Archive for October, 2008

God is a murderer

October 31, 2008

One of my English Major courses included a book that I refused to read– and not just because I was a prudish Christian.  It was about a family of vampires– a family of incestual vampires who had a lot of sex with each other.  The book was supposed to be offensive, so I didn’t have any trouble informing the instructor that the book was disgusting and I wasn’t going to read it.  He didn’t seem to mind, and I ended up acing the class, but I still have a little trouble understanding postmodernism on account of the completely over-the-top distraction this novel provided.  Or maybe being a completely over-the-top distraction is postmodernism?

 

The book was written by one of the professors at the university, which I suppose is kindof neat in theory, since the author came to speak to us one day about his book.  Unfortunately, his book talk was basically one long rant which included the sentence, “God murdered my grandmother,” which was repeated a few times for emphasis.  I wasn’t offended, but I was confused.  It didn’t compute.  In my mind, if you believe in God, you generally believe that he is good and loving and in charge and in control.  And while I suppose an alternative to this is to hate God for all those reasons, minus the good and loving part I guess, I don’t understand why not just shrug the whole God thing off and become an atheist.  Maybe some people really can’t make sense of the world without a supernatural being pulling all the strings.  When something bad happens to someone you love, maybe it is helpful to have a God to direct all your anger at– especially if we’re talking about a sweet old lady who died in her sleep.

 

So that was my introduction to the so-called problem of evil.

 

I wonder, now.  Was this guy angry about death; did it fear it, perhaps?  Was he just as addicted to his feelings as the Christian who raves about how much she loves Jesus?  Maybe it’s the danger of having a “personal relationship” with an invisible man who controls everything… it’s a recipe for disaster is what it is.

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Attending a church

October 30, 2008

I have been recently involved in an emailed conversation with the pastor at my church.  The whole thing started with his advocating California Proposition 8 in a sermon, my expressed disappointment via email, and his response that there is no such thing as the separation of church and state.  I responded politely despite the fact that he was lying to me (and claiming authority based on the fact that he used to teach history!)

This is the same guy who, when I asked him about the “problem of evil” (my husband made me do it), said that it’s because of free will and god doesn’t want us to be robots.  He supported this argument by saying he had two master’s degrees.  I refrained from responding with, “Well, I only have one Master’s degree, but…”

He also said, during the brief conversation, “You don’t think we came from monkeys, do you?”  And at the time, I had to respond, “Well, I don’t know much about evolution, but…” and tried to get him back to the point. 

I am so sad and disappointed that he would treat any of his congregants as if they are ignorant.  It is so frustrating and I’m not sure I can explain why it hurts me so deeply.  It’s probably because I can see now, as an outsider, how easy it is for Christian leaders to dumb down not only religious ideas, but history, biology, and everything, in order to keep people safely heaven-bound and not doubting.  I hate to see people missing out on real life for the hope of eternal reward. 

Anyways.

Because of my growing disgust for the pastor, I have decided that I’m not going to put up with it for much longer.  If my husband wants me to go to church so badly, we have to switch to a more liberal church, for one, and also a church that encourages learning and intellectualism, and does not lie in order to scare people away from doubting and questioning.

My first vote is a Unitarian Universalist church, though it might be a tough sell for my husband.   

Second choice is Episcopal.

They both have a choir and the Episcopal has an organ!  And the UU has a pagan group with a Samhain party this Friday!!  I would just love to be able to say at my current church that I went to a pagan holiday and see if, by the looks on anyone’s faces, they think that means “naked boozefest and chicken-sacrifice in a graveyard which ended in an orgy”.  Hot.

Anyone of the atheistic persuasion have experience with Episcopal or UU churches?

A phone call from the other side

October 29, 2008

Last night, I got a call from a lady asking for a charity donation.  As it turns out, there are some young men who want to go into the ministry and are being funded by this group.  Would I like to help?

“Actually, I’m an atheist, so I’m not going to be donating money so people can be priests.”

“Oh, I do apologize–”

“No need to apologize!  Better luck next call.”

I only wish there had been someone around who could appreciate this story…

I thought this would work…

October 27, 2008

I really thought people would notice that I changed my Facebook and mySpace pages to say:

Religion: atheist

I’m considering various other options for starting religious conversations with my old friends, the top one currently being that I post a picture of myself wearing nothing but a sign that says “Hey guess what!  There’s no god!”

