It’s Time

It’s time to move on– move on from the anger, the heartache, the uncertainty and the loss that comes from rejecting one’s belief in a god.  There was a time when I hoped for the day when I would come clean about my rejection of Christianity–be open and honest.  It seemed like a crazy fantasy, but that fantasy finally became a reality.   There also was a time when I hoped for understanding and reconciliation with my Christian family and friends.  That remains in the fantasy category.   Oh well, you can’t have everything.   For a while now, though,  I have found myself hoping for the day when I could be chill about the whole god thing, where a someone could bring up religion, god, Jesus, Christianity and I would just be like, whatever.  I didn’t think that could ever happen, but oh so very slowly and bit by tiny bit, I believe that that has become a reality for me in many ways.

Sometimes I feel like I wasted a lot of time trying to gain understanding, trying to get Christians to understand how destructive and ridiculous their beliefs are.   Whether the time was wasted or not, I can’t get it back, but what’s  done is done and I have no regrets.  I did what I needed to do to get through it.  Now, even when I try to get angry at Christians I can’t.  Where I once would get pissed off, now I find myself kind of shaking my head and saying, “Oh you silly Christians.”  There are things that matter, things that deserve the energy it takes to get angry, the Christian religion is just not one of those things.  It feels very healthy to me.

Anyway, I wanted to share the following video.  The first time I heard this song, it got me.  I won’t give a lot of commentary on it.  Let it speak to you in the way you need it to, but the first line just nailed how I felt when I could no longer believe, but was still going to church I yearned to “go to the hills where the outlines are clear.”   I’ve made it to the hills, the outlines are quite clear and I can again see the stars.  I feel like I’ve caught up to myself now, or at least very close to it.

Bring on the wonder–bring it on.

Hello Blog

hello_again

Working is a motherfucker.  It had been so long since I had a real job, I forgot just how time consuming it can be.  It’s weird, after being a stay-at-home-mom for so many years, to be back out in the working world.  The excitement of going to work every day and meeting new people and getting a paycheck has not worn off yet.  Maybe it never will; who knows? Sadly though, it keeps me from writing and I do miss that.  I woke up this morning at 4, with words spinning in my head, so I grabbed my laptop and started in.  It felt good–familiar.  Next stop, my good old Blinder’s Off Blog.  Hello friend.

So here I am and I’m really going to try and post more.  There’s so much I want to write about, but Christianity, church, religion–well, they never stop providing fodder for me.

There’s been a lot in the news about Mark Driscoll, the pastor of some Mars Hill in Seattle.  I do believe I “prophesied” this in one of my posts, but he’s going down in a blaze of glory.  It’s been difficult, because it brings up a bunch of painful memories for me, as it does with so many others as well.  What happened to Mars Hill is so reminiscent of what happened at my old church, although on a much smaller scale.  The narcissism of the leader, the toady elders, the shaming and silencing of the church members, is practically identical and that is what is especially painful to me, even to this day.

I think that I need to write about it.  I know, I’ve said that before, but now with so much being said about all the silencing that takes place within the church and the damage it causes, I feel now may be the time.

I do also have some more songs I want to post, so hopefully I can do that soon as well.  For now, google Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll and his alleged demise, but if you have experienced this type of situation personally, I recommend a big glass of wine first… or vodka. Stay tuned.

God’s Little Slap On the Wrist

Don't Make Me Come Down ThereThere has been oh, so much commentary on the Sandy Hook massacre.  I’ve heard it from all sides and right now, I don’t even care what agenda is being put forth. I feel uncomfortable with the way pundits are promoting their agenda off of the backs of 27 slaughtered women and children.

For now though, I really want to address what Christian leaders are saying and they are saying a lot.  The main theme is that God is pouring out his judgment on us for various and sundry reasons: Gay marriage, abortion, divorce, the removal of God and prayer from the schools and the teaching of evolution.  Of course they are all wrapped up in the fall and tied up with a big freewill bow.

I would like to comment on each of the reasons put forth by these spokesmen for Christian Church, but for today, I want to address one comment in particular because it was said by a man I used to have tremendous respect for, Dr. James Dobson.  This is what he said on his radio program on Monday:

Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election;  I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.

I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition.  Believe me, that is going to have consequences too. 

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.”

Yes, you read it correctly.  Our country has gotten so bad, what with marriage equality and keeping abortion safe and legal, that “God” decided that having a 20 year old man decimate 27 women and children, along with their families, and consequently an entire town, was a bang up idea.

I have several thoughts on this. First, (setting aside the idea of a god that even exists) this is God’s judgment falling upon us?  Wow, seriously, us? In reality the pain and suffering falls to 27 families.  Yes we all are sad about it, but when all is said and done, they are the ones that will never be the same, not “us.”  So, I seriously doubt this is God’s judgement.  He’s a big idea man.  Remember the Ark?

Second, Newtown, Connecticut?  Really?  God is angry and so he brings down judgment on a sleepy little place called Newtown?  A town full of church going, god fearing, and for the most part, traditional, heterosexual families. Seriously, if there was a god that desired to pour down wrath on the sinners of the world, I think he would go bigger, say Las Vegas,  New Orleans, or at least San Francisco, not Newtown, Connecticut. Perhaps he’s just slapping us on the wrist.  Oh yes, that will teach us.  “We get it now god, please forgive us; we will love you now.”

Third, the idea that our country, at this time and place, has so grieved “God,” that he is now judging us.  I’m sorry, this just seems ludicrous when you consider our history.  I mean, this is a country that, at it’s inception, gained prosperity by decimating an entire culture of people, and then by beating, raping, and enslaving fellow human beings, because they weren’t really human, and even subjugating their own women, who were basically their property.

I would think that if there was a time in our country’s history that deserved the judgment of god, it would have been then, right?  Seriously, what kind of a god, would turn a blind eye to, or worse, endorse such things as genocide, slavery, rape and abuse of women?

Oh wait, scratch that.  Perhaps Dr. Dobson is on to something after all.

Funday Morning Dilemma

girl,embrace,mountains,adventure,freedom,outdoor-076bf6b4de5f63c3077f655bbadddbda_hAs I quickly texted one of my girlfriends this morning, confirming a time to meet for one of my favorite local hikes, I thought to myself, what a perfect day it was to be outdoors; what a perfect “Funday.”  Funday is the name I gave Sundays a couple of years ago and it has stuck.

I do remember struggling on Sundays–whether to go to church or create a reason not to.  It brought to mind a post I had written years ago entitled Sunday Morning Dilemma.  In it I am trying to cope with feeling pressure to go to church. I went back and read it.  It’s so surreal now to think that I actually felt like I had to go to church every Sunday, like I couldn’t do what my heart really wanted to do, because I was afraid.  That is so not me.  It’s just a reminder of how I couldn’t really be my authentic self when I was a Fundamentalist Christian. Actually, I didn’t even know what that was.  The idea that because I wanted to be myself and “myself” didn’t want to go to church = Sin.

Anyway, it was the last line of that post that made my shoulders drop, my breathing ease, and my lips turn into a smile.  I wrote:  “I do look forward to waking up on Sunday mornings and simply deciding which fun thing I will do, and it will not include, by the way, going to church.”  Yes.  That day has definitely come.  This morning, I pick Sandra and I pick the Tower Hike at Pena Adobe.  Soon I will be up at the top of a hill, looking down on Pena Adobe reservoir, and my friend Sandra will say, like she always does, “Man, this is the perfect day for this.”

I will respond as I typically do, “Yeah it is; I love Fundays!”

I Reclaim It All!

I grew up in a fundamentalist church–The Church of Christ.  We were not allowed to have instrumental music during worship or in the church at all, for that matter. We were only allowed to make music with our voices.  We also sang only traditional hymns and, creepily, I still remember every word of just about every one of those hymns.  Thankfully, in my life now, I rarely encounter anything that will remind me of them, but recently, here on my blog, the unthinkable happened.  My dear friend Zoe referred to the hymn, “I Surrender All,” in one of her comments.  Every day since, that hymn has been turning over and over in my mind,a hymn worm, if you will.  I even found myself breaking out into the chorus from time to time–much to my horror. I tried listening to different music, as I sang along.  I even tried listening to Lil’ Wayne.  I figured if anyone could scare Jesus away, it would be him, but nothing would make that hymn go away!  In an effort to save what was left of my sanity, I altered the words a bit. The same melody is there, but with new lyrics. It worked.  Here is my new version:

All to this life I surrender

All to life I freely give

I will ever live it fully

Free and joyful daily live.

I reclaim it all!

I reclaim it all!

All I sacrificed to serve Him

I reclaim it all!

So there you have it–my new anthem.  Thank you Zoe!