Thursday, September 27, 2012

Help me out....

Change is inevitable, it happens with us, for us, to us, against us and so on, and on, and on.  I’ve never really minded change, or gave it much thought.  I’ve always had a “roll with it” mentality that has served me well over the years, but nevertheless, the current changes in my life have caused pause, and reflection.

Why do some people resist change so much?  I used to and believe lots of people think it’s just fear, fear due to lack of experience, or fear of losing something the currently have.   I think it might be more than that, a lot more than just fear.  What if it’s mixed with pride?  Fear + Pride, pride in who you are at this moment, pride in the decisions you’ve made, pride in your job, talents, abilities, etc. or Fear + Pride + ignorance + faith?  You work out the combinations, there are bunches.

Lots of change that happens is out of our control, like your favorite boss quitting and going to work somewhere else.  This has recently happened to me, which is probably why this topic is on my mind.  I had an awesome boss, he was good, smart, and honest and told you like it was.  You knew where he stood, and that is rare in the world of covering up, and launching people under the bus to make yourself look good.  The group I work with now has a new manager, and it has been interesting the different adaptations I’ve been witnessing in myself, and my teammates. 

Old Guy is the coolest member in the group and is my Yoda when it comes to remaining calm and going with the flow.  He is ‘Fonzie’ when it comes to adapting to changes.  He is unafraid to jump the shark, and fearless in asking for clarification.  I’m learning a lot from Old Guy.

Then there is Angry Guy.  This struck me as odd, because he wasn’t like that before the manager swap.  He got defensive during meetings where he was asked about his activities, and projects.  He’s bitchy and moody, and complains about the work load.  I don’t understand this one, is it fear of the unknown, is it fear of proving yourself to be the competent one that needs to be in that chair?  I don’t know what the deal is, the new manager is a lot like the old one, and the only difference I can see is she lacks a penis. I personally think that gender is a terrible reason to rate someone.  I hate to think it is because she is a she, but he is in his 50’s, and may have a different perspective on serving under women.  Or is it something else, pride, inflexibility?  I don’t know, maybe you can offer up a reason.

Brings us to New Guy, he started a couple of weeks before our manager left for greener pastures and seems to be ok with it all, but he and I both wonder about Angry Guy.  I have noticed that he has become the group’s peace maker, olive branch provider, between Angry Guy and everyone else.  This may be a trait he had all along, or a response to the changes that have been made, who knows.

Then there is Hidden Guy.  He was always up front, look what I can do type.  Not in a bad way really, just made a point to let you know all the stuff he was doing.  He was just visible, but now he hangs in his cube, comes out for meetings and what not.  Works and calls on others as needed.  I don’t understand this one either.  He doesn’t act depressed or stressed out, when we see him he seems the same as always without the bravado. 

Now I know that all of this is skewed by my perspective on the different situations but still, makes me wonder.  I know in my life I’m going through at least 6 changes, some are super slow, some have been quick, some are constant but it’s funny how each one brings me to different thoughts, different feelings, different conclusions and different questions.  I personally don’t think things happen for a reason, we just find reason in the things that happen and attribute that to someone, or something else.  Like now, as I’m writing this a quote popped into my head, and maybe it’s one of the secrets to adapting…

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” ~ Marcus Aurelius~


Friday, April 20, 2012

God was unhappy, and punishing us

  I know a guy who is a self-professed Christian. He does a lot of things for his church group and gives motivational talks on how to be a better Christian man, husband and father. On the onset I felt he was a “good” person, caring for others, and genuinely wanting them to be better people. It wasn’t until we had a conversation where he said that everything wrong with America was because of Gay’s and Atheist’s that I saw his true colors.

  Wait a minute, I said…. Two, minority groups have screwed up the entire United State of America... how is that exactly? He said it was because God was unhappy, and punishing us.

  Let’s break this down. First off, calling the United States of America, America is egocentric, sense America consists of north and south and a lot of other countries. Next, homosexuals and atheists destroying the United States, I did some research and found two atheists, Pete Stark of California and Ernie Chambers a Nebraskan Senator. As for homosexual, there is Barney Frank, Gerry Studds, Steve Gunderson, Jim Kolbe, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and Mark Foley with a maybe for David Dreier(some are no longer serving but have in the past 20 years) (Members_of_the_111th_US_Congress) So what is the count, 2, which are, 1 federal and 1 state official, who are atheist, and at least 7 homosexuals…. OMG! How can you not see the conspiracy!

  Why does god seems to hate exactly the same people Christians do? Christian’s say they follow Christ, use him as the ultimate guide for who they are supposed to be like, emulate. Christ died for all sins for all time. What sins are Christians willing to die for, certainly not for the sins of unbelief or homosexuality? I don’t think Christian should be a religious title, nobody seems to follow Christ, they should be paulians, or peterians, or matthewmarklukeandjohnians or someofthenewtestamentians.

  The facts are every bill, good law, shady law, discriminatory practice, unfair tax, loophole, guidline, oversight, etc. was passed by a group of Christians, or at the very least, monotheistic religionists that share the same god head, just different messengers. If this country is fucked up, it’s because of Christians; maybe this is what your free will to worship your god leads to, his allowance for you to fuck shit up all by yourselves. Maybe you should stop blaming god for the woes of the United States of America as a form of celestial punishment, and start blaming yourselves, the Christians who put the pin to paper.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Your Words

Today while cruising through my YouTube subscriptions I watched a short video by The Thinking Atheist where he was asking for video responses to some questions for a 2nd
'In Your Words' production. I'm not sure if I will do one or not, but I did find it interesting to answer the questions
he posed.

Why don't you believe in gods?

In 2004 I found myself scrambling to secure the front gate
of FOB Danger in
Tikrit, Iraq. A VBIED (vehicle born
improvised explosive device) had ignited in a mushroom
cloud of fire and smoke with a concussion that sent my
head to ringing. Pieces of debris rained down like hail
during a Midwest storm, with the whirlwind of frantic people
running for cover against the supreme act of faith that was
forced on them. Even now I can still smell the burning of flesh
mixed with ash and twisted metal, and remember the task of
searching for the pieces of the devout agent of god that fell
from the sky. It was then, as I was placing a hand without a
body into a Ziploc bag, I knew I didn't believe in god.

What frustrates you the most about religion?

There isn't just one answer to this question. One is, it
frustrates me that they can't see it's a business, and is
used as such. The
lobbyists from religious organizations
play the same exact games in Washington DC. It frustrates
me when they deny the existence of facts because they don't
like it. It frustrates me, that they can't and won't stay
out of my business because they feel I'm doing it wrong.

What Questions would you challenge the
religious to answer honestly?

I would like them to watch AronRa's YouTube series on
Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism and then answer
their own questions about evolution. I would like them to
answer the questions on GreatBigBore's
On the Box Questions.
I think that would be awesome video response, there are some
really good questions.

Why is life worth living at all?

My wife and son answer that question. Because I no longer have
a reward and punishment future to look forward to, it forces me
to acknowledge that everything is my fault, and not the
will of god, then it is my responsibility to mean what I mean,
and say what I say, right now, in the present. That means I have
to live a good, honest, and productive life now, for my wife
and son, not to mention myself because it is all I have. It's
worth living because I'm alive, and the odds of that need not be
wasted on myth.

One thing that I hate?

I hate that my family and friends, who have left me due to my
disbelief, have chosen the illusion. I hate that my touch, my hugs,
my kisses, my conversations, my laughter, my tears, my life and my
love have been passed over for an imaginary, intangible roll of the
dice, where every roll comes up snake eyes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Who does it hurt?

In a conversation I was having with a good friend of mine and he posed a question, “what does it matter if people want to believe in religious doctrine or faith and who does it hurt?” Now I understand the nature and context of the question, which was a particular mutual friend of ours who is very deep in the Christianity cult, and we discussed personal views of reality, truth, etc. The question is still lingering, who does it hurt? In the context of belief, it doesn’t hurt anyone that is within that circle. But outside that circle, well, that is a much different story, it can devastate.

In the context of my life it hurt lots of people. #1) the first person it hurt was me. I felt betrayed, lied to and manipulated. I went through the pain of releasing my past loved ones to the oblivion of uncertainty instead of the promise of heaven. I am still going through guilt that I've done the same to young people I ministered to. #2) the second person I hurt was my wife, she stood crying not understanding how I went from the statement of faith that guided my life, to one of doubt and regret because of it. (She is still a believer, though her ideas of what that is has change, at least she isn’t religious anymore. ) #3) another is, I hurt my family. I have very religious people in my family and the tradition runs deep so they take it as a failing on their part, a rebelling on me towards their personal savior.

Those are the top three, but there are more, much, much more. But what hit me the hardest was when I was uploading a video of my son’s first haircut; I realized who it hurts the most. It hurts the kids. Innocents are lost in early indoctrination. The churches of the world teach from a very early age who god is, and what man did to hurt god. They learn about Jesus and his death, by their hands. Ever seen ‘Jesus Camp’ ? This is how I grew up, I remember camp being awesome, it wasn’t this extreme, but looking back this is child abuse if it was in any other venue. Do a YouTube search of ‘Westboro Baptist Church’ and see what they are all about. The fact is, they have biblical reasons for doing what they do. See this two part video of ‘Nate Phelps’. There are other examples, and they are all on YouTube if you want to find out more.

Who does it hurt? Who doesn’t it hurt may be an easier question.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Too much wine...

Last night I had a conversation with one of my wife’s bff's husband. He is a good guy, smart and well educated. When we get together we usually talk about father things, grilling, sports, fishing, supporting our kids to explore their environment, if they should play sports or not, education, how to use different ways of positive and negative reinforcement of behavior, etc. He is devoted in going to church and he and his family never miss a Sunday. I usually don’t engage in religious conversations with people who aren’t close friends of mine so that my wife’s relationships aren’t hampered for my atheistic views. But because of too much wine, mixed with a lack of sleep I allowed his religious introjections to be challenged.

Now I could talk about my awesome zingers and attacks on his fallacies of logic. Or I could tell you how I commented on the parts where he contradicted himself, and how there are the same contradictions in the bible. But something hit me, like a ton of bricks, an idea so profound it left me sipping on my wine until my glass was once again an empty container. What was the idea you might be asking yourself? Well it was so simple it is embarrassing, I thought, why, what’s the point of this conversation? Clearly, it wasn’t to gain knowledge, it wasn’t to explore different thoughts and ideas; it wasn’t to engage in different philosophies or gain a deeper path to friendship. So what is the point? Why was I talking about this at all? Why did I give a shit at that moment that my conversational partner was in need of a deity, or a sociological group to hang out with on Sundays, a need to rationalize clear contradictions and/or searching for approval, maybe from me? The short answer is I’m not sure…

I realized I am holding to the resentment of organized religious dogma that consumed my life for so long. My lashing out at him was me lashing out at myself. I gave the same arguments, believed the same things and rationalized a god who had a prosperous plan for my life but was absent from the suffering of millions of fellow humans. I saw myself in him, and it pissed me off.

I’m going to have to work on that…