The Sources of My Anxiety - Part 1

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    Jul 05, 2008 9:21 PM GMT
    I decided to put it out here because I wanted to see if... maybe there's someone on the same page. Note: It is a BIT long...

    My mother began to explain to my brother and sister (Bro-9, Sis-12) how "Hip-Hop Gospel" (Gospel music that has so much of an R&B/Hip-Hop influence that it sounds Secular instead of Spiritual) is far from God's will and an extension of how one can fall out of the way of the Lord. It starts little by little, first with things like music or clothing, then not reading your Bible as much, then not praying as much, then not going to church as much, until eventually you're doing nothing religious at all.

    Then you find other things to occupy your time, doing things that you shouldn't do: go to clubs and parties where there are no Godly influences, or drinking and smoking, or just not including God in your everyday life. Once that happens, your life grows a hole - it's missing something. So you try to fill it up with other things and find that nothing can fill it like Christ did before you removed him from your life.

    That's just one way that idea is enforced. There are otheres: stories in the bible (Peter and his 3-crow Denial), petitions (Saying in prayer "Lord, make them feel out of place until they see You are the way"), and much more.

    What this does is leaves no room for personal growth. You want to go out - you're in trouble. You say "You don't want to go to church." - you're falling away. You decide "This path/religion/choice is better for me." - you're instantly wrong. It creates this severe dependancy and encourages surpression.

    I believe one should be able to step out of their upbringing comfortably. One should be able to look at what they have learned in the past and what they know now, compare and analyze. One should be able to consider their life experiences and decide what or who they want to follow - whether it be no-one, some-one, some-thing, or every-thing. It's the only way to grow as an independant person - to make a rational choice that creates the foundation for everything you believe. And that is a struggle for me.

    I have nothing but doubt and worry. Fear that if I step out the box, everything will go horribly wrong due to lack of God's influence. Fear that whatever goes right is a function of the Devil's influence. Nothing is about you, it's about "God's power through you". It's not about solving your problems, it's about putting on God to solve them.

    To pile more on, there's the "end of days" or "the last days" that adds more fuel to the fire. This is belief that the end of the world is coming soon (at an unknown rate), and if things arent in order with you (according to prophesy) you're going to be out of luck. Nobody want's to be caught on the wrong side of the fence. However, a discussion of this is a whole entry on it's own. Regardless, it creates a sense of urgency and haste on a time in one's life that is supposed to be of wonder, exploration and excitement.

    It's a sad feeling to have. I'm hoping that as time goes by, I'll be able to over come it, and put a cap on the anxiousness
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    Jul 05, 2008 9:25 PM GMT
    Jesus thought the end of the world was coming soon, too. Oops...didnt happen. So you can relax.
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    Jul 05, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 saidJesus thought the end of the world was coming soon, too. Oops...didnt happen. So you can relax.


    Someone missed the point of the thread didn't they and I knew it was going to be you. lol
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    Jul 05, 2008 9:39 PM GMT
    personally, I don't experience anything like that, I'm not religious by any means and I don't believe anything about the world ending.

    However, from what I have seen and read about religion it doesn't encourage free thinking or encourage exploration because to do so they would lose there power over people.

    I must admit, they do a good job too, love the whole, you aren't going to heaven and neither will these people unless you tow the line too, so everyone follows along not wanting to go to hell and also forces anyone else who wants something different to comply so that they can all go to heaven too.

    But, your anxiety is normal, your trying to experience something else, I think what it comes down too is what you feel comfortable doing, maybe give what ever it is you want to do a go and see how you feel about it, if it made you a better happier person and go from there.

    I sorta think, that if there perhaps is a god, that hes not going to judge you and if he feels the need too, its not going to be by how many times you go to church or pray or anything of that nature, but by how you live your life and how good of a person you are.. I think that would be more important then going to a building to be preached at.
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    Jul 05, 2008 10:05 PM GMT
    Don't put all your being into God. He is just a single facet of life. You can love him and embrace him but he does not run your life. His work goes far beyond that and it is silly (in my humble opinion) to believe that he controls what we do/feel/say.

