A look at the faith of prisoners looking for pen pals on blackandpink.org
It is often claimed that the US prison population is made up primarily (est. 74%) of people who ascribe to the Christian faith. I personally always felt this statistic to be a bit grandiose, even for the US.
When I came across the website blackandpink.org which offers people the opportunity to be a pen pal to people in prison I noticed that they allow you to select who you will correspond with based on a number of filters including race, gender, and religion.
I thought it might be a fun exercise to try filtering all potential pen pals by the 10 faiths listed. Here’s how it turned out.
Continue reading “Prison, Faith, and Statistics”
Here at Atheist Analysis we try to bring the most well balanced materials to our viewers. We do not want people to believe without evidence but sometimes we feel it is necessary to entertain ideas that we have already come to a conclusion on. This is what our series Conversations With Christians is all about. Our goal was to provide a safe environment for Christians that allowed them to express what they believed on different topics. We wanted to provide a space where Christians could bring their beliefs and tell us what and why they believe. We feel that by providing them a space to express what they believe that it will give them more courage to question what they believe and why they believe it. We all know this can be beneficial to getting someone started down the path of skepticism and will hopefully challenge them to really own what they believe.
We also want to provide content so that non believers watching will be able to see what it is like to have a positive interaction with people of faith, while learning methods and answers to some of the theists questions. This environment allows for interaction with the Christians so that we not only will be able to have a dialog but will give people some sense of how a conversation could go. While we won’t claim to be more knowledgeable then other skeptics and atheists, we do provide an environment that gives the chance for both sides to provide dialog in a constructive and positive manner.
Our goal with this series is to talk with people of faith, give the atheist viewer entertainment, and a way for both Christians and Atheist to see why a Christian believes what they believe while giving them a platform to talk rationally. If you enjoy this type of education and entertainment please let us know. If you have individuals that you would recommend to our show please contact our Managing Director Christopher Tanner to schedule them. If you are someone of faith and want a place to discuss your beliefs and show atheists why they should believe also email us and let us know.
We would love for more people to get involved in the conversation. We are the positive team that will allow the Christians to make their points but we will provide counter points and questions that will help everyone to think more deeply about their beliefs. Without this close inspection of everyone’s beliefs, how would we be able to grow. Join us tonight as we talk with David Z Stamp and actor and a Libertarian Christian tell us why he still holds onto his beliefs.
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There are many Christian blogs and other faith-based writings that speak about living with ‘one foot in the church and one in the world.’ The majority of these point out that living this way is only meeting god halfway and urging people to get both feet in the church. From a Christian perspective this is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly (but not necessarily most importantly), it is what the Bible teaches. Romans 12:2 states bluntly; “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
It is not the Bible though, that seems to truly inspire this vigilance regarding living with two feet in the church. Rather, it seems to be more a request to deny and reject secular culture and elements of popular culture which Christians, especially Christian youth, find desirable, even irresistible. This ideal of worldly rejection in itself is by no means a new development in the church or Christianity; on the contrary, it has always been the goal. Only the fact that this ideal is being rejected en masse by Christian youth worldwide is a new experience for the church, as are the desperate requests for children to ignore the world in favour of Christ.
In more recent years, as the church has begun to come to terms with the fact that popular culture is winning the war in the battle for youth involvement, it has started to defile itself by bringing these seductive pop culture elements into the church in an attempt to lure in the youth; the most obvious example is the integration of secular music and contemporary worship into older church models. While this new adaptive method of fishing for a congregation might be in direct conflict with biblical teachings (again, Romans 12:2), it has, in part, worked for the church. Youth are attending church.
The conflict however, is obvious, as is the hefty price the church is paying for abandoning its roots.
So, what are we to make of an institution which simultaneously supplies people with the things they are taught by that institution to reject?
Continue reading “One Foot In The Church, One Foot In The World: An Atheist Perspective.”
The label ‘Christian Atheist’ is not popular among either of the parties the term forces together. Many people reject the very existence of Christian atheism due to an (understandable) inability to look past the stand-alone definitions of both of these words and find cogency in using them together. But there is logic and also usefulness to be found.
The first and most simple definition for the term sees it used simply as an identifier of someone’s religious background. It’s a convenient label to counter an argument theists use against atheists often: “You’re always taking down Christianity, but I never see you talking about Islam or Judaism or blah blah blah…” The typical atheistic response to this accusation is to remind the believer that their background in is Christianity and (like everyone else on planet earth) their opinions and arguments are shaped by personal experiences. Identifying oneself as a Christian atheist simply makes this reply shorter…
….Buuut, that’s not the definition that sets both sides of the fence on fire. The heat enters the picture only when the second definition is claimed. This definition sees a person identify themselves not only as an atheist with a Christian history, but also as a non-believer who still positively values and identifies with this history.
Continue reading “What the *&%^!@ is a Christian Atheist”