My Story: Why I Abandoned My Faith, Left The Ministry And Became An Atheist Activist

I honestly tried to be a good Christian. It was not something I had grown up with. My parents were non-practicing Catholics. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY and then spending my formative years in a Long Island town called Hicksville (Hometown to Billy Joel), we generally only went to church on Christmas and Easter. My parents made a half-hearted effort, mostly at the behest of my Grandmother, at some sort of religious instruction. This resulted in a few months of spending a day or two each week in the musty and dark classrooms of St. Ignatious Loyola Catholic Church. As I said, it was short-lived, and for the most part, I had a near completely secular upbringing. Religion basically had little, if any, influence on our family life.

When I was a little older, married for the second time and living in Raleigh, North Carolina, I got invited to the only church that I know to have its entire statement of faith in its name. The Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church.

I dove into the faith with both feet, becoming licensed as a Preacher and studied endlessly, sponging up everything I could. I eventually left the PFWBC to start a church of my own. Several years later, my wife and I were running a moderately sized special care outreach ministry in our home town that provided food, clothing and household goods to the poor. We even became affiliated with the state food bank.

We moved a couple towns over and I began what would end up being a ten-year stint writing for a weekly newspaper column that for the first five years or so expounded the evils of the world. I produced a similar weekly radio program that was syndicated on three local Christian radio stations. I attended classes at the local Baptist Seminary and changed my Ordination from Pentecostal to Baptist and had amassed a library of over two-thousand volumes, of which I read every single word.

I wrote bible studies that were used in a few rather large churches in the area and was very well known and respected in my community and the surrounding communities. My peers, countless individuals and families had looked upon me as someone they could trust as a strong community leader and trusted ally.  As well as Pastoring the Eternal Light Christian Fellowship, I filled in for vacationing pastors at larger churches, was on the local rotation of three county pulpit supply lists and held morning worship services at a local senior center for quite a while.

The Turning Point

I walked away from all of it in 2005, which was also the year that I founded the United Atheist Front, which now, six years later, is an International Civil Rights organization, Incorporated in Georgia, that serves as an advocacy group dedicated to fighting against the discrimination of non-theists through political activism, the peaceful redress of grievances, being a friend of the court, community organization and serving as the media arm of several other atheist civil rights organizations.

What set the whole house of cards crashing down for me stated after reading a book called “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” with appendixes explaining the similarities between Utnapishtim and Noah. I could not get away from the fact that Utnapishtim had predated Noah. So I began asking questions which led to more questions which led to more questions, none of which had answers that served to validate anything about my faith. I began to realize that the book in which I placed my trust in, the Holy Bible, was rife with contradictions, inconsistencies and errors.

This sparked my interest in ancient mythology and the mystery religions. I found many parallels in my examination with older religions that pre-date Christianity, which sparked my interest in the sciences. I began devouring as much as could on the sciences with more enthusiasm than I had when I began studying for the ministry. I drank in (and still do) as much information as I could on archaeology, paleontology, biology, sociology, paleoanthroplogy, and psychology and anything else that and an “ology” on the end that wasn’t theology. I had spent ten years studying that and the last five didn’t offer anything really new.

The result was even more questions that had no satisfactory Christian answers and the more questions I asked the more that my Christian peers chastised me for having the audacity to even ask. After a while, I could no longer honestly believe in the claims and doctrines of Christianity. The more I learned, the more I realized how blind I had been, how I had been not only living in a bubble of willful ignorance, but also hurting those who do not fit in with theological thought patterns and a biblical worldview.

I had been at the end of a course that would result in me being certified as a Neuthetic Counselor, and I realized that the bigotry I had against homosexuals was legendary. I was also a misogynist and a fear monger. I did more damage to good people than I care to even remember.

Needless to say, the “powers that be” in the area – the other pastors of churches both large and small, as well as business owners who were customers of mine – were not happy about “losing one to the other side.” I was once an ally, so out of fear and ignorance, they tried to discredit my name and destroy my family. Divide and conquer, as it were. They were afraid of the influence I might exert over the vast amount of Christians who read my column, listened to my radio show and heard my sermons on Sunday mornings. They were afraid that I would somehow be able to turn people away from the faith in droves.

