The Separation of Church and Family

We have all heard of the separation of church and state. In the United States, it is the law, and to many of us, it is obvious why. Having a country that is open to citizens of any faith, or lack thereof, is important, and in order to do that, there cannot be one implemented religion. This is, after all, central to our very freedom.

Read more

7 Tips for Closeted Atheist Teenagers

Over the years, I have received a lot of emails and messages from other closeted atheists asking for advice. Most of these messages have been from atheists in high school, wondering what to do in regards to having this secret among Christian friends, parents, and church members. I decided that compiling my advice together could hopefully prove helpful for at least one of my younger readers.

Read more

The Lutheran Church on Creationism

A few months ago , I found myself perusing the most recent issue of the Lutheran Magazine The Lutheran Witness. I stumbled upon an impressive article called “Concerning the Six-Day Creation” by Matthew C. Harrison, the president of the entire denomination, and I was dumbfounded.

Read more

8 Ways to Build Interfaith Bridges

Last week, I wrote on a talk that I attended at school about the bible and homosexuality. It turns out that that was the first of many talks that I’d be sitting through. This week was a “focus week” of sorts in which my college would have one or two talks per day, and this year’s theme was loving your neighbor. Of course, they were Christian-themed presentations, but some of the ones I went to were surprisingly good. Although they used the bible as a basis instead of common sense and human empathy, they focused on loving and being respectful to your neighbor, which are universal themes that everyone should practice despite their religion or lack thereof. In addition to the talks, I also read an article for a class on “interfaith dialogue”. I was immediately reminded of many of the interfaith—or mostly faith-nonfaith—conversations that occur right here on my blog, in my comments sections and in my email. The different ideas proposed by the speakers and by the author inspired me to compile a list of the best bits of wisdom I gained this week, as well as my own advice. Enjoy!

Read more

A Look at a Lutheran Doctrine

Some questions that atheists and skeptics are commonly asked are “Why do you only criticize certain religions?” or “What do you have against Christianity specifically?” For me, the answer is that Christianity is by far the most popular religion in the United States, and I see it everywhere, whether it is at home, at school, or out in public. Specifically, my family are members and leaders in different congregations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, or LCMS.

The LCMS is the second largest branch of the Lutheran Church, and it has almost 2.1 million baptized members (including me). I’ve grown up with the ultra-conservative LCMS teachings since I was a baby, but until about last week, I dared not read into the details of its doctrine. After reading for a while on Wikipedia, I came across A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, a concise but clear summary of LCMS teachings written by Franz August Otto Pieper in 1932. I want to highlight some sections of the Statement that thoroughly dumbfounded me and truly left me at a loss for words, especially knowing that my own family and many of our close friends actually believe these ideas. Read more