Thursday, November 12, 2015

What I learned from atheists.

One of my writings that somehow slipped into the ether, and reappeared :)

Being a Christian is hard, not necessarily doing good, but doing the right thing. It's hard, and it will put up a fight, and you have to fight for it if you truly want it. Letting go of long held personal beliefs that really have little to no basis in scripture is frightening to a lot of people, but this has to be done. Letting go of false teachings, is as important as dying to self.

I recently opened a dialog with a couple of atheists, and these are wonderful, really funny guys. Also very intelligent, which I dig on big time. I told them that a lot of the views fundamentalist Christians hold are false and have no basis in scripture, some are downright hateful. I used to have fundamentalist views, passed down to me from my Mother. Thank God I have a Mother who loved me enough to bring me to church, even though I had to walk away from church to find Christ.

I wanted to talk to these guys, to apologize for things Christians said to them on their show, that were full of hatefulness and judging condemnation, and there was no love in them. As a Christian, we have to be able and willing to cross the battlefield of ideological lines  to truly meet people where they are. That is really hard to do when you have long held beliefs about certain groups of people. Like atheists. But I wanted to ask them for forgiveness, for my own false beliefs, and for the hate they receive from callers on their show. To tell these guys that I was sorry that they've been spoken that way to by such hateful people, people who call themselves Christian, but didn't seem Christ-like at all.

The response I got was encouraging, and heart warming, and I'm so glad that I took that step. Even though I believe in God and they don't, we agreed that some people are very hateful, and hide behind Christ while they hurl that hate at others. That's wrong, and I wish it would stop. Stopping that has to start with Christians though.

Do I still believe (or did I ever?) those things I was taught about atheists? NO!! These are wonderful people, the ones I talked to. Full of forgiveness. They said that these people being hateful didn't bother them, and that they accepted my apology, even though they thought it was unnecessary.

If you want to be a Christian, it's going to fight you, and challenge you. If you want to be a Christian, you have to have radical compassion, and unconditional non-judgmental love for others. You have to meet people where they are and love them where they are, and expect nothing in return. You have to forgive blindly.

That's another thing, forgiving people that say things that deeply hurt you is hard, this is something I'm fighting for very hard right now. I don't want to be angry when they tell me that being transgendered is sinful. I don't want to lash out when they tell me I'm going to Hell because of the way I was born. I don't want to lash out when people say people like me make them want to vomit. I don't want to be angry when people want to hate on me, bully me, or even possibly harm me physically. I've already been wounded deeply by the church emotionally, I don't want to be wounded physically. Even more though, I don't want to hate them, or be angry when or if they do. I want to understand them. I want to understand why they do these things. And I want to walk across that battlefield, open my arms wide and hold them, and tell them I love them.

Because it's true.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail."

America’s potential, said Carly Fiorina, is being “crushed.” America’s military, said Marco Rubio, is being “eviscerated.” Working people, said Mike Huckabee, are “taking a gut punch.” The idea of America, said Bobby Jindal, is “slipping away.”
Donald Trump, as usual, went even further: “We don’t have a country.”
From a Politico article
I'm going to quote Tom Cruise. No, I'm not going to jump up and down on my couch and scream about how much I love America. Though I bet that would make a classic Vine. No, this one is from "Interview With A Vampire", where he says "I think there's life in the old girl yet!"

We have tough decisions. We need intelligent, hopeful people to make these decisions. I'm not saying that Carly Fiorina, and the others aren't intelligent. I can't speak on that, but they've lost hope. Which is frightening to me, because for a long time hope was the only thing keeping me alive. I see white washed tombs and I can't vote for that.

When I think of our military, I don't see it as eviscerated. I see the most fearsome group of men and women to ever march onto a battlefield. I'm not pro-war, very much against it. But I love these men and women who are courageous enough to fight for their loved ones, and for me, and for those of us who can't fight for ourselves.

When I see the "working man" I see my step-dad. A strong, proud American worker, who can do anything. He is beyond awesome. While I'm very adept with computers; I am struck jaw-droppingly dumb at the things he can do. He can build anything. He can fix anything. I think of an old friend who drives a semi delivering goods across our country. I see my Uncle Keith, a farmer. I see my sister Laura, and her husband Jeremy. I see my Dad, once a professional pilot, now he runs a successful computer repair business. I see my friend Emily, a successful writer. Everyone around me, while we may struggle, we are thriving. I don't see people who are beaten. Or "gut punched", I see people living their dreams. The dreams may differ from what they once were, but we are still living them.

America isn't an idea, Governor Jindal. She is an entity. She is alive, her heart pumping fiercely, her eyes shining brightly. As long as there are Americans with hope of much better times to come, America will not fall. We might limp along for a time. But America will not fall.

