You can’t be proud of my kids

20121227-074931.jpg You can’t be proud of my kids.

Let me preface this by saying I love my family, in-laws and genetic, with no reservation. This is not an attempt to bash them, only to point out a discrepancy in our belief systems.

So my daughters made Credit Roll and my son made Effort Roll this last grading period. I am utterly proud of them, and they are the delights of my life.

Now I don’t know if Lara has told her family or not. It’s not that I’m worried about it, but it does play out a scenario in my mind.

I imagine that the words “We’re proud of them” would be uttered.

As nice as the sentiment is, it is fallacious. They cannot, in their system of belief, be proud of my kids.

They believe that in order to go to heaven, our ultimate achievement as humans, one must accept Jesus as their savior from sins they never committed. I am actively inoculating them against ANY kind of religion. Why and how I do this is another post, but it is how I am raising them.

In that belief system, it doesn’t matter if my kids graduate with honors or become criminals. Without that “salvation,” NOTHING they do on this earth matters. It can’t. Nothing they can do on this planet can save them from hell except for faith. Being proud for an earthly achievement is disingenuous at best.

If we could ignore that part, I can’t ignore other issues. They also believe that we should give thanks and glory to a god for anything and everything we experience (including suffering, a whole ‘nother story.) Well, if I do my job well, that will never happen. They will never thank anything that didn’t help them. They can thank their parents, teachers, friends, siblings, pets, or any other being that helped them achieve a goal, but not a deity, because they won’t believe one exists. In my in-laws’ worldview, that’s sinful too.

Whatever they accomplish, whether they fail or succeed, they’ll know why. They will own it. It will never be the capricious will of an “omnipotent” puppet master. They will never need to pray for guidance: they’ll know where to go for that.

The argument I imagine I’d hear is “just because they didn’t ask God for help, it doesn’t mean he didn’t help anyway.”

This fails on multiple counts. Most egregiously, there was a Christian in the news recently claiming that God didn’t stop a load of kids from being killed because he’s a “gentleman” who doesn’t go where he is not wanted. So according to that asshole, he’d never help my kids. “But he’s got it wrong; that’s not how God REALLY is.” Ok, I’ll bite. So God will interfere with lives even if he’s not invited to the party? Then why would he do that, and not stop those kids from being murdered? I’m sure some, if not most, of the victims had prayed not to be killed. Seems like a dick move.

Taking that, too, out of the equation; if God can/will do that, then this whole Free Will thing is kinda bupkis, since God can make anyone do anything at any time, anywhere. It follows that:

1) If we have no free will, then we cannot be held accountable for our actions, thus no original sin or need for salvation.
2) If we have no free will, then God is equally responsible for all good and evil in the world, since he’s pulling the puppet strings.
3) If we have no free will, as God has a plan for us, then it means that he’s throwing people in hell for no damn good reason, because he wrote the story, and could have NOT written that in, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change their fate. Deciding to be “saved” is no more a persons’ decision than breathing is.

4) Back to the original point, if we have no free will, then they can’t be proud of my kids because it’s not them, it’s God using them against their will, and he would get the glory.

So they can’t actually be proud of them. According to their beliefs, nothing they do matters, they’re sinful for doing anything without asking help of or thanking God, and it’s God doing it anyway and not my kids.

I love them to death, but I can’t subscribe to that much cognitive dissonance.

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It’s not you, it’s your religion.

20121221-133742.jpgI don’t mock christians in general. I was one for a long time! I do point out particularly egregious examples of why I think christianity is, in a word, bad, and this is usually in the form of some church leader or christian media figure either falling of the morality wagon or spewing hateful, inaccurate, or prejudiced stupidity. I also will not refrain from correcting inaccuracies where I see them (such as overused inaccurate talking points), because, to me, the truth is worth whatever ego bruising results.

This isn’t atheism, though I am an atheist. Atheism is simple a lack of belief in a god or gods.

This is anti-theism; an active opposition to religion in general. Read more »

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Jul 19, 2012 - Life    Comments

Locked out.

