Rechelle @ My Sister’s Farmhouse is a recent convert to Atheism. She spent many years as a fundamentalist Christian. I discovered her blog only a few days ago, but have been enjoying it immensely since then.
She has a new post that I think is just awesome. She goes through and apologizes to all the various groups that she feels she has wronged through her years as a Christian. Here’s a couple that I found particularly great:
1. I apologize to all the homosexuals. I am sorry that I believed in a religion that condemns you. I am sorry that for many years I thought that the bible was right in it’s condemnation of homosexuality. I am sorry that when I no longer thought the bible was right about homosexuality being a sin, I did not raise a gigantic stink about it every Sunday right in the middle of the sermon… week after week after week… until the church issued a restraining order against me and I could no longer come within a hundred feet of the sanctuary.
7. Finally, I apologize for allowing my faith to numb my response to the problems of the world. So when there was injustice, or crime, or pain, or hunger, or illness, or ignorance, or war, or greed, or tyranny, or slavery or abuse, or addiction, or pollution, or natural disasters – I believed that god was taking care of it and I didn’t really have to do anything… (except pray). Because it was god’s will… and god was using these bad things to teach me compassion… or patience… or that satan was ‘the ruler of this world’… or that we should forgive… or god was ‘perfecting’ us… or ‘disciplining’ us. (Boy! god sure disciplines the hell out of Africa doesn’t he?) I was taught that all you have to do to get into ‘heaven’ is accept Jesus as your savior. You can do good things if you want, but good deeds are not getting your ass into heaven. So why would I bother helping out? My ass was already saved!
All in all, I am really loving her writing style and look forward to keeping up with her blog ongoing. (Adding her to my blog roll right now)
One of my facebook friends (a hardcore fundy) posted this as her status today:
hmmm. so what are your thoughts? young earth or old earth?
So, obviously I couldn’t resist responding. It’s been pretty light-hearterd in general. Though, my mother posted a massive writing that she got from some creationist website and I countered all the arguments with links from talkorigins.org so, that wasn’t a big deal.
However, it was the latest comment from someone I don’t know that really made me scratch my head and worry about the over-all mentality of these folks:
When God created Adam he created an adult not a baby. Could he have created the earth with an age also? If he did is it old or young? At actual age of 1 day how old was Adam physically? Just some food for thought.. As for what I believe, I believe the earth is actually aprox. 6000 years old
I just am amazed at the lengths that folks will go to to justify their belief in these bronze aged myths. So now the earth was created, in it’s near present form already representing 4.5 billion years of age to anyone that would look and search to find it? I truly believe that people like this are just beyond help. I suppose if they are just living in their own little deluded world, that’s fine, but they rarely just leave it at that. It’s these kind of folks that are tyring to get stuff like this taught in the science classroom. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s wrong on many levels.
In recent years I’ve found myself finding more and more value in the concept of time. What I mean by that is the time that I have in life to spend doing the things I WANT to do, and not necessarily the things I HAVE to do.
Once I fully admitted to myself that I was an atheist, and I fully understood that this life is the only chance that we get to live, I began to start looking at each day differently. I used to ‘phone it in’ on work days. I would just go through the motions so to speak and not really put the effort into making even those days the most that they could be. Now, while it’s still a conscious effort on my part, I wake each morning and literally tell myself “This is your day. You don’t get another chance to live this day. Make the most of it.” I’ve had good success lately in feeling more positive and happy, and valuing the interactions that I have with the folks that I see every day. It’s not perfect by any means, and I fail often still, but it’s definitely progress.
At the beginning of the new year, I found out that the HR department at work had messed up my allotted vacation time for year. It really upset me for a while (until they promised to fix it. which hasn’t happened yet), because I’m not entirely thrilled with my career. Those days off are extremely important to me. Life’s too short to have to spend all of it doing something that you’re not happy doing (of course, my efforts in making every day more positive have definitely helped in that).
In the past, normal work days would consist of spending my 8, 9, 10 or more hours at work, then going home and either working on my side business work or sitting around not doing much. Nowadays, I am always looking for fun stuff to do. Skating with my daughter, boating, fishing, playing hockey, etc. It’s really helped to eliminate my sense of ‘just getting through life’. I no longer want to live that way.
I intend on living every day to the fullest. Keeping myself healthy so I can spend as much time doing the things I love to do, being with the people who I love, and trying my best to be a positive influence on this world.
I’m so disgusted!!
My mother is an associate minister at a very tiny church in an even tinier little town about an hour from here. They are a fundamentalist, biblical-literalist church, and everything about it and them drives me crazy.
Back in October when my Grandmother died, I found out pretty quickly that my Mother was going to have the head pastor at her church lead the ‘ceremony’ at the funeral. I hoped at that point that it wouldn’t turn into what I expected, but alas…it did. He basically preached a hell-fire type sermon at my grandmother’s funeral. I’m not sure why entirely, but I find this AMAZINGLY inconsiderate and wrong. I mean, it’s a time where friends and family need compassion and understanding, and what we got was condemnation and damnation, complete with an ‘alter call’ at the end. I almost walked out.
