Sunday, December 19, 2010

Picking and Choosing

So, listen up Bible thumpers! You can't pick and choose what you want to follow from the Bible. Either you follow all of it or none of it.

Personally, I think the bible is a book written by a bunch of racist, slave-keeping, sexist, men. But, if you want to believe it and follow it like it is some god-ordained book, that is your business, but don't be a hypocrite. If you want to take Leviticus 18:22 ("You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination") as the holy, spoken word of god, then take everything else in the old testament as god's word too.

This article says it better than I could. The point of the article is that people are being ignorant to take one tiny verse from the bible and use it as the basis for their entire belief system. If you eat any kind of meat that comes from a pig (which I know damn well a lot of you ignorant redneck, "god-fearing" people do) then YOU should be treated the same way you treat gay people; at least according to your precious book.

Who gave you the authority to only pick verses that back up your homophobic tendencies? Why is it more wrong to be homosexual than it is to wear polyester? If you took a minute to THINK FOR YOURSELVES and really look into things, you would realize that you are being hateful, hypocritical, arrogant, and just plain stupid to hate someone for how they are from birth. You are also extremely ignorant to follow a book that depicts your god as a murderer. You sit there and tell your children stories about how god wiped out the entire earth and killed everyone on it and let Noah and his family live. You tell your kids this story like it is a good story. If you really thought about this story you would realize it is a terrible story to tell a child? Some of the bible stories people tell their children are just downright disturbing, but because they come from the bible, they are okay? THINK!

The same people who stand in the pulpit and preach against being gay are the very ones who would never let their children make fun of someone who has black hair, blue eyes, dimples, gray hair, freckles, glasses or anything else that can’t be changed. Why do you teach your children (or congregation) that people who are gay are going to hell?

This week, I found out just how sad it can be to be treated as an outcast in your own family. My girlfriend invited both of my sisters over for dinner at our house the day after x-mas. She also sent them a friend request on Facebook. Neither responded to her or accepted her friend request. One sister wrote to me and told me that they had to do what was best for their children and hoped that there were no “hard feelings” about it. Then said she would love to see me and my kids (but did not mention my girlfriend). Apparently, my parents are not inviting my girlfriend over for x-mas; just me and the kids. Well, I will not accept that kind of hatred from my family. If they can’t invite my partner, then they are going to miss out on our company.

How any family can be so hateful and mean-spirited to their own daughter/sister is beyond my understanding. My kids are welcome to go over there, but I am NOT going. If it is more important for them to be "right" and to hold on so tightly to something so obviously ridiculous, then they deserve to be sad. They deserve to miss out on having me and Catherine in their lives.

 It is so disturbing to hear my sister say she has to do what is best for her family. What the hell does she think I am going to do? Talk about my lesbian sex life with her kids? WTF? I have never been anything but kind, loving, accepting and understanding to my sisters and would do just about anything for them or their kids. I would protect their kids with my own life. I have raised my own kids and have done a decent job at protecting them and teaching them about life. THANK GOODNESS I was smart enough to raise my kids not to hate and discriminate against other people.

I have honestly never felt so hurt and sad in my entire life. Being rejected by your family is really, really painful. I know I need to move on. They are never going to change or accept the fact that I am in love with someone who has a vagina, rather than a penis. Just WOW!

Why am I no longer a Christian? Exactly because of bullshit like this!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christians and Sex- One More Reason to Run!

*This post is about sex and some sexual practices. If you are easily offended, consider yourself warned. When I speak of sex here, I am talking about mutual sex between consenting individuals who are old enough and mature enough for sex!
I have never understood the obsession that Christians had/have with sex (well, really the fear of it). I mean, if you use their reasoning, (which I don’t, but let’s try it for a minute) God made humans in his image. God is perfect and does not make mistakes. So, the way we are is the way “god” made us, right? Okay. So, god created us needing sex. All humans crave sex when they hit puberty (at least most) and I think it is pretty natural for humans to want to fulfill their cravings for sex as much as they need to eat, sleep, and drink water. Right? So why do Christians have so many hang-ups about sex? It seems that sex, homosexuality, premarital sex etc…are on their list of “serious sins.”

When I was a teenager I was not really allowed to talk to a person of the opposite sex, and I especially could not be alone with them. I guess my parents knew that if I was alone with a boy/man that I would try things like kissing and stuff. But really, what harm was there in me kissing my boyfriend when I was age 17? Why was it seen as so evil? I felt that if my parents found out I was kissing (not to mention other things) I would be kept in the house until I was 35. So, it had to be kept very secret.

Human touch, kissing, hugging and sex are very pleasurable and we NEED them! Demonizing our sexual desires and making teens (and adults) feel bad for craving sex will only set them up for sexual dysfunction later! We should be concentrating our efforts on teaching teens to respect their bodies, use protection, be respectful of others, and being safe. Isn’t that more important?

Along these lines is the stupidity with many Christians who say that being gay is wrong and a choice. Let’s use the “Christian” logic again. God made us in his image. God is perfect. God made us with a sex drive. We are sometimes sexually attracted to the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. Yay god! Where is the problem?

The problem sets in when religious leaders preach and push their own sexual repression and dysfunction from the pulpit and all the sheep followers begin to think of sexuality as an evil that needs to be avoided. However, somewhere inside them, they feel ashamed because they love sex. They lust after people and they get excited when they see the human body. They take this shame and guilt and push this belief onto their kids and people in their church. I guess if they can’t feel good about their sex drive, no one should. As I have mentioned before, I think a big problem with Christian preachers (and others) is that they repress their own desires- often for people of the same sex- *shock- and this turns into a hatred of the LGBT community. Why? Because they hate THEMSELVES!

What does this do? It makes people feel ashamed when they feel good. It makes people feel like freaks when they are attracted to the same sex! It causes teenagers to try to have sex before they are ready, keeps them from talking to their parents, and may keep them in the dark about the protections that are available to them. Why would loving parents do this to their children? All in the name of god.

Some religions even attempt to tell married couples what they can and can't do within their marriage. Things such as masturbation, sex toys, other partners, period sex, and watching porn, use of contraception,  where they ejaculate (Catholics believe a man should "cum" inside of a woman only!) and other crazy rules are seen as a sin and are not allowed for married couples. I find it beyond ridiculous to think that people will continue to follow a religion that dictates what they do in their own bedroom!

No wonder I ran from Christianity! Who wants to stick around for that kind of abuse when you find yourself attracted to someone of the same sex? I prefer to be around people who love and accept me the way I am!

Let’s teach our teens that sex is natural and good and fun! Let’s teach them to listen to their instincts and respect their body and others’ bodies too! Let’s teach our kids that sex (when they are old enough and mentally ready) is part of life and love and goes with being human!

Question for all you LGBT haters out there? At what point in your life did you choose to be heterosexual? Think hard now! Watch this video!

Peace and great sex to all of you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quotes and Comments

As you can see from my blog, there are many, many things that turned me off to Christianity and religion in general. This blog is about the ignorant things that “men of god” have said that made me want to run fast and far from any organized religion. I will just include a few quotes and my comments about them.

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers ... AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." Jerry Falwell

Okay, Do I really need to comment on this? No, but I will. The day Jerry Falwell died I did a happy dance. How can you call yourself anything close to moral and say something so horrible about your fellow humans? Jerry, why did you care who someone loved and showed love for in the privacy of their bedroom? And one more thing… What kind of “just” god would create humans the way they are (some of us are gay, deal with it!) and then give them AIDS to punish them for being the way he created them? Have you thought about that Jerry? No? You can’t because you are dead? Oh damn!

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country." Jerry Falwell

Ignorant ass! You are a perfect example of why religion and politics should not mix! Not everyone in the U.S. is a Christian and it is arrogant to assume that this is your country! How would you feel if a Muslim or Catholic said the same kind of thing? Scared? Controlled? Worried for the future of your country?

Jerry seems to like this a little too much. Could that be his problem?

"Rail as they will about 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism."
--Pat Buchanan (11/22/83)

Oh Pat, you silly, silly freak. I would like to name a few things that you are not endowed with. Are women that much of a threat to you?

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." –Pat Robertson

Mr. Robertson, how the hell can you think you are a persecuted group similar to the Jews? And what could homosexuals possibly do to YOU and other Christians to destroy them? Do you have so little faith in your god that you think he will allow the homos to hurt ya? You are a sad excuse for a human. You calling yourself a minority while you rake in millions every year from your sheep followers would definitely NOT put you in the minority group you ass clown!

So, as you can see by my comments. I don’t deal well with ignorant people who hate others simply because they choose a different religion from theirs. Why would I want to follow a religion that is controlled and run by fools like this? There is so much hate and discontent in the Christian community right now that I am shocked that some people stay as long as they do. I feel free and happy to be out of all the hate and control. I only wish that the people I love would see it.

P.S. Before you comment, please know that I understand that ALL Christians are not like Jerry and Pat. This blog is my therapy and my way of explaining why I am not a follower of Christianity.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where is the Love?

I just read a very inspiring blog by “The Redheaded Skeptic.” What amazed me about her blog is that I could have written it; almost word for word! She worded it so perfectly, that I am almost tempted to say- “What she said” for my whole blog entry this time, but decided I should write my own instead. Just know that I was so inspired by her words that I got off my lazy butt and decided to get back to blogging.

See, the reason I blog is not to impress other people, get tons of followers, or become famous. (haha) The reason I write my blog is to sort through my thoughts, feelings, views, and ideas. Writing my blog has been very therapeutic for me. It has also turned most of my family against me: which is what this blog entry will be about (Again, thanks for the inspiration Redheaded Skeptic!)

Since I have not heard one single word from my family this entire summer, (Except tidbits of things my ex-boyfriend has told me and a rude, uncaring email) I can assume that they are writing me off as a daughter. I am not going to lie and say I don’t care or that I am so over trying to mend things with them. I do care. A lot! That is really the problem. A good friend of mine once told me that after all this anger; not caring about what his family thought is what worked for him. I am hoping to reach that level soon, but for now, not feeling loved, accepted or conditionally cherished for who I am is the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

Although my parents like to sit there and judge me, gossip about me to my sisters, criticize me for my views and (I am quite sure of it) pray for/gossip about me in church, they have not once considered what I might need while going through this very difficult summer-The worst of my life.

Here is the short list:

• Being unemployed

• My boyfriend moving out to “work on himself.”

• The death of a close friend of our family and best friend to my boyfriend of 9 years in a terrible motorcycle accident (The one boyfriend moved in with).

• Taking boyfriend back after death of friend because he had nowhere to go.

• A break up with my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years.

• Being emotionally and verbally abused by my boyfriend of 9 years.

• Leaving my home (of 19 years) to get away from my emotionally abusive and cruel boyfriend.

• Living the entire summer at the home of a close friend and her mom with my 19 yr old and my 12 year old (I did not really even know her mom that well, but she was kind enough to take us in).

• Having my ex husband (12 year old’s dad) accuse me of not having my son in a safe place and threatening to take custody back of my son. I would NEVER have my kids in an unsafe place and he should know this!!

• Having my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years turn my family against me by telling them personal stuff about me that my parents will never forgive. He also hurt my daughter with his cold and hateful words. This is not forgivable.

• Not hearing from my family by phone (Except my brother) at all to see how I was doing.

• Having my dad write me an email telling me that I am better off with boyfriend and not once trying to understand why I left or see things from my perspective. (Implying that I am too stupid and incompetent to survive and raise my son on my own, even though I have a B.A. degree.)

• Being threatened on more than one occasion by my (ex) boyfriend that he was going to take the house away from me. (I have owned the house for 19 years- he has lived in it for 9 and helped me refinance it 3-4 years ago. I had both of my children in this house and it has been my children's home all of their lives)

• Having a family member (not quite sure who) tell my parents about this blog. I never intended for them to read it. Even though it is public, I never gave my parents the web address or any access to my blog because I knew how conditional their love was.

• Having to call the cops on ex because he refused to believe the relationship was over and dealing with so much stalking/harassment that I had to block his phone and email so I could have some peace.

• Moving back into the house with my friend and having ex say that if things were not working out, that he would leave. I needed to get my son back into school and had no where to live except our house (So far he has not moved out and we are living in one room, my son in one, and ex in the other. It is, as one friend put, awkward!) I found out later that my parents said to someone "If she is so abused by him, why did she move back?" Really? That is just so supportive coming from the people who brought me into this world. If you tried for one MINUTE to see thing from a perspective other than your stupid religion, you may understand why I had to move back. Also, have I ever- in my almost 46 years-been known to lie, exaggerate, be a drama queen or stretch the truth to make things look worse than they really are? NO? Then why would I start that now??????? Think about it!

• Being told by my ex that he hates me and wishes I was dead.

• Getting pictures sent to my email of my mom, dad, sisters, their husbands and all of their children at a house in the mountains where they all vacationed together in August. Not only was I not invited or even told about this trip, but neither was my son. That hurts. I honestly don’t think I can forgive this. Ever. I had no idea that the very people who are my flesh and blood could hurt me as terribly as they have this summer. If I voiced these hurtful thoughts to my family they would turn everything around on me and say that I had hurt them. That is the most sad of all. :(

• Finally, my 19 year old daughter moved out and into her own apartment in Orlando to attend college at UCF. This is a good thing, but she was one of my best buddies and I miss her terribly (Neither one of my parents have called her to see how she is doing, sent her a card, asked her if she needs anything etc…)

I swear that if I ever treated my children the way I have been treated by my parents I hope they disown me and move on with their lives. How Christian are my parents to totally ignore their own flesh and blood/oldest daughter? Don’t they remember that I am their baby? Can they not see past their own wall of religion and notice that I am in pain? Why must I believe in their god and see the world as they do to get their love and acceptance? Do they remember that I am, and always have been a good, kind, loving, supportive, intelligent, intuitive, caring, passionate, mom, sister, partner and friend? Do they see me as so different now that they know the truth about me that has always been inside of me long before they ever found out?

I even broke down and apologized to my parents for hurting them with my words in this blog. I offered them a truce and told them that we should forgive and accept and move on. I gave them a chance to see their grandson after he got back from camp and before he went back to school. They did not even respond to my letter. They have not contacted my son or daughter to see how they are doing. They choose to stay inside their anger, spitefulness, fear, and close-minded religion. That is their choice. I have come to the conclusion that many people cling to the church because they are so dysfunctional that they have no idea how to live without the rules and advice of their church/pastor. I find this a sad waste of a life and I am truly sorry to have lost my family the way that I have. But my emotional health as an adult is telling me that I need to stay away from my family until I can feel accepted by them.

Religion has never been good for me, the more I see from Christians, the more I know that seeking the truth and finding that god is a fairy tale has set me free. I feel freer than I ever did inside any church or growing up in a "CHRISTIAN" family. I only wish I had family to accept me as I am.

As the Redheaded Skeptic said in her blog "Fuck you:"

"Chew on that before you judge me. And after all the judgment and rudeness and emotional abandonment [my italics,underline and bold] I have received over the last several years from my parents and their little circle of friends, if you chew on it and decide that I am still a horrible daughter, then all I can say is fuck you."

Picture: My family last summer- during better times- long before they read my blog and decided to abandon me for being a bisexual atheist.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Does Your God Hear?

Does Your God Hear?
By Catherine T. Horan and Lori Atkinson

Does your god hear you

When you pray,

And ask that your daughter

Not be gay?

Is his voice a comfort

As you sleep?

Does he join in your sorrow

as you weep?

Does god really care

that she loves with her heart,

Beyond just a body,

beyond just a part?

Didn’t your god

Make her that way?

When he doesn’t answer

What do you say?

Does your god shun

And remove from his care,

A person like me?

Would that really be fair?

His perfection so endless;

His mercy so pure;

You worship and love him;

And hope for a cure

But what if your god,

Looks down on your tears,

Wondering why you don’t love,

Someone so dear?

Your own flesh and blood,

Hurting from your disdain,

Begging for love,

So scarred from the pain.

Does your world only foster

Such anger and hate,

That your very own child

Is only acceptable straight?

If your god is love,

Then I ask you to see:

Love comes in all forms

So can’t you JUST LOVE ME?

Although I don't believe in god, I think that this poem might be helpful for people who do. Does it make you think?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Love, Acceptance and Tolerance: All Christian Traits, Right?

