Religion–A Personal Perspective

Posted by

Yesterday, I wrote a post called True Believer Pompeo Drives Iran Policy. I want to follow up on that with a personal perspective about growing up in a split evangelical household. Sometimes I’ve been hesitant to go down this road because I know how divisive the subject is in America. But it’s one of the reasons why my friend Greg and I started this blog.

We didn’t do it to talk about the easy stuff. We did it to talk about the harsh realities of American life and the world, as well as what we can do as citizens to make this a better place to live.

So, if you didn’t know it about me yet, I’m NOT a religious person. My mother, may she rest in peace, wouldn’t be happy to hear me talk like this. It’s not like she didn’t try. From the time I was old enough to talk, she’d put me in the car on Sunday mornings and take me to the local baptist church. My siblings, who were all older than me, suffered the same fate as me when they were my age.

My father, on the other hand, wasn’t a religious person at all. Oh, he’d do the customary Easter Service now and then, but most of the time, while my mother was yelling at me to get ready on Sundays, he was busy snoring away in the bedroom. Thus, division and conflict started at a young age for me.

Ironically, once we all became teenagers, we left the church — all of us. Sunday mornings became a stressful place once we all decided that church was the last place we wanted to be. It hurt my mother—I know it did. Years later, she still lamented the fact that we all left. And she rarely let a conversation go without telling us we ought to go back and ask God for forgiveness—even when she was in the last year of her life. I was 55 years old!

Needless to say, though, none of us ever returned. There was something about the church we attended. I remember thinking I was on my way to an after-life of hell, fire, and damnation if I took a drink, smoked, or had pre-marital sex. God forbid if I ever used a swear word. If I did not ask the Lord for forgiveness, an eternal life with the devil himself awaited.

Is it any wonder why I left?

However, the church did help me to be a decent person, as did my mother. She always told me to treat others as I wanted treated myself. Be kind to others, and stay out of trouble. Those are things I still try my level best to do daily. If I try to find a silver lining in being forced to go to church for several years, it’s in this realm.

But once I left the church, I left the church. Even though I’d still have to go occasionally for a funeral or wedding, I never once attended a Sunday service on my own. Over the years, through marriage, I did go to Catholic churches occasionally, and I’ll admit that I never got the same feeling of dread that I got from my early-years evangelical church. The sermons never appeared to be overly negative. I never felt like I was a bad person while in the church, either.

Nevertheless, since my childhood, the church has never played a significant role in my life. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become even less enamored with church doctrine of any kind. After September 11, 2001, I became even more disillusioned. The idea that a fringe group of 19 hijackers could do what they did on that day, all in the name of some crazy doctrinal interpretation, hardened my stance even more against organized religion.

Our Founders had it right. They knew how the religious extremists would try like hell to hijack our young Republic. After all, our First Amendment addresses their concerns. It’s pretty simple. We’re all free to practice whatever religion we so choose, but the government of the United States of America shall not establish any such religion as the official doctrine. Why is this so hard for some to understand?

My point today is not to be critical of those who are religious. On the contrary, in many ways, the church can instill a moral compass by which we should all aspire. We should all want to be better citizens, as well as treat each other with respect and dignity. Those indeed are virtues by which I try and live by daily.

My point is to begin a conversation. I plan on weighing in a little more often on religion in this space. I wanted to dovetail on yesterday’s post with a deeply personal post on how my opinions on church and God formed at an early age. Perhaps there are some of you out there who experienced something similar.

Were the divisions in your house the same? At the time, I never thought much of how my mother and father had such different approaches when it came to religion. I remember how my father would sometimes get on us when we complained about going to church, even though he rarely went himself. I think he probably did that to keep the peace. He knew it upset my mother, so anything to keep her calm made his life much better. I get it now.

As I grow older, I’ve become more skeptical of those in high office who use religion as their governing philosophy. When prophecies and bible verses become a way to justify policy decisions, I think we all need to take a step back.

How does one acquire such blind faith to the point at which other religions are deemed bogus or false? I’d love to know how one comes to such a point in their belief system. I guess it never hit me the same way. My mother tried to teach us what she thought was right. My siblings and I, however, rejected her premise once we were old enough to think for ourselves.

Religion is, without a doubt, complicated. I’d love to hear from you. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have my opinions. If you think I’m off base, please let me know why. If you agree, that’s fine too. At the tender age of 58, I’m still learning.


