Wednesday, April 27, 2005

To Hell, or Not To Hell?

I am in love with the show Desperate Housewives and try not to ever miss an episode. One of the characters on the show, Bree, is supposed to be a devout Christian. A couple of weeks ago, her son confessed that he might be gay, and she told him straight up that if he didn't talk to the reverend and repent, he wouldn't go to heaven with her.

That just pisses me off. Do people actually think this way?

Part of the reason I ended up taking a step back from religion and re-evaluating everything was because I just couldn't stand how so many Christians had this nasty habit of painting people into hell.

Last summer, I flew out to Utah to visit some friends after spending a number of months overseas. I was most excited to see my best friend of 2 years who I hadn't seen since the previous fall. I spoke with him shortly before I left and he told me he couldn't wait to see me again. When I got into town I gave him a call to make plans to meet up with him. I got his voicemail, so I left him a message saying I would call back at such and such a time.

When I called back later that day, his mom answered the phone and told me that he had died.

I was COMPLETELY devastated.

I started calling all of my friends to let them know. I figured if his mom hadn't called me, she probably hadn't called anyone else, either. Everyone I talked to cried with me and chatted about what a wonderful person we had just lost.

Then I called a Christian friend of mine. And he made sure to inform me that since this friend of mine was a Mormon, he was now in hell.

Did you catch that? He told me that my best friend was in hell. ON THE DAY I FOUND OUT HE DIED. HELL!

Why would I ever want to be a part of that?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Interesting, Indeed

So I've been reading a lot on Buddhism lately. Not that I suddenly think Buddhism is "The Way" and at last I have all the answers. I just love to learn and to read all kinds of different things.

I'm currently working my way through a book called The Teaching of Buddha. It's interesting to see how many similarities there are between Buddhist and Christian legend. And isn't it funny that Buddhism began about 500 years before the birth of Christ. Interesting, indeed.

For example, though the Buddha's mother was not a virgin, as she had been married for 20 years, the Buddha was not conceived as a result of sexual relations. His barren mother had a dream one night in which a white elephant entered her womb and she became pregnant.

After his birth, a hermit predicted that the Buddha's life would take one of two paths -- he would either become a great king and rule the world or he would forsake the palace and become the Savior of the world.

And so it continues.

I had to chuckle when I read a parable of Buddha about a wealthy man whose son left home and fell into a life of poverty and debauchery. After years the son wandered back to his father's house, and as his father watched him walk back to the house, he sent his servants running out to greet him. The son became a servant in the house until he was advanced and could at last recognize his father. He was then given all of his father's property and treasure.

Perhaps this sounds a bit familiar to anyone who knows the parable of the prodigal son?

Not that I'm saying one is right and the other is wrong. But maybe no religion is really original. Indeed.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Step 5: Don't Make a Commitment That May Be Too Big to Keep

Like promising to come up with 12 clever steps for a recovering mormonholic. :)

Not to worry... they'll come in time. But in order to post more frequently, I think I've got to break it up a bit.

I usually have a pretty hard time with commitment. I'm so scared of settling and getting stuck in a rut that after a short time I start to get antsy and have to move on to something new.

I remember my health teacher my junior year of high school telling us that her mother had gone to that same school, then she went that school, and was now a teacher there. Living in the same neighborhood, shopping in the same stores, taking the same route... everyday... for far too many years to count. I never wanted to get stuck like that.

So I move all the time and avoid relationships. Is this normal? Probably not, but it's me.