Thursday, May 04, 2006


I was raised without religion. My father was hostile to religion. We did do Christmas and Easter, though. Culturally hard to escape those. My mother had been Baptist when they married, but he forced her to stop going to church. The lie used in our childhood was that he "got lonely" on Sundays when she'd take the first born (my sister) to church -- so she stopped. This fact, plus what I've observed of her through the years, inform my belief that my father is my mother's religion. I am not hostile to religion, unless someone tries to assert that I really need theirs, in which case I neatly shove that bull-pucky back down their throats. I've thought about the message of the major religions: love, tolerance, and peace. I find the message worthy, however much contemporary religion does to undercut that message. I feel that there is a legitimate realm for spirituality to influence our lives and actions. Mine comes from within, and selects what it resonates with, picking out the bits of nourishment that survive the rivers of religious poison that drown our world.

From what I have observed, religion can help certain individuals. This is not broadly the case.

Since I have been blogging about my illness, I have attracted a couple of Christian proselytizers. They seem deaf to my objection to a god who withholds anything in the supposed afterlife from someone who was once just a baby and then grew to be an imperfect corporeal being, based on the religion they chose in life. Despite the centuries of the doctrine of damnation and hellfire, these contemporary proselytizers would like to blame the victim and pretend that the individual is at fault for withholding themselves from Christ.

Here's a typical threat from an email:

"[M]y most sincere desire for you is that you and your family will live for eternity together in paradise. I do not want you to have to think for one more minute that when you draw your last breath on this earth you will never see your dear wife and children again."
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