We have problems. A lot of social issues, massive poverty, attacks on women's health programs and initiatives. We're still fighting against racism, homophobia, transphobia. So many things....but if we don't lose sight of our goal. If we remember the phrase "all men are created equal"; we can't fail.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

You might be an Evangelical if...

This list is taken from an article on Patheos, by Fred Clark.
Link to original article is to be found by clicking right here! Yes, these words, you fool :P

  If your idea of a trip to the Caribbean involves building new outhouses for a missionary school, then you might be an evangelical.

If you feel guilty for not keeping up with your quiet time, then you might be an evangelical.

If you have strong opinions about when, precisely, Amy Grant “sold out,” then you might be an evangelical.

If the first time you saw your uncle’s shot-glass collection, you wondered where he got all those fancy communion cups, then …

If the first time you saw your uncle’s shot-glass collection, you wondered where he got all those fancy communion cups, then …

If you’ve never been skiing without rededicating your life to Christ at a bonfire afterwards, then …

If you’ve lost track of the number of “re-s” you need to add before “re-re-rededicate your life to Christ,” then …

If your favorite painters are Thomas Kinkade and Warner Sallman, then …

If you never watched “Highway to Heaven,” not because it was too preachy, but because it aired on Wednesday nights, then …

If you knew that “Wednesday nights” in the previous joke was a reference to prayer meeting, then …

If you’ve ever tried to calculate the size of a tip in a restaurant based on how it would influence the waitress’s receptivity to the gospel tract you left with it, then …

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” If you just shouted, “Where?” then …

If you’ve ever seriously discussed whether using tabs constitutes cheating at Sword Drills, then …

If your answer to the question “What Would Jesus Do?” is “He would wear a T-shirt that says, ‘WWJD?’” then …

If you’ve ever been to a pot-luck dinner featuring more than three varieties of Jell-o salad with shaved carrots and mini-marshmallows, then …

If you’ve ever played the tambourine while wearing a tie, then …

If your gaydar is so bad that you think your choir director just needs to meet the right godly woman, then …

If you can’t look at Kente cloth without thinking what those colors stand for in The Wordless Book, then …

If you’ve ever informed someone you’ve just met that they deserve to suffer in Hell for eternity, and you said this without a trace of anger, then …

If the last rock concert you went to included an altar call, then …

If you own any clothing or accessories that you regard as “a witnessing tool,” then …

If you think the phrase “a witnessing tool” refers to something that’s good to have rather than someone it’s bad to be, then …

If praying in public makes you talk like a 17th-century Quaker, then …

If two acoustic guitars and a Yamaha DX7 keyboard are your idea of a “rock band,” then …

If the only High Church figure you don’t regard with suspicion is Bishop Ussher, then

If your idea of communion wine is made by Welch’s, then …

If you know what burning vinyl smells like, then …

If your boss tells you you’re going to have to go on furlough and your first thought is that you’ll need to prepare a slideshow for the Sunday evening service, then …

If a sentence beginning “Lord, we just, Lord, want to thank you Lord, for just, Lord, just …” doesn’t strike you as either atrocious grammar or a speech impediment, then …

If you’ve ever thought of TMZ as kind of like a prayer list for Hollywood starlets, then

If the words “submissive” and “head” make you think of gender, but not of sex, then …

If you think saying grace loudly is a good way to witness at The Olive Garden, then …

If you’ve ever discussed whether The Flintstones was set before or after Noah’s flood, then …

If your fantasy football team was selected based on the personal testimony of the players, then …

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Love The Way You Lie (rewritten)

I can't really tell you what it is
I can only tell you what it feels like
Like I've got a lump in my windpipe
It's like I can't breathe when I see atrocities
Committed against those that are like me
The anger rises like a sunrise
All I can do is cry
The pain inside fueling me to new heights
I have to do something, but what can I do
I can do nothing on my own, it has to be me and you.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
It's alright, I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
It's alright, I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie.

Have you looked out across the sea of humanity
and see people supposed to be guided by love doing these things
and saying these words that are so hurtful
Sometimes I feel like I've been beaten black, blue and purple
Like a hematoma of the soul and Im in a coma
and I can't wake but I'm aware of the commotion
and all the hate and furor that surrounds it
I don't know how to stop it, and I can't
We have to stop it.
I can't but you and I can.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
It's alright, I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
It's alright, I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie.

I can't scream loud enough to make you listen
it's like you've got some kind of deafness
Keeping you from hearing my petition
I'm in so much pain but you can't see
you just keep throwing all your hate at me
and those like me, not out of spite
but because you think you're right
you think your truth is the only truth to listen to
and it doesn't matter how much pain you put me through
or how many die or are imprisoned
as long as you're right that's your sole concern
but look at me when you say and do those things
that hurt and stab and cut and scrape
look in my eyes as you watch me die,
watch the tears falling from my eyes when i ask why

Just gonna stand there and watfh me burn
It's alright, I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
It's alright, I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie.