The fall of man and Christian self loathing
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-09-2015, 02:32 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 09:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-09-2015 05:44 AM)Rkane819 Wrote:  My question/concern is about the idea that we live in a "fallen world" due to original sin and its effects on us. When my wife began attending church again a year or so ago she would come home talking about how awesome God's grace is, some great teaching of Jesus to love your neighbor or the good Samartian story. I'm fine with all of that warm, fuzzy stuff.

About 2 months ago though she joined a Women's life group that delves deeper and instead of coming home gushing about all the good stuff, peppered into her rhetoric are things like: "Sadness exists because we live in a fallen world" and "if I can start giving more of my life to God then I'll be a better person" (insinuating she is not a good person now, which she definitely is).

Have you asked why she feels she's not a good person? Or what it would mean to her to be a better a person"?

The situation isn't as dire as it may sound, she isn't holding up signs on street corners telling people to turn away from their sin or anything. But I'm witnessing first hand the slow metamorphosis of how religions can change the way people think.

I'm very careful about what I say because we had a series of very unproductive conversations a few years back where I did most of the talking about how silly most of the bible stories are and she clammed up for a long time on this issue. So I'm treating her with the kid gloves so far but this issue is where I think I need to speak my mind. She obviously thinks I'm a good person and she knows I don't believe, that might be a good starting point.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Rkane819's post
05-09-2015, 02:40 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 03:11 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 02:32 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  So I'm treating her with the kid gloves so far but this issue is where I think I need to speak my mind.

Why? What good could come of that?

(05-09-2015 02:32 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  She obviously thinks I'm a good person and she knows I don't believe, that might be a good starting point.

And you recognize her as a good person and you are sexually compatible. What's left to talk about?

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
05-09-2015, 03:18 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 02:40 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-09-2015 02:32 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  So I'm treating her with the kid gloves so far but this issue is where I think I need to speak my mind.

Why? What good could come of that?

(05-09-2015 02:32 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  She obviously thinks I'm a good person and she knows I don't believe, that might be a good starting point.

And you recognize her as a good person and you are sexually compatible. What's left to talk about?

I guess nothing, so I suppose you're right. But part of me doesn't like the idea of other people putting the idea into her head that she was born "broken". I take it then you'd let it go and not bring it up?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 03:18 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  I guess nothing, so I suppose you're right. But part of me doesn't like the idea of other people putting the idea into her head that she was born "broken". I take it then you'd let it go and not bring it up?

Yup, that's what I'd do. Do your own shit. Drinking Beverage

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
05-09-2015, 04:54 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
I'm all too familiar with (in my case it's Catholic) guilt, & a fair portion of my theological inquiries/ attempts to find god were motivated by a desire for alleviation from it. Nothing helped as much as finding no god, & consequently realizing it was all in my head. The issue wasn't that I wasn't doing enough, or was a bad person (I volunteered, performed charity, helped people with every day situations, etc.), but I was being TOLD I wasn't enough, that I was a bad person, & the incessant call to confess imposed the notion that I always would be as such. Even in my deepest convictions for piety I strained to find the faith, or peace, described by those prescribing either. You can imagine how this compounded my utter lack of self-worth.

My issues are not completely resolved, but not having to spend all my time attempting to love (almost purely out of fear of judgment) the invisible despot, & instead finding time to love myself, my friends, & my family more has been hugely pacifying, insightful, & rewarding. I've learned to be more honest in my examinations of my actions, & that's probably been the most combative to my feelings of self-loathing. It's an ongoing process, that got easier with time, of observing the good, & the bad, I do, & realizing just how much more of the former I am proactively engaged in on a regular basis.

By the read of your post, it sounds like you believe this to be true of your wife. Perhaps you could encourage her to jot down her achievements at work, her standing there, personal goals she has met or is working on, kind &/or charitable acts she commits, & so on. My thought is having her good nature in front of her eyes, in black & white, will be harder for her to refute. I hope this idea helps, or leads to other, better, ideas.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like 7R0MM3L's post
05-09-2015, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 06:33 PM by Rkane819.)
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 04:30 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-09-2015 03:18 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  I guess nothing, so I suppose you're right. But part of me doesn't like the idea of other people putting the idea into her head that she was born "broken". I take it then you'd let it go and not bring it up?

Yup, that's what I'd do. Do your own shit. Drinking Beverage

Fair enough, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Rkane819's post
05-09-2015, 06:46 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 01:02 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  ...
I loathe Christianity. It's a mentally ill religion.

I agree. But is there a religion that isn't mentally ill?

The O.T. says you shouldn't cook a lamb in its mother's milk, so kosher Jews keep two complete sets of kitchen utensils and won't eat any milk product with any meat product. Muslims think an illiterate camel driver was God's conduit for the final revelation and you have to snort water up your nose five times a day in order to be pure enough to pray to Allah. Hindus claim to respect life but they had a war with the Muslims when India got its independence. Buddhists think the ultimate goal of life is to end the cycle of reincarnation. I visited a Santeria ceremony in Cuba where they killed a chicken in order to decide if their ceremony would be propitious. (At least they ate the chicken afterwards.) Some American Indian tribes justify killing animals for food with a story that there was a race between a man and an eagle on one team, and all the other animals on the other team, and since the eagle won, it's okay for men to kill animals, and they figure it's okay as long as they have "respect" for the animal while killing it. (Try this on for size: It's okay for a burglar to kill you and take your stuff as long as he shows "respect" for you and thanks your spirit for your "sacrifice" afterward.) Confucians think your ancestors are watching and you shouldn't do anything they might disapprove of.

Bat-shit crazy, every last one of them.

Hell, even the Unitarian Universalists are crazy: They say that everyone's beliefs are as valid as everyone else's. So if I think that the sun appears to rise in the morning because the Earth is turning on its axis and Joe Blow thinks the sun rises because Apollo is riding his chariot around and around the Earth every day, according to the U.U. both are equally valid.

"El mar se mide por olas,
el cielo por alas,
nosotros por lágrimas."
-- Jaime Sabines
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes daniel1948's post
05-09-2015, 07:17 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
The thing I find so funny is now often believers will play the allegory card and not ponder the inplications if the story isn't true. The other day, my wife said that she really doesn't care whether the Adam and Eve story is true or not. I couldn't help but point out that if the story isn't true and original sin is BS, then there is no need for attonement and therefore the entire christian religion implodes. She had no response. I just can't imagine how she can't see that she essestially refuted her own faith. Nor is she even close to the first person I have heard that from.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like The Organic Chemist's post
05-09-2015, 08:35 PM
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 07:17 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  The thing I find so funny is now often believers will play the allegory card and not ponder the inplications if the story isn't true. The other day, my wife said that she really doesn't care whether the Adam and Eve story is true or not. I couldn't help but point out that if the story isn't true and original sin is BS, then there is no need for attonement and therefore the entire christian religion implodes. She had no response. I just can't imagine how she can't see that she essestially refuted her own faith. Nor is she even close to the first person I have heard that from.

I used to say the same thing re: it being okay if Adam and Eve were only allegory. It wasn't until I saw a debate between Richard Dawkins and a Cardinal that it actually clicked in my head that the story could not make sense as allegory in terms of the need for Jesus. It also did not make sense in a literal fashion either. But of course, during this time period, I also let myself be open to the possibility of Christianity being one big mind fuck. But until you are willing to let yourself go there, it is extremely hard to see religion that way.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like jennybee's post
06-09-2015, 12:22 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2015 12:59 AM by evenheathen.)
RE: The fall of man and Christian self loathing
(05-09-2015 06:46 PM)daniel1948 Wrote:  Hell, even the Unitarian Universalists are crazy: They say that everyone's beliefs are as valid as everyone else's. So if I think that the sun appears to rise in the morning because the Earth is turning on its axis and Joe Blow thinks the sun rises because Apollo is riding his chariot around and around the Earth every day, according to the U.U. both are equally valid.

Hmmm. So the UU's are nihilists. Interesting.

How are the potlucks? I'm tired of doing all the cooking on sunday mornings...even though I do make a mean breakfast hash...

To actually address the OP, it's funny to think back on my own belief. The times in my life when I felt the presence of god the strongest, were the very times that I was awash in shame in my own life and my own actions. I wasn't the best person as a youngun'. Overall I was a pretty good kid, and I've always been a nice dude, but I've done things in my youth that I'm not particularly proud of, in fact there are things in my past that I'm downright ashamed of and wouldn't admit to doing even here on an anonymous forum.

The guilt is where they getcha. The love and grace of jeebus is the sweetest thing once you've been convinced that you're such a piece of shit because of the stupid things you did in your youth. Been sucked into that on a few church camp trips, or missionary trips, or retreats. I'm a PK, I spent the first half of my life being sent to these things. I dunno, I've always been one to figure that I can get right with god in the end, cus that's what the theology taught me, but I always felt so bad about it when faced with my own failings vs. what god really wanted from me, it was especially worse when presented by a great speaker with some really emotional background music playing. That shit always got me. That's why Hollywood makes a buck or two, as well as the church.

That's the line and the hook. What sets it is the belief that you are loved so much by this invisible force that all that shit doesn't matter anymore, you're still the special snowflake that you always thought you were and you still get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after the flood....

But why?

In retrospect I'm kinda pissed that I don't have to answer for some of the shit I did back then. I was an asshole at times and I got away with a lot of shit that I'd like to be able to go back and make right, but I can't. That's not fair, and no amount of forgiveness from an invisible asshole in the sky is gonna make it right. I just have to live with the fact that I was an asshole and do what I can each day to not repeat the same mistakes I made in my youth and try to convey that wisdom to my own kids, knowing that they're going to have to make their own mistakes anyway, because that's what life is.

That's the fall of man. That is my self loathing. My salvation is null, but I have the chance every day that I wake up to do better, so that's what I try to do.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like evenheathen's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: