Friday, October 30, 2009

Faith, and sex, and god in the belly of a black winged bird.

I didn't blog yesterday because I pretty much had the office to myself so I used the day to watch both Kill Bill movies and several episodes of Futurama. So, as you can see, I was busy.

Last night we went downtown for a Halloween party that our friend's company was throwing at a club. I don't thrive at parties but Leah loves to dance and its really cute to watch even if I don't feel like dancing.

Yesterday, on the radio, they were talking briefly about angels and more specifically, guardian angels. I remember hearing that the concept of "guardian angels" isn't scriptural, so I looked into it and its really not. A lot of people were calling into the radio station saying that they believe in angels and they believe everyone has someone watching out for them and other feel gooderies. Why do so many Christians think they've got guardian angels when their holy book doesn't even tell them that they have. It definitely mentions angels, but the concept of having one assigned to every person is something else entirely. We've all seen the "Don't drive faster than your angel can fly" bumper stickers. The notion is heavily present in our culture.

I get it, its comforting, but is it good to be comforted by things that aren't really there?

Once upon a time, I found myself with a lot of suicidal thoughts. I arrived at this place, largely, because I'd spent the lion's share of my time on the idea that god had a plan for my life and was involved to the extent that he was lending a hand to make that plan work out, and I was seeing for the first time that it was a real possibility that that was not the case. I didn't leave the faith immediately. No, that was just the beginning. I fought tooth and nail with reason to hold onto some form of the idea of a comforting deity. Now, years later, I look back at that time and realize that I didn't get through it because some guardian angel carried me, I got through it because those were the moments that I began to realize that I had to take responsibility for myself. (Also, I had great friends and family and a crush on a girl who would become my wife.) My life, my happiness, my failures, my successes, these are all things that are my responsibility. When I do something bad, its not because the devil tempted me, its because I can be an asshole. When I do something that's noble or selfless, kudos to me.

In my old age, I find myself taking issue with any religion teaching people that they are somehow inherently flawed from birth. "You're born a condemned person who can't possibly be good on your own, only our god can SAVE you." I'm, of course, not saying that people are perfect, but not being perfect doesn't mean that we're flawed in our design (for lack of a better term). No religionist would tell you that raccoons are born flawed and until they hear about Jesus(or Mohamed or Xenu) they're doomed. If there is a god, all the evidence points to the fact that he/she/it/they spent just as much time and care on the raccoon as they did on the human. To me, it just seems like an unhealthy way to think about one's self.

But...I could be wrong. What do I know?


  1. An acquaintance of mine just had a baby and she posted on her blog an excerpt from a letter she wrote to the baby before she (the baby) was born. Your post today reminded me of what she said here:

    "I see your goodness, already, it's inherent. You have not done anything in your life yet. You are the definition of innocence, yet that is not the source of your goodness. You have made no kind gestures. You have shown talent at nothing. You have not collected a single possession. But you are already good. I want you to always remember this.

    You are blessed with the spark of life, and the universe wants you here. You have the right to live your life just being. You don't have to earn the higher love. It belongs to you. Cultivate your belief in that, and you can help others understand it as well, because there are a lot of people in this world who feel lost and unloved because they don't know that they are already good.

    The jellyfish has no brain. It's an extremely primitive life form. It exists, and we do not demand that it prove to us that it should exist. We accept the jellyfish.

    We also do not generally go around questioning the rights of other people to exist. We don't say, "Why is she here? What good has she ever done? What gives her the right to walk down the street?"

    And yet we do that to ourselves. We wait to receive notice that we are loved and good instead of believing it already. We try to excel at things hoping that we'll finally feel worthwhile after we do, forgetting that we were always worthwhile"

    I thought this was beautiful.

  2. Sounds like that would have been a good day to complete your home buyer course. How's that going?

  3. Humans are unfortunately born with a sinful nature within us. Yes we are born innocent, without sin, flawless if you will. But no one has to teach a child to lie or disobey. That is in our nature. However, we are still loved by our heavenly father and are still very much worthwhile. A parent's job is to teach their children to make wise, morally right decisions. And to know unconditionally that they are loved.
    I love you son. I always have and I always will.And I thank God that you are still on this earth with us.