The candle-lighting ceremony is getting brighter and brighter.

I have been struck by all the liberal voices rising from fellow graduates of my ultra conservative twelve grade school.

My class graduated 27 students. I’m not sure it broke the 50 student mark for many years. I think it does now.

But at the time, all 27 of us professed a devotion to fighting liberal values, to opposing secularism in all its forms, to being vocal advocates for evangelical conservative thought.

It was the modus operandi of the school. And we marched off the stage with our diplomas and tassels with proud fists clinched in the name of Jesus H. Christ.

It always struck me how history classes back then would bash nazism and Hitler for its push to attract school-age children so that when they grew up, they’d be mindlessly anti-Semitic. It would be all they knew. There wasn’t a shred of irony casting a shadow over teaching that concept all whilst pummeling our heads with conservative ideas desperately hoping they’d stick. That we’d infiltrate our communities as leaders, preachers and politicians, armed to the teeth with confidence in anti-evolution, anti-secular, pro-religious battle tactics.

We were proudly abstinence only, anti-gay, anti-secularism, anti-humanism, anti-atheist and anti-science. Six day creationists. “If God is all powerful, he could have done any thing written in the Bible.”

So we were literalists.

My class was 27, but others were somewhat larger and others were smaller. My brother’s class was a little bigger, I think.

But because of its size, we knew about everyone there. I’m friends with people who graduated ahead of my older sister. On Facebook, I get to see their kids and even some grand kids. There’s one dude who I text with from time to time. He sends me stuff his dad sends him encouraging him to take his son to church. He rolls his eyes. “That’s my ex-wife’s job,” he says.

He claims no allegiance to church and he has traded all those values of old for new ones. It’s validating, because we can swap stories

Most of the folks who ended up leaning liberal are male. But a growing number of female voices is getting larger. One woman, who graduated three years ahead of me in my brother’s class, just posted this:

The writer of the shared piece, Jennifer Abel, is also a reformed evangelical. You can read her entire piece here. The whole thing is worth reading.

I LOVE that more voices from that era of my life are coming out in support of real Christian values. They aren’t disillusioned by party over country. But what I love more is that there is a growing number of fellow graduates who are women.

If I were a woman, I would be completely blown away that any person with Georgia O’Keefe floral anatomy, contain ovaries and a brain in their heads, would take a black pen and fill in the box next to Donald John Trump for President of United States of America.

I’m a man, have manly urges and thoughts, and I can’t stand for Trump’s sexual history, his blatant disregard for women, calling some nasty, while praising beauty in others. Pictured with Jeffrey Epstein and literally bragging about his exploits on hot mics or on radio shows.

He’s the poster child for creepy men. And Biden is creepier because Trump and his minions said so. I’ve watched the videos painting Biden as a creepy child fondler. I gotta say, while wince worthy, it pales in comparison to Mr. Trump’s admitted and alleged sexual perversions. It’s like saying that God is better than Satan. But the Public Relations for God forgot to edit out all the times he acted like a genocidal maniac. There are entire blogs devoted to this topic and when a person starts looking at it closely, wow. Just wow.

This graph can be found in this Wired article.

But, damn, reading more and more of my fellow grads calling out support for the Democrat Candidate for the President is such a relief. It feels good to see a growing population of people who aren’t falling for the president’s evil charm.

I totally recommend Jennifer Abel for anyone with half a devotion to seeking out Truth. For seeking out a Godly way of celebrating life. Because she’s speaking what should be spoken. She’s writing what should be written. Here are some recommended reads (here, here, and here).

So go. Go read. Get out of here. I’m just a nobody with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Jennifer, she’s the real deal.

11 thoughts on “The candle-lighting ceremony is getting brighter and brighter.

  1. I am curious about a few things regarding this post. Hope you don’t mind a few questions. Why do you think all your classmates are becoming or have become more liberal? It may not make sense or matter to you, but how old are you?

    1. I don’t mind your questions.

      To your first inquiry, I am not claiming all my school-age friends are becoming or have become liberal. I’m pointing out a growing number, especially females who have been empowered by a chauvinist formerly in the White House.

      But if it wasn’t clear in my post by posting an example of it, then I’ll explain it in plain terms: the growing outspoken voices of liberal ideas and thoughts has grown significantly especially by women on my feed.

      I am a solid 45.39 years old. How old are you Mr. Mayo? Your blog indicates a youthful arrested development.