The gloves came off…

For those of you who are unaware, I have been disabled for the better half of the past twenty years. My main conditions are neurological, degenerative and incurable diseases that are eating away at my nervous system.  Combined, they have a similar effect of ALS, but with a longer life expectancy.  I also suffer with Ataxia, Aphasia, Memory Loss, Mild Sporadic Dementia, an annoyingly dysfunctional urinary tract and skin cancer.  At that time, my doctors had not found the right medical cocktail to slow it down and alleviate some of the painful symptoms. As I do now, during this time I had also spent a good amount of time in a wheelchair. Several former friends and aquaintences wasted no time in telling me, my wife and our children that God had punished me for abandoning my faith.

Some of the local pastors, ministers and church leaders would try and plant seeds of doubt and resentment within my wife in what I can only assume was an effort to turn her against me. While that may have been my own paranioa speaking to me, it didn’t change the facts. She was already vulnerable at that time due to the my loss of faith, and it seemed as if they took advantage of the situation.

Even some of the local Christian women, some of whom she had known for years, would take her out to lunch and their horns would come out. Some of them even told her that if it were them, they would divorce me and take the kids. They cited biblical justification and told her that I could no longer be trusted as a good husband. Needless to say, it got pretty dicey for a while in my house. They almost succeeded in destroying our marriage and tearing apart my family.

My kids were fair game, as well. They were regularly told that I could not be a good father if I were not a Christian, and, amongst other choice tidbits, there is a special place in hell for people who cause others to stumble. Very nice…

However, I was (and still am) a very good husband and father, and after a while my family realized what these people were trying to do. Slowly, my relationships with them began to heal. But that did not stop them from their relentless goal to run us out of town, where we had lived for many years. Two of my kids were born in the area and we had considered it home. They succeeded in their goal. It wasn’t just beacause I started noticing incidents of property damage and had begun to receive email threats, but also the fact that when they realized they were not going to split up my family, they decided a group shunning was in order. People my wife and children had thought to be close friends ended up being no more than friends of the fair-weather type.

We moved across the county for a few months, but at the first opportunity, I took a job and moved my family six hundred miles and three states away, uprooting my two youngest children from everything they had ever known, and my wife away from her mother and sisters. The few people who I did manage to keep in touch with for a little while let me know that our exodus had been the subject of several area sermons, and they shouted cries of victory. When I got to Alabama, my initial plan was to just lay low and keep my mouth shut. For the first year or so I relegated my unbelief to the Internet, and if I needed to, I would insinuate to the locals that I was a believer.  For a brief few months, I even led my family to believe that I had found some sort of quasi-faith again. That was a decision that to this day I still regret, but my intentions were honorable.

However, I did not want to put them through what we had just come out of, all over again. So, I went to the occasional church service and played a little music with a rather moderate minister friend of mine. But living a double life began to bring out the asshole in me and I felt like a complete hypocrite, and not being completely truthful to my family was immoral and not fair to them.

So I made the decision to just be myself.  However, in Alabama, I came to understand just how much worse religious bigotry could get. In most cases, you are expected to bear your cross very publicly and many parts of the local government are so intertwined with the church that the lines of the First Amendment are blurred beyond the ability to separate them.  You are assumed and expected to be a Christian, and you are treated very “differently” if you are not.  Although I am now living in the Atlanta Metro area, outside the perimeter is not much different that rural Alabama, and added to the mix that I am a known atheist, anti-theist and author of an atheist book requires me to keep my guard up at all times.

Currently, most of my family still identifies as Christians.  But previous experience makes them very aware of what their fellow believers are capable of, and they are prepared to defend themselves, my right to be who I am and the sanctity of our family. They know that I have been through the ringer  and I am done playing nice. I know it is not a popular choice, but I will not be forced to live a double life, pretending to be something that I am not, just because it will cause a confrontation.

For me, personally, the whole idea that a god even exists goes against every fiber of my being. I can not wrap my head around how it could be good for anyone to believe in an imaginary being that expects credulous servitude, convicts believers of thought crimes and actually cares who we sleep with, what kinds of food we eat, what we drink or smoke and what we watch on our televisions, computers or in the movie theatres. As well, that if we piss him off we will be punished in a variety of lovely ways. No, I make no apologies anymore. When I sit back and look at all the arguments, hate, strife, war, murder, crime and discrimination that revolve around the belief in a deity I still find it rather shocking that with the cumulative knowledge in the sciences and in our age of reason that it is still necessary to argue and debate on a serious level that there are gods that really exist, and that they interact with humanity on a daily basis.

I will continue to speak out abrasively against all organized religion, and that humanity would be better off without them. I refuse to take fundamental religious beliefs seriously and I continue will fight against the misogyny that has caused women to fight to obtain every liberty that they now possess in this country because the Bible teaches that they are inferior to men.  I will continue to fight against the racism, bigotry and intolerance that the bible has inspired.  I will continue to fight against the willful ignorance that chooses to replace fairy tales, myths and legends with real, proven scientific fact. I will continue to condemn a book that promotes racial separatism and sexual discrimination, a book that fails to condemn slavery and human sacrifice, a book that encourages discrimination against the handicapped and the idea that there is no such thing as a war crime, and that the murder of men, women, children and animals for land gain is God’s plan.

 “You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.” – Bertrand Russell

No other work has more often been blamed for more heinous crimes by the perpetrators of such crimes. The Bible has been named as the instigating or justifying factor for many individual and mass crimes, ranging from the religious wars, inquisitions, witch burnings, and pogroms of earlier eras to systematic child abuse and ritual murders today.” – Nadine Strossen

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully – Richard Dawkins

My advice to you is to free your mind.  If you are a person of faith, run as fast as you can away from organized religion.  If your faith is strong, it will only grow stronger without the constraints of a religion that only serves to make you a slave to contradictions, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, bad science, poor mathematics, erroneous geography, immoral comments, false prophecies, degenerate heroes, and too many other problems to mention.

If you are an unbeliever, then speak up and don’t be afraid to speak your mind and to expose religion for what it is.  Religion is the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the universe.  It makes Bernie Madoff look like a five-year old who stole a cookie from the pantry. It will be our downfall.

———————————————————————–

Al Stefanelli is the author of “A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World – The Rise Of Atheism On Planet earth.”  He also writes for the National Atheism Examiner and Yahoo! He is also the President and Founder of the United Atheist Front, wich can be found on the Web, Facebook, Twitter, Podbean and YouTube.

  23 comments for “My Story: Why I Abandoned My Faith, Left The Ministry And Became An Atheist Activist

  1. June 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  2. Bob Salt
    June 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I find myself in a middle ground with what you are suggesting. I am appalled at the treatment you have received from “Christians.”

    Personally, I do believe in an eternal soul, reincarnation, and a source of all life called by many names around the world. I do NOT believe in these things, however, because of religion. I believe in them because of the autobiographical accounts of people seeing ghosts, having near death experiences, mystical experiences, and remembering previous lifetimes. All of these things are common, cross cultural, and sometimes verified by others or available evidence.

    I have had my stages of life as a Christian, an atheist, a Unitarian, and now I am an interfaith minister who seeks the available wisdom in the world’s religions, and rejects error, hate and injustice in the same.

    I do not believe that what you believe in is what matters in life: believer or atheist. I believe what matters is your kindness, your service to others, and your wisdom mixed with humility.

    Blessings to you for your journey.

  3. roxann
    June 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    amazing.. christians show their true colors when u dont follow their rules..

  4. Dustin
    June 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you for speaking up and out, I very much enjoy reading your articles.

  5. Fubar
    June 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Such an inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing! One day the blindfold will be taken off of the sheeple and there will be peace.

  6. June 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Dearest Al,
    Ever read something that made you feel born again AGAIN, in the old days? reading this post just did this for me. I “born again atheist” all over again. HA
    Wonderful post and might I say this story is well put together and precise with every point. Always a pleasure to read your material. Thanks so much for the time invested.

  7. Sara
    June 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Since finding the UAF, I have been able to have a strengthening in my ‘faith’ or lack there of if you will. It pains me that we always must explain and defend ourselves and me subject to ridicule and malice, just because we believe something different. Growing up in a Muslim family, I know the trials and tribulations of being different because of a belief. However, it disgusts me that as an adult I still have to deal with overbearing ignorance, even amongst ‘educated’ or ‘enlightened’ individuals. Man always tries to come up with a way to explain the mysteries of life…I personally think science does a beautiful job explaining those things. Keep on keepin’ on!!

