Book Basics

“A university is not a political party, and an education is not an indoctrination.” David Horowitz

Twitter exchange on #Creationism in the Textbook:

Steadfast @Oldself

@Newself  I cannot believe that anyone would put evolution into a textbook. It is just a theory. #Creationism must be taught and preserved.

Freedom @Newself

@Oldself  How can a personal belief in a God who created everything go into an educational textbook? #Creationism is a belief; evolution has factual findings.

Steadfast @Oldself

@Newself  Baloney. There are no facts to support evolution. You have been deceived. You must stop reading anything that has such a sentiment. It will ruin you and give the Devil a place in your heart. #Creationism is real. It needs to be in every student’s textbook.

Freedom @Newself

@Oldself  Are you bull-shitting me? Information can never hurt me. Data is good. Exposure to new ideas is good. How can that be bad? #Creationism stifles growth. Don’t try to indoctrinate me. Let me learn.

Steadfast @Oldself

@Newself  Burning in Hell is pretty bad. Repent, and believe in #Creationism.

Indoctrination is so deeply rooted that one has to use a great deal of energy to overcome its influence. Once indoctrinated, the old discarded teachings continue to come to mind; no matter how far I travel. It is an old internal battle of the mind. I am grateful that I can counter those old teachings and freedom of discovery prevails.

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.” Thomas Paine

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-house-divided/

 

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Thick Skin

“Only fools let compliments get to their heads and criticism get to their hearts.” unknown

4 people-5 opinions. You can’t please all the people all the time. Despite my rhetoric to remind me of this ancient truth, I am still concerned when I know that I have disappointed someone. My 30 years as a minister’s wife fueled the mandate to please everyone. Of course, that is impossible, yet that was my daily goal. When I finally realized that demand was unachievable, I gave up that goal. Then I had to figure out, how would I please myself.

I had not gotten in touch with what I wanted in a lifetime. I had to let myself out to see what I had to say. I am still listening.

However, a new truth is evident to me. I will make mistakes and I will inadvertently hurt people. People may be hurt simply because I do not agree. I no longer have to pretend to agree with everyone I come in contact with. Whew! What a relief that is! I can be nice, but I do not have to give up my thoughts to inherit another’s.

But, my skin is still thin. I am trying to let it thicken. Who knew that process could be so painful?

“You have to grow thick skin and that only comes with time and learning.” Karlie Kloss

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/I-have-confidence-in-me/

The thief? His name is Fear.

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I was recently asked the question, how would I survive a night of fear, facing a dangerous situation. The scene was being involved in an avalanche, and rescue could not come until the morning.

I would face that fear as I have faced many fears in my life. I would focus on the moment. This very moment in time. Moments become minutes, minutes become hours, and hours will pass until day can brake.

I would also focus on my sense of ‘life journey’. I believe that there is a day to come to this earth-to begin my journey-and there is a day to leave this earth-to end my journey. Many times people escape what was viewed as certain death. Others die without any prior complication. If it is my day to go, I will go-whatever the portal of passage.

This belief comforts me. I know that when it is my time to leave, I cannot do anything to change that. Nor can others. So I mainly pray for strength and grace to accept that. That calms my fears. Fear is a thief. It robs you of peace. It steals your strength. It carries away your focus.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul-and sings the tunes without the words-and never stops at all.”  Emily Dickinson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/under-the-snow/

Spirits Soar

Spirituality. That is a word that is often equated with Religion. If a person is comfortable talking about such things, he or she may ask you “where do you attend church?” Once the reply is given, the querent will make a determination as to your spiritual condition; most likely if they think you are ‘saved’ or not. At least the Baptist will make such a determination.

I think culture has set that stage. The community culture where you live will set the stage for the importance, or not, of church attendance. Many cultures equate religion and church attendance to spirituality. I lived many years inside that culture.

I do not think spirituality has anything to do with religion. Religion is a group of people who rally together because they believe the same things. Their activities support their beliefs. Their friends continue to fuel the mindset.

I think spirituality is within yourself. It is being at peace with your soul. It is communicating in harmony with the energy of life. 

I would agree with  Steve Earle when he said, “Religion is an agreement between a group of people about what God is. Spirituality is a one-on-one relationship.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/sounds-right/

Religion Recovery

I want to thank my readers and the wordpress.com for providing a means to process thoughts. I have published a book with some of the blog selections.

“Religion Recovery” by Faye Hager

“Illumination dispels darkness. The cave is really a tunnel. The journey begins.”

“Did Hell freeze over?!” The Christians could not believe that the beloved Bible teacher and devoted servant of God would leave the church. Rumors ran rampant. People had their own explanation. The light had been turned on. The room didn’t look right. She had to discover how to get out of the room and what she might need to take with her.

It can be bought now as a eBook at Amazon.com for your Kindle or IPad

Next week it will be available in book form from Amazon.com

Should you purchase it, I hope you will be assisted in your own journey to recovery and encouragement.

 

Enough good

“There is enough good in the worst of us, and enough bad in the best of us, that it behooves all of us not to speak ill of the rest of us”

at least that is how I remembered the quote that Edward Wallis Hoch is recorded as saying. His actually said, “there is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us”

I guess I changed it to memorize his quote the way I saw it. I don’t think I agreed with the concept ‘so much’ good and ‘so much’ bad. There may not be ‘so much’.  There may be very little. There may be precious very little. But I think somewhere some good, and some bad can be found.

There was a preacher my husband worked for who is one of only 4-5 people that I place on my ‘evil’ list. Over time the preacher would treat my husband as I treated the preacher. If I kept my distance-as was my desire-he was micro-managing and critical of my husband. If I was ‘nice’ to the preacher, he pretty much let my husband do his job. It was a very unpleasant experience. This reason is not why I thought the man was evil. I thought he was evil because he had affairs, misrepresented himself and his ministry, lied, mocked people with disabilities, took money under false pretenses, and sat up at night thinking how he could ‘get people’; as in hurt their lives. He was injurious to people physically, mentally and spiritually.

At any rate, I had to think how to deal with this man. Eventually he was confronted and had to leave the ministry or be publicly exposed. In the meantime I had to cope. This is the next thing that I didn’t agree with in Edwards quote- ‘to talk about the rest of us’. I had to talk. I talked a lot. Not to the public at large but to my trusted friends. Talking helped me sort out how I felt, how to handle things and how to react to this preacher. (in the southern baptist church you cannot speak critically of the preacher. he is like a mini-god. I tried to talk to the deacons on several occasions and they had mute ears. see religionrecovery.wordpress.com for more stories on this preacher.)

So I considered what might be good about this person. He dressed well. Very sharp dresser. He spoke well. If I wanted someone to represent me, he could be the person. He spoke like a lawyer. hmm….what else?…..hmmm….

that was about all I could come up with. Then I could finish the quote my way…’not to speak ill of the rest of us’. I learned several things from this experience with the preacher:

1. I do not answer for other people. I answer for myself.

2. I cannot control other people, I can only control myself, my actions, and my reactions

3. My perspective was everything-how I framed things affected how I felt about them

4. Inform ‘authorities’ of behavior that you feel needs to be reported-then let them do their job

While I did the above, I was deeply affected by the whole experience. What we experience does change us. I no longer let a person stand in a pulpit and tell me how to live, how to think and what to do.

I think for myself. And one of the things I think is that it is important to find positive things to think about. That is why I try to live by Edward’s altered quote–look for good in people, and try not to speak negatively about them. If they are people that I cannot find good things to say about them, than I walk away from them. I don’t let them into my life. Being around people who cause me to use precious energy to try and manage a relationship with them is not worth it. It is like having a toxic drip that causes a hole in my bucket of energy; the energy just keeps going right out of that hole. I am left wondering why I am so exhausted.  Ending the relationship takes the toxic drip away and the hole in the energy bucket can heal, and you can feel so much better.