Going to hell

October 23, 2008

My coworker E started choking just now because she was drinking water and it went down the wrong pipe.  She starts blaming B, who denies responsibility, and then I said, “You should blame whoever put those pipes so close together.”  She goes on coughing for a minute, then says, “Hey, that is really bad design!  Fish are designed better than we are!” 

I say, “Yeah, that’s the best argument for evolution ever.”

“Why is the trachea… that’s horrible design!” E is saying.  We’re both giggling.

“Bad idea,” I agree.  “Someone screwed up.”

And B says, “Ya’ll are both goin’ to hell.”

We all laugh and laugh and laugh.

And just now I realized, wow.  If anybody really took hell seriously as a place of eternal fire and torment, would we everdare say to anybody that they are going to hell?  Is that really funny?  Of course not.  I would even say that nobody possessing any imagination whatsoever, including my fiend B, is truly convicted of the reality of hell.

More on swear words

October 20, 2008

One of my coworkers is a polite Christian lady, and she generally doesn’t swear around me (she censors herself).  So I have been teasing her lately about how she can swear or burp or whatever around me.  And then I told her about how I said a new swear this weekend when a large spider crawled out of my dirty laundry pile (shut up!) and startled me.  I said, “Christ!”  And then I laughed because I’ve never said that before.  So when I finished my little story, my coworker (who knows I am an atheist) said, “See, you still call on him.”

 

I said, “Jesus is a spider?” and went on walking back to my cubicle.

 

I should have said, “What do you mean?”  But I’m not a fan of starting religious arguments with anyone, much less a person I spend 40 hours a week with.  But seriously, what does she think it means that I use religious profanity?  Does she file that in the “even atheists know there is a god, they just deny him” proof of her deity?  I guess that would go something like so:

 

1. When people are scared or startled or worried, they often blaspheme.

2. Therefore, God exists.  

 

This reminds me: my husband gets quite angry when people point out how much evil is done in the name of religion, or when people refuse to acknowledge all the good that religious people do.  What he doesn’t understand is, even if Christians do a lot of good, that doesn’t make it true– and of course conversely, just because Christians often do bad things, that doesn’t make it false.  It means that various people are good and bad for various reasons.

 

I guess my point is that Christians use very strange things for evidence of their faith, even while they insist that evidence is unnecessary. 

 

Like a few weeks ago when someone tried to tell me that everyone has faith, for example faith that there is a New York even though I haven’t been there.  And when I pointed out that I could go to New York and come back to prove it (not my only argument), he said the Apostle Paul ascended into the third Heaven (or some other integer, I forget) and came back, which proves there is a Heaven.

 

You see why I don’t generally get into arguments about religious things?  I don’t even know where to start when someone says something like “third heaven” — and this is someone from mainstream Christianity!  I thought there wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard of.  Which only goes to show you.

 

I’m not sure what it shows you, but it certainly doesn’t show you that there is a Heaven, or that Christianity is true, or that I believe Jesus is the Son of God sent to save my soul from eternal torment, or that there is a place of eternal torment, or that there is a soul.

 

Jesus Christ on a bike! 

My new favorite swear

October 17, 2008

“Jesus Christ on a bike!”

The only negative thing about that is: it might be a little bit too awesome.

And putting aside the whole issue of whether Jesus is Lord or not, can this technically be considered “taking the Lord’s name in vain” when you’re referring to an event the Lord is participating in rather than the person himself?  What does “in vain” mean, anyways?  Is it possible for Jesus to ride a bike in vain?  Please advise.

pain and crime

October 1, 2008

Ever since I changed my method of birth control, having my period has been a bigger pain.  It used to be a little tingle in my lower back and something like hunger pains but lower down; now it’s, well, it’s real actual menstrual pain.

I kept the pain level manageable yesterday by threatening to hit it with a Vicoden.  It sulked off.

But today it’s getting braver.  And my rule is, once I start walking funny, it’s time to take a pill. 

I have these leftover Vicoden from getting my wisdom teeth out, and of course I’m not supposed to use it for a purpose other than what my doctor prescribed it for.  But hey… at least the bottle has got my name on it, unlike the bottle of shiney little Percocet in my medicine cabinet.  Now there’s a great way to get rid of a migraine, unless of course the migrane has already progressed enough to make you vomit ten minutes after taking the pill.  What a waste!

See how being an atheist makes you completely lose your moral bearings and become a criminal?