  2. I see on the subtitle of your blog is the word, “discuss.” I am very wary of speaking with people regarding the subject you write about and many other related issues. So if you don’t want to discuss, I’ll walk away and you can delete my comments, and pretend like I was never here. I am sincere in my request for information about your thoughts here, but questions are often perceived as hostility. I say all this just so you are clear on my wariness. I sense a slight hostility, but I will take it as you clarifying and being complimentary.

    I am 51 and saw a similar experience with a lot of my classmates, although mine was a Catholic background in the heart of Mormon country, Salt Lake City, Utah. Coming to trust Christ as my savior 25 years ago and seeing all the transitions from that point makes me curious as to how people come to their ideas, especially coming from a conservative, evangelical background. I think many of my classmates rebelled against the entire culture of Utah like my Dad who wanted to let everyone know that he drank, smoked and swore; meaning, he wasn’t Mormon.

    I consider myself a conservative as opposed to a republican, and could hardly stomach Trump. Do you think it was mainly the last 4 years that changed the people you know? Some of the things you describe about your school experience is exactly the kind of thing I think turns away people from the faith, Christ, evangelicalism, or whatever you want to call it. Christian authorities teach to challenge the culture or do things in a republican or conservative way thus identifying yourself as Christian. I believe that a lot of what we teach about what we should look like or wear or do or not do or who to vote for doesn’t look much different from the world, and they don’t see the irony, like your observations of history classes.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment, ignore, reply or delete as you wish. I’ll move on.

    1. I wished I would have seen this comment yesterday. I was telling my wife about you and your blog last night.

      To answer your question in your last paragraph, I do not think that my friends were transformed by the last four years. The transformation I sense from my peers is one of a lifetime of growth and change. The friends I have who seemed to retire our conservative past have a college degree or better, they were open to ideas other than the ones we were force fed as kids, and they made changes to their views over time, not in the last four years. The last four years, however, gave power to voices that may have been quiet before.

      Re: hostility, I genuinely appreciated your comment and questions. I appeared hostile, because I thought I was clearer and answering your question seemed redundant. There’s an angry part of me that hates repetition.

      I took a look at your blog and couldn’t help but notice our similarities. Music, cooking, and the clear mansion-sized real estate that religion/faith/god/theology occupies in our heads. I, too, like to use subjects inspired by Facebook posts/memes to create posts here on this blog.

      Weird segue, I walked completely away from faith in my mid-twenties after a long love affair with Jesus, the Bible, and evangelicalism. It was not a sudden move, but a timeframe that includes a buried life of doubt and curiosities as a kid.

      I understand why you call yourself a conservative rather than a republican. It’s a trend. My conservative friends and family say the same thing. My dad especially. Although, to be fair, you probably equate conservatism with your faith and not necessarily your view of fiscal responsibility. And maybe you do, but I imagine more weight is given to faith over fiscal ideas.

      I identify as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I call myself a democrat. It’s not with great pride, as I’ve voted both parties in the last 25 years.

      While I don’t think it’s necessary to identify as an atheist agnostic for the same reason that we do not call people a non-Astrologer or non-Jewish or Non-Catholic. But I can easily identify with the atheist camp because I do not believe there is a good reason to accept the Bible, the Koran, The Book of Mormon, the ideas of Buddhism, the theologies of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, or any god or gods mythologies.

      I cannot give you an argument against God or gods either, as you cannot demonstrate proof of God without staking a claim that the Bible is the infallible Word of the creator of the universe.

      I read one of your posts and laughed out loud when you responded to an atheist meme about proving Jesus exists. You wrote something like, “As if the proof in the Bible isn’t enough!” To the point of the meme and many atheist comments, Jesus/God could dispel the rumors of his existence quite measurably, but he chooses not to without some kind of spiritual recognition. He chose appearing 2,000 years ago in a time without ubiquitous cameras on phones, without a notable level of intelligence and one of the most illiterate periods of history in a middle eastern landscape to reveal his “awesomeness.” Really?

      The problem between you and me is that I want to have a conversation about the world in 21st-century knowledge terms. You want to talk in a 2,000 year old language of miracles and a man who turned 5 loaves and 2 fish into a meal for multitudes. A god man who flew into heaven and plans to return one day and save you and those who commit a thought process of inviting a spirit man into your heart. You want to stake claims that a dusty book holds more understanding/wisdom about the world than the developed understanding of life in a scientifically-informed world. You want me to believe that two naked people in a garden ate a piece of fruit, that that disobedience was punishable by death and an afterlife of hell until that petty act of punishment was bridged by sending himself to pass through the vagina of a virgin, live a miraculous life, get murdered and rise from the dead and that that knowledge and acceptance gives the lucky few the right to pass from death into heaven instead of hell. If we can’t agree that that story is complete bullshit, then we’re never going to have a reasonable similar view of the world.

