Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I meant to say was....

I'm not a fan of religion. In high school a friend described me as "Love God/Hate The Clergy". This was about right. Though back then I was more of an atheist so I didn't have much love for God either.

Since then I have passed through many belief systems and ideas. I have come to believe in God through experience, not other people telling me what to do or think. I have found ways to peace and God that have been very helpful not only to me, but to those I interact with and love, when I keep my discipline together. But I still dislike religion intensely. I find a peace and comfort sitting quietly in churches, but usually once someone starts telling how "how it is" and "what it is" my bullshit meter goes to red alert. Stop interrupting my experience of God and Love by telling me what its supposed to be rather than what it is in the moment.

I've been following this blog for the last few months and come to admire the woman behind it very much. While the blogosphere has no shortage of folks "journaling" their self exploration (yours truly no exception) I find Leslee's approach to be very earnest and honest and rather sweet.

So I was deeply disturbed by comments left on her last two blogs by two women, one of whom is her sister and the other a friend of many decades.

I left comments also, which you can see if you check the link and read through, but I chose to simply lend words of support with a mild dig to those two. Following, is what I would have said if I had no respect for Leslee and her blog at all. (I have no such respect for my own). I doubt they will read them, but I feel a deep need to let this all out.

This might be long. Bear with me and forgive me because I am not going to be remotely nice. These two women embody just about everything I loathe about devout anything. They happen to be "Christian" but my feelings apply to any religious dogma of any faith.

I say this often, to spell Dogma, you have to spell God backwards. 'nuff said. And now, my very judgmental, very uncompassionate rant.

Christi, you fatuous hypocritical judgmental bitch, let's start with you. Quotes will be in italic. My responses, bold.

And who is the ones with open minds? Even the Kings of Egypt had false Gods, but they lost their souls! I don’t want to gain the whole world and loose my soul! Read the Bible and look at what is going on in the world around you! Be open to see the evil, people in pain and hurting! Hungry children – don’t try to brag to the world about what charities you support. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!

Right, let the children starve, Let them die...as long as I feed my god's ego, I'm going to heaven, so fuck you anyone that is actually doing anything while I kneel on my fat ass and tell myself how wonderful I am.

Romans ch 4 – Abraham was rewarded righteousness from GOD (not Man) because Abraham believed God but yet Abraham was a liar, adulterous; Noah was a drunk – and we didn’t learn that in VBS – but he believed God and was FAITHFUL! King David was a adulterous; committed murder but he believed God and confessed his sins and because of God he was forgiven! It is not about dos and donts it’s about faith! Believing and trusting in one God, Yahweh – not Ganesha on your ankle!

Right, David was cruel bastard who had the husband of the woman he was fucking killed, but he went to heaven cause he believed in God. You can be a big douchebag, but have faith in God and it doesn't matter. Right.

So many people these days are coming out of the closet, and God trusting Christians are being pushed back in the closet

What closet, I can't go anywhere without seeing your hypocritical bullshit on TV, the news, posters, your posters of Obama as Hitler.....Oh I get it, apparently you are making a passive aggressive suggestion about Gay people. Good thing you aren't judgmental. And no, sorry honey, you're not judging with righteousness in your heart. You're doing it with fury and ego. So yeah, if there is a heaven and hell, I think you might be in for a surprise. And yes, that's me judging, at least I can be honest about it. I'm not hiding behind a book.

I serve a risen Savior – Christ the Lord! Praise God! Leslee you never call me or email me – I call you and ask about your life and what is going on with your family – you NEVER ask about my life or my family – you are so wrapped up in your world – your self-discovery that you can’t look beyond yourself. Just read your responses above it is all about your self! Just as it was growing up! Like when you visit I try extra hard to connect with my wonderful nieces – do you even hardly acknowlegde my children? NO! You don’t that is not what your life is about it is about SELF!

Who the hell would WANT to call you. If this is how you talk to people I'm sure they'd rather chew on aluminum foil. I'd sooner shave my head with a cheese grater.

Yes I believe in the devil and I believe he comes out in all kinds of ways. In people, crisis, circumstanes, etc… It never fails that when I am closest to God he tries to pull me away thru different avenues. Your blog for one – I am going to have to try to sustain from it.

The word is ABstain. I guess the devil kept you from learning vocabulary or proper spelling. Or you COULD open a dictionary. And LEARN something beyond your narrow thinking. You COULD take responsibility for your actions and actually grow from them, like your sister does. Nah, nevermind, blame it on something external. Stay on that fat assed kneel.

