Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Sadness, Anger, and Sympathy

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A friend of mine posted this a bit ago. She frequently posts these types of messages and prayers. They fill me all at once with sadness, anger, and immense amount of sympathy.

Let me give you a bit of back story.

She and her husband are in their early fifties. They were young, vibrant, active, and adventurous.

Her husband had always been a tall, strong, imposing figure. Yet he was really just a giant teddy bear of a man, always at the ready with a hug and joke.

In the blink of an eye that changed for them.

He was riding solo on his Harley Davidson when someone turned across traffic in front of him. Unable to stop he slid underneath the vehicle. After days of touch and go, not knowing if he would live or die, he pulled through.

She was awash with relief and sang the praises of her God.

Then the devastating news came that the brain damage would be permanent and also the paralysis.

That has been some four years ago now. The longer it goes the more desperate she becomes. She loves her husband and takes very good care of him but it is now more of a mother/child relationship. She has amply displayed her commitment. Yet she longs for that husband/wife relationship that she once had. She would never verbalize this but she can’t even move on. It isn’t even as she would want to if she could, but she can’t have her husband back either. Neverland.

And while all of that fills me with a great sadness it also fills me with sadness that in order for her to come to terms with her situation she must do these mental gymnastics.

She prays to the God she believes caused her situation to thank him for it. Thanking him for causing her circumstances in order to bring about her dependence on this invisible entity that cannot give her an embrace, cannot kiss her lips, cannot hold her hand – this invisible entity that cannot carry on regular conversation but is only voices in her head.

Yes, it is indeed sad.

It makes me so angry to watch as she struggles day after day with his pain management. She has long given up praying for healing. She believes her God’s answer is, “no,” that her husband must suffer and she along with him for some greater purpose. And that purpose is a desperate need for dependence on the very being that caused the pain in the first place. She will sing his praises and glorify him for breaking her down.

On Earth we call that abuse.

It’s like watching a parent beat their child until everything in them is broken and watching that child beg the parent to do it all over again. Stockholm syndrome doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The anger that wells up inside of me is visceral.

And at the same time I’m filled with so much sympathy and so much understanding of why she needs this to be so. It might all be too much to bear if it doesn’t serve some purpose. She needs to believe that all of this has some meaning or else she might just throw in the towel. It would likely break her mind to believe otherwise.

This is why religion persists, why it will likely always persist. And who could be so cruel as to even attempt to take the one thing that is holding it all together for her away?


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Hell, Mary

Rotten Tomato Comedy

Since my own deconversion, or conversion to agnostic atheism, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve developed a devilish(heh!) sense of humor as relates to religion.  Or sarcasm.  Or cynicism.  Or a blasphemous sense of humor.

Whatever you want to call it.

Tomato, tomahto.  It’s all the same thing.

So the other day a co-worker failed (again!) to turn in some paperwork that is vital to my job.  I playfully scolded him since I have no actual authority to properly scold him.

He tells me he’s sorry and he’ll try to do better(which is what he says each time).

“Don’t worry about it.  Just go say three hell Maries, throw some salt over your shoulder, and eat a piece of garlic.”

“Wait,” he says. Serious as a heart attack, “Are you Catholic?”

“No, my child, I serve no gods.”

The moment entirely lost on him, “Oh. Well, as long as you’re not Catholic.  You know, they’re not really Christian.”

“Yeah, well, neither are protestants. Besides, saying hell Mary isn’t the same thing as hail Mary. You, know, as in, ‘Hell, Mary, don’t do that again!’  And throwing salt over your shoulder and eating garlic have nothing to do with being Catholic.”

“So, what?  Do you belong to one of those non-denominational religions?”

“Only if being sacrilegious counts.”


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Impalers and Savages

The lot of them, says these two former facecrook friends.  My “friends” are decreasing by the day.

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It isn’t even that I want an echo chamber.  I can handle opposing views. This kind of xenophobic nonsense I have no patience nor tolerance for and there is no point in even engaging.  It would accomplish nothing.

Goodbye former classmates.


156 Comments

Haters Gonna Hate

1482967_813463125356313_5515814137530970124_nAtheists don’t hate God any more than we hate fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns.  There are some of us who hate what religion does to people.  We no more believe that God does exist than any of those other things.

I’ve just never heard anyone denigrate, denounce, devalue, or discriminate in the name of fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns.  The minute they do I’ll start blasting those imaginary friends, too.

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When somebody comes along and tells me I’d better love Tinkerbell, Larry the Leprechaun, or Stabby over there, else I’m going to a bad, bad place for all of eternity, I’ll tell them they’re crazy and if they gain a following I’ll label it a cult(oh my).

When people start having slaves, demanding submission, or waging wars, and abusing others in the name of their fairy, leprechaun, or unicorn, I’ll hate on those.

Until then, religion will do.


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You Have Not Because You Ask Not

jailApparently 51 year-old April Lee Yates didn’t pray hard enough.  According to WBTW News she dined out in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Sunday night expecting Jesus Christ to pick up the tab.  When he didn’t show up with the cash in hand she was carted off to jail because she hadn’t the money to pay.

I wonder how many times Jesus has paid a dinner check for her.  She certainly expected him to come through for her.  She didn’t even do a proper dine-and-dash.  She sat there for four hours waiting on him.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.


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God Honors Laws of Man

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From my facebook files:

Man can create laws, but God already has his laws in place and there is no higher court capable of overturning or revising those laws. Make no mistake…God will not honor any laws created by man. Have no fear, He is still on His throne! And He still loves all sinners….me included.

Dear facebook friend,

It is fortunate for you that what you have been and done for your whole life isn’t illegal. That somehow makes your past not so…sinful. Sure, you’re straight. But you got knocked up out of wedlock. And, like me, you’re divorced and remarried.   And, really, I think you have that whole thing about God not honoring the laws of man all wrong.  Your Good Book says:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Romans 13: 1-10(NIV)

 

Sounds like God approves of marriage(that’s what we’re calling it now).  So please stop making the baby Jesus cry.  Show your neighbors some love and respect, will ya?