Sunday, September 05, 2010

I will probably lose what little readership i have left with this post...

Most of you who've been reading my stuff for a while know I was raised Irish~Catholic in Philadelphia and I had a huge falling out with the Church several years ago. You may also have gotten the impression that I'm conservative, and I am, to an extent.

Hear me out.

I do watch Glenn Beck, and agree with him on a lot of things that are really screwed up here in this Country. I don't totally agree with him on a lot of things, I'm not a mindless moron that follows the flow. I'll never be a lemming.

I even watched the "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington DC on C-Span last Saturday and really felt uplifted by his core message, which I feel a lot of the mainstream media was lost on.

That we, as a Nation, has to get back to what the Founding Fathers wanted and fought so hard for.

It's our Unalienable Rights as humans, no mater what our beliefs, that we have these rights, given to us by our Creator not the Government.

The Government doesn't grant me these rights. It comes from a higher power.

To some that higher power is Jesus Christ. To some it's Allah. To some it's Vishnu or Buddha, or Jehovah or the Wind Spirits or Kachinas.

Or like me, it's just plain old Nature. The Universe is my Higher Power.

The "Separation of Church and State" clause in the Constitution means that we shouldn't have a Government Sanctioned religion, like we had under George III in the Church of England. Whereas one couldn't vote, own property or any of that good stuff if you weren't a member of the Church of England.

End of story.

It didn't mean we couldn't have a Nativity Scene on a town square or a Menorah on top of Town Hall...

In spite of my belief, none of that "offends me".

"One Nation, Under God" means to me that "God" is whoever or whatever you want it to be.

It's called "Free Will".

I have a deep respect for others beliefs, even though most times I don't agree with them. While I feel the proposed Mosque near the NYC Ground Zero site is without a doubt distasteful and if in fact they want us to be tolerant of their beliefs, they themselves should be tolerant of most of the country. And most of the country isn't saying they can't have one at all, just find some other place for it. But when push comes to shove, they do have just as much a right to build one there as anyone.

What I truly find distasteful and intolerant is the fact that we have to bend to the minority's will, instead of the other way around, or we're the ones who are intolerant. I know the argument; "Well Tommy, we couldn't build a Church or Synagogue in Mecca, could we?"

No we can't, but this is the United States, not Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Get it? To be morally superior, we can't sink to their level.

But I digress.

Friday I was watching Glenn Becks TV show as I always do and he had on several "Men of God". One was a Rabbi, and I was enjoying his ideas when he said something than made my blood boil.

"Atheists are Parasites"

Those were his exact words. Even after two days I'm still infuriated by that statement. He went on to add that Atheists are leaching from the system all that Religion has brought to society... I was paraphrasing there, but that was the gist of it.

Well here it goes, folks.

I don't believe in God and don't believe in any organized religion.

But does that mean I'm a parasite? I can't be a good and righteous man?

The mere implication that I can't be a True Patriot, A Real American, A moral and honest man unless I wrap myself in the Flag and hold the Bible in a death grip frankly infuriates me.

I've known many, many people throughout my life who professed to be good Christians. Always carried a Bible with them and in their free time would sit and read it. Taught Sunday School. Went to church every Sunday, but were the least likely people I'd trust, not because of their beliefs, but because of their actions. Liars, cheats, swindlers... multiple affairs behind the backs of their spouses... Selfish people who thought only of their own self gratification and would stab you in the back in a heartbeat if it meant something was in it for them. Folks that milk the system for every dime they can get, even when they don't need it. Men and women I would trust as far as I can pick up a railroad locomotive a throw it.

I'm not just talking Catholics. I'm talking all faiths and denominations.

Workmates and acquaintances. Friends and ex-lovers. Supposedly God-Fearing righteous people, but the most transparent, shallow, racist xenophobes I'd ever known.

So called friends who I went way out of my way for, doing what I thought was the right thing to do, only to get spat on in return.

But me, the Atheist, turned the other cheek. I always do, because I believe I'm the better man. I'm not perfect, nowhere near it. I do hold a grudge. I have a long memory.

but, when I was married, I never once cheated on my wife. Ask people who know me and they'll tell you of all things I'm honest. I tell you the truth, sometimes you wont dig what I've got to say, but you'll get the straight skinny from me. You can hand me a million dollars in cash, unmarked small bills... Come back in a year and it'll all still be there, covered in dust, but it'll all still be there.

That I can't have the same morals as a "believer" really infuriates me. Here's a little factoid you'll probably be surprised to here, after my Revelation: I read the bible frequently. Because I feel it's a good life guide. Nothing more than that.

A life guide.

I'm not perfect. My youth wasn't all that well spent and I'm not proud of a lot of things I've done in my past. There's a lot of burning bridges back there. I sometimes drink too much. But I never let it get in the way of my career. My work ethic won't allow it. I don't eat right a lot of times, but that's my right. I'm a true friend to those who are my friends, and would do anything for them. I have a very good friend here in town. One that I'm proud to call my friend. He's a convicted felon. None of the so called "God-Fearing Righteous" folks I know wouldn't give him the time of day. Yes, an ex-cop is friends with a convicted felon. I trust him explicitly. So much in fact he has the keys to my house. He's had them for a few years now.

