An apology


is in order to our friend. You see in an earlier post I had mentioned that maybe she lived in the Congo basin or somewhere remote. It turns out my comprehension skills are wanting. Her faith journey was way back when internet access to homes was almost non-existent and all those of you calling her out on this should desist immediately.

So this leaves only one question unanswered; what happened to the Christians who taught scripture where she went to school?

The God Delusion by Dawkins was published in 2006 and her conversion was 16 years ago. I know I am poor at math, but this math doesn’t add up.

I have always admitted to not having met atheists till when I was in campus. I had not come across atheist literature before that time. It is plausible that she didn’t know where to find a bible. And remember hers was all before internet was found in most homes.

So with this I would like to apologise for saying

How long ago was this? Was in the era before internet? This must be some place in the Congo forest

and enlist tildeb’s help until such a time as approved by Eva.

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

71 thoughts on “An apology

  1. tildeb says:

    She’s pretty fast at missing the point and diverting attention away from her intentional deceit – claiming that in spite of scripture classes in school and living in a dominant culture infused with Christianity – she miraculously knew nothing about it; instead, the problem here is you and your unintentional misreading of a trivial point.

    Now that we know she can comprehend what she has written, she has in fact further revealed her own intentionally and without remorse lie about atheism and smear without any regard the character of other atheists.

    Nice.

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    • makagutu says:

      I think by the time dust settles on this story, I will not know what to believe about her, though as I told Ruth, I haven’t followed her blog

      Like

      • tildeb says:

        Again, to be clear, it’s the attribution to non belief for negative characteristics she claims derived from her non belief over which I have taken great exception. Because no one else in her welcoming faith community decided to question this connection that isn’t a connection at all, I did. I then got banned for it, which has happen innumerable times no matter what ‘tone’ I use. So rather than shrug and go away, I decided more of us should challenge this kind of bullshit when we encounter it.

        It’s that central theme in her testimony that I read over and over from all kind of convertees in their testimonials (I was once an angry atheist and fundamentalist Dawkins adherent but, since God whispered in my ear to join his special club, now I’m a really nice person) that needs to be soundly and roundly criticized because it is an ongoing source of vilification directed at atheists that is based on a Big Lie. I’m concerned about that and not all the other inconsistencies of her testimonial.

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  2. Ruth says:

    Hi Mak, I’ve been reading Eva’s blog off and on for several years. When I first began reading her blog she was an avowed atheist. I’m not sure what transition took place, but she became quite fascinated and convinced by the stories of NDE’s that there is, indeed an afterlife. Having been convinced of such she embarked on a journey to discover the meaning of that and has ended up in, as best as I can tell, a very progressive form of Christianity. More or less a John Shelby Spong type of Christianity where the message means something to her but not that she believes everything that’s in the Bible in a literal sense, or that it even took place at all.

    I’m speaking for her, but I think the 16 years she’s speaking of was the time when she would have been in school(where the weekly scriptures took place), not her conversion. That has happened progressively over the last several years.

    She’s an interesting read. I don’t agree with her conclusions, but she’s typically quite engaging and is more than happy to agree to disagree.

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    • tildeb says:

      That’s one reason why I was so disappointed in her vilifying of atheism. We know this is a lie. So why not own it and fix the problem rather than divert and avoid doing the right thing?

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      • Ruth says:

        I haven’t read all the comments over there. I did go back and re-read the OP. Perhaps it’s because I’ve read some other things that she’s written about being ‘angry’ and ‘fundamentalist’ about her atheism that I didn’t take it quite the way you did. Her anger and fundamentalism is/was likely a product of her personality and nothing at all to do with her atheism. She quite readily admitted that the other atheists(basically her entire family) she knows are not like that at all. They’re quite happy to let other people(namely her) believe whatever they wish. Whatever made her angry and fundamentalist had little to do with her atheism. It more likely(and she alludes to this) had to do with her feeling of superiority that she was “smarter” than anyone who wasn’t.

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        • “It more likely(and she alludes to this) had to do with her feeling of superiority that she was “smarter” than anyone who wasn’t.”

          Ruth, in one of her previous posts, she identifies herself as a <Class A Christian. Any idea what she meant by that?

