Saturday, October 19, 2013

Religion, Evolution and me.

Here I am getting ready to attend my first Alabama game in Bryant Denny Stadium. My wife can't go and my friend says it's just not gonna work with his schedule this time. My nephew can't go because it's such short notice. So, I'm going solo. Should be an exciting interesting and hopefully a fun day. Anyway, I wake up this morning around 4:00 AM. Excited about the game? Not really. I mean I look forward to it but I'm not 13 years old anymore. Life has gotten a little more complicated and my thoughts are more on the economy and my job and health and the hope that my son has a good life. So, of course I started to think about my journey and decided to write another blog since I'm up!  :-)

 I was reading some on the interwebs (Thank you Al Gore and Bill Gates and all the ships at sea) Anyway, I digress (when do I not?) When I came across an article about one of my favorite NPR programs. "On Being" with Krista Tippett. She interviews people from the Dali Lama to the leading scientist and other religious and new age and cutting edge researchers of the day. I have been known to take a break from Art Bell or Coast to Coast podcast and download one of her interviews for my daily walk. Anyway, she was talking to some young people of today who have left the faith of their parents and their youth. Former Christians who have become atheist. To be honest (here's the cranky old guy part) I didn't read the article because (A)  I had a LOT of living and experience to go through when I was 18-25 years old and didn't really think I needed to read the "wisdom" of those kids. (B) See A.  :=0
Yeah, I know that I don't know but since I was playing the cranky "older" card I went on my way. Or so I thought.

Now, I started to think about my own journey this morning as I am trying to get back to sleep. I think about that article and then my mind goes into that thing where it's like a snake that is eating it's own tail and before you know it the morning is in gear and I might as well get the heck up anyway!

 So, I decided to write this blog. It goes something like this. But, first the following is Not meant to deride, cast stones or claim any kind of authority to tell you ultimate truth. The following is a short allegory of some of my experience going through life. Names have been changed and people places and things have been combined to protect the innocent. :-)

 So, here you are ( I am) and you're just a kid. So, this grownup says "Ya know God is a father in the sky and he loves you." But, he also is angry and will punish you if you don't do what the (church,synagogue, Mosque, temple) says. So, there ya go and you are doing fine and then you meet up with a person with authority and knowledge that you don't have. So, this guy, girl, woman, man has something else to tell you.

Well, ya know the concept of a big daddy in the sky is a very superstitious way of looking at the world. See these bones and the way evolution works? You don't need or have a god. Evolution explains (it doesn't) the reason for life. Also, see this picture of a chocolate cake? Well, your brain just lit up and that's why you want the chocolate cake. See? that's all it comes down to and we will "One day prove by science" that you are nothing but a chemical by product of the glorious evolution that will one day end in oblivion of mankind.

Huhh? I know you are smart but that doesn't even make me feel better than the mad ole man in the sky from my youth! ;-(

 So, here I am thinking (again) that somewhere somebody is missing something. So, where does that leave me? Well, I have to go to my lifelong inner dialog. I have had dreams that actually told me something that would and did happen in my "waking" life. I've had synchronicity where I've thought of a phrase or a person and turned on a radio or gotten a call or put a cd in the player and there is the song or the words or the thought that I was just having. I remember an angel from years ago at my bedside. I didn't bother to look over because I "knew" and went to sleep and was/am protected. I have had my own encounter with spiritual experience that I can't really explain. So, no I'm not an atheist.

But, I do understand where those young men and women are coming from. They are caught up in the information age. It's great in many ways. But, it's also a culture of soundbites. "Got'cha" moments and information overload without any real digging or thinking past the blurb or the "Press this part and the brain lights up" stuff. But, still I understand. No longer can Brother Bob of the "Temple of the redeemer and Holy Ghost with Signs Following" tell people what's real and what isn't. That's a  good thing.

But, I worry about other authority figures. What if Brother Dawkins tells them they are no more than a brain fart and are superstitious idiots if they dig any deeper?  What if Brother or Sister Clinton tell them that to question the democrats or liberal will make them a hay seed redneck racist southern backwoods idiot? What if Brother Limbaugh tells them that all liberals are godless communist baby killing scum that shouldn't even be allowed to teach or talk? What then?

 Well,, right now that looks a lot like 21 century America and the world at large. So, yeah it concerns me. Anyway that's my thought for the morning. Sun's coming up and I've got a big game to get ready for.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Tea Party vs Christians.

Last week I found a wonderful blog. It gives me hope that Christianity really will grow and expand instead of dying on the vine with the Pat Robertsons and right wing zealots of the world. I see where some young folks have not abandoned the faith of their youth but are transforming it from the dry and dead bigotry of their elders. Anyway, I posted a link because it made some points wonderfully. Points about giving and caring for the poor and all that "hippie Christian stuff" that the right is so sure is sinful and communistic and heretical. Anyway, I posted it because I really like it and like most humans on the planet I agreed with it so I called it good. ;-)

However, to be honest apart from the linking of other post I am worn slap out by the state of American politics right now. I see people who truly need health care who can't get it. I see people who are slaves to a coorporate mentality who can't follow their heart because if they lose their job they lose their health care. I see politicians getting a pension for life after retiring from "serving." Lawd, I wish I could "serve" somebody for 150,000 a year and get a pension and take tax funded trips to Europe. But, anyway with that I also see the nation giving billions of dollars out like candy to "Muslim Brotherhood" and to Israel's defense and to ram a government that they don't want down the throats of people in the middle east. I saw a president start two wars and there was nary a peep from the good tea party type folks that we were wasting billions and billions of dollars a week and destroying untold lives with bombs and bullets. Both ours and theirs. Then the other side once they "own" the bombs started talking about how we needed to start another intervention. For the good of humanity don'tcha know?

The difference is that this president (love him or hate him) did listen and he backed off the war drums at least for now. Anyway, the folks who didn't think it odd to spend billions on bombs and bullets and giving money to other countries think it's horrible to even think about giving a child or an old person or even a young person access to health care. You can always justify it but you better not think too deeply about it.

Anyway, I got a response from two types of friends. One I could understand. I disagreed but I still got it. One was raised in an upper middle class family with cousins by the dozens and a supportive family. No knowledge there of wondering if there was a can of tuna in the cupboard growing up to fix a sandwich with. That type person I can at least understand feeling like they do. They were born on third base and think they hit a triple. :-)

It was the other friend that I lost it with. I admit it. I gave a snarky ugly reply and acted like a jerk. Why? Because I was just so damn tired of the far right attitude toward people who disagree with them. So, tired of people claiming Christ and acting like Ayn Rand. Also, this particular friend is not able to work and has several health issues. If not for the "liberal" hippie types he wouldn't be able to get medication. He is also is trying to get disability and Medicaid insurance and basically be able to live a better life. I truly hope he makes it. But, at the same time there was this nasty "stupid liberal" theme running through his post that I just lost it with.

I finally ended with the comment that for somebody who needs Medicaid and health care and food, to vote conservative republican is like a black person joining the KKK. Should I have said it? No, I wish I hadn't. Do I believe it? Yes.

The one thing I do wish the Christian church would do? Well, if you are gonna say "we shouldn't use the government to feed and clothe people" then at least be consistent. You also need to say "we shouldn't use the government to tell people who they can marry" or to tell a woman what she has to do with her body. Not that I like abortion, just that it is not my call. At least not outside the religious community. But, I digress.

Anyway, agree or disagree I am honored that you took the time to read this. I'm afraid my friend won't see this one because (and I really can't blame him) I wasn't very graceful the last time somebody "posted" on something I wrote. I'll try to do better.