A Different Voice

I’m taking a different approach yet again today. A friend sent this link to me knowing I would enjoy it. And I very much did. So much that I felt I needed to share it with you all. Now, keep in mind I don’t agree with all of it, but I do agree with quite a bit of it. I especially like the fact that he stopped believing in God before giving up the idea of Santa. It’s usually the other way around. But with no further ado, here is a writing by one of my favorite comedians. Ricky Gervais. Read, and please, let’s discuss.


Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out ‘The Invention of Lying”. This film actually shows just how silly a lot of it sounds when you really look at it. And it’s just plain funny.


Barbara Downs Repost

Today is a change from my normal post subject. I posted this last year in honor of my mom, and it was one of my most popular posts. So, I thought I would repost it for Mother’s day once again. Here’s to all the great Mothers, Mommies, Moms, Mas, and Matriarchs!

My mom. The strongest, bravest, most amazing person I have ever known. She gave me a home and a wonderful family when she adopted me, and proceeded to view me as her own blood to such an extent, she once forgot that I was adopted. Imagine that. A mother loving her child so much, that she forgets I didn’t physically come from her. I had to remind her!

She raised my two big sisters and I on almost nothing. I drove her to the office to do all the paperwork to start recieving social security checks. They gave her a printout of her tax claims over her entire life. When I saw what she was making while raising us, I almost cried. Literally! Seeing that, I knew she had to have sacrificed every personal want so that she could provide what we, her children, needed.

Can you imagine doing that? No going to movies. No drinks with friends. No nice clothes. She never even toyed with the idea of dating. We were her entire focus. We were her entertainment. We were her future. Nothing else mattered to her, except the safety, health, and betterment of her children.

In turn, she is our hero. She made us laugh. She sang our silly little songs with us while taking family drives through the country. (“There’s more corn, there’s more corn, there’s more corn on the cobbie, cobbie!”) She showed us that it didn’t take money to be happy. She was our world. She is the person we always knew would be there when we needed her. She is the perfect definition of  “Mother”. When you look the word up in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Barbara Downs.

She’s in her mid-seventies now. Retired and tired. Enjoying not having to go anywhere or see anyone she doesn’t want to.(“I’m in my seventies now. I know enough people. I don’t need to meet any new ones.”) Enjoying being a grandmother to my sister’s daughter. Enjoying the first time in her life, since she was an early teen, that she doesn’t have to go to work ever again. She loves her movies, her “stories” (soap operas), and taking unexpected naps in her Lazyboy. She deserves every second of her retirement. She has no idea how to use the internet, and doesn’t care to. She, sort of, knows how to use a dvd player, but is still a little afraid of breaking it if she touches it. And, although she has taken to texting, tHe TExts ThaT i gET FroM HER Can soMEtIMEs lOOk QUitE Odd, but I still get the message. She loves me and continually misses seeing her son when I’m not there.

So, on this day for all mothers, instead of my normal ranting and raving, I dedicate this post to Mom. The most wonderful, happy inducing person I know. Even though you’ll never read this (note the lack of internet use mentioned earlier), thank you. I am who I am today because of you.

Alright, I need to go call her now, or I’ll be in trouble.

Easter For Sale

So, Easter came and went in yet another year, and yet again, was uneventful. No great epiphanies. No sage wisdom from above. Plenty of church signs telling me ‘He is arisen’, and ‘He walks among us’, but someone really needs to point Him out to me. I seem to keep missing running into Him. It’s like John Lennon stated, “He’s got to be good lookin’, cause He’s so hard to see!” Yeah…..come together over someone you can’t see. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Now, I did see quite a bit of other things people were coming together around. Chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, and chocolate flowers were everywhere in our Capitalist country. (I, luckily, got something more fitting to my personal tastes. I got a chocolate monkey for Easter………jealous much!?) Plenty of cards, candy, and toys were gracing the aisles of the convenience stores, groceries, and drug stores that I entered throughout the holiday, but not many reminders of the god in human form that I was taught was the whole reason for the extra day off. I mean, yeah, if you hang out in a church or the likes, that little figure who looks strikingly like a fit Ted Nugent on a cross, is everywhere. But, as it seems to me, outside of sites of worship, and the several poorly acted out made for T.V. movies that air all day, you don’t see much of ‘The Savior of Man’ anywhere else. Sort of like regular, everyday life. Just a lot more chocolate involved.

That really doesn’t bother me all that much. God wasn’t originally a part of the party to begin with. This is simply a result of Christianity hijacking yet another heathen celebration, and injecting God into it. It was a ‘Hey, it’s my birthday too!’ type of situation. This has been done, as far as I can tell, because the secular, Pagan celebrations were more popular. More fun. More lively. Something people actually enjoyed. Is it any wonder God got lost in the midst of that? People were already celebrating the fruits of life renewed in the spring. Things that seemed dead all winter came back to life! Trees, flowers, and crops that wouldn’t grow for months now bloomed once again in all their natural glory. The world became green and alive again. That was something they could see. They had physical evidence of it. And they celebrated it. They didn’t need any other reason. Yes, they had to work hard and toil in their fields to make it beneficial, but according to the believers, all their work was for naught if God’s will didn’t allow the land to be fruitful. This message comes across to me as a huge ‘Tsk tsk tsk! Why are you celebrating the land, you savages? You shouldn’t celebrate your hard work and diligence. This is God’s doing, not  yours!’ Kind of a downer, right?

I know the community of believers will see all of this commercialism involved as a horrible warping of their sacred holiday, but to me it just the opposite. The date is being reclaimed by the secular overtones that it originally started out with. This, my friends, parallels the whole debate about taking the phrase, ‘under God’ out of the American Pledge of Allegiance. It wasn’t there to begin with (‘Under God’ was added in 1953, in case you didn’t know.), what’s the big deal about it returning to its original form. As far as I can see, removing God  wouldn’t change the beneficial pluses of either of them. Easter Sunday would still be filled with fun, excitement, and joy. The ‘Pledge’ would still show loyalty to the country we live in.  With no religious connotations involved in either case, we’d have one less thing to fight over while we should be celebrating! And here’s the kicker! Anyone who wants to include Him still can. That’s the beauty of a free country. And we are still a free country, aren’t we?

Hail, Hail, The Witch Is Dead!

In the belief of the Christian faith, Jesus died for our sins. Unfortunately, many people who believe this use it in a manner that I don’t think, if it were true, the act was intended for. Example: In the midst of me trying to remind ‘Christians’ that celebrating a man’s death, no matter who the man is, is not good Christian behavior, believers have stated to me that there is nothing wrong with them celebrating in the streets with the death of a terrorist leader. Their reason? They aren’t perfect. They are sinners. But that’s why Jesus died on the cross, so it’s no biggie.

Yes, I know I’m not using their exact words, but that’s how it comes across when someone tries to tell someone else that right now, at this moment they are doing something that God doesn’t want them to do and the response is essentially ‘Jesus died so I could have these moments!’ instead of saying ‘That’s right! I should stop.’

Think of it in a sense of WWJD. Do you think there is any situation whatsoever that Jesus would celebrate any man’s death? Didn’t think so. So when someone (especially someone who doesn’t believe in God, since you say you are trying to help bring people to Him, not repel them from Him.) points out that you are doing the exact opposite of what you should be doing according to your belief system, don’t tell them it’s O.K. this time because we are all sinners and Jesus died for our sins. Instead, actually make a case for your side and do what your God wants you to do. Otherwise, you are not only misrepresenting your ‘beliefs’, but you are making Jesus more of a scapegoat rather than a savior.

The More We Learn, The Less We Know.

So, I have been known to say that I believe science will someday be able to explain all of the questions that we don’t have answers for today. From the responses that I have gotten from people when I say that, I feel I need to expand on that a little more. I want people to understand that I don’t think we will ever know everything. I don’t believe that is possible. See, that’s the thing about infinity. There is no end. And I do believe that the multiverse is infinite. Within this situation, we still continue to try to answer the questions we have using scientific study. We study, learn,and quite often are surprised by what we find, but we progress. Things that were considered ‘magic’ in the past, we now can explain sensibly thanks to science. I think that the same will occur in the future with the things that we don’t understand today. Now, the reason I don’t believe that we will someday figure out EVERYTHING is that every time we find an answer for a question that we have, several more are usually raised. Each time we learn something new, it opens the door to other enigmas to unlock. As far as we know, that process may never end. To be honest, I hope it never does. Maybe that is the reason we are here, if there has to be one. A purpose of progressing, moving forward through time and space infinitely. Learning what we can learn, and finding whatever we find. No one actually knows what we may find the further we travel away from Earth. No one can tell us exactly what it would be like if we ever were able to study a black hole from the inside. Well, not too long ago, humans were in the same situation when pondering things we know about today. No one knew there were these microscopic organisms called germs that could make us ill. No one knew what we would find with a chance to study the surface of the moon while on the surface of the moon. But that changed. When we answered those questions, we suddenly had new ones to study.  I believe that will continue to be the case as we stumble forward in time, and hurtle farther into outer space. That sounds pretty exciting to me. I think that’s enough of a reason to exist.

All In Good Time

I have been told several times, by believers, that they feel just looking at the world/universe and all of it’s wonders is proof that God exists. They ask “If God didn’t make all of this, then how do you explain why it is all here?”  This doesn’t make sense to me. Why doesn’t it? Because that is the same reasoning our ancestors used when they believed in Odin, when they believed in Zeus, when they believed in Ra. I’ll give you a scenario:

Skeptic: “I don’t believe Odin exists.”

Believer: “Then how do you explain the lightning and thunder? How do you explain why no one ever returns from the mountain top, where they live, alive? Who do you think decides what happens, good or bad, in our lives?”

