Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult. 

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Cancer Kills Humor

My aunt is dying. There is no other way to put it and for herself or her children to keep trying is… I cannot think of the appropriate word.  I don’t mean to appear callous or cruel, because I don’t want her to die just as much as they, but I have accepted that in her case the possibility of recovery is next to none.

She has thyroid cancer.  Apparently it is the kind that is the fastest growing and most deadly, and unfortunately occurs primarily in men. It would appear that time is telling her that it is time to go. The two doctors she has seen have flat-out denied her treatment, because of where its at and how large it is they don’t want to take on the risk of operating on her and have her die. (Granted she’s going to die anyway…) The lie she told my mother was that she just needed to have radiation to shrink it and they would operate.  Whether she intended to deceive my mother has yet to be seen.

Before I knew all of this, and was aware that the doctor had suspected it to be cancer, my mother asked me to send my aunt, my mother’s best friend, a get well card because she could use something to perk her up. What I did instead was piss her and her daughter off.

I thought my card was humorous, it joked that “a bible verse would be good right about now, too bad you have a heathen for a nephew” and I thought my personal message was spontaneous and off-the-cuff funny. However, it was not received in the manner I intended it to be taken. For me saying “I may not pray, but…” I might as well have said “Fuck you, I hope you die” because that was the response I got.

Since then her daughter has unfriended me on Facebook, which means any hope for an apology from me has absolutely dissipated.

I know when I’m at fault.  Hell, I blame myself for everything eventually. That is why I have an addictive personality.  I always feel that I am a mistake, not that I just make them.  So I will eventually come to the conclusion I need to apologize. BUT if you unfriend me on Facebook that is guaranteeing I will say nothing of the sort. My pride on the matter is petty and ridiculous, I know that. It is the conscious effort that goes into the action where I find umbrage.

So, I sent another card to my aunt to apologize.  This time however it was a religious card that said NOTHING about prayer (amazing, I know), because in fact I do not pray and felt any mention of it would add insult to injury. I apologized and told her that there have been only 3 women in my life that helped shape me to be the person I am today: my mother, grandmother, and her. Fingers crossed she won’t see it as me mocking her faith or telling her she deserves to have cancer. Who knows in this wacky world.

The reality of the situation is everyone handles crisis and grief differently and we need to be patient with the ones when something in the vein of my situation occurs. The thing I find humorous is that it was the cousin that unfriended me who said exactly that many years ago.

It Feels Nerdy to Say ‘I’m a Druid’

As I stand at the precipice of a new year I have discovered one thing of myself, that I am lost.  It could be due to the fact that my husband has started a new job or that things in my office are transitioning or because my lack of any real “purpose” (Whatever that may mean) has finally worn away at my heart.  Whatever the reason it has pushed me to look for a faith.

I was raised Baptist.  My family originates in the Midwest area and are very faithful church goers.  Although, my parents laziness kept our family at home most Sundays it did not stop my parents beliefs.  Also, I went to Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade.  So I’ve been enveloped in Christianity for a good chunk of my life.  Yet, even still, I never really believed.  I tried.  I wanted to.  I heard stories of God speaking to my friends or family and I wanted that.  Though no matter how hard I prayed I couldn’t have the same faithful reaction.   It just wasn’t me.

Since then I have slowly chipped away at what remained of my Christian beliefs.  It has since become a tiny pebble that once was a great stone edifice that lead my life.  My husband was the one who did the most damage.  Back when we started dating he debated faith and belief with me, and it was then that I realized the things I thought were ridiculous and based in nothing.  They were just regurgitated thoughts.  After that I maintained a little bit of my faith, but it wasn’t until I met a Christian person with a belief in evolution that I lost even more of it.  Prior to that point I was a staunch “7-day creation” literalist.  (Sad, I know.)

The final blow to my belief in Christianity came by the way of Google earth.  Yes. Google. Earth.  It dawned on me that if I could see a man sunbathing nude on the roof of his home I would certainly be able to find this mythical “garden of eden” with the flaming sword guarding the entrance.  (Like I said, literalist.)

Clarification of the falseness of Christianity came by way of my Ancient Civilizations class where we learned of Zoroastrianism and how one faith led to another and another and… blah.  It became crystal clear that faith was just early forms of science trying to explain the world around them.

Now empty of any real belief I feel kind of lost.  One may ask, “Do you really need a faith?” No, I don’t.  But I feel that there is something else out there.  Something bigger than myself.  And while I don’t believe in God or any human-like deity, I do believe in a great energy that flows through the earth.  It was with that thought that I did a search and came across Druidism.

What I know of Druidism so far is just basic points of belief (Wisdom, Love, and Creativity) and that one communes with nature.  Other than those points I am clueless.  Thus I intend to buy some books and read up before I make a commitment.  Although, I can already say, I’m leaning toward druidism already.  And I don’t know if it’s because it feels right to me, or because I am desperate for a path.  So, it’ll definitely be a journey.