Saturday, March 23, 2013

My name is Myra, and I’m a Freethinker

My long awaited post on religion is finally here…..well sort of, okay we’ll see.  Everyone knows that debating religion, politics and sex is taboo, frowned upon; but to some people, so is writing a blog about one’s personal thoughts.  So please allow me to just be me, a freethinker – an individual who holds opinions formed on the basis of logic, reason and experience and not authority, tradition, or other dogmas.

This post is not an attempt to insult anyone’s religious beliefs or anyone personally, for that matter.  This post will not even touch on my compassion for homosexuals because somebody is going to tell me that I should read Genesis 19 where God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because men wanted to have sex with other men.  Then I’m going to have to respond that they should read Mark 12:31 “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Basically when asked which commandment is the most important, Jesus replied that the most important one is to love the Lord with all your heart, and the second I just quoted.

Then I might remind them that since we are talking about Genesis 19, let’s talk about verses 7 and 8 where Lot said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”  His own flesh and blood!  This was his response when the men wanted to have sex with the male angels.

But this is neither the time nor the place.  The main purpose of this post is to help people like me, religious outliers, not feel so ostracized because we interpret religion and the Bible differently or have extremely different religious views altogether.  The secondary purpose is to help people who are still part of organized religion not to judge others who don’t have the same views as they.  In other words, ‘Don’t make fun of me because I don’t believe everything I read in the Bible, and I won’t make fun of you because you do’.

For a while I struggled to understand where I fit in when it comes to religion and spirituality because over the years, more and more of what I read in the Bible or heard in church made less and less sense.  I mean, how could the Red Sea be parted?  How could an ocean be separated to allow some people to walk on dry land and then flow back to drown others?  But you know what; I have a bigger problem with the Egyptians being the enemies.  I mean, why would God create us all, but some of us are more special than others?  And don’t tell me that it is because the Israelites were the chosen ones.  Check them out Abraham, Samson, David….all filled with flaws.  And don’t tell me that Pharaoh and the Egyptians were “evil” because they enslaved the Israelites.  Please don’t tell me about the evils of slavery.  Just don’t go there with me!

Then there is Noah and his seven family members in the Ark with all those animals.  Where did the animals poop?  How did he acquire animals whose natural habitat was not in his homeland?  How did he get animals that were not in their natural habitat to stay alive until the ark was completed?  How did all the animals live in that ark with him and his family?  Why didn’t the dangerous animals attack them? 

Clearly I’m not going to address every issue that I find questionable, like Jonah in the belly of the fish, Sarah conceiving at the age of 90, Adam and Eve having two sons which resulted in the rest of mankind.  And it would be truly disrespectful to question how Jesus was conceived by a Spirit when Christians are still celebrating Lent.  And for the record, I’m not attacking Christianity, it’s just that I know nothing about other religions.

But it’s just not the Bible.  I go to church, and I hear pastors talking about heaven as if it’s a place that they frequent regularly.  Recently I visited a church, and the pastor and his congregation were gleaming as they relished about going to heaven, and I thought to myself, “These people well know that they are in no hurry to die.  Why are they acting as if this is a place that they want to go hang out at right after service?”  And since no one knows for certain that anyone has ever been there, to stand there and tell others what it is like seems disingenuous to me. 

Since we, well I, am on the topic of heaven, I have always wondered:  if there are now 7 billion people alive, how many people have died; and by the time the lucky ones get to heaven, how many will be there?  And if their names are all going to fit in The Book of Life, how big is that book; and shouldn’t it be computerized by now?  It is so difficult finding one person in a crowd of thousands, wouldn’t it be impossible finding loved ones in heaven?  And what if a 95 year old whose baby had died at birth goes to heaven, how will she recognize him?  How will he get around without a stroller?  By the way, are people from other religions allowed?  But even if it’s just Christians, have you ever attended an after church event that involved food?  How many of your brothers and sisters in Christ do you think can sustain on a diet of milk and honey?  Just saying.

I know die-hard Christians have one response for me to all these questions – with God all things are possible.  You don’t have to tell me how many things are possible with God – I’m a licensed driver.  If you have ever seen me drive (well, back in the day) you would know that I’m a huge believer in guardian angels.  And I have children.  The fact that they are healthy and fine is a miracle.  The fact that they are here is a miracle, period.  So let’s make it clear that I’m not talking about the presence of God.

I guess that my main issue is that I cannot comprehend how someone can read a novel, a work of non-fiction, an essay, a magazine article and have so many problems with its validity, yet read the Holy Bible with all its nuances and ambiguities and simply say, “Yeah, it’s all true.”  How someone can admit that although a lot of it is not understandable, it’s all good because we are not supposed to understand it all. 

Well as a freethinker, I cannot in good faith do that.  As a freethinker, I cannot let authority, established belief, tradition and not even religious dogma dictate what makes sense to me and what does not.  Genesis 1:27 says that “God created mankind in his own image”, and who hasn’t heard a pastor or two said that “God don’t make no junk”.  So perspectively speaking, this freethinker is a work of God, and I will continue to believe in Him as much as I continue to question religion and any holy book.


  1. love this post .i can relate.i truely believe in GOD but some of the sermons leave the mind wondering

  2. This is a great post. I have a strong belief in God as well but I don't feel that it is my job or right to judge others and their choices. So I think that my Priest would frown on that. I also think that it is important to question, to try and understand, and also have doubts about things that don't make sense. I know that a lot of religious leaders would say that a person should not do that but I think that is what makes people Freethinkers as well as stronger believers.

  3. Myra, it is refreshing to read this, knowing that our background is the same. I don't know if you remember confirmation class, but it was the beginning of my critical thinking with regards to religion, because the pastor was creepy, to say the least.Literal interpretation of the Bible defies logic. When people ask , are you a Christian? I answer, I am a spiritualist.

  4. Omg. you are great. I just had to laugh at Adam and Eve having two sons which resulted in the rest of mankind. there are soo soo much more that u havnt touched on. And I also strongly believe in God. so we share the same perspective.