      I don’t claim my story is better than yours. I claim that it’s more advantageous to view the world in terms of what we can see and touch. I can’t see and touch Jesus’s wounds, so why should have agree that your claim is true?

      We are at an impasse because of the weight given to 2,000 year old claims that God wrote your book and therefore is perfect. I have no god to trump your God.

      Yes, you probably think science is my god. However you could kill all science. You could show me all the proof and I would say, Yes, you’re right. Science is dead. It’s complete bullshit. But that doesn’t change my mind that Jesus is the savior of the world.

  3. I apologize for my perception of hostility, I am wary as I said before. It is interesting to me that a man in Chicago is talking to his wife about my blog. Weird world. I am glad that you are open to conversation as I do seek out why others think the way they do whether they agree with me or not.

    Ever seen a netflix film called “the social dilemma”? It speaks about social media constantly attempting to get our attention. We are the product, it tells us. And in that it feeds us the things we want to see. We assume that those who disagree with us have seen the same information we have, and consider them idiots for not understanding the way we do. It makes me realize a lot about how people are reacting to the “enemy” forgetting that he is us.

    In saying that, I’ve seen a video lately of a man speaking on a college campus and answering some questions from the audience. A student asks him about his racism. He begins by talking about all he has seen around the campus claiming his racism and to protest him or shut him down. He goes on with some other commentary regarding the media’s opinion of him and ends with, “have you heard anything that is racist tonight?” The girl says, “I have not heard anything explicitly racist, and for that I am thankful.” And the video ended.

    My first thought was I wanted to see his response to her comment. “Well thank you for stating what you didn’t hear explicitly,” he says semi-snarkily and continues, “what about implicitly? Did you hear any implicit racism?”

    We can have a high regard of what is or isn’t explicitly demonstrated, but we can sneak in the implicit stuff and quietly mutter in the corner about what was implied. I see people talking a lot about what someone implicitly said. They get in trouble by losing their job, their friends or family for something that they didn’t really say. Although I agree that many things are meant and said by implicit language, we need to communicate. “When you said this, did you mean…?”

    It sounds like you are implying that once you get a college degree, and get smarter, you leave all that religious stuff behind. Is that what you are saying? I know a lot of people who would be offended, or at the least, taken aback at that idea. I have Christian friends who thrive on philosophical discussions that leave me behind, so I take no offense, but wonder at that idea. You do know there are many brilliant scientists, doctors, philosophers and such who embrace the Christian faith, right?

    I also see a major amount of thoughtless fervor for the faith. That is my major concern. Moving from Salt Lake to the Bible belt made me realize how tenuous their faith is. They fight without really knowing what they believe. It makes them look ridiculous and are not the kind of people who represent the rebellious truth-teller that drew me to Christ in the first place. Christ only lost his temper at those who played at religion, gaining for themselves and having power over those who would listen to them. We loose our temper at someone who mocks Jesus by using an unknown middle initial “H.”

    Christianity is not the only ideology with blind followers though. There are those kind of people all over the world of many different stripes.

    Sorry, I do plan on writing more, but my daughters want to watch some shows with me. I could copy and paste later, but maybe you’d appreciate a cliff-hanger. It’s like I’m writing a blog post or something.

    Thank you.

    1. Hey Mark,

      I let my work distract me from responding. This blog doesn’t pay shit for bills, so off I went. I thank you for your generosity of time responding here. And I hope to get to several of your questions/points.

      You wrote: “It sounds like you are implying that once you get a college degree, and get smarter, you leave all that religious stuff behind. Is that what you are saying? I know a lot of people who would be offended, or at the least, taken aback at that idea. I have Christian friends who thrive on philosophical discussions that leave me behind, so I take no offense, but wonder at that idea. You do know there are many brilliant scientists, doctors, philosophers and such who embrace the Christian faith, right?”

      I do not believe I meant that a college education = leaving religious stuff behind. A college education was certainly a springboard. It still took years for me to come to accept that “religious stuff” had no place in my brain as valuable. I clearly am not past faith as it still occupies a huge part of my headspace.

      You wrote: “You do know there are many brilliant scientists, doctors, philosophers and such who embrace the Christian faith, right?”

