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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Thank you for helping to save my life"

I recently got the most wonderful and heartening message regarding the impact my work has had on at least one person's life. Over the years, I have received many thoughtful and encouraging missives, from individuals of all walks of life, both genders, and all ages, races and religions. These friendly messages are always welcome, as it is the nature of my work to reside in the realm of the contentious, and I have endured not a few unpleasant assaults over the past 12 years I've been online.

Hence, whenever I receive such heartfelt missives as below I am thrilled and delighted to have been a part of bettering life on Earth. Lovely messages such as this one have profoundly moved me and kept me on track all this time.

I am sharing this particular message in hopes that it may be helpful to others as well. While it is not my interest to make "atheists" out of everyone, as I do not append either that or the "theist" moniker to myself, I am extremely happy and gratified that concepts found within my work have helped others free their minds and souls from the self-hating bonds abundant within fervent religiosity.

After all is said and done, this spiritual liberation and love for life constitute why we do what we do.

(The following missive, received at MySpace, is reproduced with permission from the author.)
From: Jack
Date: Jul 8, 2007
Subject: Thank you for helping to save my life

Dear Acharya:

I am asking to be your friend and thanking you for being one of the people who truly have helped save my life.

I was in extreme Baptist fundamentalism and in the "ex-gay" movement for 12 very long and painful years.

I almost killed myself.

Through much luck (which is ALL I believe in now) I met my friend August Berkshire, with Minnesota Atheists, who helped lead me to questioning "krishtianity itself"... I embarked on a huge, huge journey, finally discovering both of your books as well as the DVD Suns of God/Christ Con which I am sharing with the entire city of "Saint" Cloud, MN where I live.

You, Robert Price and Ken Humphreys are among the people who have literally saved my life. I finally made the journey and studied anthropology/ paleoanthropology, evolution and DNA genetic code and bought the book "Born Gay" by Dr Quazi Rahmann.

With atheism, EVERYTHING IN LIFE makes total sense now.

Acharya, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Price when he spoke at an event we had right here in very "Catholic" Saint Cloud, MN .

I hope some day I am fortunate enough to meet you.

I studied voice, Opera and drama in NYC at the Eastman School of Music and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. In the ex-gay movement, my voice was stilled.

Thanks to your work, my life has meaning and purpose once again.

I am now trying to resume a career which was very much "interrupted".

...You truly are a most beautiful gift to the world.

Never let those who hate you stop you in your most important work... remember my friend, you are saving lives and humanity.

Much love and hugs,
Jack Richter

11 comments:

Oldragon666 said...

What a wonderful story! You Go Jack! Good luck with your career and welcome to the ranks of us who have been freed of the hellish torment of "faith" Acharya, You helped me escape it over a decade ago. For me it has been like coming back to life and sanity from some kind of sick nightmare. A "Resurrection" if you will.
Thank you Acharya, from me as well.

Neophyte said...

Why am I not surprised? Only a true siren who strives to demolish ageless barriers and bulwarks that mentally enslave and oppress people will unleash barrages of wrath and vitriol.

But the truth will always find its way to people in need of liberation and a struggle for self-worth. Years of hard work will continue to induce a duality of responses as intense as the mythic dualism of your intricate exposition.

Those who respond to truths honestly revealed will find personal life affirmation and peace and benefit far more than those who respond with outraged apoplexy and derisive tirades.

Anonymous said...

I read the comments of this man's message. I'd like to inform you and all your readers that there is no such thing as "saving a life." As spiritual beings, we are all immortal and eternal (meaning, we cannot "die").

Only the vessel we TEMPORARILY reside in (the physical body), can die. What is really happening here, is that a spiritual being is being awakened, and NOT a life being saved. Hope this does not offend anyone. B

Anonymous said...

Very Beautiful Acharya ...

much love to you and we need more Acharya's out there.

love

Anonymous said...

You can add my vote of confidence to your list. I too was raised and captured by the Baptists of the FUN-damentalist type, and until I started questioning things and started thinking for myself, I was a true believer, awaiting the hoped-for coming of Jesus to set things right. But in my search for lasting spiritual values, I came across Robert Ingersoll and M.M. Mangasarian, and then your book, The Christ Conspiracy. You helped me reach the escape velocity I needed to get away from organized religion.

Today, I don't exactly call myself an atheist....I do think there is some kind of uber-consciousness at work in the universe that some might call God. To me God is simply "all that is" or the sum-total of all sentient consciousness in the universe, but certainly not some bearded white guy up in the sky keeping a tally on all good and bad deeds we do. And Jesus is now sorted out for me as the mythological character that he has always been.

Living as I do in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt, I still get snookered into conversations, even by total strangers, as to whether I am saved or not, and if Jesus is my saviour, etc. To those whom I think can take the truth, I suggest your books...to those whom I do not think can handle the truth, I simply mouth the platitudes that we in the South have used for decades to fend off unwanted proselytizing, such as, "I'm washed in the same blood as you are, sister."

Thank you so much for your contribution to a more civil American society.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Acharya,
I am so glad that my My Space e-mail to you had generated wonderfully thought provoking and caring posts on your blog.

Along with your two wonderfully researched books, I would also like to refer others to thease others that have helped me as well...

Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, by Lloyd Grahm

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett

God is not Great by
Christopher Hitchens

Orgins by Richard Leaky

Ancient Humans

(Thease last two are great sources on our Hominid ancestors)

The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man by Robert Price

The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation (both by Sam Harris)


To all of you who are discovering Acharya's books for the first time, be prepared for enlightenment!

