Easter is Coming!!!

“But Joe…you’re an atheist!”

Yes. Yes I am. But, keep in mind, in the Bible, when the bunny hopped from his lair and began pooping out colored eggs, the children of the land of milk and honey woke from their slumbers. They climbed from their hewn rock beds, covered in dust, and walked to the kitchen table. There before them lay baskets of jelly beans, mixed up in the most shiny of plastic confetti. Digging a little deeper, the little children uncovered the stickiness of a Peep, melted onto the bottom of the basket from the desert heat.

No matter. They popped Peeps in their little mouths, Easter grass and all, and swallowed. Easter was here.

Yes, I know the Christian tradition of Easter. I’ve written extensively in my old and dusty corner of the interwebs on why I think the barbaric and bloody mess of Christianity’s human sacrifice necessity is well…barbaric and a bloody mess. So I don’t give a rats two shits on the true meaning of the holiday.

For most of us, anyway (me not included), it’s a time to dress up in ugly clothes and go to church the first of two times we’ll attend this year, providing fodder for the fire and brimstone Baptist preachers, yelling insults at their congregation, deploring the idea that “going to church twice a year will get you into heaven.” I mean, seriously…Jesus fucking Christ, that Billy Sunday shit is so old school. Do you really think, with the proliferation of information and general religious knowledge all over the internet, people don’t know the Baptist con job of the salvation riddle?

You know the one. An all powerful and all knowing god, cannot simply NOT ALLOW sin to manifest itself in the world, and is forced to carry out a human/god sacrifice. And even then, you don’t get to go to heaven. Whatever…I can hear the spaghettified hoops the religious are jumping through in their minds, rolling their eyes at me, wondering why I don’t just accept that I need to drink blood and eat flesh, then look judgingly upon a National Geographic picture of naked cannibals in the Amazon jungle.

I mean, don’t they know the sanctity of life? You know, like God feels about it. So much so that he forced Pharaoh’s heart to harden and not let the Israelites leave Egypt, carrying out the killin’ of the first born of every family, so that “they may see my signs and wonders and know who I am.”

Yeah God, we see who you are. Nothing I would want to be or have anything to do with. You have more in common with Ted Bundy than a rabbit has with an egg.

Happy Easter!

Oh…and I’m going to be doing my annual golden egg hunt with my religious in-laws. I love doing that every year.

Stop Blaming God for Your Successes

I wrote a post, reacting to Brussels, and a reader and frequent commenter, Lorn, wrote a great comment:

My beef with religion, pretty much all religion, less some (Zen Buddhism) but more others (Islam), is that religion provides a ready-made system for people to feel justified in doing all those evil things they wanted to do while avoiding doing those things they didn’t want to do while framing everything in terms of an imaginary afterlife so that we can avoid looking at the humanity and suffering of others.

I’ve friends who go to a Christian church that has a catch phase of ‘All glory to God’. If they do something good it is ‘All glory to God’. Every time I hear it it grinds my gears. It is system of helplessness and unawareness. The lady does a good thing. She should feel good. She should recognize her worthy application of will and intelligence to solving a problem because owning her power she could feel good about it and it would be more likely she would do more good. Owning the deed also mean owning the process. I means being conscious of how she did it and knowing that she could tweak the process to get better results more quickly and efficiently. She could grow and improve as a human being and become ever more effective at working toward making it a better world.

Instead it is ‘All glory to God’. This breaks the feedback loop. It means that she cannot own the deed or process. God getting credit means she gets none. Not owning the process means she is unlikely to critique her own performance and systematically improve, as either a human being, or as an agent for good.

The flip side is even darker. Telling herself ‘All glory to God’ is one side ‘It is God’s will’ is the other. A bud load of orphans going off a cliff is a tragedy, unless it is ineffable will of an angry God. Putting responsibility on God is a fine way of draining away the responsibility from any individual, or society. If it was the failure of an individual or society we might be motivated to do something about it. Get the drivers better training, or stop hiring drunks. Or put up better guardrails around sharp turn near cliffs. But if it is ‘The will of God’ … well … there is nothing that can be done. In fact, doing something to prevent another accident might be construed as thwarting the will of God.

Religion systematically obstructs human growth, acceptance of responsibility, and our ability to see our fellow humans as living, learning, suffering beings; as opposed to souls used as pawns on a cosmic chess board. Religion promotes backwardness and hinders progress toward a better, more humane, world.

Yes. Everything.

I have a friend who went through a hell of a life, then married and moved to Austria. There, she continued the hell, only with different actors. She would constantly tell me about her growth and notwithstanding success in life, then say,

If it wasn’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be here!

After I knock myself out, rolling my eyes, I pretty much say exactly what Lorn said.

Stop blaming God for your successes in life.

My Struggle with the Brussels Terrorist Attack

While you read my writings, keep in mind one thing – I’m only 35 years old, 36 in a month. Nearly middle-aged, but not nearly mature enough, in my opinion, to be disseminating thoughts and convictions that are set in stone or immovable. I started late to the game, being an uber-religious, dogmatic fundamentalist until the age of about 25. Then, it took me another 5 years to really walk myself out of the fixation on reconciling all of my beliefs via Biblical apologetics, jumping through spaghettified hoops, just to get to where I knew was right and correct, and yet was barred from being so, due to the unreasonable religious logic – arguably an oxymoron.

My chief concern here is the loss of life. The loss of innocent life. I pin the conduit for the Brussels senseless murders on the interpretation of Islam that these terrorists are espousing, whether devout or opportunistic. But we cannot forget that this happens nearly every day in other countries, not primarily peopled with humans of European descent.

As Americans, we watch as Paris falls prey to ISIS attacks, then we ignore the attacks in Turkey a few days ago. We watch as Brussels is buried in fear, with scores dead and many more injured, yet we explain away the systematic killing of black and brown people on our own streets, by those who are supposed to serve and protect. We blame religion, poverty, lack of work ethic, apathy, and then return to our privileged lives.

We watch as our fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, enemies all, go into the hospital, waging a war against cancer or worse, fighting to keep their heads above water with respect to mental health. We watch them go bankrupt, one catastrophic medical condition wiping out the seeds of wealth, hurting future generations. We call those who balk at that prospect “freeloaders,” “lazy,” and “Socialists.” We ignore the human condition. The needs of our fellow humanity.

I hate religion with a seething white hot rage, not because I think I’m right, but because it is the easiest conduit for abusing our fellow humans beings, even to the point of death. I hear and understand the arguments of religion not being the reason for human suffering, but rather human culture, which has retrofitted religion to bring about the suffering of others, while the privileged go about their own business, shrugging their shoulders, even praising the status quo.

Even so, if we completely eradicated religion from the bowels of humanity, I am convinced my ire would be forced to seek out a new culprit. We as humans, would replace religion’s capacity to bring about suffering with some other cultural phenomenon.

So I sit here, watching people scream about Islam and Muslims all around me. Then others defending Islam and Muslims. I agree with those who blame Islam and Muslims, insomuch as it is easy to interpret what you want out of it, much like Christianity, to convince yourself that your infliction of death or hatred is righteous and warranted. But I also disagree with them vehemently, choosing to side with those who defend Islam and Muslims, knowing full well that humans can cull the bad from the good, and choose to live in peace. And millions upon millions of Muslims, even devout followers of one of the great (in numbers and cultural history) faiths of this world, Islam, do just that.

And so I weep for those who have lost family and friends in Brussels and for those who actually lost their lives or limbs. But I cannot focus on Brussels as being a titular moment in the narrative of humanity’s blight – our penchant for hatred of one another.

Letters From Mama: God Will Not Bless Your Marriage

Now, I will introduce you to one of my most popular series on my old blog, off in that dusty corner of the internet.

I grew up in an abusive environment, learning to cope quite well until I was 19 years old. At that point in my life, the heat got too hot and I was ready to be free. I left and went to live with my dad to get on my feet and expose myself to the real world in full color, rather than a world through sheltered and well defined, paranoiac lenses. My freedom came with many bumps in the road as I discovered that I was truly lazy when I wasn’t being yelled at to accomplish a task. I needed to mature…grow up. Life moved very fast and I needed to jump in and roll with it.

One day, I went on a weekend trip to Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota and met a girl. She was struggling to set up her tent and I squirted over to help her. The rest was history. We fell in love, I proposed less than two months later, and we were married a year to the day we met.

Let’s back up to July 17, 2001 – the day the love of my life and I decided on the date of the wedding. My mother, who henceforth will be referred to as “Mama,” sent me a letter. I had left her world nearly two years prior and she would leave no stone un-turned trying to get me back. Using religion and false warmth was her favorite tactic.

Dear Joseph,

I had been going by “Joe” for years. Ever since I left her home, I never went by my full name. She knew this and used my full name at every opportunity.

Forgive me; all the issues I obtained for you of This Old House, I’d thought I was giving you the most precious gift; I looked through the last one I’d gotten, and found I’d been giving you a magazine that had liquor, smoking, and more and more sensuality being slipped in. I am so sorry. I trust that my prayers for you had kept your discernment muscle strong.

First of all, I knew when Mama started out with an apology that she wanted something. She was never wrong. Additionally, she was reading my mail. But it wasn’t just my mail. She had ordered a subscription to This Old House for me, then had it delivered to her house, so I would have to come and pick it up, more than likely even be required to live there again. Get used to this type of manipulation.

Finally, my father had smoked for many years. Who did I go to heal with when I “escaped” her home? My father’s house. She knew full well what she was doing in writing this. And, to set the record straight, I love women and liquor (some liquor, anyway).

Joseph, my precious son, I have been young, and now I am old(er). All of my discipling (sic) since I have been saved has been right down this line – relationships and how God allows them to work or not work. HE DOES NOT ALLOW IT TO WORK IF YOUR PARENTS HAVE NOT GIVEN THEIR BLESSING.

My mother has actually been up on Mount Sinai and spoken to God herself. Moses had nothing on her. Moreover, she was thorough in her research before she wrote this letter, insomuch that she interviewed several billion couples that had tied the knot and believed in her god. Every couple that told her their relationship was perfect also let her know that they had received a full blessing from both sets of parents. Those couples that had eloped or had gotten hitched where at least one parent’s consent was not solidified, had either gotten divorced, murdered each other, or became gay.

Please do not set yourself up for misery, Joseph. Please wait until Papa releases you, deeming you fully mature in his eyes.

Now that went a bit too far. Mama had refused to have a relationship with my dad (Papa) since the divorce in 1987, unless he met her every demand. How did she know what his desires for my life were? Not to mention, he did exactly as a father should – gave me great counsel and kicked me off the branch, believing I could fly. He was a good dad.

I love you so much, and I would take the anguish you are going to go through, upon myself if God would let me. He cannot contradict Himself, Joseph.

Unfortunately for Mama, nowhere in the Bible does it say that a man or woman needs their parents permission to marry someone else. Sure, there are descriptions of marriages where the father chose the bride for his son. Also, the Benjamites lost a ton of womenfolk in a war that God brought upon them, so the dudes ran to another tribe and kidnapped some women for wives – also sanctioned by God. Hosea went and bought a prostitute as a wife – also sanctioned by God. David had wives and not ONCE did he ask his dad’s permission in the text and yet he was considered a man after God’s own heart. Her assertion was pure poppycock.

Also, “God never contradicts himself”? Right…apparently, the world’s most godly woman has never read the Bible.

Please ponder Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8 says:

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

It’s funny she uses this verse. Verse 7 would have worked toward her point much better:

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

And finally, the salutation:

In tears of anguish for your sake, yet, even so He gives me John 14:27, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Mama XO

My Mama is a trip. I’ll post more letters in the future.

Sunday Church Series: I Need Your Sunday Non-Church Stories

This is the beginning of a weekly post where I ask my readers to comment on what they did today, in lieu of worshiping a non-existent, supernatural being. Or, maybe you did go to church. Doesn’t matter. I will choose one story and highlight it in a post titled “Church Story of the Day” or something like that.

Write your stories in the comments at Sunday Non-Church Stories: March 20, 2016.