      Yes. D’uh. No question that there are many scientists who claim belief. Francis Collins is a current favorite. I’ve urged young-earth creationists to give him a bit of their time, because the whole YEC movement has hurt Christianity as a whole.

      I really have no problem with being convinced of a deity. Our minds want something bigger to explain the inexplicable. But when someone like me reaches a position of it’s okay if everything cannot be explained, deities no longer are needed. Sometimes the best answer to the questions is “I don’t know.” I don’t know if there’s a god. But to claim one of them wrote or divinely inspired the Holy Bible demeans the idea of god.

      To be clear, my problem is associating the Christian God with the one true one and everything else is false.

      I hope your daughters enjoyed their papa time.

      I’ll jump to the other response now.

  4. Just a few other things in response to your previous comments.

    I do equate my conservatism to my faith. It seems the thing people should do. We vote by our conscience which is guided by our faith. In regards to your comment regarding fiscal ideas. I believe that many of the church’s benevolent ways have been given to government responsibilities. In some way we thought they can do it better.

    It is interesting that you say there is not a good reason to accept the Bible over other religious writings as you say you were schooled by those who would hold fast to the God of the Bible. It again makes me wonder at the goals of the school you attended. Was their goal to propagandize? Or did it in fact make you think, question and help guide faith through reason and evidence?

    I am glad you admit to the fact that you cannot prove the existence of there not being a God, however, there is lots of evidence of God outside the Bible. Again, my doubt comes in to play as to the voracity of your school raising thinkers instead of skeptics. There is general revelation through creation and conscience. Since we can twist those ideas of God’s character we do need special revelation: the Bible.

    Just because God chose to reveal himself as Christ in a time where we couldn’t record it with cell phones, does not mean it wasn’t real. I rely on the testimonies of men, and their records of the events. I can go into textual, historical, philosophical or a number of reasons for understanding that what Christ claimed was true. So what would be proof for you? What did your schooling miss that helps you to doubt all the evidence there is for Christ?

    What’s wrong with miracles? What’s wrong with believing our savior will return and make everything right? What’s wrong with trusting in something that is thousands of years old? To me it makes more sense from what I observe in the world around me than any other philosophy within the past 50 years. Christianity has been compared with an opiate or a crutch, but to that I say, “So what?” Isn’t the atheistic view you have of the world something you rely on? Something that helps you make sense of the world? All the things you say of your understanding of the Bible is not mine. Which makes me wonder… What did they cover?

    I hear famous Christians speak on their “deconstruction” of their faith saying things like, “no one ever discussed – doubts, evil, the violence of God” or whatever it was that was the key to their unlocking of their deconstruction. Were they that ignorant or unobservant of what they really should have been seeing?

    Science is not a key to unlocking deconstruction. We all want an excuse to do what we want to alleviate the guilt in our lives. We even have a pill to get rid of that. So when we begin saying science over faith, why does that have to be? I ask myself. You observe science in the worldview you want to see. I observe as the miracle of the way things were spoken into existence. Crutch? I need all the support I can get when it comes to how horrible we can be to each other. And if you need that crutch to explain what you see without going back to a dusty old book, that is your choice. I don’t need you to be something you don’t want to be. I am simply humbled by the fact that our paths have crossed somehow, and it gave me opportunity to think and speak on things with someone of a different view. I hope someday you would see trust as I do and become the person better than the school intended, but that’s not up to me. That’s between you and God. I hope the best for you.

    Mark

    1. You asked, “It again makes me wonder at the goals of the school you attended. Was their goal to propagandize? Or did it in fact make you think, question and help guide faith through reason and evidence?”

      Have you ever heard of “Understanding the Times”? It’s a curriculum developed by Summit Ministries to teach high school students about six major worldviews and how Christianity dominates them all. It was propaganda with the promise to teach students to “think.”

      Before that, my parents were responsible for pushing me through the paces to strive for excellence in light of a christian ministerial life. We were incredibly active in our church and I was incredibly prolific in proselytizing the Christian Gospel using methods that we were taught at school and at church.

      Please try not to diminish my education as lacking thoughtfulness or promoting skepticism. I’m not sure about your past, but we were taught to “think” and to be skeptical of every other world view except our own. Our own views were off limits. But pointing out the weaknesses of every other ideology was and still is an incredibly popular position for Christianity.

      The main difference to my perspective now is that Christianity is not off limits to critical thought.

