Thursday, April 8, 2010

Whatever Makes You Happy

That is phrase I heard a lot from my mother. As a child, I drank exclusively from champagne flutes. The first time I asked to drink from a champagne flute instead of regular cup, my mother said, "Whatever makes you happy" and poured my drink into a champagne flute. It made me ecstatic.

Looking back, I think was benefiting from being the third child, in that my mother had learned not to sweat the small stuff. Why argue with a small child about drinkware or matching clothes? Why not let them be happily different in ways that don't really matter? We had rules to obey, of course. Bedtimes were nonnegotiable, as were sharing, getting homework done, manners and a few hundred other things. The small, things, however, were up to us. My mother allowed us to find out joy, and for that I will always be thankful.

When I got older, I learned that not everyone is guided by Whatever Makes You Happy. Most people seem to be guided by Whatever Makes Me Happy. You see this attitude a lot in religion. Wear these certain clothes, read these certain books, recite these certain prayers, believe this and only this, and even in the small things, be guided only by me. Happiness? Fuck that noise. Who needs happiness?

Most people don’t consider that there is something far more important to God than human happiness. We tend to think that we are somehow owed happiness by God--that He is obligated to make sure we live a happy and healthy life.

Hitler was no doubt happy when things were going his way.

God is not anti-happiness, however, the thing that pleases God is something the Bible calls "righteousness." So those who want to please God should take Einstein’s advice with a grain of salt.

If you and I are happy we should make sure that our happiness springs out of righteousness, not out of sin, and that can only happen if our sins are forgiven through trusting in Jesus Christ. Then we should dwell constantly on our eternal future. Everything we say, do, and even think should be in the light of God’s smile or His frown. To claim have everlasting life, and not to do so is to play the hypocrite.

Pic. A happy Hitler

Ignoring that Ray Comfort just Godwinned his own blog - Hitler was happy, do you want to be Hitler?!- I find that entire philosophy to be indescribably sad. What could be more important than joy? What could be more worthwhile than a smile or a laugh? I am not saying that everyone should be unrelenting happy all the time, or that one should harm others in the pursuit of happiness, but to reject happiness as so much dross? Now I'm not happy at all.

I shall have to go back outside and let the soft, warm air and the newly unfurled leaves coax me back to happy. Thankfully, I won't have to ask Ray's god permission before I smile.

12 comments:

  1. My god that's terrible. Life itself wants people to be happy, because happy people are nice people. And nice people are kind to their fellow man. Not that Ray would ever get that concept.

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  2. http://trollcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/godwin_is_a_nazi_trollcat.png

    I wish you could imbed images in blogger...

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  3. To be honest, I didn’t see Comfort’s mention of Hitler as a Godwin; I think his point was something like, “If being happy does not mean being righteous, the fact that Hitler was happy, when his plans for domination were succeeding, didn’t make him any better to the Lord”, or however you may phrase it. It’s just my interpretation, though; it certainly is possible it was a plain ol’ “Hitler was happy, well, you wanna be happy like Hitler, atheists??”.

    Of course, though, the rest of his post is just tripe as always.

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  4. Also, your Mom sounds pretty cool. Mine wouldn’t let me drink out of wine glasses until I was 14. *pouts*

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  5. Well, keep in mind, my mother had 3 children, a very busy schedule writing books and a deep seated need for silence- the small rules went by the wayside before I was born.

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  6. I bought my 11 yr old a case of wine glasses in four different shapes, which she used to make musical notes and very scientific-looking graphs, earning her a ribbon in the science fair. Now she is free to play music or drink from them to her heart's content. But, do you mean that if one chooses to believe God, that they must be happy being perfect or should not be happy at all? Just curious.

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  7. i hear "whatever makes you happy" a lot from my husband...

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  8. One more time:

    *******
    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/
    ********

    THE REAL QUESTION:


    DOES ATHEISM HAVE A FUTURE?

    AND THE ANSWER - NO!


    Atheists

    GET OUT OF MY UNIVERSE…

    you little liars do nothing but antagonize…

    and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity…

    but you LOST…

    THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD

    http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780

    Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…

    *************************************

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

    *************************************

    atheists deny their own life element…

    LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

    ********************************
    ***************************LIGHT*********
    ************************************

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  9. Whenever I wasn't happy, I used to tell myself, "Well. Jesus died on the cross. He was whipped and beaten and tortured. I don't think he was happy then. Whether or not I am happy or having fun or enjoying myself ought to be irrelevant then, just as it as for Jesus. I should focus on serving God."

    I still have a hard time thinking that my happiness is actually a relevant consideration in decision making...

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Do you really think that Jesus doesn't care if you're happy? Since happy people take better care of the world and the people in it, which is what Jesus wanted, I would imagine he probably wants everyone to be happy. Of course his spoiled brat of a father might not care, but there isn't much to be done about that. You could just find a different God. I think a lot of Gods (and probably that nice guy named Jesus) care a lot about what makes people happy. It's sad that a bunch of misguided people are hell-bent on making people miserable and thus easier to control.
    *editted because it came off much harsher than I wanted it to the first time. Oops!

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  12. DM, I doubt you actually *read* any of the responses to your comments, but just in case you do: you're making your side look bad.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

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