I’ll need to follow up with you via email to maybe gather pictures and other clarifications, so make sure your email is correct. Set your spam filters to accept email from crackedcornjimmy@gmail.com.

Have fun!

 

God’s Chosen People? The Useful Lie of the Christian Zionist Movement

I received a dire plea in the mail from Mike Evans’ organization, The Jerusalem Prayer Team. In that money begging mailer, Mike asked for donations of $30 – $100 or more. The $30 level would give you the ‘Bible Promise Box,’ a relic of the 1980’s, where you picked out a card for every day of the year, and the contents of that card would be a Bible verse, promising you goats and land or something. The $100 level would give you a book, written by Evans.

Evans is a master of hyperbolic and overly-simplistic fearmongering.

Today, Israel stands squarely in the crosshairs of evil and determined enemies want nothing more than to finish the job Hitler started more than seven decades ago.

Really? First of all, the reasons Hitler hated the Jews were much different than the reasons the Middle East is a religious and cultural powder keg. To compare the two as substantively similar is to be intellectually dishonest. The only similarity is that the focus of ire is the Jewish people. Even that is a simplification. In many ways, the conflict over Israel, and Jerusalem specifically, has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the historical bitterness of both sides, the representative Israeli government having committed the majority of the atrocities against the Palestinian people, as well as those surrounding their borders. The co-opting of the Jewish religion to bolster their rights to the land is simply the most effective conduit for convincing their citizenry and the nation’s allies that their actions are not only proper, but have an holy implication. Thus, to come against the Israeli government is synonymous with rejection or hatred of the Jewish god, and by default, the Christian god.

And that’s where the Christian Zionist movement plays their pretentious hand. They feign love for the Jewish people, claiming God chose them as his own in the Old Testament, which is true, and then turn around and use the money their supporters give them to bolster both the protection of Christian holy sites (including the whole of Jerusalem), as well as working to “save” the Jewish people, introducing them to the Christian god and his son, Jesus Christ.

In truth, according to the Christian Zionist movement, as well as the message of Christianity itself, God’s Chosen People are still going to hell. Unless, of course, they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That kind of makes being “chosen” not all that choice, doesn’t it?

Evans continues, attempting to convince his readers (those with open checkbooks) that Palestine is an illegitimate idea:

There has never been a nation of Palestine. The territory claimed for the Palestinian state was governed by Egypt and Jordan prior to the Six Day War in 1967.

This is a terrible argument, obvious on its face, and yet Evans followers, and many Christians who adhere to the religious theology of politicians like Ted Cruz, eat it up. The fact is, nation borders are constantly changing. If we want the most poignant example, we can point to the very country that Evans is a citizen of – The United States. Imagine if any number of indigenous peoples from the Americas had used that line. The reality is, the same Christians who claim that Israel was given its sliver of land by God, would crucify any Native American for claiming the same.

But Evans doesn’t stop there. Informing his readers of his awful reading of history is only the beginning.

The driving force behind the plan to divide Jerusalem is in direct contradiction of Bible prophecy and is the same anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, Evans doesn’t quote the prophecy he is referring to, here, but the setup is hilarious. If you carry out this statement to its warned conclusion, he is setting up a failure of Biblical prophecy. If Jerusalem is divided, the Bible is proven to be false, the unquoted prophecy having failed. As you can imagine, this cannot be allowed to happen. You need to send money now and lift up your voice in prayer to…beg God to not allow something to happen that will prove him to be..er…false. Kind of an impotent god, if you ask me.

My favorite quote about God’s impotence over his own piece of infertile desert is from Pat Robertson:

[Israel] is God’s outpost, and it would be, in a sense, a black eye against Him if his plans were frustrated by human beings. And He will not let people frustrate His plan.

Another interesting note here is that the majority of Jewish people do not live in Israel. They are scattered all over the world, the greatest concentration of them living in the United States. If, as Christians love to claim, God cares about the heart, and not about material things, why would a large contingent of Jewish people, safe in their homes, away from the Middle East conflict, not be a better outcome than forcing an artificial border to exist against inhabitants of land, stolen from under their feet? Aside from that, wouldn’t any peaceful resolution be preferable to a continued insolent declaration of ancient religious rights to a patch of earth? To argue otherwise is to claim that the Christian god is petty, interested more in what he claims is true, than true peace and prosperity of the human race.

But that makes perfect sense in today’s religious and political climate. Perceived absolute rights trump any whisper of compromise. Compromise shows you are weak and un-principled, while treating your enemies with disdain, even killing them, is holy and righteous.

Evans continues:

Genesis 12:3 clearly tells us that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.

Obviously, Evans wants his readers to conclude that the word “Israel” is referring to the nation of Israel, rather than the people who were descendants of Abraham and Isaac (not to be confused with the descendants of Abraham and Ishmael). Also, to bless Israel is to disallow any peace process except that which is perceived to be in direct agreement with what the god of the Bible would have dictated. And, to curse Israel would be to give into any demands from their enemies, no matter how small.

But who gets cursed? Who gets blessed? If the United States hacks out a peace agreement that is palatable with the Christian Zionists, and is agreed upon by all the enemies of Israel, does the United States alone get the blessings of God? Or, do the nations that are against Israel, yet agreed to the purportedly Biblical peace accord, also receive part of that blessing? Alternatively, Hamas has openly declared “curses” upon Israel. The Palestinian people are being economically suppressed and systematically murdered by their human counterparts. Is this due to the cursing? Is the Christian (Jewish) god playing the hand of the Israeli government, forcing them to carry out atrocities against the Palestinian people?

Stepping away from Mike Evans’ mailer, when one views the true beliefs and goals of the Christian Zionist movement, you begin to see clearly that the Jewish people are merely pawns in their game, and calling them “God’s Chosen People” is, while correct, based on the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, is actually a self-serving lie.

Christians Zionists, Mike Evans being one of their chief mouthpieces, need the city of Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, to be in the hands of their allies.

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. – 2 Thessalonians 2:2 – 4

How can the ‘son of perdition’ sit in the temple of God and declare himself to be God if the temple is currently an Islamic holy site? The temple must be rebuilt in order for this to happen. But, how can the temple be rebuilt if a peace accord splits the city of Jerusalem in half, the Old City, including the Temple Mount, then belonging to the Palestinians? If that happens, the current generation, and all generations in the foreseeable future will never usher in the second coming of Christ.

And true to form, Mike Evans mailer declares that the peace accord’s agreement would put the Temple Mount on the Palestinian side, should the nation of Israel be forced to create a Nation of Palestine.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter that the Jewish people are God’s Chosen People. To the Christian Zionists, Mike Evans included, that is nothing more than a call to battle, a veritable head-fake to the unsuspecting Christian. Calling them such is useful to the end goal of the Christian Zionist. Attribute to the ‘Chosen People’ the necessity of their God-given lands, convince the International community that Biblical borders should be the gerrymander of the peace accord, and you get Jesus coming back.

But in the end, at the Second Coming, Jesus only takes the Christian believers with him. The Jewish people, though called ‘Chosen’, end up in hell, having not really been chosen, choosing instead to reject the true teachings of the Messiah.

 

I Urge You, No…I Compel You to Break Stupid Rules

Response to Tom B. Posts:

I Can Kill My Children if God Tells Me Too
If You Can’t Answer the Riddle, You’ll Burn in Hell

 

I’ve been writing a few posts (above), responding to a gentleman named Tom B. Now, I’m going to take a step back, sit down by this fire and have a chat with a little boy. Tom, you’re a little boy. You may be 20, but you have no idea how to live in the real world. Your rigid ideas of life may make you a disciplined young man, but it won’t go far in your relationships with the rest of humanity.

Tom, you learned quite well, the idea of authority and rules. In fact, life for you is so simple – follow the rules set up by God, and you don’t get hurt. Don’t follow the rules and pay the consequences. But what happens when the rules mean that you hurt others? Yourself? Your family? Let me give you a few examples:

When the rules say you must kill all gay people, should you kill all gay people?

When the rules say you must sell everything you have and follow Jesus, is that always wise?

When the rules tell you that gay marriage is wrong, but you know that it hurts absolutely nobody, yet gives human beings, different from yourself, a joyful life, do you prevent them? What does that help?

