Skip to main content

Misery Loves Company

By The Angel of Mercy ~

My grandmother grew up in the deep South where her kind were hunted like wild animals, murdered mercilessly, and treated like garbage. Though she is far removed from that place now, the remnants of the abuse she has senselessly suffered due to the color of her skin has formed the very core of who she is. When she tells me stories from her childhood, none of them are ever happy --- ever. Like a gay person who refuses to accept and love herself, she is trapped in a mental cycle of self-loathing narcissism. I don't think she'll ever escape.

She is happiest when describing the glorious day that she will go to meet the Lord. Dreams of heavenly gates, billowy clouds, and gold-plated streets fill her mind as her eyes close and tears form. I stroke her imagination. I tell her that God will be pleased with her service and that her name is surely written in the Book of Life. I am lying.

I go with her on Sundays to that dreaded place filled with the living dead, just to hear her sing. The people there are more concerned with who's wearing the nicest clothes than they are world peace, love, the war in Afghanistan or anything else that actually matters. I drag my husband and son along with me. We are both grateful when our toddler is too rambunctious to sit still. It gives us an excuse to leave the sanctuary during the awful sermons.

I want to dream with her. I want to assure her that her dreams will come true, even if I believe they won't. When you love someone, you will do or say whatever it takes to make them feel good --- even if it isn't true. I hope that my lies bring her comfort because, even if she lives another 30 years, I will probably live much, much longer. The fact is, she will die --- sooner than later --- and I will miss her terribly.

No matter how hard anyone prays, once she is dead no one in our family will ever get to hug her again. By then, it will be too late to appreciate her for who she is, what she's been through, how her story has helped shape us all. She will be gone --- her existence ended as though she were never born.

I am so grateful that I have the chance to love her now, in the twilight of her life. I was so fortunate to have been the one to give her a great grandson who is the reason she lives now. He is her joy.

When my grandmother dies, I will be sad to see her go, but I am not disillusioned by the fantasy to which she so eagerly clings. You see, because she has suffered so much in real life as an actual human being who I know, and can smell, touch, see, hear, and love, I am living the American Dream. It is because of people like my grandmother, who believed that life could be better for their children and grandchildren, that I get to see the spectacular sights from my vantage point upon the shoulders of giants. She, and other civil rights and abolitionist heroes, fought so hard for my freedom and I do not take it for granted.

No god --- not Yahweh, not Jesus, not Santa Claus --- has ever done anything for me that could even compare to the sacrifices my grandmother has had to make in order for me to live a good life.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro