Paul Lima
Non-fiction Author. Novelist.
Video Blogger. MS & NDPH* Warrior.

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The Atheist Chronicles
Why the Beliefs of Theists of
Every Stripe Are So Unbelievable

I would like to thank Ricky Gervais and the late George Carlin, two funny atheists, for their inspiration and motivation. I recently saw Carlin address religion in one of his comedy specials. He was funny and profound. And I saw Gervais in an interview in which  he talked about atheism, religion and comedy. Their words helped me decide that it was time to write this book, a book for everybody -- atheists, agnostics and believers of every faith. Some will love it; some will hate it. So be it.

Atheists, you know that god, the Bible (and all holy books) and all religions are myths. Now here is a book that puts your thoughts into words using logic, research, the words of believers and even humor.  Agnostics, if you struggling with doubts, read this book and struggle no more. You will be able to happily move into the big atheist tent.  And hey, if you are currently a believer and if you are still a believer after reading this book, then you have demonstrated to yourself that your faith is strong. Ridiculous. But strong.

The fact that my father, a man who could out fundamentalist any fundamentalist Christian out there, has passed away has also helped me write this book. It's not that I couldn't write the book with him alive. It's just that with my dad deceased I don't have to listen to him point out all the ways that I am wrong--other than when I say  religious people who are not Pentecostals (the fundamentalist Christian sect to which my dad belonged) are misguided in their beliefs. My dad would whole-heartedly agree with that!

That thinking, shared by just about every religious sect out there -- "You're wrong!" "No, you're wrong!" "No, you are both wrong!" -- is at the heart of The Atheist Chronicles. Because no matter your faith, you are all wrong -- each and every one of you. And this book will tell you  why you are oh so wrong!

Written by successful freelance writer, author, and writing instructor Paul Lima, The Atheist Chronicles is a  serious look at a subject that has caused more people more pain than just about any other issue -- other than intense poverty, starvation, and war (often fought in the names of competing gods).

Introduction to The Atheist Chronicles

I was raised a fundamentalist Christian. A Pentecostal. A theist.

My father believed that the earth is six thousand years old. In other words, god made the earth and the entire universe in six days, six thousand years ago. That would make the television series The Flintstones, a world in which human beings and dinosaurs co-existed, a documentary. On the seventh day, the Sabbath, god rested and we all had to go to church every Sunday ever since. Unless you are Jewish. If so, you do your worshiping at the synagogue on Saturday. Mind you, if you are Muslim, Friday is your holy day. My goodness, god gets a three-day weekend.

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, my father believed. Eve was tempted by the Snake -- a deceptive creature with no arms or legs and no ability to speak, as far as we know -- to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that grew in the Garden. I think we'd all agree that there is good and evil in the world, but evidently humans should not have eaten of this fruit as we should not have been able to tell the difference between the two ways of being. As far as I'm concerned, Eve did not eat enough fruit off this tree!

Into this bizarre, fundamentalist belief, I was born. In fact, I was raised as an Italian Pentecostal. In a world where almost every Italian who is religious is Catholic, my family was a rare breed. We were part of a congregation of about four hundred Pentecostals who attended the Italian Pentecostal church at the corner of College and Montrose in Toronto, Canada. If you know the church and its location you might say, "Wait a minute. Wasn't there another Italian Pentecostal church on Ossington Avenue, just south of Bloor Street, less than ten blocks from your church?"

I'd have to nod my head in agreement about the other Italian Pentecostal church. It had a congregation of about two hundred. However, these were the only two Italian Pentecostal churches in Toronto when I was growing up. By comparison, there are over two hundred Catholic churches in the city. So Italian Pentecostals are rare indeed.

If so rare, you are probably wondering, why were two Italian Pentecostal churches located in such close proximity? The answer is simple. This area of Toronto is known as Little Italy so it made sense for both churches to locate where the Italians in Toronto lived. But why two churches, instead of one larger Italian Pentecostal church? To answer that question, you need to know that Italian Pentecostals who attended the church on Ossington believed that you had to drain the blood from a chicken before you cooked it. The members of our congregation did not hold that belief. That's why there were two groups of Italian Pentecostals, a minuscule sect of fundamentalist Christians, who are a sect of Christians, who are one sect of scores of religious factions in the world.

So each Italian Pentecostal congregation held different beliefs about what you had to do with a chicken before cooking it. Of course, being good Christians, the members of each church believed that the members of the other would, for their erroneous belief, rot in Hell.

With that in mind, I feel like I could end the book here -- with two congregations of fundamentalists, each believing in the same god as described in the same Bible, thinking each other was going to Hell, all because of chicken blood. If that is not grounds for atheism, then nothing is! But I will carry on writing The Atheist Chronicles and outline the rationale for rabid theism and religion and my reasons for rabid atheism.

But first, I want to tell you when and why I lost my faith.

I clearly remember the day it happened. I was about six years old and a fervent believer in someone more important to me than god or Jesus. I remember a cousin, about two years older than I was, whisking me down a dark hall in the house where I grew up. He had something important to tell me. In the darkness of that hallway he whispered in my ear five words that I will never, ever forget: "There is no Santa Claus!"

I was totally devastated to learn that Santa Claus was fiction that our parents told us as a way to get us to behave all year long -- unless we wanted to receive lumps of coal in our stockings on Christmas morning. From there it was not much of a stretch to atheism. No Santa Claus, no god. No god, no Jesus. No Jesus, no Heaven or Hell. No Heaven or Hell, no carrot and stick prodding one to live by all the strange rules of the Pentecostal religion.

That did not mean, released from the rules of religion, I became a juvenile delinquent, a criminal or even an asshole -- at least not a big one. After all, we have secular laws to keep us in place. And I find that most people, not all people, are inherently decent. In fact, some of the biggest jerks I know are members of the so-called religious right: the people who found in their hearts the ability to vote for the opposite of everything their religion allegedly stands for by electing Donald Trump -- a lying, racist, sexist, belligerent, ignorant sinner -- President of the United States of America.

If that too is not grounds for atheism, then nothing is! But this is not a book about politics. So with that digression out of the way, I will return to my look at atheism and the grounds for it and my look at theism and the grounds against it. This book primarily addresses monotheist religious zealots, known as fundamentalist Christians. However, it cannot do that without some background on the history and evolution of religion. And it will touch on other religious sects now and then to give the evolution of religious beliefs and god worship necessary context.

The Atheist Chronicles


1 / Introduction

2 / In The Beginning…

3 / gods and Religions

4 / The Bible

5 / Violence In The Name Of god

6 / Why Are People Religious?

7 / Christians Abusing Christians

8 / Quotes On Atheism

9 / Your Choice

10 / Final Words

About the Author

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Other books by Paul Lima

    * Multiple Sclerosis and New Daily Persistent Headache