let me address some of the issues....and some of the "issues"
- i'm awfully sorry that religious themed Christmas stamps are foisted upon people who dont care for them. i had no idea it mattered. i dont notice religious imagery on stamps or cards or anywhere else until i am actually thinking of the Christmas story. to me it is just part of the mindless clutter that goes along with Christmas.
- if you want to put the idea of the trinity in the "delusional" basket you are welcome. it's a hard concept to wrap ones head round and i view God as God most of the time. Jesus belongs to a specific time and place, the Holy Spirit is like the disembodied voice of God on the phone and God God, The God, is the name of the entity who covers all the understanding i have of who God is, all the incarnations, even though only one was incarnate.
- i'm sorry about priests who abuse children, inspire fear, place guilt trips, rape parishioners. these people failed in a big way and the rest of us dont like it and power is abused and it's not acceptable but it's life. those acts and those people are not representative of the God i believe in.
- suffering is no fun, thats why it is suffering and i dont like it any more than anyone else, especially where innocents are hurt but i do honestly believe that suffering does us good, not because i am obliged to say that but because it does. when we suffer we grow and God knows i get sick of growing sometimes but i like who it makes me.
- i am sorry if you attend public events and are forced to endure prayers or bible readings you have no interest in (unless it's a church event, where you need to expect it) my opinion is that there is no need to impose my religious observance on others. i need to impose God on you by imitating Jesus in whatever way i am able but i dont think that arrogant display of religious practice is the way to go about that.
- i have a total dislike of self congratulatory, self righteous styled Christian chain emails. i guess atheists dont get those and thank heaven they dont. Christians who do that kind of thing are just trying to convince themselves of their rightness but in all truth their belief in an incomprehensible deity will only be justified completely when they die. Until that time they should be humble with the knowledge that there is a possibility that its all a construct.
- i dont really care who you have sex with and doubt Jesus does either, as long as it's respectful and honest. i say that easily but it's not really so easy and if you achieve it regularly you will be doing better than most.
- i dont like the idea of abortion and i would always encourage people to find another way if they can but at the same time i believe firmly that most of us do the best we are able so if we really value the lives of the accidentally conceived there is a societal change needed, not judgement on women.
now let me paraphrase myself from a comment i made at snow's blog:
I am sorry that the church and individuals representing the church have done so much damage in the name of Christ. I understand the atheistic difficulty in believing in an incomprehensible and unprovable God and I struggle with theology, with suffering and with hypocrisy BUT a few years ago I met a Christian man who embodied my idea of who Jesus was. Loving everybody was a lifestyle rather than an emotion for him and it was a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, all doubts and difficulties aside, that is who I want to be, if it also gains me eternal life so much the better.
What bad you see in me is me, what good you see in me should be credited to my God.