Friday, January 31, 2014

Amazing Grace


As a moral atheist, I get quite confused by this notion that one must be faithful to be good. When I stated this to a friend, he agreed. He wondered if people of faith were confronted with irrefutable proof that god did not exist, if they would just break out raping and pillaging?

Some might, I don't know. I tend to think that the secular consequences give people more pause in their actions. If you steal, you go to jail. If you drive the wrong way down a road, you lose your license.

I admit, I've stolen this next thought. What about the faith based rules that have changed as people figured out how to do things differently? Like the reasons for not eating pork had a lot to do with improper cooking methods. What happens to people who were committed to eternal damnation for violating such rules? Do they get a transfer to purgatory or heaven?

As a member of society, I feel a sense of responsibility to vote, to ask questions and to participate. I'm American, so we have a set of rules established over the centuries. As social morays changed, so did these rules.

My personal motto is unless it gets in your way, what's it to ya? I understand some questions are up for debate and I grapple with them as much as the next person. Not from a faith perspective, but from one of "is this good for most of society?"

Is it better for kids to be raised with a mother and a father? I say yes. First, two parents can provide financially. Second, society favors a man and a woman relationship. Does this mean I am  against same sex coupling or parenting? No. I just see it as a challenge.

My childhood would have benefited from some stability, though I don't think I would be who I am if not for the obstacles I faced. I want single moms, homeless vets and mixed up addicts to find social support.

I fail to see how it helps society or anyone to be labeled as sinful. Heck, how about we let go of lots of unhelpful labeling. Godless, for instance.

I get it, some people who practice a secular lifestyle, get in the face of those that practice faith. I understand that you may feel someone is taking something from you.

Take a second to consider what it's like to be in our shoes. Church has a social aspect that it's hard to find if you don't believe. We have no representation in most legislatures and not a single person has been elected to the United States congress without invoking faith.

Homosexuality, which some consider a grave sin, has more social support. Though that is quite a recent phenomenon.

I pay attention to community rules and don't break laws. I will admit, I've not heard of atheists getting beat up or killed. That is not to say that it doesn't happen. I think we lurk quietly on our own.

Possibly in science classes and laboratories. We ask questions and wonder about the true nature of things. We marry, love others, drive our cars and behave as part of the group.

I invite the faithful to befriend an atheist today. Not as a new possible convert, but as a possible friend. Agree to have differing points of view on some things. Agree to agree on other things.

We're not gonna snatch your babies and eat them, honest!

Kind comments welcome!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Helter Skelter

I had the flu and am still getting over the lingering cough. I think it's minor and I doubt contagious. This meant I couldn't go to my exercise and after about a week, I started feeling deeply depressed. I  didn't figure out what was going on until I went back and my mood improved.

In my youth, I felt suicidal. That lasted into my 30's. I know that Iyanla Van Zant had a lot to do with deciding that wasn't working for me. She was on the reality show Starting Over, talking to a lady who kept talking about how much trouble her father's infidelity caused her. Iyanla said what about now? She didn't say "get over it." or "stop dwelling, she asked what about now?

Then she said the most life changing thing to me: choose okay. That's it. CHOOSE OKAY. Make a choice to be okay, for as long as you can and then keep choosing.

So I sometimes forget to make that choice. A week and a half ago, I crawled in a hole and wanted to die. I have never ACTED on my thoughts. I have a weird kind of self pity that whispers in my ear. It says, "you're too much of a fuckup, If you try, you'll only make things worse." I do need a better life affirming strategy. One that doesn't add to my self doubts. Until that happens, I'll keep the one that keeps me alive.

After I started feeling better from the flu and went back to exercising, I crawled out of the emotional hole. I think I need physical activity now. Not just for health reasons, but to keep my emotions even.

I've always been a moody person. I didn't realize how much exercise did for me. I get to chat with some people too. They're kind. That's a big thing for me. I want kindness.

