Atheism: My journey.

This is a recurring question I get asked by friends, theists and atheists alike. “What’s your de-conversion story?” Well, I don’t have one, I was never a believer, but I was a kid with catholic parents, so I do have a story to tell, plus this question appeals to me now for a reason that will be clear if you keep reading. Not that mine is more exciting or interesting than anyone else’s story, it’s just, you know, mine.

Throughout all these years that I have been making public statements about my lack of belief, I have, in  many places, let everyone know that had it been my choice, I would have chosen to believe. I spent most of my childhood making honest efforts Continue reading

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For No One

Allegedly, Paul McCartney wrote this song sitting in a chalet while on holiday with his girlfriend Jane Asher in Klosters, Switzerland, March of 1966. The working title was “Why Did It Die?”, and there is speculation that McCartney wrote the song about Asher, who was a successful London actress. The theory is that Paul wanted her to cater to his schedule, tour with him, and be the “perfect Beatle wife,” but Jane had a life and career of her own, hence the “She doesn’t need you” lyrics. Paul has never said it was about Jane specifically, however he did say, “I guess there had been an argument. I never have easy relationships with women.” He knew what he was getting into when he got involved with Jane, and being that the song was written in 1966 and they didn’t break up until 1968, it’s likely that if the song was about Jane, it wasn’t a serious argument.

This was recorded on May 9, 16 and 19, 1966 by only two Beatles – Paul singing and playing the keyboard and bass, and Ringo on percussion, originally appeared on The Beatles’ seventh album, Revolver. McCartney used this song in his 1984 movie Give My Regards to Broad Street.

John Lennon at some point said that this was his favorite McCartney song.

For No One is such a beautiful song with a touch of a melancholic lonely feel to it. A brilliant example of true ballad writing.

Enjoy!

Lyrics

The day breaks, your mind aches
You find that all her words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you

She wakes up, she makes up
She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry
She no longer needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind her tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

You want her, you need her
And yet you don’t believe her when she says her love is dead
You think she needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

You stay home, she goes out
She says that long ago she knew someone but now he’s gone
She doesn’t need him

Your day breaks, your mind aches
There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head
You won’t forget her

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind her tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

An open reply to hate mail

UPDATE

August 24th, 2010

Travis… um, or maybe you prefer Lorena? Whichever.

Don’t you think that you’re taking this out of proportion? Dude! SEVEN EMAILS? SERIOUSLY? And the last one, TWICE! SERIOUSLY??

So you don’t like what your bible says about your sexual preferences? I have a present for you from my favorite book of the bible:

Leviticus 18:22: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

In short, your god detests you. I don’t – I advocate for the rights of people like you.

… and you’re calling us atheists, “hypocrites,” and engaged in a fight defending religion? RELIGION??!!  Don’t you see how ridiculous your argument is? Get a grip, man.

Next time I will expose your email address and have you know what massive hate mail is. I’m done with you.

*****************************************

August 23rd, 2010

So after our Twitter Sunday School I got this email:

———- Forwarded message ———- From: **** **** Date: Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 2:19 PM Subject: Wow. To: me Sunday school…. What hatred. Umm hypocrite much?

And today I got this new one:

———- Forwarded message ———- On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM, **** *****

wrote:

Confused and lost? If you despise religion, and humans practice religion, then you are asserting that you hate peoples’ beliefs, which in turn can hurt a persons feelings. Knowing that a person hates/despises who and what they are, and believe inevitably brings them down. Remember, “Practice compassion & remember that everyone you meet loves something, is afraid of something, misses something & has lost something. ♥”

I am a male gay Christian. My partner is an atheist. You’re a hypocrite. Ha!

What what?

So, here is my reply:

Greetings sir,

Thanks for taking the time to write this missive, I appreciate your efforts.

I take it that you’re replying to this tweet of mine: “So in RE. to your mail: Not hatred nor hypocrisy. Everything I said in Sunday School is true, I don’t hate religion – I despise it.

Aye – I do despise religion, not people, not people’s beliefs, the fact that religion enslaves people’s minds. I am not trying, though, to change anyone’s mind. I find it saddening, that you feel that you have the right to call me a hypocrite, but I understand that you’re frustrated, and maybe, just maybe, afraid of losing your faith.

On the other hand, I don’t appreciate the way you have treated me. You, as a Christian, should find in your heart enough goodness to forgive my inability to believe in any gods. You are not a very good Christian, I suppose, since you must have read that verse in your holy book that explicitly says that you’re not supposed to marry, let alone just have intercourse out of wedlock, with a person of a different set of beliefs, much worse an atheist infidel, and for as unbelievable as you might think it is, much much worse in a gay relationship. But that is none of my business, right?

Just for your enjoyment I am going to show you what I’m referring to:

2 Corinthians 6:14-15: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (KJV)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Do you still believe that you have the right to call me a hypocrite?

No, sir, I am not confused, it seems to me that you are.

I do practice compassion, and believe in every word I say publicly and privately. I am a humanist, I respect people.

You didn’t take in consideration that I didn’t expose either your name nor your email address in my tweet, and I’m not doing it here either. That should show you a little bit of the type of person that I am.

I don’t have to respect religion, I think it is a bad thing, but I also know that, since your mind is enslaved, you won’t accept any of the facts that I could present to you to make you understand why I think this way, I know that religion has caused much harm, not just your religion, religion in general.

I am glad that you read my tweets, I suppose you do like at least half of them, so thanks for that too. I hope they don’t bring you down too much. By the way, does your ‘atheist partner’ know that you’re emailing me this?

Point in case, thank you for your time, I think you should leave a comment here, my email address is for more productive and amicable things. If you want to debate, I am here for you.

Good day, sir.

And just like that, I was dead.

No, seriously! I was dead, just for a few minutes, but dead nonetheless. Long story short, on Sept. 25th an allergic reaction to a supposedly innocuous pill, caused my throat to close, shutting off my breathing and within minutes I was dead, literally.

But this rant is not about my ordeal from that night, which I can’t deny, was scary and surreal, and ultimately ended up with me waking up in the hospital, incredibly tired, with a sore throat and an extremely bruised chest, after 7 minutes of CPR.

This is about how this event has triggered on my friends and family a relentless determination to pervert me… I’m sorry, that should have read, convert me.

As if I hadn’t had enough with what I went through, now I have to endure the endless preaching of my family and close friends. Their arguments would be amusing if they weren’t so recurrent and therefore annoying…

“It is God’s way to let you know that He loves you” Yeah, he was showing some luv, sure. I mean, seriously?

“You must have had a near death experience…? You probably don’t remember but you must have!” Nope! No NDE for me. But we all know that NDEs are natural chemical reactions to Ketamine, and if you didn’t know that, you have some serious reading to do.

“Jesus wants you to accept him into your life.” Accept him? The king of kings? That’s quite conceited, isn’t it? Given that they worship Jesus, shouldn’t they be ‘begging’ him to come into their lives, or rather their delusional minds?

“This has been a warning; god wants you to appreciate the life that he has given you…” Of course, now THAT makes sense, right? Newsflash! I didn’t appreciate life before any less than I do now; and, the life that he has given me? Come on!

“God is giving you a second chance…” Yeah, a second chance to die! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t make such a big deal out of this event, but it wasn’t pretty. Those few seconds right before passing out – which are the last that I can remember, were horrible. Try to picture this, being unable to breathe, actually suffocating, watching the terrified faces of the ones around you and being fully aware of it. One shouldn’t have to go through this kind of experience more than once, really!

And my poor mother, who is the only one who doesn’t annoy me so much, and was probably the most affected of us all, keeps praying for me to believe in god as she has done since I was 5 years old. Oh yeah, that’s when I told the priests and nuns in my catholic school that their stories did not make sense to me, that I couldn’t understand, that I needed rational explanations; their responses were something like, those are the holy mysteries and that’s what ‘faith’ is all about – believing in what you cannot see or understand, which made me want to say “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!”

If you know me a little, or if you’re following me on Twitter, you’re probably wondering, is this the same Monica that baits theists and tries to make them think rationally? I know, right? Well, when it comes to theists on Twitter I’m fierce and heartless, but when dealing with the people that I’ve known forever, my loved ones, I can’t be blunt and tell them to stop (which has crossed my mind in terms of “why don’t you all leave me the hell alone!”)

I *AM* an atheist in a foxhole, or rather was in that moment. I was dead only for a few minutes, but endured the process of dying for much longer than that, and not even once the idea of god crossed my mind.

When I was done and couldn’t stay awake any longer, while giving in, my last thought was for my mom, for whom my death would have been such a terrible loss.

Putting aside the agitation and the pain, this is pretty cool, right? I mean, how many people do you know that have died and come back to tell their story?