Call me silly, but when I found out that my parents had read my blog (ya, this one) I expected at least a phone call, or a letter, or something that would give me some hope that they still love me. What I got was an email saying that although they love me, they cannot tolerate my “homosexual lifestyle.” (Somehow this felt like a knife stabbing into my heart and nothing like love.Without the love and help from my friends, my brother Mark and his wife and my children during this extremely difficult time I am not sure how I would have been able to keep my head above the water and not want to end it all. It has been a very challenging problem to work through) Why do we hope for the impossible? Now that I think about it, what did I expect them to say?

“We love and accept you even if you are bisexual?” Or, “Even though we don’t understand how you can be an atheist, of course we love and accept you.” Or maybe “Christ teaches us to love and accept all people, so we welcome and accept you, no matter what.” Well, a girl can hope, even at age 45, that her parents love her unconditionally. But that does not seem to be the case. Is it really that hard to say that your religion has perhaps taken the wrong stance all this time and that perhaps accepting others, no matter what, is a Christian thing to do?

Tolerance- Not the best of terms!

I once read a blog written by a gay man that explained why he hates the word tolerance. I will keep looking for the link (I read it a while ago) but it went something along these lines: I pay my taxes, I volunteer as a big brother, I help older people with their groceries, I don’t steal, I live a moral and good life, I pick up my dog’s poop so others don’t step in it, I vote, I don’t drink and drive, I give to charity, I donate my time to clean up the city, I love my partner etc… (he goes on for quite a while) and then he makes a perfect point: As a gay man, why should he only receive tolerance? To be tolerant implies that you put up with something distasteful and deal with it anyway. Why should he not have equal rights as a human to receive love and acceptance and have people treat him with respect and concern, like they would expect for themselves. The word tolerant takes on a new meaning when you see things from this perspective. People deserve more than tolerance!

If you are truly a Christian and want to follow the teachings of Christ, why would you only want to tolerate a family member (or worse, shun them) simply because of whom they choose to love or care about? A great and supportive friend of mine named Amy says this: “Who cares what genitals a person has when it comes to love?” I doubt-if there really was a Jesus- he would think that rejecting another human being based on who they love was an acceptable way to live.

If you are reading this blog and you have a gay, bisexual or lesbian family member, maybe you should try to see things from what I call the “big picture perspective.” If they died tomorrow, would you still cling so tightly to your beliefs that they were a “bad” person? Or would you not go to their funeral because they were gay? You only have one life here on earth, and whether or not you believe in an afterlife, wouldn’t it be best to treat your loved ones with respect and concern while you are still here to do that? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? Do you want your grandchildren to remember you as the person who refused to love their mother/father and accept her/him for all that she/he is? Do you want your flesh and blood children to spend their life wondering why you do not accept them simply because they are gay? Or do you want to leave a legacy of love, acceptance and kindness to your fellow human beings?

I will continue to write my blog and voice my views because it has helped me to heal from a past that left me feeling repressed. I want to break out of being a victim and become someone who shows my children and loved ones that life is what we make it, and we can stay victims, or we can choose to become better people and strive to love and accept others as they are. I have decided to love and accept my parents, even though their beliefs are the polar opposite of mine. That is what love is about.

Picture: Me and my mom last Mother's Day before she read my blog. I will always love my mom.

Movie Recommendations:
Milk (With Sean Penn)
Prayers for Bobby (Please share this movie with others who do not accept their gay children)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Do I Get My Morality?

I recently had a Facebook conversation with someone that made me remember why most Christians annoy me and turned me off from Christianity. The conversation started as my son-in-law wrote a note on his page that I was determined not to comment on. I strongly believe that people have a right to state their views without having people become rude with them on Facebook.

Although I did not agree with most of what he wrote, I let it go. I love my family and usually find it is smarter to keep my views to myself when it comes to them. Then my other daughter made a comment to one of my son-in-law’s arrogant “Christian” friends and then I felt the need to jump in and defend her. Call me a mama bear. Whatever.

There were many things that annoyed me about what this arrogant dude said: “Evolution is a poor theory,” “I think it is perfectly rational that Noah got two of every kind of animal on the ark” and “Most wars were not fought over religion.” But this is what really pissed me off the most: (said directly to me)

“I need God as my “crutch.” But not as my crutch only but my only foundation, my presupposition for viewing the world. All other worldviews pale in comparison to the inclusiveness, The logical solidity and moral purity of following Christ..."

Then he said “The Bible says, ‘God looks upon the heart.’ He is not interested in outward expressions of morality and goodness.[Note from me: this must explain why so many “Christians’ are some of the most rude, unkind, unforgiving people I know, they figure it just does not matter to god] As I saw on a T-shirt once: God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.” [God must not want him then!]

Then, get this. He said, “Let me ask, where does your (or ANY morality) come from?” [Is he REALLY implying that I have no morals SIMPLY because I do not believe in his god?]

I have to say that since my daughter was just recently married and I love her and I love my son-in-law I refrained from telling their friend off in a not-very-nice way. In his thinking; as long as people are pious and arrogant like this dude, “god” is just fine if we never feed the homeless, give to the poor, help our friends when they need us, raise our kids to be good and kind and moral people, etc…? Their god just does not buy that?

Did he really ask me where my morality comes from? Did he really call himself logical and morally pure? I HATE it when people say things like “God is not interested in outward expressions of morality and goodness.” Really? Did he tell you that personally since you are such a good and spiritual person? I also hate when people say things like “God hates fags” and other dumb expressions like that.

Frankly I don’t really care what god wants or thinks. I have never seen any evidence of a god, therefore when people say things to me like:

You are going to hell
Hate the sin, love the sinner
I will ask god for guidance
I will pray for you
God loves you
God hates you
God wants to you __________
God does not want you to _____________

Or any other such comment, does not affect, distrub or encourage me. It does annoy me though because even if there were a god, I think it would be incredibly arrogant of a person to assume he or she knows what god wants and to believe that god personally talks to them (ie… see how special I am?).

So, to answer this dude's question, I get my morals and my ethics from my own conscience. If something seems or feels wrong to me- like stealing from a store, I don’t do it. If I feel badly when I do something, I stop doing that thing that makes me feel badly.

I was taught as a small child the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and moral and immoral. If you are going to use the bible as your moral compass, do you really think you would kill your child (like Abraham was ordered to do) if god told you to? HELL NO! YOU WOULD NOT! You would realize that “god” was off his rocker and you would not kill your own child. Why? Because you love your child and you know it would be morally wrong to do it, no matter what.

I think all people should aim to be good, kind, loving, moral, ethical, understanding, tolerant, generous, affectionate, warm, devoted, honest, decent, honorable, open-minded, charitable and giving no matter what their religion may be, and no matter if “god” sees it, or cares. Living one’s life in fear of what will happen in the afterlife is a waste of time! Why don’t we aim to live this life to the fullest and while we are at it, try to make the lives of others good too?

Watch this great video by the “Thinking Atheist” on YouTube about morals and god.

This video, by Christopher Hitchens explains in a perfectly logical way why the biblical ten commandments are a waste of paper (or tablet) haha!

Okay, I am adding this too, don't want to leave out my favorite YouTube dude nonStampcollector. This video shows the irony of some chrisitans asking atheists where they get their morals.
As always, respectful non-hateful comments are welcome. It is not a good idea to preach to me. Go to a relgious website for a preaching platform.

Peace!! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coming Out in Many Ways

As you can see from reading my blog, I have many different reasons for losing my faith in god and Christianity. There is not one event that caused me to lose faith overnight.

I actually can’t even give you an exact time in my life that I could have labeled myself an atheist. For a long time, I knew I was over god, but I just never thought to give it a label.

I know for sure that one of the main contributing factors for my turning my back on the faith I grew up with was the treatment of homosexuals.

 Christians contradict the teachings of their Christ every time they mock, criticize, degrade, forsake, hate, judge, preach against, protest against, ignore, disown or neglect anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or transgender.

When I was growing up, the only thing I knew about homosexuals was that they were sinners who were bound for hell. (The way the preachers went on and on about those “reprobates” I thought they were going to hell a lot faster than I was- lol)

For some reason, fundamental Baptist preachers love to harp on this subject. I honestly think, after watching preachers like Jerry Falwell  (Click here to hear Falwell's hate), Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard- and most of the preachers I had to hear every agonizing Sunday- that many of them must have this phobia because they secretly like men and are scared to death to be found out. So, they preach against homosexuality to insure that everyone knows their stance. (Ted Haggard openly admitted this in an interview after being caught with a male prostitute) (Ted Haggard's apology)

The problem for me was this: I was taught that everyone deserved to be loved. My parents were never racist, hateful or mean to anyone. My mom always taught me to love everyone. I experienced a lot of racism toward me when I was a young child because I was one of the only light-haired freckle faced kids in school in Hawaii. (Most kids in my class were very dark-skinned with dark eyes.) I knew how that felt, and I sure did not think it was right to treat people differently because of their skin color.

 So, how was being homosexual any different from being born with dark skin, light skin, freckles, curly hair, or anything else with which we are born??

During the time I still believed there was a god, I wondered why god would make so many people homosexual and then doom them to hell, just because they loved someone with the same body part that they had. What kind of “loving” god would do that? How could he expect humans to be more loving, if he (Mr. Perfect) was that evil?

I could never accept that there was anything wrong with being gay. I had arguments with my parents when I was a teen and in my 20s, but I gave up when I realized it was like talking to a brick wall. They are never going to accept that some people are homosexual because their church/pastor tells them it is wrong. So that is what they believe.

My parents think that most people either chose to be gay, or that they must have been abused while they were young children and that made them gay. Those were their only arguments.

This is what I have to say about choosing to be gay: SO WHAT?? Even if people choose to be gay, which most do not, why does this matter to you? Whether they were born that way, or chose to be that way. Why does it matter to you what someone else does with their body, their love and their heart? Short video on choice

No one in my family knows this, but I guess they will now. I am bisexual. I am tired of fighting it and I am tired of hiding it. I guess growing up in an environment where this was unacceptable; I pushed my feelings deep down inside myself. After so many years of doing that, I am tired.

I have been inspired by my gay friends, like Eric-Equality- Kramer, who are openly gay and proud, and who fight for the rights of others to marry and live with equality. I am joining Eric in this fight!

Staying in the closet does not help the cause. I will lose family and friends over this. Sad, but true. Imagine the guilt and confusion I had as a teen when I felt excited seeing a naked woman. I have pushed my feelings and thoughts down for so long that I am just now trying to figure out who I am. The fact that I denied my own sexuality for so long is very sad.

To my Christian friends:

If you are Christian raising small children right now, please decide now that you will accept, love and support them no matter who they choose to love. I hope that you will put aside your judgment and hostility and learn to love one another. Just like your role model, Jesus, says to do.

Heterosexual friends: If someone told you tomorrow that the world has become homosexual now and the only way for you to be accepted would be to start liking people of the same sex, could you just “choose” to change sexual orientation? No? Well neither can anyone else. Live your life the way you want to live it, and let other do the same please!

A book about women’s sexuality:

"Sexual Fluidity" << read the book review here!

Any other suggestions?

A movie that may give you a new perspective: (Please suggest other movies and I will list them here)

"A Jihad for Love" Part I (watch all 6 parts on YouTube. It is also available on Netflix) Although I think these people are deluded to keep practicing a religion that is so... well, crazy, I do think that this movie demonstrates just how difficult it was for these people to be gay. Even when threatened by jail and death, they were still gay. What does this say?
Read this awesome review of the movie by my above mentioned friend, Eric Kramer.

(Please note: If you are a Christian who is gay or if you are a Christian who accepts and loves homosexuals, please know that this blog is not directed at you. This blog is my own experience with MOST Christians who think that being a Christian means not acknowledging that gays are who they are. If you believe in “god” he made LGBT people that way, so please learn to be more Christ-like)

I will delete any comments that are “homophobic”(for lack of a better word. A phobia is a fear, most people who are homophobic are more hateful than fearful) racist, or hateful in any way. I welcome your views if you can state them in a respectful manner. As you can see this is an atheist blog, so if you are trying to preach to me or convert me, please give up and go to a Christian blog for support and acceptance.

(3 paintings are by me)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God is Good?

I have had a rough week emotionally and trying to write in my blog is a bit draining for me, so this week I am going to share some of my favorite atheist videos from YouTube and make some comments on each one. I hope to be back to my normal self next week! Each of these videos shows that if you read the bible, and really look into what it says, I hope you come to the conclusion that god is not good or merciful.

This first one is by my favorite YouTube Athiest, The NonStampCollector. This video demonstrates the silliness of Christians telling us that Jesus died for our sins. Is god really merciful?

Here is another of my favorites from the NonStampCollector: This one shows some things that god could have done to help humanity, but didn't. An all knowing, all powerful god really should have thought of these things. :) Very funny! (If you like that kind of humor. I do!)

Another of my favorite Atheist Youtubers is Darkmatter2525. This video gives us an excellent example of how silly it is for christians to believe that all you have to do is say a prayer, believe in god, and you will go to heaven. That kind of thinking offends me. If I belived in heaven, I would rather go somewhere else than share a place with the kinds of intolerant, hypocritical, judgemental chrisitans I live around.

DarkMatter2525 made an excellent point with this video by demonstrating how odd it is that we are expected to accept the "gift" of god killing his son in order to go to heaven.

Finally, TheThinkingAtheist gives us some things to think about with this video about an invisible god.

Update 4/7/2010 After watching more videos on YouTube and hearing from some of you about some YouTube Atheists I missed, I would like to add a video here from an awesome fellow atheist and Floridian (who wishes to leave Florida as much as I do). Angie the anti-theist has a BUNCH of really good videos, but this one goes along with my theme of "God is good?" If you get a chance, you should watch all of her videos! She says it so much better than I can! Plus, how awesome to include a woman YouTube Atheist? Woo hoo!!

Take some time to view all the videos these great YouTube atheists make!
God is not good, not merciful and certainly not here for us when we need him. He does not deserve for you to spend your days praying, worshipping, singing and praising him. Really! What has he done for you lately? Think about it! I think it is time that people are honest with themselves! Stop living with delusions and free yourself from christianity! You will be so glad you did!

Friday, March 19, 2010

One God Further...

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. [Zeus, Apollo, Hermes etc…] Some of us just go one god further." Richard Dawkins

When I was a teenager, I was very sheltered in my limited Christian world. I went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night (For visitation; another word for harassing people and trying to get them to come to church). I went to the school that was part of the church, every night we had “devotions,” we prayed before we went to bed and we did not have friends who were not part of the church and school. The only exposure to the outside world we had was when we went to the store, or visited “unsaved” family.

The summer I turned eighteen our family took a trip to Massachusetts to see my dad’s side of the family. It turned out to be the last time my dad saw his father. We were having a good time: I played with my cousins (“unsaved” of course) we swam in the lake near their house and we got to see family we didn’t even know we had. We were there for about two days when I heard my dad and his dad in an argument. The argument went something like this: (very simplified version coming from my memory at eighteen, so it could be a bit flawed)

My Papa: So, if I leave you money after I die, are you going to give it to the church?
My Dad: I will give 10% to the church.
My Papa: Well, I am not going to give you any money then, I don’t want it to go to the church.

After some yelling back and forth, my dad told us all to pack our bags and get ready to leave. It was very disappointing to leave early! My dad was angry for a very, very long time and I remember we tried really hard not to annoy him on the drive home. I felt his anger was like a time bomb.

I remember thinking that my cousins were cool and nice people. I remember my aunt telling me she felt sorry for me that I was so sheltered, and I agreed with her. But mostly, I remember thinking: Why the heck are they going to hell? What made us so much better than they were? Were we being a bit arrogant and mean-spirited?

Most of them were catholics, and my parents belief was that anyone who does not believe the way they do is going to hell. I really started thinking about this. What made my parents think that my cousins and grandparents were going to hell? I could see that my parents did not know everything, obviously at age eighteen I thought I did. (haha) I did not dwell on this thought much, but it was there, swimming around in my thoughts, along with all the other ones. As the years went by I could not reconcile these thoughts. Wasn't I a disbeliever of Allah? And didn't they talk about how wrong we were? So I was an Allah atheist! (haha)

Didn’t the crazy people who flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11 believe that their religion was the only right one? Didn’t the pope feel strongly that catholics had the religion thing down pat? What about Jews? What about people who had a different doctrine than the one my parent’s church had? I started to wonder why they ALL felt they were right and EVERYONE else was wrong. There was something wrong with that! The more evil I saw coming from the church, the more I was convinced. They were all wrong! All of them! Not one of them had the right and true religion/god!

Of the main churches we attended growing up we had one pastor burn down the church to get insurance money, one who went to jail for molesting young girls (I was one of them) and one who died in prison while awaiting his trial for molesting who knows how many kids. I saw Ted Haggard fall from grace (a man who was so hateful toward gays and then had sex with a male prostitute) I saw Jim and Tammy Bakker fall off their god pedestal and I I saw so many hypocrites in the churches I attended that I knew christianity was not going to work for me.

I remember being told how silly the stories were that other religions told about the story of creation. Then I began to think that ours was pretty unbelievable too. Watch this funny video by a very funny youtube atheist comedian to put the creation story in perspective

The thing that bothered me the most was when Baptists would say that anyone who did not believe in [their] god was going to hell. If you asked for details, this meant innocent children, people in the jungles of Africa who had never heard of their god ( I was told this was why it was necessary to send missionaries out to save the lost souls) and, as I said, catholics, methoists, muslims etc… What kind of god would send innocent people to hell because they did not get to read “his” bible in their lifetime? Not the kind of god I wanted to worship anymore! I remember when my Papa died my parents said he was probably in hell. This was disturbing to me. Would god really let a person die in a lake of burning fire for eternity because he did not worship an unseen, unproven, useless god who had never done a damn thing for him or his family? Who would want a god like that? Who would be gleefully happy and smug knowing someone was in hell? Who would choose to spend their life worshipping this god? I knew I did not want to waste my life like that!

As this video by The non-stamp collector shows, no god is the right one. The concept of god is wrong. Religion is wrong and people who force it down the throats of others are wrong!

If you have a respectful comment, I would love to hear from you! I welcome all points of view. I do not welcome hate or disrepect and those kinds of coments will be deleted!
I LOVE getting comments, it makes my day! Thanks!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One More Brick

Many ex-Christians get questions from baffled people still immersed in religion about how they became an “ex.” What led them to decide that they were no longer Christians? I have heard varying answers and they are all as different as the people answering them. For me, it was not one thing, as you can see from this blog, but more of a journey in steps. Every step I took away from Christianity though, I felt a bit more light and a bit more free. Ironically, this is how Christians say they feel when the find god. I found that the more I learned the truth about religion, the more relieved I became that the little voice of reason has always been right; I was just not paying attention. I found it liberating to let go of the guilt, worry about after-life, worry about being "left behind" and all the other things that go along with Christianity.

I like answering questions with one quick, easy answer. Maybe I got that from being a Baptist: “The bible says so” or “humans are not always meant to know god’s plan for us” or, along those lines, “We just have to have faith that god knows what is best.” These sound like answers if you are not a questioner, but after a while they sound like NON- answers and I began to think they were lame when I was a teenager. So, I began to see a few things wrong with religion, which made me wonder what else was wrong with religion. For a long time, while I was raising my kids, I did not have time to think about god or religion; I just knew that I was NOT going to church anymore. (Later, in another blog, I will tell a story about how I attempted, one last time, to get back into the church) However, I did not label myself agnostic, atheist or anything really, I just did not think about it.

One of the many events that I witnessed in the good old bible-belt that gave me a huge push away from the chrisitian church and everything it stands for was the story about the Fleming Island High School senior who was not allowed to wear a tuxedo in her yearbook picture At the heart of this story is homophobia, discrimination, intolerance and outright arrogance.

Read Story here:
 Short Version of the Story
 Longer More Detailed Version of the Story

Unfortunately, I know Sam Ward, the principal of this school very well. I worked there as a teacher two years after this happened. He firmly believes that his religion is the only right one. He runs the school like a Nazi camp and he is one of the most evil, rude, close-minded people I know. The only reason he would not allow this girl to wear a tuxedo in the picture is because he KNEW she was a lesbian. Even though 200 people showed up to support her, Kelli was not allowed to have her picture in the yearbook. I was working for a newspaper at the time of this story and I was asked to write about it for the paper. I naively believed I could write a story in support of Kelli Davis. I found out I was wrong. So, I quit my job at the newspaper. The editor of the paper wanted me to say that students nowadays need to know how to conform and how to follow dress code (as you can see from the article, there was no written dress-code for senior yearbook pics, just a tradition). I refused to write anything like that. I always taught my kids (and students when I taught at Fleming Island High School) that changes cannot be made in the world by conforming. If something is wrong, we need to stand up and say it is WRONG!

While this story was big in the Clay County news, I heard so many chrisitians run their mouths about Kelli and how she needed to be saved, turn from her “evil” ways, repent, dress like a “girl” etc… Even though I had seen Christians become evil first hand, I was blown away by how much they bullied Kelli because of her sexual orientation and the fact that she stood up for herself. I was proud of her! She had to deal with so much hate, arrogance and meanness, not just from her classmates, but from the principal of her own school, someone she should have been able to count on to protect her!

Many people saw Kelli as a rebellious teen who was just trying to break the rules. One woman, Karen Gordon, was quoted saying "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds." I have no doubt that this woman is a christian, the kind who tell their church members, “We cannot question god or the bible, but submit our wills to him.” In this extremely religious area, where most people just assume you are christian, Kelli had to walk the halls at school and be called “dumb fucking dyke” and I am sure many other rude comments by students who had heard their own “christian” parents bad-mouthing Kelli.
When are we going to learn that questioning things that are wrong is a GOOD thing? When are christians going to stop being so judgmental, evil, rude, hateful and intolerant of others? Although I had thought that perhaps the churches I had grown up in were extreme, I found that most christian are NOT good, kind, loving people. So, for me, this incident added one more brick to the wall I had building between me and “god.” If this was what god was about, I wanted nothing to do with him!

P.S. Sam Ward still sits his big fat ass in his cushy office at FIHS. I am sure many teachers and parents will jump for joy when he is no longer spreading his poison to high school students.

Disclaimer: I purposely do not capitalize religious words. I don't think of them as proper nouns. Whatever!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Money for Jesus

If you have been in any kind of church, you know that the offering plate will pass by you at least once during every service, but often they pass it around a second time, just to make sure God gets enough money.

As young children, we were encouraged to give 10% of our money to “god.” Yes, we were giving it to god. So, as child I bought that. My reasoning skills were not advanced enough yet to wonder why god needed money from a family with five children who barely had enough food to go around. My dad was in the military (later he became an assistant pastor) and let’s just say the military does not give a flying flip if you have more kids, the pay still sucks. My dad worked hard for us, I want to make sure I give him credit for that! He worked every day of his life until he retired to support his family the best way that he could, but I really wish that, rather than give his money to god, he would have saved it for himself! He is retired now and I would like to see him have enough money to travel the world, take my mom on a cruise and do things they have always wanted to do.

One day we were sitting in a church service with another boring message from the pastor (that he claimed god channeled directly through him- haha). At the end of the sermon the pastor decided that it was time the church “grew” (which technically means more money). So, since he knew that it was not that easy to get more money from his congregation, the pastor decided that he would start asking people to bring their gold, jewelry, and other valuables and put them in the offering plate so that they could gather the money for a new building. I stopped my writing and looked up in surprise when I heard this statement (okay, I know you want to know what I was writing. Well, in my boredom, I used to write the lyrics to “forbidden” songs. Songs like Madonna, “Borderline” and other sinful songs, this was the only way I could make it through the boring sermons about hell and how I was going to burn there.) I felt something twinge in the pit of my stomach.

Even as a teenager I knew that there was something wrong with taking valuables from the “sheep” members of the church. Right away I started seeing the pastor of our church as an evil and hateful man. The next week, I watched people bring their family heirlooms, jewelry and other valuables and place them in the offering plate. Months later, nothing new or different was added to the church.

I wondered why god needed our money anyway. If god was an all-knowing and all powerful god, then wouldn’t he have enough money anyway? So, it was explained to me that the money went to the church, so that the church could help people. But I never saw any evidence of the church helping people. So, the logical conclusion to reach is that the pastor was taking this stuff, selling it, and keeping the money for himself, in the name of god. The next conclusion I came to was that this whole church thing was a major scam. Finally, a bit later in my life, I realized that Christianity was a scam as well. I still believe this. I still wish my dad would keep his money. I wish that pastors of huge churches would stop using the money from poor, hardworking people to buy themselves luxurious homes, cars and private educations for their kids.

Another point I would like to make about this is this: If god wants to bless Christians who spend many days a week praising him and worshipping him, wouldn’t he bless them with free money, wealth and prosperity? And if there were a god, wouldn’t he spread this money around to the poor people all over the world?

God does not need your money! If you are rich and want to help someone, find a really good charity that you know will put that money where it is needed, and give it to them! Depending on the size of a congregation, churches can rack up thousands and thousands of dollars every Sunday. On top of that, since they call themselves “non-profit” they don’t have to pay property taxes for the church building. Non-profit my ASS! This money is free and clear! If hard working people who buy a house and barely scrape by each month paying the mortgage and the taxes on that property are required to pay taxes, then churches should have to do the same thing! Click here for an excellent argument on why churches should pay property taxes.

God is not going to be around when your house forecloses, you lose your job, your child gets sick, or your car breaks down. If he was, I would say give him the money as an incentive/insurance policy. But, since he probably won’t be helping you out, I say, GOD DOES NOT NEED YOUR MONEY! Keep it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


"Consistency is severely lacking in religion. If you believe God saved the survivors, you MUST therefore also believe he killed the victims." KT Trebor

If there are any Christians reading this blog, they will be offended no matter what, but many will be baffled when they read the title of this blog. Let me explain why I don’t want to hear, “I will pray for you” ever again!

1) Prayer does not work!

During my lifetime (I am 45 years old, so that counts as good amount of time) I have NEVER seen a prayer answered. Not one. I have never seen anyone’s prayers work any more than normal luck and life happening in its own time. So, if there is ever a time when I am ill, or dying, or some other such terrible life-event. Please don’t tell me you are praying for me. I would rather hear something like. “I love you and I am here for you.” Or “Can I take Noah for a while to help you out?” or any other kind of helpful statement that will actually help me and not make me feel like you are just saying empty words. In his book, “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” Christopher Hitchens says this about prayer:

…One might open the newspaper to read that the largest study of prayer ever undertaken had discovered yet again that there is no correlation of any kind between “intercessory” prayer and the recover of patients.(Well, perhaps some correlation: patients who knew that prayers were being said for them had more postoperative complications than those who did not…)

Prayers have never worked and never will, because there is no god. If there were a god, he/she would actually listen to prayers and do something about bad things that happen. Thousands of innocent kids and adults die in earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural disasters all the time. What kind of god would allow that? Beautiful and innocent babies and young children die from abuse starvation and neglect every day all over the world. If god is all-knowing and can control everything, then where is he? So, if any prayers should work, it should be prayers offered up for innocent babies and children. But they don’t work.

When the local story broke about the 7-year-old girl, Somer Thompson, being missing, people began praying, holding prayer vigils and telling news reporters that their churches were praying for her safe return. Somer was found dead in a landfill in Georgia a few days later. Wouldn’t a just, all-knowing, all-loving god have prevented that from happening? Especially with all the prayers being offered up for that sweet, innocent girl? Think about it! Did they not pray hard enough? Did they pray with the wrong attitude? No, they prayed to someone who does not exist. So then, when she was found dead, do they turn to their god and question him? Nope! They say things like, “Well, it was god’s will!” or “He must have wanted her in heaven sooner than other children” WTF? Is that kind of crap supposed to make people worship god? Unfortunately there are people who are dumb enough to keep praying and worshipping this evil god.

Finally consider this quote taken from"

"The three-year Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), published in the April 4 American Heart Journal, was the largest-ever attempt to apply scientific methods to measure the influence of prayer on the well-being of another. It examined 1,800 patients undergoing heart-bypass surgery. On the eve of the operations, church groups began two weeks of praying for one set of patients. Each recipient had a praying contingent of about 70, none of whom knew the patient personally. The study found no differences in survival or complication rates compared with those who did not receive prayers. The only statistically significant blip appeared in a subgroup of patients who were prayed for and knew it. They experienced a higher rate of postsurgical heart arrhythmias (59 versus 52 percent of unaware subjects). "


2) Prayer is selfish.

Often Christians pray for things like their football team to win, their daughter’s cheerleading team to make the championships or for their car to magically run again. These kinds of prayers are usually self-centered and don’t take into account the fact that there is another team, with equally wonderful and good humans on that team, playing just as hard, and putting just as much work into winning. Of all the problems and pain in the world, is their god really going to be sitting there saying to himself: Yes, you have prayed for your car to work, so therefore I will take time out of my busy day (millions and millions of prayers to “answer”) and will make sure you have a fixed starter. This is selfish thinking, if you really believe in god. I have heard people pray for their team to win over a “non-Christian” school team because they are faithful and offer up prayer. Having god on their side should be enough to help them win the game, right? ha!

3) Prayer is arrogant.

Most Christians I have met are arrogant people. They think that their religion is the one and only right one (despite the fact that there are thousands of other religions in the world) and they think that when people suffer any kind of pain or hurt in their lives they must deserve it One of the main reasons that I turned away from Christianity was the hypocrisy and arrogance that most Christians have about their religion being right and everyone else’s being wrong.
Here is a quote that I took from one of my former students. She posted it as her Facebook Status:

"WOW God is soooo good! I just witnessed a car accident with the car right in front of me! One more second and that couldve been me my sister and my god-daughter! Thank You Jesus for covering us!!"

I would like to know why god got credit for this? What about the people in the car in front of her? Don’t they matter? Are they just not good enough christians so god decided that their car should get smashed? This kind of thinking is dangerous and ridiculous! Someone was driving like an idiot and someone else (an innocent person) had to pay for it. That is how life goes sometimes. Don’t give a useless and evil “god” credit for saving you and deciding to smash up someone else! If there was a good and all-knowing god he would have seen the accident coming and prevented it!

Along the lines of arrogant christians: Just because you prayed for something (ie… a friend with cancer) and your prayers were “answered” please don’t take the credit and say it was because you prayed for them. You really don’t have any more control than any other humans over what would have happened anyway.You are not that special!

Saying “I will pray for you” puts people in a position of power. It gives people the impression that you have a hotline to god, because you are special like that, and that your simple prayer to him is going to change things because you are that important. That is just total bullshit!

4) If god is in control, then why do you have to pray?

Most christians believe that god is in control. They say dumb things like “Let go and let god” and “Jesus take the wheel.” If they believe that way, then what the hell is prayer for? Why waste your time and breath on someone who has already decided the way things are going to be? Why would you want to pray to a god who allows innocent people to be hurt or die while allowing child molesters and rapists to keep on living?

My own experience with prayer not working has been one small step in the direction of being an ex-christian. I never saw it working. I never felt like god was stepping in for me when I was in crisis in my early 20s and married to an alcoholic. Where was god? Certainly not there for me and my small children! I started to realize, not overnight, but slowly over time, that god did not exist.

P.S. There is a movie, based on a book called "Prayers for Bobby." Bobby was gay and his parents were christians and would not accept it. So Bobby prayed to god that he would not be gay. But his prayers did not help. Bobby killed himself because he was gay and god was not there to help him. I will write more in future blogs about how religion is dangerous in so many ways! Aceptance and love would have helped Bobby. Not prayers!

Here is a link to the movie:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My First Kiss: Hell Here I Come!

Most people have their first kiss at school, in the back of a car, on the front porch, or at a dance, right? I had mine in the only place a controlled, sheltered preacher's daughter could have: In my bed. I will explain. :)

On one of my very few visits out into the "world" I met a waiter at the Spaghetti Factory who was beyond cute. Since I didn't get out much, I thought this was the most exciting day of my seventeen years so far. We had gone as a youth group to Seattle and stopped to eat. I whispered to my friends, blushed, smiled at him and thought he was teasing me when he came to the table and asked where I was from (surely I was not the type to have this older nineteen year old flirt with me?). I don't think I could even answer him I was so shy. My friends told him what church we were from.

Two weeks later, at the end of a thrilling sermon about hell's flames, the rapture and why women should always be submissive to their husbands, (no, I really don't remember the sermon, but it is safe to say he covered at least one of these topics) one of my friends excitedly pointed to the back row of the church where LeRoy, the waiter from the Spaghetti House, was sitting, smiling at me as I saw him. I seriously lost my heart, temporarily, and could not breathe. I had no idea how he found this church. It was a tiny church in Port Orchard, Washington, in the middle of the woods. It was like a surreal experience to see him there. After church he ran up to talk to me, which got me some severe and angry looks from my parents. (I am sure they were thinking... who the heck is that OLDER man- he had a mustache-talking to Lori? We need to get her away from him now! She looks way to happy!) I had no idea why he would talk to me, but the warmth spreading through my body told me I did not want him to stop. We chatted for about a half hour before I was whisked away to the house across the street. I found out later that he had ridden his bike (bicycle) from Seattle to the ferry, taken the ferry to Bremerton (1 hour) then got on another ferry to Port Orchard (1/2 hour) and ridden his bike from the ferry (long ride) to see me!

He immediately started writing to me, and I could not stop thinking about him after that day. I was so angry at my parents for lecturing me about not being allowed to date, asking me who this guy was and what he wanted with their daughter (thanks a lot mom and dad! Am I that unattractive that it is so hard to believe a handsome man would want to date me?) and giving me a long set of Christian rules to go by. If you read my last blog entry, then you know that I was on a mission to find someone to kiss me. This guy seemed to be a good candidate for sure!

LeRoy, who I am pretty sure had no interest in church, came faithfully to church every Sunday. He eventually got a motorcycle, which thrilled my dad beyond belief. (lol) He somehow charmed my mom enough to talk himself into our Sunday dinners after church sometimes and was occasionally allowed to stay between services on Sunday afternoon. But we were watched very carefully and never allowed to be alone. This went on for 3 freaking months! I was so scared to let him get near me, because I guess I feared that things would be all downhill from there- lol (What a lot of faith I had in my self-control) But really, I knew he wanted to kiss me, and I really wanted to kiss him, and I had no idea how we would ever get alone. So, one day LeRoy suggested that he could stay after church, wait until my parents went to bed, and then I could sneak out of my bedroom window and we could be alone in the woods together. I compromised, not wanting to leave the house, and we decided that he would just sneak into the room.

I waited all evening in my bed wearing a very sheer pink nightgown. I thought of my family. My parents' room was upstairs and on the opposite side of the house. It was very rare that they came downstairs once they went to bed. My sisters were up there with them. My brothers had a room across the hall with a bathroom between us. I knew I was taking a HUGE risk. It was a warm summer evening in Washington State, and I was shaking like a leaf. I started thinking that perhaps this was a bad idea. My bed was right up against the window and I was sprawled across the bed staring up at the moon and night sky. When I heard the soft tap on the window I almost screamed. I opened the old wooden framed window and helped LeRoy climb into the room. He smelled like Chaps Cologne and cigarettes. I started shaking more than before. I was scared to whisper. He seemed to sense my fear and tried to calm me. We laid back on the bed and he waited a few minutes while stroking my hands, so softly. Then he sat up and leaned down over me. His warm lips touched mine and I was lost in his kisses. With his clothes still on, he got on top of me and we kissed for hours. I was shaking so much that I really am not sure I enjoyed it as much as I should have. That night, Leroy never touched me anywhere, except to kiss my lips. But his hard man "tool" (lol) pressing into me indicated that I am sure he wanted to! By the time Leory left my room at 3:00 A.M. my newly kissed lips were swollen and my mouth was tired. I felt exhausted; initiated into the world of kissing.

I never slept that night. I wondered if God had seen or even cared what I did. Would God really send a young girl to hell for such a "sin?" Why would this God of ours create us in such a way that we wanted to kiss, love, and have sex and then condemn us for being that way? I often thought about God and felt angry at him for so many things. As I teen, I felt he ruined my life by making my parents so strict that I was not allowed to experience things like other teens. Sometimes I was angry and did not even know why. Now I do.

I knew I could never tell my mother about my first kiss. When she asked, much later, I lied and told her that he had kissed me once, and quickly, behind the kitchen door when we had a minute when no one was in the kitchen. I feel sad that I couldn't tell my mom the truth. I felt so evil and ashamed of myself for sneaking a man into my room. I wondered what my parents would have done if they had found him in my room. But, even with all that guilt and shame, I still found ways to do more and more with my boyfriend.

We never actually had "intercourse" but we sure did try everything else. We dated for two years. He even moved down to Florida when my parents took us all across the country because of a dispute between the pastor and my dad (to this day I have no idea what that was). I eventually found out that Leroy was not the man for me, but I am grateful to him for a wonderful memory so many years later. And actually, I am grateful to LeRoy for giving me one more reason to doubt the existence of God.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Worst Night of my Life: Dead Kitty, Confrontations and Feeling Betrayed

When I was 17, I spent the night at a Korean family’s house from our church. I enjoyed the company of the mom, and really like their family. They had 3 boys; all of them were younger than I was. So, at night, while I was about to go to sleep, their 16-year-old came into my room and we talked. He had his pajamas on; I had a long nightgown on. We had a very enjoyable talk and it really did not have anything to do with sex, or physical attraction, although I remember at the time I thought it was nice to have him in there with me. At one point, before he went to bed, the boy laid down next to me on the bed and we talked. That was it. Then he went off to bed, and I went to sleep.

At school ( A very small private school that was run by the pastor and my dad) I told my “best friend” at the time about my interesting night because I thought it was cool, and for a sheltered preacher's daughter, it was very exciting and fun to tell my friend about it. Well, I am not sure why, but this “friend” thought she needed to tell her dad about it (an elder in the church) who told the pastor about it. So, you can guess my parents found out about it pretty fast. I was told after church one Sunday night that my dad and the pastor wanted to talk to me in the pastor’s office. (uh oh!)

At the same time, my cat was really sick and was unable to even hold his head up to eat. I was worried about him and knew my parents could not afford to take him to the vet. My dad was the assistant pastor at the church, and we lived in the church parsonage across the street from the church. He was retired from the Navy, but they did not pay enough for a family of 5 children to survive on.

So, I headed to the pastor’s office. By this time, the church was empty of everyone but my dad and the pastor. I sat nervously in the chair and I am sure my hands were shaking. I had no idea why I was there, but I knew it must not be good by the way my dad was acting. Here is the way the conversation went: (as well as I can remember)

Pastor: So Lori, I guess you know why you are here?
Me: (looking confused at my dad) No?
Pastor: Well, we heard about you and (lets just call him) Billy
Me: Okay?
Pastor: We want you to tell us the truth and we are going to get to the bottom of this if it takes all night.
Dad: What did you do with Billy?
Me: What do you mean what did I do with him? (red faced, I am sure!)
Dad: We heard that he came into your bedroom and was in bed with you.
Me: Umm ya. He was in bed with me.
Dad: (freaking out) WHAT? What happened? Why did you do this?
Pastor: Did he touch you?
Me: No, we just talked
Dad: We want you to tell us what he did to you.
Me: He talked to me? (I have to say I was pretty innocent and virginal and had no idea what they really wanted me to say)
Pastor: What did you talk about? Why was he in your room?
Me: We talked about school and our parents and our siblings.
Dad: What else?
Me: Nothing.
(Both of them looking skeptical)
Pastor: Were you in your pajamas?
Me: Yes
Pastor: Did you take them off?
Me: No! (How humiliating to talk to this man about that!)
Pastor: Did he take his off?
Me: No
Pastor: Did he touch you?
Me: No (You can see where this was going, right? I feel like maybe this pervert was getting off on this and I was way too innocent at the time to understand it all. I was thinking: Why am I talking to two men about this? Where is my mom and why is she not here to protect me? What did I do wrong? Why do I have to talk about this to the pastor of the church?)
Pastor: We know more happened and you are going to tell us what happened!
Me: (crying) We talked and we didn't do anything else.
Dad: Are you sure you are not leaving anything out?
Me: No!
Pastor: Are you still a virgin?
Me: Yes (Wow, this was humiliating for someone so shy and private!)
Dad; Well, we want you to make a promise to us and to God right now that you will stay a virgin, which means un-kissed, until your wedding day.
Me: Okay (this is what was really going through my mind as I said “okay.” I am going to find a way to get a boyfriend who will kiss me if it takes me begging him to do it. I will never stay a virgin until I get married and I swear I will make them pay for this!)

I broke down crying from pure exhaustion and humiliation and walked home (across the street) ahead of my dad. I could not even look at him. When I got in the door my mom looked like she had just killed my best friend. I wondered what the heck was going on. So then, after the most humiliating night of my life, my parents sat me down to tell me that they had asked their friend, a man who had a gun, to “put my cat to sleep” (by shooting him) and told me that my cat was dead and that the friend had buried him in the woods. They tried to rationalize this by telling me that they could not afford a vet and that it was cruel to keep him alive and that he was in cat heaven, or some other such bullshit. Somehow, this was not making me feel any better.

