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Universal

"With all that he never succumbs to dispair. Every so often he'll snap out of a doze, gaze around at whoever happens to be hanging around his chair, and sigh in his New England accent, "Ahn't I fohtunate, having you all home like this." Having never been exactly what you'd call a demonstrative family, we bask in this reflected warmth, emboldened to let out all the stops. We have always depended on him, but now he is gripping our hands, grabbing our shoulders accepting our help. The effect is transformative. We, who tend to communicate by ridicule, blurting out, "I love you, Dad" - right in front of everyone. We, who have always prided ourselves on our sarcasm, are reporting back to each other on his every word and move, in voices hushed with reverence. When we look at each other, tears flow so spontaneously it's like breathing: after a while, we don't even bother to wipe them anymore."

From:
Redeemed
A Spiritual Misfit Stumbles Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding
by Heather King

Posted at 04:47 PM on October 26, 2008 | Comments (1)

Happy Easter!

Sunny tulips. Then it started to snow.

Posted at 10:59 AM on April 08, 2007 | Comments (4)

Religion Is For Losers

It's a little bit lonely for a Christian in the blogosphere. Maybe if you stick to Catholic blogs or religious blogs in general it isn't, but otherwise the mainstream blogs usually display a very sober (as in non-delusional - unlike Christians) and humanist (as in pure and untainted by religious politics) attitude. This has to be so, because in today's media notions like "impartiality" and "independence" in thinking and living cannot be combined with strong religious affiliation. "Spiritual" you can be, "religious" - no. Even more appealing and convincing are individuals who have "been there" but now are "never again" in their views on religion. If there is a painful, ugly childhood story about hypocritical church members or family, the circle is complete and there will be lots of cheering in the comments as the person is embraced after her or his sad but brave and liberating journey from religious torture to atheist or agnostic bliss. Religion is for the weak, the dumb and unenlightened. Atheism or "spirituality" is for the strong self-determining man and woman of the new millenium. Behold, the warm water, it is discovered! Life without God and especially church has never been attempted before, but we will do it now! We are pioneers of the new beautiful and peaceful land that the earth will be once we embrace the spirit and discard the stupid stupid religion. There!

I get tired reading that stuff. I don't want to diminish anyone's experience and even though you might find it hard to believe given my sarcasm above, I am devastated with all those who had Christianity shoved down their throat or were hurt by not at all well-meaning priests, nuns, pastors, teachers... or their own parents. It's not easy to hear how someone turned to hate something that saves your own life daily, because they were lied to or simply ignored. What I'm tired of though, is the attention it receives because it gives a distorted picture. I'm also tired of people using their bad experiences for years and decades in order to avoid morality, to avoid the confrontation with the lies they tell themselves. Mostly I am tired of it all for personal reasons because I really crave a community of people, who are ready to look for answers and are ready to be honest ... and humble.

Life is hard. The longer I live it, the more it's becoming clear to me there are two ways to deal with it: numb yourself or live in pain. Both are ultimately not satisfying but one of them is real (Guess which!) and therefore at least has the potential to provide meaning. I have less and less patience for the philosophy of "everything is grey - so let's party". There are too many things staring me in the face... the need to not fail the people around me, the imperative of giving my children some sort of decent life, the commitment to become and stay the kind of person I'd at least want to be friends with, the demands of improving this world for other people etc. etc. "Sure, you can do ALL of that without religion!" I hear them say. I guess so. Honestly I haven't tried, so I can only assume... and I assume you can, but I firmly believe it is harder. Much harder. I don't see why I should make my life even harder though. The argument here is again, that you don't need anybody to tell you right from wrong, there is no black and white, so you just swim along and do what seems more or less ok. But unlike people would expect my counter-argument is not "Yes, yes, there is someone to tell you right from wrong! (The Church)" or "I find religion to make my life easier because I don't have to think for myself". First of all, religion doesn't make life easier (one could argue the opposite), but it facilitates a relationship with the source of everything and the creator of black and white - which immediately gives orientation as to where you are and provides you with a tool to wade through the grey of life. Life is just as hard with religion, but you have hope and you have the chance to succeed... even if you fail. Religion is indeed for losers - which is ultimately so off-putting I suppose, because you will not fully understand it until you are ready to accept that part.

I am tired of people saying "I'm just trying to figure things out" while at the same time they have set clear lines around themselves and their life as to limit just how far they are really willing to go in order to "figure things out". Mostly it ends when their own frog perspective tells them that if they go any further the sky will fall and crush the earth. Ironically our own perspective never exceeds much the one of the frog, but having faith helps us to live our lives with the perspective of God which is the only actually accurate picture of us and the world. And so... I cling to that faith desperately. I might be weak but I'm not dumb. It's not for reasons of pure comfort or mental abandonment but for survival, not of my body but of life as it is only worth living.

All of this is hard to live by yourself. A church helps with that tremendously, although unfortunately it also can help with the perfect concealment of truth. It's hard to believe in something if you have never seen the fruit of it and even harder if you were scarred in some way. I can't blame people for leaving communities where they only experienced lies and cruelty, where compassion and mercy were avoided like the pest. I do blame them though for leaving the search for truth and creating their own two-dimensional cut-out version instead and infecting a bazillion other people with their pseudo-spirituality and immature hippie-concept of love.

We're at year 2006 - plus. It's all be done before. Wake up.

Posted at 09:58 AM on June 26, 2006 | Comments (11)

Another link that will make everybody cringe

Great analysis down to the last paragraph.

Posted at 02:09 PM on June 08, 2005

A blog worth reading...

- And right now, we don't have any words to say to them beyond a cryptic "Offer it up" and "Keep your pants on." -

I couldn't agree more with the entire post.

Posted at 10:26 PM on May 31, 2005 | Comments (1)