1/14/2017 | Share this article: View CommentsBy David Barker ~
As a child, like most children subjugated to religion today, I was indoctrinated in the religious beliefs of my parents. It was nothing sparkling with magical insight, no epiphanies or God filling my heart. Neither was it a torturous affair for me. Well, outside the torturous realities of any, or I should say, most, any kid who wants to get out of bed on a Sunday morning to get all "dressed up." In any case, for anyone who may be reading this and was wondering; my exposures to Christianity was as typical as most Americans are today and for that matter, most everyone else's, regardless of the whereabouts of their birthplace. It's just the way it is. The way it almost always is. Nearly 100% of people are born into their religion. Plain and simple. I know there are exceptions to this rule, outliers on the curve but the facts, however, do not lie. Facts are still true whether you believe them or not.
Science is truisms, whether you believe them or not.
My birth placed me exactly in a hospital in Anaheim, California, August 5th, 1968. Because of this birthplace, I was almost 100% assured of my "Christianity". I lump the thousands of "Jesus" religions together. Catholicism shall be placed here as well. For fear of the absolute dull drums in going through this ubiquitous possibilities list, I shall just say Christianity.
At the time of my birth and throughout my childhood, I obviously did not have a choice. No fault of my own, a mere child and really in the vast scheme of things, neither was it my parent's fault or their parent's fault or..and for fear of drowning in genealogy etc.. etc...etc... no one else's "fault." All along my lineage, and yours as well; no one really ever stopped to ask any real questions. They all just followed along with what they had been told was true. Every single one believing their fathers and mothers TRUTH as the true truth. I was never exposed to the literally hundreds of other religions or the thousands of options of Christ religions. There was never an openness about the differences or the numerous belief systems. These were not presented as available to me at this point in my life. I was too young and too innocent and naive to know any better, or any worse of my milieu. The people I knew and trusted, the ones that protected me, they were telling me this Abrahamic God was the way, the truth, the light. This God, this Jesus, this Holy Spirit was to be my savior, my eternal life. All I had to do was accept this truth, ask this all omnipotent, omnipresence of a God into my heart, and ask for forgiveness for unknown sin I had committed. I had??? If THEY said I had, well then, it must be true right? But the answer was so easy. The fix was even provided for me. How easy and convenient was this? I was so in on this. Why would I not be? Why would anyone not be? Including you .....am I right? And especially right, if you're an impressionable young boy. Who was I but a child to disagree or to think otherwise?
Everyone around me subscribed to the same beliefs. All my friends were going to church and worshiping this Jesus. Their parents and their parents' parents and even their parents. Generation after generation, passing down this knowledge to the fortunate, the anointed ones, the blessed ones. How lucky was I to be born here in the good ole United States? Thanking God my birth was not in the Middle East where almost the same amount of people believe in Mohamed (1.8 BILLION people). My mysterious soul granted a heavenly bliss simply because I was born an American. I wonder today if my fervent attitude towards religion would be as vehement if I had been born to Muslim parents. To Hindus. To American Indians. I predicted a resounding, yes! "What ifs" are a pretty easy game to play. The list of religious possibilities expands to every geographical location in the world where the differences are completely polar in their theology or conversely, the nuances sharing almost imperceptible differences. The thousands of religions acknowledged today are reconciled only by its dogma and the interpretations of its members. And should you chose to disagree, or find fault with any one of that particular religion's tenets; just shop around; you can find a religion that fits your desires or your idea of what God should be... to you. Religion stretches its ubiquitous tentacles in all directions, in all faiths and all beliefs. Religion is forever designed to entice your mind and magnify your insecurities. Religion fathoms a solution to your sins. Its ease to locate on its shiny surface is perfect for the blind faithful yet for the vast majority of religion, a dark, deathly and unscrupulous attempt is proffered to disguise its falsities and grandiosity. Religions encroaching teachings and laws set oblivious snares for new recruits and leaves its members inculcated to lies, contradictions and fabulous stories all for naught but a drain upon humanity, all in the name of their gods.
I remember with vivid clarity the learning in Sunday school of the awesomeness of knowing this God. I forsook any other gods; my God was a jealous God. Retrospective, as I tend to be now; it seems kinda silly. An all powerful God would be jealous? A human emotion, certainly not encountered and an absurd characterization of any God.
The Bible allowed me to read passages filled with all the great inspirational stories. It demonstrated Gods agape love to me. There was a caveat to this. IF I obeyed and praised. And worshiped. Lots of worship as a child. Wednesday. Sunday. Sunday night. Saturday specials. School Monday through Friday. Lots of worship. Lots of discipline to ensure this praise. I can attest to the rods of assurance for conformity on this matter. And that's all I'll say about my constant assurances.
The Biblical stories of wars and enemies being defeated by this God only reinforced how awesome He truly was. David and Goliath, Moses, Noah, Abraham, David, the walls of Jericho, Babel, people into pillars of salt, endless yarns of victory for Gods people and victory, eternal victory, for me. Least I forget the pièce de résistance and the epitome of them all, Jesus Christ, my lord. These characters, along with the multitude of other "role models", were taught as wonderful truths. The wildest and bizarre stories of Adam and Eve, the flood, raising of the dead, mass destruction and killing of thousands, resurrections, and revelations never once crossed my mind as anything but the truth. After all. The masters of puppets, the priest, the pastors, the fathers, the reverends, the clergy, certainly knew the truth and would never propagate such absurdities without it being the truest of truths. I remember wanting my parents to be proud of me. I wanted to be a good Christian boy. I wanted to prove I loved God. He was in my heart. Wasn't he? I still possess the picture of my boyish self in an oversized white Tshirt with the words boldly emblazoned in permanent marker exclaiming for all to read,
"I LOVE GOD" down the front. I memorized bible verses as part of the educational curriculum at my new private church school. Impressive amounts, honestly, for a child. I decided my love for Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit could only be confirmed by being baptized in front of the church congregation. I have the picture to validate the festivities of this event as well. Everyone was so proud!! The indoctrination completed, I was good to go. But there was a problem. There was just this gnawing, this underlying feeling that perhaps, what if this is all just made up? After all, a man slaying hundreds of men with just a jawbone of an ass was a pretty far-fetched claim. Was I the ass for believing this as true? Or was everyone else the ass for telling me this or even worse, for believing it? And then cutting this man's hair rendering him powerless. And the whole Adam and Eve thing and the creation and the flood and the progeny of species. Twice!! And, And and And. And so many other stories seemed perhaps, far-fetched and fantastical. As an adolescent, I was truly scared. I was questioning my assured and presumably safe eternity. I decided once again to read the Bible in its entirety. The first five books, the Pentateuch, mesmerized me once again with Gods power and wrath!! Thank goodness after suffering through this book again that Jesus came in the New Testament. Jesus took the sting of facing the Old Testament God away. Jesus toned God down. But he was God. God sure seems bipolar looking back at it all. I struggled with this trinity, conceptually speaking. God is Jesus and Jesus is Gods son but they're really one. Never mind throwing in the Holy Spirit. Whew. A lot for a young boy to deal with. I guess that's why you trust the adults to tell you what's right and what is wrong. Just believe they said. Just trust and have faith. Don't think about it. It's the right way. We've always done it this way. And with the threat of eternal damnation in a lake of FIRE. let me say it again. A fucking LAKE OF FIRE; who would argue against this? Perhaps the shallow end wouldn't be so bad??!?
When I was about 10-11, I had been riding my bike barefoot around a stump we had been burning down, and of course I lost control of my bike near it and I put my foot into the coals. Excruciating pain showed no mercy for days on end left me certainly wailing and gnashing my teeth. Some lessons, as my father taught me, are definitely learned the hard way. There was absoluteness. No Way did I want an eternity of this kind of assured hell fire and brimstone to be felled upon me. A hell which was often described in church sermons, Sunday school and the classroom. With my doubt neatly and soundly tucked back in, the assurance of my blissful eternity was championed. I plodded along, memorizing the cherry picked parts of the Bible and the cherry-picked verses and reading its cherry picked stories of Gods greatness and love for me.
