Friday, November 19, 2010

Judge Much?

    One of the absolute strangest things to me about Christians is how much they ignore the teachings of the very Jesus whom they worship every Sunday morning.  If somehow I am able to get my first book published I seriously think I will right my next book about how Christianity has forgotten Jesus. It is very sad to me that I can think of an entire book worth of ways which Jesus' religion has denied the actual person of Jesus himself and his teachings.
    One of the most obvious teachings of Jesus which I think has been forgotten by most Chrisitians, is Jesus' teaching that we should not be judgemental people.  If you went out and asked people on a street corner who are some of the most judgemental people they have ever met in their lives I would wager the majority of the people they would mention would be Christians.  How unlike the man Christians claim to follow.  Jesus himself was so non-judgemental that he was accused of being a drunk and glutton, because he spent his time at parties eating and drinking with drunks.  Some of Jesus favorite people were prostitutes and thieves, yet these are the people most Christians avoid and condemn. Jesus loved and spent time with those society hated and rejected.  If he were alive today I am certain Jesus would be accused of being homosexual and a drug addict, because these are the people he would hang out with.  Those people which the religious society as a whole demonizes and vilifies are the very ones Jesus would embrace and call friend.  What has happened to Christianity that it has become the antithesis of the very man which it claims to follow?
    I am currently a stay at home dad.  I don't tell many people that because the majority of people I know are Christian (we live in a conservative Christian town) and as soon as I say I am a stay at home dad you can see the judgement creep into their minds.  They assume I am lazy and a deadbeat, because their religion has taught them men are to be the bread winners.  Obviously, (in their minds) I am some burden to my wife and she has just been saddled with a lazy asshole of a husband.  They don't try to undersatnd or ask my story, nope.  Instead, they form all kinds of judgemental thoughts about me and talk about me behind my back.
    The truth is I don't work because my wife doesn't want me to work.  I worked for 12 years and supported her through college while she got a Bachelor's degree and two different Master's degrees.  There was a time when we both worked.  Our kids were in school, Karen was a teacher, and I was doing my homeless ministry.  Life was good and the money of two incomes was very nice, then Karen got accidentally pregnant.  She chose to leave her job because we both feel it is important in the early years for at least one parent to be home with kids to give them a solid foundation of love and acceptance. 
    Karen doesn't really like being a home maker, but she loves to work.  Staying home with a kiddo is almost soul crushing to her, despite these facts she stayed home with our first two children anyway.  When our little unexpected guy came along, Karen did not want to stay home, so I volunteered. I volunteered not because I am lazy, nor because I am a deadbeat, I stay home because I love my wife. She sacrificed and stayed home with our first two kids and I didn't want her to have to do it again.  So, I figured it was my turn to try it for a while.  Truth is, in some ways I am better at being a "mom" than Karen was at being a mom.  I am more patient, I deal with the stress of staying at home better than she did, and I am a pretty damn good cook!  I am also a pretty good teacher and am better at just playing with the kids than she was at playing with them.  The fact that I do a pretty decent job as a homemaker does not matter to those Christians who cast their judgements upon me though, because I have a penis and I don't work.  Thererfore, I am a failure as a husband and a human being.
      Today on the way home from school our oldest son told me that one of his friend's parents had been talking bad about me.  They said I should be working.  They said I didn't watch my son well enough.  They said I spent my days laying around playing vdeo games instead of taking care of my son and cleaning the house.  These people don't know me.  They haven't spent two hours with me in their entire lives, but they find it perfectly acceptable to sit around and bad mouth me.  I am not suprised at all because they are very conservative Christian people.
      The  very word  judgemental has actually become synonymous with Christianity, and my son's friends parents fell right in line with the Christian status quo. If I had a vagina I would be accepted and even respected for staying at home with my kids, but because men are suppose to be the "heads" of the house to so many in our nation I am a villian. I actually do a pretty decent job of raising our son.  Am I perfect at parenting?  Absolutely not, and I never will be.  I take hime to the park almost every day.  We study colors and shapes and letters.  We play Star Wars together.  We play hide and seek.  He even helps me clean the house. They do not know me, yet they judge me.  If I was the only one it would be ok, but I am not.  it happens to so many in our society everyday and in much worse ways.
      Dear Christians, where oh where has your Jesus gone, and why do you no longer follow him?  You say he is coming back soon and I hope you are right, because I have found him to be nothing like the majority of you at all.  You say he is coming to judge the world, but he said he didn't come to judge the world, but to save it.  It will be so nice when he gets here; if I get to meet him he will be one of the few non-judgemental Christians I will have ever met. I find myself once again completely agreeing with the words of Gandhi, "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, for your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Amen, brother Gandhi, Amen.



Brent

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Confessions Of A Heretic (My Attempt To Be A Writer)

    Growing up as a conservative Christian, and later being a conservative Christian pastor myself,  I read many "testimonial" books.  These books told the stories of people who had once been terrible "sinners" of one kind or another and how these individuals had turned from their lives of sin and become "born again Christians".  These books are extremely popular in the Christian literary circles and hundreds of books telling these stories have been written.  There are stories of former Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Satanists, and just about any other brand of religion you can think of and how they left their religions to be part of the "one true religion".  There are scores of books about how drug lords, sports stars, Hollywood actors, serial killers, pornographers, gang bangers and all other manner of people "saw the light" and turned there lives over to God.
     Well I too have written a book (not published yet, but I do have an agent at least), but this book is basically the opposite of so many of those books I used to read and mentioned at the beginning of this blog.  It is my story of being an extreme right wing conservative pastor and how I changed and have become a liberal leftist heathen (at least many would call me those things).  The book chronicles my story and the changes I went through to lead me from being a conservative to being a liberal and my leaving of the "religion" of Christianity behind.  Besides my personal story of change the book contains my own personal thoughts on what is wrong with conservative Christianity.
    I will be blogging from time to time about the progress of my attempts to get my book published and my thoughts on current events or maybe just some of my thoughts on religion, or whatever else I happen to have on my mind.  Unless my book gets published I am not sure whether anyone will ever even read my musings, but my agent suggested I start blogging so...here goes. 
    If for some reason you do find yourself reading this blog and have something to share with me or questions you would like to ask please feel free.  I only ask that you not be disrespectful of me.  I realize that in dealing with the problems I see with the Christian religion I will be stepping on a lot of people's toes.  I don't mind people disagreeing with me.  I am happy to openly discuss whatever with people even if they disagree with me.  I just don't want to be attacked or vilified.  Posts which resort to name calling and derogatory language will be ignored and removed, but as long as you can keep it somewhat civil I am all for open discourse.
    Also, if you just happen to be a publisher and would like a copy of my book please let me know and I would be happy to send you a copy. ;)



Brent