Your Final Thoughts

I read a blog post this morning in which the writer shared a story that triggered some thoughts I had not previously considered.

Briefly … a little background.

The blogger had been a Christian most of his life and dutifully raised his children in the faith. However, in 2007, his oldest son declared himself to be an atheist. As would be expected, this disturbed the family to no small degree, but it also prompted the blog writer to look more closely at his own faith.

Over the next several years, he spent considerable time reading and doing research related to Christianity and its roots. Little by little, he began his own journey toward atheism.

It was during this time that his aunt, who was a believer, faced imminent death and he went to be with her. Although she (and his mother) were both Christians, he said he managed to avoid discussing religion and simply shared past experiences.

Reading his story, a rather probing question occurred to me — and I’d like to ask it of my atheist audience who have had a religious backgroundespecially those who have been in the evangelical movement where the teaching of heaven and hell is so prevalent.

Imagine …

You are at life’s end. In mere moments, you know you will take your last breath and it will be … The End. Kaput. Finis. The Grand Finale. The Endgame.

My question: Can you HONESTLY say you would be totally free of ANY thoughts related to your eternal destiny?

While at this moment in time I can personally say with confidence that I no longer harbor any fears related to my demise, I do recognize the power of my former Christian beliefs related to life’s end. And I am forced to admit … they could intervene.

So what about you? If you know you’re at death’s door, are you absolutely certain of your final thoughts?

(Please remember — this question is for former believers. If you’ve always been an atheist, it obviously has no relevance. Further, I’m not soliciting thoughts related to any kind of “spiritual” afterlife. It’s all about “that moment.”)

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Image by doodlartdotcom from Pixabay

“Jenny”

An individual — we’ll call her “Jenny” — often visits not only my blog, but several others who write from non-theist viewpoints. By all indications, Jenny is a devout Christian; however (to her credit), she does not fall into the evangelical mindset. Instead she tends to take a more “intellectual” approach as she strives to persuade others that Christianity is not the “Big Bad Wolf.”

Nevertheless, based on the simple fact that Jenny follows the Christian god (via the Trinity), and the tenets of the book endorsed by the Christian faith, she regularly attempts to persuade non-believers to look at life through different lens.

(Of course, to those of us who believe Christians wear rose-colored glasses, we tend to discount not only Jenny’s reasonings and pleas, but others who fall into this category as well.)

An example of Jenny’s advocacy was recently illustrated on another blog where she pointed out that “confessing one’s sins” provided …

a good opportunity for honest self-reflection, to focus on our lives and think about if there are any ways we might be harming ourselves or others, and if so to take steps toward reconciliation and an amendment of life.

She added that through such actions people often experience a good measure of encouragement and healing.

Naturally, to those of us who discount the theory of “sin,” the actions outlined in the quote above are simply good practice as we traverse through this event called “life” — and we wonder why there needs to be any mention of “confession.”

To her credit, Jenny has shared that she greatly benefits from conversations with non-believers. She said it causes her to “really think deeply” about what she believes –and why– and makes her want to dig deeper to see if there might be another perspective to consider.

And to that, I would say … YES! There definitely is a far better perspective to consider!

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To Jenny and others who are convinced that “sin” exists, I strongly urge you to take a long and thorough look at the core beliefs of your Christian faith.

In so doing, I’m convinced you will see that Christian teachings and instruction are all meant to debase and devalue the human spirit — and then “renew” it by denouncing “sin” in your life and asking some unseen entity to make things all better.

Please! Stop allowing yourself to believe you are “fallen” and need “saving.” This is a fallacy to the nth degree. 

Instead, Recognize and Accept That
You Are Unique … You Are Special
Simply Because You Are YOU.

Hypocrisy

As a quick follow-up to my last post …

Scottie (@ Scottie’s Toy Box) in a recent comment compared church attendance to abortion – and wow! Did his remark ever hit home!

Christians will argue and stomp their feet and carry signs and march and threaten pregnant women at Planned Parenthood because they believe abortion is KILLING a human being.

BUT … they will gather in churches in large numbers to sing and worship their god … along with hugging their “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” While some may be wearing a mask, there are many who aren’t simply because they support a president who denies the seriousness of the current pandemic.  AND who they believe is “god-anointed.”

In other words, they seem to think it’s OK to threaten the lives of human beings who, by all acceptable standards, are moving and alive with functioning brains — yet they throw a hissy fit if a woman chooses to have an abortion.

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in action?

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PLEASE NOTE: This post is NOT meant as a take-off point for abortion arguments, so please refrain from any comments/arguments related to same. I have a post waiting in the wings that I will publish one of these days on the topic — and once I do, the floor will be open. If anyone chooses to ignore this request, I will be forced to remove your remarks. Thanks for your cooperation!

Higher Power?

“We answer to a higher power.”

This is the defense that church leaders offer as California Governor Gavin Newsom (once again) puts restrictions on indoor church services because of the pernicious increase in COVID-19 cases.

Yup. As discussed in one of my earlier posts, the churches are once again complaining that they should be exempt from any and all limitations related to their services.

As most of my readers know, I’m adamantly against any “special privileges” by Christians.

And yes, believers, I’m well aware that the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

The BIG difference is NO ONE is PROHIBITING the free exercise thereof. The powers-that-be are simply ruling that you don’t do your “free exercise” within the confines of a church building. And this ruling is backed by medical and health professionals that know far more about what’s best for Christians (and heathens alike) than any church leader.

But let’s go back to the first line of this post: “We answer to a higher power.”

No doubt this references the Christian God which no one (outside of bible fables) has ever seen or heard — contrary to the claims of believers who are certain they heard God “speak” to them during occasional moments of prayer. Or on those occasions when they desperately wanted their god to move on their behalf and “he” answered.

However, lucid and rational-thinking individuals –the ones who endorse the old saying seeing is believing– tend to utter “hogwash!” to these celestial claims.

The ONLY “higher power” that has been proven to exist are those neurons and protons that exist within one’s physical brain.

In other words, complaining pastors, it’s all in your head!

The hard truth is these church leaders are fearful of losing their source of income … and they will use whatever tactics/excuses/reasons they can come up with to justify their need.

It’s just too bad that those who are in other lines of work cannot use the same excuse to vindicate their (very real) needs during this pandemic.

Here is a question that continues to gnaw at me and no pastor who complains about “religious rights” has been able to answer: Why has this “higher power” allowed so many to die from a virus that, supposedly, “He” could have prevented?

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References:

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2020/november/ca-church-goes-to-court-facing-350-000-fines-despite-zero-covid-cases

https://lc.org/newsroom/details/20201125dragging-the-ca-gov-to-the-supreme-court (Notice the request for donations at the end of the article.)

Reblog: An open letter to Christians about their support of Trump

This is an EXCELLENT letter directed to “American Christians” that I hope gets shared far and wide. I’m doing my part.

Dear American Christians:

On November the 3rd, less than two weeks from today, you have an important decision to make about your eternal life. Do you remember that covenant you hold so near and dear to your heart? It is the pledge that separates you from the rest of us heathens. It is the promise […]

An open letter to Christians about their support of Trump — Ends and Beginnings