Tag Archives: god
Most of my life has been spent worrying about my purpose here.
It’s as if I’m searching for some sort of manual, with the awareness that it will never be found.
Despite my knowledge that it doesn’t exist, I now have intent in creating these guidelines for myself.
Each flaw I see within yours truly is an objective to conquer.
Each emotion I feel: guilt, sadness, hatred, etc., is something I strive to overcome.
Being incredibly selfish, yet hurting for those around me, conflict at every moment.
In an attempt to become a better me, I’m left in a constant state of failure.
What is it we’re suppose to learn from existing?
What lessons are we leaving behind for others?
Who should be happy when it’s all over?
Do I live for me or do I live for others?
And does each person decide for themselves or is there a right answer?
Ultimately, there will always be too many questions and not enough answers.
[VIDEO] Straight Christian Man Who Believes Homosexuality is Sin Goes Undercover as Gay Man For a Year
Timothy Kurek, 26, is a brave and righteous man because of what he did, all on his own. This straight Christian man was told by a friend of his that she was a lesbian; Thanks to that moment, he started to realize that he may not be right about his homophobia or his religious stance on being gay.
He took himself on a year-long journey where he ‘came out’ to friends and family, despite the fact that he was not actually gay. Although he told his mom and heard her reaction, he wanted to know how she really felt, and got his answer after reading some of her journal. (which is sneaky, not wrong, according to the 10 commandments)
‘I’d rather have found out from a doctor that I had terminal cancer than have a gay son,’ she’d written.
Ironically, this is what he should have expected, seeing as he grew up in this household, where this was what being gay meant, utter disappointment and disbelief. For him, he was able to overcome his fear and hatred to learn a valuable lesson in life.
The Cross in the Closet, the book that Kurek wrote, is being released today, National Coming Out Day. A percent of all the sales will go to an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth, which shows the transformation that has come from his year undercover.
The young journalist even went so far as to ask a man to be his pretend boyfriend. Shawn was a ’big, black burly teddy bear’ and Kurek was able to confide in him and even care about this man, his new friend.
‘I needed protection to keep me balanced and teach me the nuances of gay culture and how they flirt, and to give me an excuse when guys hit on me,’ he said.
[He was] ’the first gay person that I let into my heart. He was totally there for me through emotional turmoil. I trusted him.
Before Kurek embarked on this journey he said that the idea of even being around gay people repulsed him. After the journey, he said there is no lingering homophobia once so ever.
Sadly, Kurek wasn’t quite ready for the loneliness he felt and the sheer abandonment of those he loved.
‘The thing that struck me most was the isolation,’ he said. ‘Before I came out as gay, I had a very busy social life. After I came out, I didn’t hear from 95 percent of my friends.’
She called his year undercover a life-changing transformation.
‘It’s what you hope for – the goal of the Christian walk of faith,’ she said. ‘It’s enough for me that he transformed, but if others learn from him, what an extra blessing that is.’
[UPDATED] [AUDIO] Sandusky Sentenced to 30-60 Years in Prison: Jerry Sandusky Claims His Innocence Prior to Sentencing
UPDATED: TUESDAY October 9th, 2012 at 9:30 AM – Jerry Sandusky has been sentenced to 20-60 years in prison. Seeing as he’s already 68-years-old, this pretty much means that it is very likely he will die in prison. Judge Cleland said prior to giving him the maximum of 60 years:
‘I’m not going to sentence you to centuries in prison, although the law would permit that. It’s too abstract, only a big number.
‘You are sentenced to spend not less than 30 and not more than 60 years in prison; that has the unmistakeable impact of saying the rest of your life.
‘I think it cannot be disputed that you have done much positive work, tragedy that all the
qualities that made you successful continue to conceal the vices that brought you down.
‘Continuing to conceal those vices from yourself and everybody else, in my view, makes you dangerous.
‘The crime is not only what you did to their bodies, but the assault to their psyches and souls and the assault to the well-being of the larger community in which we all live.’
I think one of the most eloquent statements that was made, was that of the lead prosecutor:
‘Sandusky’s statement yesterday was an insult to the true victims…and an insult to human decency…but that’s not a surprise.’
‘He displayed deviance, narcissism, a lack of acknowledgement for the pain he caused others.
‘It was a masterpiece of banal self-delusion. The self-referential and ludicrous statement should disappear as if it never existed.
‘It was, in short, ridiculous. He displayed the same cowardice that he displayed when he preyed on children.’
Click here to hear the man himself —-> Jerry Sandusky’s Statement
“I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First, I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others; some vulnerable children who could be abused, might not be because of all the publicity. That would be nice, but I’m not sure about it. I would cherish the opportunity to become a candle for others, as they have been a light for me. They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner that was after marriage. Our love continues. A young man who was dramatic a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I’ve wondered what they really won: Attention, financial gain, prestige… will all be temporary. Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody. Look at the preparation for the trial and the trial. Compare it to others. Think about what happened. Why, and who made it happen? Evaluate the accusers and their families. Realize they didn’t come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention and potential perks. I never labeled or put down them or their families. I tried and I cared, then asked for the same. Please realize all came to the Second Mile because of issues. Some of those may remain. We will continue to fight. We didn’t lose the proven facts, evidence, accurate locations and times. Anything can be said. We lost to speculation and stories that were influenced by people who wanted to convict me. We must fight unfairness and consistency and dishonesty. People need to be portrayed for who they really are. We’ve not been complainers. When we couldn’t have kids, we adopted. When we didn’t have time to prepare for a trial, we still gave it our best. We will fight for another chance. We have given many second chances, and now we’ll ask for one. It will take more than our effort. Justice will have to be more than just a word; fairness more than just a dream. It will take others: somebody apolitical with the courage to listen, to think about the unfairness, to have the guts to stand up and take the road less traveled. I ask for the strength to handle everything and willingness to surrender only to God, regardless of the outcome.”
As many of you may already know, I am an Atheist. This doesn’t mean I dislike people who are religious, the same as I don’t dislike Conservatives (Republicans), just disagree with some of their opinions. I have many friends and family members who believe in religion and although I think it’s harmful to society, I would never disrespect them for coming to a different conclusion than I have come to on my own. But, seeing as I am a passionate person, I like to share what I believe with others, urge them to think differently and open their minds. I encourage myself to do the same, which just so happens to be the reason I have come to this conclusion.
A friend of mine, Anastasia, wrote something the other day that I found to be pretty great. I asked her if I could share it here and would like to know what some of you think, as well as express my support for everything that was said. I have shared it exactly as it was written below:
“I’ll tell you what else is on my mind. I recently watched the episode of “Louie” where, as a child, he attends a Catholic school and the teacher brings in a doctor to explain, from a medical stand point, the process of Jesus’ crucifixion. It’s brutal and horrific, and the best piece of mind-fuckery out there. How in the world does the idea that one man being physically tortured cancels out the “sins” of the world? (more on “sins” later. okay right now- not raping people is not one of the ten commandments. not using the lord’s name in vain is. uhm. what.?) Really think about that. More importantly, think about how many people have been physically/mentally/
I know that many people are getting tired of the political and religious posts that are on Twitter, FaceBook, etc; But personally, I think it’s great that our generation is becoming so involved and choosing to think for ourselves as opposed to just take what was told to us, as truth. Granted, there are definitely many people who still do this, it’s great to know that thanks to the advancement in social media, our generation is able to meet people who share the same views, values, morals, etc. and are open to discussing how they could be right and/or wrong.
Thank you Anastasia for allowing me to share your message and I hope others can see the humanity in your words as opposed to the “religious attack” you made “against” them.
[VIDEO] Pastor Condemns ‘lesbians and queers’ in Sermon Saying They ‘should be put in electrified pen to let them die off’
I am absolutely disgusted by this two-minute video and feel sick after hearing how he spoke about the homosexual community. Pastor Charles Worley, 71, decided it would be great to preach hate on Mother’s Day at Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina. Sadly, this Pastor who is supposed to preach about God‘s love for his children (all children) has condemned homosexuals for a very long time. A local television station was able to find a video from 1978 where his views seemed to be the same they are now.
‘We’re living in a day, when you know what, it saddens my heart to think homosexuals can go around – Bless God – and get the applause of a lot of people. Lesbians and all the rest of it – Bless God – 40 years ago they would have hung them – Bless God – from a white oak tree. Wouldn’t they? Amen. Sure they would,’ Mr Worley says on the previous recording.
Not only am I tired of hearing people judge me based on how they interpreted the Bible, but I’m fed up with us just sitting back and waiting for people to understand that we are harmless and would just like to love who we choose to love. This has nothing to do with politics or any “gay agenda“; I have enough shit going on in my life, I don’t need to be conspiring with the all the other gays about how we can ‘turn’ the rest of you breeders. Come on, how fucking ridiculous does that sound?! To me, it sounds just as stupid as believing in the Easter Bunny… He doesn’t exist, and neither does any agenda. Besides, if that was our ultimate goal, we would subsequently be condemning the human race to not exist because we’re very aware of how the reproductive system works
Also, it was hard enough to hear this man speak on something he knows NOTHING about, but hearing the cheers and ‘amens’ after what he said, was heartbreaking. I cannot believe that many people support this man and his hate-filled sermon. You are in Church to learn about God, forgiveness, love, and everything else the Bible teaches to instill good moral values. Instead, you listen to a man who is stuck in his ways, and has been since the 70′s (outdated), and ignore the lessons taught by the Bible. Who is more important to you: Pastor Charles Worley or God?
And here is what some of his congregation thinks (no wonder North Carolina is so screwed up, people like this live there):
- Outrage Brews Over Pastor’s Sermon on Homosexuals and Electrified Fences (fox8.com)
- Pastor Offers Suggestion For Dealing With ‘Queers’: Stick Them In An Electrified Pen Until They Die Out (mediaite.com)
- Pastor: Let’s Put ‘Queers’ in Pens Until They Die (640whlo.com)
- Catawba pastor’s anti-gay sermon sets off a firestorm (newsobserver.com)
- North Carolina Pastor Calls For Extermination of ‘Queers & Homosexuals’ (VIDEO) (inquisitr.com)
- Members stand behind pastor’s anti-gay sermon (wcnc.com)
- Pastor Worley has plan to get rid of ‘lesbians and queers’ (piedtype.com)
Clip provided by: Jeremy Hooper of the blog Good as You
I am disgusted by this man, the people who can be heard saying “Amen!” and frankly, anyone who views feminine boys and masculine girls as flawed and in need of abuse to stop them from behaving how they have naturally developed.
Sean Harris, senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayettesville, NC, made this anti-gay speech to his congregation and it has since made its way to the ears of many. As someone who’s representing ‘God‘ and suppose to instill good morals within those he preaches too, you’d think he’d be less ignorant, hateful, cruel, belittling and the list could go on and on.
The reason this issue was even something he chose to speak about is because he supports North Carolina’s proposed Amendment 1, which would outlaw same-sex marriage. I hope that this ridiculous audio recording will hope voters see why they shouldn’t support Amendment 1 and instead allow homosexuals, like myself, the right to be able and choose if we’d like to get married. If we were to preach such hateful things about this man and his congregation and try to stop them from getting married, all hell would raise. Ironically, he’s the one who says things I could never say to someone: beat your children if they act in a way that strays from the original idea of how boys and girls should act.
“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.
Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in. And you say, ‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.’”
- Gay Facebook Millionaire Stiffs NC Amendment Battle (bilerico.com)
- Idiot Films Himself Shooting Sign Against North Carolina’s Gay Marriage Ban [Video] (gawker.com)
- The North Carolina Legislature Really Doesn’t Like Gays (buzzfeed.com)
- Big Business Silent On NC Gay Marriage (wspa.com)
- A holy war over gay marriage (salon.com)
- NC gay marriage ban gets Sunday push in churches (wcnc.com)
- North Carolina ACLU and Equality NC launch video project against Amendment One (wilmingtonfavs.com)
- Gingrich Urges Support For Discriminatory Amendment, Warns Of Gay Marriage ‘Danger’ In North Carolina (thinkprogress.org)
- Pastor Speaks Out Against Amendment 1: ‘We Should Not Be Putting Discrimination Into Our Laws’ (thinkprogress.org)
- First Ads Go Up Against North Carolina’s Anti-Gay Amendment 1 (crooksandliars.com)
Today I read a wonderful article on NPR (National Public Radio) which focused on Teresa MacBain, 44-year-old minister at Lake Jackson United Methodist Church who recently decided to ‘come out’ as an atheist. For me, someone who has had their own personal journey that led to not believing in God, this was a wonderful story of freedom of thought and willingness to question what we’ve come to know as true. Obviously, some of you reading this may not agree, but regardless, it’s still a great story and sheds some light on how a lack of faith can lead one to be discriminated against and judged, ironically, by those who preach compassion and understanding.
“I’m currently an active pastor and I’m also an atheist,” she says. “I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday’s right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that’s totally false.”
MacBain was well-known and well-respected in her community, and certainly, at her church in Tallahassee, FL. But now that she has started to question and concluded that she is an Atheist, she has no one to share her emotions with. The congregation doesn’t want to hear that the person leading them in sermons each week doesn’t believe in the God she speaks of and is praying for things she feels will never be answered.
Fortunately, this minister who sought truth has others out there who know exactly what she’s going though, and that is people who have come together for the American Atheists‘ convention in Bethesda, MD. Sitting in this building, on Sunday, with other atheists, isn’t much different from sitting in her church; For her though, this is what feels right because she no longer feels she’s living a lie or being dishonest (both things that are a human morality issue, not only privy to the religious zealots). It is my personal opinion that if one needs rules and consequences to not lie as an adult than they really aren’t all that moral (and usually don’t live up to their own standards); I try my hardest to be honest, loyal, kind, generous, forging, understand, etc. because it’s the right thing to do. Simple. I have no God who will condemn me. I have no God who fill forgive me. I am the only one who will judge my character and attempt to achieve my personal best. Now, back to MacBain, the ‘condemned’ minister.
“On my way to church again. Another Sunday. Man, this is getting worse,” she tells her phone in one recording. “How did I get myself in this mess? Sometimes, I think to myself, if I could just go back a few years and not ask the questions and just be one of those sheep and blindly follow and not know the truth, it would be so much easier. I’d just keep my job. But I can’t do that. I know it’s a lie. I know it’s false.”
The former minister was raised all her life to know of God and live life for God. Her family held values that are typical for a conservative Southern Baptist. In fact, her dad was a pastor and she was already feeling ‘the call of God’ at the age of 6. And while she did have concerns as far as some of the contradictions with the Bible and the role of women, she managed to suppress those, until she, herself, became a minister. Hoping that her faith would grow stronger, she started to ask difficult questions which led her down this path.
“In reality,” she says, “as I worked through them, I found that religion had so many holes in it, that I just progressed through stages where I couldn’t believe it.”
“I just kind of realized — I mean just a eureka moment, not an epiphany, a eureka moment — I’m an atheist,” she says. “I don’t believe. And in the moment that I uttered that word, I stumbled and choked on that word — atheist.”
The Clergy Project, an online community of clergy members who have lost faith is something that MacBain had come across a year ago and looked to for support. She knew she’d have to get another job, but people wanted to know who she was leaving her current job, which led to insecurity with giving them her answer, honestly. And unfortunately, those at The Clergy Project could only be there for her emotionally. And seeing as discrimination is illegal, you would think this was an irrational fear, but as far too many people on this Earth know, discrimination can be illegal, but laws aren’t always enforced. (Or someone could always explain the she wasn’t qualified for various other reasons. You know, a roundabout way allowing one to discriminate)
“So what the hell am I supposed to do?” she asks in one recording, her voice sounding desperate. “Really, the options are work at something like Starbucks or McDonald’s — and even there they’re going to ask those questions. I could even clean houses and not make a great amount of money — but at least nobody would be asking me questions.”
March 26th, 2012 was the day of the convention and former minister, MacBain, was excited to go and share her story with around 1,500 people who also believed in seeking truth and answers. Her welcoming brought her to tears and allowed her to give a miraculous speech. She spoken open and honest, which is something she had been unable to do for some time. Here, with people she had hated and thought were being misled, was where she was able to share her story. No one ridiculed her for past wrongs she had made, no one was insulted by her misguided judgements; She was embraced and applauded for ultimately doing what she felt was right and apologizing for her ignorance towards the community of non believers.
“I am nervous,” she says, “but at the same time I am so excited. I slept like a baby last night because I knew I wasn’t going to have to live a lie anymore. Such freedom.”
Many people were overwhelmed by her speech and wanted to share with her how happy they were that she came to Bethesda, MD. After she returned home, the video had even gone viral. Unfortunately, people from her hometown were not as excited by her speech as those back in Bethesda. Quite honestly, they were cruel, judgmental, awful to her, which is something no congregation (or any person(s)) should ever be.
WCTV, the local news station had done many reports about MacBain and her journey. Oddly enough, they only interviewed her boos, not her directly. Hundreds of people wrote their opinions on the matter, which were hard for this respectable woman to read.
“The majority of them, to begin with, were pretty hateful,” she says, although some nonbelievers soon came to her defense. “For somebody who’s been a good guy their whole life and been a people pleaser, it’s really hard to imagine that overnight you’re the bad guy.”
This poor woman who had an internal conflict tried to speak with the church district’s Superintendent so she could explain everything, but the meeting was canceled. Out of the many amounts of friends that she previously had, only two called to take her to lunch and stay a friend despite her decision. It seemed that with one decision all of those who were suppose to be around to support her for years, had suddenly disappeared. Along with the emotional stress she was now enduring, job interviews were suddenly canceled as well, due to the revelation of why she left the ministry. Finances were now going to be another stress she’d have to endure. Luckily, the Humanists of Florida Association had offered to give her a full years pay, but it is not a guarantee. Her family, fortunately, was a refuge for her, despite their conflicting beliefs.
“I believe in God,” says her husband, Ray. “And to be honest, I pray for her every night, I got friends praying for her.”
And even without his prayers answered, he loves and adores his wife and plans to stay with her.
“That’s why I spent 23 years in the Army. That’s why I’m still a police officer. We have freedom of speech and freedom of thought. And God never forced anybody to believe, so who am I to step up?”
Through all of this, MacBain shares that although she no longer misses God in her life, she does miss the music. She sang in choirs and loves the melodies and can still be heard singing some of those beautiful songs, only this time, she no longer believes in the words she is signing. She was searching for truth and understanding, and I guess you could say, her prayers have been answered.
- Why do Americans still dislike atheists, still? (examiner.com)
- Richard Dawkins’ Speech at the American Atheists Convention (patheos.com)
- Islamic fun at the Global Atheist Convention – Video (constitutionclub.org)
- The Week of Reason, Part Two – The 2012 American Atheists Convention (wilmingtonfavs.com)
- Atheist solidarity: Jason Rosenhouse rallys for reason (oup.com)
- Locked Out: How the Church Responded to their Pastor’s Coming Out – Teresa MacBain – RichardDawkins.net (richarddawkins.net)
- A Catholic Ponders the Global Atheist Convention (ncregister.com)
- Does God Really Prefer ‘Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians’? (patheos.com)
- ‘Angry Atheist’ Podcast Features Interview with Atheist Pastor (patheos.com)
- Atheist Billboards Set to Delight Atheists, Piss Off Religious People [Religion] (gawker.com)
- Jack Black: ‘I’m Kind of an Atheist’ (patheos.com)
[VIDEO] Pastor Dennis Terry Introduces Rick Santorum With An Anti-Gay, Pro-Life, Conservative Bullshit Speech
I am sorry, but if Rick Santorum, a man who clearly believes in the message that Pastor Dennis Terry is so eloquent at expressing, becomes President, our FREEDOM as American‘s will be threatened. Pastor Dennis is a hateful man who doesn’t understand or appreciate diversity; He is also ignorant. The man explains that we’re not allowed to pray in public, which is definitely far from the truth. What they did enforce was not MAKING children pray at school, because spirituality and religion should be an independent decision for each person. Sadly, we still have parents that believe forcing religion down their children’s throats is the best thing to do, but at least we don’t have the government and our teachers telling us what we should believe.
Also, this man is fighting to keep things how they were and I understand why, but fortunately, most of us would like to advance and allow our religious beliefs to grow as well. If we never changed what we believed and how we did things, we might still have slaves, treat women like dogs and have men being arrested for sodomy. I believe that if there were a God (which I do not believe), then why would he be so egotistical to only allow those that worship and accept him into heaven? Wouldn’t you think he would prefer people who lived their lives morally as opposed to those who just accepted him in the hopes of being redeemed for their sins? I know I’d rather be around people with my same morals in the after life and not some child molesters, murderers, and rapists that have seen the light and accepted Jesus as their savior. So, if that’s the case, leave me down here to burn in hell with people who have respect for one another, not because they have to, but because it’s simply the right thing to do.
- For Multi-Faith Nation, Santorum Is a Good Thing (lezgetreal.com)
- Pastor Dennis Terry Introduces Rick Santorum, Tells Non-Christians To ‘Get Out’ Of U.S. (mediaite.com)
- News: Dame Edna, Rhinos, Justin Bieber, Nepal, Reza Farahan (towleroad.com)
- In a Rick Santorum World: Freedom for a Few (fidlerten.com)
- Is Rick Santorum Right on Banning Internet Porn? (usnews.com)
- Rick Santorum Crowd Boos Male Hecklers’ Kiss, Start Chanting ‘U-S-A!’ (mediaite.com)