Sermon Traditions Around the World

The first time I heard a sermon by an American mega-church pastor, I experienced a bit of a culture shock. I hadn’t previously seen anything like that. I was used to Latvian sermons that make you sleepy, and all this running around and screaming in American sermons seemed very unusual for me. Latvian pastors instead tend to talk in calm and soothing voices, they don’t scream, they don’t run around, their body language is subtle and minimalistic. [Read more…]

Examining Your Political Views for Contradictions and Double Standards

Religious people are usually handed a set of opinions by their pastor. Since early childhood they are indoctrinated to just accept a batch of ideas that are already packaged together. Each person is expected not to analyze each of these ideas too carefully. After all, a closer and more careful examination might reveal inconsistent attitudes, double standards, and contradictions. As nonbelievers, we should strive to do better than that. Instead of blindly accepting some ready-made package of ideas, we should examine each of our opinions and carefully evaluate whether there are any contradictions or clashes between several of them. [Read more…]

An Atheist Blog

I grew up in an atheist family, in the atheist city. I’m close to being a lifelong atheist.

In kindergarten a religious teacher told me about God and Jesus. She taught us that we have to pray to God, and then he will answer our prayers. One day, my mother was taking me to a local clinic for a dentist appointment. As we were walking towards the clinic, I decided to pray God to make my dentist sick: “Dear God, please make sure my dentist isn’t at the clinic today, make sure she’s busy or sick or something like that.” My prayer got no answer—the dentist was there and I had my teeth fixed that day. This was the last time I prayed to God. My empirical experiment suggested that God does not answer prayers, so why bother asking him for things in the first place? [Read more…]