I identified with this post by Randy Walker over at The God Article. It describes the strange place I find myself in whenever the subject of religion comes up. I don’t discount the existence of a “higher power,” but I don’t really think there is one. If there is, I think it doesn’t give a crap about our petty little mortal problems. I still have some mystical, spiritual feelings that there may be “something” more, but my rational self says “nah.”
I am terribly disappointed in the Christians that I used to look up to, who advocate such bullshit as the “Ground Zero Ocean” alongside their professions of Jesus worship. From my understanding of Jesus, he would be delivering a scathing sermon to those pseudo-Christians. American Christianity is wrapped up in militant nationalism and tied with a stars and bars ribbon of patriotism that gags me with its hypocrisy. I have difficulty tolerating ANY religious talk at this point, because it causes a knee-jerk rage borne of the many years of having to listen to this strange brand of nation-worship disguised as the Word of God. Any time someone says they know “God’s Will,” I duck for cover. I still have enough religion in me to think that they may be struck down in their arrogance.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Go read this blog! While you’re there, check out some of the other great posts by Mark Sandlin, such as his excellent and very popular Clobbering Biblical Gay Bashing, which delves into the issue of homosexuality in the Bible. I wish I had attended Sandlin’s church as a kid. I might not be the angry ex-Christian I am today. I had no idea until recently that progressive Christians existed, and in my own home state!
by Randy Walker
We agnostics are misunderstood and often shunned. Type “agnostic” into any search engine, and all kinds of insults and critiques will populate the window. We are called non-committing, afraid of confrontation, spineless, and so on. I encountered one forum that labeled us as lacking certain male reproductive organs. The point I am making here is that because we choose doubt over certainty, we are accused of not taking a stand and choosing the easy way out. I assure you: this is not true.
In fact, accepting the agnostic label means being rejected by both theists and atheists. Some theists lump atheists and agnostics into one category; while most fervent atheists slam us for not fully accepting science as absolute proof that God does not exist. If pleasing others and being accepted is important to someone, then being agnostic is not a good choice. It is a path littered with uncertainty and often-hateful resistance. A good comparison might compare agnostics to middle children. When there are three or more children in a family, and especially when there are only three children, the middle-born child feels overlooked and invalidated. Obviously, this may not always be true, but such feelings are real even if they are distorted perceptions. Being agnostic leaves me feeling overlooked and invalidated, sometimes, because I do not seem to fit-in with theists or atheists.
So, what is agnosticism and how did I “wander onto the agnostic path”? A more complete explanation of my personal journey will follow in later post. This post will provide some history of agnosticism, and how it has benefited mankind.