Twice yesterday I found myself briefly surrounded by little children. They were running about and playing and to them I was but another tree in the yard, another chair to dodge and dash around.
Life swirled around my knees, tiny vortices of vitality, alive with wonder and with presence.
One little vortex ran straight for me, then stopped just short of a collision and looked up at me, eyes wide with wonder, sparkling with amazement that some obstruction had filled his path. We made eye contact and I said, “Hi!” His mouth split wide into a smile, shiny little teeth gleaming on the verge of a laugh that was almost expected but somehow out of place.
He changed course and tottered on at full speed. I was not even a memory I’m sure, because no one is more present than a little child.
I felt a faint rush of life, as if just by being close I was gifted with a bit more than I could contain. For that moment the scars and cares of adulthood, of life, faded to the immediacy and joy of being wholly human and only innocent.
May I never grow so old that the young become a nuisance. May I never close my nose to the fragrance of youth, the perfume of hope and promise. May I never be jaded by the knowledge that someday they too will know hardship. May I instead drink in the gift of life and the memory that the present moment can be simply a joy in itself.
A year or two back, a friend of mine (also an atheist, but without the indoctrination history I had, nor the particular urge to explore this sort of stuff over and over again) made an interesting remark as we were bantering over a hair-splitting topic. I’ll paraphrase, because I don’t remember his exact wording, but he basically said:
The church’s big mistake was making god out to be All-Powerful. Once they made him Omnipotent and Omniscient, they made him completely impossible.
I’ve been thinking that through lately. The more I think about it, the more right I think he is. Continue reading
Well, here I am again, with a bit of a bug up me arse, so to speak. With ol’ Pastor Chuck’s refusal to actually engage with the longer conversation about the book he talked me into reading in large part, I sort of set aside the book in the interest of not boring myself. I’ll come back to it, but there’s no hurry now, it seems.
But my attention was drawn to another book, Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel, penned by David Limbaugh, brother of the galactically reprehensible purveyor of hate and social fuckwittery, Rush Limbaugh. Continue reading
By now it’s well established that I no longer believe in the god I professed for ages, to whom I dedicated 26 years of my life. Yet I celebrate Christmas with much joy and happiness. I bestow and receive gifts. I revel in food and drink, and the fellowship of loved ones and friends. I let the music, lights, and colors of the season wash over me through the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
But what am I celebrating? Is not the holiday the most stark reminder of what I no longer believe, of what I have concluded is a delusion that is detrimental to the peace and growth of our society?
Well… yes and no. Continue reading
I love this picture. I love it because it shows one man in a sea of thousands being true to what is right when everyone else is following the crowd.
The man is thought to be August Landmesser, a known detractor who, along with his Jewish wife, paid the ultimate price for his dissent. He was arrested twice and convicted once for trying to marry a Jew. He was pressed into military service with other convicts while his fiancee was sent to a camp and then a Euthanasia center, where she was murdered along with 14,000 others.
This meme has trod a well worn path through Facebook and Twitter, garnering thousands upon thousands of “likes” and shared and reshared, the posters insisting that they are that guy, and would stand up for what was right regardless. Continue reading
One of the knock-on effects of leaving behind the Christian faith is that I have become very anti-war and anti-violence. So when I hear Republicans expounding on the virtues of carpet-bombing civilian populations, it sickens me to no end.
The worst comment came from the execrable Ben Carson, an evangelical neurosurgeon who is far more scientifically ignorant than you would expect a doctor to be. He was asked whether he would have the wherewithal to carpet bomb civilian populations when it meant killing hundreds or thousands of innocent children.
His answer is horrifying: Continue reading
Many of you are at least a little bit familiar with my former pastor, Chuck. Since he’s pretty openly commented here in the past, I don’t see any need to cover up his identity.
I have this blog set to post new articles to my Facebook wall. I’m very open in my atheism and am fortunate to be in a position and a region where it’s mostly irrelevant to my work and social life (California, FTW!)
So in response to my last article, Judge, Jury, and Executioner, Pastor Chuck popped in for a visit. Here’s where it started: Continue reading
Several times over the past few years, as I’ve openly examined my past faith and criticized the elements that made it, to me, untenable, I’ve had believers make a particular accusation that always rankled me. It’s actually one that I leveled toward my wife when we were on opposite sides of the wall of faith.
An honest inquiry of the Christian faith requires examination and criticism of all foundational aspects, including the bible, it’s ideas, and particularly, the god it asserts exists and demands our obedient and correct response.
So at times when I have presented my thoughts and my conclusions, I have been accused of judging YHWH. Continue reading
In my previous post, A Little Class, I let you, my gentle readers, in on my upcoming appearance in a class at Western Seminary in Santa Clara. Friday, October 30, 2015, has come and gone. I am still an atheist, and my friend’s students are still Christians.
Yet it was a really amazing morning, beyond my expectations.
First, a little proof:
Yes, I was really there. Continue reading
First, I apologize to all my readers/fellow bloggers for not having posted in awhile. It’s all out of busyness. My work has been insane, but for mostly good reasons. I’m planning to get back to the R.C. Sproul book (Pastor Chuck has completed it and I’m well into it.) I also have several other topics I wish to write about and hope soon to find the time.
But in the meantime, a very interesting opportunity for dialogue has dropped into my lap. Back in the day, around 1986, in the first year or so of my Christian experience, Santa Cruz Christian Church began a College and Career group, a youth group for young people transitioning from high school to adulthood. T and I were there with about 15-20 others at that very first meeting. Continue reading