Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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The Garden of Good…and Evil

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I’ve been told over and over again that we have the ‘end of the story’.  That’s why we should believe over those who lived in Biblical times.  Because we know how the story ends and the great lengths God has gone to to save us – the greatest love story ever told – that is reason enough to place our faith in the Almighty and never question that love.  That implies never questioning His authority, His word (i.e. the Bible) nor His existence.

Ruminating in my mind over the last few days is that, if we take the creation story as fact(which I don’t), a ‘very good’ Adam and Eve were placed in the ‘very good’ garden where God walked with them in the cool of the day.  They could walk with Him and talk with Him and be His very own.  He gave them one instruction.  The world, erm…garden, was their oyster.  How difficult can it be to follow one instruction given to them in person by the rule maker Himself?  Mind you this was before the fall, before they knew good from evil.

Why did God place the tree in the garden?  Was it a test?  I thought God did not tempt us.  So what is that about?  If God wanted us to live in an ignorance is bliss state for all of eternity why put the temptation there in the first place? Has He been trying to trick us since the beginning?   Wouldn’t it be a bit evil for the Creator to be this devious?  We would call this entrapment.

God walked in the cool of the day with the imperfect mankind He made and then suddenly when they showed their imperfections He couldn’t stand the sight of them.  They were too evil for His presence.  Yet we are to believe that this same God loved us enough to kill His Son who would be reunited with Him after the fact all so He could also be reunited with mankind only He still won’t show His face.  Presumably because we’re still too evil?

Fast forward eight or so thousand years.  A lot has happened in that time.  We are expected to believe that the records of Gods dealings were written hundreds of years apart by a dozens of different authors and from those books a committee of priests hand picked which of those books were actually divinely inspired, bound together, and that they form a cohesive statement about God’s love for mankind and his expectations of mankind.

There are many more rules to follow and a far-fetched virgin birth story followed by a far-fetched resurrection story. We are told that without faith it is impossible to please this invisible force.  Yet outside the Bible there is no evidence that this force even exists – not in the Christian sense.

Then the thought comes barrelling though my mind like a freight train that maybe the reason God hasn’t shown His face since the Garden of Eden is because that’s just a story. There was no Eden, there was no Adam and Eve and there is no God, at least not the one depicted in Genesis.

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I’m Just a Bill

It’s a bit simplistic, yes, with all the stuff that gets inserted into a bill.   In fact it’s really no longer a bill, but many rolled into one usually.  Just maybe it would do Democrats and Republicans some good to remember how things are meant to run.  Things that are enacted are never one party’s or one person’s fault.  And they’re never to one party’s or one person’s credit either.  Pointing fingers and saying “it’s all Bobby’s fault” is better left on the playground.


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Real Office Conversations

Me:  “The Navy SEAL rescue of the hostages in Somalia was great news.  Puts another feather in Obama’s cap!”

Co-Worker:  “Yeah, it’s just too bad the military has to do all the work and he gets all the credit.”

Me: 😯

So what should the President do, exactly? Should he be the one on the ground in Somalia? Would that make my co-worker happy? Now, I’m not a Obama fan, nor am I an Obama detractor. But I think he could walk on water and some people would find the wrong in that. It would just be for show, I’m sure. 🙄


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Lazy Good for Nothin’ Nurses!

Zombie Walk, You're Doing It Wrong

From the search log:

Why are lazy nurses so dishonest? First response:  LOL. Wuuuu????  Second response:  If, in fact, you have encountered a lazy nurse, he/she is probably so dishonest because they need to be to perpetuate said laziness. Third response:  Zombies have taken over their bodies.

I’m not quite sure how that question landed the searcher here, but there’s my attempt at answering your question.  Anybody else want to take a stab at it?


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Taking a Deep Breath….

…and letting it out.  Ruth can finally exhale.

Shell be packing up and moving to a smaller, less expensive place in a few days.  It’s bittersweet, really.  This was supposed to be her last home.  But with the divorce, then losing her job it was more than she could afford.  It was really too much for her to try to keep up, anyway…way to much maintenance and grass to cut.  She decided the Tuesday before Christmas to put the house on the market.  By the Tuesday after Christmas she had a contract on it.  She’s never been much for playing the lottery, but maybe she should buy a ticket.

So now Ruth is moving from Small Town, Bible Belt, USA to the neighboring Big Town, Bible Belt, USA.  While she dreads the move she knows it’s a good one for her.  The only reason she’s held on so long is because it was the one constant in her ever changing landscape, the one piece of familiarity.  We’ll see how she does with city life.  Country life has suited her well.

A lot has changed over the last two years for Ruth.  She’s gone from a nineteen year marriage, about as long in her fundamentalist Christian belief, the security of fifteen years with a company she thought she’d retire from to divorced and engaged, doubting everything she believed about Christianity, and, count ’em, not one but two new jobs plus a client or two for her own business and now a new dwelling.