Even though the emotional me hid for a few days, I found the path back. There will be dips again. I am learning to ask for help sooner. Maybe I'll get a flu shot next year. I'm gonna be "officially" old next month.

What about you? How do you find your way out?

Choose okay when you can.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

War!

War! HUH What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHIN.

Those lyrics play on my brain every time I hear the term "War on Poverty." I understand their sentiment, though my philosophy tends toward an open mind.

I'm neither for or against the concept of going to war. Sometimes a country has to defend it's ideals and back it up with force. Sometimes, those interests are vague and tenuous. Sometimes, they're made up. But that's a whole other war post.

War as a term for an organized effort to accomplish some huge social undertaking started I suppose with President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty."

This would be the time I would say war has no use. First, the point of war is to fight. The object becomes a putting down of an "enemy"  who's reverse object is to put YOU down first. Adversaries fight, that's the point.

I argue that it should be a peace on poverty. Peace is negotiated.

Especially in the case of poverty. The poor lack resources and live in devastation. This resembles more the end of a war, to a time of seeking reconstruction and cessation of hostilities.

There's a concept in real estate called attractive nuisance. That is, if an abandoned house has one window broken, it wont be long before more windows in that house will lose their glass. The pattern stops if the first incident gets repaired.

Caring for a society means caring for all segments within it. A poor, disenfranchised population becomes the attractive nuance, breaking windows until they get the attention they deserve.

It doesn't matter if we "love" our fellow man, what matters is we are interdependent on each other. That if a large poor population spreads disease, these diseases cross income lines. It benefits all social strata to have a reasonably healthy, educated and content lower class.

On the other side, if they're sick, stupid and angry, untold hardship can come from their frustration. Things like riots, drug use and other mayhem. None of which will stay within the poor community.

So let us save everyone and create programs that eliminate the attractive nuisance of poverty.

We need a Peaceful Reconstruction.

Ain't gonna do WAR no more!

Kind comments welcome!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Who Are You


I don't do "resolutions" for new years. I do self evaluations and possibly goals. Some goal guru's would decidedly NOT approve of my method, but others gave me the idea in the first place!

I make plans and set things in motion, but if they don't work out, I change streams. I used an inspiration piece for my master bath and went to pick color samples for it. I got distracted by this color called gold fish. The master bedroom ended up completely different from what I imagined. I LOVED IT.

I wrote down on a piece of paper all the crazy ways I could get me a house. Then I just put it in a drawer and forgot about it. After I had my house, I found it again. It's weird, but I got my house through one of the ways.

Murry thinks that prayer works as a way to focus ourselves and sort out what we want. As an atheist, I prefer to call it intentional thought. Whatever you call it, putting out a request gives you a kind of message board to tack ideas to.

So my questions starting this year are: Who am I and what do I want. Yes, I stole these questions from Babylon 5, where JMS got the idea is none of my business.

I write a blog, I'm hella creative and find even broken glass interesting. I am a survivor and most days thriver. I survived a painful childhood, cancer, a divorce and the loss of two business. It seems that these things made me better. I cannot say if that's the purpose of  problems.

I want enough money to do the interesting things that pop in my head. I want a diverse group of friends who think somewhat like me, but with different perspectives on topics of interest.

This year, I want to be healthier and eat well. I love stuff that's considered good for you, so at least there's that.

I want to lean toward happy and if I'm having a day, lean toward okay. I'm pretty good at that, thought I should state it for all to see.

I want to learn to let Murry be who he wants to be. I tend to want to push him past his head space. I hope I remember to do my own thing and leave him alone if he has different ideas.

I want to get more consistent about doing stuff, like posting. I started this a few days ago. I'm doing good on consistent on many things as it is, I just want to do more. I exercise three times each week and I'm getting my blood pressure tested once a week.

I will finish up my series of slavery this January. That's my one true goal. I'm also looking for a writing partner to share editing duties. Lets say I'll find one by the end of February.

So that's me, this fine January day. Who are you?

Happy New Year!