Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

Oh What A Relief It Is!Although I left Christianity over 20 years ago, it took a long while for me to erase the doctrines that had been embedded within my consciousness for 15+ years. It was not an easy road.

As Stephen Van Eck wrote on the Deism.com website: “Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, [a person] is too intimidated by threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt.”
Writing my book helped tremendously because of all the research and reading I did. Learning how and why certain doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., final judgment, burning fires of hell, Satan and his demons, the end-times) were introduced into the faith was extremely liberating … and removed a ton of guilt and fear.

I also found out some things about the Bible. As many others, I had been taught the Bible was “God’s Word” (even though the interpretation of what “He” said varies considerably among denominations). Through my studies, I discovered that much of what is in the bible is the result of stories, epics, myths, legends, proverbs, etc. that were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is particularly true of the Hebrew Bible, but intrinsically typical of the New Testament scriptures as well. Can you imagine the burden that was lifted when I found out I wasn’t genetically inclined to sin and thus in need of someone to save me from being human??!?

Contrary to what one might think, the many discoveries I made did not turn me into an atheist. However, I definitely do not believe in a supernatural being who lives somewhere “up there,” who can be manipulated by prayer, or who has a “will.” Rather, my image of “God” is far more encompassing and has nothing to do with religious belief. In fact, I’m extremely reluctant to even use the word “god” because of all its connotations.

In any case, I find my life so much more fulfilling now. Truly, what a relief it has been!

Alternate Viewpoints

Recently a conversation took place on Scottie’s blog that I felt was worth sharing. I decided not to do a “reblog” because I primarily wanted to focus on a conversation between Scottie and one of his readers related to his post.

The topic was a common one on Scottie’s blog … sexual identification … and he had included a copy of an article from lgbtqnation.com.

In response, an individual who used the tag, ROBINDD4L. offered this comment:

I agree homosexuality has always been around and it’s why it’s referred to as an abomination in the Bible. God says it’s a sin and we’re given the reason as to why He calls it this. What is new, however, is the transgender and homosexuality push to teach this ideology in the schools. And, YES, they are trying to teach it. Where the problem comes in is when the LGBQT community tries to force THEIR views onto the conservative family. Christian families want nothing to do with this ideology. We don’t want it in our schools, in our businesses, in our churches or in our families. Now that doesn’t mean we would be ugly or rude to someone just because they’re gay, no, because that wouldn’t be right. It just means we believe what the Bible teaches and the Bible is quiet clear, those whose practice this sin, will die in it. Whether you believe in God or not doesn’t change this simple fact.

This was Scottie’s response … which I thought was excellent. It was very thorough and very well well-thought-out. He hit all the important points, yet never censored the individual or made any rude comments:

I read your comment and pondered if you are just a misinformed true believer or a troll. Not that it matters. I could explain to you that what that verse the abomination really referred to was temple boys being used by men for sex in some faiths, I could explain that it doesn’t matter what is or is not a sin as this is not a theocracy, never was intended to be, and so far it is not now. None of that really matters to what you seem most misinformed on. Let’s talk about that.

What you take as teachers pushing an ideology is that you somehow have lost track of the last 50 years, and the idea that you as a Christians won’t tolerate it in your communities, your schools, your families … is you are not everyone! The rest of us get a say in the PUBLIC and in PUBLIC schools. Your family is your business, but the rest of us have families and views also that don’t agree with yours. Look up the polls Robin. Times have changed. Get out of your bubble. The majority of people are accepting of gay people, same sex marriage, and yes also the trans community.

Here is what you don’t get. You think that not allowing you to oppress the LGBTQI+ means you’re being persecuted. Wrong. It doesn’t matter if you accept it or not, but the medical science and data is in. People are born gay; people are born with a different gender identification than they are assigned at birth. Look at the graphs on the side bar of this blog to understand the scientific data! Your religious views don’t matter, your knowledge is based on what people knew 2,500 years ago. This is 2022, we know and understand a lot more now.

It is not your school; it is the public school. And the public disagrees with you. You don’t want tolerance and acceptance taught in your schools to your kids, don’t send them to public schools. Simple. See what you are demanding is the rest of us live by your church rules, your religious views. No sorry we don’t have to. You want to fine. Don’t agree with gay sex, don’t have any. Don’t believe in transgender, don’t transition. Don’t want same sex marriage then don’t get married to someone of the same sex. But you have no right to stop anyone else from living the life they were born to live. The rest of us have rights also. We have the right to live equally in the US democracy. Not Theocracy, Democracy.

We know and understand that people are born LGBTQI+. Including the two that seem most mentioned the trans and the gays. Born that way. They have the right to have a full and open life just as people born cis or straight. Religion is a choice but being LGBTQI+ is not, you are born LGBTQI+. Society understands that now. We have learned and advanced tolerance and acceptance. What you call pushing ideology in schools is actually simply requiring tolerance and acceptance of diversity or difference. Just as no kid should be bullied or picked on for wearing a cross no kid should be picked on for wearing a pride / trans flag. Just as no kid should be bullied for reading the bible, no kid should be bullied for reading a book with gay or trans characters or subjects. That is what you are so afraid of, tolerance and acceptance. You want to indoctrinate what you believe is the only way, only good. It doesn’t work that way. Society has moved on.

On last thing, you talk about sin and those who practice this sin will die. Yes they will, eventually. Guess what, so will you. No joke, you are going to die also. Also this line was funny Whether you believe in God or not doesn’t change this simple fact. You still don’t get it. Your god doesn’t matter. Not to me. Not to the majority of the people in the US. Your god doesn’t set the laws nor the standards in a democracy. The US is a democracy. Here is the key, your god matters to you and in our country you have the right to worship that god yourself for yourself. You do not have the right to force me or anyone else to follow your god. We are tolerance of you. We insist you also be tolerant of us. That is what makes a civil society.

So now let’s consider the topic itself. What do you think? Did ROBINDD4L have a point? Or do you agree with Scottie? 
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Growing Old(er)

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Robert Reich published a column today on age. He titled it, “Joe, please don’t run again,” but he didn’t just focus on Biden.

Reich himself is 76 and all throughout the piece, he shared several of his experiences as examples of the things we encounter as we age.

Myself being a bit past the age of Robert, I can personally attest to many of the verbal blips and physical stumbles he pointed out and … maybe some of you readers can as well?

Although Biden seems physically fit and, for the most part, mentally sharp, there have been (and are) indications of future concerns. On more than one occasion, reporters have pointed out his “speech blips.” Although not a major worry, such incidents will most likely become more frequent as time passes.

The press has also reported on Biden’s several trips and meetings with world leaders, and this too could become a concern. Although he presents as physically fit for his age, this doesn’t take away from the fact such long journeys do take their toll on the mind as well as the body.

Obviously, none of us have direct control on Biden’s decision. All we can do is hope that he recognizes his own age-related predilections and will be cognizant of this as he makes his final decision.

(Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated by other “senior citizens” in Congress: the pull of politics is difficult to resist.)

This Made My Day!

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Just finished reading an article in Business Insider and this first line jumped out at me:

  • A Christian organization has started a petition protesting Trump’s 2024 campaign.

OH YES!!

At press time, 14,904 people had signed the petition — just shy of the organization’s goal of 15,000 signatures!

In the petition, Christians are asked to “speak out” and “make it clear that Donald Trump does not share our values and will never have our votes” … and “another Trump presidency would be a disaster for our country.”

The executive director of Faithful America, who is behind the petition, said this: “Neither the country nor the church can afford another four years of this charlatan’s fascism, racism, misinformation, or ego.”

FINALLY! A group of believers that have seen through the Great Façade! 👏👏

Highly Misplaced Honor

KR

Just read the following in Heather’s latest newsletter:

The far-right, pro-gun “Second Amendment Caucus” today hosted Kyle Rittenhouse, the 19-year-old who shot three men, killing two of them, in summer 2020 during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and who was later acquitted of homicide. 

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made the following comment about Rittenhouse’s appearance:  

“It was an honor to have Kyle join the Second Amendment Caucus. He is a powerful example of why we must never give an inch on our Second Amendment rights, and his perseverance and love for our country was an inspiration to the caucus.”

Is it just me or do others find it not only disgusting, but sickening as well, that a person who needlessly SHOT AND KILLED two individuals and walked away scot-free is given accolades such as this?

How can ANY individual who respects human life and all it stands for declare that Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions were a “powerful example” of the “rights” declared in the Second Amendment?

Perhaps it was the way I was raised, but it is so completely beyond my understanding that ANYONE would heap praise and verbal trophies of approval on an individual who KILLED two people (and injured a third) using a gun that he should never have had in the first place!

I’m sorry, but I simply cannot agree that allowing an individual to buy, own, and use a gun to shoot and kill others and then walk away scot-free was the goal behind those who wrote the Second Amendment.

The personal ego already has a strong element of dysfunction, but the collective ego is, frequently, even more dysfunctional, to the point of absolute insanity.
–Eckhart Tolle

Become an Atheist

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Just saw this as a comment on another blog. I think most of my readers will enjoy the thought behind it. The contributor indicated it’s a story from Hasidic literature.

A student asked the Rabbi, “Why did God create atheists?”

The great Rabbi replied. “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all; the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching.

He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his actions are based on his sense of morality. Look at the kindness he bestows on others simply because he feels it to be right. When someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say “I’ll pray that God will help you.” Instead, for that moment, you should become an atheist – imagine there is no God who could help, and say “I will help you.”

Sure beats “thoughts and prayers,” doesn’t it?

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay