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The death of a dear agnostic father and a atheist mother


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 5:20:06 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"But you have to admit, that gaining eternal life is pretty cool compared to watching everyone die around you and becoming worm food."

And if that concept is what brings you happiness, your life is most definitely lacking in compassion and, I would believe, joy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 5:21:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 5:24:24 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
I am so sorry for your losses, S. Our friends do offer us a cushion when we fall and I am glad to hear that yours were there for you.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 5:26:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 5:27:00 AM PDT
I love this song, and it fits into what S. Schoby and MaryAnn H. are discussing.
Friends have helped me through some hideous times.

Friends Will Be Friends

edit for spelling

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 6:11:20 AM PDT
S. Schoby says:
thank you good friends are good to have

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 6:33:48 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
Great song, moongirl - thanks. I have a lot of Queen but don't think I have that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 6:43:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 6:54:11 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
S. Schoby says:

"In less then one year I lost a love in my life and 2 bothers. It took me almost 5 years to recover. I never needed a religion but i did find friends."

I say:

In less than one year, I lost my mother and my son. You say that it took you five years to "recover" from your losses. I don't know what that means. I don't think I'll ever completely "get over" losing my mother or my son. While I was going through it, I did feel as though I was going completely crazy at times, and even though I'm not as bothered by nightmares and periods of profound depression, not a day goes by when I don't think about my mother and the son that I lost. A lot of times, I'll still hear the phone ring and for just a second I'll think that it's my mother calling me. My son was only a baby when he died and, sometimes, when I have an opportunity to hold a baby, it does become emotional for me.

These losses, by the way happened about ten years ago, and sometimes it all feels as though it happened yesterday.

I've tried therapy and I've tried medication and I have friends. As far as I'm concerned therapy does nothing. I got very little out of it. Medication can help, and I think that for a while I really needed it, just to be able to get myself back and forth to work everyday without falling apart. Friends are nice to have, but I feel as though you can't always bother your friends with the stuff that you're going through.

I'm lucky to have a pretty good wife who has gone through all this stuff with me. We raised five children together and lost one together. We cried together. We argued together. We made up together...and we stayed together even though we are two very different kinds of people who don't have a lot of things in common. My wife's a go-getter, a remarkable saleswoman, who could sell ice cubes to Eskimos. I'm a nine-to-fiver, who'd rather allow other people at work to get the promotions, so that I could have more time to take walks, go to baseball games, visit art museums, or listen to classical music.

Maybe it's type A and type B, or maybe some people just have a higher energy level, or different dispositions.

I wouldn't call my wife an atheist; sort of an agnostic I guess. She likes church for the singing and the people you meet there, but she doesn't seem so concerned about the particulars of Christianity. She couldn't be less interested in a forum like this, for example...it just wouldn't seem relevant to anything that's important to her. Indeed, she often says that talking about religion and politics is bad for business.

Even so, I guess to quote Rod Stewart, I would call my wife my "lover" and "best friend", and she does seem to understand that religion and Christianity are essential to my well-being.

"Schoby" says that he (or she) got through all these losses without religion and through the help of friends. Maybe my wife is the type who gets through things by working a lot and that gives her a sense of importance and accomplishment. I feel as though, some of us, including me, are in need of religion and Christianity, in that we need to understand the love of God, the love of Christ, and we must constantly look to Christian narratives for comfort and inspiration.

Maybe I'm one of the weak ones.

I just think that it's interesting how different people handle things. I guess that's what makes life and friendships interesting, not that we are the same but different from one another.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 7:03:46 AM PDT
S. Schoby says:
recovery means to me a return to a life, of course we hold on to the memories, but we also need to continue the life we have left.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 7:27:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 7:37:03 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
@Schoby:

I still don't get it and maybe it's my fault for being so dense. When I lost my mother and my son in less than one year from one another, I don't recall having an opportunity be apart from life. I still had a family to support and other kids to raise. I still had to get up and drag myself back and forth to work. I still had to make myself available to my other children and attend to the things that they were going through.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 8:01:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 9:26:18 AM PDT
J. Russell says:
SK: Seriously, this makes no sense. You're describing someone who really isn't happy but is lying about it to others.
spl: Hmmm, I think you've just described how a Christian would define an atheist. ;)

My Response:
Seriously? One can not possably know happiness unless they share your religious beliefs? Anybody who does not acknowledge that is a lier? Come on you can't be serious.
If you honestly believe that, all you are doing is projecting your own feelings on other people.
IMHO it is the search for happiness that is one of the main sources of unhappyness. The real truth is that happiness comes once people relax and accept what is. The real truth is you can not possably know the ups in ones life unless you also experence the downs and both are transitory. The fact that they are transitory is what gives them meaning.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 12:33:10 PM PDT
AxeGrrl says:
Joe Anthony wrote: "Friends are nice to have, but I feel as though you can't always bother your friends with the stuff that you're going through."
~~~~

In my opinion, real friends wouldn't consider you sharing the stuff-you're-going-through as a 'bother'. That's part of what _makes_ them a good friend :)

(and to clarify, my remark isn't about your friends in particular, Joe, just making a general comment)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 1:00:19 PM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
Joe, your loss was pure anguish. There is no time limit on grief, or loss or mourning. You will get through each day and at some point the days will be easier to manage. There will be days when the pain is not quite so intense or the tears don't come quite so quickly. There will be the days when the sweet memories become more prevalent than the pain of loss. That is recovery.

I am glad that you do find comfort in your faith. We are all so very different and our needs are very different.

As AxeGrrl stated, your real friends would be hurt to think that they could have helped you and didn't know they were needed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 9:13:33 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 9:17:21 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 10:06:57 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
I prefer reality to delusion, Steve. Makes me happy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 10:19:22 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
I doubt whether any two people experience the loss of our loved ones in quite the same way. Each of us has to "hoe our own row" as it were. I've also been there with my parents, and in the past couple of years have had to help my husband deal with the loss of several long-time friends who died within a matter of a couple of weeks of one another. We're now on tenterhooks with another close friend of his who has been going through a roller coaster with heart failure and associated organ failures. Each time he emerges for another few months, but weaker than before. We check our email daily for bulletins from his wife. How she keeps it together is beyond me. I think she is the strongest person, emotionally, that I have ever met. No matter how bad it gets, she gathers their friends around her and her husband whenever he is home and strong enough for company. Right now he's in the same cardiac unit that Bill Clinton was in.

Joe and S. Schoby, you've each found your way to deal with the emotional blows, and I am so glad you both found the support you needed. Whether friends, family, or God, or some combination, what's important is to keep reaching out and accepting the comfort and support others have to offer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 10:21:18 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
I think you and Schoby are saying the same thing, Joe. Sometimes it is the quotidian experiences that gets us through because we, well, we HAVE to for the sake of others, if not ourselves.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 10:24:03 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
JR: IMHO it is the search for happiness that is one of the main sources of unhappyness. The real truth is that happiness comes once people relax and accept what is. The real truth is you can not possably know the ups in ones life unless you also experence the downs and both are transitory. The fact that they are transitory is what gives them meaning.

SK: well put, JR. Happiness is a state of accepting what is. It is not something that can be "achieved".

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 1:49:49 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 1:54:07 PM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"S. Kessler says:
I prefer reality to delusion, Steve. Makes me happy.

spl: Well, hang on to that while you can."

Me: That's just it, Steve, she can hang on to it forever. That would be her life span. The only forever she will ever know in a reality that makes her happy. Sounds lovely to me ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 5:40:25 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 7:41:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 17, 2012 7:41:28 PM PDT
ToonForever says:
I just don't remember Jesus being so smug, arrogant, and priggish. If god were real, and he was in you, and you were his walking example - well, no thanks. You may want to take some time to yourself and ask if you're really representing the religion you claim the way you should. I'll tell you right now, you're not - not even close. From the arrogant way you prance about in some twisted notion of superiority, one would think joining your religion would turn one into a jerk.

If you really had the holy spirit within you guiding you, you'd probably be a little more of an adult. Think on that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 8:44:52 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 8:45:48 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
Thanks, MaryAnn!

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 8:03:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2012 12:44:12 PM PDT
StevePL's entire argument comes down to this... "at the end of your life you will either go to heaven, or hell, take your pick." Of course, according to SPL, the only correct selection out of literally thousands of choices is Protestant Christianity. He wants us to believe that the vast majority of humans have been - and are continually being - delivered to the torments of hell by a supposedly loving diety. Amazingly, he has stated that his own father was an atheist and, thus, would also be sentenced to eternal torture under his dark, violent theology. I can't imagine thinking that was the case for those who we love so dearly, let alone billions of unknown innocents.

My own experience with the recent deaths of my own non-believing parents was gentle and calm - we simply accept death as a natural occurrence of all living things. My parents, and the majority of our family feel that good lives are like fine narratives - they need to have a beginning, followed by pages filled with triumphs, failures and surprises and concluding with a definitive ending. Imagine a story that never ends? Imagine a story that ,based on one cryptic decision among many thousands to choose from, the central character either continues on in some kind of eternal bliss (and for what purpose?) OR your narrative ends with the lead character in the same situation as the vast majority... in endless pain and suffering. These would be unreasonable stories - unreadable, bleak and nonsensical - just like StevePL's theology.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 1:00:13 PM PDT
J. Russell says:
spl: If God is real. If God really is in a Christian's life, and communicates with Him, and you get to spend eternal life with this being that is perfect in love, what could be better?

My Response:
I can't imagine a more frightening story than that of the Bible's heaven.
It is like being assimulated in a Borg collective.
When people first meets the Borg they are asked to "Lower your shields." This is similar to religion demanding to submit to faith and lower the shields of skepticism.
The Borg commands that "Your culture shall adapt to service ours. Resistance is futile...... Your defensive capabilities are unable to withstand us. Your life, as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us. You must comply."

In the Bible, God demands obedience and if you do not comply, your life will end.
The 'assimilated' (the saved) beings in the Borg do not die, nor do they feel pain or sorrow. They are, in effect, zombies who fully accept their condition. The inhabitants of heaven, also do not feel pain or sorrow (Rev. 21:4).

In explaining the purpose within the collective, the Borg Queen replies to Lt. Commander Data:

"I am the beginning. The end. The one who is many. I am the Borg... I am the Collective. I bring order to chaos."

Note how similar this is to Jesus in Revelation 21:6:

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

If anyone thinks the heaven of the Bible is a peaceful and pleasant place filled with beautiful beings, think again:

"And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, WHICH WAS, AND IS , AND IS TO COME."

-Revelation 4: 6-8

What a frightening vision! Beasts like animals full of eyes hardly imparts a comforting image of heaven. And imagine having to put up with the constant day-and-night howling of HOLY, HOLY...What a vain god.

Anyone who works for a corporation knows the uncomfortable feeling when the boss looks over your shoulder. Now imagine that when you die, you'll be watched by the biggest Boss in the universe, EVERY NANOSECOND OF ETERNITY! Kiss your cherished secrets goodbye. There's no such thing as privacy in heaven.

In spite of the claimed perfection of heaven, the "perfection" also includes the ability to make war:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

-Rev. 19:11

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

-Rev. 19:14

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels

-Rev. 12:14

The Borg is also described as a warring system that can destroy worlds. I don't know about you, but a heaven that can include war and armies is not my description of a peaceful place. And remember, every minute you have to put up with the HOLY-HOLY chants. Instead of the glory of heaven, the Bible more accurately describes a "gory heaven."
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Initial post:  Jan 13, 2012
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