After a lengthy discussion with a very close friend yesterday, I spent a bit of time thinking about what my personal motivations are regarding my beliefs or lack there of. I spent my youth being raised by a single mother that is homosexual. But wait, the rabbit hole goes a bit deeper and takes a fair abrupt twist. The rest of that branch on my family tree are all devout Catholics. (I can hear that weird little sound track that accompanies the rapid double take of a cartoon character every time I tell that to someone.)
As a rather busy minded only child, living in an extremely rural area, I was ever on the search for things to do. While still in elementary school a friend of mine invited me to come to church with her, at the Church of Christ in Mathis, Texas. (Man! It looks exactly the same, as if time stands still for this place.) Being a child like most others, curious and highly social I accepted her invite and hopped aboard the “Joy Bus” on Sunday to make the trip into town. (I understand the Joy Bus was retired and has now become the Joy Van!? As per the last part of the sixth paragraph from the bottom of the page found with this link.)
I have fairly fond memories of going to this church and attending Sunday school with my friends. Again, try to remember this was like a social outing in my young mind. Following several weeks of attendance I came face to face with the kind of horror that has followed me throughout my religious travels.
We would spend perhaps an hour in class, singing, doing crafts, and playing games, followed by the sermon in the main chapel. The sermon was excruciating for small children as it meant being quiet and still for almost an entire hour, without falling asleep. During the sermon of which I speak the minister was talking about sinners, how we were all sinners, that we were meant to accept Jesus Christ as our savior, admit our sinning nature, and ask for his forgiveness. I was overwhelmed!
My tiny youthful mind started racing through all the times I had gotten in trouble. I suddenly felt like the most repulsive little creature. I was terrified that my sins were going to land me straight in the lake of fire. (Keep in mind; I was attending this church without benefit of any parental support. So there was no one that I felt I could turn to for guidance. And I was no older than eight.)
I was so overcome with terror that I began to shake, tremor, and sob uncontrollably. I was becoming quite a spectacle. The general response from those around me was at first an attempt to comfort me, which in turn ended in my being led to the front of the chapel to have the minister lay his hands on me and pray. What I recall the most was being asked to profess my belief in Jesus, shaking my head violently in affirmation, and wondering why these prayers weren’t making me feel any better.
Well, following the sermon I walked out to the Joy Bus, which didn’t feel so joyful anymore and made the trip back home. I sat in silence while the rest of the kids were singing and having a jolly time. I only made it through about another month of attendance before I just quit going.
Perhaps six months went by and suddenly my mother decided she wanted to go back to church. She hadn’t ever attended to my recollection. I was suddenly filled with fear and that feeling seemed to grow exponentially when she said the Catholic Church. We not only started going to Sunday mass, but she even decided I needed to be trained for my first communion. I still am not totally clear on these special indoctrinations that the Catholic Church imposes on its younger members. I was under the impression that one was not able to partake in the communion at mass if this training had not been completed.
I finished the classes required and received my first communion in extreme fanfare, which is also part and parcel of the indoctrination rites of the Catholic Church. In truth it all felt pretty empty and meaningless to me. Shortly after my first communion we abruptly stopped going to church again.
Apparently my mother had gone to speak to the priest regarding her living situation and had been told that she was welcome to attend church, but that she would not be allowed to take communion unless she went to confession, professed her lifestyle was a sin, and then stopped being gay. Now, even at this time in my life, when I still had little if any idea about sexuality, I thought this was silly.
Basically, I spent the next five or six years not really thinking about God or church or anything having to do with it. When I turned 17 another very close and beloved friend decided that we should both be going to church. So, I was off to church again. This time I was attending a non-denominational church called “Lamb’s Fold” still located at 7001 Williams Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas (I was unable to find any web presence to date). I spent approximately a year going to this church.
I was one of the most active members of the church, I went to prayer meetings, bible study, and Sunday services without fail. I even got baptized on my 18th birthday and the entire experience was amazing. I felt good about myself, my commitment to God, and things were going just great. Then about a month or so after my baptism I experienced that same horror I remembered from so long ago. A similar sort of concept to the one from my youth was being taught to us in a bible study group.
As the minister rambled on I recall becoming overwrought with terror because of all the sinful things I had done in my life. Every little transgression passed before my eyes. There I was shaking and sobbing just as I had been in that chapel so many years before. It was at this point when it finally hit me. This is just not right. I can not abide being a part of anything that makes me feel like such a monster all the time.
I am no different than any other person here. I make mistakes, and bad decisions, but I am certainly not malicious at heart nor do I want to be. At this point the words of my best friend’s husband popped into my head. (He was an atheist, BTW. The only one I had ever known.) He had asked simply, “Why does there have to be a reward from God in order for you to do the right things?” Suddenly the answer to that question was very clear. There doesn’t!
I also have come to realize over the years that just because I don’t believe in fairy tales doesn’t mean I can enjoy a good fantasy while still realizing that’s what it is. I still look to the stars with child-like wonder and often ponder what is it that makes us who we are. Yet, even in my darkest of thoughts I don’t ever feel the horror or pain I suffered as a Christian.
I am still a good person, and I never want it to be any other way. I just want the rest of humanity to understand. That to believe or not believe has never really been the issue. It’s what you do with it that matters. Those that would perpetuate hate and intolerance in the name of whatever it is they choose to believe are inexcusable.
Here are a few prime reasons to really look at any belief system even your current one with a skeptical eye.
I think I heard her say “obey” over ten times. Look if she has a personal bend towards being a submissive that’s great, but come on, give the rest of us a break. How can someone actually preach about bringing down the wrath of God through sinful living and be so openly hateful? Isn’t being hateful a sin? Oh, wait, that’s right, it’s not a sin as long as it is deemed as God’s will. Whatever!!
Geez! These people are off their collective rockers.
The video that occupied this space was removed by the host…
Yep, that’s me! A wannabe GeekGirl. So the more I look around I see there is a GeekGirl that has always been alive inside of me. She hasn’t always had enough sunshine and nourishment on which to grow, but that has changed.
I guess I am what most call a very late bloomer. Since I spent much of my youth ambling through my days without any real direction or purpose in life. This too has changed. While the future remains a bit more ambiguous than I might like, I at least have some goals in place that may keep my path towards tomorrow no where near as aimless.
Now, being that tomorrow is Father’s Day and I know a great number of Dad’s out there that I truly respect, I’ve spent a huge amount of time surfing the net in search of gifts, gizmos, and e-cards. Much to my chagrin I have not been able to locate the perfect gifts for the list of Fathers I wish to honor. (Oh, well, the search continues!)
While on my journey through the vast network of tubes that is the intarweb, I did stumble across some very interesting holidays that are noteworthy to say the least. For all you Geeks and Geekettes out there that haven’t already come across these, here’s the list I found posted on Wikipedia:
Celebrated on any of the 364 or 365 days in which it is not the person’s birthday - Unbirthday
4th (annually) - Originally: December 25th - Grav-Mass
15th (annually) - a Wikipedia Holiday - Wikipedia Day
25th (annually) - a Wikipedia Holiday - Magnus Maske Day
25th - 31st - (week long celebration)(annually) - Winter-een-mas
12th (annually) - Darwin Day
1st (annually) - a Wikipedia Holiday - Million Day
3rd (2009)(next observance) - Square Root Day
14th (annually) - Pi Day
25th (annually) - Tolkien Reading Day
4th (2016) - Square Root Day
25th seems to be a geekishly charmed day to say the least!
25th (annually) - Geek-Nerd Pride Day
25th (annually) - Towel Day
25th (annually) - Universal Day of the Jedi
1st (annually) - a Wikipedia Holiday - Brion Vibber Day
14th (annually) - International Weblogger’s Day
2nd (annually) - UFO Day
20th (annually) - Evoloterra
Last Fri (annually) - System Administrator Appreciation Day
August seems to be suffering from a lack of Geek honorification.
19th (annually) - International Talk Like a Pirate Day
22nd (debated)(annually) - Hobbit Day
Third Saturday (annualy) - Software Freedom Day
23rd (annually) - Mole Day
31st (annually) - a Wikipedia Holiday - Tim Starling Day
24th (annually) - Evolution Day
5th (annually) - Day of the Ninja
14th (annually) - Monkey Day
23rd (annually) - Festivus
Happy Geek Days!!!
There are a lot of you out there that know about Second Life. A wonderverse of cyberspace magic where anyone with an Internet connection and a computer that’s not ancient can indulge in. I was introduced to the universe of Second Life by a very dear friend. From the moment I logged on I was hooked. I molded and shaped my avatar in every detail. That in itself can take days if you are really going for a particular look.
I have had some really amazing adventures ranging from knee-slappin’ hysterical to red-hot erotic. There is very nearly no end to the things you can do in Second Life. All the people I have encountered thus far have been quite friendly and most are exceptionally helpful. Overall a highly Utopian sort of hang-out.
Nine months later I am still living my cyber dreams in Second Life. Recently I have been working on a building and light scripting project for a private commercial island owner. The details shall remain ambiguous for now. However, I am aching to share some of my work with the world. Enjoy!
I am Ammit Demontrond…
Behold what has been forged by my creative fire.
Note: All but the last shot were taken before the building was completed.
Here’s a prime example of what I see as a flagrant form of self indulgence of the worst kind. That’s right I said self indulgence! If you haven’t had the opportunity to look at the Creation Museum located in Petersburg, Kentucky, I recommend you don’t bother to waste your money or your time.
If you are wondering why I might consider this place a most vociferous masturbation of the collective young earth creationist sect Id, just take a look at what kind of financial resources were used to build this ridiculously trite monstrosity. So, now the US can boast, Disneyland, DisneyWorld, SixFlags, Graceland, and (drum roll please…) Creationland (Yes, I coined that phrase myself).
I personally think there are only about a million things all that money and effort would have been better spent on. I am quite sure there are other rational minds that share my sentiment.