I want to support you and who you are but not at the price of peace! Peace is a wonderful thing and my life is so busy and hectic that I don’t need to let things upset me! I have never judged you –

You might be funnier than John Stewart.

you are who you are now – I miss the old you – yes there was an old you – but old things pass away and now we go on.

No, that's not judging at all.

I believe life is about loving others and showing Jesus’ love thru us! I try not to focus on myself sometimes I do but I try to focus on others and showing them his love thru me that I feel fulfilled – some people can’t look beyond theirselves. I pray I never get that way! I have acknowledged that people are the way they are because of their parents, spouse and friends – everyone has choices. I try not to judge them because in actuality we ALL are disfuntional people – it is the real world! No one person is perfect only Jesus Christ! Love you girl!

So, its bad to brag about charity, but its ok to brag about what a hard working Christian you are...I got it.

Below though is the crux of it. An older sister jealous of her younger sister because she wasn't beaten by an abusive father as she was. Understandable...and despite what I've been saying my heart is broken for you to have suffered that. But its interesting how you throw it in your sister's face and then utterly replace your father with God as a pacifier for a pain you have yet to face and deal with. It's interesting that you chose to use words of violence to describe how 'finding God' changed you. I'm sure you think you were being creative, but its obvious to someone as not all that smart as me, that you have a long way to go before you understand yourself, OR God.

No, I wouldn’t agree you are the black sheep, I would agree that you are different than me. You were spoiled rotten as a child, you were the baby of the family, Mom gave you everything you ever wanted and more! I don’t know that you ever experienced any of the beatings that I did, I believe maybe one but Dad had went from abusing me to not spanking at all by the time you got old enough for that. So would the fact that he beat me make me a black sheep? I am so sorry that you feel that way – you know I love you always and think the world of you. You are my baby sister and no matter what you do or say you will always hold a special place in my heart! I am saved thanks to God and do believe because of that I will go to heaven when my Father returns for me! I believe in the King James Version of the Bible, I don’t believe in chanting to anyone!!!!! I believe Jesus died on the cross for you and me and everyone else and we choose to love him and live for him as we will. My Father forgives me for my sins, past, present and future because of what Jesus did on the cross! He was beaten and bruised for OUR transgrassions! I can’t wait to see loved ones in Heaven one day, especially Aunt Ella, Aunt Elma and Uncle Frank who set very BIG GODLY impression on me as well as showed me his LOVE! I don’t think I should be treated any differently because I have strong beliefs as well! Yes I do pray for you; I pray for ALL of my family all the time. The prayers are usually the same I pray for your family and I pray for Cynthia’s family. I don’t pray any differently for either one of you just so you know! Thanks for sharing your feelings; I felt as though I needed to share mine! I love you always!

Leslee talked about her sense of otherness in her own family. It's not unusual. There is always someone that feels that way. You start off by saying she isn't a black sheep, then you call her spoiled rotten and essentially trash her. She did nothing of the sort in her blog post to you. She simply pointed out why she felt different.

There is a definite difference though. She's likable and sincere. You say what you think you need to say so you can go to Heaven.

Also, spelling and grammar...look into it.

Now its your turn, Laurie.

Girl…. I know I haven’t called you yet – because I am not sure what to say to you.. but this is to your soul… You are going down a lonely path of self discovery – life is not about you and your discovery – life is about what you can do for others, when and why did you become so self centered… You really need to get right with God – God is not a feeling or here to make you feel good – he is the creator and has written a book to show you the way – why don’t you spend your time reading that book (the bible) instead of learning about all of this non sense.

Since you are too much of a coward to have a heart to heart with your friend, but apparently perfectly comfortable judging her in public I don't see how you believe for a second that you are right with anything, let alone God.

Oh, I don't know if you noticed. God didn't actually write the book. Also its been severely edited. Learn history. Its even being edited now by zealots who want to remove anything that sounds remotely Liberal. Also, Constantine, you might have heard of him, look it up beyond what you've been spoonfed and get off your friend's ass.

Hell is a lonely place and you will never know how lonely life can be for an atheist – always searching – you don’t just check in with Jesus – he fills you with joy.
And Christi is right you were the prize kid and your parents did everything for you and your friends – they were so proud of you and your family has picked you up so many times – how dare you bash them blog after blog – it is ungrateful and I hope you never feel the pain you are putting them through by Bella and Callie. Your family is who really LOVEs you and you know they may not approve but they will and have be there for you every crazy step of your way –

I am not an atheist, far from it, but I know many. And many of them are incredibly happy, loving and generous people. They are also deeply moral. None of them are any lonelier than many Christians I know. Speak from what you actually know...again, not from where you are spoonfed.

