Skip to main content

Without Enthusiasm, What is There?

By Carl S ~

About those 24-hr. news channels. My wife watches them every day. I used to, especially during election seasons, until they stretched out for 18 months. What was once enthusiasm faded to interest, then disappointment, and now those channels are annoying. Time to move on. It's a madhouse out there now, more aggravating than entertaining. News commentators talk every subject to death. Wouldn't it be cool to have a regular series on TLC, The Learning Channel, about atheist families? It's the channel viewers go to to learn about lives they pretend not to care about. It's the perfect place for the evangelical prudes to indulge, without each others' knowing, their curiosity about the godless they condemn. But that's not all. I'm seriously thinking about quitting my commentaries; there's neither interest nor enthusiasm, and I put a lot of labor into them. Maybe move on to something different, somewhere?

Interests and enthusiasms make life worthwhile. When people are “trying to find” themselves, they're really looking for the interests that define themselves, which they've lost or put on the back burner for the interests of others. So, interests and enthusiasms are selfish in the way being oneself is selfish. When they're vibrant, life is also. Without them, things are pretty dull; life is contingent on having enough energy to keep it being interesting. My relatives knew this until their dying days. They went down, as is said of daredevils of the sky, “the way they wanted to.”

The last time I saw my mother was in Ohio. She was 85 years old at the time, visiting with my older brother and his wife. This was a day before she flew back to Arizona. I said, “See you next year,” and she told me that No, she was “Tired of living and I want to be with my husband in heaven.” My mom was always a positive person, tough in business dealings, tender and defensive for her kids, and flexible as hell about their life choices, no matter how “wrong” others thought they might be. But that day she let me know her fading loss of sight and taste, combined with a life she pretty much lived as she wanted to, was ready to be put away for good. Now, she has been gone for many years, along with my brother and his wife. My sister was like her mother, but she also reached that point where she said, almost every time I'd write or talk to her, “I'm tired and I want to die.” When enthusiasm isn't in the picture, time to hang things up and mellow away, yes?

My sister once got so carried away by a radio evangelical preacher that she left her seven kids behind and took a bus so she could run away with him. (He sent her home.) It gets me to thinking about something. I wonder if it's the personalities of these preachers that draw believers to be enthusiastic, and not their God or Jesus, as they claim. It's not inconceivable these preachers with their TV, radio, and mega church audiences, can be the equivalents of rock stars, movie, and television celebrity idols.

Everybody should have enthusiasm. But, as one writer noted, educational systems (religion system included), try to squelch the natural-born enthusiastic instincts of children. A Montessori educational system encourages children to develop their natural interests and enthusiasms. Such killjoys, such wet blankets! We encourage our kids to question, to use their interests for discovering how the real world works. Religious institutions exploit them to be channeled into dogmatic brainwashing. The trusting child does not question motivation. The child doesn't know what “perversion of reality” means. (Come on, how insane can a claim be: washing your clothes in blood can make them white as snow?) Think of how much progress humanity could have made without religious systems sapping the curiosity we're all born with. And can you imagine trial-and-error progress without blasphemous and obscene words? Never would happen. Only the topmost worker in a gothic cathedral could get away with that, and only by muttering to himself. But curse he did, ergo... progress. Every male knows this.

Everybody should have enthusiasm. But, as one writer noted, educational systems (religion system included), try to squelch the natural-born enthusiastic instincts of children.Governments, religions, and other institutions around the world keep trying to suppress and censor free speech and civil rights, curbing or denying enthusiasm. They want us to believe we have purposes to our lives, as long as they suit their purposes. But we're human; our enthusiasm is often at cross-purposes with their desires to control us. The bastards are pushing to make our sexual decisions for us, even forcing legislation to deny us the right to control how we choose to leave this life, for chrissakes! They'd rather have us tortured to death by whatever will inevitably end our lives and/or the hopeless medical intervention we don't want. Let it be noted: One enthusiastic purpose I have to my life is to destroy clerical power; just the opposite of what that “purpose driven life” religion wants.

The way I see it, Christian clergy and you and I take our references from the 12 o'clock hour. It's just that theirs is 12 a.m., and ours is 12 p.m. Growing up in a religion enclosure is a world of its own. The Christian religion tells us our lives begin in the darkness of midnight, and progresses to the sunrise of our own Easter. They preach that death is just the beginning of the only life that counts, since mortal life pales in comparison to it. That's perverse. When religious lives are lived under the dark filtered-by-faith-glass, we are told to grope in blind trust, to follow the leader in darkness through life's unexpected trials and tribulations. Hell, any cult has the same spiel.

If you are one of the 12 p.m. children, on the other hand, you begin living life in the clear light of day, seeing and discovering, interested, enthusing, through thick and thin. Life is a buffet, not a place where you must, under threat of punishment, deprive yourself of its opportunities, its pork, beef, and beverages, and sexual pleasures. Your life's purpose is your own, it isn't a lifelong battle waged to settle a religion's desire for revenge or for conquest. After years of living in all life offers, you get weary, tire out, and then you can go to your acceptable final rest, in peace. You’ve had your time singing in the sunshine, laughing in the rain, of splendor in the grass, and it's time to say “Good night, world.” Interesting, isn't it?


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