    I honestly believe that if you live truly how you want to and don't cause pain to anyone intentionally, you will have nothing to fear. But that is just my take on the big man. I don't follow the beliefs of organized religion. Call it laziness, ignorance, whatever..
    People trivialize him way too much.

    Think for a moment and tell me if this makes sense.
    [Example] People pull scripture from the bible stating that homosexuality is a sin. Fine. It states God says it is a sin. Okay. Some or many believe that homosexuality is wrong or sinful. Very well.
    BUT here is something to chew on. If GOD thinks that homosexuality is so bad, why do mere humans transcend the stigma and hateful feelings others may have and LOVE us for who we are as human beings.
    If they can do it, why can't GOD?

    God is not meant to be feared. Why would I fear someone whom loves me?

    Dante
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    Jul 05, 2008 10:12 PM GMT
    The box is G-d's box. Symmetry is infinite and it is presumptuous of any of us to believe that our actions or inactions can somehow fall out of that symmetry, be contrary to that design, or take us further away from G-d.

    The Holy Trinity, in its infinite perfection, allows you to experiment and you cannot err. There is nothing that you can do that will stop the world spinning or that will move you any distance from the constituent parts of G-d's universe(s).

    You are perfectly right to say that every one of us (especially Gay men) tend to define ourselves, and finally our families. There will always be people to tell us, in absolute moral terms, what G-d wants and what G-d doesn't want.

    However, the absolutist are just as divine as you, or I, or Caslon's cats.

    If the plan is perfect then it is perfect in its smallest detail and its most cosmological grandeur.

    How can there be any such thing as secular and spiritual? Would it not make more sense to think that we all sit on a road, a continuum, that is held in the embrace of the Holy Trinity, simultaneously predestined and open to change (relative and chaotic) because G-d's universe(s) are just that great, because G-d is just that great?

    You already think for yourself, nothing can stop that. All you need to do is manage anxiety. Darlin, welcome to the club. No thinking man lives without anxiety. Too many thinking men deaden anxiety with drugs, sex, or whatever.

    Looking at you, listening to you, you seem particularly courageous. I choose to believe G-d made you that way. You are golden, and there is nothing you can do that will anger G-d, because G-d loves you infinitely.

    Does that make sense to you?

    Peace
    Terry
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    Jul 05, 2008 10:39 PM GMT
    blind2limits said
    Caslon4000 said: Jesus thought the end of the world was coming soon, too. Oops...didnt happen. So you can relax.

    Someone missed the point of the thread didn't they

    What part of this did I miss?

    "To pile more on, there's the "end of days" or "the last days" that adds more fuel to the fire. This is belief that the end of the world is coming soon (at an unknown rate), and if things arent in order with you (according to prophesy) you're going to be out of luck. Nobody want's to be caught on the wrong side of the fence. However, a discussion of this is a whole entry on it's own. Regardless, it creates a sense of urgency and haste on a time in one's life that is supposed to be of wonder, exploration and excitement."

    blind2limits and I knew it was going to be you. lol

    cat ... lol
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    Jul 05, 2008 11:22 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 said[quote]
    cat ... lol


    PMSL
    Alright, thats the funniest lolcat i've seen to date!!!!
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:42 AM GMT

    Wow, Blind2Limits,

    You have a plateful! Your Mom, God bless 'er, is reacting to the world at large and trying to protect her kids from it. I think there's a lot of fear on her part for her kids' welfare. That part's nice. But don't make her worries your worries. My partner and I have been together in a monogamous relationship for 19 years. I'm a big believer in God, and my hub is an agnostic( believes in something higher, but not sure what). Mom's not right about what you describe as doing things where God is not. God's in you and around you, my friend, but try not to think of God as some personality as so many of the religious do. Think of God like...like..., well here read this:

    " Janice felt her whole self give a great throb of terror and then, amazingly, a nostalgic sense of recognition, then a strange happiness that was plainly senseless. That sensation of recognition bloomed into realization as she knew, without doubt, that God existed, and more, was in her and around her, like the atoms she was made of but even finer than that. Invisible, gossamer, yet as easy to see as her own hand, the Maker was present. Frank shone with it."