  1. Wow, Jeff … you’ve floored me because in some ways your early beginnings mirrored my own. You asked, so let me tell you a bit about my childhood experiences with religion ….
    My father was Jewish, my mother Catholic. I was raised in both. I went to Catholic schools during the week, Hebrew school on Saturdays, Catholic church on Sundays. In school, I was “that four-eyed Jew girl”. In Synagogue, I was “that Papist kid”. I fit in nowhere. My family kept to the dietary laws of both … we kept kosher and didn’t eat meat on Fridays. By about age 5, I started to question things, and I found that adults had no logical answers. “Just because”, or “You have to believe”, or “It isn’t our place to know”, did not satisfy me. Eventually, I asked the key question: “if god is omnipotent, omniscient, and all that, then why does he let planes fall from the sky, wars happen, people murder each other, and people in Africa starve?” The only answer I got from either side was “It’s god’s will”. And it was at that point, nine years of age, that I concluded that for me, at least, religion is a bunch of malarky. As I aged, studied, became aware, I came to realize that religion has a purpose … to make people feel better about themselves. I respect that … I have a number of friends who are Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim … and I respect their right to take comfort in their religion. For me … I have no use for it. I live my life trying to help people, animals and the earth, I live my life with compassion and caring, trying always to do the right thing, but not because I think there is a reward after death … merely because that is who I am.

    You asked!!! 😉 I will email you in a bit about this post, for this was on my mind this evening as I struggled to find my focus for my morning post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so interesting to hear how others grew up in religious or not-so religious households Jill. Yes, your situation is eerily similar to mine. My father was actually raised catholic, I think. He never talked much about it. He was more like, ‘just do what your mother wants!’
      I’d get the same response from my mother later on in life. Why all the wars? Why the famine Why earthquakes..hurricanes…tornados? Same thing…God will come back in the ‘blink of an eye’ when he sees fit. It’s god’s will!
      Amazing isn’t it? She’d also try to explain away the so-called miracles in the bible. She believed every one of them. We’d go at it at times. She’d never budge.
      Good thing about her though, she was a loyal Democrat her whole life. She couldn’t stand Trump. So, she had sense about a lot of things. But on religion? There was no winning the argument. She would lecture me all the time.
      I’m like you Jill. Help people. Be a good person. Try and do the right thing every day. To me, that’s enough for me to get into the ‘kingdom of heaven’ or whatever we want to call it. At the end of the day, we really don’t know what happens after we die, do we? My mother absolutely knew it…as do so many in the evangelical/christian world. I’m not there, nor have I ever been. You just can’t argue with some people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny, but that vision of “heaven” never held any real appeal for me. The concept of hanging out on a cloud, talking to old family members & friends, with nothing else to do … no books, no pen & paper, no laundry to do, meals to cook … how utterly boring! I quasi believe in reincarnation, but of late I’m not so sure I’d like to return as a human, so I’m thinking to come back as a wolf. I respect wolves. 🐺 I’ve even been practicing my howl, thanks to Trump! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My wife always says she’d like to come back as a dog. Dog/wolf…..I’d be ok with either one. Yes, first thing I’d do is find Trump and pee on his leg!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m confused, too, Mary! That was a response I made on Twitter to my representative in Congress, Warren Davidson, who was putting down the House democrats for trying to reign in Trump’s war powers! Jeff????????


      1. Nope. You’re not crazy Mary! Twitter is embedded with my site, via WordPress. Whatever last thing I tweet, or retweet, shows up there. I retweeted that great slap-down Jill tweeted to her Congressman. That’s why it showed up.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a response I made on Twitter to my representative in Congress, Warren Davidson, who was putting down the House democrats for trying to reign in Trump’s war powers. I’m not sure how it showed up here!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m still learning too, but I’m only 25, of course.

    While I grew up in a Christian household, some experiences have helped me confirm (for me) the belief that there is a God. The most poignant of those experiences (for me) was a night that I asked God to bring to my heart anything He wanted to bring to my heart. He brought into my heart a longtime friend, and told me to say some kind words to her (she’s trans and most of her family disowned her). I messaged some kind words to her, after some convincing (as it turns out, while I was taught about a God who’s transphobic, the God I heard speaking to me was not transphobic at all), and found later that my words were desperately needed, so much so that it may’ve saved her life (she really struggled with her mental health).

