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An Open Letter to the People Who God Bless Me

April 9, 2012

Dear People who God Bless Me,

Ok, yesterday was Easter Sunday – the holiest day on the Christian calendar – more holy than Christmas, even.  Every person is born, but no one ever dies and resurrects. I’ll say that is worthy of a holiday. So I let your blessings and praises slide yesterday, but now going forward can’t we just have our dialogues without you trying to get me to believe what you believe?

I’m cool with Jesus. I respect the lessons he taught. But the disconnect, for me, comes with embracing the whole philosophy in its entirety – a philosophy crafted after his lifetime; requiring the ability to suspend the logical and to faithfully accept that, that suspension of logic will ensure help in every situation, ensure the resolution of unresolvable absolutes and ensure a glorious afterlife reunited with loved ones who have passed on, in a land of milk and honey.

It all sounds delightful but my mind doesn’t wrap completely around those concepts. But the minds of you and most of the people I have to interact with do.  And you are eager to remind me of it every chance you get. There are even the times when you really don’t have a chance to remind me, but you sneak one in anyway.

On the extreme, you text message and email scriptures to me about the power of Jesus and how some challenge I am facing will be overcome and how God is going to bless me. On the subtle, upon parting, you will command me to have a blessed day. On the abstract, one lady recently told me, “Well, we’re just gonna lift that up.” after I explained to her about a particular problem I was facing – a problem that she could have prevented, by making a phone call.

Huh? What? Lift it up? Where?  When all she had to do was simply lift up the telephone and eliminate my problem with one little call – but she chose not to do that. She wanted to lift it up, to Jesus, I suppose.  I wanted to lift up my fist to her nose, but I just took a breath instead.

Things like that used to get a much different reaction from me, but now I just breathe them in as your well-wishing way of showing concern for me, without having to invest any of your personal effort  in that concern.  To look at it any other way would be to admit that you are not concerned for me at all and only concerned with propelling your Christian belief system, in its entirety, onto my belief system; especially when I have made it clear to you that I am not a Christian, by the criteria deemed necessary for claiming such a title.

I have not confessed that someone is my personal savior and I do not believe someone died for my sins. How is that even possible? If you have and do, fine; but when you assume that I have and do, even after I have told you that is not the case it’s like feeding a vegan a vegetable soup you made with chicken stock or sending a Jew a Christmas card – it’s just plain inappropriate.

You may have noticed that I can have a conversation, or a visit with you without a mention of my faith or lack thereof, in your opinion, but you cannot.  You are certain, confident and comfortable that the mention of your faith to me is okeydokey, at any time and in any situation. I used to be like that. It was during the time I was a member of a cult (see last 20 posts)!

I was raised in a Christian family. I know full well what the ideology is, but very early on I began to think too much. And most of what I thought about did not connect the dots for me.

I couldn’t have been older than 5 when I just had to tell someone, so I told my Grandmother.  I knew then that what I would tell her would be so shocking; at 5 years old I felt the need to whisper it in her ear, rather than just say it outright.

“Granny, I wanna tell you something.”

“What is, baby?”

“Come here, I wanna whisper it in your ear.”

“Oh child, please. I’m busy what is it?” she said as she bent her ear down toward my lips.

“I don’t believe in God.” I whispered with my small hands cupped around her ear.

Granny jumped back and scolded, “Don’t you ever say that! No wonder you wanted to whisper that! Don’t ever say that!”

And that was it. No questions as to why. No comfort for my sense that my disbelief was not okay – Just an angry admonition to never utter such words again. Guess I’ve been a rogue rougebuddha since about the age of 5. So I did as I was told. I never said it again. I assumed I was wrong. I assumed all of you were right and I tried to believe as all of you believe. Behavior can be mandated. Belief cannot.

So, I’m saying it outright, now to all the people who God bless me, and tell me to have a blessed day, and tell me that Jesus is going to make a way and tell me they are blessed when I ask them how they are;  expecting to hear, fine thank you, how are you? – You know everyone doesn’t think what you think or believe what you believe. And that’s not a bad thing. Deal with it.

What if you asked me how I was doing and instead of saying, fine thank you how are you, I sat crossed legged under the nearest tree, held up a lotus flower and never said a word?  You would think that I was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Wouldn’t you?  And when you say that Chester was shot 13 times, is breathing on a respirator and the bullet lodged in his shoulder will kill him if they remove it – but God is good; that causes me to think that you my friend, are not the sharpest knife in the drawer either.

But to be Christian is the accepted thing to be, being anything else is something that you well-wishers feel you need to fix, because I must be too lost to know that I need fixing. I have been lost, but now I’m found.

I don’t need fixing. So when you tell me God is good and my reply is: that’s what people say; that’s the best I can do. Please stop coaxing me to agree or to say it back. It’s not my story. When you text me a jpeg of drops of blood with some prose about what those droplets are going to do for me and I don’t reply, it’s because it’s not my story, and I find pictures of blood a little creepy. Sometimes I even wince at the sight of my own “lady time” – Yuck! Please don’t send me pictures of a man bleeding.

Really, I’m okay. I don’t need fixing. In fact I even have a little novelty book full of colorful illustrations and sassy little sayings that I’d like to send to you. My favorite page is the one that has a sweet faced girl wearing a choir robe looking to the heavens and the caption is: I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time. Okay, maybe I need a little fixing – but not the kind you think.

Somewhere between what is right and what is wrong there is a field – I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi              

 

Most respectfully yours,

Rougebuddha

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