12/21/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Ronco ~
I can only hope that my extemporaneous writings this a.m. are as eloquent as those of others visiting this site, as soon as I complete this draft, I'm sending in some moola. And I'm unemployed.
To some, my story may seem trivial, to me, it is not. I guess we could all write the same. So where to begin . . . how about the cliff notes version
#1: Thank God for this site ;-).
#2: A natural desire to follow our programming
#3: The problem of 'bad code'
#4: A new awareness
#1: What a breath of fresh-air this site has been for me this morning. When you suffer from erroneous programming its hard to see reality. When you're disappointed with the lemon peels of life there is a natural desire to internalize and self blame for one's circumstances. And unfortunately, when one is raised on 'christian ideals' there is a tendency to 'blame ourselves for the circumstances that GOD has delivered upon us'. The right question is 'why is this happening and what can I do about it' the wrong question is 'why is GOD allowing this to happen to me, I've been a good person. The Christian mantra would have us answer, you have not been obedient enough, worshiped enough, studied your bible enough. God is teaching you a lesson, you need to draw closer to him. The lunacy is perpetuated. Because life involves suffering and God is perfect, then we must be responsible in our deficient attempts at faith, the cure closer allegiance to the cult.
#2: We are not so different from the animals seen in nature films; we are imprinted. Depending upon the christian culture within ones home, this degree of imprinting can vary, be it, as in my case, episcopalian to some more extreme fundamentalist orientation. But we are imprinted and we tend to return to these roots when times get bad. We try to resolve 'the cause' for our misfortune, where we went astray and as Christians (former) we look to our faith for answers. For me, I have been revisiting my programming. Earlier this year I did a sort of life tally (I'm 50 and its been work, some good, mostly difficult, lots of disappointments). I recently expressed to my fundamentalist brothers' family the question, "Why would I want to spend eternity with the guy who sent me here?" and more generally, "[if god exists] why is there so much suffering in the world?" This site really opened my eye's to the lunacy of it all. Specifically the thread on "The Christian Cult: Brainwash and Mind Control in the Name of the Lord?". For years I believed in this God-centered programming, I now reject all of it. Well not all, I still want to be a good, kind, thoughtful person, that programming will remain; but I no longer subscribe to some 'rewards based' life philosophy.
#3: We as a society need to start recognizing that the fruits of our efforts lie in the education and establishment of the beliefs of the youth and the masses. We must recognize that a philosophy based exclusively on competition or cooperation is flawed. Both are required. I had sociology this summer and it too opened my eyes to the reality of economic stratification both domestically and internationally. How easy it is for the wealthy Christians of the world to believe God has 'blessed' them for they are good. There a numerous cases of the blessed being evil and the disadvantaged being good. Education is the source of enlightenment, not some divine power cell in the sky.
#4: A favorite argument of these Christians is the question, Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar, or a God. I won't write of this a eloquently as some, but to me, there is a simple answer. Jesus was a brilliant liar, a man who was raised Jewish and experienced a divided world (Jews and Non-Jews) where salvation was bought. He was a great teacher who redefined (at his own choosing and not Gods) the definition of salvation. Placing the responsibility for 'salvation'; which I'll define as life without guilt, on the individual and demanding that individuals love one another and of course, because his audience was generally pagan, they must love GOD too. I'm not so keen on this second part.
We now have the knowledge to see this basic fact. Just as Divinci was a genius and hundreds of years ahead of his time, so was Jesus. Our responsibility is to recognize the appropriateness of (at least some) of his teachings without falling victimized to the crazy cult tendencies of the fundamentalists. We do have a responsibility to ourselves and one another, but we cannot afford the luxury of relying on some mystic power cell in the sky who by all counts if he exists (which I doubt) is either an asshole, absent, asleep, or none caring.
We are responsible to ourselves and one another; we should learn to live with tolerance in a spirit that supports mutual fulfillment for ourselves and one another.