The Skepticism of Roger

sandcastleThroughout his young life, Roger was required to read the Bible and to review it daily, chapter and verse, with his mother and father. He was taught that God’s laws, as expressed in the Bible, were unbreakable and must be obeyed. To disobey them would condemn Roger to eternal damnation.

Much to the chagrin of his parents, who were extremely religious, Roger had reached the age where he was beginning to question everything. He accepted nothing at face value and became very skeptical of his parents’ belief in a supernatural supreme being.

One Christmas Eve, after attending Midnight Mass with his parents, Roger announced that he was rejecting the dogma of the church. He told them that it couldn’t hold up under the scrutiny of an intrepid mind like his, and that, like sandcastles, it will ultimately be washed away by the waves of time.

His father was angry. His mother was distraught. They gave young Roger an ultimatum. “Either you return to the word of God, or we will disown you,” they told him. But Roger was unready to yield to his parents’ demand. He waved them off in a perfunctory manner and scurried to his room where he packed his suitcase.

“I’m leaving,” he announced to his parents. “I can’t deal with the sexism, racism, homophobia, and superstitions of the church. I need to find my own path, my own way, my own purpose. I may be back after my journey of self-discovery. Or I may be gone forever. I love you both and I thank you for everything you’ve given me and done for me. I genuinely wish you well. I hope you will also wish me well as I seek to find myself and my calling.”

Written for these daily prompts: Jibber Jabber (review; return), Word of the Day Challenge (unbreakable; racism), The Daily Spur (midnight; suitcase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (dogma; perfunctory), Your Daily Word Prompt (intrepid; scurry), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (sandcastle; unready).

At the Risk of Appearing to Not Have a Sense of Humor

13CD0B05-F8DF-423E-8B5A-66FA44A450E5Every Monday Paula Light gives us an opportunity to whine about something via her Monday Peeve prompt, saying that sometimes we need to vent a bit. And today I have something to vent about.

I like to think of myself as a witty person, someone who possesses a keen sense of humor. But I saw something recently that really pissed me off. The person who said it — or actually wrote it, since he posted it on an app called Nextdoor — must consider himself to be a real witty fellow, since he apparently thought what he posted was a hoot. Well, in my opinion, he isn’t a wit, he’s a nitwit.

So what did this guy write that pissed me off?

“I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up because they only have one holiday and that’s on April Fools Day.
God bless you all!!”

Oh har har hardy, har, har!

Now let me first say that I am not a militant atheist. I simply don’t believe that gods exists. I don’t believe that humans were created by God in God’s image. I do believe that humans created God to be a human-like being with superhuman powers. That said, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and my philosophy on that subject is “whatever floats your boat.”

But, at the risk of appearing to not have a sense of humor, what this guy posted really pissed me off. What is it about atheists that people thinks it’s fair game to denigrate them? Why is it okay, on a public forum, to tell a derogatory joke about atheists but it’s not okay to tell demeaning jokes about Christians or Jews or Muslims or any other religious beliefs?

Some “believers” believe that atheists have no real sense of humor. They claim that atheists are experts at laughing at others but they do not seem capable of laughing at themselves.

Well, when you live in a country that is mostly Christian, where many Christians believe it’s their calling to persuade as many non-Christians as possible that we are wrong and need to be redeemed, one does become offended by being told often enough that if you don’t believe in God, you have no moral compass, that you can’t distinguish between good and evil or right and wrong, and that you’re condemned to eternal damnation unless you’re “saved” by embracing Jesus, you do tend to lose your sense of humor about derogatory atheist jokes.

Okay, that’s it. My rant is done, my vent complete, and my whine is over. And I know what you’re thinking. When my life, as well, is over, I should prepare myself to spend an eternity in hell, right?

Suspenders and Face Masks

454CB634-725B-4CC7-9F88-A2E159DF09BAI have have some positive news to share about the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve lost about ten pounds since this whole shelter-in-place order has been in effect. I don’t know why that is, because, other than when I go out and walk my dog, I spend the rest of my time sitting on my ass inside my house. And yet, I’m shedding pounds, something that make my wife very annoyed, since she’s not.