I cried the whole night. I felt so betrayed by my parents! How could they do that to my cat without telling me? I had horrible visions of my cat, looking up at a man about to shoot him, and wondered if he hated me for not protecting him. How could my parents be so subservient to a pastor that they would allow him to talk to me the way he had and not do anything to protect me? I tried to think of people I knew or relatives that would take me in if I ran away. I could not think of anyone. I wished I could die, but I really had no idea how to end my own life. I was pretty sure Billy was not in this much trouble, which was fine, but why was I?

I wondered why it was so important to God that I stay a virgin. Would kissing someone eliminate me from heaven? I angrily told myself that hell would be better than being a Baptist preacher’s daughter. Could that fire from hell feel this bad? I doubted it! Any religion that made their females feel this shitty was one I wanted nothing to do with! I felt angry at God, my parents, the pastor, religion, the man who killed my cat, and so many other things. But mostly I wondered why God cared that I had a fun night talking to someone of the opposite sex, and what kind of cult was I involved in anyway? I lost so much respect for my parents that night. I began to think that they were brainwashed and beyond help. But I also knew, from then on, that once I found a way out of this cult, I was never going back!
Picture: Our cat, Casper. We call him "old man." He is about 13 years old now. :-)

Next: My first kiss! :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Come on Down; God is Waiting!

As a child, and later as a teen, I always wondered why the pastor of the church always had to have an "altar call." In case you aren't familiar with the term, this is a time at the end of the sermon, when the congregation sings songs like "Just as I am" and other really boring songs to convince the unsaved sinners in the audience to come forward and accept Christ "into their hearts."

It was usually at around 12:30 or 1:00 in the afternoon when people were hungry (I once heard a pastor say, jokingly, (?) that it did not matter if your roast was burning in the oven at home, God calling "sheep into his fold" was much more important than that roast- or, presumably, our house if it burned down? lol) babies were tired, kids were weary of sitting still and the pastor had already said what he wanted to say about a million different ways. But often he would order the congregation (standing) to sing over and over and over!

This is what was usually going through my mind:

From about age 9-14 Why is he doing this? Isn't everyone here already "saved?" I am so hungry. I wonder if mom and dad are going to let us go out to eat today. lol

From age 14-19 Is he seriously going to make us stand here and sing again? I wonder if I really am a Christian, I don't feel like one. I would not walk down that aisle in front of all of these people if the devil held a pitchfork to my head. One more verse? Wow! Oh my god [insert person's name] walked up there? Are they nuts? Wow, they are so weird. Maybe they just need attention. Does saying a prayer really get me in to heaven? Why don't I feel any different? Am I the only person in this church who thinks that this is so redundant and crazy? I am so hungry! Didn't God make us hungry so we would eat? If God wanted us to come to him, why does the pastor have to beg and plead?

One pastor we had would say something if you got up and left, (ie... God is calling people here, so show some respect and please sit down). My mom, who was nursing a baby, was terrified to go nurse her baby because she did not want to be chastised in front of the church. Apparently God thought people walking up the aisle was more important than feeding a baby.

I don't want to sound mean or anything, but seriously, my final thoughts and conclusions about church, Baptist preachers and religion was that this shit had more to do with PEOPLE feeling good about themselves (ie.... "We led 4 people to god in church today, bless god!") than it was about showing people a better way to live. Because, really, if this religion (at least the one that I was in) excludes certain kinds of people (like gays or lesbians) then were they really all that "moral?" The way I saw it (back then- and now- only I don't believe there is a god anymore) is if God said to love others, I was pretty sure he meant everyone: Rich, poor, prostitutes, people living with someone- even though they were not married, women who wore shorts, men with long hair, bisexuals, gays, lesbians, Catholics, people who used drugs, people who drank alcohol, people who had pre-marital sex, people who listened to rock music, people who did not go to church, people of other religions (crap this list could go on for so long listing the people who "Christians" that I associated with thought were not going to heaven) etc... So, why did these people who claimed to love God, make so many people feel like so badly about themselves?

These thoughts eventually led me to others, and I found I could no longer hold on to these beliefs and be a rational, moral person. Most of the time, Christians are the most judgemental people I know. They judge people based on their religion (any other than theirs) their sexual orientation, the way they dress, how often they attend church, how often they read the Bible and on and on. It seems to me that this is no one's place to judge other fellow humans.

I would love to hear what you were thinking during alter call at your church. Am I the only one thinking these things? What do you think?

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Jesus Freak" is not a Positive Label

"Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?"

Richard Dawkins

I was thinking today about all of the strange practices of the churches we attended as I was growing up. It really makes me feel even more freakish when people who have been swallowed up in a church/cult themselves and hear things about my life and are shocked. That is bad, right? Here are a few of them:

1) One thing that people find interesting is the fact that my parents always told us as we were growing up that there was no such thing as dinosaurs. When we would ask about them, we were told that scientists were "making up" dinosaurs to prove evolution, which, to them was a lie. So, as we got older, my brother and I would wonder where all the bones came from. We asked my mom one time where the bones came from and she told us that they made the bones to help scientists to continue lying. (watch this hilarious video "explaining"dinosaurs) I would have had an easier time believing that we evolved from apes. It was so hard for me to buy the story of Adam and Eve. Church people always want to say that Eve (that evil bitch) was the bad one here. The man is off the hook because he was tempted by eve to eat the fruit. Oh I could go on, but I started thinking about the inconsistencies of God creating the world. If there was nothing, then where the hell was God? Sitting in nothingness waiting to create us? And if he is all-knowing then what kind of “good” all-knowing being would create people that he knew he was going to wipe out with a flood and start over. If we were in church to learn to be moral, this seemed a bit evil to me.

2) We were also not allowed to listen to “The devil’s music.” My boyfriend, a wild Vermont farm boy who listened to heavy metal as a teen, laughs when I tell him that my brother and I thought we were badass growing up because we listened to “The Carpenters” and “Ronnie Millsap” Oh, I am laughing as I type this. If the music had drums in it, at all, then it was devil music.

(My brothers and I had a difficult time with this reasoning because some people, who claimed to be Christian, had drums in their churches. So, we started thinking that perhaps my parents were wrong. Which really, when I think about it, got me to start thinking that perhaps they made this god up to control us. Hmm or maybe they believed this stuff? I would like to think that my parents are smarter than that. I think that they were so engulfed in this cult of a church they did not know any better. The church taught that questioning things was wrong. Knowledge outside of the church was frowned upon. This is one reason why I did not get to graduate from high school when I was supposed to. My parents moved across the country in the middle of my senior year and could not afford a private school for me, but refused to put me into a public school where I would be indoctrinated and become badly influenced by “worldly” teenagers. So I sat around and read romance novels that my brother snuck to me from his library runs on his bike. I also listened to rock music EVERY time my parents left the house. Badass, I tell ya!)

3) People in most of the churches that I attended told their children from a very young age that if they were not "saved" by asking Jesus into their hearts that they would burn in a burning lake of fire for all eternity. I worried constantly as a teenager that I (or my TuTu-grandma-who was "unsaved") would have to spend my after-life in tourment because perhaps I didn't say the right words, or pray the right prayer. This is abuse. Plain and simple. There is no loving god who would tell his followers to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and then turn around and burn those neighbors (and their small, unsaved children) in eternal hell-fire because they read the wrong bible. I will never buy that! It is expecially sad that people are telling their small children lies like this. It looks to me like control- and abuse! [This was added as an update on February 18, 2010 because I felt it was a necessary addition to this entry]

4)  Women were not allowed to speak in most of the churches that we attended. They were only allowed to sing, teach Sunday School (To kids) or speak to women’s groups. This sent a very strong message to me as a child which said, “You are not important as males.” Men were “the head of the household” and women were to obey and submit to their husbands' wishes. I had a real problem with this, even as a shy child who wanted to please my parents. At around age 14, like most kids, I really started getting angry and could not see the reasoning my parents and the church followed. I began to see the church for what it really was and this caused me some real problems with my parents. More on that later.

What about you? Do you have any strange practices from your former Christian life you would like to share? Have at it!

(pic, my son Amelia Island in Florida)

Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin

Many extreme Christians have phrases and comments that I consider beyond ridiculous. I often just ignore their sayings and move along. Howev...