Tag Archive: Christianity


Who am I?  I’m terrified to let people really see me for me.

 

In fact, I’m quite certain that a few of my friends know more about me than my parents do.  But in reality, I’m certain that I barely know who I am myself.  I can put all sorts of labels on myself to make myself feel comfortable, but in the end they all really mean nothing.  The label of “agnostic” means absolutely nothing.  The label of “therian” means absolutely nothing.  They’re very good for finding people to relate to…sometimes.  Though I consider myself agnostic, I really don’t relate to many agnostics since I lean towards Christianity and most other agnostics lean towards Atheism.  And though I consider myself a therianthrope, I’m not the best at fitting in with the online community.  And it’s difficult not knowing anyone in person that is like me in that respect.  Because then at least I’d know one person that could understand what I go through.
While I understand this idea of not being afraid to be yourself, there’s a part of me that believes that only works in theory.  Now I’m not afraid of people knowing what I’m interested in.  I’ll happily admit that I’m a furry and an otaku.  Though some people might see those things as embarrassing, the fandoms are fun for me and a good escape from the troubles of reality.  And good outlets for my interests in different facets of art.  But when it comes to me as a person, I’m no good at fully being myself.  I’m constantly holding back on, suppressing, ignoring, or denying aspects of myself because not even I want to face all of them.  And I wouldn’t like other people knowing them either.  So even if I’m not at my happiest, I’ve gotten use to putting on a smile so I don’t have to burden anyone else with my thoughts.  ‘Cause it really isn’t anyone else’s business.

 

But there are things that bother me on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.  Right now it’s my therianthropy.  Generally I’m fine with it.  I’m fine with not telling people and I’m fine with hiding that.  Well…not really fine with it, but it’s just something I have to do to get by.  Although normality doesn’t exist, there are some things that can and will send people to a mental hospital and I’m sure therianthropy is one of them.  Because what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel human.  Specifically, there’s a part of me that feels like a dog.  And not only do I feel like one, but tend to express it through random behaviors and vocalizations like barking, growling, and howling and have some strange urges like chewing and digging and scent tracking.  Though it’s a big part of myself, I do have to suppress and hide it a lot.  Let’s face it, a person acting like a dog in public would grant a lot of weird looks at the least.  And I was at the very least okay with it.  Because there’s very few people in the world who could ever fully understand it.  And other therians just accept it as something that needs to be done.  And I suppose it does.  Because I’m sure I’d be ridiculed quite a bit if I didn’t.

 

But it’s one of the most uncomfortable things to work against my natural feelings.  Which I have to do on a daily basis.  Because I only have about…3 friends that know this about me and one that I’ve really talked to about it in person.  But even so, I’m not going to behave like a dog in front of them.  Or at least I do my best not to display any of my dog like behaviors in front of people.  It get’s harder when I’m being pestered and annoyed.  If I can think about my reaction before I act on it, then I won’t act on it.  But sometimes the reaction is much quicker than the thought.  Not to mention it’s much easier to growl at someone as a warning rather than say “Stop doing that”.  My family probably can hear me when I’m in one of my doggie moods.  I know my brother can hear me howling and barking at all times of the night.  But I have to reserve those behaviors for nighttime.  I’ve had days before when I’ve gone through an entire day in a dog like mindset and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was frustrating and uncomfortable.  I had no choice but to keep it all locked up inside.  I wish I didn’t have to keep it all to myself really…And I wish I could explain it better.  But I can’t explain how I feel…it’s a near impossibility when I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I wish I had some other ways to express this side of myself.  Some people say that running and exercise helps.  Or going out camping so they’re just out in nature away from other people.  Or dancing…or really anything else that they can think of.  I just haven’t found anything that helps for me.  Exercise is a chore and painful as I’ve got quite a bit of weight to lose.  I suppose I’d like to go camping one day…But for now, I need to find something else to channel this energy into.  Because I just can’t keep suppressing it all.

 

And for spirituality, I feel a bit like the odd woman out with most people I know.  My family’s all Christian.  My friends for the most part are all Christian as well (or at the least very spiritual) aside from one friend who’s Atheist.  And it’s not that they’re spiritual that really makes me feel like the odd woman out.  It’s the fact that they’re really comfortable with the decision they’ve made.  You know when I was little I didn’t really think about it too much.  I was Christian because I went to church and because my family was.  But then I grew up…and with growing up came more questioning of things.  And of course a non-answer to my prayer of what was “wrong with me” (AKA, my issue I mentioned above about therianthropy) sort of helped me move from being Christian to Agnostic.  I really don’t consider myself spiritual at all.  And I’ve tried to be.  I’ve looked at animal totemism and Shamanism because I thought it would be a help with my therianthropy.  At the very least I could learn how to spiritually shapeshift at will rather than doing so sporadically and at inopportune moments.  But after reading more about it, I just lost the interest that I previously had.  Not to mention reading about magic sort of turned me off to it.  I have nothing against magic.  I just don’t believe in it.

 

Plus I guess I still felt Christianity had something to offer me.  If it didn’t, I probably still wouldn’t be researching it and hanging around Christian websites (granted it’s a Christian furry and a Christian therianthropy page but still…).  But yet I still feel like I’m held back from really making a decision one way or another.  Because I care too much about what people think about me.  And it bothers me that people think that people are less intelligent just because they decide to believe in God.  But then again, I suppose I play into that a bit.  And as much as it pains me to say it I suppose deep down a part of me must believe that to a degree.  Even though I know it’s not true at all.  Because I’ll defend my friend (or anyone’s) right to believe as they wish and not be ridiculed for it.  Because being an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean that you are smarter.  Many atheists just parrot points just as much as many Christians do without doing the necessary research.

 

In all honesty, I can intellectually accept the idea of God.  And intellectually accept that God exists.  I just don’t place my faith in him or make any vast leaps to convert to Christianity.  Because 1) it still calls for me to give up a lot and 2) it’s not a leap I feel I’m ready to make.  But I honestly envy religious believers more than non-believers.  It’s much more beautiful and eloquent to believe and see that there’s more to the world, universe, and life than what’s visible to the eyes.  I suppose that Atheists have a point as well.  It’s beautiful to see the world for what we can see in front of us.  But that also seems quite limiting.  Though I suppose I’m just not comfortable with the idea that I’m here and don’t have a purpose and that what’s in front of us is it.  And how am I suppose to be okay with it?  Why wasn’t I born just a regular person instead of this weirdo who has dog-like tendencies?  Why can I draw but not really do anything else right?  Sure we can go with the age old answer of “genetics”…but I’ll never really know my full genetic make up as I’m adopted.  Perhaps my real parents are artistic and that would explain why I am too.  But for therianthropy…there are many therians that don’t have therian parents.  Actually very few have therian parents.  There’s really no explanation for it as of yet.  And if in the end I’ll just die and turn to dust, why the deuce am I wasting my time with school and earning a degree and money!?  There’s no point for it right?  I can just do what I want to do…or rather should…

 

I barely know who or what I am.  I spend all this time fretting over what I want to do in life or how to please other people while trying to please myself and please this entity known as the “world”.  And really they all can’t be done.  Only two can be done at a time…but just barely.  If you ask my parents, they’ll say that I’m really childish and that I refuse to grow up.  And in a way that’s true.  Growing up just…sucks.  And no one can convince me that it’s any good for you.  And I don’t want to.  If I were still little, everything would be so easy.  I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being dog like ’cause people would just think I’m playing pretend like any other little kid.  And religion…I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now.  Only difference is that kids aren’t suppose to understand it.  And kids are always thought of as innocent anyways.  And no jobs or money to worry about…

 

Now I’m just getting utterly depressing.  But yes…yet another thing that bothers me is the whole thought of getting older.  But enough of that.  Unfortunately I’ve got to deal with all these things.  Really it all boils down to I just need to stop caring what people think of me.  Which is such an impossible and difficult thing to do.  Because you have to present your way to the world in some way that is thought of as “normal”.  But I don’t fit in this mold called “normal”.  Well not all the time.  And I just don’t want to fit myself into the world at least in the way the world wants me to fit in.  With the 9-5 job, white picket fence and family with at least 2 kids.  It’s not what I want.  The ultimate goal in my life is to just be happy.  The secondary one is to find a way to really be me.  And lastly is the job/monetary goal which is to work solely for myself (possibly with friends) doing illustration and craft type work.  If I can find a way to do all three by time I die, then I suppose I would’ve achieved all my goals in life.  But how can I even begin to do it?  I just don’t know how…

 

I envy people who know what they want to do, know who they are, what they are, and have everything put together.  I can pretend to be completely stable all I want to…but that doesn’t make it true.  On the outside I can smile all I want.  On the inside, I’m sure I’m just falling apart.  And I’m sure I can’t put up with it much longer…there’s no way that I can…

A not-so-new realization…

It’s new for me to say it (either aloud or through writing) but here it is:

I don’t think I could be an atheist.

I’m remembering touching base on this somewhere (whether it was here or on another site I don’t remember).  Basically it took me some time to get myself to admit that.  I did spend some time considering being atheist.  I spent time being rather upset at Christianity and Christians and wanted nothing to do with the religion.  I don’t care what other people believe, but I didn’t want to be a part of the religion.  Because of my personal experiences with Christianity, my belief of devout Christians were that they were prudish and ignorant.  For non-devout Christians (IE those who believe in God but don’t particularly worship Him or believe the bible), I found them hypocritical, but miles more tolerable than those who spouted fire and brimstone or ridiculed others for not subscribing to their religion.

So for some time I wanted away from Christianity.  I stared reading up on Shamanism.  I believed (and still believe to a degree) in totem animals, spirit guides, and the like.  I wanted to find my totem animal and perhaps “learn” from it.  That was a short lived idea.  I lost interest in it rather quickly.  If I do have a spirit animal, I don’t really care to find it.  Being that I’m not much of a spiritual person, stuff about magic, energy manipulation, etc. doesn’t strike me as that interesting.  It’s not something that I care to learn how to do, though I do find the subject rather interesting.

At one point I visited a Pagan/Spiritual message board and asked for advice about breaking away from Christianity.  I hated going to church.  I really didn’t like the congregation or the pastor.  I didn’t like that stereotypical style of preaching where preachers just yell at you because somehow yelling equates to passion.  Not to mention there was no diversity in my church.  On a rare occasion you’d see one white person in there because they were married to a black woman or because they were guests of someone (in case you’re wondering, I went to an all black church).

But after about two years I’ve come nearly full circle.  Instead of avoiding Christianity or allowing negative ideas to develop about it, I decided to learn about it and engage people in discussion.  When I really didn’t like Christianity, I would easily agree with everything that non-theists would have to say about the religion.  If they said the bible endorsed rape, I believed it.  Or that the bible was against women…I believed that too.  In fact I really did tell myself before that I wanted God to leave me alone.  I was tired of thinking about Him, being riddled with thoughts and questions about him, and guilt about “wrong” things that I was doing.  I wanted it all gone.  But instead of just trying to suppress them all, I started questioning and exploring Christianity.  Now I’m quite certain that when I joined Christian related sites or talked to Christian individuals, I came across as very snappy because I was still rather angry towards the religion.  I parroted factoids that I knew nothing about because the non-theists who seemed knowledgeable to me said them.

But when faced with the reality of things, I was just parroting factoids.  Not facts.  But just blurbs.  The reality is that no matter what the position, everyone’s going to have a bias.  Non-theists aren’t going to believe the evidence that theist put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  Theists aren’t going to support evidence that non-theists put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  There’s points where both groups view the same evidence so differently.  There’s no winning either way.  And there’s really no help for someone like me in the middle of things.  I’ve just got to weigh both sides and see which one has the stronger arguments.  And to me, I suppose Christians do.  Really it all boils down to the creation of the universe.  I don’t buy the creation of something from nothing without some force being their to create it.  I don’t buy the redefinition of nothing.  I already touched base on that and I don’t plan on covering that again.  That and I can’t help but see something…intriguing…about this world despite my rather negative world view.

So yes…I’m an agnostic that leans more towards Christianity than Atheism.  I acknowledge the existence of God, but I don’t place faith in Him.  I don’t pray and haven’t prayed since I was 14 (at least not willingly and seriously).  I’m very much stuck as to what I should to spiritually.  A part of me wants to take a huge leap of faith and trust in something that may or may not exist.  Another part of me doesn’t for multiple reasons.

One thing I know is what I’ve been doing on my own doesn’t work.  So why should doing and believing the same thing continue to work?

Why am I agnostic?

More specifically why am I Christian leaning agnostic?  Why not leaning towards the atheism end of the spectrum?  And why wouldn’t I want to keep the label of “agnostic” forever?

 

I believe I touched base on my history with Christianity in one of my earliest posts here.  I started out claiming Christianity and over time grew strong animosity towards the religion due to my own misconceptions of the religion.  Most of which I read from other people who had even stronger animosity towards the religion than I did.

 

I need to be more comfortable with what I believe.  And what I believe is this:

 

The label of “agnostic” is a cop-out.  It’s saying that  “I don’t know”.  Or rather that’s the guise.  In actuality the position’s more of an “I don’t know so I’m not going to try to learn”.  I’m not even claiming that one can know absolutely what is or isn’t true regarding the workings of the universe, life, afterlife, etc.  What I’m saying though is there is a “more likely than not” situation that can help a person figure out which way to go.  Either towards a theist path or an atheist path.  People can go through agnostic phases, but when one ceases to continue learning about the world, or even attempt to learn about the world, using the term “agnostic” is rather useless and meaningless.

 

Now I tend to look at things as if they were on a sliding scale.  So I’ll place Atheism on one end of the spectrum and Christianity on the other end.  From there’s it’s mainly a game of weighing odds, weighing the price, and weighing what each side has to offer me.  I’ll admittedly say that looking at what each side has to offer me is a rather selfish decision, but it’s one that needs to be there.  “Weighing the price” just means weighing what I’d have to “pay”.  What I’d have to give up in my life in order to follow said path.  And weighing the odds is rather self-explanatory so I won’t go into deeper detail.

 

So I’ll start with what each side has to offer me, the selfish decision.  I suppose I don’t know what Atheism has to offer me. “Reality” I guess.  Whatever reality is.  Though that’s not much of an incentive.  For a girl who desperately wants to escape from reality, offering me reality does nothing for me.  Knowledge?  Well you can gain knowledge outside of being an atheist.  Atheism doesn’t hold claim on intelligence (though many that I’ve come across behave as if it does).  As I don’t know Atheism well enough, I don’t know what it could ever offer me.  It has nothing to offer me because I don’t need to feel smart.  I know enough to get by in the world.  I don’t need to know everything or attempt to know everything.  I don’t need reality because reality is disheartening and stressful.  Sure there’s good things.   My friends, my hobbies, the subcultures I’m a part of.  But even the good doesn’t help with how stressful reality is.

 

I need the security of knowing that someone out there will always care about me no matter who I am (animator, student…), what I am (therian/otherkin, furry, “otaku”), what I believe, or what my interests are.  Whilst I don’t doubt my friends (not so much my family) can accept (or at the most general level tolerate) those deals, people change.  I don’t want that to come across as cruel because I know at least one of my friends reads some of the things I put up here so I hope that isn’t taken in a negative manner.  I need the security of knowing that I’m here for some reason.  I’m terrible at creating my own purpose.  And believe me I’m trying.  I’m rather fed up with animation as a career path.  I could do it, but I don’t think I’m at all good enough or have the passion enough for it.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  Do you know the list of things I would consider for a job?  Animator, illustrator, baker, pet groomer, freelance artist, fursuit maker, comic artist, writer…I want to do all of them, but can’t figure out which one would be a good job.  Not to mention I’d like to think I wasn’t some accident of nature.  Just being here just because.  It’s quite a depressing thought.

 

Now enough of that.  On to weighing the price.  Now we’re all aware that Christianity calls for you to give up a lot.  I suppose I’m not afraid to admit that I make a lot of mistakes that I’m not proud of and want to work to fix.  Well not fix what I’ve done, just fix myself I suppose.  And want forgiveness from the wrong things that I do (despite the fact that the only one in this equation who’d be able to forgive me of such things would be God).  I don’t just mean the obvious wrong things I do.  I also mean the things I do that I feel guilty about.  For some people guilt may go away easily.  For others, it doesn’t.  For everything that Christianity would call for me to give up, it would be things that would probably change my life for the better.  Whether or not I decide to completely give them up is on me though.  Whereas Atheism would call for me to give up something as well.  For when I call myself Agnostic, it’s not because I’m agnostic on the existence of God.  For me, the world wouldn’t make sense without some sort of Creator who at the least started everything off.  Sure I tried to understand the position of “something coming from nothing” in the “scientific” or rather Atheistic point of view.  And I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible with understanding such things.  But I do understand one thing.  The purposeful redefinition of “nothing” to suit the position that nothing can be created from something.  To speak rather frankly, that doesn’t “fly” with me.  But that isn’t the purpose of this post so I won’t go any further with that.  When I say that I’m agnostic, I mean I don’t know what way to turn, what God is like, or who’s closer to understanding Him/it.  That’s not saying that I know for sure that God exists either.  I just don’t frequently question whether or not God exists.  So to take an Atheistic point of view requires me to give up much more than Christianity.

 

I don’t believe I should get into weighing odds.  As I’m still in this process.  Nor am I any good with apologetics.  Nor am I any good at remembering what I read.  So that part is for another time and place.

 

So that’s my beliefs in a nutshell.  Take it or leave it.  I don’t feel like I have to keep hiding everything I feel, believe, etc.

Question for Christians

So I’m sitting here watching a marathon of Touched by an Angel.  I kinda grew up watching it ’cause my mom used to watch it all the time.  I’d never really paid any attention to it before.

 

But anyways…the majority of the emphasis in this show is on the relationship between a person an God/Jesus.  The semantics of beliefs other than that relationship really aren’t discussed much.  Which brings forth a question that’s been bothering me for quite a while:  Aside from the belief in Jesus as your savior and faith in God, what else constitutes being a Christian?  Now I’m well aware that the most would say that this is key and probably a good deal of other beliefs could possibly be debatable.  I don’t believe that.  I find that what else a Christian believes always comes into question.  If you’re a Christian that believes that gays should be able to get married, your faith is questioned.  If you’re a Christian who believes anything else that falls outside the norm of being a Christian, you’re questioned.

 

So do Christians really have to believe everything the bible says?  No deviations at all from it in order to be considered true Christians?  I hear Christians saying that you have your own mind.  And if a person has their own mind and believes something different why does that make them a bad Christian for not always agreeing and parroting (sorry if that word sound harsh…many times people just sound like they’re parroting the Bible and not actually believing it…they “believe” just because the bible says they should) what they’re told because perhaps they feel like they shouldn’t believe any different.

 

Is that a proper assessment or an incorrect one?  Say if I were to convert to Christianity, would I be able to believe something different and still be considered Christian?  Or would I have to “believe” the bible wholeheartedly even though I don’t really believe it?

Definition of “nothing”

Okay, this has been bugging me for quite a while and wasn’t on my mind until today.  I was talking with my friend (whom we share both similar and drastically different spiritual views) about what constitutes as “nothing”.  Yes…we were talking about the origin of the universe.  And we’ve both heard the “nothing doesn’t really mean ‘nothing'” when it comes to the “nothing” of the universe.

 

Now, I’m a stickler for actual definitions of words.  I hate swear words (well…a love/hate relationship with them) because they’re often used out of context.  A “bitch” isn’t a horrible woman.  It’s a female dog.  An “ass” isn’t an unintelligent person or someone’s buttocks.  It’s a donkey.  How these words come to new and often ridiculous meaning is beyond me.  So I’m going to break down the word “nothing” to see if there’s a way that can fit in the concept that “nothing” doesn’t mean the “absence of things” (whatever “things” are).

 

Firstly, nothing is technically a compound word composed of the words “no” and “thing”.  But first let’s go into the definition of “nothing” as a whole word.

 

Nothing (pronoun; according to Collins English Dictionary)

1) (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied specific class of things (IE: I can give you nothing.)

2) No part or no share (IE: I have nothing to do with this crime.)

3) A matter of no importance or significance  (IE: It doesn’t matter, it’s nothing.)

4) Indicating the absence of anything perceptible; nothingness

5) Indicating the absence of meaning, value, worth, etc. (IE: Amounting to nothing)

6) Zero quantity; nought

 

The last one is to be broken up into different subcategories, but I believe that the point is made regardless.  In this case we’d be working with definitions 1, 4, 5, and 6.  Specifically 4 (which I bolded for importance sake), the absence of anything perceptible.  Of course one can say of the universe that this means that there are things out there that we cannot perceive and these are the things that started the universe.  However that will lead to a few questions.  One, how do you know there are things out there that you cannot perceive?  Two, how do you know that these are the things that started/lead to the beginning of the universe?  And three, would the definition of nothing under these constraints continue to be pushed back further and further once these objects that could not be perceived become perceived?

 

I suppose then that I should define what “perceptible” means so that is clear as well.

 

Perceive (verb; as defined by Collins English Dictionary)

 

1) To become aware of (something) through the sense, especially the sight; recognize or observe

2) To come to comprehend; grasp

 

So that we’re very clear on what it means to “perceive” something.

 

What I’m annoyed with so much by this notion of “nothing” doesn’t mean what you think “nothing” means is that it’s a term created purposely to suit what the “scientist” needs the term to mean.  We know the universe had a beginning.  We know this beginning meant that not a thing existed in the universe before the universe existed.  What we don’t know is the means that the universe began.  There’s a point where science needs to acknowledge that it will never be able to explain everything.  Changing the definition of a word to fit what you want it to mean doesn’t make the new definition more valid.  Just because people say “bitch” to mean a woman (generally; it can also be used towards men) who’s rude, mean, insensitive, etc. doesn’t negate the fact that that’s not what a bitch is.  In proper context it’s a valid word used to describe the female gender of a canine.

 

What did the definition of “nothing” become?  It now describes an infinite void where nothing except the universe contained inside of it can exist.  So now I have to figure out what “void” means.

 

Void (noun; from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

 

1) An empty space

2) A vacuum

 

This now forces me to define two more things, “empty” and “vacuum”.  Defining empty however will just circle back around to the definition of nothing (as “empty” as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is defined as “holding or containing nothing”.  Vacuum circles back around to both the definitions of “empty” and “void”.  That is aside from the definitions of it being “a state of being sealed off from external or environmental influences; isolation”, but that’s not a definition to work with anyways.  The ones we would be working with would be “absence of matter”, “a space empty of matter” (which is very similar to saying an absence of matter), or “a space relatively empty of matter”.

 

Honestly, I could go on and on breaking down words until there is a decent enough definition, however I think the point stands.  What definition of “nothing” are we going by?  A linguistically established standard of nothing that everyone is aware of and can look up in any basic dictionary?  Or a “scientifically” created version of “nothing” created because there needed to be a new definition of “nothingness” in order to fit in with the mold that “scientists” needed “nothing” to fit into?

(Warning: Video contains language that is both vulgar and potentially inflammatory.  If you don’t wish to feel insulted, I’d suggest you don’t watch it.)

 

 

If you can get past his vulgar language at points he makes a decent enough point.  This he that I’m referring to is a comedian that goes by the name “2 the Ranting Gryphon”.  This particular rant of his is a few years old but the message is still relevant in the world today.  And you can replace “America” with anything else and it will still ring true (for the most part).  For anyone who didn’t watch the video due to the warning I placed there, his main point was that after 9/11 (both directly afterwards, and in years following) there was this feeling that terrorists were attacking our freedoms and threatening them.  Firstly, freedom is an intangible object that cannot be attacked nor threatened.  Secondly…how?  How exactly did terrorist attack the freedom that we have?  You can’t attack a feeling or intangible object.  That’s akin to saying that they attacked the air we breathe.  9/11 was a terrible incident.  An extraordinarily horrible thing that people could just attack other human beings in such a manner.  However, the point is we lost no freedoms nor was our freedom being attacked.

 

A comment on my “response to a previous post” journal by Eggslap reminded me of 2’s America rant.  Eggslap said “However, when your conscience demands that you attempt to take basic freedoms away from someone else because “the Bible says it’s wrong,” you’ve abandoned all the Christian teachings you should have held dear”.  I gave a fairly simplified answer in response, but the basic gist here is that what 2 applied to his rant can be applied to this statement as well.  What freedoms are being taken away?  To be more specific, the quote says “basic freedoms”.

 

Quite frankly, America (though it has problems) is the most free country.  Look at the TV shows we can watch.  South Park is allowed to get away with nearly anything and everything.  Aside from showing the prophet Mohammed and some language issues, everything else has been shown on TV unedited.  Family Guy can do the same.  People in this country are free to speak their mind and believe as they wish.  Women are free to get jobs and wear the clothes they wish to wear.  These are freedoms.  If “taking away basic freedoms” means being against abortion or same-sex marriage, those are the least of worries.  Making abortions illegal really doesn’t take away freedom.  It saves a life that would’ve otherwise been killed.  That’s all it does.  Not legalizing same-sex marriage isn’t taking away a freedom either.  And it’s quite a minor problem in this country.  This is one issue I don’t think about too much as it does not affect me, but arguments against same-sex marriage need work.  I mean a lot of work.  They’re all about children and emotional appeal.  They don’t bother to explain marriages where people don’t want children.  But that’s besides the point.  Homosexuals are still allowed to live normal lives.  They’re still allowed to be with whoever they want to be with and be who they want to be.  Also (and this part might sound much more harsh than I mean it to be), taking away the freedom of marriage implies that they freedom was already there.  If you want to get technical about it, you can’t take away what someone doesn’t have.

 

In comparison to other countries, we’ve got it easy.  Gay people get killed in other countries.  Women are forced to stay in the home and be housewives.  Not what they want to do.  What they have to do because they’re viewed as “less than” a man.  In other countries you can be killed for what you believed.  Legally by the government.  So I must ask again, what freedom of yours has been taken away?

 

I for one can say that no one’s taken away my freedoms.  I’m free to be an agnostic, to question and learn about different religions and spiritual practices, to cosplay, to create fursuits, to represent myself as a domestic dog online, to be an anime fan, to listen to a comedian like 2 Gryphon, to be a furry, to be a therian, to continue loving Pokemon even though I’m 21, to go to school for animation and not want to work in a studio, to complain about important and trivial aspects of life, and so on and so forth.  All the things I’m free to do and be…none of it is being taken away from me.  Not a single thing.

 

My journal is more geared towards the idea that Christians are taking away basic freedoms, but I’m equally peeved with the idea of anyone taking away freedoms in America.  I’ll believe freedoms are being taken away when I’m faced with hard evidence that there are freedoms being taken away.  Because most of the people who complain about this issue probably don’t have anything being taken away from them.  They can still walk around and believe what they want to believe, feel what they want to feel, and say what the want to say without fear of being killed from it.  Ridicule yes.  People will still ridicule you for trivial things, but you can’t legally be killed for it.

 

We have freedom and that’s a good thing.  But just because not everyone has the same…whatever…as everyone else doesn’t equate to freedoms being taken away.

In response to a previous post…

Okay, I created a post in which I asked what I thought was a “simple” question (you can check for yourself I’m not gonna reference it here).

 

Well apparently I pissed off two bloggers here, KeyofAtheist and Eggslap.  I wasn’t out to attack all atheists.  I was speaking of the experiences I’ve had and other blogs that I’ve run across where I just hear Christians (and sometimes other spiritual people) being talked about in such derogatory manners.

 

Now, at least KeyofAtheist had the decency to not speak to me and at me (because there is a human being behind this blog page) using derogatory language.  Regardless of if I may piss them off sometimes (and I’m quite certain that I’ve pissed them off quite a bit…I’m a difficult person to deal with), at least they had the decency to speak to me intelligently.  So really none of this is geared towards KeyofAtheist.

 

Now Eggslap on the other hand made a ton of assumptions of me (all of them quite false).  Assumptions that I was religious, that I prayed, that I wanted religion in “their” government, that Christians don’t actually put themselves out in the world and make a difference, and so on and so forth.  Not to mention the language being used towards me.  And the language being used towards Christians and their beliefs.  Perhaps “militant atheist” isn’t the right phrase to use and I apologize for that.  And maybe “realist” is a “better” word/label.

 

To clear up some things that Eggslap wonderfully assumed of me…

 

1.  I’m not Christian.  I was at one point, but was only “Christian” because I called myself such.  What’s a 7 year old supposed to do when her mother tells her that she has to go to church.  It was around age 14 where I realized that I wasn’t Christian but was still forced to go to church.  And it was at that point where I developed a deep resentment for the religion and blaming it for a lot of problem.  But get this straight, while I was very angry and hateful towards the belief, I had the common decency to respect the beliefs of my friends and family and not speak ill of them for what they believed.  The same was same for Christians I didn’t know.  Just because someone believes something that’s odd doesn’t make them less intelligent or incapable of recognizing the realities of what’s happening right here, right now.

 

2. Who said that I hoped or prayed?  I don’t pray.  I’m not Christian.  I’m not spiritual (not in any religious connotation and not in your definition either).  I have no use for praying after my experiences of it not working.  I stopped.  The only time you’ll catch me “praying” is to appease my mother during Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for she is a Christian and there’s no way I could get away with not doing so.  I don’t hope either.  With my general dislike of humanity, I don’t have hope for humans.  Why should I?  Can anyone give me a decent reason to hope for anything good to come of humanity?  My perception of loathsome acts?  What perception?  Perhaps my personality makes it so the negatives affect me more.  I’m a pessimist and cynic.  I already stated I have a general dislike/hatred of humanity.  Why is this my “perception”?  Do terrible things not happen?  Do people not do terrible things to each other for no reason whatsoever?

 

3. On my decision to be a misanthrope…it had nothing to do with Christianity.  It had nothing to do with religion.  It just struck me at one point that I absolutely disliked human society and that it didn’t make any sense to me.  I was always a pessimist.  So yes.  Negatives will always outweigh positives.  It’s great that your life is fantastic.  That’s wonderful.  I never claimed that no one could be happy without a belief in God.  So it’s great that you can have a great life without a belief in any sort of God.  Unfortunately until it’s proven to me that I should have faith in humanity, I most likely won’t.

 

4. I never said anything about a “light at the end of the tunnel”.  A belief in an afterlife can exist without that.

 

But there are a few things that I suppose I agree with you on…

 

1.  Actually I will agree with you on this one…my expectations of hope and faith are completely delusional.  Despite the fact that I have no hopes, dreams, or faith in anything.  So your anger with me on this point is completely unwarranted.  I envy people who are hopeful.  I don’t have the capabilities to hope for the best of people when all I see from people are terrible things.

 

2.  I must admit I’ve taken quite a liking to that label of anti-realist.  I’m sure you wouldn’t think that anyone would like such a title (well most rational people wouldn’t…but I’ve admitted to you that I’m quite irrational).  But I do like it quite a bit.  Because I don’t like reality.  I hate it.  But I can’t escape it.  It’s quite unfortunate really…And admittedly I whine a lot about the world and don’t do much of anything.  Why?  Because I feel like I can’t.  So usually I try to not “whine” so much about anything.  I have no right to say anything without trying to do anything about it.  But whatever…I have conflicting and contradicting thoughts in my mind on all issues, ideas, etc.

 

Anyways, that’s all I got now.  I’m quite surprise I wasn’t as upset this time with someone being pissed at me for something.  Though I am going to be more inclined to keep any opinions to myself from now on.  I’m not used to attention being put on me and I don’t like it.  At least not for this (now if this were deviantART and it the attention were on my art it might be another story).

 

I’m sure it really isn’t healthy for me to be so jaded…

Pretty much everything I’m saying here could be geared towards other beliefs as well but I’m going to be very specific here.  Firstly I’m only speaking towards militant atheists.  There are plenty of atheists in the world who realize the good that spirituality does in the lives of individuals.  There are a lot of atheists who respect the beliefs of others.  But on the other end of the spectrum, a lot of atheists don’t like religion or spirituality.  They claim that they don’t like all religions.  That’s a lie.  They may not like religion/spirituality, but there is none other that receives the blunt end of hatred like Christianity does.  That is why I’m going to be specific and say Christianity and not New Age, Shamanism, Paganism, Wicca, or anything like that.  Any atheist who claims to find all religions stupid may actually believe so, but listen to their words carefully.  Everything they say is completely geared towards Christianity.

 

Now my question is why do they feel this way?  Let’s just take all the doctrines and rules away.  Let’s take away the group and focus on the individual.  I used to wonder why homeless people kept believing in God and saying “God bless you” to any and every person who walks by regardless of if they give them money or food or anything.  Really it just hit me about five minutes before I started writing this.  Their belief in God gives them a hope that nothing else could give them.  They know that their lives are bad now, but they know that God could make it better.  If not in this life then in the next one.  And most people who have a belief in God have so because they need hope in their lives.  You can’t buy anything with hope.  You can’t live off hope alone.  But hope is an extremely powerful tool.

 

What would be the use in ridding the world of something that gives hope to people?  Why is a person less intelligent than you because they have faith and hope in something greater than themselves or their fellow man?  As a misanthropist, I must say that putting your faith in humanity is a rather reckless thing to do.  In general let’s look at humanity.  Wars over oil.  Racism.  Sexism.  Theft.  Fear of the unknown.  Arrogance.  Pride.  Police (the people who are supposed to be protecting and helping us) brutality and corruption.  Corruption in general.  Riots on black Friday resulting in deaths and injuries over TVs and gaming systems.  Is this what I’m supposed to have faith in?  Is this what anyone is supposed to have faith in?  These are the exact reason why I’m a misanthropist.  I don’t like humanity as a whole.  What do you, the militant atheist, gain in taking hope and faith away from the everyday person?

 

Now as much as I try to argue about politics or science and try to understand both sides of the argument.  But in all honesty I don’t care about any of that stuff.  Sure using science and history to back up your side of things is good.  It makes you look smart (it won’t actually mean that you’re any smarter than anyone else though unless you thoroughly understand what you believe in/are talking about), but it does nothing else because neither side can prove with any certainty that their side is 100% correct.  But what side provides the hope that most people need?  Atheism declares that this is all there ever will be, that we humans are such an insignificant part of the universe, that everything came from nothing (whatever nothing even means anymore…), and that anything that happens in this life is nothing but luck or a fluke or coincidence.  If you’re rich and famous, you’re that way because of luck, coincidence, people you know, etc.  If you’re happy, it’s because of you’re genetics/personality.  If you’re suicidal, it’s because you’re too weak to handle the world.  It’s the world’s way of “weeding” out the weak.  If I’m wrong about any of these things presented, please explain why I’m wrong.  But for the most part, these are things that I’ve read/heard from some atheists.

 

I care about the hope aspect.  That’s all that matters.  On a general basis, I’m subjected to depression caused by my own failures, what I hear in the news, the way I see people acting towards one another, the way I act towards other people, and my general dislike of the world and having to deal with it.  With atheism, what sort of hope am I supposed to have?  It provides science, and a lot of thinking but nothing else.  It doesn’t provide me with a reason to continue dealing with a world that I don’t want to deal with.  I suppose this is the real reason I have to want to convert to Christianity.  Not because it provides any real facts or anything.  But because it provides the hope needed to deal with a rather depressing world.  And I think that’s just what most people in the world desire.  We see so much injustice from all angles.  People in Africa starving.  Women there getting raped because the men believe that having sex with a virgin will cure them of HIV/AIDS.  We see teens in our own country being bullied and beaten because of their sexual identity.  Racism all around the world still runs rampant.  So people who want hope aren’t stupid or delusional.  They just want something more than themselves.  And if that belief leads them down a path to attempt to help make the world a better and more tolerable place, then so be it.  Don’t belittle people for having hope.

 

There’s another side to this coin, but that shall be for another post.

As a non-Christian this will obviously be written from such a perspective.  However I do think that some Christian could stand to see what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to evangelizing to the unsaved.

 

1. Hellfire and Brimstone rants. This is the least effective evangelizing tool.  In fact, this could hurt a person’s chances of converting to Christianity rather than help them and usually helps to further solidify a person’s belief that all Christians are hate-mongers.

 

There is a man in downtown Chicago that I used to pass by a lot when I would leave a summer job I had in previous years.  I don’t think anyone knows his real name.  However he is quite notorious around these parts as the “Old Navy” man because he stages his rants outside an Old Navy store.  He stands there in full business attire with a microphone and speaker and yells out to passers by.  Damning them to hell.  Damning everyone to hell because I suppose to him that everyone that was around him was “unchurched” and needed to hear how evil and vile they were in the eyes of God.

 

My friend told me of a time where her mother attempted to have a civil conversation with this man about judgment.  And this man who is supposed to be a devout Christian decided to curse her out.

 

If you claim that your religion is one of peace and love, preach about it from this angle.  Use your life experiences to show why you are following this path.  When you use the fire and brimstone method, you’re showing the real reason you’re a part of this religion.  Not because you love God, not because you think God is love.  But because you don’t want to feel God’s wrath and you’re afraid of it.  You believe everyone else needs to be afraid of it as well.

 

2. Watch your language. Now this is a minor issue for me, but I will admit when I hear people who claim to be Christian using swear words or deciding to use language that could be construed as hateful or hurtful, I must question their beliefs a little bit.  Watching ones language also includes gossip and rudeness towards other people.  Don’t claim the title of “Christian” if you’re a constant gossip and realize that you’re a constant gossip, spread rumors, say hurtful things to or about people, etc.  Also, don’t make fun of people because their beliefs are different.  You know that God gave people free will so it’s no wonder why some people believe different things.

 

3. Practice what you preach and believe what you preach. I wouldn’t imagine that this would be such an issue for people.  It seems logical that if you believe something wholeheartedly, that you would practice this belief.  I know that people struggle and that people make mistakes.  But if you’re constantly going against everything that you preach, you’re only fooling yourself.  Not only are you fooling yourself, the image of the everyday Christian that you put out to the world gets skewed and you’re breaking your own belief system.  Christianity teaches that God is love.  If you don’t display love in your actions while trying to minister to people, those that you are trying to minister to will tune you out and paint you as a hypocrite and your belief system as a crock.

 

4. Don’t be so automatic to paint everything that is different as “evil”. This is something that bothers me about a lot of Christians.  It’s something that everyone in the world does, but I find it especially terrible with Christians do this.  When non-Christians do this they are working off their own preconceived notions of what “evil” really is.  But you all have a way to find out what real evil is.  The bible lays out what is evil.  You know what evil is.  True evil.  You know what things are sinful.  So I’m not speaking about things that the bible covers.  I’m speaking about things that are just “outside of the norm”.  Speak to people about their experiences.  Learn about what it is you’re painting as “evil” before you decide that it goes against what the bible teaches.  Otherwise you’re just generalizing something and forming stereotypes about everyone who’s a part of this group.

 

5. Use your own life experiences to back up your faith. I don’t know if people are afraid to do this or not.  But people can’t tell you that your life experiences are fake.  What are they going to do?  Tell you that there’s no way that your life could be turned around by a belief in God?  That there’s no way that you can have peace in your life?  That there must be something else that you’re doing?  They can say all these things.  That’s a fact.  But they can’t prove that it wasn’t faith that made your life better.  They can’t prove that it wasn’t prayer that helped a loved one.  Scientific and historical evidence is great to start off, but a lot of people can shrug that off.  People can’t tell you what you have and have not experienced in life.

 

6. Realize that there’s some people you can’t convince of anything. Just move on and go on with your life.  Continuously trying to focus your efforts on trying to convert people or convince them of your belief won’t do anything for some people.  No matter how much evidence you try to show, no matter your life experiences, there are some people who are so arrogant that they will refuse to listen to any of it.  Leave them be and move on.

 

These are some main points that those who want/need to minister to people have to remember.  There might be other important points, however these are the ones that I can remember/think of.  If I think of more, I might make a part two to this.

Anger and Depression

Okay one of my goals with this blog was to write through any feelings (good or bad) that I may have.  I never talk through my feelings and it probably could help if I did.  So this is a bit more rant-like and not so well thought out.

 

So for the few days since I’ve had this blog I’ve attempted to just open conversation or question others on their beliefs.  On one hand I’ve had fun with trying to do something that I usually don’t do which is share my own opinions.  I’ve tried to be as calm and rational as I can.  However religion’s a difficult subject matter and getting angry or depressed is inevitable.  I tried to explain what I believed to Atheists to get told to “suck it up and learn science”.  So I’m watching a rather difficult to understand theory on how the universe came from “nothing”.  Which so far just changes the definition of “nothing” to mean that there were things that were always there, but they were so small that you couldn’t notice them.  And I tried to explain why I felt “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a useless policy and this argument (though I might just give up on it soon because there’s no way I’d be able to try to explain it unless I was in the military I suppose) just got to a point where I was told that I basically have no right to have an opinion on the issue unless I was in the military.  Nothing infuriated me more than to tell me my belief is invalid because I don’t know how the military works.  Yes I don’t know how the military works.  I’m not in it.  I’m an artist, not a fighter.  But I know that if an able bodied person wants to fight, they should have the right to do so.

 

I’m just walking away from the whole thing feeling very…stupid I suppose.  Like I shouldn’t have opinions.

 

I’m terrible at debating because in general I’m a very sensitive person I suppose.  I try my best to not show so much anger towards other people.  So in turn it just becomes internalized.  Which turns to depression.  Depression is nothing but a lot of internalized anger and sadness that’s never resolved.  I end up feeling worthless and unintelligent because of it.  At this point, even though I don’t think I’m “stupid”, I also don’t think that I’m very smart.  My level of self worth is actually quite low as well.  I try not to burden people with my problems because I don’t want people to think I’m suicidal or something like that.  I don’t want to be treated like I have to be hospitalized because that’s not my issue.  I basically don’t have the desire to care anymore.

 

If anyone were to ask me why I would consider converting to Christianity.  I probably wouldn’t use too much evidence with science or anything.  But in terms of everything I want in my life that religion has it.  Comfort, security, love, purpose…If an Atheist were to consider me stupid for wanting any of those things in my life, then so be it.  I must be stupid.  It’s quite the depression position to hold that all we do in life is for naught.  Or rather that it has no reason or rhyme behind it.  It’s purely random.  And if that’s the case why do anything?  Why adhere to standards of right and wrong?  Why coach a person out of committing suicide when they’ll die and turn to dust anyways?  Whatever impact they have on the world is purely circumstantial.  That’s why I find Christianity so appealing.  I honestly envy people who’re able to easily just have faith in something.  The world’s quite the depressing place.

 

Anger and depression is rather poisonous to my life.  You can then say something like “Why don’t you just get over it?”.  “Getting over it” isn’t as easy as some people would like to pretend it is.  Therapy doesn’t help everyone.  Medicine only masks the problem(s).  While I say I don’t want to commit suicide, that isn’t to say that I just don’t want to die and get it over with.  I’m sick of dealing with my own emotions, the world, expectations, and religion/spirituality.  I’m sick of not only the self hate, but also my increasing disdain for humanity.  For religion, politics, money, education…everything.  It sucks.

 

I wish I didn’t have to care about any of this…I wonder if I should even bother to keep trying to have religious conversations when I just can’t handle them.