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.
It’s so tiring to be constantly bombarded with religious ‘stuff’. I’m very much a Facebook junkie and 90% of the folks on my friends list are fundamentalist Christians. That’s because they are mostly family, and people that I grew up with. I know I could just launch them from my page, but then, what kind of a positive atheist would I be by doing that? And that’s definitely not the kind of person I want to be or portray.
Still, I get so tired of the religious posts. “need prayer for..” this. “god is great” that. 1 person in particular finishes ALL her posts and comments with “Jesus Loves You”. And sometimes I just want to post in all caps “NO HE DOESN’T. AND HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU EITHER”. But alas…I don’t. All in the name of maintaining the peace and harmony.
I know for certain that if I was to post some of my TRUE thoughts on topics there, I would never hear the end of the preaching. I don’t HIDE my non-belief. My religious view are set to ‘Atheist’ and most of my family knows my stance. But I still feel that I can’t express my thoughts the way I want to without pissing someone off. It’s just frustrating at times.
I apologize for the rant. I guess I’m just overworked, under-rested, and not feeling particularly well lately. All that added together usually makes for a less-than-happy me. I hope that this all fades pretty soon, and I expect that it will. Just feeling a bit ‘down’ today.