    ...among other things I write adult fantasy to express all kinds of things, this one is a bit from a straight romance, but tells it how I see it. Mom could be the Christian that must always be conciously acknowledging God every waking moment, and that's fine for HER. You are you, and your path is entirely your own. Perhaps your anxiety is just a symptom of your own coming to terms with how you and your creator will fit together.

    So, don't be afraid.

    Personally, neither of us (meninlove) believes in the devil. People are evil, not some creature that, by the way, God would have created, having created everything.

    The end of days thing:
    By the way, the bible does say that as long as people are looking for the second coming and all that goes with it, it won't happen, that the second coming is going to happen when NO ONE is expecting it. So I always smile at the people claiming the end is near and hope they continue to do so!heheh

    Does this help? Apologies for being so long winded, but hey, some ideas take a lot of words! icon_smile.gif(and some anxieties take a lot of words, too!)
    -Doug
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    Jul 06, 2008 7:48 AM GMT
    blind2limits said
    My mother began to explain to my brother and sister (Bro-9, Sis-12) how "Hip-Hop Gospel" (Gospel music that has so much of an R&B/Hip-Hop influence that it sounds Secular instead of Spiritual) is far from God's will and an extension of how one can fall out of the way of the Lord. It starts little by little, first with things like music or clothing, then not reading your Bible as much, then not praying as much, then not going to church as much, until eventually you're doing nothing religious at all.


    Tell your mom that before Africans were abducted from Africa and turned into brain-washed Jesus-worshiping slaves for hundreds of years by Europeans, that they had their OWN set of religious beliefs and practices, and music that catered around those beliefs and practices were heavily based on rhythm and percussion, just like hip-hop music. Aside from that, she could have lectured the same thing about disco music in the late 70s, or about rock & roll music in the 50s, or about jazz music in the 20s. All of those genres had unique styles of clothing to go along with.

    I'll take you a bit outside the box right now:

    Before black people were either forced or simply persuaded to become Christian or Muslim, they held their own set of religious beliefs depending on the region in Africa. Their view on the world (i.e. how we die, where we go, who and how many gods there are) were completely different. Reading about their relgions in anthropology class opened my mind to how humans explained death in so many ways and how those various explanations ultimately structured their morals.

    Who is correct, this Jesus bullshit? Or maybe one of the religions in central Africa? Or maybe they're all different interpretations to answer the question "Where do we go when we die?" The take home point you should get from religion is: be good to others as general altuism promotes our species' survival. As long as you are not hindering this general rule, then I don't see any reason why you are living in sin. So go out to your club, listen to crunk-hop, where your pants down low, and just don't start unprovoked shit with anyone ...and if god exists, then god will look at you and say "ehhh that's typical courting behavior for that species at that age in that region. whatevs."
  • GQjock

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    Jul 06, 2008 10:20 AM GMT
    Oy... More Big man in the Sky Crap

    I know that Religion and God icon_rolleyes.gif
    Are a big part of your life
    but frettin' and worrying about every little thing
    is gonna make Blind a very unhappy fella

    This "we must always be doing godlyworks" is puritanical mind control

    I'm sorry but whatever or whomever put me here on this earth did it for a limited amount of time
    with the directive to make myself and as many people I can touch around me as happy as possible
    because if you don't do that ... then what the hell was it for?
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    Jul 06, 2008 10:51 AM GMT
    Your God is Hate, Guilt, and Fear. Do you seriously want to worship that?
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:01 AM GMT
    What a startling insight, how incredibly clever!

    Perhaps we ought to hit the rewind on literally everything that has occurred over the last several millennia and take it all back to the primordial ooze.

    That ought to just about cancel out any horrific social dislocation that man has inflicted upon man (or -insert your entity and/or environment- has inflicted upon -insert your entity and/or environment-)

    Is that the right point in history upon which we are meant to peg our cosmological beliefs?

    Perhaps the right moment when the universe was pure was the big-bang, or before?

    Does Madalyn Murray O'Hare give away free toaster ovens for mouthing this bunkum?

    madalynemurrayohair.jpg


    This kid, in a really honest way, declared his belief in "God", he mentions the "Christ", and the "Gospel".

    He did not ask how he could cut that out of his life like some cancerous tumor, he rather intelligently asked how he might do what he feels he must AND not neglect his spiritual beliefs.

