Change is Hard—Hiding is Taxing

How religious morality is a facade

Who among us can change our consciousness—our personality? Through the process of religion and Christian morality we learn to conceal it, to pretend—to hide behind a pious facade of deception for the sake of fitting the mask of conformity to appear acceptable.

I have a friend who currently lay in a coma now four weeks from a fall. Yesterday they discontinued life support yet he continues to breath—for now. His pious brother came to visit and the first words out of his mouth, “see what your bad decisions and lies have done for you?”

I happen to know very well the sins of the accusing brother; his endless adulteries and prideful pretending to be an honest, religious man and I confronted him (I was commissioned today to deflect the incoming negativity that was expected from the estranged brothers—one the good son, the other, who lay in the bed in front of us, the prodigal.

I cut off his crescendo and said abruptly; “you stand here over your brother to judge, but the only difference between you and him—his integrity would not allow him to hide who he was. You on the other hand, have hidden it quite well” (his wife wide-eyed and gently nodding in agreement) “while you in your perfect health stand here over your dying brother can’t even change the pride you hate about your own self”.

You see, Chris couldn’t change, but he was cursed with integrity and could not live two lives to appease. While his family sees his life as a tragedy, I see his life as an example of honesty—yet in today’s world and yesterday’s, that integrity proved too much.

Where does the honest man go but to the fringes of society, to alcohol or a recluse life on the edges, or pretend to be who he is not? Some are lucky I guess, to live life in the middle without guilt, or to live without feeling guilty about guilt. Chris is an example to me of the cost of living life on your own terms—something we all wish for but seldom accomplish til it’s too late.


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

55 thoughts on “Change is Hard—Hiding is Taxing”

    1. I’ve been involved in this for a month now. I’ve been taking mental notes of the whole ordeal along the way. His Christian friends are devastated and praying. His other friends have been pretty cool with however it goes, celebrating a life they most universally envy, although Chris lives a little too hard. Lol. I thought the religion was supposed to give hope, but they pray for his soul and are full of despair and fear.
      Last week several mutual friends prayed over him and commanded the name of Jesus to heal him. Not sure how they reconcile this over and over.

      Liked by 6 people

            1. I’m fine. We met when we were 7 and pretty inseparable. What’s funny, is after all the harrowing adventures, mountaineering, bourbon, and ski jumps, he slipped and fell in his kitchen and hit his head just right. We were hoping to go out like the old guys in Second Hand Lions. Maybe I’ll succeed where he failed.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Well if you ever make it up this way I might be able to help. When I die it’s my goal that recovery efforts are stalled by the weather—and way up high in some vista. Any way it goes, without wearing the hospital gown and grip socks.

              Liked by 4 people

            3. Sure. Something where your family has to negotiate with a foreign government to recover your remains.


            4. When i die I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car…


      1. Just read of his passing. It seems the “commands” of the mutual friends were not heeded — as they never are.

        I concur with Zoe’s wishes. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So true, Jim. We’re all flawed individuals, or, to put it in Christian terms, we’re all sinners. Fighting back against the hypocrisy of the self-righteous led to my fall from grace as a Catholic nun. The female antagonist in my debut novel is a self-righteous, devout Christian like the brother you describe.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello Jim. My sympathies for the loss of your friend. He sounds like he was a man at peace with his life choices and also a good person. I wonder if his brother feels grief at the loss of his brother or anger that his brother did not bow his head and follow the rules the family did. I wonder if some day he will realize the loss of his brother from all their lives was what he should have been focused on, not any perceived sins his brother may have committed. What a wasted moment in the time to say good bye. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Certainly. The entire family kept him at arms length for many years and what a shame. He is purely honest, unable to pretend and they abandoned him over belief. Belief he could change in the lord when they themselves only masked their behavior. He has been my best friend of 50 years, but no worries Scotty. Thank you though.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your friends condition.

    The river of life is a meandering, unrelenting force that eventual consumes every living thing. It has no motive, meaning, care nor intent. It simply is. We alone, as far as I know, are left to ascribe meaning to the experience and offer solace and a relatable context for the swimmers still parsing clues of their existence within the cultural iceberg that has hold of them.

    As for the brother. I’m betting your emotional self benefitted from the exchange. I know it made me feel better.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He went in to the physician briefing and was asked his opinion on care—he said “evidently I’m not allowed to speak”. It was really the first time in a long time he’d been called in the carpet. He is surrounded by like minded pretenders in the heart of Utah

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s dying. We were trying to move him to pass at home but doesn’t look like we’ll get that far. Nothing was really mine to decide, but I know he would’ve pulled his own plug a months ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve watched too much TED this morning. A lot on perception (gap) reality, and the problems caused by perception and what is truth (no such thing?).
    Hypocrite or not, to say such a thing with no evidence of reality is morally absurd to me. It’s what they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim,
    So sorry your friend is in this situation. I know from too much personal experience how crappy the death of a close friend hurts. It’s way worse when it is somebody you truly love/care for.
    I’d be like your dying friend, pull my own plug. The last time I was seriously sick, spent some days in hospital, they asked if it was OK for one of the priests who were available to come and talk with me. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I said OK. The man was about my age, nearly 70 and very polite. I told him straight up I had no belief in any god/heaven/hell, etc.. He said OK, how about if we just talk about life for a few minutes. Not sure what he got from it, but he didn’t make me feel any worse and it did give me a nice few minutes that were interesting.
    I despise these phony xtians who wear their religion on their sleeves when it suits them, then go out to some dive bar and get drunk and cheat on hubby/wife when they feel the need for “something different”.
    Hang in there Jim, your loss will get easier to bear with time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He’s the first of our mob to go, but the man is like glue. If you could ever judge a man by his friends, his list is impressive from all walks of life and professions. Been a great ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ugh, that’s the ugliest face of fanatically religious. “protect us, Jesus, from your followers!”
    i feel for your friend, it’s a sad story. but consciousness is still there, and he can most likely hear. hearing is the last sense to leave, before the body goes, too.
    wishing him the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Zoe. He died last night on his birthday. Seemed fitting somehow. His room was filled with birthday balloons. He would’ve wanted it that way.

      Liked by 2 people

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