Skeptic: “I don’t know.”

Believer: “So how can you think so foolishly that Odin and the gods don’t exist?”

I’m sure that argument was completely convincing without the knowledge of how lightening comes to be. Without the tools or knowhow to reach the peak of a mountain. It all seemed magical and otherworldly. But in todays world, we have more information. We’ve been to the top of the tallest mountains in the world. Guess what. No immortals living there.

Just because we don’t understand why we are here, or how the universe works doesn’t prove someone orchestrated everything. Yes, it is possible. I understand that. But with as much doubt as I have that someone actually did consciously create everything, I have even more doubt that, if someone was behind it all, it was the God from the Bible. As I’ve said before, Man has put his mark on everything he as ever come in contact with. Written text is far too easy to edit, change, and warp for me to think that a 2000 year old book hasn’t been adapted to suit the men who compiled it.

Therefore, I have no more reason to believe in the God from the Bible, than I do Odin. This ‘proof’ that is presented to me is simply science we don’t understand yet. We know how lightning works today. We know the image of a god chucking a bolt of lightning like a javelin is simply untrue. I think, sooner or later, we will find the answers to the modern questions that we have that some consider proof of God in today’s world. Everything is within walking distance if you have the time.

Before I get the barrage of  “Christianity is about faith, not proof!” responses, I know that already. Believe me, I’m reminded on a pretty regular basis by the members of the flock of this fact. That is a subject I’ve touched upon several times to date. Anyone who has read this blog from the beginning knows how I feel about that excuse. It sounds a lot like “The Wizard of Oz” to me. “Behold the all powerful Wizard of Oz…….but don’t look behind the curtain lest you find out he isn’t real.” The Wizard was a man made ruse meant to intimidate people. I simply think that is more likely, concerning God, than the idea of an all powerful being. What do you think. What seems more likely to you. One single entity creating everything out of nothing, or men creating deities to try to explain what they don’t understand? I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen more examples of one rather than the other.

Morals Without B.I.G. Possible? or WWYDWGW?

Belief in God. Do people really need a belief in a higher being to believe in doing the “right thing”? To know what is positive and what is negative? To practice love instead of hate? In many of my debates about religion in government, several times people have asked the question: “If we don’t have God, where will we get our moral compass!?” Well, how about this? How about we get our moral compass by looking at the results our actions have on others we touch? I don’t need a deity to know when I’m wronging someone. I don’t need a set of commandments to tell me I shouldn’t kill another human. I don’t need a “Living God” to prove to me that every life matters. I believe most people don’t need that. I think most people learn this on their own through experience. The “Gee. I didn’t like when that was done to me, so maybe I shouldn’t do it to someone else.” idea. I don’t think we need a God to learn that.

The Bible says that God is omnipotent. (No, that doesn’t mean He can’t have children.) That means, among other abilities, He knows and sees all. Everything! He is everywhere, all the time. That creates a dilemma for me. When I was a child, I was once told that good character meant doing the right thing when no one is looking. In the Christian faith, that opportunity is never available. They are always on God’s radar. They are never doing anything without someone seeing. More so, their actions are always being seen by the one and only individual that matters. The one and only true law enforcer. You want to talk about the ultimate “Big Brother” situation? It’s right there. He doesn’t need cameras. He doesn’t need bugging devices. He doesn’t need to send a mole in to spy on you. He’s always watching.  That doesn’t give anyone the ability to earn character. At that point, it simply becomes ‘following rules’.

When someone tells me that they are doing something good because ‘God told them to’, it sort of makes me sad. It makes it look like they don’t have a mind of their own. It makes it look like they are not personally sincere in their actions. It makes me wonder why they can’t simply see it’s the right thing to do. Or when someone uses the argument of ‘What if you are wrong, and there is a God and a Heaven and a Hell?’ That tells me they are only trying to be righteous to avoid punishment. That wont be true righteousness. That’s control by fear. They aren’t being good, they are acting good out of fear of eternal damnation. Where is the character in that?

Some will argue that it isn’t a situation of Big Brother is watching, because God is perfectly good. Now, they don’t mean that in the context of “You ruined a perfectly good day.” They mean that He is so inherently good, it is impossible for Him to do anything but. That doesn’t hold water for me. I think that even the most perfect leader should give those under him the chance to act without being watched. That’s a good way to learn about true character. I know, I know believers. He knows what is in your heart. He doesn’t need this ‘test’ to know your true character. But what about you? Do you actually know what you would or wouldn’t do if you knew your God wasn’t watching? Would you still do your best to follow His word if you knew He would never even know about it? So, my question isn’t WWJD?, it’s WWYDWGW? What would you do without God watching? And don’t forget, he is watching! So even if you aren’t honest to me (or more importantly, to yourself), ‘He knows your heart.’ What do you say? Any of you up for this?