    • Gale
      June 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

      Sara,I know how you feel. I am faced with this everyday, but I just keep my head up and I will not allow them to upset me at all. I just smile at them for they just don’t understand and they have been so brainwashed over the years that they can not see or hear anything beyond what is imprinted in their brains. My husband is a christian and he respects my beliefs and never comments, and in return I respect his faiths. My kids all know what I am and have accepted it. I brought them up to explore and decide for them self what they want to follow or believe. I have never tried to influence anyone. So just ignore them and stay true to yourself.

  8. Gale
    June 2, 2011 at 1:55 am

    This was truly an inspiring article to read. I am happy to say that since I found UAF I feel more at peace with myself and even though I must still endure snide remarks from family and friends I WILL stand by what I am. I have had family members judge me for being Atheist and have decided they don’t want to know me anymore. But i cannot let those little minds sway my beliefs’ never will. Reading your article has just enforced what I always believe…Thank you so much..

  9. Graham ASH-PORTER
    June 2, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Nice reading this and being able to empathise. I am getting old as I beigin to feel it, after a hernia op 4 years ago. Then both hips operated on and being continually in pain. I retire next year but wish I was wealthy enough to retire now. I just discovered I have prostate problem, next week i go for 5 hours of tests to find out if benign or cancerous. I am also getting forgetful, but don’t mind if it is the terrible childhood brainwashing of religion! Am ploughing through your book. It is geared mostly to USA but finding it useful. Good luck mate. Sorry to go on…

  10. gc
    June 2, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Great article, I really enjoyed reading it.

    You may want to rework this sentence but I think most people know what you meant to say:

    I will continue to fight against the willful ignorance that chooses to replace fairy tales, myths and legends with real, proven scientific fact.

  11. kim
    June 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Thank you for a wonderfully written and informative article. I often wonder why I am so different in not believing the way most others in the world do and reading your story makes me feel as though I am not totally alone in my though process.

  12. Sally
    June 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I believe, and they confirm my belief every time, that there are very few actual Christians out there, just lots of people who want to belong to a group that seems to be acceptable.

  13. Ahad Ha-minim
    June 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Well, you just answered the questions I was going to ask you at your Delphi forum.

    Thanks for sharing all this. May I say I found no surprised in the treatment you got once you became “non-kosher” to your erstwhile brethren and sistren?

    Carry on, guy! I’ll be following along …

    Michael G.

  14. Albatross
    June 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

    As a teenager being forced to attend Catholic catechism classes, I learned early that I was an atheist. I knew I didn’t believe in Catholicism, but I knew that life as a contrarian to Catholicism was insufficient as well. I had to decide what I believed, not just what I did not believe.

    The first thing I did was ask myself “If there are different faiths, and some are closer to the truth than others, then the faiths that are closest to the truth would tend to have more successful followers, since their prayers would be answered more often and more successfully. They would be healthier and live longer.”

    And there WAS one faith that met this criteria. For thousands of years the human population and lifespan was pretty stable, and then all of a sudden BOTH shot upwards. The difference? The discovery and implementation of the scientific method. Okay, so science isn’t a faith or a religion, but clearly it otherwise met my criteria by being “closer to the truth.”

    The other method I used Occam’s Razor, that suggests that the simpler of two possible answers is more likely true. Well there are two arguments:

    “Where did everything come from?” -> “God” -> “Where did God come from?” -> “Nobody knows.”

    and

    “Where did everything come from?” -> “Nobody knows.”

    Occam’s Razor clearly indicates the latter is more likely to be true.

    At which point I realized that I was an atheist. The answer that made the most sense to me was that there are no deities, and that studying the world is the best way to live in it.

    Later I developed moral arguments as well. One which I find most compelling is “Pretending a god exists, just because he’s a god doesn’t make the creation of suffering and death morally right. An immortal, omniscient creature is not justified in torturing, terrifying, and killing other creatures, even if it creates them.”

    And

    “If god is outside the Universe then he cannot interact with it by definition, and so god is moot. If god can interact with the Universe then god is part of the Universe, and therefore is not god, by definition, just a Really Big Creature.”

