(Posted as my FB status today)
Religion asks that we deny ourselves, deny our natural urges and tendencies, and turn us against ourselves.  A better cycle of perpetual self-torture and devotion has not been crafted. It begs the question of which came first: genuine sin, or the definition of sin that turns us against ourselves and directs us towards religion to save us from ourselves? Isn't a house divided against itself more easily defeated? Isn't that how nations are concurred and freedoms revoked? It's also how personal sovereignty is turned over to religious entities to make the church richer, more powerful and increased devote followers.  
 
The only sin I recognize anymore is the denial of self, not being true to yourself, which makes religions the biggest perpetrators of sin the world has ever known, whether they recognize their involvement or not.  Only by embracing, accepting and being true to yourself just as you are right now do you reclaim your power to be who you are and be in control of your destiny.  You can then pursue your dreams, overcome undesirable character traits if so desired, and find out that the internal peace that has ever eluded you, was already within you and has been all along.
 
When did or will you recognize the lies perpetuated by religion?

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I love it! That is exactly how I feel!
Right on my brotha!!!! I so love this!!!
This is the exact reason why I find it laughable that Mormons make arguments against homosexuality, by saying that it is "unnatural". Boy Packer made this claim on Sunday, saying that homosexual acts were not natural. But as you have so aptly demonstrated, Micah, the purpose of religion is to keep humans from doing "natural" things.

Look no further than the Book of Mormon, for 19th century Protestant views of human nature. Mosiah 3:19 states, "For the natural man is an ENEMY TO GOD..." Clearly, Mormon theology was built upon Christian ideals of rising above the natural world to something higher, something godlike. Mormons just took the theology one step further in asserting that humans could actually become gods. So, when Boy Packer preached that the only moral activities are those which are natural, he effectually announced to the world that he did not believe the doctrine taught in the Book of Mormon.

Bottom line: If Homosexuality is "unnatural' as Packer suggests, then it is closer to godhood than the Mormons who waste away their lives pundhing out a dozen kids. Using sex to reproduce is a natural act, and as we've already seen, the natural man is an enemy to god, therefore Mormons are enemies to god.
Yes, it is a natural act. it is fun as hell as well. I am so glad I was a convert and got my jollies before joining the Church. Come to think of it, I got my jollies at BYU as well. Largely because I knew how to keep my damned mouth shut. :)

Life is full of humans that are fragile. People need a few hugs,and a few smiles. ...much better than the freaking guilt trips.

Don
Very logical and pragmatic points. Discipline is important, and translates into our other sections of life. However, to always be unworthy, to always not be good enough, to feel bad for checking that person out across the room. It sure as hell dosen't benefit me a damned bit! On a Mission, if you baptise three, why not five. If you baptise five, the freakin bastards say, "Why not ten"/

Great post Mike!
Don
When I left the mormon church I jumped right into a non-denominational Christian church... I was all there. I think it made the transition easier. I was so excited etc etc. So I decided to read the bible in 90 days. I tell you what I don't understand how people say the bible is the word of God. I thought so highly of it until I actually read it. I'm not trying to say anything bad about anyone who believes whatever, I guess as long as it makes them a better person they can go for it. But I have to say I can't be a Christian now that I know what it is all based on. Oh yeah and that silly fact that everyone who doesn't believe the same thing is going to hell. Can't believe that either. Love this thread!
"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
“I must say that I stand amazed at the highly intelligent people who have taken so much of the Bible so seriously.”
“Nobody but a dedicated Christian could possibly read the gospels and not see them as a tissue of nonsense.”
- Isaac Asimov (from three separate letters written in 1966) more than just a science fiction writer.
Funny thing is, I agree with you. There are some freakin wierdo people that believe every word, literally, that is in there. It is a book of analogies, stories and values. We learn from it and we are better. If we get to much into the metrics and rubrics...we go nuts!

Don
I've always maintained that those who declare every word in the bible to be the word of God have never read the thing cover to cover. I've never been wrong when quizzing them. It's self-evident upon reading it that every word is NOT divine, and not true.

And I speak from the point of view of a believer in God and one who insists that SOME of it is His word.

Only a fool- or a fanatic who has never read it but only repeats what's he's heard- would attribute God as the author of it all.
Being my true self has been the salvation of my life. I was so sick of living a lie that I was pretty much suicidal by the time I left the church. Giving myself the permission to be authentic changed my entire world. Realizing that our realities are what we make it, is key to letting go of most of our pain and fear. That is NOT encouraged within most religions. They want your devotion to go to them, not to yourself. Any kind of organization that demands that much can't be divine.
Thanks for sharing that Kat!
I always had a huge problem with "the only true church on the face of the earth" bit - it just seemed so arrogant, but I heard it so often and never spoke up against it.
So when I left the church I vowed to try my utmost to never slander, belittle, deprecate or muckrake anyone else's beliefs, lifestyle or values. It isn't easy, in fact there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, but it sure just makes me feel a whole lot better about myself when I manage to avoid it. It was important to me to leave the church and be a better person, than the one I was when I was a member. Now where did I put that Soapbox?....lol

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