Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Little Bit More About Me

sin, think, religion, atheism, atheist, snark, jesus, god, satan, bible, humor,
The hubby noted once about me that I don't have a sense of humor so much as I have a sense of the ridiculous.

He was right. Don't bother taking me to see a comedy, I probably won't find it funny. Or I'll laugh in all the wrong places. Monty Python? Hilarious. Adam Sandler? Not so much*.

This actually does relate to atheism, or at least to areligionism. You see, I better be right about the fundys being wrong, because if they're right, I'm screwed. I can't help but commit thoughtsins**. I can't help picturing Jesus in a gay bar. I'm not trying to say that I think Jesus was gay, I just can't not find the awesome inappropriateness of that funny.

I've tried to be normal. I tried and tried and tried. (Ask anyone I went to elementary/middle/high school with. I tried- and I failed.) I can't help thinking the way I do. I've learned to keep it from flying out of my mouth, but the thoughts remain.

This whole issue used to frighten me as a child. (We were rather fundy for Catholics.) I was honestly convinced that both God and Satan could hear my every thought. Every single one. Obviously, as a young child I wasn't troubled with lustful thoughts, but any time I wanted something I wasn't supposed to have, or wondered if Jesus had to defecate (they never talk about those things in the bible), or I got mad at someone, I was instantly seized with the tremendous fear that god hated me and satan was coming for me.

This is not a nice thing to do to children. It isn't healthy for adults, either. It was bad enough being the sort of awkward child that simply cannot fit in, ever, but to be convinced that every thought was an express ticket to the fiery torments of hell was adding injury to injury. Jesus loves you- except for those wicked, wicked thoughts you can't help having!

So, yeah, I'm going to be snarky. I'm going to picture Jesus in a gay bar. I'm going to keep fantasizing about [censored], and [censored verb] [censored for your own piece of mind] on a grand piano.

*Don't bother flaming me on this issue. You either find something funny or you don't.

**Thoughtsin is a popular issue with fundamentalists. For example, from Ray Comfort's blog: Most of us would sin ten times as much as that, with our lustful, selfish, self-righteous, unthankful, and greedy thoughts . . .


  1. Arrgh!!! Stoppit! Random 'thoughtsins' of tinned custard, two popes in matching bikinis, a horse with a rather cheeky smile and only one condom to fight over... and let us not forget, if I can think it, then it must exist! (Ray Comfort logic(tm) ). Shame on them and their filthy ways.

    You, on the other hand, sound utterly normal! ;-)

  2. Besides being cuter than expected, those purple eyes make the Army of Darkness creepier than expected, actually :)

  3. If God and Jesus and Satan and "co" could hear everyones thoughts then they would have major mindfucks. They might then go to gay bars to "clear their heads".

    Also, Monty Python is not very funny.

  4. I hear you.

    One day, in the fourth grade, our teacher, a nun, tried to put our minds at ease by explaining that we all were assigned a Guardian Angel, who watches over us at all times. I was satisfied with this, until the girl next to me raised her hand and asked:

    "What if I'm taking taking a bath? The Angel will see me naked."

    The nun explained that the Angel would always respect our privacy and avert his/her eyes.

    Well that satisfied the girl, but it freaked me out. To me, that meant that when I was naked, I was out of my Angel's protection. So I did what seemed perfectly reasonable to my fourth-grade mind. I started taking baths with my underwear on.

  5. John: that's exactly the sort of logic that I used as a child. "god's watching you!" wasn't a comforting thought to me, it was a horrifying threat. really, nobody wants to be inside my head at all times.

    i freak myself out.

    a lot.

  6. This, this is the thing I cannot manage to get my Christian relatives to wrap their minds around. Any place of refuge is also a trap; it all depends who's standing in the doorway. And Christianity is designed to be a refuge from which there are no exits.

    Them: God is a super-cool invisible friend who is as nice and loving and supporting as you can possibly imagine. He sees and accepts with compassion everything that happens in your mind as well as your actions, will reward your dedication to the pursuit of personal virtue by fulfilling your dreams and desires.

    Me: God is a Panopticon.

    A pertinent quote: Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.What baffles and amazes me is that my mom is a person who possesses a frighteningly high level of intelligenxe. She has read Foucault, and Talcott Parsons, and all the other sociology/psychology types I find interesting. She can discuss the philosophical, social, and psychological implications of their theories at any degree of subtlety I can muster. She is flexible and humorous and witty and charming and empathetic.

    But it's like there's this massive, hulking, God-shaped blind spot right in the middle of her enormous shiny brain. As if the whole subject and anything connected with it is cordoned off with flashing lights and uniformed guards in riot gear and POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS tape all over everything.

    Once inside that boundary, nothing moves or is allowed to speak. Except to parrot Scripture or Bible study coursework or some small personal thing her invisible friend revealed to her in the midst of prayer. I suspect, surmise, even assume, that buried somewhere deep inside that bristling wall is all the anger and derision and lust and bitter resentment that is unworthy and unfitting for a servant of Christ to feel. Because that's how it was for me, and after all, who taught me what it was supposed to be?

    And this is love and true happiness. And she will patiently and kindly wait and be nice to me and pray for me and be deliriously happy every time I read a Christian book or attend a church service or say amen after she says grace.

    And I will nod, and smile, and be a villain. Whom she will always forgive for being a villain, and place her feelings of hurt and betrayal at my villainy safely behind that wall, forever deprived of the power to destroy her happiness by the power of her invisible friend's infinite love.


    Happy Mother's Day, everybody.

  7. You, actually, do sound totally normal to me. I am the queen of misfits.

    There are only a few of us in the world, and we all end up being atheists with a blog. In the atheist blogsphere, we fit it. WooHoo!

    If we could ALL just meet someday before we go to hell, that would be nice.

  8. ...

    do Christians really tell their kids, their small, innocent, ignorant children who aren't yet capable of *understanding* concepts like "god" and "good" and "evil", that if they do bad things they are going to hell?!

    i thought the whole *point* of Christianity was that everyone sinned (and all sins are somehow all supposed to be equally "sinful", which i don't get, but i have a different definition of sin) but that Jesus made that big sacrifice so that, NO, you aren't going to hell so long as you love Jesus? that the point wasn't to be perfect and never sin, but to realize that there is *NO* way to NOT sin and to try to love Jesus and get Jesus to help you not sin?

    right? i think teaching your children that they are going to hell for stupid shit like that (actually, i think the concept of hell itself, and teaching children about hell) is the same level of child abuse as threatening that "goblins will take you away" or something evil like that. i am so sorry you went through that.

  9. Fiat:

    I totally dig the Panopticon idea. That's pretty much how I saw god, too.

    Interestingly enough, one of my best friends was constantly paranoid about pretty much everything and always on guard. He had ADD and other such fun stuff, but his could get really, really bad. When we left Christianity he actually started getting better (take that, people who think Jeebus is the best medicine).

    I asked him why one day and he said it's because he didn't feel like he was being watched all the time and he could relax. And it wasn't even Panoptic-god. In fundie-land everyone is potentially a member of god's secret police force.

    It's quite freeing to not have to worry about that.


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