    But these came later.

  15. kim
    June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I read your recent post with an open mind I didn’t go in judgingly or with a bias to start of with. I am a strong Christian and couldn’t imagine not being a believer. But the basis of my faith is to Love all and treat all as we would want to be treated. i am truly sorry how you were treated to judge others and say that God is punishing you certainly isn’t someones call I myself don’t want to judge and be judged..I think you have been around alot of legalistic type things and I am so happy that for me I am in a church that has freedom and love for ourself and others through Christ.. He is not a mean God with a baseball bat waiting on our mistakes he loves us unconditionally! I respect you and will agree to disagree but I pray you feel better and am sorry you have went through so much. I have been around legalism in religion (which I don’t believe in religion I believe in relationship w Christ!) but the legalistic approach made me want to run away.. science personally has always pionted me back to God..

  16. Mark Zuhrbrigghen
    June 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I grew up in an orphanage with religion, twice to church on Sundays… I disliked it immensely.
    When I was re-adopted, the same happened again. My step parents passed away soon, and went and stayed with my sister – what a sigh of relief. Since then I have not been in a church, I do not want to go near one and I simply avoid Christians. If someone has the balls to stick religion down my throat, I will have the gonads to tell them….

  17. Soothsaber
    June 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Keep up your efforts to improve humanity. Most don’t appreciate it but all should.

  18. June 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Hey Al!

    mate it sounds like life dealt you a shitty hand, but you have played it with style and verve, and still have a big stack of chips in front of you.

    The shallow, the hateful, the fearful and the hypocritical may have tried to beat you down but you kept on getting up, and now from the comments here it is you and your work that helps others stand. Be damn proud of yourself mate, for you can hold your head up high knowing you did the right thing rather than taking the cowardly easy path.

    I cant say I understand because I dont really…I dont come from a country where the behaviour you talk about and commentators here discuss – families and friends turning on you because you dont follow their faith. In the UK it would be they that are the social pariahs, and a family that turned its back on its kids for the sake of a church would be shunned and shamed. It makes me angry and deeply sad to read such stuff, and ever more determined to see faith stamped out by hook or crook.

    What I do know is that I admire you on many levels. For having the reason and determination to do what you do and thus help others. For having the integrity to soldier on and never give in. For being reasonable but passionate, compassionate but steely. And for being one of the best wordsmiths to be active in this field. Keep soldiering on mate, because you are an inspiration and strength to people who need it, and an essential voice for the betterment of America.

    like the poster used to say – “Your Country Needs You!”.

    All the best mate

  19. Sherry
    June 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Hello Al. I first met you when you came into the delphi forums. At the time, I thought ‘wow, someone who is strong enough and has the vocabulary to say what is wrong with (mostly) christian fundamentalism. You were fresh air, so to speak.

    I gave up on all religions when I learned where and why they originated and how they evolved. I lost two very close friends. It hurt at first, of course. But, now I cannot bring myself to respect them. And that is the bottom line for me … respect. I do not respect die hard believers. Imo, they gave up … threw away rational thinking in lieu of a hope that they will never die. What silliness.

    Like you, I too have multiple illnesses. I had to cut down on my debates. It sure is sh*tty to have pare down one’e life when they are not ready to. I was afraid I would never again find love since my options were so narrow (I personally could not live with a believer). But, I found my love and we are together now … and it will remain that way until one us dies.

    Thank you for sharing what you went through. I hope you see no more of that. As you know, we do not live far from each other. Perhaps one day we can meet. I hope so.