    Then along comes another VERY WHITE GUY who seems to think he is the reincarnation (strike that as reincarnation is a religious belief and, ergo, not to be tolerated under STALINISM) - who fancies himself some kind of Malcolm X (strike that too because MALCOLM X experienced a religious conversion, in prison, going through concentric circles of eccentric to rather mainstream Muslim belief) - at the end I guess it is just more PC crap.

    x30152225717016457.gif

    malcolm-and-muhammad.jpg


    Why is that someone asks for help to tie their shoes and people feel empowered to reply that shoes are an evil plot of THE MAN and we should all go barefoot. WTF relevance does that have to the question.

    As for the BIG MAN IN THE SKY - what does anyone care. This KID isn't shoving his religion down anyone's throat. This isn't Fred Phelps. This is an innocent kid who is trying to be BLIND to LIMITS.

    If your belief system is so fragile that it is limited to what you can see, touch, and taste then that is fine. No one says you have to believe in anything at all. Maybe your right and it is all Starbucks, cellphones, and worm-food.

    What kind of a kick do you get out of trouncing an innocent kids religious beliefs and his open hearted desire to integrate them into a whole and nice life.

    Sheesh
    Terry


    jakebenson said[quote][cite]blind2limits said[/cite]
    My mother began to explain to my brother and sister (Bro-9, Sis-12) how "Hip-Hop Gospel" (Gospel music that has so much of an R&B/Hip-Hop influence that it sounds Secular instead of Spiritual) is far from God's will and an extension of how one can fall out of the way of the Lord. It starts little by little, first with things like music or clothing, then not reading your Bible as much, then not praying as much, then not going to church as much, until eventually you're doing nothing religious at all.


    Tell your mom that before Africans were abducted from Africa and turned into brain-washed Jesus-worshiping slaves for hundreds of years by Europeans, that they had their OWN set of religious beliefs and practices, and music that catered around those beliefs and practices were heavily based on rhythm and percussion, just like hip-hop music. Aside from that, she could have lectured the same thing about disco music in the late 70s, or about rock & roll music in the 50s, or about jazz music in the 20s. All of those genres had unique styles of clothing to go along with.

    I'll take you a bit outside the box right now:

    Before black people were either forced or simply persuaded to become Christian or Muslim, they held their own set of religious beliefs depending on the region in Africa. Their view on the world (i.e. how we die, where we go, who and how many gods there are) were completely different. Reading about their relgions in anthropology class opened my mind to how humans explained death in so many ways and how those various explanations ultimately structured their morals.

    Who is correct, this Jesus bullshit? Or maybe one of the religions in central Africa? Or maybe they're all different interpretations to answer the question "Where do we go when we die?" The take home point you should get from religion is: be good to others as general altuism promotes our species' survival. As long as you are not hindering this general rule, then I don't see any reason why you are living in sin. So go out to your club, listen to crunk-hop, where your pants down low, and just don't start unprovoked shit with anyone ...and if god exists, then god will look at you and say "ehhh that's typical courting behavior for that species at that age in that region. whatevs."
    [/quote]
  • GQjock

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    Jul 06, 2008 11:16 AM GMT
    I didn't trounce his religious beliefs...

    what I told him is to try to be and DO things that make him and the people his life touches as happy as possible

    THAT is living a "godly" life
    denying yourself a Life and enjoyment is in what way Good? Who does that serve?
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:19 AM GMT
    ursamajorWhy is that someone asks for help to tie their shoes and people feel empowered to reply that shoes are an evil plot of THE MAN and we should all go barefoot. WTF relevance does that have to the question.


    Because these shoes do not fit are constricting his feet and he's afraid that walking barefoot might put dirt between his toes.

    If you can not see how badly he is trying to put on a shoe that does not and will never fit then I don't know.

    I see it everyday. People trying all their best to justify their God, knowing deep inside how hopeless that is.

    Anxiety...

    Fear...

    From what exactly?
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:40 AM GMT
    I agree with GQ and Sedative, blind indicated that he wants to get over the anxiousness he feels. What these folks are pointing is that the anxiousness is based on a false premise; the god he fears doesn’t really exist outside the minds of dogmatic followers. However, we all have our own personal roads to travel so some of this anxiousness is good since it causes him to question and explore other options. Blind may decide this faith is right for him in the end, who knows.

