Introductions of Us

Hello! Perplexed here. You may be wondering what is going on with this blog. But this isn’t a blog at all. This, my friends and readers, is a DIAblog! There are three people who are going to be contributing to this blog. We will be talking. Hence: DiaBlog!

So, how about some introductions. I am Perplexed. I am 36, gorgeous, and as a child, was sent to Catholic school on and off until 7th grade. My father and his family are very strict Catholics who go to church and everything. I did this from a very young age, and if you have ever been to a Catholic mass you know how hard it is to sit still. Now think that you are a ADHD 5 year old sitting in mass. I got in trouble from time to time, especially as a talkative and adorable kid. Shhh… Church is for quiet time. Can’t you just sit still? NO! I couldn’t. Yeah, those early days, I would think of church as torture. Sitting still for 2 hours talking to something I couldn’t see. I didn’t get it.

My last year of Catholic school was 7th grade. By this time, I had gone through quite a bit in my life. Some good, but a fair amount of bad. People had been telling me that if I prayed hard enough everything would turn out. But 6th and 7th grade, I was transferred to a new school after having gone to public school for a while. With ADHD and being way too smart for my own good, I didn’t do very well in school, so my dad thought this was the best move. I, however, begged to not go. I had prayed and begged and been good, and prayed some more, and nothing happened. It kept getting worse. I actually consider the lowest part of my life going to that final Catholic School, as I had already given up on God. It really did not help matters that I made my position known, and asked impertinent questions and laughed at what they were trying to teach me. I became an outcast. For 2 years, the little atheist suffered in Catholic Hell. By the way, if you are religious, and you put others down for not believing in the same thing you do and treat people as less than people because of it, it will not get either one of you closer to God.

As the years have gone by, I became what is known as IGNOSTIC, which pretty much means that I think people think and care way too much about the idea of religion, any religion as a whole. If I do something nice, I do it for the reason of being nice, no other reason. I don’t fear doing the wrong thing because I don’t think there is a wrong thing to do. There are things that help people and ones that hurt people. I try to help as much as possible. I am good for the sake of good.

Now, recently, this idea of God has been right up in my face. I have a friend, you will meet him later, who is a devout believer. He has been asking me questions about whats up and we have some very non-judgy conversations about the whole idea of God and the Bible. I also live, currently, with a couple who struggled with their faith a little in their youth, but are now very devout people. Neither group of friends have spoken to me harshly about the fact that I don’t believe, and neither have condemned me, and I finally feel as though I am in a safe place to ask my questions without criticism for coming at it in a way I feel comfortable. So I have been thinking about it. It is Prophet who encouraged me to actually pick up the Bible, a book I have avoided for 20 or so years, and give it a little read.

That is when I got the idea for this Diablog. I feel comfortable with both Pragmatist and Prophet in discussing the Bible. Neither is judgy, and both are very close friends. Prag has been thinking that we might even start a podcast! That could be kinda fun! The three of us, discussing our ideas for all to hear!

Anyway, if you haven’t figured it out, Pragmatist does not get the idea of Religion as a whole. I am baffled by it, but sometimes, I am so moved by the potential power that it really makes me wonder and rethink about my postion. Shhh… That was a secret. Lastly, Prophet who is a devoted Christian, and has already taught me a lot, when not being slightly off-put by my snarky and sometimes sarcastic demeanor. Hey, thats just how I write! Ok, and how I talk. Its just who I am!

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Hola, I’m the “Prophet.” First off, I absolutely don’t consider myself a prophet. It was just another P word that made our blog name kinda clever. I am however, completely, 100%, a believer in the Christian Bible. The Word. Gods Word.

Now I didn’t always completely believe everything in the bible, though I’ve been a Christian my whole life. I say I was always a Christian because I always believed that Jesus is my lord and savior, BUT, I didn’t act or live the Christian life. I did nothing in my life that would show that I was a believing, faithful Christian. You could have been my best friend or family, and not have known, unless you asked. I never denied my faith and beliefs, I just never displayed anything that showed it.

I lived with the “new-age Christian” mindset of… “Hey, I know Jesus died for my sins, so I know I’m saved. I’m gonna do whatever I want since I know God will forgive me. I’ll just try to be good and I know I’ll go to heaven!” Now there is truth to that, but there is sooooooo much more to it!!! And it wasn’t until God opened my eyes to his love, that I let his spirit in me and fill me with a passion to want to know him better.

Since then, I now read and study the bible and attend church, and am even part of the worship team. Before then, I had never read the bible, and I hated going to church, even though I was solid believer in Christ! I could go on and on about it, but I will spare you all. Just know that I once wasn’t sure if everything in the bible was real. And now I fully believe everything in the bible is fact and is the word of God himself, who is the word, and who is truth.

Hey Prophet! Welcome! The definition of the word prophet is: one who believes in Christianity and delivers messages that are believed to have come from God. Since the Bible is, as you stated “fact and the word of God himself,” and you are helping to deliver it to me and on this blog, then I think the title applies. I understand the humility you are putting forth, but I assure you, you may not be THE prophet, but you are certainly A prophet.

Hola, dear readers.  I am Pragmatist.  It would probably be most accurate to describe myself as small-c conservative, in that I am skeptical and prefer simplicity in most things.  I don’t believe in the supernatural, and am about as straightforward a person as there is.

 I was raised basically without religion, but I spent a lot of time with my religious grandma.  She took me and my sisters to church when we happened to be around on Sundays.  It was fun, but awkward since I didn’t have a spiritual connection to anything going on.  I liked the stories and getting new shoes to go to church in.  It was sometimes clear that I came from a heathen household, like when people made fun of me for writing Bible without capitalization.  

I’ve always been very into science, and have a degree in molecular biology now.  Life as an accident of circumstances is extremely plausible to me.  I was doing that stuff professionally until a few years ago when I got very very sick.  I never quite got back on my professional feet.  Let me tell you fine folks, I was an atheist in that foxhole.  For about three weeks I was positive I was going to die at the age of 25.  This was pretty upsetting.  Then, a regular old non-miraculous thing happened: it turned out I just had a totally weird medical condition that kind of ruined my life but I’m mostly okay now.  

As a teenager, growing up in a very rural and conservative area, I was surrounded by people who were super-religious.  In general, I have found that I get along with people who are religious.  I think it has something to do with isolation – thinking you are different than the rest of the crowd.  In particular, I tend to get along pretty well with Mormons.  The nerdy ones, that is.  

I had a boyfriend in high school who was very into his church.  It was all very 90s.  I was appalled when he told me he didn’t believe in evolution.  How dare he do that *after* a makeout session?  Plus, I had made a pretty clever point about it, and he didn’t get it.  I was pretty sex-motivated at that point in my life, so I tried to not care, but I couldn’t hold out long.  I had better things to do with my time.    

Frankly, I never really thought I’d get much out of sitting down and reading the actual Bible, but I have some time on my hands and I’d like to have it under my intellectual belt.  

As an atheist, I’d like to make one thing clear: I don’t believe in God but I also don’t mind that other people do.  Religious feeling is a pretty human thing, and I like humans.  I respect an emotional connection with religion, even if I don’t share it.  

I believe that the world is more than the sum of its parts; the things I value are emergent from specific circumstances.  I may be a slave to my biochemistry, but things are pretty good this way and I am not complaining.  I saw a movie once where a character said he didn’t believe in God, but he did believe in love.  It was meant to be a dumb thing to say, but that’s about where I am.  I am a happily-married thirtysomething who got a taste of sweet sweet oxytocin and is looking for another hit in the form of a kid fairly soon.  

When it comes to raising a kid and what to do about religion, I figure I may as well take them to some Unitarian services from time to time; give them a chance to explore how they feel.  I’ve never been moved to check out UU stuff because I tend to find UUs to be embarrassingly earnest.  It’s just too much.  I’m kind of an emotional cripple, which I am working on, but I still get uncomfortable in the presence of overt emotional content.  

Frankly, I’m dreading the Old Testament.  The New seems a lot more fun and relevant.  The historical context of this stuff is something I’ll have to look up but will want to keep in mind whenever I can.  I look at religions as cultural technologies, but I will try and peer into my soul whenever I get the chance.  

Now, onward to religious content!  Since I’m late to the party, I’ll go through and add some comments to what Prophet and Perplexed have done.  

Hi Pragmatist!!!!

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