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Neo-Millennialism: A Treatise

11 Sep

Reposted from The Daily Kos.

NEO-MILLENNIALISM: A TREATISE

I stopped being a Christian around ten years ago.

This wasn’t a decision that came easily. I was raised as a devout Episcopalian, and my father was a minister and chaplain for over thirty years. Both he and my mother graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary, and from a very young age they gave me a Christian Protestant upbringing.

However, at a certain age I began questioning: what makes one religion any more real or authentic than others? Didn’t the ancient Greeks worship Zeus as a god? What made that mythology and the Bible truth?

In my twenties, my faith wavered as I learned of all the horrors committed in the name of not just the Christian God, but all of them. Every brand of religion has been used to justify oppression, murder, slavery, poverty, genocide, or some combination of the above at one time or another. My twenties also saw me despairing as the Neoconservatives rose to power, and began using my God as justification to wage endless war on anyone who wasn’t white, male, rich, straight, right-wing, and Christian. The horrors of the Aughts and beyond shattered my faith in any sort of God that would allow such perversion of his words. I became an Agnostic, and after several months I confronted my father with my feelings. It took him a while, but he accepted my decision.

The problem still eats at me, though: religious extremism is tearing the planet apart, and there seems no way to fight back. How can you win against someone who claims to have God on their side? How can you win against the kind of blind, stubborn, willfully ignorant faith that claims that treating other people like shit is a divine right?

Maybe there is no rational answer.

So maybe it’s time for an irrational one.

Maybe it’s time to fight fire with fire.

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Life is a Wall

22 May

Life is a wall.

 

It’s a wall that’s huge, impossibly tall and wide, made of the hardest stone, so we have to climb it to get over it.

 

When we start climbing, it’s easy. Simple. It’s fun, even enjoyable. The surface is smooth. The footholds are strong and well-defined.

 

But as we climb, the going gets rougher. Smooth surfaces become hard and rough. The footholds grow fewer and fewer. We become tired, our muscles aching. We wish that we could stop.

 

Some of us let go of the wall at that point, and fall back to earth.

 

But others… others keep climbing. We keep climbing, though our arms and legs are tired, though our hands become worn and ragged and bloodied, though the air grows thin.

 

We keep climbing. Scaling the wall.

 

Because every once in a while, as we ascend, we see the stone of the wall thin out and become transparent as glass, and in those moments we can see the other side.

 

The ones who go on climbing grow more tired. Our bodies ache, our muscles wither. The air grows cold. And as the ascent continues, the stone becomes rougher than ever, and the footholds disappear. Each inch up the wall becomes a struggle.

 

But each inch also brings us closer to the top. To the other side that we can see as the wall slowly becomes thinner and more transparent.

 

And sometimes, we lose our grip, and slide back down the wall… some of us stop then.

 

Others take a rest, and then climb back up again.

 

And those few of us who reach the top, exhausted and broken but triumphant… they’re the ones with the clearest view of the other side.

– BHS

[Originally posted on my page on The Daily Kos]