As I began earlier, there was just one problem; I was still a skeptical little boy or more likely the inquisitive kind. I just liked to know answers to questions. One might certainly attest to this back in the day. This call to nature gratefully and thankfully lived within me. As I grew older I was fascinated with entomology or simply insects and bugs. I would spend hours in the woods just watching and exploring. I'd pull bark off old felled pines and watch with morbid curiosity the teeming life of me. I'd watch ants systematically go about their business, oblivious to my presence. In my mind, I was their God and I could be their destroyer or through my grace, provide for them. Being a god was cool! But how hard it must be to keep track of every living thing, to be aware of even these insects under a dead tree in the middle of nowhere Noonday, Texas!!! Hmm. That's Hmmmmm; (skeptically intended). Off I would race back home with a collection of specimens. I can't express the awe I held for my small microscope and it's revelations to me. I had gotten my microscope when I was around 8-9 years old. I still have that thing to this day, some 40 years later. It's continued possession demonstrates to me the impact of how much it had on me and how this one device; its expression of exquisite beauty presented to me in the small oculars under my eyes. This one scientific piece of equipment saved me. From it arose a nurturing of my awareness of wanting, to discover the why, the how, the what, the who. It raised even more questions inside me. With my microscope, I made temporary water slides and some permanent slides of everything I could imagine. Everything I could fit under the square tiles of glass. I wanted to know and to discover. I looked at the microscopy of everything I could under it. The opposite spectrum of fascination was bent skyward. I would steal away at night to look at the moon and stars as best I could with my telescope. Ever hopeful to see a shooting star. Constellations littered the country night sky. The old gods of the Greeks and Romans and the Norse and Assyrians and Indians et al...were looking down upon me.
Constellationally speaking of course. I was intrigued with the minutiae and the grandiose and everything in between of what I thought God was a part of. Yet again, there remained, planted within me, the seed of doubt of my God. And it was still growing. And it was about to break through its shell. And I was scared shitless.
I don't know exactly the point where I decided that all religions were just a bunch of people following blindly for no other reason than faith and geography.
FAITH : SIMPLY THE ABSENCE OF REASON. IT IS PRETENDING TO KNOW SOMETHING YOU DO NOT.
I guess if I had to choose a point of my revelation it could be in the remembrance of my first biology class at Tyler Junior College. 1986. Wow. Truly a lifetime ago. Or so it seems. The impact of the introduction to the scientific method was exquisite in its truth. It was the epiphany I was searching for. The truth or at least a way of discovering it. A path that would explain or dismiss the evidence before me. A truer way. Truer than faith, most assuredly and obviously and rationally.
This scientific method opened my eyes to real critical thinking. It was the first time I could say "That's the Truth, and say it with a knowing of speculation even to the Nth degree to say "as we understand it now. " There are no absolutes in science. There are no metaphors or allegorical meanings. There are facts and there is data. Certainly inferences can be made but in the end, the interpretation of data is empirical. This is science. Science was not saying it was right just because it said so. It was right because it proved itself so. That's how evidence-based rationale takes place. As my scientific knowledge was flourishing I became more cynical and outspoken about my disbelief in any organized religion but I held onto an agnostic belief. After all, what if I were wrong?? Fire sucks remember!! Especially for all eternity. I always did wonder why it's expressed as ALL eternity. Seems rather redundant and meaningless to quantify eternity with ALL. As if there is a limit to it.
My agnostic expression was a continuation of the indoctrination of my youth hanging on. But for a thread.
I continued my scientific studies and became ever more skeptical and pessimistic about a God. I was angry about being duped and taught this craziness this silliness. Santa clause was a lie, Easter bunny, tooth fairy, boogie man, all vestiges of pagan and ancient myths stolen and propagated by the Christian faith as their own. Again this fact would elude me well into my 30's.
