OPEN LETTER TO A BLOGGING CHUM
I value our comment boxes conversation. You have led me to the opinion that all “Christians” should be subjected to an atheist forum. Not to convert or defend but to learn and share.
But as with any relationship over time “stuff” creeps in. Yet you insist you have no interest in a conversation. You offer open-minded discussion, but deliver closed-minded rhetoric and “evidence”. As soon as the “conversation” strays into asking you to step outside your “Ark based belief structure”, you pick up your ball and refuse to play anymore (and accuse me of being a faux-Christian).
So your latest “open minded” suggestion that I find five “good things” that can only be found in religion (that if it were not for religion these five good things would not exist). And that once I have found and laid them out (like a “show and tell”) we will “discuss them” as two rational beings …
Is about as “closed” as one can get.
Your criteria separates (again) anything of a “spiritual something” from the “physical world” that you can see, feel and touch – every time – the same – without change – to your own satisfaction (what Tildeb described so well as “universal observable evidence belief”).
For me, it is your insistence on “separation” – your “this is how the question and answer will be framed” – your “no wriggling allowed” – your “stop writing so many words” (that you admit to not reading but only scan/skipping) … It is all of “that” I find no different to the very religion you detest.
It is a “you will think this way” approach. It has no freedom for me to be me. It imposes and delivers exactly the same results as religion did for me: “Think like this.” Except I talk about Love and finding love in everyone and everything (as much as I can) – and you don’t.
You find only “vile” and despicable crimes of (wo)man to (wo)man and especially children. You compare my talking about Love – if you see (in any shape or form) as connected (even remotely) to anything you deem “religion” – as spreading a “sexual disease”. You make love – if found in anything tenuously “religious” – to be poisonous.
And the thing I have found about any “me based belief structure” (always a choice of structure we each choose) is this: “I will find proof and evidence of “that” anywhere I look.”
That is science. That is universal observable evidence belief.
If I buy a new car I will see that same make and model everywhere. If I have been talking about something new, I find others having that same conversation. If I expose myself to something new (or hang on to something old) I will see evidence of that “something”.
And that is why I walked away from religion that said I must “believe the bible – because the bible says so”. And that – “because the bible says so“ – I must always look for sin. Because (I was taught) sin creeps in when I am not looking and – unless I look for sin – I will be lost forever.
The bible also says love one another. But it seems that because the bible says “we are loved” we don’t have to look for love. Only sin.
All because of ”The Fall”. And because of “The Cross”. And because of sacrifice and paying a debt (that we never can). And that is why I was taught to look for sin: “because the bible says so.”
Just as it says “love”.
You call yourself an ex-“cultural Christian” (as I was). But you seem to have chosen to keep all the sin-searching that comes with being a “cultural Christian” (I love that term by the way – the church is stuffed full of them). Which kind of makes you more “fundamental” than the “fundamentals” you despise.
I cannot find “five good things” exclusive to “religion” for two very simple reasons:
a) Your “cultural Christianity” (religion) is only of this world.
b) My definition of Love is of everywhere and everything – including religion and you.
So if you insist on reading my posts – as both fundamentals AND cultural Christians read the bible – you WILL find whatever “vile” you need to find. And my question is this:
How are you so different to those you condemn?
With affection –
(and I will lovingly add your response(s) as the “middle bit” of the next post – just to encourage you to read the whole post!) 🙂