Christianity

I accepted Christ at the age of 13 under duress and the looming threats from my mother. No one was going to live under her roof and not believe in Christ and not be a member of a church.

It was laid out to me like this by my mother, “either walk up to the alter and join church or I will take you by the hand and walk you up there myself“. The easiest way to motivate a teenager is to threaten to embarrass them in front of their peers. Given the options presented to me and the fact we attended a neighborhood church with children whom I went to school, I went to the alter on my own accord and professed to believe Christ as my savior.

For years I attended church, eventually joining the choir as an adult all while having serious questions about Christianity. The more I sought answers, the more questions came. When I began to approach my religion from a logical perspective very little made sense to me nor could I reconcile what I felt tin my heart with what I was taught. (I wrote about this before – HERE)

  • The Bible is the word of God. – According to whom? Men from 2,000 years ago whose intent was to control the masses? Men, who by all accounts, had their own agendas? This word of God has been revised, re-written and interpreted again and again. You can take one verse from the Bible and ask ten people what it means and you will get just as many answers. so it is the word of God to be interpreted by man depending on his/her views.
  • The only and only way to see God, and thus “heaven”, is through Jesus Christ. Even if you live a life in service to others, don’t lie, cheat, steal or commit any of the sins as outlined in the Bible, you will go to Hell (if these places even exists). If you’re Jewish, you’re going to hell. Muslim? Hell. Hindu? Hell. Buddhist? Hell. If you have no religious beliefs? Hell.
  • Creationism vs. Evolution. I do not believe the earth was created in 6 days. There is far too much scientific evidence to the contrary. I believe the prophets attempted to explain Earth’s creation the best way they knew how given their limited knowledge at the time.

Some may wonder if I believe in a deity at all. I really don’t know if God exists or not and I refuse to debate that with anyone, specifically Christians. Hell, just writing and posting this is enough to make some believers’ heads explode and break out the oil and holy water to begin praying over me while speaking in tongues.

It has taken years for me to find the courage to take a step back, and away, from Christianity and I am still breaking free from the shackles of its indoctrination. I know there are more people out there like me. Many of whom are still holding on to those beliefs out of fear and under duress and the threat of an eternal life in hell.

Beliefs and fear are real. If strong enough, both can make the most illogical and  irrational…real.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. ~Buddha

 

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Nothing pisses me more than intolerance and bigots.

Bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.  Merriam Webster

With hatred…and intolerance.

Intolerant – a: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rightsMerriam Webster

Sitchyo Ass Down

Which brings me to Newton Leroy Gingrinch, known to friends and foes as Newt. Who else finds his middle name Leroy highly ironic? No one? Okay. Moving right along.

Last week during a campaign stop in Columbia, Newt Gingrinch was asked if he would ever endorse a Muslin running for president. To which he replied, “It would depend entirely on whether they would commit in public to give up Shariah“. He went on to say, “A truly modern person who happened to worship Allah would not be a threat, a person who belonged to any kind of belief in Shariah, any effort to impose it on the rest of us, would be a mortal threat“. (Read the full story HERE.)

Leroy Newt…sitchyo ass all the way down!! Have a seat sir!

According to Wikipedia, Shariah (they’ve spelled it Sharia) is the moral code and religious law of Islam derived from the Quran and the example set by the prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe Sharia is God’s law but the interpretations of that vary widely between modernists, traditionalists, fundamentalists and also depends on country, society and culture. (If any Muslim readers can confirm or clarify it would be greatly appreciated.)

Sounds vaguely familiar? Think Christians and the Bible.

Let’s take a closer look at your statements Newty-Newt.

“a person who belonged to any kind of belief in Shariah….would be a mortal threat

Oh, like the Crusades were to non-Christians? Or like the enslavement of millions of Africans by Anglo-Saxon European (new Americans) using the Bible as justification?

any effort to impose it on the rest of us” and being “totally opposed” to Shariah law being applied in American courts. Oh, as opposed to say uhm…Christianity?

My name is Leroy and I'm a Cancer

The last time I checked the American governmental and judicial systems were based on Judeo Christian teachings in which non-Christian citizens are expected to operate within. And even though the First Amendment of the Constitution mandates a separation of church and state, Evangelical Christians have become such a powerful lobbying group who consistently flexes its muscle to impose their religious beliefs and biblical interpretations on EVERYONE. Extremists in this group have even resorted to violence in an effort to voice their oppositions to ideas and people who don’t agree. Think abortion clinic bombings. This makes their very existence a mortal threat to those who think differently. Does it not?

Newt, your assertion that someone of a different faith should publicly denounce their religion is beyond shameful…ignorant at best, bigoted at worst. But we should not be surprised nor shocked. You have a proven track record of bigoted, racist, divisive rhetoric, don’t you?

Oh, but what a fine upstanding Christian man you are sir. I mean, you’re a beacon of light, a fine example of Christian values. Who wouldn’t be after divorcing wife #1 when she was battling cancer; wife #2 after she was diagnosed with M.S., leaving her for your current wife (that’s #3 if you’ve lost track) all while calling for President Clinton’s impeachment for lying about his torrid sexcapades with Monica Lewinsky.

Loyalty. Faithfulness. Honesty.

Yes….no Muslim would ever be fit enough to run for the presidency and be graced by an endorsement from the likes of you…..LEROY!!

My inquisitive nature and my need to seek out the truth have me on a journey. That journey has led me to part ways with organized religion, the Church, and to a large degree – Christianity.

Writing that last sentence was as hard as it was frightening.

Before now, I have shared my beliefs with only two people, both of whom have been extremely supportive. One is a “faithful Christian”, who withholds any judgment, and the other was not raised in church and thereby was never “indoctrinated” (his word) with Christian teachings. It is through the many conversations with both individuals that have helped me sort though the thoughts in my head and realize that I am not crazy nor am I alone.

I am reminded of the Dr. Benjamin Mays quote,

“I’ll rather go to hell by choice then heaven by following the crowd.”

A former classmate stated on Facebook, “It’s difficult being an Independent thinker and existing in a world committed to the herd.”

I agree wholeheartedly and I forge ahead.  Take a walk with me…

Watching TV one Sunday morning, I caught a Bishop delivering a sermon. Something he said resonated with me. He was stating his case against individuals who choose not to worship God in a “church”. In essence, claiming that if you are a part of the vine (the body of Christ), you must remain connected with the source (God, i.e., the church) in order not to wither and die.

He went on to say that what makes the church “holy” is the alter and if your home does not have one it is “insufficient”.

Well, I beg to differ. The church is a building and the “act” of attending Sunday service is a “religious practice” and has very little to do with an individual’s spirituality or their relationship with God.

This was not the first time I found myself at odds with what I have heard preached and taught from the pulpit. Not long ago, this same Bishop delivered a sermon centered on adultery. In this sermon he gave his definition of adultery to be any sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other. A big departure from Webster’s definition:

Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also: an act of adultery

So according to this Bishop, if I have sex with a single man we are committing adultery. Who knew…all of these years I’ve been an adulterous Jezebel – not a fornicator.

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