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Atheist Still Needs His Former Pastor

Started by AnimatedDirt, March 01, 2012, 11:14:42 PM

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AnimatedDirt

QuoteIt felt good to pick my own pastor; it feels even better to pick the fight against hunger over the religious-secular culture war

Why This Atheist Still Needs His Former Pastor

How much better would life be for all if we all took this approach?

Amicale

AD, thank you very much for this article. It's a great one. I agree with you, life would be a lot better if we took this approach.

I understand where Chris Stedman is coming from, completely. I'm still friends with the priest and one of the nuns at the university I graduated from. I feel happy whenever I go to visit them. They like seeing my daughter, she likes seeing the priest's (very hyper but adorable) dog, and it works out great. They know that I'm lesbian. They also know I'm no longer Catholic, or Christian. It's not awkward when I see them. The first time I sucked it up, made that visit, and talked things out with them... I was scared. Scared of rejection I guess, or of not being understood, because I liked these people.

Turns out, there wasn't anything to be afraid of. I had more in common with them once I had that conversation, actually, because the two of them are committed to certain projects that I also have a huge passion for... mostly GLSEN and SmileTrain, but a couple others too. So, we discuss those things, we talk about life in general. Once maybe every 2 or 3 months, we sit down and have lunch, if they've got free time. I never get the sense they're trying to pull me back into the church. Instead, it's just 3 adults, talking about some really important social issues.


"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. By every crime and act of kindness we birth our future." - Cloud Atlas

"To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die." -Carl Sagan

Sandra Craft

I don't know, I agree with the comment that it would be better if our motivation for good were our mutual humantity, not religion -- but on the other hand I tend to accept anything that gets people there and not quibble about the personal route.
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

The Magic Pudding

Quote from: AnimatedDirt on March 01, 2012, 11:14:42 PM

How much better would life be for all if we all took this approach?

I think many of us do for a lot of things but there are some sticking points.

In the state I live in an agreement was done when the public school system was set up a hundred years ago, the churches would be able to send their priests/ministers to the school once a week to conduct scripture classes.  Time has moved on and now some students choose not to attend so do nothing in a separate room or go to the library.  When it is suggested that ethics classes be provided as an option to indoctrination the churches object to the incursion into their territory.  Theists claiming the sole right to guide young people to values does bring out the strident atheist in many of us here.

The pastor in the story sounds nice, motivating people to be compassionate and feed the hungry.  I don't know his views on birth control, hell and guilt.  I think the good work done by churches is often cancelled out by the bad.  Feed the hungry but for Dawkin's sake, don't tell people god wants them to have children they can't feed.

Will

Wait, we're allowed to be friends with former pastors?! This wasn't in the brochure!
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.

Sandra Craft

Quote from: Will on March 03, 2012, 06:22:56 AM
Wait, we're allowed to be friends with former pastors?! This wasn't in the brochure!

You must not have gotten the revised version.
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

DeterminedJuliet

Quote from: Will on March 03, 2012, 06:22:56 AM
Wait, we're allowed to be friends with former pastors?! This wasn't in the brochure!

You have to read past the baby recipes. In the appendix in small print.
"We've thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you're dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.