Overcoming Bloglessness


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Schismism

It’s an custom of the Blackfeet Indians; the mother-in-law does not enter her son-in-law’s tipi and the son-in-law does not enter the mother-in-law’s tipi.

This is now my custom too.

Dick’s been waiting for a reason to go all jihad on my ass. He’s been seething since his daughter declined to say Amen at the table.

A few weeks ago he phoned-in his verbal assault. He sounded red-faced on the other end of the line, yelling about how he’s been turning the other cheek all these years, accusing me of insulting him and his family and trying to influence his daughters. My “I never…” was cut off with his “Liar!” and then, before hanging up on me, he called me a “Fucking fascist”. A fascist?! What the hell?

It took me hours to calm my racing heart and stop shaking after the call. My husband wondered if he should try to talk to Dick. I voted nay. What’s the use, if he doesn’t believe anything you say? Let him have the last angry word. I’m glad I didn’t have the chance to say anything I’d regret.

Way to make the world a better place, Dick. Are you proud of your words? What a shining example you are! You’re the embodiment of everything I loathe about religion. You’re the epitome of piousness: intolerant, angry and vengeful, just like your god. Way to represent!

Look, I’m nice dammit. I don’t go around insulting people. I’ve never knowingly insulted Dick or his family. In fact, my husband and I have tip-toed around, careful to avoid key words that might set him off: words like religion, gay marriage, Obama, freethinker, indoctrination, gun control…

He just can’t stand that I don’t believe in god.

And I’m not foolish enough to try to secretly influence his children. They’re five and seven years old for cryin’ out loud! They can’t keep secrets. They tattle all day long. They’re just not viable Secret Atheist Agenda recruits!

So, now we have new rules. Blackfeet rules. I don’t call or go to his house when he’s home. I don’t even want to go there when he’s away, lest he appear unexpectedly. I don’t want to see him on my porch. My daughter and granddaughters and I will have our get-togethers without Dick. That’s fine. It’s not like he was adding any sparkle to my life.

The “fucking fascist” comment boggles me. Does he really think I’m a fascist or was it just another F word? Does atheist equal fascist in his mind? Do they say “fascist” a lot on Fox News? I can’t imagine how he makes that jump.

He has no idea who I am. The truth isn’t important to him. He makes up his own. He needs to believe I’m a fascist so he can be offended.

I sound bitter, I know. I am. My feelings are hurt, but I’ll get over it. Maybe writing this will help.


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Daily Prompt: Standstill

Upper Stillwater Lake

Upper Stillwater Lake

Daily Prompt: Standstill.

For a moment today, time stands still — but you can tweak one thing while it’s stopped. What do you do? Photographers, artists, poets: show us STILLNESS.

Standstill

According to the book of Joshua, the last time the sun stood still there was a terrible slaughter. I promise not to do that.

While the world is at a standstill, I’ll tweak religions into ancient history where they belong. Nobody will be hearing god voices that mandate death and violence. There will be no indoctrinating children, no teaching them to fear eternal fire. Nobody will claim to be acting on their god’s will or demand that others do so. We will not retard scientific progress with ancient mythology.
When the earth moves again, we’ll be evolved out of superstitions, the root of the violence and hatred we see in the headlines every day. 002


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Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

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Daily Prompt: In Good Faith.

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FAITH.

I Never Believed

The first doubts came with the first day of Sunday school. I remember the moment, singing “Jesus Loves Me”, unconvinced that it was true. I didn’t love Him and I didn’t like the notion that I belonged to Him.

I doubted that the Bible was the “Word of God”. I doubted that exactly 144,000 souls would be sucked up into heaven when The Rapture comes.

Doubts are the work of the devil, I was told. Don’t let the devil lead you astray.

I felt guilty. And scared. What’s wrong with me? Am I so weak? So wretched? I prayed hard. I tried to believe, but I doubted when I went to the altar at church camp and I doubted when I got baptised.

When I tried to teach my children the basic Bible stories, because I felt I should, they asked the same sensible questions I had asked at their age. I couldn’t give them the same unsatisfactory answers I had been given. I wouldn’t teach them something I didn’t believe.

After my father died, when there was no one left to disappoint, I acknowledged the fact that I am an atheist. I said it out loud.

“I am not a Christian. I am an atheist.”

I remember the moment. I was making the bed.

Little by little, I freed myself from the need for a supernatural experience.


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Daily Prompt: Fantasy

 

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

I see no harm in playing the game of Santa Claus or pretending there’s a fairy that leaves money under your pillow in exchange for a tooth. But when a child starts having doubts and asking questions a parent should tell them the truth. It’s a game. We pretend Santa comes. He represents the spirit of giving. We pretend that a bunny hides eggs for us to find. The bunny and eggs represent spring and new life. Teach the history and origins of the traditions, but don’t expect the child to believe it’s true.
It’s cruel to deceive a child and tell them that something is true when it isn’t. But people do it all the time. It’s called religion.


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Daily Prompt: Undo Gods

 

 

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

GODS

I would undo the gods. We never should have invented gods. They’re nothing but trouble.
Think of the wars they’ve called for, the civilizations they’ve annihilated. Genocide, infanticide, mean nothing to the gods. They call for it all the time. How many mortals have been tortured at their command? How many innocents burned at the stake?
Why do we let them torment us? It’s like a game for gods. They toy with us, testing and tempting.
We know how they lie, calling themselves merciful and omnipotent, yet refusing to alleviate suffering.
Why do we fill our children’s heads with fear and teach them that they’re weak and sinful? What if they were told that they’re powerful and taught to use their power for good?
If gods had not been invented we would know that we have the power to create a better world and it is our responsibility to do so. We cannot sit around with heads bowed and hands clasped, supplicating our imaginary lords.
It’s up to us mortals. We are the gods.