Personal

“A glittering star on a sea of myriad waves”

I don’t believe in a higher power. No god rules my decisions, good or bad. I don’t pray for others that are in need; I help them if I can. I don’t give praise to some imaginary friend for giving me another day on this earth. Don’t believe in astrological signs or psychics or homeopathy or runes or an afterlife or destiny or fate or anything predestined or written in the stars. No one’s ever read my cards, and the Bible is as factual to me as The Iliad or Metamorphosis or the latest John Grisham novel. And yet, somehow, whenever I make the above statement, it’s always responded with sheer shock. As if believing in nothing but the natural world is much more mind blowing than believing in some invisible guy in the sky.

I’m not an Atheist, let’s make that clear. I still wander the realms of agnosticism. And while I’m open to the concept of some alien being that created us, I’m 99.9% positive that god exists because humans exist, not the other way around. Most people see the .1% as a weakness, a crack in my facade. Believers see it as insurance. It’s something to pick at, chisel and hope that I make the leap either way. Just choose a side, like with bisexuals.

Exhibit A: I'm a sinner but that's okay cos god is greater than that.
Exhibit A: I’m a sinner but that’s okay cos god is greater than that.

Not a day goes by that I’m not bombarded with a pro-religion “meme” on Facebook. Not a day goes by that I read about how god has given us another day, as if some all-loving creator would just pull the plug for shits and giggles. And not a day goes by that I don’t read how they feel persecuted for their beliefs. This stems from something Jesus may have said (or it may have just been fabricated to explain the historical persecution of Christians). Women’s rights are seen as a persecution. Marriage equality is seen as persecution. Hell, gay acceptance has been in the spotlight recently.

Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges
Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges

When Jason Collins came out of the closet, the people accepted him. Well, for the most part. Because shortly after all the praising of his courage to come out of the closet as a professional athlete (who also happened to be African American), the backlash hit. Suddenly the religious right were up in arms, bitching how the media made a darling out of a sodomite but snubbed such an outstanding Christian like Tim Tebow. Keep it to yourself, Tebow, indeed. Because being a white, Christian male in the United States is so rare. Not as if it’s a dime a dozen or anything. Where as coming out as homosexual in the black community? A community that’s already a minority? It’s minority-ception, something Tebow will never understand, as Christians were never banned from marrying each other or enslaved by the African Homosexuals bigots.

Exhibit C: Wouldn't the Joker be a gift from god, as well?
Exhibit C: Wouldn’t the Joker be a gift from god, as well?

And that’s the problem I’m having here. This thought process I’m having. I have yet opened a newspaper to read an article about some poor kid pressured into suicide for believing in a god. Or the Supreme Court having a hearing on Christian Marriage rights. Or how Catholics are forced into abortion. Or how the first Thursday in May is National Science Experimenting day, where a rally is being held. No. What I read is the science that could’ve been but isn’t because Christians pale at the thought of stem cells being used as research. Or Christians with signs stating that god made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And Facebook is just wallpapered with pointless, would-be deep memes about how god gives you the things like that boyfriend you always wanted, but no one ever bats an eye when said boyfriend beats you. I suppose, god works in mysterious ways.

Books · Doldrums

It was featured in today’s newspaper

 

So I booked a hotel room...

 

I used to call this place the happier parts of hell; like Mexico, we’re so far from Heaven. Last night Jyg had a dream that I was a clone – or clone-like. She dreamt there was three of me – the child, the teenager and the adult. We were on the run and we ran into Miranda at some store. Miranda and I hugged for longer than I’d ever allow another human to touch me. Longer than I’d ever let Miranda hug me. I don’t know if it was awkward, but I imagine it was. No matter, dreams are just that. Moving on.

Finished reading the Christianity chapter in God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero. It’s a boring history about a boring religion founded on blood and will end in blood. It had good moments in history, Pentecostalism being one of its many perks. I don’t think I’ll spend too much time on Confucianism because it’s a topic I’m more interested in – not to mention, I consider it a philosophy and not a religion but to each his own, I suppose.

I don’t mean to take a total shit on Christianity, mind you. I think it’s just an overrated religion compiled of overly zealous bigots who aim on destruction by fulling self-prophecies such as the war in the Middle East. Of course, not all Christians are narrow-minded nimrods, just the ones that hate me.

I veered off topic. I wanted to talk about something else. Specifically someone else. Another time, I suppose. I’ll write about you again. Until now, I’ll shall leave your memory in peace.

Doldrums

The Agnostic Who Believed in Charity

 

I noticed the crack, too

If you mean by a “Christian” a man who loves his neighbor, who has wide sympathy with suffering, and who ardently desires a world freed from the cruelties and abominations which at present disfigure it, then, certainly, you will be justified in calling me a Christian. And, in this sense, I think you will find more “Christians” among agnostics than among the orthodox.

The other day, I tweeted something that came to mind. This past weekend, outside of Barnes and Noble, I was hit up by a homeless family. Now I’ve seen this family several times already, and I’ve given them money most of the time – sometimes, I only have my card on me. Despite their situation – meaning, whether they’re actually going to use the money I give them for food or if they’re going to spend it on booze – I do my best to give as much as possible. And like I tell people, I judge the amount I hand out based on the story they tell me. This is only a half joke.

It always gets me, however, when they end the “transaction” with “Que dios de la bendiga – God bless you.” My kindness isn’t god motivated. I don’t think it ever was, or ever will be. There isn’t a Christian thought that passes my head when I decide to give someone down on his luck a couple of bucks – I usually stop at $5. And what they do with the money is their business, like I said. It’s their guilty conscience they’ll have to deal with later for feeding addictions and not feeding themselves.

People who don’t know me, however, don’t buy this. And sometimes I joke about it, as well. Everyone thinks I give because there is some doubt in me about the existence of a higher power. And I’d be lying if I denied this. But, helping others isn’t exclusively Christian:

Apart from other objections to it, it seems rude to Jews, Buddhists, Mohammedans, and other non-Christians, who, so far as history shows, have been at least as apt as Christians to practice the virtues which some modern Christians arrogantly claim as distinctive as their own religion.

In other words, showing kindness to your neighbor and helping the needy isn’t something invented in the minds of those who followed Christ, but has always existed. I don’t help people because some omnipotent watches down on me, spreading his benevolence through me, but because it essentially makes me feel better about my life.

As much as it may sound foreign to believers’ ears, Atheists and Agnostics are probably more charitable towards others than those who proclaim it’s a trait of their religion. And we’re all, essentially, aiming for the same thing. Although, Atheists and Agnostics are more incline to experience a “heaven” on earth idea, than one afterward.

After I gave that family the three dollars I had in my wallet, Jyg and I went home. On the drive, she asked me if it was the same family she’d seen before. I mentioned it probably was. She, as did I, remembered the child being just a baby when they first showed up in McAllen. By the looks of the child, that was probably three years ago.

“Did he speak in English?”

“No,” I said. “He said, ‘May god bless you.'” After a moment’s pause, “It bugs me when they say that. A simple thank you would suffice. Then again, if I’m wrong about this whole deal, I might just slip by St. Peter.”

Once again, the text quoted in this post is from “What is an Agnostic?” by Bertrand Russell, which you can read here.