I never have to worry about it with him. But the others?

Not on your life.

I believe in Faith. I have the faith that people will wake up and turn this Country around back to where we started from.

I believe in Hope. I have hope, that with people like me and others that we will get back on track.

I believe in Charity, and that charity starts from personal responsibility, not some Government funded program used with my tax dollars for some true leach on society who's never had to work a day in their life.

Glenn is right. We do have to restore Honor in our country.

I'm a veteran.

I've fought and bled for this country and have never, not even once asked for any help in return.

Everything I have right now I've earned on my own.

But to some, I'm still a parasite.

Because I don't believe in God.

I'm by no means an Angel, and like Mick Jagger said, "You'll never make a Saint of Me", but I'm a far better man than a lot of Religious folks I know. And Religion and Greed are the two major things that have started all of the wars throughout the ages... It's up to the schleps like me to finish them.

At least I can look myself in the mirror and like what I see.

I'm honest with myself, and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photos pinched from the Googlenet/Interweb


Tim Johnston said...

you haven't lost this reader.

great post. I'm not an atheist but I see where you're coming from. It's only militant atheists like Richard Dawkins I have a problem with anyway.


Good post.

Let's see if I can't cost you a few more readers. Those bible bashing slf righteous scoundrels really get on my nerves.

Everyone who has ever fucked me over has been a bible bashing Christian.
And you know why? Cuz they can fuck you over on Saturday and sing a few hymns and be absolved on Sunday!

No one should be absolved of anything just because they mumble a few Hail Mary's and acknowledge what fuckers they are.

I liken organized religion to organized crime, it's amazing what one human being will do to another in the name of 'religion'.

Ranger Tom said...

Tim: Thanks... That does mean a lot to me. Militants on both sides make me sick, but that guy Dawkins is really a toad.

Ranger Tom said...

Uber: Same here. Last few folks who fucked me royally were Bible Thumpers. I like your analogy to organized crime.... Just take a look at the Catholic Church... Crying poor and asking for alms, but you ever notice the swanky digs the priests, Cardinals and the Pope live in?

Poor my ass.

Just telling it like it is said...

Hey handsome: it's funny tonight I was working on the Constitution of the United States and I was thinking how powerful the words were...and how much it has meant for our country thus far...strong words...strong heart!

Ranger Tom said...

Just Telling It: There very powerful words, and they mean a lot to me.

Becky said...

The age old debate in ethics... Would there really be an ethical code without the thought of a higher power? I am on the other side of the fence from you on this one, but I completely agree in allowing everyone to have free will. After all, I am Christian. I have a basic syllogism that proves how evil liberals are....

Premise one: Satan wanted to take away free will from the people.
Premise two: Liberals want to take away free will from the people.
Logical and Valid Conclusion: Liberals and Satan have the same agenda.

Although you may not believe in Satan I am sure you see the philosophical value.

mermayd said...

excellent post. spot on.

Ranger Tom said...

Becky: You are my favorite Mormon! I agree with you about Evil... Where I don't believe in Satan either, I do believe that there is pure Evil in the world, and anyone trying to take away my freedoms and free will is evil... Democrats aren't as a whole evil, but I find that their policies, while good intentioned are evil... And no pun intended, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I also believe the Republicans have forgotten what they're supposed to be standing for also, and I don't trust any of them either. It's why I changed affiliations from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party a while ago.

And I also agree with you to an extent about ethical values, but it took both my parents to impart them to me. Not the Church, or the Government.

The two very important things imparted to me by my parents were these:

1) Treat everyone the same way as you would like to be treated.

2) Think for yourself, don't ever go along with the flow and be your own man.

I do have to quantify some things I said in my post about hypocrisy in the church. I still don't trust organized religions as a whole, but every single Mormon I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and made friendships with, they are the most honest, trustworthy and patriotic people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, you included, and that's not just lip~service.

Ranger Tom said...

Mermayd: It's really nice to know I'm not alone! Thanks for stopping back!

FishEagle said...

You haven't lost this reader either :)

Ranger Tom said...

FishEagle: Thanks ;)

mermayd said...

i came back to reread this post and then played "blog roulette". every blog i hit after this one were all religious. it was pretty funny!

Ranger Tom said...

Mermayd: That is pretty funny... And I really love irony!

Just telling it like it is said...

they mean a lot to me also!!!

Kimberly said...

1. I am not giving back my key.

and 2....well one was all I really had.

King of New York Hacks said...

Some of the most unscrupulous people I've ever dealt with were religious and money fanatics...well done, and by no means will you ever losee this reader. Tell it like it is, and thats much more than we get from most. Excellent post. Peace.


*** What the fuck is that bloody Becky going on about now? :)

How ya' doin'?