And it just fell away. Once you’re on the outside, the Santa Claus analogy makes perfect sense.

    Yes, there are the rare exceptions of atheists who go back to religion. But it’s a big planet with a lot of people.

  • Rosie:

    “Fill this room and this VCR with your holy spirit and let the message of this movie be heard…”

    Please, please, please give me permission to use this in my book.

    • Rosie – Feel free to use it. Spread the word! It’s not verbatim of course. But the general idea is certainly there.

  • @ Lori, Oh, and On Second Thought: I think you’re misreading the account. Rechelle is not saying that those things caused her to leave Christianity. She’s saying that they caused her to start re-evaluating her Christianity, and in the process of doing research/reading for that, she came to realize that she couldn’t really accept any of it.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into her reply… and I’m certainly reading it in conjunction with her Parable of the Window from a previous post; but I think you’re confusing the trigger with the cause(s). You’ve heard of the straw that broke the camel’s back? Like that.

  • Lori:

    Ok, so maybe PW is all you say she is. So why let that color your perception of Christ?? And I am neither young nor stupid and I enjoy her cooking tutorials d/t the fact I am more than a but challenged in that area… ;) Me likey lots of pictures… lol

  • precia:

    When I was a kid, my mother (Jehovah’s Witness) would always blame Satan if something went wrong. If we got a flat tire, it was because Satan didn’t want us to make it to the meeting. There were demons around every corner, I shit you not. She never attempted to cast anything out of even the most troublesome appliance, though. Maybe we would have had fewer flat tires if she had.

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