I almost became a Catholic over the holiday break


On our ride down to North Carolina, Tina took over driving for a few hours. I took the time to rest my eyes and catch up on social media.

On my Facebook feed, a young, Catholic girl posted an article that blew my mind. I mean. I’m dying to see how this current pope is going to change the current dismal perspective of Catholicism, but this particular article threw their efforts into overdrive.

Here’s the article if you want to read it.

The title reads: “POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS RACISM AND DECLARES THAT “ALL RELIGIONS ARE TRUE” AT HISTORIC THIRD VATICAN COUNCIL”

And then the mind blowing began.

This in particular:

In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there? In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”

And later:

“God is changing and evolving as we are, For God lives in us and in our hearts. When we spread love and kindness in the world, we touch our own divinity and recognize it. The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgement. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture. In accordance with our new understanding, we will begin to ordain women as cardinals, bishops and priests. In the future, it is my hope that we will have a woman pope one day. Let no door be closed to women that is open to men!”

The words in that article, this passage above included, would almost — ***ALMOST*** — cure me of disbelief.

This section was pure gold:

Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity.

When I read most of the article to Tina, her response was, “Man, I’d consider becoming a Catholic again.”

That’s the rub.

The article is so well written and so ideal to what the church should do, but it gets too caught up in hoity toity, we’re right, they’re wrong bullshit.

It took three paragraphs before I said to myself, and Tina, “This is satire. We’ve been duped.”

So I looked further at the web site it was hosted on and sure enough, the site is satire.

Gold, though. Gold. Pure greatness.

Cheers to those folks at Diversity Chronicle. That was the closest I’ve been in a LONG time to consider even considering the consideration of a considerate thought about admiring the church.

And then you see stuff like this story (about how white American evangelicals reject science), and all that hope for the world is a flatulent balloon sound.

But then there’s the following, and my hopes are rejuvenated.

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Ex-Louisiana pastor hunkers down in the Yeshua Fog™ and rides the storm


From this Daily Beast article, “Atheist Ex-Pastor Jerry DeWitt’s Mission to Red America:”

But far away from the hype cycle of social media and the cultural freedom of metropolitan America, a former Louisiana pastor is struggling with a similar project deep in the small towns of the evangelical South. On June 23, Jerry DeWitt led the first service of the Community Mission Chapel in Lake Charles, Louisiana—a product of his own painful journey from beloved local pastor to abandoned outcast. His decision to stay in a hostile rural environment sets him apart from most other clergy members who embrace atheism—and from the burgeoning atheist church movement.

“Everyone else who did what I did left where they lived,” DeWitt said, referring to other Christian pastors he’s met who took public positions of atheism. “Someone had to stop that. Someone had to be the first not to move, so that the next person doesn’t have to move.”

Read on. 

 

It’s 2013, right?


Demons and devils. You know you love them.

Or you hate to love them.

Or something.

I understand people believe in a god. I get it. The universe is big, bold and beautiful. It’s mysterious and grand.

Let’s say some big, mysterious being created all of it, because it makes me feel better on the inside place.

See, god!

But devils and demons?

Some of my more religious friends on facebook are standing up for their belief in demons by posting blogs like this to explain why they aren’t partaking in the evil Halloween holiday.

The blogger, one woman named Michele Blake, who blogs at a site called “Prophezine“, explains:

The more I learned, the more I became convinced that this “holiday” (a word that means “holy day,” by the way) was not honoring to God in any way. I began to see that my refusal to give up Halloween was evidence of a divided heart — but Jesus wants my whole heart.

Ever since deciding to “just say no” to Halloween, I can honestly tell you that the blessings and joy of obedience are far greater than any fun I ever had “celebrating.”

And since many people, even Christians, think my decision is odd or even legalistic, I finally decided to put together a list of the top ten reasons I kissed Halloween goodbye.

Mind you, Blake has devoted the last 15 years of her life to homeschooling her kids and “researching the false claims of psychology and psychiatry since she became a Christian 15 years ago.”

You know psychology that makes claims like demons and devils, invisible mischievous beings that are trying to tempt you and cause a raucous in your lives, aren’t real never have been and never will be.

But Halloween, according to Blake is an excuse to flaunt sexuality and to “dine with demons,” things that five year olds LOVE to do.

Oh wait, it’s adults who shove horseshit down their innocent children’s throats in an effort to make them feel better about a lifelong struggle with believing in an imaginary friend named Yeshua.

Here’s the deal. If you think Halloween is evil, there are plenty of alternatives to a healthy, wholesome celebration of dressing up and hooking your kids up with candy and treats. Halloween can be a great holiday reserved for helping your kids identify another way they might be creative. So stop stealing their youth from them and get on board.

And if you think there are demons, by all means show me one. In the meantime, your silly beliefs are ridiculous and you’re setting your kids up to rebel against you later in life.

Seriously.

Nice try, goofballs! god — should he exist — made wolves. human’s made dogs.


1236423_10201228298524014_996804982_nI think I’ve posted this before, but it’s a good reminder.

It says that God — if the myths are true — made dogs to do all kinds of amazing things.

“God said: I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs; yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch, with a resting head and supportive eyes, to lift the spirits of a broken heart.”

That’s just not true. God made wolves. Human’s domesticated wolves and helped breed them to become their helpers.

The deity, in all his foresight, chose to make an animal that would murder a human in an instant over a hunger pang.

If this level of ignorance is so easily broadcast on the internets, imagine what else is getting overlooked.

Seen on facebook.

You put the real in memorial


Yesterday, Tina and I drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan to celebrate my grandmother’s life. We called her Opoe. We only stayed for the service and the lunch immediately after then jumped in the car and drove three hours back.

We’re absolutely slammed right now work-wise, and getting back wasn’t exactly my top priority, but I’m not the only decision maker in our family.

It was a nice service. It was held in a little chapel with maybe 50 or 60 people in attendance. There were stained glass windows on both sides of the space, but the side where the sun was shining, there poured in the most gorgeous yellow light.

There were prayers and hymns.

My uncle, my dad’s oldest brother, sang a song in Dutch. He sang rather well. Then we joined him singing the same song in either English or Dutch in the most confusing mess of hymnal debauchery I’ve ever experienced.

My dad stood up after that and spoke a memorial tribute to Opoe, most of which wasn’t necessarily about my Opoe’s personality, loves, wishes or desires, but more about her major life events, getting married, how many children, when the family moved to the states, that kind of thing.

There was a sermon spoken from what was ostensibly one of Opoe’s favorites, Psalm 23. And just like almost every funeral or memorial I’ve ever been to, it became a vehicle for proselytization and not anything to do with the person’s life we were there to honor.

It was fitting that the metaphor of scared sheep that do everything their shepherd asks them to do was discussed for 30 minutes. Sheep don’t drink from choppy waters, so the shepherd leads them to still waters. He gives them calm meadows. Safe grass to lay their heads atop and to eat. He anoints their heads with stinky oils to keep the flies from laying eggs in their ears.

And despite how many years, I still have the whole thing memorized.

But isn’t that the picture of faith? I see no problem with those people who subscribe to that ideology. Seriously. If your goal is to unquestioningly declare allegiance to a shepherd, by all means, do it. It’s just not for me.

Apparently you’re either a sheep or a goat in the scenario, and Tina and I both wanted to stand up and proclaim, “We’re goats. [pointing down at selves] Goats, here!”

And at my funeral, there better be some cracked beers, some tippled tumblers and some celebratory readings of poetry I love. There better be some admiration of some of my best work. There better be stories about me. There better be memories mixed with tears and laughter. Talk about me behind my back. I’ll be dead. Gone. This is everyone’s chance to go nuts.

There better be no threat of hell and damnation. But the happiness of saying goodbye to a guy who gave as much as he could in the short time he was given.

Overall, yesterday was a good opportunity to see family gathered in one place, and do my part in celebrating Opoe’s life. I had to have my own little sermon and recognition of memories.

And it was good to at least get some hugs in with the family that I rarely see. I have some strained relationships with a few people and it was interesting to see some people shy away from me.

This is the real reason that we must save the children! … Chances are it’s too late.


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“Rock ‘n’ Roll is the Devil’s Music! BEWARE. The hypnotic voodoo rhythm, a reckless dance down the Devil’s road of sin and self-destruction, leading you to eternal damnation in the fiery depths of hell!” 

When you’re roasting in hell and rubbing aloe superfluously on your burns, you can think about not heeding this simple advice.

You sinner!

Via Christian Nightmares. 

 

 

Everything is Terrible! Charlton Heston Presents Sodom & Gomorrah


Remember that time when God appeared to you in the form of himself or an angel and gave you a message?

Yeah, me neither.

Even if this isn’t a cartoon, how could I take this story seriously at all?

I mean, there was a time when I did. And I cherished stories. But once thought about realistically, well, it becomes nothing more than entertainment.

Via