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Archive for February, 2011

02.18.2011 – He ‘rejected Christ’ because ‘He’s a father’

February 18, 2011 2 comments

What a great read this is. It really shows the loving, kindness, and acceptance of some groups of ‘godly’ folks. (sarcasm heavily laced here).

After his run-in with the church folks, this writer ran into an issue when his son was upset and worried that he or is parents were going to die. His response is great:

As a father, I was about to tell my terrified son the fairy tale equivalent of this: “If he didn’t want to end up locked in a dark, dank basement filled with spiders and child molesters and murderers, then he should love me with all his heart and soul, and if I believed he was sincere, then I wouldn’t lock him down there forever. I would tell him I sacrificed myself to work very hard for him, and that I was giving him this gift of a chance to live upstairs with me forever. However, if he didn’t want it, then it was out of my hands and he would have to go to the basement and be locked in there, away from the warm beacon of my love forever.”

I couldn’t tell my child this. I couldn’t tell him that invisible demons were real.

 

It’s sad, to me, that the people of his church would get so bent out of shape about political issues. I don’t think this is a rare event either. I remember from back when I was going to church in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, that politcs where being ‘preached’ at that time. I can only imagine how much worse it is now.

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02.03.2011 – Am I Happy?

February 3, 2011 1 comment

This is a tough question.

At least, it’s a tough question for me personally. What I do know for sure is that I’m a TON more happy now than I ever was as  believer.  I can look at happiness as an average. Am I bouncing off the walls every day with joy? Of course not! I’d find myself in a padded cell wearing a nice new jacket with sleeves that tie in the back if I was. Am I completely miserable every day? Same answer as above. Over the last few years, however, I think that I’ve found that the average ‘level of happiness’ that I feel has increased steadily. There are lots of reasons that I can attribute this change too, but for the sake of keeping with the general topic of this blog, I’ll stick to the religious reasons.

I can remember with vivid detail the day that I finally admitted to myself that I was an atheist. (It was after a long period of teeter-tottering back and forth on the topic due to the fear of the stigma associated with that moniker.) I’ve told this to several people since then: the feeling was that of a thousand pounds of weight being lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like all the irrational guilt that I had been carrying around with me for years had finally rolled away. I was finally able to look at myself and the world objectively and determine that things are not nearly as dire as I was made to believe. I don’t have to fear infinite punishment for finite crimes. I don’t have to worry that my lifestyle (and the life I wanted to live) was in some way counter to the rules of some dictator in the sky. I don’t have to live according to a rule book that is so self-contradictory that my mind couldn’t make sense of it.

The result? A nearly immediate sense of happiness. Some of that initial ‘thrill’ so to speak, has of course subsided. But the over-all sense that life is much more worth living now continues to be tangible. I now find value in THIS life. I find value in the NOW! Not in aspirations of an eternal existence that not a single person in the world has a drop of evidence for. Why waste even a second of our time here worrying about a 2nd life? Every minute is valuable, because we don’t get that minute back. This outlook is not perfect, and it takes a conscious effort every single day for me to keep it in perspective. I fail OFTEN, but the trend, I believe is in the right direction.