Posts Tagged ‘Religion

30
May
09

Christian Guilt

If you have read my blog, you know my answer.

But the WordPress Dashboard let me to a stellar post today, “Losing my religion. Why I recently walked away from Christianity” by the BEattitude. It is always  refreshing to read accounts of new non-believers. And, man, did the blog’s attention generate quite a bit of discussion. I had to engage, as you would well expect – and can see my comments by CNTRL-Fing “Political Mpressions.” My comments aren’t that great or original, but I just couln’t help myself.

The comment BEattitude made, however, that really struck a chord with me was the pronouncement of a great weight having been lifted off his shoulders upon leaving the religion. Another blogger, Leaving Religion, commented on the guilt they felt while a Christian.

Not all Christian, or religious, experiences are alike – but, I have to say that these two comments expressed results of Christianity I felt quite clearly as well. Upon decided, once and for all, that I did not believe that Christ was my lord and savior or that the Bible was divine in any way, the guilt that I didn’t know I had even been harboring all those years evaporated. It felt wonderful to be out from under such a dark cloud.

What guilt? The guilt from not reading my bible enough, proselytizing enough, guilt if I cussed, watched a rated R movie, didn’t treat my body like a vessel, had lustful thoughts, disrespected my parent, missed church, didn’t pray before a meal. You name it and it makes you feel guilty if you don’t do it or if you do do it depending on the sin or naughty deed.

So many things that are natural human behavior are wrong in Christianity, and most organized religions. That’s how religions operate: by control. If a religious leader can convince you that various normal behaviors are intolerable and you believe this, it is easier for this religion to maintain its dominance because it weakens the tendency for independent judgment and independent thought. If a group adheres to a strict code of conduct, it make the group more intact and less likely to have defectors than if everyone in the group is able to do what they want willy-nilly. Control the mind and judgment, and you control the people.

It was the most wonderful, liberating experience of my life to denounce Christianity, rivaled only by a small few life-changing experiences I’ve had the privilege to undergo.

One last thought, if you don’t have the inclination to read many of the comments beneath BEattitude’s post, I’ll give you a taste of a common theme among Christian responses: many of them feel or think that because BEattitude turned away from Christianity, he:

  • Never knew God, in the first place.
  • Was never truly Christian in the first place. “Wasn’t a real Christian before.”

As a former Christian, I find these comments abhorrent and unseemly. It is very typical of Christians (the vast majority of whom are quite un-Christlike) to judge how Christian or Christlike another is. Everyone’s relationship with religion is different. Simply because someone turned away from the faith does not mean they were not as “good” a Christian as another. No one is in a position to judge anyway.

Christians like to tell themselves that non-believers do not know Christ or God like they do. This a false notion, merely used for comforting purposes. We have known what they know, felt what they felt, witnessed the “miracles” they witnessed and prayed like they prayed. We believed. Yes, we have turned away because we have chosen to make decisions based on evidence and reality.

All these accusations against former Christians merely reveals the threat present Christians feel when coming into contact with one who has rejected what they themselves believe.

Phew, I need a beer after all this god talk!

30
May
09

OK Congressman Enters Rehab – Big Whoop

This is not news. Here’s why:

**First off, let me issue a preliminary notice that I’m not belittling alcoholism or addiction. I’m way too big a fan of Intervention to shit on those cash cows.

But this guy, Repub Rep John Sullivan, is from Oklahoma. Because I had the misfortune of committing some heinous crime in a past life, the flying spaghetti monster decided to make me pay penance by sending my husband and I to live in Oklahoma City. We didn’t even make it two years. Yah, it ranked high on the severe suckage scale.

Anyhoo, what we noticed there is that over half the people you meet are reformed alcoholics. They drank way too much in college, did a stint in rehab and are now in some holier-than-thou club that celebrates each other in between church events. It’s crazy.

Oklahomans have a very dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, which results in labeling typical college-age boozing and binge drinking as alcoholism. Like most people, all these kids really needed to do was time to grow up, wait for the judgment area of the brain to finish developing and they’d be as close to the straight and narrow as they were going to get. The state overreacts to everything that might somehow contradict the teachings of baby jesus – some state lawmakers tried to prevent Richard Dawkins, renound athiest author, from speaking about evolution during the OU’s Darwin Week 2009.

Obviously, this GOP congressperson is older than college kids – but, still, in Oklahoma, being a recovered alcoholic is somehow a badge of honor in this bible belt beatdown state.

So, I have three reactions when I see reports that the GOP dude is entering Betty Ford: who cares? it isn’t even news. and it’s so dumb, i have to blog about it.

12
May
09

Miss California – A Perfect Christian Specimen

I haven’t wanted to post about the Miss California scandal because I haven’t thought it newsworthy. There are so many issues much more deserving of the spotlight – the Congressional deal regarding credit industry legislation, rape victims across the country have to pay for their own rape kits, Sen. Vitter was holding up Obama’s FEMA appointee until some effective opposition advertising ahead of his 2010 reelection attempt, and more.

Miss Cali Pre-Boob Job

Furthermore,the vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less about beauty pageants until a topless photo of one of the contestants emerges. And now we want to have an opinion over whether this girl should keep her crown? It’s ridiculous.

Sure, she’s hypocritical. Most (ahem, all. okay, not all) Christians are. It’s okay for them to be “imperfect,” yet they want the rest of us to abide by specific biblical doctrine of their choosing. The Bible says not to alter your body, yet Miss California convinced the Miss California Pageant organization to pay for her chest “enhancement.”

And that’s what Christians have to understand. Our boisterous opposition to them has less to do with their belief system and much more with their ubiquitous hypocrisy. Show me a Christian and I’ll show you a person who does not fully abide by Biblical tenants. They pick and choose. And good for them – it’s a ridiculous book impossible to follow. But, most Christians don’t allow for the rest of us to disavow it’s tenants as well. It’s a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

I love you Jeezus!!

We’re not telling Christians to stop going to church and stop praying. And there are plenty of religious inclusions in government that violate church and state doctrine that we might disagree with, but don’t hugely protest. We’re not telling them how to live their lives. We’re simply telling them to get out of ours.

Miss California has every right to speak her mind without some pageant judge acting as though his testicles were in a vice. He shouldn’t have asked the question if he wasn’t prepared to witness an answer he doesn’t like with grace. This is the Miss USA Pageant, not The Birdcage.

I support Miss Cali keeping her crown – just as I support her getting titty implants or lip injections or fake tans  and posing topless and being as false and unchristlike as she wants. She’s a great example of a typical Christian. Perfect spokesperson for the group. Let her do her thing.

But let us do ours.

And, for the record, I thought I’d let everyone know that Miss USA is Kristen Dalton from North Carolina. Uh…Congrats.

08
Apr
09

Gay Marriage Update

What a freaking awesome time for progress! The Vermont Legislature overrode their dipshit governor’s veto of their bill to legalize gay marriage (and, Vermont, what’s the dealyo with electing such an ignoramus in the first place? I mean, I know I’m from Texas and haven’t a positive thing to say about our governor – but you’re VERMONT). And the Iowa State Supreme Court found that legislation defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional:

A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.

Civil libertarians around the country are as giddy as little girls  over these momentous occasions and what a bright spot they are after the resounding show of bigotry last November in California.

So, it was quite galling to watch a Mike Barnacle-hosted Hardball today on which Maggie Gallagher, of the National Organization for Marriage, issued the most ridiculous claims regarding the effects of gay marriage. First, allow me to post an ad NOM recently spent a cool 1.5 million bones to air in hopes that it would turn the tide of public sentiment against gay marriage:

Hello, McFly! Are you serious? Are you trying to dumb down the American people with this drivel?

One woman says she’s “afraid” of gay marriage. A man claims the gay marriagers want to bring the issue into their life. And another chick says her freedoms will be taken away.

And then Gallagher posited on Hardball that the bad thing about gay marriage is that our children will be taught they are wrong to hold on to their beliefs that gay marriage is wrong. And churches participating in legal adoptions will be unable to discriminate against same-sex couples. And churches in New Jersey that participate in the commercial real estate market by renting out space for marriages will have to rent them out for gay weddings.

If you are a regular reader, and even if you aren’t, you can imagine I have a few (more than, actually) choice words to answer these babblings of those…say it with me…on the WRONG side of history. It’s called progress. Look into it.

First of all, like most religioners, NOM is attacking gay marriage from the viewpoint that it will injure them somehow. They give little consideration to the feelings and rights of gay marriage. I have one question for them: WWJD, biotch? Their storied Jesus would have never allowed his opinions to dictate the lives of others. The Bible preaches FREE WILL. These people have a bastardized view of that which they hold up as their guide. Be kind. Think of others first. That’s what your Christ would do.

Secondly, NOM is trying to stir up fear and playing to the most base of human emotions to illicit a reactionary response rather than debate the issue on its merits. The Constitutions grants all Americans inalienable rights – including marriage. Negate that. Trying to scare people into a frenzy is no means to change society for the better or for the long term. It’s juvenile and, as we saw with the Bush administration, destined for failure.

Like the cute dude debating Gallagher said, if the churches want to participate in government-controlled activities, such as adoption and real estate, they should not complain when their religion-induced bigotry is called onto the mat and squashed like a fat mosquito. Gallagher kept complaining that those opposed to gay marriage are simply labeled as bigots and intimates their religious beliefs should not be labeled discriminatory.

Au contraire, ma soeur, religion has long served as the catalyst for bigoted, evil, discriminatory acts. It is the job – the duty – of those driving progress and propelling humanity forward to thwart those who would victimize others and then defend their actions with “religious ideology.” We no longer have room for such behavior in this society of free speech, widely available education and information.

I would encourage religioners to stop trying to keep everything the same. Change is inevitable. Progress will always tap you on the shoulder and show you the exit. Maybe not the nearest exit. But the eventual one.

And good riddance.

31
Mar
09

Atheist Billboards Going Up in DFW Area

I’m pretty pumped! Monday, the Coalition of Reason will unveiled two godless billboards along busy interstates in the DFW area:

godless-billboard

The Coalition of Reason has already launched the campaign, aimed at uniting non-believing groups, in Philadelphia and Denver.

I’m part of the leadership of the Fort Worth Free Thinkers and we are joining with the North Texas Church of Freethought, Metroplex Atheists, Dallas-Plano Atheists and more to form the DFW Coalition of Reason .

The reaction of the area will certainly be interesting as this is an obvious headquarters for Christocentric religiosity. You’d be surprised, however, to see how quickly our community of non-believers (athiests, agonstics, non-theists, rationalits, etc., etc.) is growing.

Certainly, I hope one of the results of this four-week media campaign is greater organization of non-believers so that our voice is heard amongst the cacophony of American diversity. For too long, we have allowed one specific lunatic fringe group to dominate politics and accepted culture in our society and that must stop. The pendulum is swinging away from those who would seek to imprison the rest of us with their beliefs. We will be the silent minority no more.

And speaking of minority, I’d like to remind everybody that religious unaffiliated is the fasted growing “religious” group in the U.S. Doesn’t that just give you a warm, cozy feeling inside?

If you’re in Texas and would like to find a group of non-believers in your area, visit this Texas Secular Network site for a list. Some groups are more stingently athiest and organized, but as for us Fort Worth Free Thinkers, we just like good beer and good conversation and rational thinking. Peace out.

24
Feb
09

Ted Haggard – A Whole Lotta Dirty

Ted Haggard’s latest coming out party was interesting to watch – not interesting enough to watch in its entirety, but I caught snippets. He recently did the media rounds to promote Alexandra Pelosi’s recent HBO Documentary of him, “The Trials of Ted Harrard.”

After catching snippets of Haggard and his wife on Larry King and Oprah, I decided to watch the film. This was also after a few people in my Free Thinker group of peeps said they saw the documentary and “felt sorry for him.” My husband and I were galled by such a notion, but I also though Mission Accomplished. That’s exactly what Ted was hoping the documentary would do – drum up sympathy. That and make him some money cause it looks like brother be broke.

Observations:

  • The man is clearly gay. I know the Christian community loves to say he would be suffering from “same sex attraction” which is so out of touch with reality, it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. He basically has a neon sign on his forehead, “HOMOSEXUAL,” and his life will continue to suck ass as long as he fights his true identity. But, hey – it’s a free country, so fight away Haggard; just try to do it off the boob tube, ya know?
  • In one of the interviews, he discusses working with helpers to fix his gayness affliction and reveals that a friend of his father’s had a relationship of a sexual nature with him when he was 7, but he didn’t think it was abusive (it did cause him to wet the bed until middle school, however). He only realized it was abusive after these helpers told him it was.
    • Now, let’s recap. The man is over 50, has been the spiritual leader of thousands upon thousands of people for two decades and doesn’t know right away that a sexual relationship with a child is abusive. Problem anyone? HUGE, huge problem. Does this mean that he has engaged in relationships of a sexual nature with children? He only recently discovered such activity was wrong… And what if church members came to him for counseling because of an occurrence of child molestation. This man was wholly unqualified to guide them or help them in any way and, in fact, may have taken advantage of the situation.
    • This is one of those after school special moments where the viewer learns that the church is not the best place for counseling or psychotherapy of any kind. These people are not trained, licensed or professional. (That goes for “alleged” domestic abuser Chris Brown who said he was seeking counseling from his pastor. I hope it’s not the pastor in Georgia who beat the shit out of his wife, said the Devil made him do it and leads the church still today. Christ, religioners can be dumb)
  • Haggard admitted the church was a business and noted that, now, he’s bad for business. Well, hallelujah, slap yo momma! Finally. Let’s acknowledge here that churches are for-profit institutions that make many, many of their leaders rich off the moneys many of their congregation cannot afford to give. These should be taxable institutions and not protected by an unconstitutional government endorsement of them through tax-free status.
  • The church agreed to a settlement with Haggard as long as he left Colorado (for at least a year, but I don’t know how long in total). So instead of telling the church to go fuck themselves and that he was going to stay in his house for the sake of his kids, he drags them from place to place while he tries to find a job,which is difficult – apparently a 50 year-old pastor with no other experience isn’t qualified for many things in the “secular” world. It seems that if baby jesus was so benevolent and all-giving, he would have sent an angel to give Pastor Ted solid employment. For some reason, baby jesus didn’t. Weird.
    In the meantime, the children he has still in their adolescence must go with the vagabond family from place to place with no stability while their father focuses on rectifying his “homosexual issues.” If it were me, I would have sold the house, told the church to suck it and put down roots somewhere else in Colorado or near family and focused on the kids. Of course, I’m not some crazy jesus freak. And where is the extended family in all this? Are there no siblings, no grandparents or aunts or uncles to help the same-sex afflicted douchebag, his Olympic in denial housewife and their offspring?
  • While leader of his church, Haggard claimed Christians have the best sex lives and that he and his wife have sex every day – then looked to a couple of men standing near them and asked them the frequency of their sex lives. One man said every day and the other, not to be out-penised, said twice a day. On Oprah, his wife gushed how wonderful their sex life was. Are we spotting a theme? Perhaps a preoccupation with sex? Even if Haggard did have sex every day, the man is a performer and was probably trying to look like the best heterosexual husband he could in the best way he knew how. Boning his wife and boning her a lot. When will people learn that frequency is not an indication of sexual health? And, in fact, the bragging about it (and probably lying about it) ad nauseam is very indicative of a sexual or psychological problem.
  • Do I feel sorry for Ted Haggard? hmmm. soul-searching…soul-searching…
    • Short answer: No.
    • Long answer: Hell-to-the-no, chaka khan! The man is a victim of his own creation. He founded that bloody church and grew it into a monstrosity until he could suckle at its teat and feel comfortable enough to have a drug habit and homosexual relationships on the side.(BTW, did his wife ever get tested for STDs? If your man – or woman – is messing around, for the love of pete, get tested!)
      Christians are a famously intolerable group of people – remember the Inquisition? – and this is what happens when one of them faces adversity. If you make them look bad….EXILE! It’s not what jesus would do, but it’s what a Christian would do. All that love your neighbor and enemy shite is just a big load. Haggard created a monster and then was eaten by it. There are carbon copies all over the country, sad to say, and none of them will learn lessons from Haggard’s tale. Cause he’s an icky aberration that has no reflection on them. If you look in the faces of jesus’ followers, will you see him looking back? Does a bear shit in the woods? Wait a minute! I mean, does a bear shit in the city? Wait – forget it.
17
Feb
09

Proof God Does Support Gay Marriage

Remember when Jerry Falwell said to Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, regarding 9/11,

But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”?

And remember when John Hagee said regarding Katrina,

All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.?

Well, if large-scale catastrophes are the result of the God of Abraham’s wrath and California is now in an economic free-fall and nearly out of money, this must be retribution for the only recent atrocity the state has committed: approving a legal ban on gay marriage.

It’s so clear! If California wants to overcome this economic Armageddon, their voters must quickly approve the court-upheld Constitutional legality of gay-marriage. Then baby jesus will be happy.

**Might I also suggest altering the state congressional process by which a budget or increase in taxes requires a 2/3 vote? That shit is jacked up.




Scarlet Letter of Atheism

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