As a result of this weight loss, my pants don’t fit me anymore. Unfortunately, I have no hips to speak of and I have a flat butt. Hence, my old jeans, which are now too big around the waist, keep falling down, even with my belt on. To address this dilemma, I ordered a pair of clip on suspenders from Amazon, and they were delivered last week. I also ordered some new jeans with a smaller waist size.

So now, when I wear my older jeans, I use suspenders to hold them up, despite the fact that my wife says it makes me look like an old-timey farmer. And when I wear my new, smaller-waisted jeans, using my belt to keep them up works fine.

God doesn’t wear a face mask

In the weirdness file, an Ohio lawmaker is objecting to the wearing of face masks on the grounds that God doesn’t wear one. Wearing a face mask, Republican state representative Nino Vitale argues, dishonors God.276BCABA-62D1-423C-B20C-938456DDCC29“This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask,” Vitale wrote on Facebook. “That’s the image of God right there, and I want to see it in my brothers and sisters.”

Seriously folks, you can’t make this shit up.

For Those Who Claim To Be Atheists

5EDABF2B-68F5-4282-AF25-80E11407602FThere is a blogger whose posts I occasionally read, even though he and I couldn’t be more different in our philosophies and ideologies. But sometimes I get a kick out of the mostly nonsensical (in my opinion) things he posts on his blog. For example, in this post, titled “If You Don’t Believe In God, They (sic) Why Are You Afraid,” he claims that atheists seem to fear death.

I’d like to examine what he said in that post and respond to his questions/comments about atheists, God, and death.

First he asks, “[F]or those who claim to be atheists, what are they so afraid of on the other side of life?” Just to be clear I don’t “claim to be” an atheist, I am one. I do not believe in the existence of some sort of mythological, mystic, supernatural, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being. I believe that God didn’t create man, but that man created God.

Second, as an atheist, I don’t believe there is an “other side of life.” When you’re dead, you’re dead. Your life ceases. Since I don’t believe in an afterlife, I’m not afraid of it.

But the blogger is correct when he says that, “If [atheists] don’t believe in God, then they don’t believe in a final judgment. He claims that, “The Godly seem to fear the temptation of life that they will answer for come their judgment.” Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but atheists don’t live their lives in the hope of being found worthy of getting admitted to heaven for eternity by the magical judge in the sky. We live our lives to the fullest extent possible because there is nothing to “live for” after death.

Then he writes, “Atheists claim to be free and enlightened, yet they don’t seem to exhibit that which they claim.” I have no idea what he means by that. What is it that he believes atheists claim that we don’t exhibit, I wonder.

And finally he claims that “The atheists seem to fear death.” I don’t fear death and none of the atheists I know personally do either. I love life, and I want to live it as long as I can. But I know that death is inevitable and that once I die, it’s all over. It’s not something I’m afraid of. What I do fear is a slow, painful death, so when I die, I hope it will be fast and peaceful, preferably in my sleep.

By the way, don’t you love it when someone who is not something claims to have a special knowledge about, or insight into, something he’s not?

A Message from God

A5259EB7-2ABE-40CC-812D-191CEB68E8C2The Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores was planning to stay open during the pandemic after the CEO’s wife received a message from God. In a letter to employees, CEO David Green explained that while the coronavirus pandemic is “certainly concerning,” God informed his wife, Barbara, last week that He will specifically protect Hobby Lobby and its employees and “groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible.”

Well, either God had a change of heart or Barbara garbled God’s message to her. Seems that Hobby Lobby has now started closing its stores and laying off employees. In a letter to the terminated employees, one senior exec said, “It is with a tremendously broken heart that I’ve been forced to take these unimaginable actions, and I genuinely hope you know that my prayers are with you and your family.”

Hobby Lobby fired its employees by email. People lost their insurance and were offered no severance. David Green told the fired employees that, while he does not know what the future holds for the business, everyone will have to “tighten” their belts. He also stated that “God is in control” of the situation.

God and Trump…so in control, right?