    The other major fallacy in this thread is that Stalinism/Atheism stretch. Atheism is a lack or absence of belief, not a set of directives for a ‘follower’ to follow. I've heard it said that is strange to even have a word for it, for instance, what do you call someone who doesn’t believe in astrology? Oh, there isn’t a word. We are all astrology atheists (for the most part, lol)

    Stalin is someone who had no beliefs (from what I gather) and did horrible things. He wasn't moved to murder people based on his critical inquiry or lack of faith. He was operating out of another belief set. That's very different from, say, Fred Phelps who is an extremist following a religious dogma that he views Christianity as prescribing. He believes in Jesus and that's why he does what he does. Granted, all crimes done int he name of 'religion' can't be blamed on the religion necessary, but the ones that occurred only b/c of the religion are on trial. Of course, no one can agree on what the Bible says which allows for all of these interpretations; just another evidence that is the true word of a god, eh?
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    Jul 06, 2008 2:59 PM GMT

    Guys, I don't think any of you should knock each other's advice for our friend Blind2Limits. Isn't it better that he have a whole plate of different points of view for him to choose from?

    Hey Blind2Limits, I think it's spectac. that so many guys here are trying to help you out and from the looks of it, many ( including both of us) have been down the same road as you! Very, very cool.

    Both of us, by pure fluke, come from Roman Catholic backgrounds, which filled us with so much guilt growing up, some days you didn't know how to brush your teeth without feeling guilty. heheh
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:07 PM GMT
    original714 saidThe other major fallacy in this thread is that Stalinism/Atheism stretch. Atheism is a lack or absence of belief, not a set of directives for a ‘follower’ to follow. I've heard it said that is strange to even have a word for it, for instance, what do you call someone who doesn’t believe in astrology? Oh, there isn’t a word. We are all astrology atheists (for the most part, lol)


    Stalinism |ˈstäləˌnizəm|
    noun
    the ideology and policies adopted by Stalin, based on centralization, totalitarianism, and the pursuit of communism.
    • any rigid centralized authoritarian form of communism.
    DERIVATIVES
    Stalinist |ˈstɑlənəst| noun & adjective

    atheism |ˈāθēˌizəm|
    noun
    the theory or belief that God does not exist.
    DERIVATIVES
    atheist |ˈeɪθi1st| noun
    atheistic |ˌāθēˈistik| |ˈˈeɪθiˈɪstɪk| |-ˈɪstɪk| adjective
    atheistical |-ˈistikəl| |ˈˈeɪθiˈɪst1kəl| |-ˈɪstɪk(ə)l| adjective
    ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god.’

    Mostly, in my online experience (it goes back to 1991) the only people to consistently proselytize have been;

    a.) ultra-religious fanatics
    b.) ultra-liberal fanatics
    c.) atheists
    d.) Chucky

    To the extent that directives move in lockstep to a worldview, then Atheism is very much a system of beliefs with a set of directives that follow. I have never met an atheist who wasn't vehement that G-d doesn't exist.

    I will say, in my own defence, that I have no idea whether or not G-d exists, I don't much care, and my questions are in no way existential.

    Actually, my comparison is not between Stalinism and Atheism as much as it is between Stalinism and political correctness. You err to believe that Stalin did not have beliefs. He believed that communism justified mass murder. Furthermore, he was without reservation in putting those beliefs into practice.

    I feel, and this is my opinion, that there are elements in our society who would squelch contrary opinion "by any means necessary" - to borrow a phrase from Malcolm X - a personal hero of mine (a hero because he evolved throughout his life in such a radical and courageous way that those who embraced him as a symbol of hate had to kill him when he no longer served their purposes).

    My own definition of Stalinism is the willingness to commit genocide and mass social dislocation for the purposes of reaching social objectives that may be unique to the holder of those views, and destructive to everyone else.

    While I don't say that every PC Dyke at Berkeley is a Stalinist, I do say that there are Stalinist PC Dyke's at Berkeley who would happily kill me to reduce my carbon footprint (and excessive flatulence) with no more compunction than they would squash a bug. (By the way, that is not a slam at my Lesbian sisters as much as it is an attempt to paint a clear picture using a recognizable social stereotype).

    The OP said "I believe one should be able to step out of their upbringing comfortably. One should be able to look at what they have learned in the past and what they know now, compare and analyze. One should be able to consider their life experiences and decide what or who they want to follow - whether it be no-one, some-one, some-thing, or every-thing. It's the only way to grow as an independant person - to make a rational choice that creates the foundation for everything you believe. And that is a struggle for me."

    If that statement, in its beautiful subtlety and wisdom, were a political manifesto then I would sign up right away.

    GQ - maybe trounced is hyperbolic (I am a Texan by birth). However, you never miss a chance to trot(sky) (kidding) out your Man in the Sky mumbo jumbo. All I said was, believe or don't believe - who cares. That isn't the point.

    It isn't the point that OP was making.

    In the paragraph I clipped he, brilliantly, never mentions religion.

    GQ says "what I told him is to try to be and DO things that make him and the people his life touches as happy as possible

    THAT is living a "godly" life
    denying yourself a Life and enjoyment is in what way Good?

    Who does that serve?"


    That is hard to argue with, though there are those for whom the majesty of rite serves, for whom iconography (much like pornography) serves a specific end.

    My thought is that for as accurate an answer as you have given (consistent with your usual lucidity) it still isn't complete. Pull the lens back from 28mm to 12mm and you see a lot more.

    Sedative said "Because these shoes do not fit are constricting his feet and he's afraid that walking barefoot might put dirt between his toes.

    If you can not see how badly he is trying to put on a shoe that does not and will never fit then I don't know.

    I see it everyday. People trying all their best to justify their God, knowing deep inside how hopeless that is.

    Anxiety...

    Fear...

    From what exactly?"

    In my life I am professionally paid to guide executives and big corporations through extremely painful processes of transition and change.

    It is always easy for me to see the shoe that doesn't fit, and to find the shoe that does (I am a big old queen, and shoe shopping is something I know all about).

    My clients never ever see that.

    They see pretty shoes and don't see their fat calloused feet, or they miss their beautiful feet hiding them in sandals with socks (like the Germans do).

    What I can see is of no consequence, what my clients can see is all that matters.

    They change slowly, through small experiments, baby steps, and little actions.

    Faith, in themselves, and subsequently in change, is a consequence of the actions that they take and not of their buying into a belief system (or of opting out of one).

    The actual distance between oppressive religion ad oppressive atheism is about a nanometer. In my opinion, these extremes are positioned at 23:59:59 and 00:00:59 on the clock. All of the juicy subtlety lies in the hours between 23:59:59 and 23:59:58 of the next bright day.

    My father, rest his soul, grew up in a house of Church of God religious fanatics. He didn't dance or see a movie until he was already at Pearl Harbor.

    In my father's 85 years of life he developed his own belief system (Fantastic actually - he believed that when he died he would be given his own star and a bunch of beautiful women to repopulate a la Adam and Eve - not to distant by the way - from Muslim beliefs in hot-n-cold running virgins in the afterlife).

    I admire my father because he walked away from his oppressive upbringing without ever running, and without ever tripping.

    He married my mother, about as far from socially acceptable as could be imagined, and he defended her for 50 years of marriage.

    My grandmother died at 102 (proof that meanness is life sustaining) and she never mellowed, she got worse.


    I don't believe myself stupid (perhaps I err). I know that Christianity is a compromise reached in Rome (by an Emperor). I don't believe in sprites or lawn-jockeys.


    However, I find sustenance in my own beliefs and I do very passionately believe in the freedom to believe - and the freedom not to believe.

    Neither do I substantially differentiate fanatical disbelief from fanatical belief - they are both extremely tedious and tend to lead to bloodshed.

    I argue in favor of anachronism, of free thought, of love, of equilibrium, of beauty, of depravity, of sanctity, of respect, of virtue, of debauch, of a plurality of G-ds, and of the one G-d. All good.
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    It's my indelible belief that religion is used mainly as a tool of manipulation. People who grew up in the church and still believe what they were taught use guilt and fear to get others to conform to their (often narrow) beliefs about what is right and wrong. And I hate to say this, but your mom typifies the kind of simplistic true believer that church leaders love. The kind that doesn't question anything.

