Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Religious Debate...or Something

A debate of sorts, anyway...more like answers to some guys questions.
We've been using our Tumblr blog a lot more, it may seem like we're neglecting this blog a bit.

Not sure why our comfort level has landed over there, after all writing is writing; and everybody who wants to read our words have access to them from several different "venues".

Not surprisingly we're stressed. Thankfully it has nothing to do with the Holiday's. We don't really celebrate Christmas, and even when we used to, we're not all the type of persons who got stressed over it. We don't go to church, we don't buy gifts for our family - we haven't in years. Last year we bought a very expensive gift for our former best friend (TNB) and attended parts of some Holiday parties - but that was it. Last year this time is when The Other Girl began to fall apart, and a lot more of us started struggling for control; and from the outside it probably looked to a lot of people like we were losing our mind. (more about that when we get to writing more Frank history).


We've had an e-mail sitting in our inbox for since September 18th, written by a reader/follower? (though, we're not sure) who had some questions in regards to our post "Religion, You Say? We Have  A View On That' ( written March 20th of 2011.

Before we get started, we understand if this topic is not that interesting to is a religious discussion between non-believers (us) and a believer. 

If you'd like to read, look at pictures, or be otherwise amused with other recent stuff, we suggest you read other stuff here, or head over to our Tumblr page...but we warn you...the most recent writing there tends to be that created by stress in our life (notably,
James/The Boyfriend having to leave in a month, and various other stress related "rants")


In paragraph #7, beginning with "Having said that...", the following is written: "The Other Girl also had a hard time believing in religion, but she felt the pressure of a family who did not take kindly to those with opposing views..."
--> My question is regarding The Other Girl and whether hers and your views were different which in essence led to a rejection of the Faith, in general, or was it more of an outside influence -- like opposing religious faiths viewpoints -- that led to rejection of the Faith?
It's hard to answer religious questions without seeming...condescending to a believer. It's important to know, for those of you reading who don't know about our history with religion, or history of being a Baptist missionary, that we approach the subject of religion with some knowledge, and personal experiences.
I cannot speak for most, or even all, of us, only from my own 
opinion and point of view. I will say that none of believe in God, and to say we are "spiritual" would be an overstatement. We have an appreciation and a respect for the earth, and on a lesser scale, some of the people who live on it. 

"Losing our faith", as it were, was not an all-in occurrence for us, had it been we would not have made it so far as to dabble in the "missions of the Lord". Opposing religious viewpoints played no part in our decision, almost all religions are based in similar priniciples, principles you don't need to believe in God to appreciate, principles entirely not practiced by people of the Faith - the element that we do not agree with is that you have to have an intenese fear/love for a diety in order to be a good person. People who have never even heard "the good world of the Lord" have existed to sometimes be far better people that those who choose to "live their life" by it.

Quite simply our "rejection of the Faith" had everything to do with logical thinking, how logical is it to think the words of the Bible are true, through copious translations, written by fallible man, when more recent history has been altered over the span of only hundreds of years. It does not seem logical that there is someone watching billions of people, who is supposed to have the best interest of his creations in mind, and who lets the world become what it has. In our opinion, just as "sin" was a construct used to control masses, "free will" is an idea put into place, as is "God testing humankind", to provide loopholes for questions like: "Why did I get raped", "Why did my family member die of cancer young", "Why was my brother/sister/ect. murdered" "Why was my son/daughter mentally handicapped",  why, why, why does anything happen. 

If people are bad, and they are, and bad things happen to good people, to children, to babies even before they are born, and they do; then what it the justification to believe in God? 
People are not comfortable with there not being a real reason for anything other that people are bad, and bad things happen, so they say "God is testing your faith", which even if true, seems like an asshole move.
It really cannot be explained beyond that, from our 
perspective. Just as a persons journey to the "Lord" is a private and unique one, so is ones journey away. 
In the next paragraph, you write about the Santa analogy which you reference it to religion.  You write: " When you were a child, at Christmas, and every year you asked Santa for just one thing, one very important thing, something you knew you deserved, and every year you didn’t get it; would you still believe in Santa?"
--> I was wondering if you could expand and perhaps connect the Santa question with the religious tie.  Was there something you were asking for or for some change to take place and it never came about?
The thing we were asking for, if you have read anything aside from the single entry (which, we hope by now you have), the changes desired to take place, is an end to the emotional, mental, physical abuse, both from inside our family, and from the outside world. There's really no more explanation needed, I think. Using Santa as an example only worked as a perfect analogy.
Farther down the page you write a dialogue between you and your father.  The following is an excerpt: "“Why? …Why does a child have to suffer for someone else’s faults and mistakes? What kind of “God” would do that?”
--> I would like to inquire a few things here: when you say "child" are you referring to yourself or a child in general? When you say "someone else's faults" are referring to a parent(s) or society? 
Obviously we were referring to ourselves as a child, and ALL children in the world; and yes, we are referring to our parents, and all of society. 
-On the same note, you conclude with asking what kind of a God would do that.  You state you grew up in the church and you hint that at a young age you began to wonder things (and there is no doubt in my mind that you are a very bright individual which is why you began thinking and questioning). At about what age did this happen? And what, in your mind, is some underlying reasons or causes?  
We recall having questions on and off from a very young age, some of us more than others, and most of us were very observant and curious. Underlying reasons or causes? Abuse at a young age, and not understanding why any of it was happening, even as we plead in prayer.
[We must interject at this point, to our readers, and the person who wrote these questions to us...because it becomes clear at this point that the person had only read the single entry. We are fine with reiterating what should be fairly obvious...but it's disappointing that the answers could have been easily surmised by an overview of our other writing, to which links were provided in the post in question]

In one of your paragraphs you write: "Religious belief is a myriad of unanswered questions. The people who follow religion don’t like to be asked many of those questions; perhaps because it’s not comfortable to have to face the  realization you don’t have the answers or have someone threaten your ideals, and some people don’t like to think about those things."
--> I wanted to comment that I understand religion is not something that can be read and understood like a one-page essay or a short email.  Not only that but religion is primarily a faith-based walk in life.  My own background I was raised in a non-denominational Church of Christ, though recently I re-evaluated my own belief system through research and analysis and actually concur with the Baptist doctrine.  I read from your blog that you were raised Baptist.  I'm not here to judge you or anything of the sort.  Just inquire because I admire your writing skill and I don't expect us to be in total agreement with each other.  So back to your paragraph that I wrote above, did you try to search out answers to your questions and if so, did you get any answers or were you given nothing? Is there any lingering questions you have that maybe I can answer? I myself love questions about anything because it gives me a chance for people to interact with me and for me to share.  People matter.  You matter.  Which is why I want to know more about you.
I feel that the entry written, of which these questions are based, in addition to the responses to the previous questions, states very basic questions that the were asked, of which many people of religious faith do not have answers to. We understand that the mere description of faith is having confidence, allegiance, loyalty and trust in something, or someone...perhaps our lack of faith is based in our discomfort of being blindly confident in something very ill defined.

We hope someone made it to the end of this. *yawn*

When we had James read it over, before publishing, he had come to the same conclusion we had; the person asking the questions obviously had not bothered seeking answers in the blog himself, and that these questions were a thinly veiled attempt at preaching.

Our opinion? If there WERE answers to any of our questions on religion, The Pastor (that we were under for our missions work, in that he was the pastor of our most recent church), who reads this blog, would have tried to answer them for us by now. Of course, we could be wrong. Meanwhile, our former pastor is the only man we'd ever let preach to us anyway.

Blah blah blah

We're going to probably have Christmas shopping to do, or present wrapping...or baking...4 days left you know. know how we like to make you people laugh...

~Frank (& some et al)


  1. I've just finished reading this post and I was wondering whether the excerpts of the email you shared with us comprise the entire content of the email? Because, based on these excerpts, it seems as though the sender was trying to question why you should turn away from faith, rather than trying to show you why you should have faith in the first place. Was it only questions about your previous post on religion?

    If the email was only questioning why you should lack faith, then I don't think it was a very strong counterpoint (as you said, the intent was thinly veiled). If one is to convince another of his faith, it is up to this person to show why one SHOULD believe. It's not up to the other person to come up with reasons why one shouldn't.

    Now, regarding the Atheist-Theist debate more largely, my last point is one of contention. Atheism (in its most common definition- that there is absolutely no God)is a faith since there is no more proof that there is no God, than that there is one.

    Personally, I'm an atheist. I mean this strictly in its original sense: anti-theist. I don't claim to have proof that there is absolutely, for certain, no God (this is not agnosticism - I'm not saying "I don't know," I'm saying I see no reason to raise the question since there is nothing to imply its possibility in the first place (some might argue with that last point, but it's the conclusion I've come to)). I have strong faith in logic, and so I need hard found evidence before believing in something. Considering this, for people like me (who have no faith at all) those with a faith hold the responsibility of convincing us of their beliefs. It's not, as aforementioned, our responsibility to disprove them.

    I find most people who attempt to convert others don't realise this, and this is probably one of the reasons outsiders are so ignorant about different faiths. The preachers are all about the what, never the why. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that those who attempt to convert need to defend the foundation of their religion, not attack others for having no good reason not to believe.

    This doesn't relate much to the questions asked in the email, but I felt it was relevant to the fact that the email was sent in the first place. I realise that some might disagree with what I've said here, and I'm open to their opinions, but this is my two cents on religion for the day. Sorry for the lengthiness of this comment but being clear and thorough are important aspects of defending a point.

  2. The e-mail, sadly, was copied and pasted, and unaltered in any way, from the original.

    We try to never alter original questions/correspondence, where we do we'd specify.

    Thank you for reading. Our response was to the questions were difficult because, as you noticed, the preaching was thinly veiled, and from someone who obviously did not care about why we choose to think the way we do (by not looking into the matter), for if they had they would have understood, on some level.

    Again, thank response is ever too long, we love comments here, whenever we get them, in any form.