Everything has changed.  I guess Ruth doesn’t do anything half-way. *grin* If Ruth maintains her sanity there is most assuredly more change to come.  She’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.  Deconstruction is hard work and the demolition isn’t over quite yet.  But for now Ruth is looking forward to her future.  Looking back over everything that’s happened over the last couple of years Ruth knows how lucky she is.  That’s right, lucky.

Ruth takes another deep breath and lets it out.  She’s been holding that in for far too long.


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Intellectual Dishonesty or Just Plain Lazy?

Once again I’ve been inspired by a post at Like A Child’s blog. She and I seem to have quite a bit in common in our respective quests.  But then again I think all of us who travel this journey have these things in common.

An excerpt from her blog:

Questions such as these has enveloped Christianity in a mist of confusion for me.  The central theme of Christianity — the resurrection — has lost its essence, and I cannot genuinely call myself an orthodox Christian. Now, when I read this excerpt from the Biologos site, I feel like another bombshell has been dropped upon me:

“Now let’s turn to category (2), the case of a person who has been exposed to Christianity but doesn’t believe it because they claim not to have enough evidence. I think there are several different possible things that might be going on here:

First of all, just because they claim to be seeking the truth doesn’t mean they really are:

(A) They might actually have enough evidence to believe in God, but dishonestly refuse to admit it to themselves, because they don’t want it to be true. In this case, they are not actually sincere, and have rejected God not because of inadequacy of the evidence, but because of stubborn rebellion. In this case, there is no reason to think that they would accept God even if they did have more evidence. So it is not God’s fault that they do not believe. It should be pointed out that many of the people who saw Christ multiply the loaves, heal people, raise the dead etc. nevertheless refused to believe. It is naive to think that if everyone saw miracles, everyone would believe. Rather the people who don’t want to believe become more firm in their rejection of God.

(B) Or, although they don’t have enough evidence to believe, they choose not to investigate to see whether it is true or not. In this case, it is their own fault that they don’t have enough evidence. If people claim to base their decisions on evidence and reason, it is hypocritical if they reject Christianity without carefully considering whether there is sufficient evidence for Christ’s Resurrection and other miracles to show that Christianity is true. In particular, it is utterly irrational to insist on seeing a miracle personally in order to believe if there is lots of evidence that other people have seen miracles. People don’t refuse to believe in scientific results unless they personally witness the experiments, so long as multiple reliable people say they have done the experiments, that is enough. Why should religion be different?

I never assume that anybody is intellectually dishonest until I have some specific reason to think they are dishonest. But I’ve talked to enough atheists to know that most of them do fall into categories (A) or (B), at least to some extent. However, I’m sure that there do exist cases in which atheists are sincere. In this case…”

Wow, so easily cast into two groups. A or B.  Either I’m not sincere, or I’m seriously misguided. There’s enough evidence, I just don’t want to see it for my own reasons, or I haven’t looked hard enough for it.

Having travelled in the same evangelical circles and knowing what has been said time and time again I tend to avoid evangelical blogs.  I feel like a big enough failure without them telling me so.  How much searching is enough?  How much study is enough?  According to them, unless you come to the same conclusions they have, there is never enough.  If you don’t come to the absolute conclusion that there is a God, that He has a son named Jesus, and that He, too, is God you haven’t done it right. It’s exhausting.

I think it’s exhausting for evangelicals, too.  The only difference is, maybe, just maybe they’ve come to the conclusions that Christianity is the end all, be all because they haven’t studied enough or searched enough.  Maybe they’re in denial of what’s staring them in the face.  Maybe they are afraid of the consequences if they happen to be wrong.  Because you know there’s Hell to pay if they are.

Maybe they are being intellectually dishonest with themselves in rejecting evidence because it doesn’t fit with their beliefs.  Out of hand they dismiss anything that is remotely different from their sacredly held beliefs.  They have one book that isn’t really even one book, but a menagerie of books all smashed together and forced to fit.  One book.  Maybe they are being lazy because all sorts of evidence confronts them to the contrary of that one book, but they don’t take the time to investigate it.

I can honestly say that the reason I was so certain of my beliefs when I was an evangelical, inerrant Word of God, Bible believing, conservative, washed in the blood, died in the wool believer is because I hadn’t studied enough.  I never had studied anything but the scriptures because I believed what I had been told.  They were sacred and I didn’t need anything else.  When I finally did take a look outside of that tiny world I realized that it wasn’t all literally true, and that, in fact, it’s historicity is highly questionable.

The only thing I’m certain of with regards to Christianity is that I’m uncertain.  And because I’m uncertain I’m labelled as lazy or misguided or insincere.  I’m with LAC, reading this kind of thing is unhelpful.  Being told this kind of thing is beyond unhelpful.  It is arrogant and pompous and prideful to think you have all the answers.  I thought that was one of the seven deadly sins, looking at others with haughty eyes.