    Through that experience and others, my own Christian faith has solidified in many ways, but it’s not the sort of Christian faith you see from a lot of people. My faith and my prayers have taught me to be an advocate for those who aren’t fortunate or empowered. But at the same time, my faith has also taught me that even people of faith are fundamentally imperfect humans trying to understand a perfect God, and that therefore we should maybe cut each other a little slack instead of the whole “one true religion” talk. While I very much identify as Christian, it’s quite possible that there are certain things that another religion gets right about God that I don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. very well said and I couldn’t agree more.

      You’re an example of the kind of Christians that need to represent God, people who are tolerant, not judgmental, etc.

      Jesus rebuked the legalists, turned over the tables in the temple and drove the money changers out, hung out with hookers and the outcasts. These are things you don’t see these days very much and I would imagine that there are a good number of people who claim to be Christian who would be told by Christ, upon his return, to “stand at my left, you who are cursed” or something to that effect.

      I’ve read and studied the bible though I don’t have book and verse memorized.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks for the thoughtful response Brendan. Sounds like you have it right. You did right by your friend. It shows you have empathy and possess a deeply personal and spiritual sense of yourself and the world around you.
      Also, you’re open-minded in the sense that you, nor I, have all the answers. The fact you can admit that says a lot about who you are. I wish others were as open-minded. Those who think they DO know it all? That’s when we see problems in society and world around us. Hardened thoughts and my way or the highway isn’t the way it should work. Nobody…nobody knows anything for sure. We should all be able to practice whatever religion we want. But please, do not tell my yours is better than mine or that because I do not believe in God in the same way, I’m a bad person who will go to hell. When I hear that from people, I’m done.
      Thanks again Brendan. I appreciate the feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jeff, I very much enjoyed this post and I shall chime in later with my rather long detailed story as well. It might be a novel though. When I was in therapy, something which I’ve been considering again for the last couple of years but just haven’t pulled the trigger on, my therapist said that she no longer had to read novels, she’d just wait for my journal entries. When I was a kid, my dad said “if I asked you what time it was, you’d tell me how to build a watch.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jeff.

    I grew up Catholic and though I don’t remember much of my church attendance, I clearly remember my mom saying in response to my brother’s protest at going, “God spends all of his time in our house, it’s not too much to ask that we spend one hour in his.”

    I chose the name John for my confirmation not because of any admiration for the writer of the gospel but because I was really into the music of John Lennon at the time. lol.

    Later on, I would discover that John’s gospel and the book of revelation, along with Ecclesiastes, lamentations and the book of Job were among my favorites in the bible.

    I was not enamored with the writings of Paul as so many seem to be but I count myself in the minority on most everything so that’s not too surprising.

    Fast-forward to college where I attended a southern Baptist university where old and new testament studies were require core material for everyone no matter what their degree was in. There was no shortage of literalists and I would have many occasions to run into many of them through my 5 years at the university.

    I had very big problems with the people who took the scripture at face value, I’d hear dribble like “Well if the bible says that Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, then I believe it”.

    I would ask questions like “what did it mean for Jonah spiritually and psychologically? Were I able to see, I probably would have seen eyes rolling in my very direction, how dare I try to dig deep under the surface of the literalists who were in huge supply at that institution.

    I was having a discussion with a religion professor and the subject of Jesus’ crucifixion came up and I mentioned something about his soul being away from his body, you know, that tradition that says he descended into hell for the time before his resurrection and he didn’t buy it calling me “Mr. Greek philosopher” or something to that effect.

    I’m not sure how the two are connected, it’s been a long time since I studied either religion or Greek philosophy, maybe the Greeks believed in the separation of the soul from the body at death, or maybe the professor was just being an ass and didn’t want to engage further with me on the topic, who knows.

    I went to a Catholic graduate school for my masters in counseling, which I never completed and it was there that I learned of centering prayer and writings like the Cloud of Unknowing, which were the inspiration for an album I released last year. I will be happy to send the link for any who want to hear “The Heavens Grew Silent”.

    One of the customs at the university was adoration of the Eucharist where someone had to be in the chapel at all times and I remember my one and only experience of adoration.

    I was in the chapel just being quiet and while there, I remember feeling a suspension of time, like everything was eternal and it was an experience I’ll never forget. It’s hard to put into words other than that but I told my wife about it years later and she said “You probably just fell asleep”.

    Dismissal of ones experiences isn’t something I choose to dwell upon so I’ll move to much later.

    When my brother died after battling stage 4 Sarcoma for 11 months, I found myself drawn to the stories of those who have had near death experiences and that kind of thing, hoping to know that wherever my brother is, he’s alright. 2 years later I still don’t really have any answers but I remember a dream that I had where it was me and my older brother and I said “when I die, I’m going to walk right up to God and ask him why this happened, to which my brother cried and said “it won’t matter”.

    even now, recounting the dream brings tears to my eyes, I obviously have a lot of unresolved emotions to work through around Joe’s death, thus my comment about seeking therapy in my last reply.

    So what do I believe now? I’m probably more of a deist, believing that God created the universe but he just lets it run down with no further intervention. the whole notion of a god who one has a personal relationship with is something I just can’t fathom at this point.

    I’ve had a lot of experiences with Christians who want to pray for me to get my sight back and I have always had a problem with this because it’s built on the premise that I’m somehow broken or that I need to be fixed and their egos need a miracle to validate their own faith in a power greater than themselves.

    they obviously haven’t read John 9 verses 1-3.

    As wandering and incoherent as it was, that’s a summary of my experiences in all things religious and spiritual.

    I look forward to reading more comments myself as religion is a subject I do enjoy discussing. I don’t find it nearly as polarizing as topics of a political nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I laughed at your reason for choosing the name ‘John’ for your saint’s name, and was sad to read of your brother … I did not know your brother had died. I don’t share your belief, but I respect it. Hugs Scott!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow Sklawlor. I learned quite a bit that I didn’t know about you. I appreciate the candor. I really do.
      It’s funny you say you consider yourself a deist. I say funny because my wife and I sometimes joke to our friends and family how that’s our new religion. My wife was raised Catholic, but about 10 -12 years ago, she began to pull away from the church. She know longer considers herself a Catholic. I think the whole thing with the priests and pedophilia was the final nail in the coffin for her. How could men of God do something so horrific? How could the church try to cover the whole thing up? It’s one of the worst things to have happened in my lifetime, at least as it relates to organized religion.
      Her best friend still remains a devout Catholic and is a bit taken back by my wife’s abandonment of the church. She doesn’t understand. Again, those who are so steadfast in their thinking, and who won’t even consider another point of view? What can you do? Move on to the next conversation, right?
      I did not know that you were blind, my friend. But, it seems as though you do not let something like that get you down, and live your life accordingly. I can’t think of anything more inspiring than that.
      But quickly, back to Deism. The Founders, most of them were Deists. They believed in a higher being, but most of them were skeptical of the true believing Christians. You know what? I’m with them, and you. I’m probably a bit closer to the Deist way of thinking, as opposed to being an agnostic or atheist. I do believe there’s a good chance there might be a ‘higher’ intelligent ‘creator’ somewhere in the universe. But again, how do any of us really know? We don’t.
      By the way, I was watching a documentary on Netflix a few weeks back that was about what you mentioned….near death experiences. It was really interesting but I wasn’t able to finish it. When I find out, I’ll send you the title. Maybe you saw it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jeff. I totally agree with you regarding the pedophilia issue with the church.

        I’ve listened to quite a few interviews about Near Death experiences and one ladies account was so inspiring that it lead me to compose an album around the story. The album is called Soul Journey and you should be able to find it on amazon if you wanted to check it out.

        I’ve got quite a bit of music on that platform as well as Spotify.

        Yes, I’d be interested in the title of that documentary when you find it.

        Have a good weekend.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I will check that out when I get a chance and I’ll let you know about that documentary. I checked Netflix. Didn’t find it there. Could have been Amazon or hulu….Geez, it’s been a while….I’ll find it though. You have a nice weekend too sklawlor and thanks for sharing your personal story. Really appreciate it. You make me think!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. with so many streaming options and so much content, isn’t it a wonder that we can find anything at all? lol

        Thanks for the compliment, I don’t often hear that I make people think so it’s affirming to have such a thing said. I appreciate that.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. What an interesting topic Jeff. My mother was Jewish and my dad Catholic, and my sister and I were raised Catholics. Our upbringing wasn’t especially strict, although we did attend church on the weekends and Sunday school. However, once I started getting older I began questioning the beliefs of the Catholic Church, especially in regards to women, abortion, and gays. I consider myself a lapsed Catholic nowadays, and to be honest, I’m not terribly fond of organized religion as a whole. In my personal experience I’ve found those who are the most vocal about their religion and where it on their sleeves, are the ones who usually practice intolerance toward others. As for me, I just try to treat people the way I like to be treated: with kindness, dignity, and respect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kim. That’s why I can tell you’re an awesome person! You’re closely aligned with my wife in this regard. She too, is a ‘lapsed Catholic,’ of sorts. It’s weird. Sometimes, maybe once or twice a year, we’ll go to a service at a Catholic church just to sort of cleanse ourselves a bit? LOL…I don’t know if that’s the reason but occasionally we’ll do it. You can’t totally get it out of your system, I suppose. But, like you…kindness, dignity, and treating people with respect…that’s, in my view, what’s important in life. The people who where it on their sleeves are the people, as you say, tend to be the most intolerant of others. Not exactly practicing what Jesus Christ was all about is it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Jeff! I occasionally miss the sense of family and community I got from attending church, but I don’t miss the hypocrisy and other baggage that comes along with it. I also don’t miss having to bite my tongue as I vigorously disagree with the majority of its teachings. I’ve actually been considering trying an Episcopal church that’s near us.🤔

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree Kim. I understand that feeling. I’ve heard that there are some more progressive churches out there that might not be a bad place to go once in awhile. Again, inclusion….not exclusion. That’s the key.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I too left the Catholic Church as did my brothers after years of Catholic school. My decision was reinforced after the Boston Globe exposed how the church dealt with pedophilia….just move the priest to a new parish. My house as a child was not split religiously. We all went to Mass together for years and my parents had strong faith up until they died. I have my mom’s rosary next to my bed which she prayed daily. Give it to the Catholics though as they never brow beat alcohol abstinence or swearing or premarital sex as damnation to hell. I object to their stance on abortion and will stand proudly as a Planned Parenthood supporter, especially after having worked there. I strongly object to the evangelicals who shove religion down our throats or use it on a political platform. Pence is a great example. Most people I know who shove evangelical preaching down throats have had kids who rebelled against it. Their kids became alcoholics or got pregnant before marriage or abused drugs. One friend sought Christian counseling after being in an abusive, adulterous marriage where her children were molested. Christian advice was to “forgive as Jesus forgives”. I believe in God and pray in times of need and am thankful for all I have been blessed with. I don’t need to go to church to practice my religion. Very interesting blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sherri! So true on all your points. You and I both know how much we looked forward to ‘Baptist Temple’ sermons, right? LOL. You couldn’t pay me enough to go to them now. Don’t tell Doris I said that!😂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jeff, excellent and personal post. I also enjoyed the comments. My mother also was the more religious of my two parents, forcing us out of bed on Sunday to go to Sunday school. It did help frame an upbringing, in part, because there is a sense of inclusion that goes with attending church with some regularity.

    I say that as some churches have forgotten this point about inclusion and use the finer points of religious texts to exclude. Quite simply, when religions include, they are at their finest; when the exclude, they are at their absolute worst. The Methodist church in the US is dividing into two over this very reason. It will be interesting to see which side of that church is growing more ten or twenty years down the road. Being exclusive is a self-fulfilling mission, in that you will drive people away.

    As a Christian, one of the biggest concerns I have is with the staunch following of written texts as if every word is true. Any religious text has been written, edited, interpreted, and translated by imperfect men. Both words are important. There are many contradictions and statements that no longer hold water today. The four gospels in the Christian bible were written between thirty and seventy years after Christ rose from the dead. They were written in multiple languages and by authors of different writing styles (Luke was more eloquent a writer, e.g.) Gospel also means “good news” so it is not an exact verbatim accounting of what happened – hence there are contradictions.

    I mention this as we get caught up in detail and miss the overarching messages of treating others like we want to be treated. That “Golden Rule” is so important, it appears in many other religious texts. So, if we follow that rule and try to embrace those other teachings like the ten commandments and treating guests and neighbors well, we will be better off. It is when we use the bible as a weapon saying “you are not good enough to belong here” do we get into trouble. Unfortunately, we have too much of that going on.

    I saw a reference to being a Deist. I have a similar thought pattern in that there is too much evil going on that cannot be related to unanswered prayers. If we must pray, we should pray for God to give me the strength and wisdom to address these tough times. That gives me comfort, regardless of whether it helps.

    I hope this rambling helps. Like anything, religion can be helpful; but the converse is true, as well. And, if Jesus’ words are not resilient, maybe we should go with Bill and Ted’s words of wisdom – “Be excellent to one another and party on dude.”


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Keith. I appreciate the compliment and your personal story as well.
      It’s such a complicated issue isn’t it? I’ve gotten a number of wonderful and personal responses. The bottom-line seems to be that for most people, it’s like you said, we all must keep trying to be a better person. Keep treating our neighbors better. Try and keep and open mind towards others and their beliefs. All of those things are worthwhile virtues to aspire to.
      So much of what we have these days is…I’m right, you’re wrong… side is better than your side etc….We have to do better as a society. I agree with you…when a religion or church is inclusive, it’s much better for everyone involved. After 233 years, our country still suffers from exclusivity. Slowly but surely, however, the country IS changing–demographically, and spiritually. It’s never going to be perfect, that’s for sure.
      Thanks again Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The comment about you’re right I’m wrong made me think of an acquaintance of mine.

        He’s more my wife’s friend but I once suggested that we have a conversation about politics and he said ‘You’d be wrong” before we even began the conversation.

        Now, being blind, I don’t have the advantage of seeing facial expression or body language but this is a dude who’s tone is always serious but even if he were joking, that’s not the type of person I’d want to have a discussion with because he’s already told me in so many words that he’s got a closed mind.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wow. I can’t even imagine someone so full of themselves. Oh wait, the current president of the United States fits the bill!
        Actually, I have friends and family who I absolutely will NOT debate politics with. My step-daughter asked my nicely a long time ago to not discuss politics with her husband because he’s such a hard head. For the 8 years I’ve known him, I’ve been true to my word that I would not. Except one time.
        At a holiday family get-together,
        he said something so stupid and full of lies I had to confront him. He talks loudly anyway, so it didn’t go too well. Most people stopped talking and were paying attention to our ‘discussion.’ That was it. Never again have I went down that road.
        We have to pick our spots my friend. With true believers, whether it’s religion or politics, most of the time it’s just not worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sklawlor, I am floored by the counselor, no less, with a closed mind. Taking this a step further does he counsel off predetermined judgments? I guess if someone said that to me, I might have commented “I did not know you were so prescient.”

        To be frank, my adult children say I surprise their friends with my comments regarding climate change, guns, povery, etc., as I look like I would be a more conservative thinker. Maybe this is why some conservative thinkers tell me things they shouldn’t and are floored when I ask a few probing questions. So, I would love to meet your counselor friend.


        Liked by 1 person

      4. I actually don’t know much about what his counseling is in but I’m guessing is more vocational and that kind of thing since it is in a school. Before that he was an English teacher.

        I would have used the word arrogant had I thought of a comeback for that comment but sometimes you just have to pick your battles I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hey, Jeff, Keith, and anyone else who is willing to read this: All religions are exclusive, whether they think they are or not. Few do. They may invite others to attend their places of worship, maybe even invite them into their homes, but as a group people of religion inch away from those who profess themselves to have different beliefs, or worse yet, no beliefs.
        I am an atheist. There is not as much as a possibility of a superior being in my philosophy. I get to see the horror in peoples’ eye when I tell them that in person, I get to feel the temperature of the surrounding space drop several degrees. I experience the loss of brotherhood or sisterhood I was being offered mere milliseconds before. Hell, a judge once found me guilty of causing an accident because I refused to testify on his bible. I affirmed that what I had to say was the truth, but it was obvious he expected me to lie, just because. No, things change when I declare my non-belief. And most believers don’t even notice.
        I am stating this as an observable fact, not with any desire to destroy or insult. This is just the way it is.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, Keith. The “”Golden Rule” allows for bullies and narcissists, pychopaths and sociopaths, etc. to act towards others in ways you would never consider acting (I hope!).
      The thing is, how much time do you spend on thinking about, and deciding, on what it is you would want others to do to you in varying circumstances.
      I thought about it lots. And when I did I rewrote the rule for myself: “I will do unto others only that which I would willingly allow others to do unto me.” The difference can be subtle, especially for those who act without thinking, but I like my version because it requires me to actively think about how I treat others, and how I want them to treat me.
      Please feel free to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like your rule rawgod. It works for me. You’re right, it’s a subtle difference but a difference nevertheless. I’m for anything that gets us to a more civil society and more thoughtful discourse. It’s getting worse, not better. To think we have a president who exhibits every one of those traits you listed, is NOT helping!!


  8. Great post, Jeff! My feelings about religion mirror your own. While I respect the right of everyone to worship as they please, I honestly feel the world would be much better off if organized religions ceased to exist.
    I was raised Roman Catholic and both of my parents were devout – daily Mass during Advent and Lent, Saturday devotions to the Blessed Mary… the works. I went to Catholic elementary school, high school, and even Catholic university. I spent 18 months in the seminary to prepare for the priesthood. I ended up teaching for 35 years in a Catholic high school. But I was always a maverick and disagreed with just about everything the church taught about sexuality (what on earth would a bunch of celibates know about that, anyway?).
    I left the church just before I retired when the Pope excommunicated Prime Minister Paul Martin when his government passed the same-sex marriage law. I was appalled and called it quits.
    I agree that religion teaches people a good set of values by which to live but it also instills intolerance towards other faiths and those who are different. I certainly hope the good ship America gets back on course with regard to not governing by the precepts of any particular church or faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much John. You’ve had quite the history with the Catholic church. Like many people i’ve known, one thing or another led them to leave it.
      I always go back to how some hard-liners, who call themselves Christians, have such disdain for those who do not look like them, or who are poor. And then I think of Jesus Christ…his teachings. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’ I don’t know many verses but that one always sticks in my mind. There’s an element in our society, some who have obtained high power in our government.(Guess who?). They rub elbows with the evangelicals. I never hear these so-called men of god talk much about the less well off or the poor. It’s always about abortion…homosexuality…etc. It’s why I can’t, or won’t trust a word they say. Many of them have cozied up to Trump, so he can give them the whacko judges they so desperately want–ignoring the abject lying, racism, misogyny, and bullying he practices day after day.
      John, it’s a disconnect I cannot understand. It’s soured by views on religion even more. We’ve just got to make him a one-term president.
      Thanks for the heartfelt response sir.


      1. it’s like my wife says, the republicans want a government that is small enough to fit in a uterus. I don’t know if she made that up or heard it somewhere else but she’s creative enough to have come up with that herself.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, John, I never heard Martin got excommunicated. Good for him. But I seem to have a section of memories erased from my mind: was he really an elected Prime Minister? Where the hell was I?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly my point! Inclusivity, not exclusivity. Everyone gets so emotional about their God, as opposed to his God, or her God. It’s a plague on our society, that’s for sure. I’m all for freedom OF religion. I’m also for freedom FROM religion as well. Everyone should have that choice.


  9. At last, the end of the comment section, so far.
    I am an atheist, as I said above. I was once a True Believer. But once I learned it was okay to think what I wanted to think, that belief kept fading and fading until it just disappeared one day. A very particular day. But that experience is too long to tell here. In short, I took an acid trip deep within my mind, and ended up in a spiritual world where beings of all kinds were passing beyond the veil of death, and being absorbed into a “pool of dead spirits.” Al least that was how my mind interpreted it. I could have stayed and been absorbed, but I chose not to.
    Needless to say, I returned to my mind a changed person, one I thought for years had gone insane. But I was wrong…
    (Anyone who wants to read more can find it on my blog, rawgodsspiritualatheism on word

    Suffice it to say, I gave up on all gods that day. I did switch to Tibetan Buddhism for awhile, because it fit my experience better than any other religion, but eventually TiBu also proved too rigid for my blossoming understanding of my acid expereiences. Experiences, because I was able to repeat it once I knew how.
    Dying on acid is very like a near-death experience (NDE). The difference for me is I saw not what I was expecting to see, but what I have to take as reality. Seeing is believing, I was always told…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Scott, and anyone else who might have gone looking at my WP website:
        I have not visited my website lately, but when I did today looking for my post on my acid trips that got this cosmic ball rolling for me, I found I was missing a bunch of posts, and that was one. I do not know how or why that happened, but I will look into it.
        For now, I do not know what to say. If you find such a post, please let me know. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s