Just a few days ago, my mother posted THIS on her facebook status:
It is appointed for man once to die and then the judgement. FIVE SAVED at the funeral today!
It just amazes me that these people can look themselves in a mirror after taking advantage of people when they are at their most emotionally vunerable. Is it truly winning people to your faith if you get them when they aren’t in ‘their right minds’? The more I think about this, the more infuriated I become. I realize I’m going to have to get over it and not let it bother me, since there’s ZERO chance of anything changing them at this point. But the reality is, this really urks the hell out of me.
I’m so disgusted!!
So, following the Haiti crisis, by now we’ve all heard the wonderful comments made by Pat Robertson.
Well, I decided to post that video on my Facebook page, knowing full-well that it would cause quite the stir. Well, it most certainly did. Fortunately, most of my free-thinking, atheist, & agnostic friends spoke up the most. So the ‘fundies’ were very much in the minority this time. The thread ended up having over 50 responses on it. The intensity level was definitely at a high, but certainly was what I had expected when I posted it.
The one comment that got me really going was from a girl who I dated when I was in high-school. We’ve had little to no interaction in the almost 20 years since we’ve broken up, and that includes the last few months that’s she’s been on my Facebook friends list. So when she decided that this post was her opportunity to comment, this is what she wrote:
Sorry but reference to your comment about no loving God would allow this to happen to his creation…(and I am saying without knowing what was actually said on that clip)…God is loving. So is my father. Both will punish me to correct me when I do something wrong. God has the power to effect more-remember the flood? or turning people into pillars of salt? It’s a wake up call. Where to you put your trust? Of course I grew up with you and know you already know the real answer-unless you have taken a blow to the head. But I do see that your post has comments with true emotion. I’m just glad I’m right.lol
Well, the part about taking a blow to the head really sat wrong with me. I mean, who the hell is she to think that it’s ok to think, let alone SAY, something like that to me on MY wall in a public place. I realize that I open myself up for some criticism by posting something like this on my page, but ad hominem attacks are just simply uncalled for.
So, I did what I always do when something is on my mind. I write. I wrote a long email response to her and sent it. It was last week when I sent it and I haven’t heard anything back yet. This is what I wrote:
I think I need to clarify a few things in regards to your comment on my post about Pat Robertson. And, trust me, I’m not trying to cause an issue, or offend, or anything of the sort. I’m not even interested in getting into the specifics of your particular argument. I just think there’s some heavy misconceptions about what I think, KNOW, believe, or otherwise. And, to be perfectly honest, I was quite offended by this statement “Where do you put your trust? Of course I grew up with you and know you already know the real answer-unless you have taken a blow to the head”. I’m truly hoping that was a joke…but I sense that it wasn’t (being as that entire thread has an intense tone, as it should). The implication is that the only way that I could possibly think something other than what we grew up believing was if I had some kind of problem with my brain. I’m not sure how I am NOT supposed to be offended…but I’m trying very hard not to be.
The reality is, I’m a VERY different person than the one that you knew growing up. Fundamentally, the same, but I have an entire different worldview now, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The specifics aren’t important at this point (unless you actually want to know), but the long and short is that I no longer buy into the Christian teachings that we were brought up with. I’m Christian by culture only, and that’s ok. It’s a part of who I am. But as for anything supernatural? Nope…I’m not buying it anymore. It was not a knee-jerk decision by any means either. I’ve spent years of searching and digging with the real hope that I would find something that would allow me to keep my faith. I continue to dig even to this day. But when it’s all said and done, I’ve come to the conclusions that work for me.
What’s most interesting about this whole thing is the reactions of some of the folks that I’ve grown up with. Some are curious and ask why. Some don’t understand. And others are downright offended. That last one just mystifies me. Why in the world can’t people accept that not everyone is the same? In my opinion, the world would be a very boring place if that was the case. Anyway, I’ve had lots of email conversations with old church friends over the last few years/months and I’m always ok with discussing these topics, as long as they are respectful conversations.
Where I put my trust should only matter to ME. Why that’s a concern for so many other people is not really a mystery to me (I know the motives), but it’s curious the extent that people will go to try to change me. I’m living in the happiest years of my life right now. And that’s due, to a large extent, on my letting go of the beliefs that I had when I was younger. The feeling of relief when I finally admitted it to myself was almost physically tangible. So, this is the way it goes…I’m happy, have a great family, good job, I don’t commit crimes, life is good, I conquered depression, I focus on the positive…why isn’t that enough? Why can’t I just be happy? Is that too much to ask? Those are obviously rhetorical questions, but you get my point and I’m not actually concerned about what anyone thinks about me. I know I can look myself in the mirror and finally be cool with what I see.
At the end of the day, we are going to have to agree to disagree. But I’m hoping that there will be some mutual respect for each other’s worldviews. I don’t have any issue with yours, and all I expect is the same in return.