Evolution, Creationism and the Damnation of My Soul

Evolution, simplified.

One of the defining moments of my life was when I first read about the theory of evolution. Having attended a fundamentalist Christian school all my life, I had only heard about Creationism. Evolution was mentioned in class, but only in a ridiculing manner. My teachers scoffed at the notion that we were “descended from apes” and other lesser creatures. Man, according to Scripture, was a special and blessed creation, given dominion over the earth and all that inhabited it.

Being a natural skeptic and a voracious reader, I stumbled upon Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species when I was a teen and was enchanted by the elegance of his theories. I failed to see how evolution necessarily disproved the existence of God. In my mind, I thought that it was impossible to know the method by which we were created. I found it laughable that God created all of the universe in seven earth days. I knew that time was relative, there’s no controversy about that. How would a supernatural and omniscient being be bound by ordinary time and space, when He is above and beyond it? My fellow Christians were rabidly opposed to the theories, however. There seemed to be no way to reconcile belief in both evolution and a Creator. It was very clear that if I chose to believe in the process of evolution over many millenia, I was denying the literal Word of God, the Bible. I dared not voice my questions in school or in church. I kept secret my surreptitious studies. In my little world of religious indoctrination, I was a heretic. Like a baby Salem Witch, I hid my evil thoughts from my peers and my teachers. My inability to question led to the death of my faith in God.

Maybe it wasn’t fair to God to stop believing in him. After all, it was his self-professed disciples who forbade the use of my own mind and intellect. These same people who told me my mother would go to hell for being a non-believer would say in the same breath, “but our God is a merciful God.” No, he isn’t. Your God is an angry, vengeful, jealous God bound by space-time. Contrary to what a truly all-powerful being should be capable of, this God is an unimaginative God who says stuff like “let there be light,” and plays games with forbidden fruit. He creates the curious and inquisitive humans, but forbids them to use their innate (god-given?) intellect.

How do we reconcile our Christian roots with the cruelty we inflict on others, and the callousness we exhibit for those not like ourselves? How can we profess to love God and yet treat his creation like our dumpster, destroying the creatures and the environment that we should be preserving for our children? The words we espouse are not always reflected by our actions. Similar to the God of the Old Testament who says he loves us, yet incinerates two cities for wickedness and destroys nearly everyone in a flood, the human race reflects this angry God bent on vengeance. If a parent chose to treat his children this way, he would be judged a monster. If the God of the Bible is the literal God of creation, he is a psychotic egomaniac. God didn’t create us in His image…we created a God in our own image. Could it be that we have led ourselves astray?

http://www.sciencephoto.com

As a very young girl I took to heart the Ten Commandments, and internalized a code of behavior that still guides me to this day. I abhor dishonesty and cruelty. I feel compelled to help others, to honor my family and my marriage vows. The Golden Rule and the words of Jesus still inspire and uplift me. My code of behavior, however, is what led me to denounce my faith in what most people call Christianity. I cannot ignore my intellect and my understanding of scientific principles. I didn’t want to stop believing in what I was told. I simply COULD NOT believe the literal words of the Bible. Lying to myself was not and never could be an option, BECAUSE of the Christian values instilled in me since I was a very young girl.

I mourned the loss of my faith for many years. Even more, I mourned the relationships that I lost by leaving behind the superstitions of my childhood. To this day, I don’t discuss my beliefs with many people. Contrary to what they say about the “War on Christians,” we atheists and agnostics endure a very special and insidious type of scorn. We are both condemned to suffer an eternity and hated for the threat of “godlessness” that haunts the believer. To label oneself as a nonbeliever is to invite condemnation and ostracism. Already a half-breed in a sea of white faces, I don’t like to advertise further proof of my “otherness.”

Still, when I am feeling confrontational, I debate with the biblical literalist. I have an edge, because unlike most other Christians, I have read the Bible in its entirety and studied it for most of my life. I feel perverse delight in quoting scripture to prove my points. The Old Testament is ripe with quotable quotes to baffle and inflame. Conservative politics of late has been so contrary to the teachings of Jesus that I frequently quote him to refute the selfish objectivist philosophy that seems to have usurped his teachings. It is invariably a pointless endeavor, but I enjoy sometimes placing the holier than thou in the uncomfortable position of cognitive dissonance that makes them squirm and lash out in anger and frustration. I was there, once upon a time, trapped between the limited definitions of piety and the limitless potential of the mind and imagination. I seek to shock them, wake them, open their eyes to true divinity.

Orion Nebula
Space.com

All of the universe is a wondrous window to true beauty and immortality. We need not limit ourselves to the simplified stories told to an ancient people who could not fathom infinity. From the stars we were born, and from the vastness of the cosmos we found ourselves here on a verdant globe. It is indeed a miracle for which we should be thankful. I know I won’t reach the heaven about which I was taught. I don’t wish to go there, surrounded by the people who would shun me for using the mind I was born with. Instead, I will return to that from which I was born: the earth, the universe, the infinite.

Joe Biden: “I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you.”

Heyyyyy, Mr. President;)

John Oliver Interviews Herman Cain

John Oliver was a genius in his interview of Herman Cain, if a bit mean. Cain has a pretty good sense of humor, I miss watching him in the debates. Hilarious.

Veteran Denied the Right To Vote

Voter ID laws are suppressing the vote. Not good.

6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying | Cracked.com

All of a sudden, it’s like you can’t make huge amounts of money without people getting all pissed off about it. And it’s only going to get worse — with the election coming up and the weather getting warmer, this whole “Occupy” movement is probably going to come back strong. The 1 percent will feel even more besieged than before.

“What the hell?” you’re probably thinking, if you’re somehow both rich and reading an article with this title, “I didn’t crash the economy!” You might even be tempted to take to a microphone, to defend yourself and your wealthy friends. But before you do, I want you to stop and ask yourself, “Will this make me sound like an out-of-touch douchebag?”

#6. “Well, $500,000 a Year Might Sound Like a Lot, but I’m Hardly Rich.”

“The amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 … and so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over …”

— Congressman John Fleming

via 6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying | Cracked.com.

Funny stuff…

Sugar Daddies, New York Magazine

If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.” It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that. Imagine the cash that will flow now that the GOP sideshows are over and the president is firmly in Simmons’s crosshairs.

via Sugar Daddies.

This will be the first presidential election since the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court declared that corporations are people. Corporations, which have had undue influence on politics even without this landmark case, will now have even more. Don’t care for negative ads and character assassination? Might as well cancel your cable and shut off the computer. There will be a relentless onslaught of propaganda and misinformation bombarding the airwaves and the Internets. 

Voter ID laws have been passed in several states, which will serve to disenfranchise the poor, minorities, and the elderly. Redistricting has also served to further undermine the democratic process. Social issues regarding gay rights, abortion, and women’s health are also causing voters to vote against their own economic interests. Add in the potent gun lobby and it’s easy to see that there’s going to be a very ugly battle ahead. 


Excerpts from George Zimmerman’s apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents, prosecutor’s questions – The Washington Post

Zimmerman: I wanted to say I am very sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not.

via Excerpts from George Zimmerman’s apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents, prosecutor’s questions – The Washington Post.

George Zimmerman was allowed to speak in court today during his bond hearing, which was granted. He addressed the parent of the slain 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He expressed his apologies for shooting their son, stating that he didn’t know the age of Martin, and thought him “a little bit younger than I am.” I think we can call that a lie, based on his own words. Please listen to the audio of his call to 911 around the 1:15 mark:

Prosecutors were blindsided by other irregularities during the bond hearing. Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. also allowed the defense to pepper an investigator, Dale Gilbreath, with questions for which he was not prepared. “I didn’t know we’d be trying the case,” said prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda during the proceedings. With the photo of Zimmerman’s head injury released, his statements in court to the family allowed, and his bond set at only $150,000, Zimmerman’s defense team has scored a win for their client today. The prosecution will need to be on their toes and ready for anything in this case, or Zimmerman will walk.

Michelle Bachmann: ” This is just about WAIVING A TAR BABY IN THE AIR ” – Democratic Underground

“….This is just about waiving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem. I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem…..”

via Michelle Bachmann: ” This is just about WAIVING A TAR BABY IN THE AIR ” – Democratic Underground.

Talking pineapple question on state exam stumps … everyone!   – NY Daily News

Actual test question on a standardized state reading exam for eighth graders. The real question we need to ask ourselves is, “is our children learning?” 

The Pineapple and the Hare …

In the olden times, animals could speak English, just like you and me. There was a lovely enchanted forest that flourished with a bunch of these magical animals. One day, a hare was relaxing by a tree. All of a sudden, he noticed a pineapple sitting near him.

The hare, being magical and all, told the pineapple, “Um, hi.” The pineapple could speak English too.

“I challenge you to a race! Whoever makes it across the forest and back first wins a ninja! And a lifetime’s supply of toothpaste!” The hare looked at the pineapple strangely, but agreed to the race.

The next day, the competition was coming into play. All the animals in the forest (but not the pineapples, for pineapples are immobile) arranged a finish/start line in between two trees. The coyote placed the pineapple in front of the starting line, and the hare was on his way.

Everyone on the sidelines was bustling about and chatting about the obvious prediction that the hare was going to claim the victory (and the ninja and the toothpaste). Suddenly, the crow had a revolutionary realization.

“AAAAIEEH! Friends! I have an idea to share! The pineapple has not challenged our good companion, the hare, to just a simple race! Surely the pineapple must know that he CANNOT MOVE! He obviously has a trick up his sleeve!” exclaimed the crow.

The moose spoke up.

“Pineapples don’t have sleeves.”

“You fool! You know what I mean! I think that the pineapple knows we’re cheering for the hare, so he is planning to pull a trick on us, so we look foolish when he wins! Let’s sink the pineapple’s intentions, and let’s cheer for the stupid fruit!” the crow passionately proclaimed. The other animals cheered, and started chanting, “FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN!”

A few minutes later, the hare arrived. He got into place next to the pineapple, who sat there contently. The monkey blew the tree-bark whistle, and the race began! The hare took off, sprinting through the forest, and the pineapple …

It sat there.

The animals glanced at each other blankly, and then started to realize how dumb they were. The pineapple did not have a trick up its sleeve. It wanted an honest race — but it knew it couldn’t walk (let alone run)!

About a few hours later, the hare came into sight again. It flew right across the finish line, still as fast as it was when it first took off. The hare had won, but the pineapple still sat at his starting point, and had not even budged.

The animals ate the pineapple.

Here are two of the questions:

1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?

a. they were annoyed

b. they were amused

c. they were hungry

d. they wanted to

2. Who was the wisest?

a. the hare

b. moose

c. crow

d. owl

via Talking pineapple question on state exam stumps … everyone!   – NY Daily News.