      You wrote, “[T]here is lots of evidence of God outside the Bible.” By all means, provide said evidence. You mean sunsets and the magical miracle of a universe that seems too perfect to be true without leaning on an explanation of the mystery of God? Yawn. That’s not evidence.

      There’s nothing wrong with miracles other than they don’t happen like they did in the Bible. Ain’t no men with Herculean strength that is removed when his hair is cut. There are no examples of fish and bread multiplying in any form. No so-called biblical miracle exists. Yes, people wonder why their cancer went away without too much doctoral aid. There are no real documentations of exorcisms, control over nature, resurrections, or healings. There are no walking on waters. There are no burning bushes or God’s fingers carving words into stones.

      The biggest miracle we have is iPhones, ways to help cancer victims, transplants and telescopes, etc etc. These are things that were developed by man. The miracle that I could get behind is replicating the stuff that happened in the Bible, but you cannot. I cannot. No one can.

      I’m not going to bang out more criticism of your faith. Yours is yours. And I am not going to worry about taking that away from you. I WANT you to have faith. Because without it, apparently your life carries very little meaning.

      I will say this, and I don’t know if I’m repeating myself, but I probably am. My view is not buttressed by science as truth or not. Evolution and science could destroy itself. God himself could come down and go on national TV to say, “Science is bullshit. You’ve got it all wrong.” But that is not the foundation for my absence of belief. Christ himself could walk into my office and let me finger his wounds, and I would remain unconvinced that the idea of his existence and what he provided me as “grace” is impressive. There is NO situation where I would value a dad sacrificing his son for the greater good. There is no justification for God to murder his children except Noah, his wife, sons and their wives, because he just couldn’t control them enough to make them believe in him any longer. On top of that, he wants to convince me that Noah at over 500 years old and his sons, who were would have been near or over 500 years themselves, miraculously spawned the entirety and diversity of every human that exists today.

      This isn’t skepticism. It’s observational. I’ve never observed a 500 year old. I’ll never observe one. I’ll never observe a 500 year old having sex with his 500 year old wife. Yes, you are free to believe that you are the descendant to Noah thrusting his putridly old penis into his 500 year old wife, her getting pregnant some 475+ years after fertility is known to cease but in very few cases, and then Noah’s wife beyond the fragility of any known woman carried children to birth … without a relatively close occurrence happening in modern life, I’m quite comfortable on the side of, “Oh come on! You have to be kidding me.”

      If we are to believe that God, in his enormous wisdom, stood idly by with arms crossed in the late 30s to mid 40s while Nazis tortured, killed and abused six million Jews, because Adam and Eve disobeyed God in a Garden, issued evil into the world, and some acts of man are too difficult for him to intervene in for the greater good, that’s just awful. If children are left to suffer in our country or how many others from disease while god stands arms folded allowing it happen because, disobedience of the so-called first humans? That’s miraculous? That’s worthy of investing one’s time into?

      It’s not for me. I think my stance becomes less subjective and more objective once you spell out the criteria surrounding belief vs. non.

      But let me return to your stance, I love that you’re a believer. Please don’t stop. Yours is a good fight. I’m not being sarcastic. I hope you can, in the very least, see my perspective. It’s like watching Star Wars 1 to 9 and saying it’s a documentary. Anyone in the world who heard that would find themselves disbelieving. But the ones who fall for it have a long row to hoe to convince anyone else it’s true.

      I’ll leave you with this, Conspiracy Theorists, like flat earthers or UFO believers love to keep moving their goal posts around. We live in a time when over 1 billion photos and videos are uploaded to the social medias, yet no one has been able to produce anything of clarity regarding a UFO. And the “proof” of flat earth is incredibly weak. Christianity is somehow excluded from Conspiracy Theories, because it’s older. Everyone — but scientologists — knows Scientology is bullshit. And everyone but mormons know that mormonism is a load of crap, because it’s demonstrably false. But the longevity of Christianity gives it legs to stand on. You wrote that you believe in the testimony of the biblical authors. And there are loads of responses to that, including the idea that the first-person witnesses were long dead by the time the Gospels were written. But you don’t accept that so it’s superfluous to bring up.

      Why don’t you believe in Mormonism, or Islam, or Judaism over Christianity? Why do you reject any number of belief systems? And not the one you’re in?

      I feel hypocritical because I returned to criticism. Apologies. This is a weakness.

      Take your time responding, but I’ll do my best to continue the conversation.

      Jeremy

  5. Up until the end of what you just wrote, I was going to say, “Fair enough” and leave it at that. But you said to take my time in responding. I am amazed that you are still wanting to hear from me. I appreciate people who have made up their mind and accept their view of the world. I’m not really sure where to start. I guess I’ll start at the end. I chose Christianity because it makes the most sense out of what I view of the world. I was initially attracted to Christ because of his rebelliousness, because of the call to deny myself. It was because my doubt in Catholicism (of which I grew up in) ever being enough to “get me to heaven.” I saw myself as poor and miserable because I thought too much of myself and what I didn’t have. It was the only offer that expected nothing of me to please the creator of the universe, where every other system depended on what I did.

    Does this make you yawn? It was your statement above about yawning that made me think just to walk away. How can anyone look at the complexity of the universe and yawn at the idea of some being creating it all, and bringing about so great a salvation? I can’t. And I don’t expect you to. I expect nothing and am not surprised at what non-believers do or say. It is Christians who surprise me, but that is another story. I look at what people call evil and suffering in this world and I don’t question God’s lack of response, but to me it only proves his existence. When we question the existence of evil we are saying there is some standard, some ideal we can see the world lacking. It is that desire within us that is the measure God put in our hearts… We make judgments on what is right and wrong without thinking those judgments may collide with someone else’s view.

    But I wonder at my responding to you. Have you not heard this all before? Are these not questions you’ve examined before? Have you not made your choice? What is it I can really do for you? Is this just an exercise in futility, or is there something deeper you need answered that no one addressed previously? I can see the reasons behind your mockery and bitterness. I’ve been there. I’m just some idiot in West Plains, Missouri, working at a warehouse, drinking margaritas with my friends on the weekend, married to the same woman more than half my life, and part of a small church that may or may not be slowly dying. I can’t keep up with my blog. I barely make it through the day without thoughts of running away from it all. Who am I to address a thoughtful, artistic, intelligent, atheistic man such as yourself?

    I am a Christ follower. That is all I need to know about myself to stop worrying about my fears, my failures. You have, in part, inspired me to continue my pursuits in apologetics, For that I am grateful, I just need to figure how that will all play out in my life. Knowing me, it’ll be another couple of months until then.

    Thank you,
    Mark

    1. Oh gawd. I didn’t say the magnanimity of the universe isn’t impressive or “providential” or even suggesting a god of some kind. I’m saying that the argument for god based on the universe or sunsets is boring. Suggesting that the being associated with starting it all inspired or even wrote the Bible, now that’s the biggest letdown … at least for me.

      I’m happy to inspire you to pursue apologetics. I don’t think you’re that good at it, based on your blog or your comments here. You’re falling in line with a lot of people who aren’t good at what they do.

      I’m not sure what I said that indicated I am set or “know” what my world view is. I know what it isn’t.

      I cannot prove that God didn’t create the universe. I cannot prove that he did. What seems entirely unlikely is that he was somehow or in anyway involved with Jesus. Jesus’s character was, provably so, inspired by many men who came before him. The apologetics invented diabolical mimicry to explain it away.

      So many of the stories of the Bible were inspired by existing oral traditions. That’s not hard to “know” because so much has been written about it. Just because you don’t recognize it doesn’t make it untrue. It’s like claiming gravity didn’t exist before Isaac Newton. The stories were prevalent for Jesus-like men. Christians got lucky, called their version Yeshua and convinced enough people to accept it. Just like a child can be convinced Santa is legitimately real. So too is Jesus.

      A man walking on water would be impressive, would it be proven true. But it doesn’t make a god or savior out of him. A being sending himself through the vaginal canal of a young woman who the ignorant oral story tellers mistranslated into “virgin” whose best technologies were carts, hammers, mud bricks and rudimentary garden tools who cannot be trusted to have accurate eyewitness testimonies to someone who they never met … writing about a dude who is executed and comes back to life because two people ate fruit and that same murdered idiot who called it a crime called his death the fix for that crime … that’s impressive?

      How is that? Please, oh please explain, oh apologetic master.

      You support a stance of untenable madness. You should expect to be called out for it. Jesus told us to expect it. And consider it done with me.

      And yes, I have heard what you’ve written before … not limited to my own mouth and scribblings. I have argued from your perspective and won several hearts to Christ. I loved Christ with all my heart and “leaned not on my own understanding.” I have prayed the sinner’s prayer hundreds if not thousands of times. I have eaten and drunk the body and blood of Christ. I believed it to be as true as truth could be and the sole reason for life. I wanted to become a pastor, a shepherd for men who were lost like me. I wanted to be an apologetic and find a way to make Jesus cool. To make art that rivaled the greats in his name. But I grew up. And just like Mohammed, Buddha, Zeus and Zorostra, I placed Jesus into a box called mythology, great stories for children and for disciplinarians. But hardly impressive by any sense of the word.

