Thursday, May 26, 2011

God is Just? part 2

Hello Anteaters. Let's pick up where we left off, in the second paragraph of Random Internet Person's 12 paragraph spiel.

"‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in
keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not
wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’" - 2 Peter 3:8

Le sigh. The only part of this verse that could possibly be applied to the contradictory statements of his previous paragraph (here) would be the third sentence. Christians, if you're going to cherry pick verses from the Bible, go ahead and edit down to the sentence you need, rather than asking me to read three. I mean, really. Cherry pick WELL if you're going to cherry pick, at least.

Regardless, these three sentences are basically excuses for God's inaction. God hasn't done anything for 1000 years? Relax, he's just taking a day off!

God feels deep sorrow when He has to send His children to Hell...the same way earthly parents mourn over the physical deaths of their children. With love, there is always heartbreak. And since God's love is the GREATEST love of all...then I imagine His heart-break is the greatest of them all too.
"God feels deep sorrow when He has to send His children to Hell..." If it makes him so sad, why didn't he set up a better system? Who says he "has to" send anybody to hell? I mean, he's an all-powerful, all-knowing being, riiiiight? so surely he could think up, dream up, or know of a better system that wouldn't cause him to feel such deep sorrow (and ya know, wouldn't leave most of humanity to be "tortured viciously and inhumanely for all eternity.")

"... the same way earthly parents mourn over the physical deaths of their children." Okay, RIP, let me just give you a big fat What The Fuck Were You Thinking? (WTFWYT?) You do NOT go around telling people that you or your god knows what it feels like to lose a child. My grandmother lost her fourth daughter at 10 weeks old, to a congenital heart defect. My friend Tammy lost her eldest daughter to SIDS, and didn't sleep for the first two years of her younger two childrens' lives, as she had to keep nightly vigil she was so terrified of losing another. Another friend lost two, count 'em two, daughters to a rare and incurable form of brain cancer.

You do NOT get to talk about how a parent feels when they lose their child, as if it's something you're familiar with unless you are. I (thankfully) have no idea what it actually FEELS like. Now, let me explain why I found it so *offensive* for you to equate your god feeling bad about people he created (knowoing full well they'd never be saved and would be tortured vicisouly and inhuamenly for all eternity) suffering the torment he designed for them to suffer, and a parent losing their child despite all their efforts and money and hope and prayers. It's just not the same fucking thing AT ALL dude.

Tammy lost sleep for 5 years of her life, catching cat-naps during the day and abusing caffeine so she could ensure she didn't lose ONE more child. Yet your god refuses to show himself, reveal without doubt that he exists, so that millions of atheists and believers of other faiths could be saved.

His actions do not match those of a mother or father who has lost a child, and to pretend it does is a disgrace to every parent who lives in a torment you can't imagine.

"With love, there is always heartbreak." You know what there ISN'T with love? Torture. Torture is never part of love. Torture precludes love. A relationship that includes torture or even just the *threat* of torture is abusive.

Tomorrow (or more likely later today, since it's after 3 in the morning by the time I'm posting this)we'll be looking at the Power and Control Wheel, a tool used by therapists and social workers to help people in domestic violence/partner violence relationships recognize their situation.

We'll see how it applies to the god the Bible, or at least the god of the Bible as understood by RIP, Random Internet Person.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"God is Just" part 1

Hello, internet, I hope you haven't missed me too much. (If you start to, you can always say hi to me on Twitter @antitheistangie.) While remarking on the problem of pain and the distatestfulness of hell, a Christian Tweeter sent me a 12-paragraph missive on the mercificulness of a hell-creating god.

Random Internet Person, there's something you should know: I'm not going to READ 12 paragraphs of unsupported claims and religious beliefs unless my audience gets to read, and mock, it with me. Otherwise it's just boring. Let's begin in the beginning, because your first three sentences alone contradict each other a few times over.

God is just. What do think Hell is for? People who cause pain and suffering will be tortured viciously and inhumanely for all eternity. However, God does not WANT the rapists to burn in Hell because His love for all mankind is so deep. That's why He's patient and doesn't destroy them right away.
"God is just." This is a claim. I know the rest of your writing is intended to back up that claim, but it's a claim that your audience (well, me and my audience) aren't going to agree with from the get-go, just so you know.

"What do you think Hell is for?" I think hell is an idea (not a place) that exists to give the church more power, control, and money from fearful believers.

"People who cause pain and suffering will be tortured viciously and inhumanely for all eternity." Okay Random Internet Person (RIP from here on out), let's talk about what the word "just" actually means. A punishment or ruling which is "just" is one in which the punishment fits the crime. For reasons we'll get into more later, this is simply not an accurate description of the Bible God's basis for who goes to heaven and hell.

Also, let's look at this phrase you used "tortured viciously and inhumanely for all eternity." That's not justice, RIP. It's vicious inhumanity. You said so yourself. Things which are vicious, inhumane, and last for all eternity don't fall under the realm of things which are "just."

"However, God does not WANT the rapists to burn in hell..." You mean God's plans are constantly being thwarted? God's will is NOT done "on earth as it is in heaven"? And um, why did God invent Hell (and permanent punishment in it) if he didn't want anyone to go there, not even rapists? Also, God seems to be pretty tight with the rapists in the Old Testament, and never changes his mind and declares rape bad at any point in the Bible, one of the many reasons I do NOT consider the Bible to be a book of morals.

"... because His love for all mankind is so deep." So deep, it goes all the way to the fiery depths of hell? So deep his love includes people being "tortured viciously and inhumanely for all eternity"? I seriously hope you don't apply these cracked definitions of love and justice to your dating life or relationships, because if you do, you are going to be mistreated and abused. Love precludes violence, torture, and intentional harm - three things the God of the Bible seems to revel in.

"That's why He's patient and doesn't destroy them right away." I'm thinking "patience" is another word you may want to learn the meaning of before forming any interpersonal relationships. Not killing someone "right away" is a really fucking low bar for any "sinful" earthly human being, but you wanna pretend like it's evidence of how great your god's LOVE is? Shit, that's like me saying of my abusive alchoholic rapist ex-husband "He was patient with me and didn't actually kill me right away." It's STUPID and it's a set-up for abuse.

Further paragraphs on further days, so we don't all tear our hair out in frustration that Christians don't own dictionaries.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Angry Ramblings About My Mom

Really, my mother should have been grateful that I gravitated toward kids with broken homes. My best friends and boyfriends all had fucked up lives by the time we'd hit middle school. My mother was constantly trying to steer me away from people she saw as "bad influences" and who I saw as the only people I could be real with.

But really, she should have been glad. After all, if my friends had come from loving, supportive, nurturing, abuse-free homes, I might have realized what a terrible mother she was in time to press charges against her.

I tend to think of my mom as a good mom. I get this from comparing her to the moms of my friends in my teen years. Becky's mom bought us alcohol when Becky was only 15. Jamie's mom was usually out sleeping somewhere with boyfriend du jour. Deborah's mom refused to even try to help her daughter, spiraling out of control from anorexia and drug abuse.

Of course my mom looked good by comparison! All she did was medically neglect me, let me walk with a dislocated hip for three years, never talk to me about sex or contraception, verbally abuse me, manipulate me, and make me hate myself enough to try suicide as a lifestyle.

This past Mother's Day I made an important emotional decision: I am done pretending I forgive my mother. I think I've been pretending my whole life, making excuses for her, singing her successes (she got a PhD while a single mother of three kids,) sweeping my pain and misery under the rug.

But I don't think 12-year-olds with good moms dart in front of traffic, hoping to get hit, as I did.

I don't think 6-year-olds with good moms start stockpiling food in their planned run-away lean-to. (Nor do most happy 10-year-old boys start hitch-hiking on the interstate, as my abused and unhappy brother did.)

Did my mother ever beat me? No. But she brought her mother into our home and our lives, to be our caretaker, and she allowed my Giggy to beat us. She read Focus on the Family and justified ritual, frequent abuse. She never meted out the blows herself - she wanted to be the Good One that we liked, after all. And it was a good scheme for a long time. For years I was convinced my mom was the Good Parent. Now I realize: I didn't have one of those.

I hope she reads this blog post, and understands why I didn't call to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. I think those should be reserved for good mothers.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Depression and Housekeeping

I wish depression was simply feeling sad. Yes, I feel sad, and I feel guilty for feeling sad. I feel despair when I contemplate my future. I cannot see myself getting out of the ghetto, getting medical treatment for my mental health concerns, or returning to the workforce. I cannot see a living wage in my future, and I was denied (again) for Social Security Disability. Yes, I'll reapply but I don't really believe the third time will be the charm either. It's hard to feel hope about anything.

And then the guilt comes in, because I "should" be feeling better. I have a partner for the first time in my life, someone who helps me with the division of labor from sunrise to sundown, and who loves my son as his own. I have someone in my life who actually cares if I'm in pain (a quality I'd not yet encountered in a housemate or my family.) And I have a beautiful little boy, who continues to grow more independent by the day. Every morning he makes his bed so smoothly, and he gives me the most emphatic hugs and kisses.

I know in reality there is no "should" when it comes to emotions. Feelings aren't wrong. We feel what we feel, and we try to deal and keep on kicking.

I'm trying to pick up my life, in tiny pieces, what I can get each day. I spent a month tackling all the lesser-done housekeeping chores, so now maintaining a company-ready home should be easier to manage (and hey, finally finishing unpacking those last few boxes from when we moved in a year ago probably helped)

It's hard to drum up the energy for life. I can keep myself physically going with a small list of chores, and I can keep myself from weeping if I distract myself from those darker thoughts with silly things like video games and TV. (On a side note, thanks to Netflix I've watched 5 seasons of Desperate Housewives this month. Who knew the dialog was so quippy?)

When I disappear from the internet for awhile, that's where I go. I retreat into simple tasks with visible outcomes. I can't scrub away the PTSD from my brain. I can't even afford to see a therapist or psychiatrist to begin addressing it. But I can clean my stove top till it shines. It's hard to have hope for anything I can't see and feel and do with my own two hands, so for the moment, I'm focused on what I can see and feel and do with my own two hands. For now that seems to be laundry, and dishes, and cooking, and cleaning.

I "hope" to get better soon.

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