10 November 2010

Step 7. It 'aint easy.

7.  Boldly strive to become aware of and repair your own shortcomings.

     Hello, my name is Lee, and I'm a procrastinator. (Just look at my post history...lol)

     I've worked on it over the last year after my friend smacked me upside the head for taking a year to finish a three-month project he was helping me with.  I still blow stuff off, but I'm getting better.  I sought information online for overcoming my shortcoming, downloaded a time management assistant, and began using lists.  Without my lists I would relapse.  Hey!  I have time to do a blog post!

     It's no mistake I use the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps as a model for steps to becoming god free.  Besides the obvious comparison of blind faith to an addiction, something some people seem not to "live without," or have a difficult time overcoming, the steps themselves have a "higher power" involved.  For example, AA's step seven is; "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."  The capitalized "Him" refers to the "God as we understood Him" from step four.

     How's that working out for you?  Did your shortcomings vanish upon your humble request?  If not, is it possible you weren't humble enough?  If so, did they simply melt away effortlessly? 

     By definition, participants in AA's program consider their addiction a shortcoming.  Those that achieve success don't do it by way of humble divine request, but with a support group, personal sponsor, incentives, and a whole lot of willpower and effort.  No otherworldly aid is needed or involved.

     As in step three, you get to take the credit for your successes, but conversely, you need to take responsibility for your shortcomings and endeavor to repair them.  Maybe you ask for someone's or some group's help, maybe through your own effort, but probably a combination these and other real world means of self-improvement.

     Thanks for reading.  I have to go, I have more shortcomings to repair.

     Think well


13 March 2010

A quickie.

Dan Barker is now the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but started as a teenage faith-healer.  A brief account of his path to atheism is here.  I like his quote "I dumped out all the bathwater and I found there was no baby there.''

06 February 2010

Step 6. You ARE worthy.

6.   Were entirely ready to remove the mythical defects from our character.

   Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, and Pride are all transgressions deemed by the Christian god worthy of eternal hellfire.   

     Then there's the Decalogue.  I will use the version from Exodus 20:2-17 rather than Exodus 34:11-27 or Deuteronomy 5:6-12.

     No other gods, no coveting your neighbor's property, no working or playing on the Sabbath, no smart-mouthing your parents.  There is to be definitely no idol worshiping, for He is jealous god and will punish children for the 'inequity' of the parents to the third and fourth generations.  Oh, and BTW don't commit adultery, lie, steal, or kill.  And we can't neglect the sin you are born with.  (But I suppose this dude sacrificed his only son [evidently he has lost the ability to reproduce] in order to change a rule that he himself had previously made. Makes perfect sense, but I digress...)

     Fortunately, if you find yourself guilty of any of the above sins, there are 'outs.'  Pray, keep coming back for the Sacraments (like confession, where you are given chants to magick away your sins,) resist temptation, keep busy and more.  Oh, and donate money.

     What a fucking scam.  I call bullshit.  Common human experiences framed as soul damning offenses.  Fomenting feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness in the masses.  Despicable.

     The Seven Deadlies should be avoided in excess, perhaps, but hellfire?  Everyone has committed all of them to some extent. They are inherent in the human condition. Gluttony and greed are particularly prevalent during the holiday season.  

     No other gods damn most of the world population (and sounds like an admission that there's competition among deities.) As for coveting your neighbor's property isn't 'keeping up with the Joneses' part of the competitive nature that drives our economy?  Sure, most of us honor our parents, but not all parents deserve it.  Besides, we were all teenagers once... Honor which Sabbath exactly?  No Idol worshiping; so all 'American Idol' viewers are condemning their progeny for four generations because he is a jealous god (who also feels the need to remind you that three comes before four.  Condescending and jealous.)

     I'm not in favor of adultery, but to those guilty, punishment by spousal wrath (there's one of the seven, again) and divorce attorneys is adequate.  Most lying is bad, but everyone lies a little and sometimes little lies can be harmless or even helpful.  This gods thing is not a little lie.

     If you need a book or imaginary friend to tell you that killing and stealing is wrong, you are a sociopath.

     I will tell you the same thing most religions do. You are flawed, so am I.  It is normal.  Don't let these phony transgressions bring fear or self-loathing, just work to overcome your flaws, if you can.  If you can't, learn to live with them.  I will not tell you that only I can help you, I will tell you that only you can help you. 

     Don't kill, steal, or lie (much.)  As for that other stuff, don't sweat it.  There is no hell.

Think Well


30 January 2010

Step Five in Action.

Rechelle, from the "My Sister's Farmhouse" blog, has an excellent post regarding making amends for wrongs she had done in the name of her former religion. I'm not going to post excerpts because I think you should read the whole thing.  Its just a click away...

"Former Christian Apologizes for Being Such a Huge Shit Head Over the Years."  No, its not the Onion.

Think well,


10 January 2010

Free Speech Illegal in Ireland.

Happy New Year! Unless you're an atheist in Ireland.

As of Jan 1, there is a 25,000 Euro fine if one "publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion."

Now, evidently some people have the right not to be outraged or offended.

Personally, I get offended when told that Jesus died for my sins. The implication is that I have done something worthy of the death penalty and someone else (long ago?) paid the price. I am not OK with that. I take responsibilty for my own actions, thank you. I have done nothing that anyone should have to die for. Death is bad, mmKay?

Someone shouting about how Jesus saves is exercising freedom of speech and religious expression, but someone with the audacity to say that gods are fake is 'intolerant' and 'offensive.'

God is fake. No apologies. Blashpemy, as they say, is a victimless crime.

Think Well,