      Yours is such a boring argument. I don’t know how you stay awake long enough to get through it.

      I wish for someone to bring something new.

      So yeah, I yawn that the HUGENESS of the universe is evidence for God. God could have done it. But you would have me to believe that the guy who did that also had a hand in writing that book of stories and fairy tales. It doesn’t add up.

      Your so bent on mixing up what I’m writing as a criticism of you that you aren’t responding to my actual arguments … which is also what I expect.

      Cheers,

      J

  6. I believe I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt, been kind, tried to understand, accepted that I may have made some incorrect assumptions. You seem to have lost your patience with me trying to gauge where you really stand. If I’m not reading you right, I’ll apologize again. When I marvel at the universe, I’m not just talking about a sunset, but still, your boredom begins to drag on me. You say so much that there seems to be no focus. I don’t want to abandon this conversation with you walking away, shaking your head at another doofus Christian. I am going to say what I think your addressing in each of your paragraphs and try to understand again. Take what you will, hear what you want, I’ll still be here. I’m not going to spend a lot of time here though, just general statements appealing to the broader context of what the future holds for myself.

    “Oh gawd. I didn’t say the magnanimity of the universe isn’t impressive or “providential” or even suggesting a god of some kind. I’m saying that the argument for god based on the universe or sunsets is boring. Suggesting that the being associated with starting it all inspired or even wrote the Bible, now that’s the biggest letdown … at least for me.”

    So you have heard all the arguments regarding the ontological, teleological and cosmological arguments, and they bore you. Interesting. These will be some of the first things I’ll write in an upcoming post, whether on my regular blog or a new one. This is the inspiration I referred to in my last response. There’s too much to go over here. If you have a genuine interest, look it up on your own, but that’s not something to simply post on a reply, at least in my estimation. And if you can stay awake. By the way your biggest let down is the being associated or inspiring the bible? I will look at those in upcoming posts as well, because those being important are not unanswerable, if indeed you are curious.

    “I’m happy to inspire you to pursue apologetics. I don’t think you’re that good at it, based on your blog or your comments here. You’re falling in line with a lot of people who aren’t good at what they do.”

    Thanks. I’m doing my best. Are you expecting a degree? From me? Ha, not likely.

    “I’m not sure what I said that indicated I am set or “know” what my world view is. I know what it isn’t.
    And that’s the answer, no? You knowing what your worldview isn’t, is in fact saying what it is.
    I cannot prove that God didn’t create the universe. I cannot prove that he did. What seems entirely unlikely is that he was somehow or in anyway involved with Jesus. Jesus’s character was, provably so, inspired by many men who came before him. The apologetics invented diabolical mimicry to explain it away.”

    “I am guessing you are saying the God you dislike that is associated with the Bible doesn’t jibe with the character of Jesus. “Diabolical mimicry”? And I thought I was cynical.”

    “So many of the stories of the Bible were inspired by existing oral traditions. That’s not hard to “know” because so much has been written about it. Just because you don’t recognize it doesn’t make it untrue. It’s like claiming gravity didn’t exist before Isaac Newton. The stories were prevalent for Jesus-like men. Christians got lucky, called their version Yeshua and convinced enough people to accept it. Just like a child can be convinced Santa is legitimately real. So too is Jesus.”

    “Just because you don’t recognize it doesn’t make it untrue.” Wow. I can say the same thing back, couldn’t I? That isn’t a very good apologetic. This reveals your cynicism. When there is a question I want to understand regarding my faith of a non-salvation issue, I look for specific books that typically examines “4 views.” I questioned the things that you are talking about when I first became a Christian. Are you falling into the hole of confirmation bias? I want to believe that I can do whatever I want to do, no consequences, that the horrible God who expects me to be hateful and mindless is some made up thing. Your faith is easy. Not much thinking involved. Just deny it isn’t real because you don’t like it. I’m not admitting myself and others don’t fall into that trap, that’s why I initially began talking to you.

    “A man walking on water would be impressive, would it be proven true. But it doesn’t make a god or savior out of him. A being sending himself through the vaginal canal of a young woman who the ignorant oral story tellers mistranslated into “virgin” whose best technologies were carts, hammers, mud bricks and rudimentary garden tools who cannot be trusted to have accurate eyewitness testimonies to someone who they never met … writing about a dude who is executed and comes back to life because two people ate fruit and that same murdered idiot who called it a crime called his death the fix for that crime … that’s impressive?”

