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!

Christian Nationalism

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Recently I read an article related to the term “Christian Nationalist.” It seems that … “A year ago, calling someone a Christian nationalist was an insult.”

In fact, after the debacle of January 6th, when rioters spoke of their cause as a religious crusade and wielded crosses and bibles and banners with scripture, many pastors pushed back on any suggestion that the actions were related to Christian Nationalism.

Some even remarked that linking the term to American evangelical Christianity was “deeply dangerous,” and one leader claimed it was an unfair “accusation.”

Oh how times have changed.

In June, this same leader commented thus: “We have the left routinely speaking of me and of others as Christian nationalists, as if we’re supposed to be running from that.” He then added: “I’m not about to run from that.”

He is not alone. As many are aware, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene declared in a Tweet: “I am being attacked by the godless left because I said I’m a proud Christian nationalist. (My emphasis.)

We also hear such remarks as: “This is just a tactic on the part of liberals and the left to smear good, patriotic, and godly Americans.” and “Christian nationalism is what we’re supposed to do.” (My emphasis.)

What has become a concern is that those who affirm the label are becoming more radicalized, more militant, and more open about it, claiming that if this is who they are, they’re going to embrace it.

“Christian Nationalism” is actually an academic term that encompasses different degrees of intensity. It includes the more harmless, everyday God-and-country white evangelicals who believe politicians and courts should eliminate barriers separating church and state, but it also identifies the violent extremists willing to tear down democratic processes to bring about their vision of a white Christian nation.

Several Republican individuals currently vying for positions in the government do support and promote the idea of Christian Nationalism; however, due to its negative connotations, they are now using the term, “Christo-fascism” when referring to the violent, extremist form of Christian nationalism seen during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Essentially, however, it is nothing more than an effort to direct attention away from their support for Trumpian extremism that has become “inextricable from some parts of white evangelical power in America.”

A Yale professor was quoted as saying that “A hallmark of fascism is this idea of regeneration through violence.” So one can’t help but wonder if the terminology even matters because, at the core, it’s the actions that speak the loudest and will determine the end results.

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Image by Darelle from Pixabay

Reblog: Success?

A very moving composition.

I Write Her

UnknownPhotographer

Inspired by Moonwashed Weekly Challenge – Resplendent &
Reena’s Exploration Challenge #242

two fighter jets looked down
on the destruction they created
the war zone now resplendent
with white and grey tangled shards
of concrete building remnants in the streets
the bodies of the innocent
dotted with bright red blood
limbs splayed and everywhere
black patches of unearthed greenery
rejoicing in the colors of war
claiming a supposed victory

mission accomplished
returning to base
10-4

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“While The Rest of Us Die”

Last night, while looking for a movie to watch, I came across this rather intriguing title —While the Rest of Us Die: Secrets of America’s Shadow Government— and decided to give it a look-see.

WOW.

To say I’m impressed is an understatement.

The production is dated 2020, so it’s not new (except to ME as I’d never heard of it before) — and apparently there are two seasons (I’m on Season One, third episode).

I’m watching it on Tubi (with ads), but it’s also available (for free) on DirectTV and SLING TV. Other options include either rental or buy charges.

If you haven’t seen this mind-boggling production, I urge you to put it on your to-do list!

If you have seen it, I would be interested in your overall comments/reactions — but PLEASE … PLEASE … PLEASE 🙏 do NOT go into detail as I want to be able to see things unfold on my own. Thanks. ❤

Yes … No … Maybe?

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Over at World’s Pain, a rather long and detailed discussion related to the Second Amendment (and a few other contentious issues) has been taking place between Dave, a U.S. citizen, and rautakyy, the blog owner and a Finland resident (also an occasional visitor to this blog).

The former is a staunch supporter of gun ownership via the Second Amendment, while rautakyy disagrees and supports his stand through basic reasoning, along with sharing the various gun laws of his home country … AND common sense assertions.

As one might expect, Dave, the antagonist, touts the abbreviated version of the Second Amendment as justification for gun ownership in the U.S., along with the various and sundry reasons that many before him have expressed (including individual state laws, various facts and figures on gun-related incidents, etc.).

If this is a topic that interests you, I urge you to spend some time and follow the conversation. In the meantime, I wanted to share this latest (verbatim) entry by rautakyy:

@Dave, as a researcher of history, it appears as quite clear to me what the second amendment means and why it was formulated as it was. It needs to be looked at in the cultural and political context it was written in. That leaves very little interpretation room. The newly founded states needed a military, but did not have stable enough revenue to create one capable of fending off the global empire they had broken from. A nother option would have been draft, but that – just like taxation to build a standing army – reminded too much like the British empire. So, they worded the law to look like voluntary service in a regulated state militia and paying for the necessary equipment by oneself was one of the new freedoms they had given to people. This was a way to ensure also, that the frontiersmen would make less trouble, as it became possible for them to join the society, and be regulated at the same time. Most certainly the newly founded government did not think dudes sitting at home with their muskets would somehow make the government make any better laws. They may have written beatiful propaganda about it, but it is a bit absurd to think, that is how they saw their own social morals – incited to do better out fear for violence.

Here in Finland we are only experimenting on drivers licences for kids under the age of 18 years. The test has brought good and bad results. Neither driving a car, nor owning a gun are basic human rights. They are liberties regulated (well or poorly) and granted by the society to an individual based on an evaluation of that individual being responsible enough to not take exessive risks at the cost of others.

I am well aware this is a super contentious issue among U.S. citizens and more than likely we will never find common ground. Nevertheless, I believe that sharing statistics and laws that exist in other countries is a good thing … and MAYBE an “on-the-fence” person will give it some thought and (possibly) reconsider their position.

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

A “Warm” Story

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On June 30th, the company that services our air conditioner came by to perform a “maintenance check.” All appeared to be working satisfactorily and we thought we were prepared for the predicted hot summer months. 

The next week, as the weather did indeed begin to warm up, we felt comfortable knowing our A/C was in good working order.

WRONG! As the outside temperatures began to climb, so did the temperature readings in our home.

It didn’t take long for us to see/feel that the system was not performing as it should and we quickly placed a call for service. The technician arrived on July 8th and after examining the unit, advised us we had a Freon leak* — and the coils would need to be replaced. This was not a “minor” repair (translated: $$$$), but what else could we do but agree?  

Then we got the really bad news.

It was going to take anywhere from 10 days to two weeks before the repairs could be done as the company had to order the necessary part. With frustration and a bit of annoyance, we agreed to move forward. 

So from July 8th until July 27th, we sweltered in temperatures that ranged from 95°F to 100°F (35°-38°C). Fortunately, the other-half has an A/C unit in his workshop (and a computer), so he spent most of his days there. We also own a motorhome (with air conditioning), so I took my laptop and notebooks and spent my days in it. And we both slept there at night.  

This doesn’t mean it was all a “piece of cake.” Our usual and normal routine tasks were all out-of-whack, including the care and feeding of our two dogs. Fortunately, they were able to spend their days in the workshop and their nights with us in the motorhome. And since they trust us completely, they adjusted well.

FINALLY, on Wednesday (the 27th), the repairs were completed and we rejoiced knowing our lives would now return to normal.

WRONG AGAIN!

The unit performed perfectly the remaining part of that day and overnight. But the next day as the outside temperatures started to climb, I noticed the readings on the thermostat were also climbing.

To make this long story not quite so long … we were extremely fortunate that the repair guy was able to come back on Saturday, the 30th.

Curiously, after thoroughly checking everything (and then some), he was unable to locate the exact reason for the A/C failure. In any event, he was able to return the unit back to working condition.

So FINALLY … we are once again enjoying a cool home. 

— End of my “Warm” Story —

I hope. 🤞

+~+~+~+~+

*A bit of history — ever since we moved here, we’ve had problems with the A/C –and each time we were told it needed Freon. Ordinarily, this would mean a leak, but none of the techs ever mentioned this. It was not until this latest episode that someone finally made the determination.
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Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay