Ego And Insecurity – Episode 2

Bible

Trying to debate the existence of God, with someone who has renounced critical, rational, logical thinking, is like trying to administer medication to a dead body.

A Fundamentalist Christian recently declared that, if he found a passage in the Bible which stated that two plus two equaled five, he would unquestioningly believe it. Another was quoted as saying that, if it was proved to him that the entire Bible had been written by forgers, he would still believe that they were Divinely-inspired forgers. Who could have a meaningful debate, or even an intelligent conversation, with someone with such desperately hidebound assumptions?

A recent Christian response to anyone presenting Biblical mistakes or contradictions, has been to defensively ask (demand), “Do you think that you are smarter than me?” That question is as vague, insecure, irrelevant and meaningless as all their unproven beliefs and claims. Smartness is almost impossible to define or measure. I’ve written of a woman so clueless that she didn’t realize that she had Polish ancestry. Yet she owned three homes, while my MENSA-grade IQ was still paying rent.

“Smart” is not the matter at hand. Instead, it is the gullible, sheep-like, unthinking, dogmatic rejection of any portion of evidence of reality that conflicts with their (and their church/religion’s) unthinking hope/wish that their existence was exactly the way they needed it to be, to make them feel good about their life choices.

I realize that ‘salvation’, and ‘eternal life’, are very important concepts. It’s just that far too many people put far too much belief and energy into things that have no real connection to God. In a legal sense, I’ll stipulate to the existence of God. That means that I may, or may not, accept the concept, but I’ll allow it for the purposes of discussion. I’ll also, grudgingly, agree to ‘Christ as Savior.’

ALL the rest, is bullshit! Petty rules and orders, dreamed up by men, for the benefit of men. God doesn’t need you to kneel. Even if He did, he’d want you down on BOTH knees, not just the right one, with the left foot forward. He doesn’t care if you accept Him, dabbed with ashes, or oil, with a little water sprinkled on you, or dunked whole-hog in a creek or pond.

I can manage to get born, married and die without some guy in a funny hat and dress being there to demand his 10% – not for GOD, but for him, and his church. Ritual actions can be important, not in terms of God, Jesus, and salvation, but for ‘the group – the congregation,’ as well as those performing them, so that the group will accept them.

They are an external indication of an internal decision of belief, but no specific rites or actions are any more “right”, (or wrong) than any others. Lutherans will not go to Hell, just because they don’t genuflect, no matter what your priest/preacher tells you. In the Old West, preachers were often not available. Many couples were ‘married’ by gathering friends and family, and performing some overt, ritual act, like ‘jumping over a broom,’ with a Bible present.

“Church” becomes a place where we go once a week, to pass judgement on others. A lot of folks would do well to dispense with the irrelevant details, dreamed up and enforced by men, having nothing to do with God, Christ, or salvation, and concentrate more on ‘Love thy neighbor’, and ‘Do unto others….’

Episode 1 is here, if you’re interested.

Insecurity Blanket

security blanket

I was recently reassured that, as a person, I have value.  That’s not something that I usually worry or am in doubt about.  In my usual, humble way, I am normally pleased with who and what I am.  That did not hold entirely true before my recent trip to visit BrainRants.  Online, he seemed like a nice guy, but in person, he would be

 A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR
AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

Could I keep up?  Would I fit in?

He has two university degrees, and a small string of subsequent educational certificates.  He has more letters after his name than Noah Webster.

I have a Grade 12 education, and a few minor employment-related post-secondary courses.  Of course, over the course of a lifetime almost twice his, I am a continuing scholar of the English language, communication, amateur psychology, and the human condition.  Would that be enough?

Hero

He left the Army as an officer.  While I have respect for people in uniforms – police, fire, ambulance, etc. –I am not necessarily impressed with just the fact that someone is an officer.  Too often it merely indicates a slavish, unthinking addiction to rules and regulations, the established system, prevailing policy, and current convention.

He earns five times what the wife and I receive together, in our paltry retirement pensions.  I’ve met some monied ‘gentlemen’ – business owners, and captains of industry.  Some of them were nice.  Others had homes where commoners mowed the lawn, not sat on the furniture.  Would I be accepted?

I had concerns that I was travelling to meet a cultured, scholarly, conservative, socially-judgemental ‘Gentleman.’  I need not have been concerned.  All my petty fretting and worry was for naught.  The true mark of a gentleman is his ease with any company, in any situation.  True gentleman that he is, he immediately and completely put me at ease.  I kept up.  I fit in.  What I was, was accepted and enough.

We spent a glorious week, discussing a wide range of topics, unaffectedly bouncing erudite words off each other in normal conversation – and letting the other know that we’d noticed (Paucity – Ding!  There’s another.)

He was the stereotypical common man, who just happened to have more formal education and income than me.  He was the kind of guy that I might have been, without my learning disabilities.  I will never doubt myself again!  Thanx, Rants, for providing far more than just a great getaway vacation.  😀

DRAWANAWARD

Ouroboros

Recently, Cordelia’s Mom bestowed a Versatile Blogger Award upon me.  I treasure it, as I have treasured every blog award given to me.  It’s always nice to know that someone indifferently highly regards me and my abilities.  It has also been fun revealing little things about me, and making fun of myself while I was at it – however….

Like Ouroboros above, the snake that eats its own tail, or the central character in Robert Heinlein’s short story, All You Zombies, I’m going to bring this tale to an end at the same place where we came in. CM’s award was the 15th that I’ve received in the last 4 ½ years.

It all started with another Versatile Blogger Award from The Kindly Hermudgeon, as a nudge to get me moving down the blog, blog, blogging trail, like the Easter Behemoth Bunny.  Since then, there have been many lovely awards, from many lovely fellow bloggers.

award-free-blog

For two main reasons, I have decided to make this an award-free blogsite. First, I feel I have run out of previously untold facts about myself, and don’t feel I have the creative ability to compose any more acceptance posts that are humorous, or entertaining – hell, I’d settle for vaguely interesting.

Second, most awards urge you to pick 10, or 15, other worthy sites to pass the blog-torch on to – and link to them – and notify them. That all sounds suspiciously like a job, and I got out of the job business over 6 years ago.

At least blog awards are a little more upscale than office chain letters. The wife used to hate them.  She had a work friend who was addicted to them, and was always ‘honoring’ her with a copy.  She refused to play along, and always returned them to her friend(?), with the instruction to ‘choose someone else.’

They’re as bad as some religions; always trying to guilt you into doing something you may feel is poor behavior and manners, and always with the threat of retribution over your head. “The last woman who broke the chain got old and fat, and had to go home and make supper for her husband and kids.”

My creative consultant, darling daughter, LadyRyl, @ RylsRostrum, designed The Award-Free flag above, and will install it for me – long-distance, remote-control – like piloting a drone. While it could have applied anytime, OCD me wanted it effective the first of the month.  Then I realized that ‘the month’ was April, and the 1st was April Fool’s Day (how appropriate), and that some of you might regard it merely as a prank.

To those of you who have gifted me with awards in the past, I say again, Thank You Very Much! You have made me feel loved, supported, included and respected.  To those of you who might feel in the future that I deserve a bit more recognition, I will acknowledge any award and its donor, and display it, but there will be no long speech (Pheww, you dodged a bullet on that one), no ‘big reveal’, and no ramification.  (Look it up!)

😀