Never stop researching until you get to absolute fact and truth which is always hiding beneath man made dogmas and myths.

Life is wonderful!
Thanks Acharya!

Jack Richter
I am a very out and proud gay atheist!

Goose said...

I, too, am a recovering Baptist fundamentalist. The biggest challenge of my life has been unraveling all the religious stories that had been drilled into me since birth. Last month I had to attend a fundy Baptist funeral for my aunt and I can see how the pastors keep drilling the story lines over and over again, until people will just believe anything.

The biggest shock, amazement, and disgust of my life is how religion forces people to act so irrationally. Believe me, MANY governments around the world have caught on to this and use religion to control the masses. But want amazes me is how gullible religious people are, but then I sympathize with them because I know about the intense brainwashing and pressure they have gone through. And I know how long it has taken me to dig out from all of this. And I still have to hear my brother say, "The whole family is worried about you, Todd." Sheesh.

Even the liberal Christians are traveling a dangerous path because they tell me, "Oh we don't take it literal, but the lessons are still good." My feeling is that no matter how good it sounds, if a premise is based on a lie, then the foundation is flawed and the whole package is flawed.

Someone needs to have the courage and just say that it is NOT "religion," "faith," or "myths." It is all simply a LIE -- a lie that fools humans into feeling good about themselves; a lie that is used by clever institutions to manipulate and control the naive.

I applaud you, Jack! And I thank Acharya for her kind, loving, and nonjudgmental writings that have helped me tremendously as well.

Anonymous said...

Suns of God continues to impress me as I compare it with my parent's scholarly books on the origins of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

Also I found another video that uses excerpts from Suns of God as its only material. It's a short video linked on http://opposingdigits.com

Thanks again for the awesome research Acharya S.!!

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Michael.

I do not know if Acharya S (D. Murdoch) will see this blog comment, but I hope she does.


Im going to order her book, The Christ Conspiracy. I was raised Babtist. I was raised on Jack Van Impe and the Rapture, etc. etc.
Its a bad thing to tell one's offspring that they will probably be "raptured up" as they are adolescents, and that they probably will not even "get very old, probably even-middle aged".
Well here I am now, mid 30's.


I was taught that there was no need to plan for retirement (boy am I glad that I contributed to that 401K plan anyway), and to take any news of civilizational decline in America as a "sign of joy" because that meant "prophecy was being fufilled".


Im am so sick of seeing neoconservative warmongers attempting to get us into a an Armaggedon-style war with the middle east that it makes me sick. "Rapture Revurends" cheering them on literally hoping they can "make" Jesus come back and end the world "if we can just attack Iran" makes me even sicker.

Think of it, the whole world up in arms because Muslims, Jews, and Christians fighting over what? Religion.


Why do people care about Religion?


One world folks.........HELL.


Thats the thing that holds it all together. "Do as our GAWD tells you to or you are going to burn in his hell forever". Im sick of it. Im giving this book a read. I hate to say it, but I hope that I find the book to be utterly true. People "cling" to these religions out of a fear of hell, not a love of GAWD.


Have any of you ever though that if you were in Jacob's shoes (when he supposedly wrestled with GAWD at the Jordan river) in the Bible, that you would not have wanted to just kick GAWD'S ass brutally in Mixed Martial Arts style? I mean hell, we have wars, famine, disease, violence, and the hedgemonic selfish impulse of humanity and we have "you" to thank for that? But you love us? Gee thanks, I'd rather just be left alone.


I dont hate Christians at all. Some are the sweetest folks you will ever meet, but oh Im tired of the screaming preachers always hell-threatening. Its like a broken record where humanities' goodness is played against them over and over.

I actually hope Acharya is right. Im going to order her book and give it an honest read.

Anonymous said...

Yep I'm back at the U of MN "cavern" for old book storage, reading Bishop Lightfoot's attack on W.R. Cassel's "Supernatural Religion." Lightfoot readily admits that Eusebius was parsing through the writings "of the Ancients" to decide what was authentic or not. Just based on that simple fact alone the spurious nature of the Gospels is evident. Yet Lightfoot argues:

"Of the Gospels the historian will only record anecdotes concerning them. On the other hand, in the case of the Apocalypse mere references and quotations will be mentioned, because they afford important data for arriving at a decision concerning its Canonical authority." (p. 39)

That seems a back-handed strategy at best and at worse a strange way to treat supposedly sacred works. According to Lightfoot the sources for the 4 Gospels are, as per Eusebius:

"As regards these, he [Eusebius]contents himself with preserving any anecdotes which he may have found illustrating the circumstances under which they were written, e.g. the notices of St. Matthew and St. Mark in Papias, and of the Four Gospels in Irenaeus." (p. 46)

Considering how much Lightfoot questions the authenticity of Ignatius and others, besides the fact the Eusebius openly was questioning his sources as being not authentic, the origin of the Gospels disappears into a cloud of smoke. There is much speculation about Papias and Irenaeus and Polycarp but that the Roman Church was fighting off the ascetic Gnostics is quite clear.

Thanks Achayra S.,

drew hempel

Acharya S said...

Hey Drew -

Funny you should bring all this up right now, as I've been pouring through the works and sites of Christian apologists, looking for the best "evidence" for the historicity of the gospel tale to include in the hard-copy edition of Who Was Jesus?"

Not sure how I can use this information you provide, because it's a bit difficult for me to follow.

Could you post your thoughts on my forums?