    You should not wrestle with this so much. You have every right to be your own person. You do not have a duty to live your life according to someone else's dictates. I agree that people should be allowed to step away from the teachings of their upbringing. You are your own person. I agree you have the right to determine what you'll believe and who you'll worship (if anything at all).

    The human mind is made to be curious, to explore, to ask questions, and to seek knowledge. Often the church works to contravene this natural tendency and stifle healthy inquisitiveness. You are right to reject this.

    The more you look into religion with an objective point of view, the more you'll see it all seems like mythology, no different than the wondrous tales of Greek and Roman mythology. God and the devil wrestling for the souls of men, the good going to eternal paradise, the bad being thrown into a lake of fire. Really? Why is this something so many people take literally?
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:56 PM GMT

    Hey Global Citizen,

    "God and the devil wrestling for the souls of men, the good going to eternal paradise, the bad being thrown into a lake of fire. Really? Why is this something so many people take literally?"

    I'd say it's because some people need this. They want their questions about existence answered for them. It's easier than the scariness of weightlessness. It's also easier if one can just follow a set of instructions.

    To use a comparison, some people believe the only way to a great physique is specific excercises in a gym. Others find that there is a vast range of activites that can acheive the same result. It's up to the individual. I don't knock anyone who likes the gym because it works for them. I just dislike people saying that say their way is the only way...
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    Jul 06, 2008 4:33 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 saidJesus thought the end of the world was coming soon, too. Oops...didnt happen. So you can relax.


    Although that is definitely not the point of the thread...I think you are interpreting what Jesus said too literally (as matter of fact). If you did that much of the biblical timeline would not make much sense
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    Jul 06, 2008 4:58 PM GMT
    Oh my!?

    I go to sleep... and look at what I've started. icon_idea.gif

    hahaha
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    Jul 06, 2008 5:05 PM GMT
    GQjock saidI didn't trounce his religious beliefs...

    what I told him is to try to be and DO things that make him and the people his life touches as happy as possible

    THAT is living a "godly" life
    denying yourself a Life and enjoyment is in what way Good? Who does that serve?


    Actually that just sounds like a very Altruistic and Utilitarian Lifestyle hehe
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    Jul 06, 2008 5:11 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidIt's my indelible belief that religion is used mainly as a tool of manipulation. People who grew up in the church and still believe what they were taught use guilt and fear to get others to conform to their (often narrow) beliefs about what is right and wrong. And I hate to say this, but your mom typifies the kind of simplistic true believer that church leaders love. The kind that doesn't question anything.

    You should not wrestle with this so much. You have every right to be your own person. You do not have a duty to live your life according to someone else's dictates. I agree that people should be allowed to step away from the teachings of their upbringing. You are your own person. I agree you have the right to determine what you'll believe and who you'll worship (if anything at all).

    The human mind is made to be curious, to explore, to ask questions, and to seek knowledge. Often the church works to contravene this natural tendency and stifle healthy inquisitiveness. You are right to reject this.

    The more you look into religion with an objective point of view, the more you'll see it all seems like mythology, no different than the wondrous tales of Greek and Roman mythology. God and the devil wrestling for the souls of men, the good going to eternal paradise, the bad being thrown into a lake of fire. Really? Why is this something so many people take literally?



    I like your nipping at Deontology (I don't have a duty to live by other's rules but to search out my own IS my duty)

    I agree, (I believe I said this earlier but) this could just be a fear of exploring the unknown and thinking of the negative outcomes rather than the positive outcomes.

    And this is why I enjoy Ethics and Moral Issues.
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    Jul 06, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    blind2limits said
    I agree, (I believe I said this earlier but) this could just be a fear of exploring the unknown and thinking of the negative outcomes rather than the positive outcomes.

    For what it's worth, I grew up in the church and my life was heavily invested in many things surrounding the church, including at one point my career.

    But I'm now a happy apostate and nothing negative has come of it. In fact, just the opposite. I am now more open, more accepting, and more educated about many things than I ever would have been if I'd stayed in the church.

    Then there's that self-worth thing... being gay and being in a fundamentalist church don't mix.