    Sherry

  20. Jeff
    August 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Al,

    I’m terribly sorry to hear about the rough road you’ve been pushed down. I’ve had my experiences with the typical religious vultures that seek to pick others unlike themselves to the bone. It’s really a sad thing. Our contemporary organized religions seem to mutate rapidly, to grow, fester, until all that is left is a legion of mutated monsters that seek to absorb all light with their black veil of judgment. I used to be an atheist myself and then converted to Christianity. When I would voice an opinion contrary to the ideals of my fellow “Christians”, I would be scorned and told that my heart was cold and closed to who they called God. After being subjected to this kind of behavior a few times, I left the church feeling scorned. To be honest, I’ve never really gone back. I decided to study other religions, I loved hearing both sides of the story. When I entered college, I decided to learn about science so I became a biochemist. I think science further rooted my beliefs in God. I can’t blame ignorant people for being brainwashed. I can only blame them for being weak and superficial. I will never go back to being an Atheist, but I can’t call myself a Christian either because that implies that I should live a lifestyle which is almost impossible to live. I respect atheists, I’ve been there, I understand. But please don’t judge all of us. Have mercy for mercy is a huge part of what makes us human. Compassion. Empathy. Understanding. I’m sorry that those bastards scorned you and rubbed you raw. I just hope that you see that there are a handful of us that are worth the time of day. We should strive to get along as people with a similar cause; to better humanity. Not bicker and fight over our ideologies. We shouldn’t seek to rise against each other. I think that is childish and counter-productive, don’t you think? We are not apes, we are human. That’s all I really have to say. I hope all else goes well for you Al. Thanks for voicing your opinion. It was inspiring.

    ~Jeff

  21. May 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Oh man! This blog is awesome! How do you make it look like this ?

  22. Joseph Mirabito
    October 29, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Hello Al. I agree with you on many points. I know Christians have been hypocritical in many instances. But there are some good ones, usually challenged by the religious authorities of the day. There have been many to use Christianity to continue injustices such as slavery but then who brought freedom? Harriet Beecher Stowe was married to a Christian minister. Where did universities come from? The origin of universities was clearly the monasteries of old. Oxford, for example was a monastery. And who formed the first monastery? St. Ambrose, a Christian, who went out in the desert without food or water and survived miraculously. We have the Shroud of Turin which is an authentically depicted image of a man who was crucified; the image was made using technology we cannot duplicate today and we know for certain that it is at least 500 years old. Who, back then could do this? My mother has been to Lourdes where she had a mystical experience in which she, as a elderly woman with a walking stick, was lifted up from behind and carried well over 100 metres and there was no one around her when she finally was able to put her feet on the ground. At Fatima the Catholic Church which has been proved to be so unreliable at times has spent $1,000,000 for each miracle to prove each of the 63 miracles there that are beyond dispute. I myself have seen a very pld book cover that dates back to 1930 on which is a photo of two football fields full of empty wheel chairs at Lourdes. They cannot all be fakes. Then you can go to Fatima in Portugal where at least 70,000 people eye witnessed the world’s greatest witnessed miracle of seeing the sun move in the sky. I have personally been to Avila in Spain where the incorrupt body of St Theresa is kept. She fought against corruption in her church for the whole for her adult life, as did St Francis of Assisi for the 10 years that he was a Christian before he died. In the Old Testament I have an article that I got easily on the internet that shows that Jesus fulfilled 63 prophesies in the Old Testament, including where he was born, where he grew up, how not one bone of his body was broken, and so on. You cannot call that coincidence. I have spent a considerable time studying the simplest life forms, the amoeba, and if you or anyone else was to tell me they are simple, then you are uninformed. They are massively complex with at least 17 parts and 12 chromosomes. Don’t tell me with a straight face that they are accidental design. And then someone caused them to come alive, like turning on the engine in a car. Yes there are massive inconsistencies in the Bible. Yes at times people were allowed to put massive errors into the history and the laws of the books. The laws went from 10 to 420 and Jesus refused to follow the laws that were not genuine. But he did obey some laws which were genuine. And whether you want to deny it or not, eye witnesses saw Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead back to life. And still today people heal the sick in His name and raise the dead and multiply food. Don’t tell me it does not happen. People have had many, countless millions of, direct interactions with a being of infinite power that resides in our universe. I am one of them. I have had my life saved by direct intervention. So Al, even though there is so much corruption in organised religion, my honest advice is that it is not all bad. Though there are people who fake experiences with God, not all do. Though you may find it hard to hear “God” speaking to you, there are many who don’t. Though you may find it hard to understand a loving God, I could write for hours to describe how real God is to me and how much He has helped me and guided me and healed me. I feel your pain but I tell with absolute sincerity that you there is Supreme being and he is as real as you are. Those Christians, however have much to answer for. Joseph Mirabito

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