Posts Tagged ‘wordpress religion blog

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!

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02
Dec
08

Conscientious Consumerism

I am a huge believer in voting with dollars. Huge! Whether it’s buying environmentally safe products or not eating veal or going to doctors who belong to minority groups, I try to put my money where my loud mouth is. No, I’m not religious about it – I don’t always buy locally-grown produce or independently-brewed beer and I wouldn’t go to a doctor who left a scalpel in me just because she was Hispanic and female (though, all the Hispanic female doctors I have visited have been phenomenal).

It’s called conscientious consumerism – as opposed to the American phenomenon of conspicuous consumerism which feeds on the souls of impoverished children.

One of my main responsible spending projects is the support of non-religious free thinkers (atheists, agnostics,

hee hee

hee hee

spiritual boycotters of organized religion, etc.). Of course, there are only so many directions this moral compass points. Hell, I live in Fort Worth and there aren’t too many openly atheist businesses in town, despite all the roofers who have Christian fish on their yard signs. It was much easier to practice when I lived in Austin.

But every cent counts, right? So, I look for books written by non-believers, buy Simpsons dvds, am not unfamiliar with adult toy shops, try to see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt movies despite my inability to take them seriously as actors anymore. I avoid businesses who use the Christian fish as their selling method, refuse to go within 15 feet of a Christian book store unless it’s to flash my boobs in their windows (kidding!), etc., etc. Twilight was written by a Mormon chick and while I salute her entrepreneurial spirit, I will not read her books or see the movie. And I’m making a much more concerted effort to keep funds from Scientology followers (you know who I’m talking about).

But, it’s hard, people! And I’m weak. I can’t help but find myself in the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A now and again. And despite the fact that burger chain Fudruckers plays god-awful christian worship music on Sunday mornings (by request), I manage to chomp down on their wondrous meat and buns, wedge fries and heavenly processed jalapeno cheese sauce once a month (or more?) on a day that is not designated for rest for the majority of Americans. And, shhh, but I love the Chronicles of Narnia series.

The response to Propoboycott-oppressionsition 8, however, is making my life a lot easier. The publication of donor lists have helped galvanize a boycott against the business leaders who helped ensure the success of a religious political movement aimed at oppressing the rights of a specific group of Americans. I am more than happy to joint the effort to hand prejudiced business leaders some whoopass with each dollar I don’t spend supporting them. Cinemark Theaters, this means you.

What is surprising is that MANY of those that end up on the boycott lists are Mormon – not just any ole Christian felt called to donate in support of Prop. 8. It is mind-boggling how many of the donors supporting Prop. 8 live in Utah. It seems there was a concerted effort within the church walls to push parishioners to spread hate. Sure, their church leaders have routinely practiced pedophilia and suppression of women, but how dare gays have the right to marry! What imbeciles. Needless to say, I’m not planning any trips to Utah any time soon.

Though I don’t live in California, I do pay attention to the movements supporting gay marriage – many of which lists monetary supporters of Proposition 8. For instance, Californians Against Hate has a great website, giving me many more businesses upon which to focus my responsible consumerism: A-1 Self Storage, Washington Mutual, Templeton Funds, Marriott, like I said – Cinemark Theaters. Mormonsstoleourrights.com lists the ways in which the Mormon Church has worked to oppress gays and also posts a petition viewers can sign advocating the loss of tax-exempt status for churches who are politically involved.

Boycotting is not a “bullying” tactic as many of the named donors are claiming. Religioners have their fun with boycotts all the time. And I fully support any American’s right to donate to causes they support. However, I have the right to refuse to patronize those with whom I disagree. Voting by the dollar is one of the most fundamentally democratic expressions we Americans have and a major producer of progress. I will never purchase anything produced by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh or anyone else that spews hatred and vitriol. That’s my right.

And while I will suffer for my views (no more Franklin Covey planners…) it is important for me to practice what I preach and support efforts to expand good will to all people and oppose those who would oppress.

By the way – what an abismal shame that a dishonorable person like Saxby Chambliss could reach one of the highest offices in the land. What the hell, Georgia?! This man inhabits the bottom of the moral barrel and you would re-elect him?! What a disgrace.




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