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!

This Is Awesome!

Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden

“We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history—until now. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.”

I have nothing to add … except read the article.

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Thanks to Gary @Escaping Christian Fundamentalism for bringing this to my attention.

Politics of Humiliation

My son, a Christian who hates strongly dislikes Trump, sent me an article entitled, “Who can win American’s politics of humiliation?” It was written by Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the NY Times. While I wasn’t all that impressed with the article in toto, I did find parts of it relevant to today’s political landscape.

Since the NY times requires you to subscribe before you can read their online articles, I’m just going to reprint some of the relevant parts. If you are a subscriber or have some “free” articles available to you (I had 2 left), here is the link. For everyone else …

[…]

It has been obvious ever since Trump first ran for president that many of his core supporters actually hate the people who hate Trump, more than they care about Trump or any particular action he takes, no matter how awful.

The media feed Trump’s supporters a daily diet of how outrageous this or that Trump action is — but none of it diminishes their support. Because many Trump supporters are not attracted to his policies. They’re attracted to his attitude — his willingness and evident delight in skewering the people they hate and who they feel look down on them.

[…]

People will absorb hardship, hunger and pain. They will be grateful for jobs, cars and benefits. But if you make people feel humiliated, they will respond with a ferocity unlike any other emotion, or just refuse to lift a finger for you. As Nelson Mandela once observed, “There is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated.”

By contrast, if you show people respect, if you affirm their dignity, it is amazing what they will let you say to them or ask of them. Sometimes it just takes listening to them, but deep listening — not just waiting for them to stop talking. Because listening is the ultimate sign of respect. What you say when you listen speaks more than any words.

[…]

When George Floyd was being held down by three policemen, one with a knee on his neck, as he pleaded for his mother and onlookers filmed on their phones, he was not just being restrained — he was being humiliated. 

[..]

Unless Biden finds a way to speak to the sense of humiliation felt by many working-class voters … even Trump’s failure to deal with the pandemic may not be enough to turn these voters against him.

[…]

Trump’s goal in this campaign is to separate Biden from Biden voters by making it as difficult as possible for Biden voters to vote. Biden’s goal should be to separate Trump from Trump voters by showing that he respects them and their fears — even if he does not respect Trump.

There’s more, but I think you get the idea.

So I guess the question is: How many of us have the patience and forbearance to do as Mr. Friedman suggests — show respect towards Trump supporters and listen to their concerns?

And more importantly, how many think Biden will be able to convince Trump’s supporters that he respects them and acknowledges their fears?

Reblog: What if the president really is a very stable genus?

EXCELLENT perspective that all of us should read and think about.

Twitter for Longer Thoughts

Early in the morning on January 6, 2018, the president took to the new era bully pulpit, Twitter, to defend his mental stability. In an infamous tweetstorm, one which coined a future book title, he proudly labeled himself, among other things, “a very stable genius.” Like many of his tweets it was met with wide-ranging responses; critics cited its absurdity, supporters defended his overconfidence, but most able-minded people agreed on one thing: this statement was not true. But what if it was?

I’m going to ask you to entertain a thought experiment. It will not be enjoyable or hopeful or comical, nor will it use scientific methods or concrete data. It will be based on perspective and examples with which we’re familiar. As I seek to legitimize a claim many find irrational, I wonder if this framing can help us understand, genius or not, how to counteract easy-to-consume bias and…

View original post 1,481 more words

Your Move …

This was a recent post on Facebook. It’s short but oh-so-powerful! Couldn’t resist sharing.

Hi, Conservatives of Middle America–

I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but if you keep voting for politicians who are content to let the planet die, the coasts will keep burning and flooding, and all us liberal coastal elites will be packing up our gay agendas, vegan cookbooks, and evolution-based science curriculums in our Priuses and moving DIRECTLY into your neighborhoods and voting precincts.

Your move, assholes.