    I can see you’ve been following your confirmation bias again. Why is it that people who say if I don’t see it, I won’t believe, say the same things about things in the bible? It is called a miracle for a reason. Your purposeful vulgarity and pointing out how stupid all involved are shows your bitterness. Is it just your disgust at the God you think Christianity is pushing? Or is there more to your story? I imagine my method of this type of discussion is based of questioning the challenger. I’m fighting that method, because, we’re on the internet. I’d like to question how you have so much anger. I hope you have found someone to work all this out with. I don’t think I can reach your deeply buried, cynical, bitter core.

    “How is that? Please, oh please explain, oh apologetic master.”

    I told a friend your quote here. He thought you were being cute and complimentary. I didn’t think so. He didn’t know the whole of our discussion, but after my last reply, I know you’re being just plain rude. You could have walked anytime. I’m obviously no match for you and your wit. And yet, here we are.

    “You support a stance of untenable madness. You should expect to be called out for it. Jesus told us to expect it. And consider it done with me.”

    Seeing the world with hopeful eyes is madness in this day and age I suppose. I do expect to be called out. It is just that you keep telling me not to question the sincerity of the school you went to nor the veracity at how they challenged you to understand the Christian world view, and when I touch on the subjects I expect you to know, you get all bored over sunsets and bunnies. If I was face to face with you, and knew you a bit, this would be a totally different conversation. This is the internet, and I am very cautious. Yet you are expecting me to just provide answers to every witty whim you can come up with.

    “And yes, I have heard what you’ve written before … not limited to my own mouth and scribblings. I have argued from your perspective and won several hearts to Christ. I loved Christ with all my heart and “leaned not on my own understanding.” I have prayed the sinner’s prayer hundreds if not thousands of times. I have eaten and drunk the body and blood of Christ. I believed it to be as true as truth could be and the sole reason for life. I wanted to become a pastor, a shepherd for men who were lost like me. I wanted to be an apologetic and find a way to make Jesus cool. To make art that rivaled the greats in his name. But I grew up. And just like Mohammed, Buddha, Zeus and Zorostra, I placed Jesus into a box called mythology, great stories for children and for disciplinarians. But hardly impressive by any sense of the word.”

    Your museum of boxed mythology must be very impressive. You’re an adult now. There is no time for you to follow something that just desires to create a blind authority. Very bold of you to walk away. Noting that it is ignorance and obedience that you point out again reveals your understanding of Christianity. Blind Legalism. Pure Blind Legalism. Praying a prayer is law. But then again, obviously, you’ve heard and written it all before. Again, you’re bored by it all. Is that your reaction to things you’re trying to rid yourself of? “It’s so boring.” “I’m not impressed.” I can see you trying to give up smoking, watching someone light up a smoke. “So unimpressive,” you say to yourself so as to convince yourself away from what you want or desire.

    “Yours is such a boring argument. I don’t know how you stay awake long enough to get through it.”

    Such a sad apologetic. You might be just as bad as I am at this. Ha! Now that’s funny.

    “I wish for someone to bring something new.”

    When you find it, I hope you can stay awake. (I’m cracking myself up!)

    “So yeah, I yawn that the HUGENESS of the universe is evidence for God. God could have done it. But you would have me to believe that the guy who did that also had a hand in writing that book of stories and fairy tales. It doesn’t add up.”

    Would you have preferred him to write about science? Oh, there I go. Science and religion in conflict. Now that is a yawnful argument. But seriously, how could a God, revealed in nature, reveal his desire to save mankind, write a story with no miracles. Who would believe that and why? No magic. No miracles. Nothing special. Sounds like a god created by a computer made in the 70s. Seriously though – Describe the God you would follow. If anything, this is my ultimate question. What God would you follow?

    “Your so bent on mixing up what I’m writing as a criticism of you that you aren’t responding to my actual arguments … which is also what I expect.”

    As stated before, I’m careful. I don’t know you. The internet sucks with these kinds of discussions. I wouldn’t be surprised if a year from now we’re still on this thread and we are exchanging insults. “Moron.” “Heathen.” “Fool.” “Blasphemer.” I am a complicated man – one post: self-depricating, brief, hesitant, another post: quick, ready for a fight. But you don’t know me. And I don’t know you. Not the best place for this discussion at all, and yet, here we are.

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