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duckwater

Coming Out Of The 'proverbial' Closet

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I have been living a lie my whole life. I have pretended to be someone that I was not based of my conservative upbringing that taught me ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ at an early age. I cannot live the lie any more. I have known this about myself my entire life, realizing more and more as I grew up that I was living a lie.

 

It is time to come ‘out of the closet’. I’m not trying to ‘convert’ anyone to my personal beliefs, I just want to set the record straight and admit to my 30-year lie.

 

I am not a Christian.

 

I was raised in a conservative family in a small Texas town, about as diverse as a NASCAR race with non-denominational Bible Church and Christian High School for moral guidance. Church was a source of boredom on a Biblical scale. I can remember staring at the ceiling fans, pretending they were Huey Helicopters, orbiting ready to attack the Preacher who had been droning on for the last hour and seven minutes and thirty three seconds. I am actually amazed that preachers can orate for over an hour, fable after fable, verse after verse, to tell you something that a) you already know and B) should consist of a fortune cookie length lesson of; "Believe what I believe or you will burn in Hell".

 

As I become older and wiser, I am becoming more and more aware that, this whole Christianity deal doesn't add up.

 

I know there is a Supreme Being that created the universe. Evolution happened, God did it. A bug shaped like a leaf didn't just happen. Angler Fish did not just figure that out. Homo Sapiens are so much more advanced than all other species, mainly in cognitive and emotional areas, that some THING designed it. And, God HAS to have a sense of humor. Some of His creations appear to have been concocted under the influence of some endless wine he borrowed from Allah. So, for me to believe in God is a no-brainer. Obviously, most humans feel the same way. Most of us, at minimum, will bow our heads at Thanksgiving dinner and that belief can increase in commitment and lunacy all they way to the point of strapping C4 explosive to your belly and taking yourself and several random subway commuters to meet whatever God they happen to pray to.

 

1. 70% of the world is not "Christian". And, of the 30% of those that use the Bible for their own good and acknowledge Christ to some degree, most of them are going to hell too, depending on the place where you waste your Sunday morning. I was taught (scared) that Mormons, Jehovah Witness, and certain Presbyterians were going to hell. And, they had a First Class ticket to Hell because they understood the Bible differently that we did. So, taking into account Christian Scientists and Benny Hinn's lunatics, 90% of God's creations were created by Him to spend eternity roasting in Hell (or be reincarnated as a politician from Alaska). I’m sorry, but my God is not that sadistic. My God also did not have some poor sap named Abraham, drag his kid up a hill, fully intending to shank the poor bastard, then at the last minute God is like "You got Punked!" That is not a test of faith; it is a scene from a Quentin Tarratino snuff flick.

 

After Mel Gibson’s latest film, evangelicals are all in a tizzy with the Jews because Braveheart said the Jews killed Jesus. Well, for conjecture, lets say they did. God sent Jesus down here to die for our sins didn’t he? If so, whoever killed Him (Romans) was doing God’s will and should be congratulated and loved. Or was Jesus supposed to die in an old folks home for our sins? Would the Son of God even die ‘a natural death’ or would He be still here and the ultimate judge on American Idol? If the Jews didn’t kill Jesus, and being that Jesus was a Jew himself, we should love them in that case also. Point: Anti-Semitism is stupid.

 

There is a whole new wave of prejudice against Islam. There are more similarities between Christianity and Islam than any other religions. Christians seem to label all Muslims by the twisted doctrine and actions of Al Qaeda. This is like associating all Christians with the actions of the KKK, (or Jim Jones, Davis Koresh, Fred Phelps, etc) who twisted the Bible to justify terrorism and hate, just like Al Qaeda does the Koran. There are over 1 Billion (with a B ) Muslims in the world. Obviously, the vast, vast majority are peaceful God-fearing people. Point: Fear and hatred of Islam is stupid.

 

There is ONE God. We are all actually praying to some version that we Humans have created. There are more variations on a 'Deity' than there are reality shows. There are more interpretations of the Bible than nerds at Starbucks. Which brings me to my next point:

 

2. The Bible is NOT the word of God. I believe parts of it are a poorly documented history book, parts are nutty fiction, probably written as a joke and some of it is just some dudes’ writing social commentary based on their own human beliefs. Frankly, it is one of the most destructive and divisive documents in History. More people have been killed because of someone’s whacked interpretation of the Bible than all terrorist attacks combined. One million people were killed in the Crusades, all in the name of Jesus. That sure makes me want to eat an oyster cracker and sing Amazing Grace.

 

Why does Omnipotent and Omniscient God need some Birkenstock clad Jesus groupies to be his scribe? According to the Bible, God already demonstrated that he is fully capable of publishing His own words, in a pretty indelible stone tablet medium (the 1st iPad?), and in concise, logical numbered form from 1-10. Exactly what I would do if I were in charge. Now consider the Bible. Really, it could not be more poorly written. Did God actually pen something so vague that it can be used to justify everything from the Mt Carmel Bonfire to Homophobia to God Hates Dead Soldiers? A God who loves His creations did not write that; man did and God doesn't need a biographer.

 

Men, sinners all, wrote the Bible. Faith in the Bible requires faith in Men. They were prophets you say? Well, I believe that is semantics. God talks to all of us. Call it a conscience, morals, a little bird...whatever...we are the only species that has that. Paul is no more connected to God than I am. By the same logic, the op-ed letter I write to the San Francisco Chronicle, detailing my own personal, secular judgment on the resident’s activities, should be a new Chapter of the Bible.

 

My God loves you no matter what sex you are attracted to. My God doesn't care if you tap your shoe in the Minneapolis Airport toilet stall in hopes of a little action. My God does care that the Catholic Church condoned Child Molestation. Really, we are worried about Gay Marriage and its underage-sex hour at Father Paul’s? My homosexual friends, as a whole, ‘bear more fruit’ identifying them as a Christ like person than most of my other friends. I have seen the ‘sanctity of marriage’ become a punch line from a majority of people I know, regardless of professed faith.

 

3. Scare Tactics - There is no hell. So Lucifer was the only bad angel ever? What if Lucifer Jr got booted from the pearly gates? How many hells are there? Believe what I believe or you will burn. It is the oldest trick in the book. Invade Iraq or we will have anthrax raining on us like manna from heaven. Stock up for Y2K. Obama is a secret Muslim. My God does not need the threat of eternal broil to entice me. Why is it so important for many of us to FORCE everyone else to believe exactly what we believe? I frankly don't care what you think but I do care when someone tries to force their beliefs on myself, and others, threatening eternal fire. Statistically, the vast majority believes something completely opposite of what you believe. Is everyone else wrong? Do the math.

 

4. We really are His 'flock' - I wish God had dispensed with more grey matter in his workshop. We humans truly are dumber than sheep. We sometimes have the ability to decipher sh*t from shinola at times yet, categorically; we are lemmings walking off whatever theological cliff we happened to be born next to. How many Belles from Alabama turn out Muslim? They all will end up with big hair, 3 series BMW's and go to First Baptist every Sunday. It is more predictable than Lindsay Lohan getting into trouble again. How many children of Muslims have a revelation and say "forget this goofy Burka, Robert Tilton is on Satellite and he’s got it figured out, I’m sending my 20 Dinars for some anointing oil?”

 

Think. "Truth" is 100% a product of your environment. Perhaps it's not "Truth" at all. Shouldn’t truth manifest exactly in all situations? Gravity does. There is only one conclusion. All of the world’s different versions of theological truth are not true at all. You only believe what you do by the sheer lotto of location and era you were born and raised, as well as your race and socio-economic class. That is not "truth" as I see it. Christianity has morphed more since Constantine’s ‘Ponificus Maximus’ years to a completely different doctrine multiple times over. Truth remains constant; Christianity is anything but. The fact that Glen Beck has become the de-facto Christian spiritual leader of the USA makes it completely understandable how hordes of Germans decided to follow Hitler.

 

5. Church - The perfect place for nut-jobs to take their finely crafted facade for a spin. The absolute worst people I have ever met were Bible thumping, WWJD clad, judgmental a-holes. There are plenty of great people too, but it is a sin to ‘call out’ hypocritical a-holes in Church. Anyone with ½ a gaydar could tell that Ted Haddard is gayer than a box of birds even before he was outed. How many people knew Eddie Long was a douchebag on a number of levels? But you can’t ever confront these people in church or you become the a-hole. It also seems that the people that scream the loudest against a certain ‘sin’, are probably committing that ‘sin’…..

 

One time, I went to a wedding and had a few beers. After, we were going to watch a Tyson fight at a house rented by several dudes in a prestigious Bible study with the pastor. These guys were the Second Coming. Having your daughter date one was the coup de gras. Anyway, the friend I was with had to stop for gum, to mask the smell of the sin juice on our breath. We get to the blessed crib, and they had the fight on. It was like watching scrambled porn at the Motel 6. They had rigged the box to save the $19.99 (surely to go in the offering basket) and I’m Lucifer because I had a few Coronas? I KNOW God does not want me to steal.

 

Christians LOVE to quantify sin. Out are booze, pot, homosexuality and cussing. In are gossip and the intolerance of anyone not like you. In is the ignorance that Americans and Tony Blair are God’s people, and lets nuke the rest. In is the love of money and status. How do these mega-churches spin the likely fictional tale of the tower of Babel? Church is ALL about money.

 

This country went through a lot of turmoil during the civil rights movement. No more color specific fountains. We are not, collectively, where we should be yet but we have come a long way towards equal treatment for all (until our newfound intolerance of Muslims). So, here we are half a century later. Churches are truly open to all, kinda. Name one institution in our society MORE segregated than church. What Church truly mirrors its local demographics? Do you think God is happy that we have divided ourselves into countless splinter groups under His name? Do you think his design was to divide churches up by skin pigment or irrelevant interpretations of the Bible?

 

If you have been brainwashed that you need to go to a funny shaped building every Sunday and suffer through a shakedown for 10% of your income and music worse than Milli Vanilli to be a good person, reconsider. God tells you everything you need to know, whenever and wherever. If you rely on a Church for guidance, the result will likely be anything from you becoming a homophobic bad tipper to someone who REALLY regrets drinking the Kool-Aid.

 

My God is simple. I don’t need Oprah’s worst book of the month pick ever, or being a member of a group that feels the need to waste 10% of their income on a clubhouse and salary for a story teller to give me moral guidance.

 

And, I don't give a rat’s ass if you believe what I do. That is novel of ANY belief.

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Amen (?) to that! Hugely entertaining and exactly what my husband and I have been feeling/thinking for over a year now!

 

 

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Bravisimo! While I don't agree with you on all points (and I think you'll be ok with that) the overall tone of your post was FANTASTIC! Thanks for sharing!!

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While there are things with which we disagree (I don't think god exists at all but don't care if you do), congratulations for thinking for yourself.

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Hi, Duckwater, and welcome to ExC.

 

Very well written and funny to boot. I especially liked the way you worked in the references to certain events without actually identifying those events ("My God doesn't care if you tap your shoe in the Minneapolis Airport toilet stall in hopes of a little action." - a certain U.S. Senator as I recall).

 

Thanks for sharing and well done.

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Awesome. Just awesome. Mind if I translate some of it to my native Norwegian and use some of it when I need to explain my "outing as an ex-c" to friends and family?

I pretty much agree on all points.

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Awesome. Just awesome. Mind if I translate some of it to my native Norwegian and use some of it when I need to explain my "outing as an ex-c" to friends and family?

I pretty much agree on all points.

 

 

Sure you can use it and translate it. All of my musings are public and non-copyrighted lol.

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Wow Duckwater, you cracked me up! I've just emailed what you wrote to my brother, who I think will also appreciate it.

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Im also sending this to the preacher who taught me and countless others how to be a bigot a-hole.

 

My name since Im "OUT" lol.

 

Mike Skaggs

Ft Worth TX

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Im also sending this to the preacher who taught me and countless others how to be a bigot a-hole.

 

My name since Im "OUT" lol.

 

Mike Skaggs

Ft Worth TX

 

Hey Mike, We live in the same town! ;) Loved the piece. I hope you get paid for your writing from time to time.

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I hope you get paid for your writing from time to time.

 

I second that.

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I hope you get paid for your writing from time to time.

 

I second that.

 

 

I love 3 activities: Flying, Skydiving and Writing. I never want to get paid for any of them so I will still love them. But thanks for the compliment!

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I hope you get paid for your writing from time to time.

 

I second that.

 

 

I love 3 activities: Flying, Skydiving and Writing. I never want to get paid for any of them so I will still love them. But thanks for the compliment!

 

I don't know, Duckwater, money in the bank can really help the love. :grin:

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Welcome, Mike! Thanks for sharing. I appreciate good humor.

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I just posted this to Facebook.....Truly 'outing' myself.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

HA

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