Crossing the Line

How religion has dug itself into the dark…and keeps digging

Escaping religion required me to cross over into the neighbors pasture. At night and under the cover of darkness, spreading open the barbed wire meant to protect me, I would venture into his fields. I later learned the fence was there to keep me in, not the other way around. I can distinctly remember the change, that feeling of uneasiness venturing into forbidden paths—but nothing is the way I was warned.

Exploring Washington’s train tunnels is fascinating. Three long tunnels connect the east to the west, shortening track and steep climbs by hours, opening up into a new climates and breathtaking views.

One such tunnel under Snoqualmie Pass has been decommissioned and is now a hiking trail (although most people just drive over it unaware it exists) that in 2.3 miles connects the east and west.

Built in 1910, straight as a string, you can see a pinhole of light at the other end. It’s about a 45 minute walk, and the view at the end is incredible. The men that dug this and built this railroad performed an astonishing feat for the time.

Enter religion—

Religion has an uncanny way of digging itself in—there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The line is not straight and has wandered “to and fro, from the north and even to the east” to seek the answers of life’s questions…and nothing. When does the spectacular view emerge as you break out into the light? No one can say—just keep digging. All the while, no unfinished project boondoggle is too long for religion. Never a breakthrough in a never ending struggle for relevance. Faith is the ultimate play on the human psyche.

And into the dark

Author: jim-

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

43 thoughts on “Crossing the Line”

    1. Genius! My uncle Vern ran a mining outfit at the foothills of the black rock desert Nevada (near burning man) and when I was a kid I’d spend summers there. After setting charges we would just go back to the bunkhouse til the next day. I don’t suppose they waited like that on these.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It was pretty cool being there. Gold prices plummeted one year and they pulled out for a while. When Vern returned he wound up killing a squatter that was stealing from the bunk house. The guy was unarmed. Vern spent 5 years in jail and at the end, the place was a disaster. All the trees and grass were dead and the bunkhouse and house was eaten inside our with rats. Heartbreaking really. But, as a kid it’s one of my best memories working in the mine. It’s amazing how much we found to do out in the desert hills when we had nothing to do.

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    1. Speaking of tomorrow, it’s been a while since you’ve posted anything. Got anything in the pipeline? I feel like I’m doing all the work! Outsmarted by an Aussie I guess…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You are doing all the work, and I should thank you! I have a folder of ideas which I haven’t looked at for a while. Might be something in there. Mel’s departure from apologetics stunted my growth 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Hehehe, I just looked in *that* folder and opened the first file: Helping the Retarded to Know God

            Yes, it’s an actual book by H.R. Hahn and W.H. Raasch, published 1969. I copied some of the Amazon reviews (which are hilarious):

            By Pen Name on July 12, 2014: I bought this book and used it to explain to my daughter, whom I call ‘mittens’, why she is likely to go to hell. She drooled a lot but I think it really sunk in, because she immediately stopped masturbating our trips to Wal-Mart. That was always embarrassing, but now she has the lord.

            By Jb Fox on January 18, 2015: There is already a book that helps the retarded know God. It’s called the bible.

            By BillEAV on December 16, 2014: It was hard for Jimmy to look at kids with hearts on the inside of their body’s and normally formed lips, but this book helped him understand gods plan. His short painful life will soon be over and he’ll be rewarded in heaven, just like a serial killer who coverts at the last minute

            Nov 17, 2012 Anthony Mathenia: I would disagree with the other reviewer who said that this book is just for the retarded. We have found that this book is effective in dealing with the immigrant problem we have at our fellowship. We have had influx of illegals and the only English they know is “careful, hot plate”. Most of them are from Catholic backgrounds, which also means that don’t really know God, only Mary. Teaching these foreigners has been a real challenge. This book presents God in simple concepts and object lessons, each carefully designed to help the simple of mind to know Him. For example, it shows how to point your finger at the sky and say “God.” Imagine our delight to see a dozen smiling brown faces pointing to Heaven and praising God!

            By Jonathan Sabin: Let this serve as a warning.
            I am now a pariah in my neighborhood because I bought what I *thought* was a very thoughtful gift for my next-door neighbor who just had a baby.
            Well, as it turns out, when I first saw the baby in his stroller he was squinting because the sun was in his eyes. He was not, as I had assumed, “differently-abled.” So not only will the neighbor lady not speak with me, I can’t walk anywhere in the entire subdivision without people turning around and heading straight back into their houses.
            Plus, it appears that dog feces is being left at my front door at least 3 or 4 times daily.
            If you decide to purchase this book as a gift, make sure that you do your homework beforehand.

            By Tony Sharpe on July 10, 2015: No touch peepee, ghost daddy watching always.

            By Ahmedinejad on June 28, 2014: I are very smart but not know Lord. book is help and picture is good i can. i made it a read and jesus! dogs are brown

            ByEd “Edwin Hazell”on August 3, 2015: Potatoe

            By Lotusmaglite on August 3, 2015: This book failed me. I tried to explain to my retarded nephew about Jesus and God, but he stubbornly banged his head against his cage and went on and on about Pascal’s Wager not taking into account Zeus and Odin. When I told him God made bunnies, he just cried about hurricanes and the problem of evil. I’m afraid my nephew is too retarded to understand God.

            I’m going to buy him an apiary and some bees. He kept saying the only “sensi-smell” thing to do was to be an “athiarist”.

            ByLorraine Calderon on August 3, 2015: YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!

            ByAmazon Customer on July 24, 2015: In the spirit of fairness, I think Amazon should allow me to publish my book “Baphomet Coloring Book for Impressionable Idjuts”

            Liked by 3 people

            1. That’s freakin hilarious!!! A lot of the verbiage is out of date. Retard has been replaced…Christianity should be next. This wasn’t self published like in today’s world. Some publisher actually signed off in this so there’s at least two of them. Jesus Christ man!! I think George Carlin should’ve gotten ahold of this.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Oh, there’s more. I have pages of reviews. Here’s a few more:

              By DayyTheJag on July 10, 2015: I bought this for my heathen nephew, who has an exaggerated forehead, wide spaced eyes, and a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable in public places with his wailing noises. Finally I can share the love of Christ with him, and allow him to become a real functioning member of society just like my brother who has Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
              Now he can finally understand God’s love for him. In fact, God loves him so much that he gave him an extra chromosome. My only complaint with the book is that it isn’t laminated, so it can be difficult to wipe the drool off of the pages. Also, don’t leave your “special” friend alone with the book as my nephew ate the staple and had to have colon surgery to repair a tear in his lower bowel.
              God bless.

              By Jenna on July 10, 2015: This book has been very helpful at the daycare that I run. I do, however, disagree with the title. It is not only for the mentally disabled. It works perfectly for preying on normal children ages 2 – 10. 4 stars!

              By JB on March 7, 2015: As soon as I discovered this book, I immediately purchased 535 copies to send to members of Congress. One kind staffer wrote me a nice thank you note saying that her congressman doodled in the margins “Docktors are niiice” to show his support for the ACA before they lured him away from his desk with juice and crackers. A very nice intern emailed me that the senator he works for started to draw a picture of an M1 Abrams and scrawled “Tank Go Boom Boom” on the back cover as his official statement on authorization for use of military force in the Mideast. However, he wasn’t able to finish because someone reminded him it was almost nap time and he threw a fit, then had to take a time out.
              I thank the good Lawd every day for this book. We’re so blessed to live in a nation where our leaders take faith and morals seriously.

              By Methane Blast “Methane” on March 4, 2015: MONGO LIKE!!!
              PRABE JEBUS!
              OH OH! I WENT POOPEE!
              DURP…

              By gingercube1on February 6, 2015: In 2013 godd made my guts bad. “Doctors” say this guy got minutes to hours(to live) with 170 heart rate+kidney failure.
              Thanks to this book I now fully retarded. Helmet and juicy-box. Are there more books to make my stupid better?

              By alexander erkiletian on January 26, 2015: This book is an insult. Not because of how it regards the retarded (we all know that they are possessed by demons and should be exorcized with brands of fire applied to their feet) but because it’s a blatant example of plagiarism. This book was first published in 1886 By reverend R.T. Buckles to instruct the dogmatic on how best to educate the heathen indians on the christian faith. Here is an excerpt: “God big man in sky. He sends his son down to earth to judge you. You burn in Hell if not give your corn to man in black every sunday”

              By CatLord on January 23, 2015: Leviticus 21:18 — “No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed”
              My ‘tarded child looks ‘tarded. Therefore he is not fit for God.

              By tonypatino on June 29, 2014: tis book make mi hapi. i no god now. god guud, book guud. tanx for otthher to rite book. i no god now. i go to hevan now. sleep wit jeezus. i hapy hav red book. o no god now.

              Liked by 3 people

            3. My only complaint with the book is that it isn’t laminated, so it can be difficult to wipe the drool off of the pages. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Too, too hilarious!!

              Liked by 3 people

            4. I haven’t laughed that hard for quite some time. Worse, hubby is asleep and I’m trying to stifle it. . . Just hilarious!

              Liked by 5 people

        1. Mel is not arguing for his god on the particle level of physics anymore and claiming we just don’t understand his argument? He has given up saying we are misrepresenting what he has said? Hugs

          Liked by 3 people

          1. He ditched trying to present arguments for god. And you’re right, he got tired of lying repeatedly by saying no one understands his argument… Ignoring the fact it was (and remains) the argument of the classical philosophers 2,500 years ago.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you Jim. I do feel sorry for him . When I first met him on Nan’s blog he seemed so reasonable and interesting. I engaged quite a bit with him. Then on his blog he got more angry and abusive. Then he not only let brainyawn insult, mock , and belittle me and all of us , but he agreed with him. When I questioned him on this he said he was not responsible and I should just accept it. I reminded him he agreed with the abusive comments and he then stopped talking to me. I really regret his regression, because at first I found him really interesting to talk to. Thanks again. Best wishes. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Each of them start slow. I saw the same thing happen to me, David K, Jonathan, and others. They bait you in with “agree with thine adversary while you are in the way with him” but in private, or chatting amongst themselves you see the real them. Intolerant and closed minded. Jerks, really.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. Thank you John. I find that really sad. Wish I could suggest to him the Clergy Project that helps people like him that may have become atheist to find other jobs and gives them a support system. I hope he finds them if he needs them. Hugs

              Liked by 2 people

  1. Been over both passes last year. Wish I’d had a chance to explore those tunnels, but as you said…”tunnels?” I did not know.
    The light at the end of the tunnel is eternal life if you do as we say and not follow Jim through the protecting wire. Care for some Cool Aid?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Can I have coffee with my koolaid? Hey if you take the Hyak exit and park at the trailhead, the tunnel is only about a quarter mile walk. It’s worth the time and a good stop off to stretch.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Why thank you. Its funny, when I was a believer I turned literally everything into god. Unbelief cures that, switch flip to seeing things more objectively, how they really are.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. I just wish my writing could keep up with my ideas. It’s a challenge to keep things concise, and in this day and age it’s all anyone really has time for. There’s some great stuff out there that sits. This seems to work pretty well for my availability.

          Liked by 4 people

    1. Then you’ll like this one. Each year two finalists are selected for an impromptu cowboy poetry contest, this year held at Dillon Montana.
The two entries—A local sheep herder from Montana and a school teacher from Colorado.
Each contestant stands on stage and is given a key word. They have 30 seconds to think about it, then must recite a poem.
The first contestant (the teacher) was given the key word—Timbuktu. He thought about it the full 30 seconds then recited this:
It was a beautiful day, the sky was clear, the lake was blue, no distance to great from me to you, I’d washed my hands of your dramas and blues, and rode toward the sunset at Timbuktu.
Next, the sheep herder from Montana takes the stage and is given the key word. He doesn’t even think about it for a second and recited this:
Tim and I, a-campin’ we went, lured three gals into our tent, they were three and we were two, so I bucked one and …Timbuktu


      Liked by 7 people

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