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          • Ruth says:

            Got a link? I’m afraid not without some context. lol And probably not eve with some context. But we all know those kinds of Christians, the ones who think they’ve got it all figured out, that’s what I’d call a Class A Christian. It would also be loaded with sarcasm. 😉

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          • Ruth says:

            Yeah, my take on that would be that that was sarcasm. But that’s just my take.

            Now that I’ve psychoanalyzed Eva, can I show you to my couch? :mrgreen:

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          • Haha. OK. Couldn’t help but laugh at her not being able to really understand the bible. Is she ever in for a rude awakening — that is — if she’s honest with herself.

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          • Ruth says:

            My guess is she might be sticking to the feely-good parts and the social justice parts(you know, red letter Christian). I don’t think she’s going to care much for her body not being her own. And that whole submit to you own husband even when he’s an asshole thing. Then again, like I said, she’s not, at least at this juncture, a fundamentalist, the end is tomorrow, kind of Christian. It is likely she’ll see all of that as some type of metaphor. And with her husband being an atheist it’s doubtful he’ll expect her to submit.

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          • One can only hope. With the likes of fundamentalist David McD wooing her with bullshit, I wished I was more optimistic. But, I guess my point about the bible was that it’s such a mishmash of inconsistencies — non-cohesiveness, that anyone who’s honest with themselves will eventually figure that out.

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          • makagutu says:

            Anyone who has been agnostic / atheist long enough would at least, in my view, known something about world religions to not say the stuff she is saying

            Liked by 2 people

          • As a proclaimed, “militant type” atheist, why was she so angry at Christians if, as she said, didn’t know any?

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            It makes no sense at all. I have tried to believe her story this all happened before the internet age and I will stick with that story, but it doesn’t hold

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          • makagutu says:

            When I need free service, I will call you😀

            Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          Ruth, a few years ago I wrote a confession https://maasaiboys.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/confessions/ it would have, I think, brought me a lot of sympathy if I said how awful the religion I was leaving was. There was no need for that. A story honestly told is just as good.
          So while I agree with all you say and would be happy to know I can have a friend speak on my behalf, I would also prefer to make it easy for my friend by being truthful or telling a consistent story

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      • Ruth says:

        Oh, and it’s entirely possible to hear scriptures at the age she was(I don’t know what age grade 3 is in Australia) and color in pictures of Jesus every week but still not really know much about Christianity. Look at all the people that sit and listen to ‘preachin’ every week at church who have no clue about their own faith. All they know is hell is hot and Jesus lives! It’s my understanding that’s not the kind of Christianity she practices or would even have a desire to. But if you’re completely disinterested in all the parts in between, you just know you’re saved and for a lot of people that’s enough. Well that and hatin’ them damned ol’ lib’rals. lol

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        • makagutu says:

          That’s true. Is it possible, not to know where to find a bible and two if her family is so accepting, where is the need to hide a bible?
          And if your only knowledge of Christianity is from the life of Brian, why would anyone want to convert?

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          • Ruth says:

            I don’t know of it’s possible to not know where to get a bible. One would think since it’s a book that a bookstore would be the logical place to look, or Amazon. So, yeah, that’s a bit of a head scratcher.

            I just assumed her need to hide the bible was because she was embarrassed to be seen with one after all her fundamentalist, angry, judgmental atheist outbursts.

            I’ve never watched much Life of Brian so I can’t really answer that one. Maybe that was the caricature that she associated with Christianity and she thinks she’s found something “better” than that? Because she can still keep science(ish) facts and mix them with what she doesn’t know? I duuno. For me, if the whole thing isn’t real what’s the point?

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          • “For me, if the whole thing isn’t real what’s the point?”

            Boom.

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          • makagutu says:

            I understand that she could be embarrassed and all. Maybe I am looking at all this with a lot of bias.
            On the other hand, if I were in her shoes I would easily have said I want to read the bible and know more of it. No cause for embarrassment

            Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        I think it would be much better and build her Street cred if she admitted this conversion story has been embellished for effect

        Liked by 2 people

    • “happy to agree to disagree” a typical tactic for someone who has no evidence for her claims. Alas, everyone doesn’t get their own reality.

