1) The devil “allows”? “ALLOWS”? So the reason I, as a non-believer, have a happy family life and fairly successful professional life is because the devil is “allowing” it? I don’t think so, Scooter.
2) Doesn’t this imply that sometimes god gives people a life full of trouble so they are forced to turn to him?
I never respond to FB posts by my religious friends and family, but this one REALLY bothered me.
Asking me if I’m afraid of going to hell is like asking me if I’m afraid of this gun.
Ask Linus, maybe he knows.
My 7 yr old daughter was reading "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to me before bedtime, and this was the conversation after the Linus Bible quote near the end.
Daughter: Wait, none of that makes sense to me.
Me: Ok, well, he's saying lines from the Bible. The first part talks about angels coming down and telling shepards that Jesus has been born. The second part is about peace on earth and being good to each other.
Daughter: Angels told that to the shepards?
Daughter: Did they tell anyone else?
Me: Uh...no. I don't think so.
Daughter: Why not? Why didn't they tell *EVERYONE*?
Me: ....THAT...is a good question. You know what? There are billions of people who have read that story and I bet only a few of them have thought of that question.
Just Got Back From A Funeral
- My 54 year old cousin-in-law died from a heart attack. He was a rather big guy and didn’t take the best care of himself. It’s just a shame that some people don’t see that you only have ONE body and you have to take care of it if you want to be around for a long time.
- I’ve said this after every funeral I’ve attended in the past 5 years: I *MUST* write down how I want my services handled and make sure my family (besides my wife) knows about it. I’ve got a handful of non-religious guidelines, readings, quotes, etc. on my laptop somewhere, but I’ve really got to get cracking on finishing that up.
- I’ve been to funerals with some rather impersonal eulogies that really rubbed me the wrong way, but props to the priest who spent 95% of his sermon talking about the preciousness of life and cherishing our moments here and only 5% on how Jesus rules.
- I noticed that desserts go *FAST* at post-funeral receptions. My theory is that people are all thinking about death and figure, “Screw it! Life is short!”
Imagine if simply eating breakfast at a certain restaurant guaranteed a politician a firm percentage of the popular vote. That a sizable segment of voters chose to vote for the candidate who ate where they ate. And every time voters saw that person on TV and he talked about that restaurant, it reaffirmed that they are voting for the right guy and that his actual policy positions, no matter what they were or how they affected the country, didn’t matter. All that mattered is that he eats at the same restaurant and talks about how good the food is. That would be utterly ridiculous, right?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why American politicians can’t shut up about their religion.
Well The Music Is Your Special Friend
When my wife and I finally had the awkward discussion with her Mom about the fact that we were not raising the kids religiously, one of the questions she asked us was, “What are they going to turn to during the hard times in their lives?” Now, I did have a bit of ammo to respond to that question because I had lost my dad a few years ago after I had let go of religion and got through that with the help of my family and my friends. But recently, I also realized that there was something else I turned to during those tough months, as well as other times in my life. Anytime I needed a boost, or felt emotional, or needed to de-stress, it was there for me when I needed it. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize what a pillar of my life this has become.
I was a nervous flyer in college, so before every takeoff, I would put on Best Of The Doors and crank it (Touch Her was my favorite take off song). Before big exams, my favorite pump up track was The Movie, an Aerosmith instrumental track at the end of Permanent Vacation. Before our intramural basketball games, we would put on the Rocky soundtrack. Before dates, after breakups, before work on Mondays, after work on Fridays, before long drives…there was always a soundtrack going on in the background. Even at my most religious, anytime I wanted to find inspiration, or feel melancholy, or reminisce, I didn’t look to scripture, I turned on my stereo.
This is more true today than it was 10 years ago.
So if religious people can turn to their faith during difficult times and find comfort, good for them, but that’s not the only answer. For me, music is one of the things that I turn to. And it is not static, non-changing, and rigid. Instead, it changes, grows, and evolves (he-he) with me. John 3:16 ain’t got nothin’ on Springsteen Live 1975-85.
Not Our Usual Breakfast Chat
My daughter (6 yrs old): Mommy, do you believe in God?
My wife: Why do you ask?
My daughter: My friend at school said that you have to believe in God.
My wife: I don't think I do believe in God. But you know what? If there is a God, and all he cares about is that you believe in him or else, then that's not a very nice God. I think it's more important to treat people nicely, live a good life, and care about each other. A nice God would only care about that.
Me: Sweetie, you're going to find that different friends believe different things about God. And that's OK. You can believe whatever you want, even if it's different than your friends, as long as it makes sense to you.
My daughter: Well then I don't believe in God. But I do believe in Santa!
Me to my wife later that morning: Well, in her defense, she has a closet full of proof that Santa listens to her wishes.
I Like My Politics Like I Like My Sundays…Without Religion
It’s getting scary out there.
God Is A Question Killer
My sister and I were talking over Thanksgiving about how inquisitive both of our oldest daughters are. They are both in 1st Grade, although mine is about 6 months younger than hers. She was telling me about how her daughter asked her about where people came from. My sister, (who is a big pro-Evolution type and has expressed some anti-religious sentiments in the past, although she still goes to Catholic Mass and has her kids enrolled in a private Catholic school), started telling her about natural selection and Darwinism before noticing a bewildered look on her daughter’s face. Then she just said, “Because that’s how God decided to make us.” “That seemed to stop the questions,” my sister told me.
Yeah, no kidding.
I know that answering tough questions like that from a 6 year old can be difficult, but doesn’t invoking God kill the conversation? Isn’t that squashing curiosity and discouraging further inquiry?
My daughter asked me a few weeks ago, “Where did the first human come from?” and I went into a convoluted 5 minute explanation of how humans turned into humans slowly from other animals who also came from other animals and so forth. It wasn’t pretty and maybe didn’t make sense at first, but it encouraged several follow-up questions that let me fine tune my answers and make sure she was (kinda) getting what I was saying.
I know I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t ever want my kids being intellectually satisfied with that dreaded 3 word answer to any question: “God did it.” And hopefully they won’t be.
I’ve often wondered, if Satan is the bad guy…wouldn’t he NOT torture the bad guys in hell? Isn’t that doing what “God wants”? Wouldn’t it be more rebellious against God to just throw one big bad-ass hedonistic party of sinning?
Now it makes sense.
The Bible makes SO MUCH more sense if you read it as everyone in it is a stand up comic.
"Moreover, I do not allow a woman to teach or to usurp authority over a man. Instead, she is to be quiet."
"Am I right, fellas? Heeeeey-ooooo!"
- 1 Timothy 2:12