I challenged myself to read the Bible yet again. I had to try and find the why. There was a willingness, a call to sacrifice my very supposed soul and to set aside everything I had been brought up to believe. In my mind; I struggled immensely with this question of my faith. You're talking about eternity in heaven with Jesus and everyone you loved. At the time, I never considered the Jim Bakers. The Tammy Faes. The Swaggerts. Every Joel Olsteen. The Hitlers. The Jim Jones. The Thieves. The murderers. The rapist. The sexual deviants. The vilest of human existence saved but through forgiveness and Gods graciousness. Each one spared the eternal vacation at the Lakehouse. Every pious preacher presented as a God fearing seer to the masses and of course requiring alms or tribute to help fight those opposed to The Church. Even back then, as a young boy, I knew inherently something was certainly not right there. Why anyone would want to spend a second with any of these people or the Christians whom tortured and killed people by the millions for God seems like an eternal hell to me. The Catholic Church, if I might add, deserves a special place in hell if there so be one. The medieval torture devices ascribed to those men and women who challenged their God or failed to comply with absolute acceptance of the church raises a level of disgust and exponential hatred in me toward these individuals. This hatred applies to anyone killing, torturing or infringing upon the rights and lives of any individual for their God. To this date, as I pen my thoughts it burns inside me. I truly do hate with inexhaustible energies these men and women and would find sweet pleasure to revel in their demise. To affix to them, the same devices of torture and death and injustice they willingly and piously inflicted or inflict upon others.
And so it continues.
The prejudice and harm which religion has caused to mankind, the setbacks and loss of discovery and wonder suppressed by religion is untold.
I digress as I opine my own discoveries and truths.
I return to my biblical readings and try to set aside the vernal vigor of awesomeness I had felt for God. I refused to hear the voices of pastors and priests and fathers and youth group leaders and my friends and their parents and anyone else. I wasn't being rebellious or trying to be different or shocking. This was about me, searching for the truth, my truth. I know those around me felt uncomfortable and pressed or offended at times and I'm sure I quite often presented an aggressive or ridiculing stance. Mocking religion, I was struggling and ignorant about everything. I was trying to find a truth which I felt had not been honestly presented to me. I was slowly learning how to scientifically deduce information. I was defenseless to the question of WHY? I was learning how to apply logic and to be rational and reasonable. I was ignorant and/or even unaware of the specifics of other religious paths. All I knew as truth was held in absoluteness that by not following or even doubting Christianity was a sure pathway leading to eternal damnation should you travel upon it. As Brian Johnson of AC/DC sings, "If goods on the left, then I'm sticking to right, I'm on a highway to hell". So I read this book, the Holy Bible, yet again. Three times now..in its entirety. I read this inspired by God, written by man book. I was never learned of its inception or how it came into being. To be canonized under duress and disagreement. Excluding other superior writings or omitting anything the king and clergy found to disagree with their politics. And it worked. The Bible was literally patched together over centuries, lost in translation and missing parts and from other alleged works. A literary disaster with blatant errors and contradictions and no possible realm outside of science fiction could claim as possible. Inspired men?? A monetarily, political and power hungry play by those involved. There is, I have discovered in my vast readings and research, an entire group of men far more eloquent than I ever could aspire to emulate whom enunciate with exquisite prose these teachings and facts of biblical history, fallacies and degradation of its content upon we humans. I implore the reader who has not read these authors to seek these truths if you have not. A few of my absolute favorites and my foundational structures outside my own logical conclusions and deductions are:
Robert Ingersoll. Ingersoll is a true favorite of mine. Despite the antiquity of his writings, to this day they ring true and sound. His reduction of religion is often verbose and tedious in its intricacies but his masterful truth is poured out upon page after page of logic and reason and often profuse narrative. There are so many lines and passages which strike soundly upon the bell of truth. His endless and poignancy of religion is a stark reality to those who wish to truly think and actually hear his revelation. I quote his line, "If the doctrine of eternal damnation is true, let me share the fate of the unconverted; let me have my portion in hell, rather than in heaven with a god infamous enough to inflict eternal misery upon any of the sons of men." Ingersoll, while daunting in his description of religion and its effects, and defects it has had on mankind is an amazing author and orator.
Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, and Christopher Hitchens (The Four Horsemen) are enthralling authors. I might add, sometimes their exquisite logic can become profound to the average reader and admittedly, even to the advanced, no doubt. However, I continue to find them all, excellent in their varied approaches to dismantling the disease of faith and the psychological drain and enslavement for those who want for the need for religion.
Stephen Hawkings, an amazing physicist, and thinker. I strongly recommend "A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME." So well written and presented, one can actually digest these incredible sciences which surely appear daunting in their concepts to most everyone.
Neil Degrasse Tyson: Perhaps the greatest champion of science and intellectual reason today lies in Neil Degrasse Tyson. A multitude of YouTube videos are available to view and more importantly, listen to and THINK to. He is today's master of intelligence and logic and I hold the utmost respect for him.
Thomas Paine. A founding father, Thomas Paine's "THE RIGHTS OF MAN" and "THE AGE OF REASON" should be read by every man and woman on this planet and are but the finest insight into the nature of humanity.
Bill Nye, the science guy. Another modern day warrior for science and logic. Bill has some great reads and also can be found on YouTube. By far and wide the most amazing video is his debate with Ken Hamm, the illogical and epitome of cognitive dissonance, creationist.
Steve Ebling. For a twist of decadent sarcasm and in your face biblical destruction, the HOLY BIBLE: THE BEST GODDAMN BIBLE (the Book of Moses) by Steve Ebling is my ultimate favorite. I can't recommend this book any more exuberantly or with eternal applause and laughter. Outside of Steve's sarcasm, you truly will discover the truths he is displaying to you in such amazing tone. I have read Steve's book several times and I am excited to read his next project on the New Testament soon. The other authors I have mentioned here will make you THINK. Here you will find the true TRUTH. Here you will find the true ENLIGHTENMENT.
I no longer allowed this last thread of my childhood brainwashing to enslave me.I was never told about the horrors within the Bible and of its dawning religious history. It's attributed politics and vileness and violence perpetrated and perpetuated by the likes of all mankind in the name of this holy book held no reigns to its malefactors. I would unfortunately not discover these truths, the historical facts, 'til my adulthood. I continue to be sickened with the knowledge I gain almost on a daily basis of the atrocities committed in this Gods name. I had read this bible yet again, front to back. Every word. Sometimes it's message or content so begrudgingly boring and tedious was irksome and despairing. The temptation to just quit it held strong for me but to no avail. I was stunned at my expanding enlightenment, my childhood wonder at such lies and impossibilities and contradictions were made clear in the form of this written text. As I read it, I hear it confessing, so obvious its ludicrousness before me. Every chapter, when truly read for its content, were pure absurdity and mythological nonsense. How anyone could believe any of it as factual and a God-inspired work was abhorrent to me.
As the years passed by I kept my feelings to myself only confessing such a belief to those closest to me. East Texas was and to this day still harbors the most extreme of Christian hatred and bigotry toward non-Christians. I can attest to this first hand. In my atheistic genesis, I was insecure in my knowledge of epistemological presentation. It was again just a lack of my ability to form a non-threatening relationship with those who chose to question me, to challenge me. I have found, however, as my strategies and my approach to these opportunities have changed. There is an awakening, a beginning I have seen. I am part of a difference, a movement, a chance for humanity to exist without religion. Or God. I know this will not happen in my lifetime but knowing I was a part of it. Satisfaction is what I feel. I have had several people come to me, asking more about why I feel so adamant, so alive about my truth. I eagerly explain why this reality this push for common sense and rational thought and free thinking and atheism are not the evils so rabidly spewed by the religious. I relish any debate, confrontation or challenge. I am now prepared and will continue to prepare for an ever stronger opponent. I now know. I will champion for the truth of reason and logic and refuse to bow or secede my position against superstitious ideological dogmas.
In my early 20's and 30's I began working in various health care related industries. For reasons, which perhaps have molded me to who I am, there is an encompassment to an innate desire to help others. Sometimes to my detriment I might add. This innateness led me to work for the Mental Health Mental Retardation center in Tyler. Working with the MHMR clients and manning the suicide hotline at night opened my eyes to the internal struggles within the psyche of the minds of people being wrought with psychological affliction. I have worked at several post-traumatic head injury rehab facilities where people were forever changed by the trauma and insults to the brain. I later became a nurse at Houston's Texas Heart Institutes Cardiovascular ICU, the sickest of the sickest patients came to me. I watched people die almost on a daily basis. Our Sciences struggling to keep them alive one more day. One more hour. One more minute. The procession of distraught friends and family was soon to become nothing to me. Just life bowing out to its master. Death. It just is. After the ICU I progressed onward to my becoming a nurse anesthetist which I have endured for the past 14 years. I must admit an easy endurance. I am surrounded by some the funniest and raw individuals I could ever meet. While the vast majority are Christian indoctrinated, I have found a solace in knowing, secretively and sadly for this, of others who share my same disposition for this God. I think it's well described as to my position I hold. I willingly exclaim my truth. It is after all. Freedom. It is after all truth.
I have seen unbelievable tragedy in my various roles and lifetime of living. These areas of my professions and life have been demonstrative in expressing the facts of life. Facts, that this earth, its unforgiving destiny, has been spent upon us humans, and it carries us to our demise. The all-encompassing death is an assurance for all. I have seen fortunate humans riding this assurance with a smile to the very end, suffering only the knowledge they will not escape their finality. All the while, others suffering immensely to their torturous end, screaming for their God to help them and for naught of assistance save their bodies inability to prolong the fight or struggle for its life any longer. Their God, useless to them. As always useless God has been, so always useless it shall be. Useless and nonexistent. What kind of God is this? A pathetic, sad expression of faith. The survivors of wasted breath in prayer and pleadings to a deaf God are left in the wake of deaths kiss. The family and friends in despair for their loved ones consoled by the faith of religion that the condemned from life are now in a better place. A crutch to make reality more palatable. Mimi is in heaven now! I can't wait till I'm dead to see her. I say to this, "Don't forget to say hello to the man who raped her and did untold atrocities to her before slitting her throat ear to ear." Isn't forgiveness and salvation awesome I ask?
During anesthesia school, the wonders of the human body were learned in excruciating detail. I was able to continue my quest for knowledge and details and absolutes. The wonders of the human self were magnificent to me. They always have been. The pharmacology. The chemistry. The biology. The pathology. The physiology. Everything about life in all its life forms was present. Every Ology was sought for answers or insight. I lay awake at night knowing this quest for all knowing is unattainable and it saddens me. I want to know! So I read and I read. And I read. Despite knowing there is no end to it. Until my end, I will discover and learn all I can. And not knowing; that's okay. At least I have tried to understand and find the truth. I didn't JUST HAVE FAITH. FAITH is for cowards and charlatans. Faith is for the weak and naive. Faith has no place in humanity. It has done nothing but bore the wickedness of one man against another and to justify the evils toward one another. Some people have posited to me, "ISN'T ALL THAT SCIENCE PROOF OF A GOD??"
No!!! It only validates the wonders of 14 Billion years of evolution and scientific facts. I know scientifically how and why we became humans. It was never because of some divine process or miracle or creationism. It truly was and is and are the sciences. It's randomness in chance and coincidence. The odds. Everything happens for a reason. And sometimes that reason just happens to be the odds. However remote and fantastic they may be. It is certainly not an ever lost and waywardly silent, noncaring and nonexistent God. I have learned to tell people. "I don't know." And not knowing is okay. But to claim it must be God since we don't know has been going on since the dawn of mankind's becoming self-aware of forces outside its understanding. These unknowns, slowly over time, being explained away through knowledge and discovery. Through repetitive process. Through the scientific methodology of men and women willing to search for the answers. And certainly no thanks to religion. My two favorite authors write to this. Robert Ingersol, "The originality of repetition, and the mental vigor of acquiescence are all that we have any right to expect from the Christian world. As long as every question is answered by the word "God," scientific inquiry is simply impossible." To say God must be doing it is to play the proverbial God of the gaps and as Neil Tyson Degrasse rightfully states, "You can ascribe the unknown to God but each discovery of the unknown to the known takes it away from this God until there is no need for God". I believe this need for any God or gods has long passed.
My progression through my teens till this day has been filled with trying to understand religion. To look at all their various forms and customs and stated dogmas, nary a one has left me inspired or feeling there was a supernatural breath to it. Every single one, linked to power and money and death and hatred. Even the most docile Buddhist are guilty of murder and torture for their faith. L Ron Hubbard once said "to become rich, you don't write Sci-fi books. You start a religion." He was right. He was right to the tune of Millions. The followers of religion succumb on naivety and irrationality and an absoluteness of conviction no matter how bastardized by its processes of attained falsehoods and inexplicable truths. The religious proclaim triumphantly the worse characteristic of humanity ... this...faith.
As for the myriad topics and information I possess, I still try to discover what drives the cognitive dissonance of more than 2 Billion people to believe in Christianity. Why another 1.5 + Billion people believe in Islam. Why close to another Billion people pray to Vishnu and the plethora of Hindu gods. Why are the gods of old religions, once worshiped as the truth, reside in obscurity and ridiculed mythology today? Why do the religions of today, who have stolen from ancient religions and customs and laws and texts and beliefs and stories; why are they given a pass? Why is religion so sacred you dare not question? Why is it those billions of people will die or kill for no other reason than a belief in another unseen, unheard, uneventful, nonexistent God? Just as I have mentioned. The billions of believers in the major religions have to claim the obvious assertion that they are all man-made. Anyone claiming their God is the greater has not done their true research, their due diligence. The easy lie is better than the hard truth and this makes it all the more convenient, especially when you have another Billion or so believers confessing the truisms of your claims. I like to pose a few questions to Christians at opportune times.
- What are you going to say to Allah when you stand before him? (One must stretch the boundaries of logic to a make-believe scenario to assert the question but this isn't the point here.)
- Why do you not use the same logic you suppose to other religions as absurd or not true to your own?
- What if you are wrong? Your claim of eternity is nothing but hopeful wishes where no truth can ever be relied on. Never confirmed. Never to be known. I say it sounds very similar to their Gods qualities. The usual defense of Christianity is to quote some verse out of the Bible. And when I challenge them to cite any other book, just one, as more evidence for their Gods, they are left dumfounded and quickly revert back to stating the Bible as their evidence. This being the only thing needed to prove anything. Absurdity!!
There is not enough time in my exasperations to even begin to mention the factual contradictions which abound in this book the Bible. The Christian apologist ALWAYS has an answer regardless of the fallacy. Once again I find myself wandering off my plight to score my bearing as straight in its order.
When I turned 40 I felt a change in me. I was invited to my nephews "baptism/confirmation". Let's just call it what it is. A final indoctrination or brainwashing ceremony. For his sake, I hope the finality of this wears thin sooner than later in life. I will assuredly be available if he ever wishes for someone to opine truth. So, being the good son and not wanting to make an issue, I went to my 13-year-old nephew's confirmation/baptism. And just sat there. THINKing. And THINKing. I do a lot of THINKing; And as I was watching this spectacle of "Pretending to know something you don't" called faith, that was proceeding in front of me. I thought, "This child is making a decision based solely on untruths, absurdities and the delusions of peer pressure and from the delusions of his parents and grandparents." I understood. I had experienced it myself. Probably at his exact age. The credulity was boundless. An entire row of children confirming their allegiance to an unseen, unknown and absolutely irrelevant God. I told my mother. I think that it's sad that Lawson has never been exposed to any other religion or the possibility of there not even being a God. But I understood exactly what Lawson was probably struggling with.
My 40's have been my "Age of Reason". My true freedom from the enslavement which is religion. Things that were important to me were no longer a priority. My parents were getting older. Their friends were getting sick and some even dying. Nothing like people you know and love dying to bring ones own self-perceptions to the reality of his own mortality. I recall several defining moments in my life which held and to this moment completely hold implications to my thought processes of this life. My closest childhood friend Corey Trahan at about 13 years old, dying after his go-cart ran under a parked car, and perhaps the most devastating and even at this moment tears fill my eyes; the suicide of my best friend Charlie VonRosenberg. He haunts me to tears more often than I'd wish. I know there can be no God who would allow the type of anguish this has caused me and those who loved him. In the end, and in raw reality, it was purely the science of psychiatry and the emotion of despair which kindled his selfishness.
The finality of God in my life and the end point where I knew there was no God was the almost unbelievable account of my two closest college fraternity pledge brothers. My truest friends. Both losing their spouses in their early forties. I no longer would accept any God that would allow this. The justifications of this being Gods will and being a part of his plan was absolute bullshit. Fuck you God, if your existence is there. And if there is a God which would allow all the pain and suffering and disease and cancer and pestilence and torture and despair and violence and sadness and murder and rape and death of people I love; I wouldn't worship it anyway. And it will beg for my forgiveness if I am before them. All the pain and suffering in this world. I see this on a daily basis.
