My 24, 2017
Occupy Democrats Parody
Due to indirect exposure to a Secular Humanist education delivered by my elder siblings enrolled in government school, seeds of doubt on the existence of “God” were planted rather early in my childhood.
From the 4th grade I clearly remember that I was seriously questioning all those lessons I had learned in Sunday school. Well, not so much the “love thy neighbor” ideals, as much as the whole question of whether God made man or man made “God” as means to answer, or at least as a “place” to neatly store away those that couldn’t be satisfactorily answered.
I still had a sense of morality and specifically placed high value on honesty. I drove me nuts to see friends of the same age hiding all their activities from their parents as I saw it as a weakness and as “living in fear.”
I was determined to be myself. At about the same age I recognized it would be far better to be despised for who I was than to be loved for who I was NOT.
So I played a game in my head where I treated every day as if it were a 70 mm Dolby presentation to an imaginary audience. Determined that if something wasn’t comfortable to be witnessed by the full theater of pop corn munchers, then it really should be left not done.
Wheres I thought it cheap to base actions on threat of Hell or reward of Heaven, I recognized that it was still possible I might one day face some judgement. My attitude was pretty much, well there God, you had given me my brain and capacity for discernment, so if simply being “a good person” isn’t adequate to pass, then so be it!
This understanding carried through all of my school years and, whereas I still went through the motions with occasional church visits and even the formality of a Lutheran Confirmation Class, I was otherwise evangelical to my mostly Christian friends with a goal to help them join me in “outsmarting” their religious understandings.
As my position evolved I came to value the more “intelligent” practice of treating all but my own existence as “unprovable” and therefore “not beliefs.” So everything was basically “an assumption.” For instance, I would assume Antartica exists even though I hadn’t been there and seen it with my own eyes. So if I were asked to step onto a plane to travel there, I’d have high expectation of arriving. But not a BELIEF in Antartica.
What’s more, even if I arrived and spent a week there, it would still not elevate to “a belief” since I’d have to account for the possibility that my senses might have been deceived. Note that this was well before the Matrix movie popularized the idea of living substantially in a “dream world.”
Whereas I considered “higher power” something I’d count as highly improbable, even being called an Atheist would be an uncomfortable label, since it suggested a “belief that there is no God.” Agnostic was also an uncomfortable label for me since that struck me as a statement of a wishy washy position of having no idea.
I had a strong idea that there “was no God.” I had a stronger idea that “beliefs” of any sort were silly outside the belief in one’s own existence. And the term I embraced for my set of understandings on this matter was “realist.”
Much later, I read Tony Robbins “Unlimited Power” and in there he described that some rather scientific understandings informed that there was a certain power of “prayer” and I actually gave it a try to determine for myself if what I dismissed as a fancy form of “meditation” might indeed help to better direct my own life’s path.
I also learned there that “beliefs” actually offered some value to the human experience from a practical standpoint. For example, if you look purely objectively at financial success, you might see it as a double-edged sword. Taking into account that the affluent are often more depressed and prone to suicide than those of more modest means.
So the cold objective view on everything I had embraced, I was discovering, was possibly keeping me at a disadvantage when it came to charting my own course.
Now I never had developed any hostility towards Christianity nor that many of Christians I knew… and I had also since come to realize that only Christians appeared to be defending any meaningful expression of “free will.” Some but not all Christians were defending property rights, and other key aspects of Liberty that were almost entirely ignored by those running on other (mostly dogmatic) understandings.
So whereas I’d run many more decades as “a realist” I began to strongly recognize that I liked Christians (as a whole) a whole lot more than most of the cross-fearing vampires that pronounce themselves “smart” for “not believing” in “God.”
As many more decades past I learned more about different religions. My overall opinion is now that there are three religions I’ll count as “positive dogma.” I used to spend hours arguing with a deeply devout Christian woman and at the end of the discussion she would credit me for high integrity. I also acknowledged that the teachings of Jesus were excellent from a philosophical standpoint. So Christianity was right up there with Buddhism and Shinto in my favorite three.
I retain sufficient discernment to identify most of the rest as mostly garbage. And I’ll be pleased to see enrollment in all those others substantially reduced and expect the condition of humanity to be greatly improved for it.
I ultimately deemed that morality is for women and children but that principles (built on objective understandings) should drive the behavior of men. What’s more, perhaps influenced by Heinlein’s writings, I embraced an ideal that women should set the religious tone of a household. To share her traditions with her children and that the man should be more of a stoic silent partner in the realm of faith formation.
I’ve since made a practice of weekly attendance at mass, and have rarely missed a week to be there with bride and our children. Even in secular terms the ability to sit still and reflect on the past week and future plans serves a very real practical purpose regardless of whatever degree of religious belief. And I had also learned in my study of Japanese culture and history to value aesthetics and the ceremonies connected with what I accept as “positive” dogma.
I had noticed significant improvements in my own life once I began my own participation in weekly mass. And whereas that’s certainly not something I’d present as “proof” of “higher power” I might be counted as “more receptive” to the idea. And at minimum it stands against claims that “there is no such thing as positive dogma.”
And before the “very smart” reaffirm their position that “only the stupid can believe in Jesus or God” it remains true that Einstein was Agnostic, many highly intelligent people I personally know have deep faith, and most extreme idiots I know think they’re a “genius” for being “too smart” to believe in God.
Now it takes more faith to believe Socialism will ever work than a belief in God, so it’s safe to say that, in addition to being a mental disorder, liberalism is also a virulent religion in its own right.
At least I know not every human action has to be “logical” and that a certain amount of participation in what might be counted “arbitrary” ceremonies adds to the quality of our finite time here on Earth.
Mostly I’ve come to observe that most “atheists” aren’t all that intelligent. Most carry as their primary claim to “smart” as their rejection of “silly beliefs.” And so they pat themselves incessantly on the back for their big achievement while embracing every possible replacement dogma. As long as it’s not “Christian” they’ll gladly bow to Allah, or Bill Nye the “Science Guy” and embrace every last bit of dogma that collectively makeup what I now call out as the #DEMOCRATRELIGION.
(more to come – work in progress)
©2017 Occupy Democrats Parody