Here is more about the book Living on the ragged edge.
While many Christian books encourage thoughts about God’s love and kindness, it’s also good to see life as it really is in this world. Swindoll pulls no punches as he describes the emptiness of living to please self instead of God.
Among the many excellent points Swindoll covers are:

1. People focus on the external appearances while God focuses on the heart.

Where is your heart, Laurie. I don't see it. It's too clouded by your venomous language and judgment.

2. God can work through you in mighty ways if you let Him.

How are you so sure he isn't working through Leslee? Or do you have it all figured out already? If that's the case, why bother saying anything.
3. Wise counsel for those under pressure.
From God, yes. From judgmental, lonely and angry people...not so much.

4. The world’s movers and shakers are also often the most lonely people on earth.
No one with common sense needs only a Christian to see that.
5. Different world-views and their weaknesses.
Right, not judgmental at all
6. How to handle the mysteries of life.
You can also find this in Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam. As well as Pagan. Oh I'm sorry, did that upset your sensibilities? Only the faith YOU believe in is valid. Nope, no ego there.
7. Excellent counsel on how to get the most out of life.
Again, not exclusive to your religion
8. What keeps us from pursuing happiness.
What's keeping you? I don't notice anything happy about you.
An excellent and highly recommended book, be encouraged and challenged to seek God’s wisdom instead of the wisdom of the world!
I know too many devout and religious Christians who are terribly unhappy to buy this for a second.

Finally to both of you. IF there is a Heaven and Hell, I believe wholeheartedly that your souls will burn eternally for your hypocrisy. God does see and notice action over words. He feels love over judgment and he smiles upon it. He does not care about politics or petty earthly things. And he doesn't have an ego that constantly needs your worship.

Leslee chose to respect both your privacy, in her posts while remaining honest to herself and her journey. You both decided to make it a "bash Lesleefest".

The God I know insists you get on your knees and beg forgiveness for being such a piss poor excuse of a sister and "friend"...AND a Christian.

Sucks to be judged, doesn't it.


Laurie said...

I'm standing and cheering on my sofa--well I would be if I wasn't sick today! :) Wonderful responses. My introduction to her blog was that post and it was wonderful and completely resonated with me for many of Leslee's reasons and many of my own. I only wish I was strong enough to put my reasons out there and feel that release of honesty. I am so glad you are standing up for her and calling bullshit on those mean-spirited responses.
--Laurie (@GoodByeGracie)

Lisa said...

Scathing and well-written...

It is sad that those who call themselves "Christian" have the audacity to attack anyone who doesn't have a label or a name on their spirituality. I was raised Catholic and lord knows with all the shit going on in my life, I need to get back to some kind of spirituality. However, I am finding out that going back to that rigidity of belief is not going to work for who I am and it's not going to help me to find myself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Ray said...

Wow man. Just wow. You have hit the nail on the head and gave it the pounding it deserved. I've been wrestling with my own confusion and anger at the constant barrage of hypocritical hate and nonsense to come from the religious "reich" over the last number of years. Suddenly, out of the blue, I find you've really given voice to it for me. Thank you so very much for saying what so desperately needed to be said. Bravo.

By the Seat said...

Couldn't agree more.

Opinionated Gifts said...

I am honored, surprised and humbled by all of your comments. I really expected quite the opposite.

Thank you all.

Darkwulfe said...

Well...I will say this...you got it damn right Dude. I grew up in church, the son of a Pastor...I was a preacher at age 13 and a pastor at age 26....and an athiest at age 33! lol go figure...when people ask me why I am an athiest after all the "light" I was given, I tell them I had a painful and life changing experience...I grew a brain of my own! My family, friends and acquaintances tell me I am an athiest because...let's see...I am trying to "shock" people, I am trying to "rebel" against everything I was raised in, I am being difficult. The assumption is made that it is a decision based on emotional responses to my life, when that is simply not the case. I spent many months searching my own beliefs, analyzing my belief system critically and coming to some conclusions. I won't go into those conclusions here, but suffice it to say that people like these two women just reinforce the conclusions I have reached. Very well said Bro, very well said.

Cooper said...

Thank you!

I gave up Christianity long ago, but it's people like these two women that are the reason I'm writing a novel.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! You said to these two what I wish I could say to similar people in my own life. It's why I have a blog under an assumed name...so I can scream at these people without them "hearing." Hopefully one day I'll find away to tell them how I truly feel without causing anyone to burst into flame. :)

Thank you, again. Leslee deserves better than these two banshees dished out.