Man Is Not God and God Is Not Human

That was quite the article by Steve Coerper, referenced in brianatheistconnect’s March 7th blog, and no doubt meant to scare the sin out of every man, woman, and child within reach.

Unfortunately, the only thought it stirred within me was of man pretending to be God. If we use the premise that we are all God’s children, good and bad, that God is love and life, I find it hard to believe that God would arbitrarily kill one nation of people (his children) in favor of another, or exterminate all the bad people and take away any chance of them ever evolving beyond the sum of their limited human parts.

Rather, wouldn’t it make more sense for God to be impartial to all his children, providing us with bodies to experience what the world has to offer, and free will to chart our own course in life? And like children taught to look out for their siblings and to keep their rooms clean, humans could to learn how to care about each other and the earth we live on?

And if we expand on that premise, we could assume human’s were given the ability to reason and make choices, that we are intentionally handicapped against seeing the bigger picture of existence because actually living through experiences forces us to learn. Being human means basing our motivations, thoughts, and reactions on such easily influenced contributors like emotions, our environment and upbringing.

Man is supposed to be made in God’s image, but man is not God and God is not human. And yet so often God is portrayed as having the same frailties and limited emotional scope as humans. If we are all God’s children, all a part of God’s creation, then God deliberately made people with different skin color, different nationalities, and different preferences. To me that says every person, including all of our diversities, is a part of each other.

The proof is a world filled with people of different skin color, sex, personalities, languages, preferences; human beings that have the ability of reason and choice, and bodies all made of the same substance as the earth, the universe, so I guess that means God as well. So by what right do religions or individuals have for browbeating us into suppressing or being penalized for attributes fashioned by God?

I understand the need to create laws as guidelines to keep order and give recourse, as long as those laws are fair and the same for all. Each of us has a moral center inside us. And harmony with that center is never more obvious than in young children. They don’t care whether a playmate is male or female, has a different skin color, or is handicapped in some way. They just want to play together. But as they grow they are taught (verbally and through actions) about segregation, hate, and what is considered sin.

So what is good and bad? If each human could put themselves into the body of the person they hated, for whatever reason, and experience what that hate feels like on the receiving end then maybe common sense would have a chance to surface through all the negativity, making the answer very clear. Good is equality for all, freedom of choice, and acceptance. The only bad or sin that I can see is to deliberately hurt or repress yourself or another.

But being good or bad is a human choice with consequences and not something mandated by God. Just as literature and doctrine are misguided human attempts to offer proof that they have firsthand knowledge of God’s thoughts and intentions. But such dogma is filled with so many contradictions and death and such despotic horror, that I have to wonder why anyone would want to believe in such a God.

I’ve no doubt that every religion has its spark of truth somewhere in all the reams of pages and scrolls, buried beneath eons of time and overshadowed by human prerogatives. But the fact still remains that religious literature was written by man and still manages to be interpreted differently by scholars the world over. And depending on the time and place, man decides what is good or bad, asserting with threats who will be segregated and the punishments incurred. It’s been man’s hand killing in the name of some righteous religion, or far worse, because of fear and small mindedness to anyone who was different. And like a ‘good old boys club’ man created the laws that made it legal, within the structure of our societies, to decide who would have rights and who would have none. God, it would appear, was just a convenient scapegoat for all the atrocities committed by humans.

People often ask why God would allow such terrible things to happen. Maybe, when humanity has evolved beyond our limited attitudes and truly understands what it means to unconditionally accept all that God created, we’ll discover that God had nothing to do with the fate of humans on earth. That living life and the paths we choose to achieve goodness and enlightenment always was, and always will be, up to us.

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Why Does Anyone Have to Be Out?

Once again I find myself baffled at the ongoing disruptive concerns over religion and sexuality and the many ways humans can use one or both to place themselves above another or repress the rights of individuals.

A blog by Dr. J, “Diversity and Equality” Means Christians Are Out, also brought to my attention a viewpoint by Sean Gabb in which both articles implied that Christians were now being persecuted for their views or beliefs. My reaction was a deep sigh of disappointment toward a collective era that considers itself intelligent, compassionate, and open to diversity when the truth is we really haven’t learned anything from the bloody tragedies and destructive deities of human history.

Religion has been around since the beginning of human existence. And as humans evolved so did religious dogma. In other words, a religion changed or was fashioned to meet the times, or the greed of those in power, or as a way to control the masses. All religions are man-made, with agendas that favor its human authors, and have nothing to do with one’s personal spirituality and beliefs in the balance between a higher existence, nature, and living beings. Or the stability between equality, freedom, and acceptance.

Every religion has its own spin on righteousness, policy and restrictions, and plenty of bloodshed against those who are different or accused of breaking the rules. What’s even more tragic is that all these religions have never been based on equality and freedom for ALL humans living on this planet regardless of their mindset.

The BBC article referenced in Dr. J’s blog is about how a court ruled that a Christian couple were denied the ability to provide foster care to children because their beliefs opposed homosexuality. Right away the alarm seems to have gone out that the courts are now setting up to actively discriminate against all Christians. And once again sides are ready to go to war, some with words, some with weapons, not to preserve the rights and equality of ALL humans but over segregated ideals that, as history has shown, are touted as being more factual or morally superior than another group.

Everyone is entitled to choose their own lifestyle and moral guidelines. We are also responsible for our actions to ourselves and others. True sin is deliberately hurting or repressing ourselves or another. Sin means not showing respect for ALL of Gods diversity in people, ideals, nature, and animals. No one person is more important or special than another. Each of us has our own gifts and uniqueness to help enrich our lives and those around us.

The world isn’t meant to be a utopia, for only through adversity do we truly learn. But human is human no matter what sex, color, age, country, beliefs, work, or mental and physical gifts. No one should feel like they are out.

How much more adversity do we need to experience before all humans learn to accept this?

Forget Me Not

He was an adventurer, the cock of the wall, healthy, strong, and sometimes a little larger than life in his playful arrogance and generosity. In his prime he was a leader of men and a natural born speaker. But all that became distorted as he slid down the backside of fifty.

We met in the Yukon and dated under the midnight sun, the Mississippi man and the Canadian girl. And when the company called, requiring his expertise, we travelled together to the company mines in the Amazon Jungle where he taught me respect for the wild rain forest. I’m happy to say that street-smart, caring man became my husband and best friend what seems a lifetime ago.

Like most people we worked hard and saved for the things we wanted, muddled through tough times, and took care of home, family, and health. Life’s ups and downs didn’t seem so bad because we handled work and decisions together. But in the end that goal of freedom and security slowly withered away under the glaring reality of his uncoordinated shuffle and deteriorating memory.

Knowing now the outcome, would we have lived our lives differently? Followed the wind on our Gold Wing and been a little less responsible for others? When I see the fear or blank stare in his eyes, or hear him struggle to utter a coherent sentence, my heart shouts, yes, we would have followed that dream of adventure while we were strong and capable, instead of setting aside those aspirations for a later day.

Alzheimer’s has become a widely know disease, easily accessible on the internet. Knowing what’s happening and why has given our dark fear a name. But when one feels cheated all those detached, inflexible facts offer little in the way of making lives whole again.

I know I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been felt or expressed by thousands of others rallying around a loved one. But actually, writing down my thoughts has helped to reconfirm what’s most important to me.

To future caregivers I humbly offer what I’ve learned:

Joy – appreciate every smile and moment of laughter for all too soon they’ll be gone forever

Love – the mind and soul are capable of so many different kinds of affection; open your heart and let something new fill the emptiness

Understanding – recognize that no one is to blame and take each day as it comes

Acceptance – admit, if only to yourself, that it’s okay to be angry, frustrated, and tired on bad days

My husband thinks I’m a genius because I know how to work the remote control. There’s a vulnerable, childlike sweetness about him now that only makes me more determined to keep him safe and happy.

To my best friend: I miss what we had but find myself loving you more.

The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, Toronto, Canada

The Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, USA

The ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

Who Decided What the Code of Sexual Morality Should Be?

