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The claim that I am an atheist because I don’t understand “love” is particularly ironic. I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self-denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your fragile ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.
— Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists (via inreasonwetrust)

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