8/30/2015 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Klym ~
"I have no right to judge anyone. It's God's place to judge."
This statement was made by my best girlfriend, who I will call Friend 1, to me and another friend (Friend 2) during a conversation about religion. We were on our annual summer chick trip and were having a delicious lunch at a restaurant just outside of Austin, Texas. This conversation started when Friend 2 stated tearfully that she didn't think she was good enough for god. Now, let me say that her statement completely and totally broke my heart in two because I could so relate and because this friend is the most gracious, kind, and loving person you can imagine. She has overcome tremendous and unfair odds in her life to become a wonderful educator, friend, mother, grandmother, and mentor to many young people who adore her. To think that someone as fabulous as her feels inadequate because of Bible God made me angry and overwhelmingly sad.
Both my friends know that I am a non-believer in Bible-God, so then the debate/discussion began. I responded by saying that religion should make people feel better about themselves, not worse, and that Friend #2 was certainly worthy of any god's love and compassion. (Friend #2 has not set foot in a church in over 20 years because when she was a single, divorced woman she took her three young children to church and was not well received by some "Christians" who thought a single divorced women was a sinner doomed to hell, no matter what. Never mind that that woman was going to school full time and holding down a job to support herself and her kids---trying to better herself. Gee, that's terrible, isn't it? God should hate her, right? What a bunch of a-holes!
Friend #1 began to talk about how some Christians are too judgemental and that they push people away from the love of god because of their self-righteousness and arrogance, etc. Then she made the statement above. Well, in between there was talk about homosexuals and how the church treats them, and then she made that statement, mainly referring to homosexuals.
She's my best friend in the world, but damn it, that statement just infuriated me! I said to her and my friend, "How can you believe in a judgemental god? If there is a god, WHY should he she or it JUDGE the very human beings that he/she/it created??!! Furthermore, homosexuals did not choose their sexual orientation anymore than I chose to have brown eyes and curly hair, so why should god or anybody JUDGE THEM??
Oh.....MY.....GOSH.......I was pissed off!
And Friend #1's answer was this:
"Well, you know your Bible much better than I do, but I have to disagree with you on this. I just leave the judging up to God."
I then, for the sake of our friendship, which I value more than our religious differences, had to just shut my mouth for the rest of the lunch. But I was pretty much angry and upset for the remainder of the day.
This conversation touched on two of my pet peeves about christians. First of all, they have NOT read the ENTIRE Bible upon which they claim their beliefs are based. Secondly, they cannot have a educated discussion about what they believe because of my FIRST pet peeve.
I have told my best friend before, as well as my husband and other christian friends, that when they have read the entire bible, I will then be willing to debate with them. Do you think any of them will read the whole bible? Hell no!! It's just easier to believe what they want to believe than to have to actually THINK about what they believe.
Sorry I'm babbling, but I get very emotional about these things. I don't want to make my best girlfriend sound like a bad person, because she is not. She is the most fun, creative, loving, compassionate, intelligent woman who has helped me through many hard times in my life. But, when it comes to religion, she has this touchy, feely relationship with her god that I just cannot comprehend. When horrific bad things happen, she says that it breaks god's heart. I tell her god must be crying all the dang time then. He should be sobbing continuously and unable, obviously, to do anything constructive in the world. She thinks praying makes a difference----I think it's just a waste of time and talking to the air.
Anyhow, this brings me back to how Friend #2 has been damaged irrevocably by religious people and so feels unworthy and inadequate, no matter what. And, it brings me to the question: Why does anyone want to believe in a judgemental god? If they must believe in a god, why couldn't it be a merciful god who loves everyone and judges no one? Of course then they couldn't believe in Bible-god, because that is his very essence. It's a circular mind game that's there's no seemingly logical path out of... EXCEPT, everyone here at Ex-C has somehow broken the cycle of abuse that is relgion. How did we do it----what made us different? Curiosity and intelligence? Rebelliousness? Sheer exhaustion from playing maintaining the mind games?
After I returned from my chick trip, which was overall great fun except for this one discussion, I felt extremely lonely. All my closest friends are Christians and sometimes I just feel like a freakin' freak of nature. Yes, I go to a UU church where most of my church friends are freaks like me, but still, I felt a deep, deep loneliness in the core of my being. Maybe that comes from desiring to be understood by those closest to me, those who know me best and love me most.
In summary, if there is a god of some kind in this vast, amazing universe, I would choose a loving, accepting god, not a hateful, judgemental god. But, that's just me.