A January 25th blog by Dr. J (The Western Tradition) regarding Abstinence Gets Some “Scientific” Support brought back some old issues for me. Not so much about the scientific or philosophical views concerning the abstinence of sex before marriage, but about the moral implications that those with a behavioral conduct toward sexual relations before or outside of marriage are considered immoral.

In my opinion, that line of reasoning continues to show a very closed-minded lack of tolerance. History has taught us that each era had its own social customs of convenience and control, where the views of one individual or authoritative group took precedent over a population, who either conformed or faced the consequences.

If, for the sake of argument, we concede that all consenting adults need to use birth control, unless trying to conceive, and practice safe sex always, we are left with only the current cultural values that establish a code of conduct, in this case, sexual right and wrong. But who or what governing body decides what is right and what was wrong?

In general, religion throughout the centuries has always found it expedient to venerate power, wealth, and position over anyone’s spirituality. Doctrine was established to control the population and to keep revenues coming in. It was surprising to learn, although I guess it shouldn’t have been, that priests were not always celibate. That the vow of celibacy was something devised by the church to avoid the responsibility of housing and financial upkeep for spouses and families.

Do we take the word of one of the most holist books that there is only one moral code for sexuality and all other ways are damned to hell? Doesn’t the fact that each book in the Bible, written by men, human beings, give one pause to the unquestionable validity of content and sentiment? Even if it were a proven fact that all religious teachings came from the mind and heart of God, by whatever name, founding religious books were still edited and interpreted by men with their own agendas, fears, and conjectures.

As societies have evolved, wriggling free of the church’s often brutal, hard pressed thumb, new influences, such as kings, queens, dictators, and modern leaders, have taken up the moral two-edged sword of deciding what was, and is, best for the people. Historical guidelines have been handed down generation after generation, taught at home, in schools, and churches because that’s what our parents were taught, what their parents grew up with, and so on with all our ancestors down through time.

In this day of enlightenment and technology I don’t think it’s naive to want to teach our children that all people are created equal, that life is full of choices and consequences, experiences, and that freedom means taking responsibility for your actions while not encroaching on the freedoms of others.

The stigma of sexual moral codes toward premarital sex, sex outside of marriage, sex between homosexuals is not going to change until we start accepting, and teaching those that follow, that everyone has the right to their own choices and that what happens between consenting adults is nobody else’s business.

When Friendship Suddenly Goes Silent

My dearest friend,

I never thought I’d be writing one of these letters. Not between us. Best friends for what, five, six years now?

But it’s twenty-nine days since my last letter to you, thirty-one days since your last letter to me, three days since I left my last message with your voice mail, and twenty-four hours since I sent my last text message.

Where are you!?

We always laughed at how technology made us roommates, even though we live on opposite sides of the globe. You’d no sooner get a web page idea and my cell phone would start playing that marvelous string waltz you found for me, announcing your text message. We made such a great team; your computer skills and my creative talent.

God, are you sick or lying hurt in a hospital somewhere? Do I need to start checking your hometown online obituaries?

Too much fear, worry, and uncertainty has left me drained, yet I’m restless. I don’t know what else to do. It’s the not knowing what’s happened that’s killing me. So I dig deep inside, grasping for all the joy we’ve shared. Remember how we met? It all started with that question on the seller’s boards. You never did tell me what made you answer my request for help that day.

Please, if you’re not hurt just let me know you’re okay.

I’ve never known anyone I felt so in-tune with. We just kept writing as if we’d always known each other. Definitely kindred spirits, I’d say. And maybe, if past lives really do exist, we’ve been best friends before. Have you ever wondered why some people connect and become bright lights while all the rest just seem like silhouettes moving in and out of our lives?

Was it something I said, something I did or didn’t do?

One of your last letters to me said, “There is so much I’m learning from you. Thank you my friend!” Then why have you suddenly become silent? I re-read my last letter to you and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, nothing I hadn’t expressed countless times before.

So, what’s going on? Is this the end of a perfectly good friendship?

I’m not a child anymore. I know things don’t last forever. But you were special, we were special, and now you’re breaking my heart. It’s the not knowing whether you’re gone from this world or simply moved on with life without me. I guess our paths were only meant to touch for a little while.

Whatever the reason, know this . . . I’d do it all again.

I miss you.