Tuesday, April 29, 2014


This is one of my favorite comics I have ever come across. It is profound and thought provoking. I love how it goes into the point of why ask questions when someone out there already has the answer. With reading the comic again recently and having my friend ask this on Facebook, "If you could ask an agnostic, atheist, or person of another faith a couple of questions, what would they be? This can be a touchy subject so I ask that we all remain respectful of others' outlooks. That doesn't mean you can't ask hard questions as long as they're fair (I'd prefer hard questions as they make people think outside the box)," it got me thinking about this subject. He was looking for what kind of questions people of faith have for the the non-believing.

Why ask questions? What is the point? I think the biggest point of questions is learn from others.

From what I have experienced from those that are still faithful they can't grasp why I left. It seems dumb. They feel I have made a huge mistake in my life and I will regret it for eternity when I meet God, but I think questions can give those answers, on both sides, when we are willing to listen and see through another persons eyes.

I can see where religion can be good for someone, which is also summed up in another comic. If something makes you happy who am I to judge? I just wish it worked the other way around. I know a lot of religious folk who can see I'm happy and let me be, but in my experiences there are a lot more that try to convince otherwise. I think they are looking at all the answers instead of seeing my questions.

A few weeks ago some coworkers asked me, "are you happy since you left the faith?" I answered, without hesitation with a, "yes, I have found more happiness outside the confines of the religion I grew up in than within." They ask me how is it that I can't believe in god. I told them, "that is a bit much to answer in just a 15 minute break, but really what is the true difference between God and the love of my fiancee? The colors of nature? The feeling of an amazing Sunday afternoon nap? With almost everything about the world we have in the bible, science has proven that obsolete. There are still those unanswered questions, but if we keep looking to the bible we won't progress. Science keeps looking, science keeps searching; because without questions what is the point? The Bible teaches us to stop asking questions and to me that is absurd."

Keep asking those questions. Even if they're the hard questions. You may never know what you may learn when you don't really have the answers.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Assholes and Atheists

This blog has been floating around in my head for about 4 months. I couldn't quite figure out how to put it in words and then yesterday I heard a story about a friend from my fiancee and I had to get this one out today. I know it is going to upset some people and get praise from others. If you are part of the offended group you can kindly move on and disregard this post. I will not argue. As most of my blogs take shape it came to me at work while driving my forklift for roughly 9 hours...

Let me start a second time by saying I am tired of the self-righteous atheists. They act as if they are better than someone because they don't believe in some form of a deity or they don't belong to religion. Too many times have I heard people say, "you're stupid to believe in that, I'm smarter because I don't," and it's not always just about religion.

Just because you have moved on from religion does not give you the right to act as if people who still believe are beneath you. When you act this way you are acting similarly to the extreme religious. 

The problem I have with this is these are the atheists you see the most. The ones that have to rub it in your face that they are better. I used to frequent an atheist group here in the Utah and I stopped going because the group was filled with this type of atheist. On one occasion I took my fiancee to one of their parties and this is when it really became clear to me how judgmental and mean they were. She, being agnostic, was attacked. She was told she should just be an atheist, that she'll never find proof, and if she holds on to hope that there might be a god she was dumb.

There are always those who are more extreme than just that. My friend just went to Comic Con last weekend. Within the group that went was one of those atheists. My friend wanted to go to the demonology part. You know to see the sci-fi world about demons, angels, and most importantly to him, the Buffy stuff. The Atheist then proceeded to tell him there was no point in seeing that because it's not real and that it's stupid. What the f*** is Comic Con for if you can't see shit that is make believe? Better not go to Comic Con at all if that is your prerogative on life. You better stop enjoying yourself entirely, because guess what? Almost all entertainment comes from someone's IMAGINATION.

Why is that me, as an atheist, cannot enjoy things that have a context of something that is religious based? Can I still not enjoy the collision of notes in Handel's Messiah because it is about Jesus? Where is it forbidden that an atheist enjoy the works of art in St Peter's Basilica? I had a friend tell me that it was a waste of time to read C.S. Lewis because he wrote with Christian undertones, so I better not go to the movies either.

What a sad life. I feel that we all can find enrichment in anything that stimulates our minds, our senses, and our intellect. Whether that come from Richard Dawkins, John Stuart Mill, Buddha, or C.S. Lewis is does not matter. If we grow from anything and are inspired to do better it does not matter where that comes from. We all have different walks of life. We all have different needs that cannot be taken care of in the same way. When we look at each other and try to learn from each other that is when we become enlightened.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Religious Freedom?

This last weekend was General Conference for the Mormon faith. Every 6 months the prophet, apostles, and other major leaders in the faith speak directly to the members of the 15 million member religion. While I don't care what they believe in, because they have that right, I get upset that they try to control politically what they can.

They act as if anyone saying what they say is wrong is taking away their religious freedom, but is that what is really happening?

Let's start out by looking at the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

No one is telling them how and what they can worship. No one is going into their church houses and temples and taking them over, but living here in Utah you would think they are doing that to anyone that does not believe as they do.

Again they came out against SSM, big surprise there. Was anyone shocked? Even a little? While at the same time they claim they are not persuading the congress here to do as they say, but only as they see fit for the people in the state. While most of the people in the political offices in Utah are Mormon why would they feel the need to do differently than what their leaders tell them? I have rarely seen a Mormon politician vote for something contrary to their religion, even though they are elected to represent ALL citizens.

The leaders of the Mormon/LDS faith fought long and hard in the back rooms over Prop 8 yet claim they had no direct hand in it. They asked members to donate money and volunteer all they could to make sure the side they wanted to win won. Now if that is not an indication of anything why would they not be doing the same thing for what is happening in Utah now? Even though the public is split 50/50 for legalizing SSM.

Not only are they fighting SSM, but they also fought to make sure our liquor laws didn't change here in Utah. Elder D. Todd Christofferson from The Quorum of the 12 Apostles urged law makers to not change the laws. He said what we have now works so why change it? Which when you really look at the numbers he presented were completely skewed and taken out of context. They even made one of those fancy YouTube videos with the white-board drawings.

So why, with a faith that claims agency is the greatest gift of god, which I have written about previously, fights to make sure things go the way they want when their doctrine is the opposite?

Taken directly from their scripture: D&C 134: We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

While their scripture says otherwise they are hiding behind the First Amendment when anyone speaks against them. There were a few sermons given during General Conference that leaders came out and said they are being attacked and the wicked are fighting their religion. Some have even said before their rights are being taken away.

I ask again, what religious rights are being taken away? If you want to be taken seriously people are going to contradict you. It's how the world works. The day your real religious rights are being taken away I will be by your side protesting. So why not live and let live.

You do preach the gospel of agency and love. Being able to be with that one person you love is what it all boils down to, isn't it?