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      • Ruth says:

        Well, certainly. I have never taken Eva to be adamant that Christianity is the only right way to view the world, nor that it’s the only way to view the world, which is to say she doesn’t feel the need to “prove” she’s right or anyone else is wrong.

        She’s been perfectly transparent in the past that her conversion isn’t particularly evidence based. My personal take is that she became disenchanted with a materialist worldview and identifies with [some] elements of Christianity as a way of living(i.e. socialist views) rather than a fast and hard rule by which to live.

        She started out by saying that she had been a lifelong atheist turned agnostic turned Christian by questioning, “what if I’m wrong,” and “could there be more than what we see,” type questions.

        I started on the other end with, “what if I’m wrong,” and “am I sure there’s anything more than what I can see,” type questions.

        I left her some questions over there. I’m not sure she’ll answer them, but I was living a life of Christianity that was unexamined. It sounded to me as though she was doing the same thing with atheism? She just was because that’s what she’d been taught at home, that’s all she’d really known? And not necessarily a well-reasoned atheism, at that? *shrug* I don’t know.

        But I do agree with you, except that I’ve been happy to agree to disagree with people even though I have, to my mind, sufficient evidence for my agnostic atheism. Once I’ve provided all that if someone still can’t see the logic or, more to the point, won’t see the logic I’m likely to agree to disagree since I can’t force someone to change their mind.

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        • makagutu says:

          I think I will take your word on this since you have read her blog longer.
          Oh yes, it is possible there are many people who have not followed that maxim by Socrates, know thyself.
          Or a similar story in the lifes of the noble Grecians and Romans about a soldier who acted without thought and was reprimanded by the captain for risking his life without thought. It’s the same here, moving from one unexamined position to another almost similar

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        • Arkenaten says:

          A valid point was raised pertaining to her claimed ignorance prior to conversion. If she was this staunch atheist why when the ”change” came did she convert to Christianity and not Islam, or Judaism, for example?

          As we all know it is make believe this suggests there had to be influence of some kind and it likely points to a form of cultural indoctrination.

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          • Ruth says:

            I hope I didn’t imply or suggest that that isn’t a legitimate question. Or that no one should be asking it.

            I would also hope that the narrative she’s built for herself isn’t meant to intentionally disparage or defame all atheists everywhere. My thinking is more along the lines of Victoria’s. It makes her part of the “in” crowd. Rather, it bolsters her personal testimony since she doesn’t have some incredible back story, like drug addiction or porn addiction, or some miraculous healing story.

            When I was a Christian I often lamented that I didn’t have some dramatic conversion tale to tell.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Or deism. There is a whole range of faiths to choose from

            Liked by 1 person

        • Ruth, you seem to be quite disingenuous. REally, someone who finds it necessary to lie to get them to agree with her religion isn’t trying to say that here religion is the only way? That’s all she’s doing, lying to get people to believe her claims.

          Many theists make the claim that they were atheists and there is damn little evidence this was true, but it does make a great story, just like she’s tried to do. It’s her claims that don’t fit reality at all.

          are you happy to disagree or do you just give up? Those mean different things.

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          • Ruth says:

            Disingenuous? To what end?

            I didn’t say that she didn’t embellish her story. I just have a different opinion of why that might be.

            You are right that many theists claim they were atheists. They seem to conflate a reasoned examination of evidence (or lack thereof) with simply being disinterested in religion or gods, or as in Eva’s case being defiant of a system of rules and regulations. She still has an heir of superiority about having faith. Just the same way she felt superior to believers before she became one. In her world there’s some difference in suspending reason to believe there’s a specific god and suspending belief that said god created everything in six literal days. What that difference is I couldn’t tell you.

            That’s the thing, as you say, she has no evidence, and she doesn’t pretend to have any. It’s faith.

            I just didn’t attribute the same nefarious puposes to her writing. I didn’t take her to be evangelizing so much as getting kudos from the choir. I mean, really, how convincing is, “I’ve got no evidence, just a feeling (which may or may not be gas), that there’s something more?” That’s all she has. Very subjective feelings.

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          • Ruth, do you think Eva thinks her arguments are convincing?

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          • Ruth says:

            Not to anyone but herself. I think she’s been blogging about her own personal experience as it’s unfolded as she sees it. I’m not convinced that she’s trying to persuade anyone else.

