Today's post isn't a while, which is a wonderful change!
I'm not quite sure where to begin though…
well, I've been a Christian all my life. Parents were Christian, it was All I Knew. Then, about January or so of this year (when I was looking for The Hitchikers Guide to the Universe TV Series by the BBC) I stumbled across, and began listening to The Skeptics Guide to The Universe podcast. It was fun, the hosts were funny and smart, and they made a heap of good points. Awesome. Well, one day recently I heard them interviewing Richard Saunders, who is heavily involved in Australian Skeptics. I had no idea that there even were Australian Skeptics… well, I did, but I didn't realise that they had actually organised anything, let alone a society offering a $100,000 Challenge for Psychics and Practitioners of the Paranormal. Upon learning of their existence, I checked out their site, and bought a subscription to The Skeptic, their quarterly publication. I also sent an email to the Tassie branch, wondering what there was. Nothing. But someone up here had enquired a similar thing only a week ago, would I like to be put in touch? Absolutely! In fact, I'm rambling.
After listening to the AS episode of SGU, I went back through some older ones, and stumbled across one about Immortality. Interesting to say the least. The panel discussed what "Immortality" (here defined as a lack of death-by-natural-causes) might mean for society, and religion in particular. They said that a big thing about religion was the fear of death angle. I thought "but I'm not afraid of death?". I then wondered "am I not afraid because I'm just not, or is it my Christian belief in an afterlife kicking in?" after some consideration, I decided that I actually don't mind whether an afterlife exists or not. If the things I do in this life are governed by the things that will happen in the next, then I need to take a serious, long look at my life and make some changes. But they're not, so I'm happy enough.
But this opened other things up to questioning. I went and bought Christopher Hitchins "God Is Not Great: How Religon Poisons Everything" and devoured it. It's a great book which I plan on reading again soon. It makes some great points, which I'm at a loss to remember right now. (mainly because I was reading the book as a diversion from the things I should have been doing, and while it was really good, I wasn't taking things in on more than a subconscious level.) Um, oh, yes… I started thinking about things. I started asking "if God exists, why do all these things happen when there is no person who you could possibly say is responsible for certain atrocities?" ie Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami, etc. And that put me in a really awkward position. It feels like there's something more than us just being meat, but what could it be? Well, what about a non-intervening God? It starts off the big bang and watches. Sure, It wants us to be happy etc, but It's not going to actually do anything about it. OK, awesome, a God I can believe in again.
I turn to my next topic of consideration: Jesus. Problem. God is a non-intervening God. Jesus came about because God intervened in Mary's life, and the lives of countless others. Conclusion here? Jesus was probably a really, really great guy, but he was just human. next? Holy Spirit. Problem. the glorious HS is the personification of God's intervention. Damn. Well, no HS either under my definition of God.
So… I believe in a non-intervening God. That would make me a Deist. I'm not quite sure what to do about church and family and stuff. I will be disappointing a whole lot of people when I come out of the theological closet. A friend has advised me that she goes to chuch (with her partner) and views it as kind of a social club. I sing up the front, and recently, I've had a hard time singing the songs that I'm supposed to. Not because they're hard songs, but because I don't actually believe the words. Then there's the guilt of being told "I love hearing you sing, because it's so obvious that you're really feeling what you're singing." I'm actually misleading these people! and that's not cool. If I go to church and don't sing up front with the choir, then I get asked why so much that if I can't get to practice on Friday nights, I just don't bother going to church on sunday. it's easier, pure and simple. So viewing it as asocial club may not be for me.
But… I'm meeting with my pastor on Friday to hopefully sort this stuff out a bit more. This is big, to really make any public statement about my Deism. Currently, hubby and one friend, who I knew was a bit of a far out Christian, know. and now you know too. This isn't for people to feel sorry for me, or to convert people, just to say "here is where I am at the moment"