If The Religious Were Truly Honest

How loving god has proved an impossible task.

Lord, I know I have been commanded to love you, but you bore me—you’re too demanding, authoritarian, and domineering. I probably ought to love you—but I’m sorry, I don’t. So rather than lie to you and everyone else I’m going to be straight with you”—Alan Watts

You think an honest expression of your feelings would be disruptive to the church? Not at all. If you are honest and say; I’m not doing this because I love you, or because even I like you—but because the book says I must. And I hate this whole hypocrisy game so here’s the deal.

Making a bargain that is most sensible and honest (for you really ought not to ever lie nor pretend when it comes to religious matters) it would go something like this; Lord, I really don’t love you (although I have tried) and I really often doubt you were the one, but for now I will go along with it to keep harmony in the family, church community, business, or whatever the benefit is (social insecurities) That type of honesty would nurture the inclusion the churches preach, but never attain.

It is formidable to admit unbelief, or non-love of god in the churches. There is much pressure to say you do, even when you don’t, even for an outright atheist.

The command to genuinely love god is the breakdown

Ought one maintain the pretense of love after entering a covenant with the Lord, or should we now see how we can provide ourselves with these spiritual conveniences? First the initiate attempts the first, then your inner self, your consciousness, your personality, the pragmatic side, the you you can’t insist away, demands the second—so you do. And then you go inserting things into the religion you can tolerate. Creating your own scripture to add to the very book that which nothing can be added. You cannot stop you, from being you, any more than you can insist your blood to stop flowing by hoping.

The demand of God to love Him above all else is to assume you can command the true feelings of your heart. “The moment that you subscribe to the idea that your inner feelings can be commanded, you have opened the door to hypocrisy“—Alan Watts

If you tell someone you love them, but know in your heart that you do not love them—your a liar. And the more you insist on that lie, the more you feel it’s your duty to usurp your true feelings, merely gesturing (pretending) to love that other person, the more you get into trouble. Because in love, if anywhere, the truth will win out. You will not be able to sustain the pretense. You will not have the energy to mock the real feeling of love. You all may say that you love the lord, but the actions of the churches (composed of its members) say you tired of that years ago—about 2000 of them

Real honesty is the authentic basis of morality. Real honesty is not pretending that your feelings are other than they are, so you keep your deal inward because the desire to conform is greater than our respect for objective facts. At the foundation of Christianity we’ve been commanded to love someone we readily admit we can’t comprehend and, other than a couple of neat sermons has shown to be difficult at best to love within our human ability. That would wear anybody down to the nubs.

And by the way, who wants someone to pretend to love them, when they don’t? Certainly not the Lord nor the man or woman. You may want to love god but you really don’t.

Conformity implicitly makes history. The world has seen enough of this type of pretense and would benefit itself to write some different chapters.

Faith vs Integrity

How can we change the world when we’re stuck in an archaic past?

The life of faith is in a race with integrity. The trick is to die before the vector of integrity is tempted to intersect faith before the finish line. Development of integrity can cost you your soul. Dying in unscrutinized belief is the safer bet. Have no fear. Your faith is the sure safety that nothing will change until you get your catastrophe.

Meanwhile, be content in the outcomes of faith which we have witnessed now for two millennia. Don’t complain, and please no worries. This is the life you choose through belief.

The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish”—Eric Hoffer

“Ye are the light of the world”. What do you say to that when everything faith touches lives in a constant state of regression? Living in the past, hoping the future ends. Would a good god condemn you for truly not believing? Seems to me such integrity should be rewarded.

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.

The Splendor of Belief—

After a hard day of dodging tough questions—circle the wagons. Defying integrity demands it!

Faith leads to this. I cannot sum it up any better than to direct you to the secret comments between believers about faith—do not deny! HERE

The comments are particularly good. Gods chosen are judge and jury. Of course they have relinquished there own moral autonomy and know longer no better.

“Backyard in the lowering sun”

Integrity Signaling

Being saved doesn’t make you a decent person. The very idea that salvation comes through faith is a sure-fire road to an ill-potentialed [sic] life of self-excuse. In evangelical circles, sinners celebrate their weakness, often publicizing their sin as some sort of faith virtue. I’ll call it “integrity signaling”. Drawing attention to yourself, aligning to a groupthink attempt to appear human.

Remember Jimmy Swaggart, the Assembly of God televangelist “I have sinned” confession. “I have sinned against you,” he said, looking directly at Frances, his wife of 35 years, and then turned his apologies to his son Donnie, daughter-in-law Debbie, his parishioners and his God. “I have sinned against You, my Lord, and I would ask that Your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God’s forgetfulness.” His audience, plainly moved by his copious tears, wept with him, interrupting him twice with standing ovations. It is part of evangelical culture.

This type of sinner virtue born again belief is a disgusting display of false remorse, but a badge of honor to release your guile publicly. Somehow this integrity signaling is supposed to make you a decent person. It doesn’t. Good behavior and personal responsibility is what makes us all tolerable. Look here, pretending justification by pretending to be forgiven doesn’t make our problems go away. Sometimes it takes a little effort, and we all could use some of that.