Musings on religion

As a kid I used to be terrified of Hell and all that went with it. The hot, the torment, the being kept from the people that I loved….

I spent much of my time praying, asking to be forgiven and for God to come into my heart because, yanno, that’s what you must do to avoid hell. That meant that EVERY night before bed, I would pray. And pray. And pray. I frequently would fall asleep before I finished because, unlike my grandmother who “had the Holy Spirit” and was spoken to by God, I never felt God “enter” my heart. If I would say something about this, I’d be instructed to pray harder. I knew I must be doing something wrong. I would pray more in the hopes that I could feel what my Grandma did. God never spoke to me. No matter how much I prayed. I knew I wasn’t a good Christian. Maybe God didn’t want me. Maybe He knew my secret doubts and concerns!

Most anything I would do would make me feel guilty so, of course, I would pray. I’d feel guilty for not praying if I’d forget. I’d feel guilty if I fell asleep before finishing. I’d feel guilty if I listened to “devil music” or read something that might have been “not of God”.

I knew that my sole purpose in life was to serve God. That was also the only eternal purpose as well. It didn’t sound like much fun to me, to be honest. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to spend an eternity worshipping and fearing a divine being. It all honestly sounded a bit twisted, like a controlling boyfriend. I just wanted to live and enjoy life but I was terrified at the thought of burning forever.

My first marriage was mostly because I felt guilty becauseI was having premarital sex, even though I’d been having it for a couple years. Unfortunately, I did so to the detriment of a relationship with someone who I actually loved. He would die before I ever had an opportunity to apologize to him.

Eventually I started questioning things. I figured either I was a bad, unsavable person or something just wasn’t right about what all I’d been told. I was on the fence awhile but then after Elias died, I really began to question things. Especially after getting involved in online support groups for bereaved parents where most of them actually say things like how things happen for a reason and God took their child, etc. How the fuck can anyone love or worship something that would do that to people? Many take comfort in seeing their child again in Heaven one day. I’ll be honest. I’m kind of jealous of them because since I have come to believe that Hell is basically a social construct designed to scare people like me into toeing the line, it would stand to reason that Heaven, being the total opposite of Hell, would be made up as well.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around everything. I still have a lot of guilt. I guess maybe I’m a recovering Christian.

Musings On Those Crazy Duggars

Unless you’ve been living under a rock as of late, you’ve probably heard the revelation that Josh Duggar had an account on Ashley Madison, that married-but-dating site we all love to hate.

According to “sources“, his wife, Anna, is partially blaming herself. I think it’s typical to blame oneself – at least momentarily – when ones partner has stepped out so that, in and of itself, isn’t a newsflash. I think the Duggar family – and possibly hers – blaming her goes without saying. After all, in their cult belief system, anything bad like this can generally be blamed on the woman. It must be so easy to be a fundie man because you’re never 100% accountable for your misdeeds.

Unfortunately, this just further ensures that a) Anna will never leave Josh for a better life, and b) Josh will never really face the reality of what he’s done. After all, when the people you trust the most are blaming your misdeeds on someone else, why should you feel the need to change anything about yourself?

I especially think that Anna will have a hard time healing from this considering that, in this fundie “culture”, women aren’t supposed to be angry or sad. They’re supposed to smile all the time, no matter how they feel inside. Ever notice those fake smiles the Duggar girls always have plastered on? (In case you’re wondering, the best way to tell if a smile is real or fake is by seeing if the eyes crinkle. If the smile reaches the eyes, it’s a genuine smile. If not, they’re faking it.) Healing from something like this without the ability to be angry (and justifiably so) with be very difficult, if not altogether impossible.

Now I’ve nothing against couples that choose to stay together and work through things after one party has cheated. It does seem that the ones that are really successful and able to (eventually) recover are the ones who accept that the cheated did not cause the cheater to cheat, don’t put a timeline on the hurt, and also that the cheater must be 100% accountable for as long as the cheated feels necessary. Oh, and the cheated must be willing to actually forgive because, no joke, as long as the cheated doesn’t feel validated, they will continue to bring up the indiscretions – especially during arguments – and, as long as they continue to be brought up in anger, it’s that much harder for healing to occur.

Just more evidence that the sexual shaming that this family – and others like it – engage in ultimately does more harm than good. Look around the internet at the various blogs and articles by people who lived in this lifestyle. They’re not well-adjusted people. Here’s one of the more recent articles. If you can’t look around the internet or read some books to see how harmful this behavior can be, then you’re just willfully ignorant. If you have looked at them, and dismiss them… well then, I just feel sorry for you.

Lies, damned lies, and fact checking

Came across this lovely piece of shit garbage “information” on Facebook today.

National Pro-Life Alliance The numbers don't lie. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States every year.
National Pro-Life Alliance
The numbers don’t lie.
Abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States every year.

Actually, the numbers DO lie but the “National Pro-Life Alliance” counts wholly on you not bothering to double check their so-called facts.

I know I stink at math but even to me, those numbers sounded pretty bogus, so I did some quick Googling. So can you. Btw, I purposely avoided the incredibly biased pro-life sites. If I wanted bullshit figures, I’d go straight to them.

For the purpose of this experiment in just how capable of googling I am, all info courtesy of the CDC. Why? Because I feel they’re *slightly* less full of shit.

Ready? Here goes:


Abortions have been and continue to be tracked by the CDC since 1969 – you can even break them down by state via Excel spreadsheet, if you should so desire.

In 2010, 765,651 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2010 was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and the abortion ratio was 228 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Compared with 2009, the total number and rate of reported abortions for 2010 decreased 3%. The abortion ratio was stable, changing only 0.4%. Additionally, from 2001 to 2010 the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 9%, 10%, and 8%, respectively. Given the 3% decrease from 2009 to 2010 in the total number and rate of reported abortions, in combination with the 5% decrease that had occurred in the previous year, the overall decrease during the most recent 5-year period (2006–2010) was greater than the decrease during the previous 5-year period (2001–2005).

Women in their twenties accounted for the majority of abortions in 2010 and throughout the period of analysis. The majority of abortions in 2010 took place early in gestation:  91.9% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, and of the abortions performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, 71.7% were performed at ≤ 8 weeks’ gestation. In 2010, 17.7% of all abortions were medical abortions. Source: MMWR 2013;62(8).

 

You can see the info for yourself here: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/Abortion.htm

Hmmm. That CDC number looks nothing like the one on the chart….


Accidental deaths yearly:

All unintentional injury deaths

Number of deaths: 126,438
Deaths per 100,000 population: 40.6
Cause of death rank: 5

Unintentional fall deaths

Number of deaths: 27,483
Deaths per 100,000 population: 8.8

Motor vehicle traffic deaths

Number of deaths: 33,783
Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.8

Unintentional poisoning deaths

Number of deaths: 36,280
Deaths per 100,000 population: 11.6

All easily available at the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm

Our numbers are closer, but still a tiny bit skewed.


Cancer deaths:

Number of deaths: 576,691
Deaths per 100,000 population: 185.1
Cause of death rank: 2

Also found on the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/cancer.htm

Getting closer. We’re obviously rounding on the chart.


Heart disease info, again, according to the CDC.

About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.1

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.1

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.1

See http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

Finally! Our chart has one right!!


I know, I know, it’s all about the attention-grabbing numbers that they throw up on a colorful pie chart! But, really, you should be insulted that “they” – and that’s not just the intelligence-insulting National Pro-Life Alliance, but any intelligence-insulting organization that throws bullshit up on a pretty chart – are relying on you being too stupid, too lazy, or too gullible to actually check their work.

You should feel insulted.