December 20, 2010

Since, I work at night here in India, I often arrive home when the first of the five prayers happen in Hyderabad.  Hyderabad has more muslims than many other cities and it is a good place to be when witnessing the interaction of multiple faiths.  There are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs who live in Vijay Nagar, where I live.  And everyone lives together quite peacefully.  When the horns blare in the morning and the prayers in the mosque rises above the town, it actually is a nice sound.  Something peaceful and calm to listen to while preparing for yoga.  I am not certain why we have such an issue with other’s faiths, but being India it’s nice to see that others do not have the same issues that we do in America.  I think as an American, I can see the reason to fear another’s faith, but as an Indian, I see little reason to fear this.  Faith tends to be a natural tendency just like anything else we make a choice about in life.  And that is what I am learning while I am here in India.

Death and Dying

April 26, 2010

Dear God,

Where do we go when we die?  I don’t know about this heaven/hell idea because let’s be honest, no one has ever come back to say “Hey there’s a place called Heaven.  You will bounce around on clouds, play an instrument and wear a long, white garment…” Toga Party! Wait no, would that be in hell?  The concept of hell is awkward in itself.  Whether its a location a la Dante’s Inferno or not, the concept of being in a fiery bit of doom seems somewhat against your nature.  Plus, if you created everything, then wouldn’t you have created hell?  It’s weird.

Here’s why I am thinking about it.  I am awake right now because I have a very important appointment at 8:00 am-I cannot miss this appointment, so I would rather stay awake all night than miss it.  While I was puttering around, I realized that Ryan’s food bowl was almost empty.  This was odd, typically Ryan and Eddie eat their food quickly.  I grabbed their food and poured it into their owl.  Ed didn’t race out.  They are hamsters they are always racing around.  Some silly competition with the sunflower seeds.  I waited and Ed still didn’t appear.  I peeked into their bright pink igloo-no movement.  I lifted the igloo, and there was Ed.  He looked like his side had been ripped of and he had been shoved underneath all the Aspen shavings.  How do I know that Ryan the hamster is a murder?  Because, hamsters rarely suffocate, and he had what appeared to be a gash in his side.  Where will Ed go?  Heaven or hell? Will Ryan go to hell because he killed his best friend and cage mate?

Last week we out our dog down.  She was the sweetest, most awesome dog ever!  I trained her in 4-H,  I cleaned her vomit and I loved her more deeply than a person.  I was a lonely teenager and my dog was a saving grace.  So where will she go?

The rules are strange.  The concept of billions of creatures dying and never hearing your name-how will they be judged and placed?

Does it get crowded?  I am waiting to find out, so I can make plans-so keep me posted.

Dear God-

April 24, 2010

So here’s my question to you…obviously the Bible is a fun story.  And yeah it has a few things in there that are fascinating, like predicting the birth of Jesus in the old testament.  But, you clearly made it a fantastical tale.  We have Noah who is from a race of giants, we have the land of Nod that mysteriously appeared out of nowhere, where Cain finds his wife, we have a Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt, Lot’s daughters get him drunk and have children out of incest, a talking serpent who would have been created by you.  So why can’t people seem to figure it out?

Jesus disappears for a good 20 years, and yet your extreme followers believe that he is their salvation.  Very little is known about him and yet the flocks throw themselves at this man.  He borrows a line from Buddha, “through your own path, you will find the truth, the way and the light.”  The Bible doesn’t even have enough of Jesus’ words to make any Guidebook for Life?  So, what is the deal?

I am pretty upset with you.  Why would you play such a cruel joke on humanity?  Now people who are completely lost think that this book holds the power, not you.  The words in the book are taken literally, horrible crimes are committed in your name.  You have a big problem with your believers.  Your “believers” toss your name around, professing those who don’t believe will go to hell and self-righteously make themselves your mouthpiece.  Then they strip others of the right to choose, a divinely given right-no?  Instead of helping the world, your “words” are being used against the world.  The believers of the Bible, that’s what I am going to call them, because they are not believers of God, preach hatred, spread hatred and are hatred.  Could you ever imagine that learning about life, failing to do the right thing once in a while and even messing up could be a sin.  Why would life be so incredibly hard and so incredibly painful if it was just about sin?  You would give us these amazing brains, an ability to synthesize emotions, thoughts, pictures-but then already direct our whole lives, thoughts, everything-making us nothing but pawns in a game.  Or more to this age and time, robots.  I understand that we are not pawns, I get that we are the masters of our lives and destiny.  But do they know?  I don’t think so-your translated, retranslated, regurgitated and destroyed manuscript has made destructive little monsters.  People who can’t see that words in a book, are words in a book.  A life lived in compassion to all, despite their faith, their belief or anything else that differs is truly a life of lived in faith.

You are not a God who loves so trivially, to be so would prove that you don’t exist.  For as creator of all, why would you have created different cultures, different faiths and 7 billion people who are each independently unique.  If this was a war between good and evil-then wouldn’t you have made all of us impermeable to evil?   I cannot believe that as the divine creator, you would have ever drafted something as awful as the Bible.  The inconsistencies alone, jeez man.

Anyway, as always-I am sitting around trying to figure out more things I can learn to be a better person.  So, if you can help me that would be great.  I get really mad at the Bible believers because of the enormous bunch of hate-but I know you’re handling that.  I would wish that you could help the world see you as I see you.  We’ve never been apart you and me-and my life is indebted to you.   Maybe that is why I cannot figure out the Bible thing.  I never had to discover you in a book, because you have always been there.  I’ve never ached for you, missed you or lacked you.  You have walked with me in every step, every moment.  You haven’t guided me-which is why I have messed up sometimes-but that’s not your job.  It’s my life, that you have let me choose.  And I never sin, how could I with you nestled deep within me?  But I learn from the mistakes and we rehash plans to be better next time.  I think that those are my most favorite moments with you-when I get to learn something and change my life for the better.  So thanks dude.


PS Did you see Jesus Camp?  I am serious when I say you have a big problem on your hands.

Finding the Light

August 8, 2009

I am currently listening to a pastor from a church here in Colorado, and I am so disappointed in the evangelism of today.  I am listening to a sermon about sins.  About how we are all big fat sinners.  Have you ever drunk too much in your life?…you are a sinner…have you ever had an improper though…you are a sinner…have you ever kissed someone out of wedlock…you are a sinner.   Have you ever watched an R rated movie?  You are a sinner.  So then he asks the congregation to write down all their sins, and then he asks what you do know.  Obviously you run to Jesus because Jesus is your only salvation.  Then he says that he’s trying to get his karma in balance, basically saying that karma isn’t a good practice, because God doesn’t weigh your good and bad.   Then he quotes the bible saying that sometime in your life you will come face to face with Jesus, and then he will ask you if you trust him.  And he says that if you trust me, you can do whatever sin you want, as long as you trust Jesus.  Then you are totally forgiven.  Then Paul says “God made him, who had no sin, and he walked his path and he did it right…yep Jesus sure did it right, he disappears when he is 12…so no saving, salvation and really “living your life perfectly.”  Let’s face it how many 12-year-olds are perfect…then he comes back for a year and boom shack a lacka, YOU HAVE SALVATION!!!

I am so tired of these evangelist preaching hate.  This guy is an ignorant person trying desperately to spread his exclusive ridiculous conclusions onto the whole world.  He is a disgrace to the the word of  Jesus and to the Bible.  At one point he draws a conclusion about the etymology of Sin.  He states that it’s a greek word that Paul though up.  A fantastically gross overstep of everything that we would deem to be holy and appreciative to the world of writing.  He suddenly comes up with this terrible conclusion that it is something that Paul came up with.  That missing the mark while shooting arrows during archery is the why Paul came up with this term?  What?  The word is from middle english, it means to be flawed in some way.   It has the religious overtones, however bottom line, it is nothing more than a flaw.  To draw this connection to Paul, it is no wonder that so many people are confused about their faith and turn away from such teachings in the long run.

This guy is exceedingly reminiscent of the Westboro Baptist Church, he comes up with his own conclusions and he makes up his own rules to teach his flock about the teachings of the Bible.  I am shocked, not too much, but still enough to be concerned about the path that many people choose to follow.  This is a faith of the desperate, of people who have nothing to hold onto, of prisoners, addicts and individuals who are constantly consumed with their own self loathing to have to blame it on something else.  God, I am alone, fix me, God give me something to hold onto to validate myself, God save me from myself….God pay attention to the selfish person that I am because I refuse to live in the light of the beautiful gift you have given me.  Instead, these people continuously preach hate by believing that they are the forgiven, the saved who can provide the rest of the world with salvation that the rest of the world is too spiritual and filled to need.  To think that this is the world that we live in is a tragedy.  To think that these are the people who are helping to run the world frightening,

If we all lived in the light of the words of Jesus, of Ghandi, of Martin Luther King Jr, and of the countless apostles who have fostered the true light to our world, then perhaps we would be an amazing world.  To allow pastors who are ignorant and self serving to teach us what we already know to be our light?  This is truly suicidal.  My heart and prayer goes out to those who have been hopelessly brainwashed into these beliefs.