Sunday, May 20, 2012

God is Like My Mother

Many are thankful to have had a loving mother as a guide, teaching and nurturing them before they set out into their own lives. Frequently mothers will continue to present themselves as being a source of love that can be relied on to provide something those seeking it cannot provide for themselves. The title of mother and the women aptly named as such, are generally representative of being loving people. Not in all cases, but generally most beings would consider them loving and trustworthy. If someone is raised in a home where love and respect is continually shown through words and deeds, then the recipients of that love and respect know they can trust the source.

I can't say that I have that type of a relationship with my own mother. Thankfully, I do have many relationships that would prove to me what being loving and trustworthy are all about. They taught me what it means to have those qualities and gave me the opportunity to teach my children what it means to be there for them and others. To me, love means knowing you can count on someone to do as they say they will do and trust is established when you can repeatedly expect that to happen.

What creates the most stress in my relationship with my mother is that she frequently says one thing and then proceeds to act entirely different. I have a huge trust issue with her due to that fact. This past Easter got me thinking about the trust that followers have in their spiritual buddy. Easter Sunday is the holiest of celebrated days for believers; the torture, death and resurrection of their lord and savior is revered specifically for what he went through for them. And the followers love and thank him for his sacrifice for them.

The actions that allegedly played out for jesus that fateful day do not evoke emotions for me that scream an allegiance to god, rather they make me question the sincerity of the words that god claims he is a loving god. These events bring me back to the days of things that occurred in my childhood involving my mother. The events that made me realize that loving someone and treating them poorly do not equal a loving relationship.

How are the religious folks even remotely okay with jesus getting the bejeezzus flagellated out of him when their supposed 'loving' god is the actual reason for the poor carpenter getting sacrificed in the first place? Remember now, this is god's plan to give them an out for being such bad sinning human beings. Faithful followers everywhere are okay with the thought "Yes, let me allow my son to be tortured unrelentingly and made to hang crucifixion style, agonizingly, for however long until his death because I love you and want you to be with me. Through him all is possible."

This incident, specifically, and one example after another shown to us in the bible depicts an incredibly different god; one who does such horrific things and then supposedly does them ONLY 'because' of that love he has for human beings. Huh? Why are red flags not going off in EVERY religious mind in the face of that hypocrisy? Can it be shown anymore perfectly that this is non-trust provoking behavior! All the events that led up to Easter being the high holiest of days is the perfect example of someone who can't be trusted to do what he proclaims!

I repeatedly question why followers aren't asking themselves how their heavenly 'father' chooses to actively promote this action of letting his son die on the cross if he is really such a loving god. Not to mention allowing his son to go through the alleged torture prior to being nailed and displayed on said cross. Doesn't that for even one hot minute strike a chord in believers that this goes against what 'being loving' means? Would they, considering themselves to be loving people, ALLOW these types of events to occur to their own children?

Alarms should be going off! All buttons actively firing, flashing and ringing out with the message that these are not actions of a loving and reasonable god. Actually, quite the opposite! How can the claim be made that 'our god is an awesome god and our god is a loving god'? It's simply not true.

Close, loving and personally satisfying relationships are based on a mutual trust and respect for one another. Loving relationships can be counted on to provide messages of endearment that are supported by deeds showing the other person consistently 'they've got your back' and won't let you down. Loving relationships build a foundation of trust that is continuously reinforced through loving acts. That bond and the trust gets stronger when the truth that is shown us is a love that can be seen and heard consistently and without fail.

When actions speak a different language than what is originally heard, questions should immediately be raised and doubts interjected into the previously held thought process. My relationship with my mother, after many years of hearing one thing and seeing another, helped me to understand that I wasn't dealing with someone who was loving. I was in a relationship with someone who 'thought' she was but didn't have the first clue about what it meant be that person. Many of her actions in fact were opposite of what demonstrated love. Being a reasonable person showed me how to question and then intelligently remove myself from that destructive relationship.

Using reason saves you, not believing a fictitious man in the sky.... especially one who lies.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Willingly Die Every Night...


Death is scary to many people, religious or not, and I've always wondered... why? Outside of having to experience an excruciatingly, long drawn-out sort of tragic accident or disease while on your way towards death, how is the actual part about being dead scary?

Troy Boyle and I must have been on the same wave-length when he recently published "The Atheist and Death". I'd already started this piece, but hadn't completed it yet. The "great minds think alike" cliche comes to mind or rather "Damn. He beat me to the punch!" :)

I'd have to agree with many points that Troy makes in his article, and I honed in on the "UNconsciousness" part that he refers to because that is what has always made it "UNterrifying" to me. This was to be the subject for my writing. His opinion is that this part, specifically, would be disquieting to an individual. This may be true for many, but definitely not true for me.
 
Each night we all willingly close our eyes to enter the rejuvenating darkness that envelops us. It heals our minds and bodies from the stress we endured to better face the following day. The fact that everyone of us can willingly do so tells me that people can accept and do not fear being unconscious because of an understanding of what sleep actually is. Continuing to wake up every morning and many mornings for many years confirms their understanding that sleeping is just a natural function. 

So, how can those people who understand sleeping be terrified of the experience of being dead when they understanding the concept of black oblivion or discontinuity? Why would they be disquieted and even terrified when death seems to be just like what is willingly wished for when they lay down their heads at night?

Rationally spoken death itself is not worth being terrified about, but what does create the fear is what it means beyond the physical experience (or actually, the lack of experience). Those who are fearful of being dead can't accept that it is nothing more than eternal "UNconsciousness".

In today's society, particularly in the communities of faith, their understanding of death does not focus on what it actually is but, rather, takes on the mystical quality of what it means for an after-life. The biblical interpretations and explanations received during their indoctrination makes it hard for people to take a position of acceptance about death being a natural event in their lives. The woefully lacking realistic explanation surrounding death only helps to induce the irrational fears we are talking about. Gnashing of teeth, fire and brimstone for eternity is what they can expect if they were not good in the eyes of their lord, and eternal bliss and happiness if they fulfilled all of god's expectations. It's perfectly natural to expect they would be fearful rather than accepting that it will be a non-event when they are given this limited explanation of death as only being a possibility of not knowing where they are going come judgement day.

As I said earlier, I can understand perfectly that people are fearful if their death doesn't come swiftly and painlessly or the time preceding it is filled with suffering, but to be fearful 'of death' seems irrational considering the knowledge we have today.

Our impending deaths should make us want to experience life more fully knowing that it really is just the end of being who we know we are, just like when we are sleeping and in the physical state known as "UNconsciousness". Life should be a time devoid of angst and rich with experience. Seems to me that the best thing would be to ignore death until it makes its entrance and pledge to experience life to its fullest, making the pursuit of happiness the optimal goal!

Also published at AtheismResource.com

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Sex and God" Book Raffle

 


We are celebrating the upcoming
National Sex Day!
Won't you join us on June 9th?





Entries for the raffle will be accepted for Darrel Ray's "Sex and God" Book starting today and will end June 6, 2012 at 9PM EST. The live drawing will be held June 9, 2012 at 9PM EST.

Prizes will be as follows: 
  • 1st Place:   A signed copy of Darrel Ray's "Sex and God" Book
                      #11 in the 15 copies held back from the first printing   
  • 2nd - 5th Place:   Your choice of one of four different Tezzles
The cost for the entries will be:
  •  $1 for 1 Chance
  •  $5 for 6 Chances
  • $10 for 15 Chances   

Winners will be drawn and broadcast live via Ustream at 9PM EST on June 9, 2012. Details to be announced as it gets closer. The entries will be determined from the donations made to WePay.com account and/or to the Paypal account, printed out and shuffled in a bucket prior to the drawing for all prizes.

It is the responsibility of all entering to provide proper contact information. Winners will be contacted by myself and have 72 hours to respond. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn and the process repeated until all prizes are claimed (we will only do the live drawing once. In the event of no response from the winners, the subsequent drawings will be done off camera). Redrawn winners will be notified by phone and email.

Winners MUST BE Members of the National Atheist Party having filled out the NAP "Roll Call" and members of their respective State's Chapter. All winners must be at least 18 years of age or older with valid ID.

All NAP members having filled out the "Roll Call" (EXCEPT Executive Board Members) are eligible.

IMPORTANT! We prefer you use the WePay.com donate button, but if you donate through Paypal, PLEASE specify your donation is for the "Sex and God" Book Raffle in the "notes" in order to make sure to be entered!!!

Thank you all very much! Enter often, GOOD LUCK to you and have a SEXY day! :)

Susi Bocks
Executive Assistant to the President/Fundraising Committee Member

National Atheist Party