When the rules tell you to cover the head of a woman and keep her silent, is that respectful?

When the rules tell you the proper way to own and treat slaves, does owning another human being as property suddenly become a fair idea?

When the rules tell a husband to rule over his wife, is that intelligent, especially when the woman may be better suited to take charge?

When the rules tell you to beat your children, because beating them with a rod will make them wise, and studies show that hitting your children hurt them more than it helps, do you ignore the wisdom of good people?

When the rules tell you to never leave your abusive husband, do you stay?

When the rules tell you that a suffering child must continue to suffer, his lessons to be learned through his suffering, do you walk away?

When the rules tell you to continue a pregnancy, even when it is ectopic, nearly guaranteeing the death of the mother, do kiss your wife goodbye and trust God’s plan?

As you read through the listing of rules above, I understand that your mind is both spinning the rules to be reconcilable with your personalized brand of religion, or you are rejecting some of them altogether, concluding that I am ignorant to ideas like the Bible being a single organism, not being under the law anymore, or Jesus provides grace and mercy, nullifying the necessity of death for earthly sins.

What you fail to see though, is the fact that you get to reject and mold rules because, just like those who don’t believe that they receive their morality from an ancient book, you subconsciously understand that all rules in life are malleable, allowing you to make choices that benefit those you care for the updated rules to benefit, especially yourself.

If you take away ONE thing from this post, please let it be the following:

Making choices in life that benefit you and you alone is not inherently bad.

Don’t ever forget that. Once you learn to love the boy-man that you are, outside of the sphere of influence where others tell you who you are and who you should be, you will much more easily be able to be empathetic toward others and discover what true love is.

And true love is NOT requiring rules to be followed or face the consequences – the greatest of which is permanent separation from your love. He who loves greatly does not set up rules that end in you burning for eternity. That is not love.

If You Cannot Answer the Riddle, You’ll Burn in Hell

I responded to one of Tom B’s comments in I Can Kill My Children if God Tells Me To. He responded back to me again. His words caused me to whimper in pity. I respond to him below:
Christianity isn’t supposed to make sense to us, God doesn’t need it to.

Why? Why doesn’t God need it to? If, as the Bible says, we are supposed to figure out the riddle of salvation, the eternal consequence for our finite non-mastery of the subject being burning in hell forever, shouldn’t it be imperative that the supernatural being who set the whole thing up, give us an unequivocal path to eternity away from burning?

The answer to that question is actually the reason why, even if the Bible god was real (which he cannot be), I would want no part of him. And this answer is exactly what Tom believes – God has no imperative to be reasonable with mankind. He can set the rules as he sees fit. He can remain as mysterious as he desires, never revealing his true self or nature, guaranteeing that only a select few will ever enter the kingdom of heaven. The Bible supports this. “Wide is the path to destruction, but few there be that find the way of salvation.” Couple that paraphrase with the idea that God is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere, and my point is made.

God set up rules and boundaries and gave us one a (sic) mission, to glorify Him. If we don’t obey Him there’s (sic) consequences and if we do than (sic) we’re rewarded which sounds an awful like raising children, pets, or the law of our land. Play by the rules and everything is fine, screw up and turn your back on your authority and there’ll be consequences. It’s simple.

Yes. It really is that simple, if you stick with that horrible narrative. But that’s not how good parenting works. That’s not how good employers treat their employees. According to Tom, authority is the end all and be all of life. Everything in life is structured in an hierarchical manner. Everyone has someone to answer to – and must answer to that someone without question.

This approach to life has two problems (among a myriad others):

First, unquestioned authority leads to abuse of power by the individual or group in charge, especially, as Tom dictates here, if that authority plays by zero rules of fairness or logic, both swear words in fundamentalist Christianity. Secondly, the individual under authority has no ability to disagree with the authority and be respected for that disagreement, even to the point of changing the authority’s mind. Yes yes, I understand that Bill Gothard, Tom’s favorite golden boy, puts together an appeal process, awash in the power of the authority figure, shining a harsh light on the utter helplessness and weakness of the victim.

All I knew of parenting was my mother’s awful heavy-handed authority. But, over and over again, I was told to respect and obey her. I was beaten, as were my siblings, sexually abused, mentally abused, brainwashed, cussed out, and finally had the gumption to “escape” at the age of 19. I was a child.

Yes. If I disobeyed my mother, there were consequences. That was how the game was played. Yes. It really was that simple.

But it wasn’t right. Not in the least.

Any system that sets up an artificial rule book, leaving no room for the nuances of life and the minute-by-minute circumstances of the color of humanity, is bound to fail, leaving hopeless victims grasping for something – anything – that will lead them to understand their own individual value.

I am still scraping my mother’s shit off my brain and heart and learning that, while I am here on this earth to love, protect, clothe, feed, and teach my children about good sex within consensual boundaries, they can still shove their finger in my eye, and tell me that I am wrong. And Tom, many times, they are completely and utterly incorrect. Sometimes not. And yet, they are beginning to discover that I am pliable, that life is about their individual voice – NOT the voice of the collective, following lock-step, to a set of unquestioning rules.

It’s really that simple.

Finally, the god you described in that last paragraph does not deserve my glorification. He doesn’t even deserve yours. Someone who stands by, waiting for you to break a rule, doling out predetermined consequences should you fail, is exactly the opposite of someone you should love and adore. A focus on your sins, rather than a focus on your goodness. Pathetic. That god is an asshole.

I can kill my children if God tells me to

I wrote a post, yesterday, titled, I am more powerful than God. The point of the post was to say that, since God is supposedly all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere, being accused of “turning others away from Jesus” with my words was a false accusation. If I am able to best the god with all the myriad omni-characteristics, then I must be more powerful than him.

I’m actually okay with that. The logic of the Bible-god is completely ridiculous and I am left incredulously shocked that intelligent people still believe in a glorified Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy.

Enter a young gentleman who I grew up with. We’ll call him Tom B. He’s half my age and brainwashed into fundamentalist Christianity by his parents and the decades of a carefully constructed apparatus for true believers to be well-versed in apologetics and the “us vs. them” false dichotomy.

Only he doesn’t know this. And that’s by design. Fundamentalists are taught to view themselves as using superior logic to anyone that may be their detractors. Hell, the Apostle Paul set this up by saying, “The truth of Christ is foolishness to the wise.” That’s a paraphrase, of course, but you get the point. Anytime you are faced with doubts or a redress of your belief system, you are well within your spirituality gold star chart to reject all arguments as foolishness and Satanic.

Tom’s response:

If what you’re saying is true, it’s a really good thing that the reality of God is not who humans make Him out to be. Because, if that’s really who God is than (sic) even I would’t believe in Him. The thing is, humans can say anything they want about Him. They can attempt to find His flaws and make Him look bad. But in the end we’re judging Him by our standards of who we think He is. If you really want to know who He really is read the book He gave us.

My response was two-fold:

First, no. You don’t get it both ways. You can’t tell me that it is not possible for the human mind to fathom the realities of God, and then in the next breath, tell me that my human mind has the capacity to fathom the realities of God if I only read his book. You get one. Not both.

Then I mentioned Ole’ Abe. I told him that I’m morally superior to God, including Abraham, being that I wouldn’t kill my kids if some jerk-off told me to, no matter how powerful he thinks he is.

To that, Tom B. responded:

In Abraham’s defense. If you made a beautiful wooden chair and placed it in the dinning (sic) room nobody in the world can rightly take that chair out and burn it unless you gave them permission, because it’s your chair. In the same way God (who made man) gave Abraham the permission to “burn the chair”. Of course he wouldn’t let it happen because He loves us too much. But since God is the author of all life he has the right to do what He needs to with it.

I especially love the part where he conjectures, “Of course, [God] wouldn’t let it happen because He loves us too much.” Really? And in the next breath, people like Tom B. will tell you that you’re going to burn in hell for eternity – just like the millions, nay billions upon billions of souls before you.

But damn….God loves you.

I fear for his kids. And, being a quiverfull fundie, he’ll have a whole gaggle of them.