There most assuredly is not a God. I no longer allowed this last thread of my childhood brainwashing to enslave me. I had read voraciously everything I could to make certain I was logically making this stand. All the major religions, I studied and found myself engrossed in their details only to discover their absurdities and similar insults to science and logic and reason. This reinforced to me they were all, every last one of them mythical and man-made. I ask Christians if they have read their Bibles in its entirety and shockingly very few have. I could not fathom not reading in its entirety. The very book that contained your eternal salvation! WTF?? Not memorizing it in its entirety. Not proselytizing the need for everyone to find its glory. Not following it's every nuance and laws and demands. Not prepared to die for its every word; knowing that by doing so your martyrdom was assured. Not studying it daily. Not living by its proclaimed morality and rules and demands as written by these inspired authors. You are going to base your belief and faith in an eternity and Not read this scripture and heed its every word? The hypocrisy in my noted NOTS is an endless and shameful insight to the vast majority of Christians. And for those who do live by the very words of this book, fanatics, radicals, and zealots they are called, and for certain. And rightfully so. To follow the majority of laws and allowable ideas would find you in prison today. A book filled with the utmost intolerance and misogynistic preaching, a second only to the Koran. Why is a book so true and the infallible truth and word of God, why does its message not span the ages? Why does the church surrender each year to the interpretations and allowances of the times? Why do most religions want to fit in and find an acquiescence to the technology and morality of the times? I will tell you why. Power and money. It is all religion has ever wanted for itself. A free ride, built on guilt and sin. Religion creates the sickness, defines it for you. Insists you are infected and then convincingly guilts you into buying the cure. And the cycle continues generation by generation. In Christianity alone, over two thousand years of human wastes for nothing. It's a disgrace to mankind to be spent on this perpetual lie. After all, there will never be a witness to this glorious God, no one lives to tell about its truth. How convincingly handsome the farce of Faith. Faith, because someone told you it was the truth because someone else told them it was the truth and so forth and so on back to its cult inception is utter nonsense. Far too long religion has been given a pass in its hatred and decomposition of human rights. It's infringement upon the free will and logic of the innocent. The more I studied the notions and contents of these major religious texts and the exudate of their bombastic exploits were simply deplorable and suffered the absolute ignorance of any science fact.
I was and am embarrassed for my friends who actually subscribed to these religions. I felt sad, they were being enslaved by such a disgraceful and disrespect to basic knowledge. A shame to disguise the bigotry and hatred to those which do not believe as they do. The murder and torture of innocence purely in the name of a God spurned an absolute hatred in me for religion. I knew at this point I was to be a firebrand for free thinking and logic and at the same time being a decent human. I felt alive for the first time. Truly free. I still to this day can not express the absoluteness, the almost ecstasy of this freedom. I didn't have to blame God or feel consoled in how my friend's wives deaths were somehow Gods greater plan. The fact that I was sad for Brian and Randy and the absolute sorrow they felt is just plain human emotions brought on by a chemical process in the brain. The scientific facts: Brenda died of lung cancer and Sunny died of a hemorrhage of the liver and that was the reality of the day. It was just pure shitty luck to have fallen outside the bell curve of life. No superstitious reasons or to punish Brian or Randy. It just happened. What are the odds of this happening? Astronomical, but 100%. For the last 3-4 years, I have openly claimed my atheism. I'm not frightened by this exclamation. I do not hide this fact. I stand my ground and respectfully decline to participate in the silliness and antics of pious illogically driven individuals or to pretend to know something I do not. My wife of 27 years asked me why I feel so strongly. Why I care? I told her. "Lisa. It's all a convoluted trick, an untruth made to enslave the sheeple and generate power and wealth for the wolves. It's one big lie to control and manipulate the unsuspecting. It is slavery of the mind and It is simply not right." So many deaths and so many advances in society and science have been strangled (literally) in the name of almost every religion. I have to tell my side. I have to fight for the truth. If I can get just one person to really think about why they have faith in all these trappings. For them to realize how they have been lied to. To incite an awareness of facts. Then I will be satisfied in this victory. I hope this number is much higher than one and I know this is already truth.
Science is my TRUTH.
Think. Truth. Enlightenment.
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