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!

God and the Blogosphere

There are innumerable discussions across the blogosphere that cover the Christian god’s temperament, powers, ability to create, will, morality … and on and on.

But why?

I have yet to discover why people continue to discuss the attributes of an entity that has no body, no voice, apparently exists somewhere in nether-nether land and, most importantly, is only mentioned within the pages of a centuries old book.

Yet pages and pages and pages (ad nauseam) of blog posts are devoted to prayers, scripture, discussion, debate, personal testimonies … along with incessant prodding (and often threats) on why “everyone” should believe in this being (and more importantly, his created “son”).

It is puzzling indeed … especially when one considers the ONLY evidence that such an entity exists is in the minds of those who choose to believe it does.

But let us say for a moment this being truly exists … truly “created” this world and its inhabitants … truly loves its creations … truly has prepared a glorious afterlife for them.  The question then becomes why-oh-why does it remain hidden? Why does it allow so much dissension and disagreement about its existence to continue?

Does it enjoy the entertainment as it watches us quibble and fuss and argue from its ethereal “home”? Perhaps it considers our squabbling as fun and games … a way to pass the endlessness of eternity?

Or perhaps … just perhaps … there is no such entity at all.

The View from the Trump Supporter Box

Excerpt from an article in The Guardian:

They [Trump supporters] think the president is off to a fine start, with understandable hiccups given the extent to which he and his people are honest-to-God government outsiders. They echo White House strategist Steve Bannon’s labeling of the media as “the opposition party” and blame the press for trying to tear Trump down. They see the protesters as petulant malcontents and repeat Trump’s accusation that some of them are surely getting paid to demonstrate.

— “Hiccups”? … More like stumble and fall down flat on your face.

— “Government outsiders”? … Well, yes — because they’re his billionaire friends who don’t have a clue about how government works.

— “The media as ‘the opposition party'”? … More like the truth-telling party.

— “Blame the press”?  … Bwwaaaahhaaaa! tRump is doing it all by himself.

— “Protesters as petulant malcontents”? … More like sane-thinking individuals who are trying to get the rest of the world to do the same.

— “Paid to demonstrate”? … Nope! They’re doing it for free and out of the concern for this country! In fact, most would probably turn down any financial perks.

The individual the article spotlighted rated Trump’s first three weeks in office as pretty near perfect. She added, “I haven’t seen anyone back away from Trump. I haven’t seen anyone doubt. I haven’t seen any retreat.” (Has she been living in a cave?)

Dreamstime.com Image

“Trump is medicine for the American people [and] in two years they’re going to feel so much better.”



An Interesting Look At Heuristics and Trump

I’ve linked to this blogger before. He has some (I think) very perceptive views of our political scene. See if you agree.

Excerpt (slightly edited for grammar/spelling errors):

[The brain] is an easily fooled machine though. For as complex as it is, the shortcuts it takes to make us the wondrous sentient beings that we are, leave it susceptible to bias and blunder. It has two systems pulling and pushing on each other at all times. The first one, system-1 was born somewhere in our lizard brains before we even made it out of the swamp. It’s automatic and uncontrolled. It’s our gut reaction to things. It sees fire and runs. It assumes much. But understands little.

System-2 is slower, deeper and more intentional. It feels turbulence on a plane but overrides our fear and reminds us that planes almost never crash and are built to shake. System-2 is deliberate. It’s where our best thinking on complex issues is done.

Read more here.