On July 1, 2012, at 2AM, Con Edison locked out the 8500 workers of UWUA Local 1-2.

I’m one of those 8500 workers.

In the days leading up to the contract expiration, Con Edison negotiators had little of value to say at the table. They offered nothing. They expressed nothing. Then, as the deadline counted down to it’s final minutes, Con Edison presented the Union with a contract. This contract froze the pay of 25 titles. It increased our medical contributions by 300%. It maximized consequenses for taking sick time. And it included taking the defined pension plan for every employee and converting it to a cash-balance option.

The union negotiators were taken aback by this brazen, unabashed attempt to crush us. But they took it in stride, and, as the deadline flew past, asked ConEd to discuss it.

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May 7, 2012 - Life    Comments

What am I? Liberal or conservative?

 

So, poly blah blah. Not a christian blah blah. Yeah. If you’ve seen me on Facebook lately, I pretty much outed everything. I’m not about to rehash it all here. But all of this has kind of left me wondering where I fall on the political spectrum:

Am I liberal or conservative?

So I turned to the interwebs for help.

Not content with taking just one quiz on this, I elected to take several. Here are the results:

Where are you on the political spectrum

Your Result: Liberal

Your political and policy decisions are influenced by the principles of liberty, equality, peace and justice. You have an altruistic concern for your fellow men and women. You are likely to be a Democrat, but not all Democrats are liberals.

Moderate
Lefty
Libertarian
Conservative
Wingnut
Where are you on the political spectrum
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Liberal. Looks like the next thing on the list is moderate though.

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Mar 22, 2012 - Life    Comments

Perspective and what I believe

Brookfield Wolves 9

I’ve spent a lot of time lately stating what I don’t believe; how I’ve changed my path, my relationship, and how it differs from what people used to know about me. I think I was wrong to go about it like that.
Perspective is an important thing. Yes, I’m going to quote from Star Wars. Yes, it’s a movie. But it’s a movie series that took a lot of historical perspectives and melded them. It’s why it’s so popular, and has reached so many people. It has a lot of universal appeal. Truth and wisdom can be found anywhere. To quote Obi-wan Kenobi:

Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. (1:02 below)

 I had kind of a rough day today. A rough week, really. Lots of mental turmoil and such distracting me, causing problems that I have no explanation for. I realized that despite my strenuous objections and denials, maybe all the recent drama is affecting me after all. Not only that, but I’ve been so focused on what I don’t believe or don’t do that it’s affected my mood and energy level. After all, thinking in terms of don’ts is, by definition, negative thinking.

So I’ve decided to try to express what I do believe in. What my value systems are. How I view the world. I doubt any of the people that need to see this will see it. They don’t (see? another don’t) really care to step into another’s shoes, even for a minute. Without perspective, we can’t communicate effectively with others. Whether you’re trying to console a grieving person, help a child with bullying, or evangelize your faith, you won’t get anywhere unless you can put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

So, I’m going to let my brain spill out here and try to caputire some of what I believe in. I’m going to keep it positive. I apologize that it’s in a disorganized, rambling list format. I haven’t taken my meds today.

  • I believe that every person has value.
  • I believe that everything has a spirit. Individually and collectively. The rocks in the forest have spirits. The trees have spirits. So do the animals. Together, the forest has a collective spirit, as does the earth it grows on. Etc.
  • We are free to walk our own path.
  • We are free to love whom we love, in any number or configuration (note: yes, kids are off limits. So are animals. Ew.)
  • Our souls/spirits require care just as much as our bodies and minds do.
  • Nothing is predestined. That said, everyone’s soul has a purpose, and will be ultimately content if they’re living it. It’s not something that will have to be forced. If allowed to flourish, it will shine on it’s own.
  • We can learn a lot from each other.
  • We can learn a lot from animals.
  • We can learn a lot from the spirit world, should we journey there.
  • I believe we should journey there.

That’s all I can think of for now. I guess I’m still figuring myself now. But that’s ok. It’s gonna be a wild ride.


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