Inspiration comes from all sources, and I was inspired by one of these blogs here, and by a friend.
In search of a church
On one of my fellow bloggers site I came across a new problem regarding religion and churches. A lesbian couple who were practicing Christians had two young children and was searching for a church home. The one that was nearby and welcoming was full of older parishioners and regarded as not a good social fit. After looking at some other churches and interviewing with the pastor, they were told that the modern younger church- going population would not be so welcoming.
I thought the definition of Christianity was to treat our fellow man and women with kindness and welcoming attitudes.
Clearly I am mistaken, if there is a test to join.
The mistake this person made was to reject the older gray haired parishioners where she was welcomed.
I guess when you go shopping for a church home what you are really looking for is a group like yourself, and not because you want to serve others in the name of your deity.
If you are going to be rejected for any human trait whether it is color of skin, age, or sexual orientation, the best thing might be to form your own lesbian prayer group and play school.
We have the freedom to choose our religion here but evidently also the freedom to reject prospective members.
The other alternative would be to accept the membership in the older group and try to fit in rather than make them over.
Myself I would opt for ignoring the whole thing and raise my children to be good people without a church influence. It can be done.
When you join a religion you are agreeing to their particular pretend scenario.
Long ago the idea of heaven and hells began, but it was strictly a human story. I have said many times that religion as a whole was invented to keep control over the weaker members, such as women and children. It is a good old boys concept, and has survived as such through many iterations.
Recently a friend of mind picked up a book by or about Hunter S. Thompson, and after saying some unflattering things about the man stated that he, Hunter was in Hell.
So how does this expert know? Was it because he thought Hunter was a Catholic, and suicides automatically are designated to be hell bound after they shoot themselves?
It is remarkable how those who have no experience with high drama such as a close member killing himself can so blithely state that they KNOW that someone is going to be shunted into Outer Darkness forever and ever, there to alternately burn and freeze in lakes of sulfur and brimstone or icy lakes at the 9th circle of Hell. According to Dante, that famous poet, there are many levels of suffering all geared to particular sins.
I cannot know where my adult children are but I merely suspect. The oldest son, after much pain and suffering through bi-polar depression went and jumped off a high bridge in San Diego.
This, according to Catholics was a mortal sin and earned him a special place of suffering in the afterlife.
I do not think this or believe in any of this religious claptrap. What he is, is just plain dead. No re- runs, no coming around again according to his brother’s Buddhist faith, no chance at wings and harps, no freezing lakes or sulfur pits, no judgement or efficacy of prayers on his behalf.
Can anyone say for sure that my version of what happens after death is wrong?
Since our view of Hell and Heaven has come down to us from poets and philosophers, there is always going to be arguments about the existence of these realms.
As one astute philosopher said” For extraordinary claims one must have extraordinary proofs”.
I forget who that was but it works for me.
As a parent who lost a daughter to breast cancer besides losing her first born son to suicide, I think that I have a pretty good grip on reality and what to think of the so called “Life after Death”.
My daughter was not religious, and she said that when she died she would “find out” what was next.
If she had no senses, and no brain, what she found was nothing, and there is no proof to the contrary. We as a species want there to be something after this life, so we make up pretty little stories to reassure ourselves that we will be rewarded and punished according to our actions.
As another philosophers said “The facts that you’re liable to read in the Bible, is not necessarily so”.
I can live with that.