On Sun, 01 Sep 2002, you wrote:
> While on the web this evening I have spent a great deal of time reading
> over your website. While I must say I find some information on your
> website disturbing. I do also realize that a lot of it is true. I am
> sorry that there are ?Christians? out there that have given you the
> wrong impression of what being ?Christian? really means.
I could give you a huge sample of the email I receive, most of the
responses I get from people claiming to be christians are DEATH THREATS,
followed by insults (containing a large percentage of swear words), then
followed by warning letters that I'm going to hell, and finally, the extreme
MINORITY of letters, are like yours. Consider yourself lucky, I never respond
to the others, and today I rejected over 100 letters to respond to yours. :o)
> While I am not
> here to convert you, I would like for you to take these thoughts with
> you. A lot of what some people count as ?coincidence? is in my heart
> truly the Lord working for his greater good. I used to have feelings
> similar to yours. I am not criticizing you. I have been there and felt
> some of the things you have mentioned on your page. Besides, it is not
> my right to tell you what is right or wrong in your life.
One of my greatest mentors was the late Dr. Carl Sagan. Here is one
of his quotes which i take deeply to heart.
"I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some
thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want
to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that
assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful
thinking. The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that
there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's
little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to
look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but
magnificent opportunity that life provides." (Billions and Billions p. 215)
For me, that pretty much says it all. I have always maintained that it
is far better to grasp Life, Human Existence, and the Universe as it really is
than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring that delusion
may be. Sagan died of lymphoma, a form of cancer. It is a slow, painful, and
lingering death. On his death bed he wrote a book called "The Demon Haunted
World", I think you should read it, and remember AS you read it, this man is
dying, and dying an ATHEIST, with most of the world religions claiming his
"soul" would forever burn in one of the many hells as depicted differently for
each of the thousands of major/minor religions of the world.
I personally see religions as a crutch. The crippled use crutches to
walk, otherwise they fall down. Religions are used the same way by the weak
people in our society, and I can accept that. I personally do not have nor
need any religion(s) because I am not crippled.
> entirely up to you. Yes, a lot of ?Christians? do the same things as you
> do (i.e.. metal guitar and deth metal) they should really re-think their
Deth Metal guitar (which I play) is not for the love of "being evil"
but for the sensations I get PLAYING it. I get the same sensations listening
to Beethoven's 9th Symphony in D minor, which I defy anyone to claim is
satanic. :o) It's a feeling, a feeling of being alive and connected to the
Universe, perhaps it's the same feeling christians get at church, I don't know.
I think that _most_ Deth Metal fans would also love Beethoven. :o)
I wish I could intimately share with you the feelings that I get when I
strike a power chord, or when I listen to Metallica, Rammstein, or Beethoven.
> While he does hear and answer
> our prayers we should simply be thanking him for the opportunity to be
I much prefer the way Carl Sagan said what you just said. :o)
> The facts that
> you presented by the Roper Organization are a strong argument that I can
> neither justify nor will I attempt to. The people that stated their
> actions were at least honest about it. Although I must say I am sorely
> disappointed in these percentages.
The percentages showing christians to be more sinful after becoming
"saved" is consistent with the fact that children of police chiefs are more
prone to becoming criminals. Our own Governor's kid KILLED people, and got
away with it (because he was the Governor's kid). People do no more than they
are allowed to do, and religion (salvation) allows them the sense that they can
get away with more than what the "non-saved" feel they can. It's all just
human psychology, nothing more. :o) Human nature is to test our boundaries
and to "get away" with as much as we can!
> (You and I both feel they should be
> lower if these individuals truly are ?Christian?). I do respect your
> live and let live philosophy. While I do not agree with your beliefs, I
> felt it necessary to explain some of mine. Please respond back to this.
> I would like to talk with you.
I won't preach to you about the joys of atheism, there aren't any.
Having a god to blame or credit things to, makes life easier. To chock things
up to random chance makes you feel weak, and vulnerable, and AT RISK! Nobody
likes to feel at risk, and the child's security blanket is proof we NEED
something, even if it is NOT real. All I can do is present my facts, and see
if you are at this point in your life strong enough to toss away the crutch and
stand on your own. If you are not, I won't think less of you, I can tell you
are a GOOD PERSON, nonetheless. :o) I too _try_ really hard to be a good
person, even tho I'm not trying to win favors with some god or gods. I strive
to be a decent person because it's the RIGHT thing to do!
James - First Apostle to David, the Antichrist