            She doesn’t believe in hell, I’m not sure she believes there’s a heaven, she’s not 100% sure there was a physical bodily death, burial, and resurrection. She doesn’t believe in sustitutionary atonement, she believes in universal salvation.

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          • makagutu says:

            She has said she isn’t lying and that this is her story.
            Maybe it’s the way this story was told that is the issue

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          • Ruth says:

            I do think it’s particularly hard for those of us who have had the almost unencumbered use of the internet for the last 20+ years to fathom that that might not be the case elsewhere.

            I also think that anyone who tries to condense their whole life story down to 5 minutes might leave some holes. I really don’t think she gave much thought to the fact that it would be seen as villainizing atheists.

            I definitely think wording is an issue, here. Like the use of the word “know”. I was thinking the same as everyone else. To me knowing Christians constitutes even acquaintances, like the clerk at the grocery store who wears a crucifix and says, “Have a blessed day,” when I check out. She was evidently using “know” in the sense of someone she’d have over for dinner.

            Not only that, her use of the language that she didn’t know anything about Christianity when, clearly, she did but just didn’t like what she knew about it is problematic. It’d just be easier to say, “What I did know about Christianity, I didn’t like.”

            She’s not totally off the hook, that’s for sure. It’s just that when you’re preaching to the choir it’s easier to get a little hazy and lazy with the details vs. when you’re putting yourself out there for all the world to see.

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          • makagutu says:

            In trying to condense ones life in a short post, in my view should not be hard. In fact, because there is so much to say, there is room for clarity, especially since you are writing. You choose what to write and what to ignore.
            I have tried to make room for all her claims even the ones that don’t seem to make sense under scrutiny. But what I have got for it, she maintains I am spreading falsehoods against her.
            In future when I decide to write my bio, I will remember some of the lessons of this discussion

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          • Ruth says:

            Right, she said she was condensing it to a 5 minute talk she gave at her church and then she posted what she said at her church on her blog.

            I, personally, think the whole thing turned way uglier than it had to. That is owing to her deleting and banning someone, even temporarily, who called her out on her apparent inconsistency. Censorship always raises red flags. That definitely opened her up to further scrutiny.

            Do you think that she is just a liar who is out malign all atheists everywhere?

            I have to admit that I get a little irritated when people do a drive-by on my blog and think they know everything there is to know about me based on one post. It’s mostly Christians who have decided that a) I never really was one or b) that since I was one I still am one. Then they psychoanalyze how I must have had some bad church experience or that I must be really angry at their particular god. In essence they call me a liar. I never really believed or I wouldn’t have changed my mind.

            And, frankly, until I started researching something in particular the only atheist I knew was a lawyer in the town I was from. But I’d been told all kinds of terrible things about them; how they were devoid of morality, that they really didn’t disbelieve in god, they were just setting themselves up in his rightful place, etc., etc.

            Is it really so hard to believe, even after corroboration from others from the region she’s from that this could not be so from the opposite perspective?

            It totally didn’t make sense that I didn’t know any atheists, yet I distrusted them and thought they were suspect. No sense at all. But I did.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            I don’t think she is a liar or malicious just that the story as presented, for anyone who reads it, will find it, I think a bit inconsistent.
            Luckily for me, I hardly get people who question whether I was a Christian and for some reason, my posts don’t attract the religious, even when they are about religion. Maybe I should change how I write. *Mental note*
            You will not believe it. The first set of atheists I met I was in campus. We didn’t discuss religion much. At that time it was impossible for me to fathom there were those who lived their lives without gods. It was a shock. What this meant is I knew nothing about it at all.

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          • Ruth says:

            Thankfully, I don’t get religious hit-and-runs often, but it does happen on occasion.

            Like I said before, I do think what made everyone take a step back was the claim of being a ‘militant’ atheist when she says she didn’t know any Christians and that she didn’t know anything about Christianity. Turns out, that isn’t true.

            Had I been writing, or telling the story, I would have included the bit that told why I was angry and fundamentalist. I could honestly say I didn’t know but one atheist, but that I was biased against them in general, based on what I believed being an atheist meant. I wouldn’t have made the claim that I didn’t know anything about atheism, just that my knowledge contained a lot of error.

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          • makagutu says:

            I agree with you.
            I think that would make more sense and would not raise eyebrows.
            And I also think this would have not exploded had she not, maybe from a lapse in judgement or whatever reason, not attempted to censor tildeb. It’s unfortunate but also a good subject of study, I think, in how not to write a testimonial

            Liked by 1 person

          • Then why does she try to spread them if she only thinks her arguments only appeal to her?

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          • Ruth says:

            Are you saying that anyone who has a public blog is trying to convince the world of their particular positions?

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          • I think that is a reasonable assumption, especially since Christians place value on evangelizing. What other reasons might there be?

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          • Ruth says:

            Well you know what assuming does?

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          • nice aphorism. those don’t always work. Assuming is what you are doing, Ruth. Is it any better?

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          • Ruth says:

            Did you read more than just her one post? I’ve been reading there for several years. I prefaced everything I said with, ” I think.” You asked me what I thought. I answered. Simple as.

            So now, we might just have to agree to disagree

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          • Ruth says:

            There was more to my comment.

            Have you read more than just the one post there? Why don’t you query her about your concerns?

            I personally don’t think that she’s confident enough in her beliefs to evangelize. And while you and I live in the U S and are surrounded by evangelicals, she lives in a part of the world that evidently isn’t particularly religious. There are sects of Christianity that aren’t evangelical.

            I think she blogs to hash out in her own mind her beliefs and to connect with like minded people who already share similar views. But I think if you really want to know you should ask her.

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          • Again, what reasons are there to post ones opinions on a public forum, Ruth? I understand if you don’t want to answer, but don’t waste my time making up what you think Eva thinks or doesn’t think. As you said, perhaps you should ask her.

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          • Ruth says:

            I personally post my public opinions but I don’t expect to ‘convert’ anyone to my way of thinking.
            I enjoy writing. It’s nice to connect to other people who like-minded. It’s good to hear the opinions if others and to test my thinking.
            Is that the purpose if your blog? To evangelize people into atheism? Are you so confident that you are right in all your thinking that you can’t possibly be wrong that your objective is to get other people to agree with you? You just want an echo chamber?
            Now, I wasn’t the one who asked the question. You were so if you want to know you should ask her yourself.

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          • makagutu says:

            Peter says in Tasmania it is possible to find a bookstore without a bible. Maybe we are too demanding for facts 🙂

            Like

    • makagutu says:

      Hi Ruth, I will admit readily that I haven’t read her blog before. I don’t think she has another post where she writes about her conversion so I think the rest are not very relevant in this case. That said, you know I don’t begrudge anyone for believing as they do. In all instances I have written about belief, I have said a person cannot believe otherwise than they do unless there is external influence.
      My contention here is that the story doesn’t add up as related. Maybe in her head she has a consistent story.
      I have read many religious people who claim god delusion was their bible before they converted, I have not read of atheists making such a claim. If you were to ask me for reference to atheist literature, it would hardly crop up in my top ten books. But that’s me.
      And one last thing, I have no problem with you speaking for her. One of the people speaking for her wrote she has examined faith in and out blah blah, which in my view was an exaggeration.
      There is another who said it is rude to question her or call out her deceit, she hasn’t said anything either to confirm that is the position she prefers.
      Finally, you say she is typically more than happy to agree to disagree, I am not convinced given her responses to those who have called her out.

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      • Ruth says:

        Well, I can certainly understand, having read some of the comments on her latest post. All I can say is that this isn’t typical of her from what I’ve seen. Though I can say she is not keen on being argued out of her faith.

        Some of the questions I left for her over on hers address some of the points you made here. Did she view atheism as a religion? I’ve never read The God Delusion and I have no atheist bible. If someone were to point me to one I’d probably run from that, too.

        I’m not sure about the whole examined it inside out, thing. I think she examined it within the parameters of what she was/is willing to believe.

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        • makagutu says:

          And I think she should count you a good friend. At least while defending her, you can raise some questions about her story. Others are quick to say amen

          Like

          • Ruth says:

            I’m not exactly defending her. Not exactly. She’s perfectly capable, I think, of doing that. I guess I was just hoping, since I hadn’t known her to be so derogatory of atheism and atheists in the past that she didn’t mean it quite the way it was taken, though I can certainly see why Tildeb and others have taken that view. Nothing like playing devil’s advocate, eh? 😈

            Anyway, about others saying amen? I will say that when I came to atheism I was welcomed with open arms and no one really questioned whether it was well thought out or not. I got my own pats on the back of a similar sort. When a person says they’ve become a Christian(especially when giving the whole, “I was an atheist” spiel), no one questions if they’re really a Christian or if they were ever really an atheist, they just welcome you to the fold. What a miracle!

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          • makagutu says:

            You have a point there. I think by the time I was writing my confession, I had done quite a bit of examination and soul searching. I got pats for the story but I had already been writing on other issues.

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  3. john zande says:

    Tasmania. Think Falkland Islands, and you get a picture of Eva’s world.

    Victoria nailed it, though, a few days ago, saying she’s just trying to score points with her new “group.”

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Charity says:

    In the second semester of my senior year at a public high school I was 17 years old. I was non denominational/Baptistish at the time living in southwest Georgia here in the US. The best way I know how to describe my faith then is Baptist with Charistmatic leanings without the Pentecostal drama. Being the odd ball that I am, I was best friends with two Mormons and we all signed up for journalism class that year. One day, one of them approaches me with tears in her eyes and a book in her hand. She tells me that she knows I’m looking for something and Mormonism is it. I quietly and politely accepted her book. We walked out of class and parted ways. I think I took three steps and threw away that brand new, hardbound Book of Mormon.

    That was in 1990. At the time, particularly in that area of the US, Mormonism was still seen as a cult to most Christians. There were very few Mormons residing in southwest Georgia.

    I’m having a hard time making sense of her story. I’m sure things are different in Australia. However, I don’t think they’re that different. While I was a Bible school student I fell pretty hard (romantically) for an Australian man during my first semester. That was in January of 1991 at Dallas, Texas. The first thing I think of when people say “Australia” is Darlene Zschech/Hillsong. I enjoyed her music in the 90s in the US, even saw her in Nashville in the late 90s. I also remember listening to her songs on a housemate’s CD in a little village in England in 2002.

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    • makagutu says:

      I think I am ready to accept Tasmania is one a backward place, there are no Christians and lastly they don’t sell bibles anywhere and I am sticking with this

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      • Charity says:

        Sorry, Noel. I was trying to remember the “unreached groups” of the 1040 window and I couldn’t.

        If she lived/lives in a remote area I understand.

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        • makagutu says:

          I am willing to accept that. She would however have to clear up the part where she hated Christianity but knew nothing about it. And had no clue where to get a bible.
          How would it sound if I said I hate Hindus and in the same paragraph say I know nothing about them except from a parody?

          Liked by 1 person

  5. For the record, my criticism of Eva’s highly implausible story had nothing whatsoever to do with the internet. Rather, it focused squarely on the fact that she claimed ignorance of Christianity and the Bible (which is known nearly ubiquitously throughout the world) while also claiming that her first exposure to it occurred when she watched the obscure 1979 Monty Python comedy film “Life of Brian” (see: https://maasaiboys.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/lying-for-god/comment-page-1/#comment-40072).

    I do not believe such ridiculousness, and reassert my belief that Eva is either deliberately lying, delusional, or is simply being used by her fellow Christians for propaganda purposes.

    I was a young man when “Life of Brian” hit the movie theaters. Its brilliant parody of religion angered Christians at that time to no end. Ever since, they have tried various ways to belittle and demonize the film. Why? Because it scared the crap out of them. This “story” by Eva is just another in a long line of such pathetic and futile endeavors.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Barry says:

    I feel I need to remind everyone that the antipodes is not the Bible Belt of America. If what I read and see on the internet and news is even halfway accurate, America is under siege from the religious right. If I, and quite probably Eva, lived in the US, we would also feel as much under siege as American Atheists.

    The US might be a secular state, but it is very much a religious nation with rising levels of fundamentalism and bible literalism. To make matter worse, the politicians seem to deliberately seek out this religious right.

    On the other hand Australia, and even more so, Aotearoa New Zealand are secular nations. For the most part (there are always exceptions) few religious people believe their faith is the “One True Faith”. While it might happen to be the best for that particular believer, it’s not necessarily the best for everyone else. It’s in that context that I read Eva’s post and why I cannot see a “I’m better than an atheist” message embedded in her story. If one comes from the position thinking “Christians think they are better than others and think they have knowledge not available to others” then perhaps Tildeb’s immediate reaction is understandable. Perhaps.

    It’s very easy for us in the antipodes, particularly in NZ, to fail to recognise the rise and rise of fundamentalism in many other parts of the world. Perhaps we should be more sensitive to that. Likewise I would hope that others would be more sensitive to the fact religion and secularism are not considered enemies in this corner of the world.

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    • makagutu says:

      Barry, you know I agree with you of how religion is not so present in daily life for Kiwis and Aussies, generally.
      It becomes quite hard then to reconcile this to a claim of treating the religious with disdain, when they are not interfering with ones life. I think, even you, would be skeptical of such a claim.
      Honestly, the things I read from the USA on religion sound strange. Whereas my countrymen and women are religious, they are generally not a bother and I have said as much elsewhere.

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      • Barry says:

        Perhaps a personal example might be helpful.

        My father was either an atheist or an agnostic. I never found out as he kept such matters to himself. However he had an intense dislike for people who expressed their religiosity, and by association organised religion. Unusually for him, he openly expressed his dislike for the clergy and anyone else involved in church administration.

        I have no idea why he felt so strongly about it. As he told me, he didn’t mind someone holding religious beliefs, but he absolutely didn’t want to know about it. And he made it clear that organised religion was an abomination.

        When my mother came out about being a Christian, Dad didn’t say much, but I don’t think he was pleased. Initially when church members came around, Dad was very short with them and generally made the experience less than pleasant.

        That was some 30 or 35 years ago, but towards the end of his life he had actually made friends with some church members and the local minister. He was still very clearly non-religious.

        Why the change? I can only surmise that the examples set by those he met in the church caused him to re-evaluate his prejudices over a period of some 20 years.

        I wish I knew what caused his antagonism towards organised religion in the first place and those who were associated with it, but that’s something he took with him when he died.

        I myself still maintain a distance from organised religion (with the exception of the Quakers) probably brought on by my treatment at the hands of a Sunday school teacher..

        In my case I understand the source of the prejudice and perhaps I unconsciously picked up some of my father’s dislike of organised religion when I was a child.

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  7. koppieop says:

    +Ruth: Just a reaction to your comment April 14 at 19,29:
    —–Then they … [Christians]…psychoanalyze how ….. I never really believed or I wouldn’t have changed my mind…..—–

    Am I right in thinking that persons who have never believed, shrug their shoulders at religion and probably won’t care about religion at all? Only a person who really believed (in OTHERS, since children in a religious environment have no choice), can change his mind precisely because he questions those beliefs, using his OWN reasoning.-

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    • Ruth says:

      For the most part I think that people who have never believed probably don’t care at all about religion or religious belief of individuals, themselves. In secular countries where religion doesn’t play a major factor they probably wonder what all the hoopla is about. But, as Barry has mentioned, the US(and probably other countries) is under siege from the religious right, turning even mild-mannered shoulder-shruggers into activists. The US is supposed to be a secular country. Our Constitution is meant to insure that it is. However, the religious right has found a way to use it, and it’s mention of God in any capacity as proof that this is a Christian nation and should have Christian laws. It’s really quite odd.

      Yes, you are right in thinking that only a person who really believed can change their mind about that belief using their own reasoning. However, TrueBelievers have in their handy dandy book some phraseology which causes them to dismiss any claims of belief by a person who claims that they once believed and no longer do:

      They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

      1 John 2:19

      They use this as a proof text to invalidate any claims of former believers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • koppieop says:

        So glad you agree! Without specific biblical quotes, after decades of living in a (most friendly and not aggressive) Christian environment, members of my family, in-laws and friends keep reassuring me, “Don’t you worry, go on searching, we’ll keep praying, and will see you come back. If not tomorrow, it will happen in your lifetime”.Their theo-logic (´we don’t know or understand, so it must have been God’) is not compatible with my logic.

        Liked by 1 person

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