So I guess, dealing with people is multi-faceted. How we see them, what we allow into our lives, and when to discern when a relationship should be severed.

“You must not under any pretense allow your mind to dwell on any thought that is not positive, constructive, optimistic and Kind.” Emmet Fox

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours” Wayne Dyer

Human Reason vs God’s Word

I have to put the quote for this blog a little later in the text. Otherwise it might appear to be one that I accept into my philosophy. In fact it is one I reject and oppose.

We went to the Creation Museum yesterday. It was opened in Petersburg Kentucky in 2007, is 70,000 square feet and cost 27 Million to construct. People from all around have visited there-over a million-and it has been written about in New York Times, Vogue and a variety of other publications. While I am no longer in the church, we thought it was a phenomenon and maybe we should see it. Some of the reviews discussed how well done the displays were and how beautiful the gardens were. So we went with a couple of friends.

The gardens are beautiful and certainly the displays have been well done. However, I did not feel like it was a museum necessarily, but an argument giving voice to convince people to believe in the literal 6 day creation and subsequent bible stories as literal and scientifically founded.  Furthermore, about 1/3 to 1/2 way through the museum the displays took on an urgency to illustrate the evils that will occur if a church, or a people, do not believe in that particular narrow conviction. The displays stated that a break from this creation definition would lead to war, the 9-11 attacks, illness, homosexualty, abortion, drugs, pornography and any sort of independent thinking.

This was troublesome to me as the narrow creation view of a literal 6 day creation is held only by a minority (only 46% of Americans polled in Gallop Poll in 2012 believed in 6 day creation, and 47% believed in either Theistic Evolution -God involved somehow in the evolution process-or pure Evolution). The 2009 Pew Research Center found that 97% of the scientists say humans and other living things evolved over time. The theme of the Creation Museum is in contradiction of the majority acceptance of evolution.

I generally allow for people to believe how they wish. I object when they claim that if I believe differently, that I am depraved, have no moral fiber, and will be on the loose to create havoc and community unrest.

My ire was slowly building at that insult, but I came head to head when I encountered the poster entitled “Who’s Your Brother?”. On the left of that large wall poster is “Human Reason” and on the right is “God’s Word”. The intent of the poster is to contrast those two apparent opposing views and to disparage the human reason side. Under Human Reason is-among other things-Racism (with a picture of a bond slave with scars on his back) and Genocide (with picture of Holocaust prisoners). Under God’s Word are various pictures of people of all races smiling as though they were all accepted under this view.

I felt a visual reaction to this exhibit. I had heard of people who strongly opposed the exploitation of animals as used for fur coats and consequently threw paint on them when they saw someone wearing one. I didn’t understand that action. Today I did. I wanted a marker of any sort to cross out the lies of this exhibit and expose the truth.

The dominate  religious group who adheres and supports the 6 day literal creation is the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). They believe the whole Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. They would be the believers eager to take their children to this museum to substantiate their home and church teaching of the young earth. However, the SBC was violently supportive to slavery. The humanists were the ones supporting freedom and abolition. Here are my quotes:

“…for the right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example..” Slavery was Biblical and therefore abolition was sinful. Richard Furman-President of South Carolina State Convention of Baptists in 1823. The baptists in the south felt so strongly about their biblical right to have slaves that it lead to their secession from the Baptist Convention in 1845. The Southern Baptist Convention was established in 1845 with that secession. Their endorsement and support to their practice of slavery was preached from the pulpit. In fact, it was urged that the churches be more vocal in that support.

“…our passiveness has been our sin. We have not come to the vindication of God and of truth as duty demands…it is necessary to teach slavery from the pulpit, as it was taught by Holy men of old…both Christianity and slavery are from Heaven, both are a blessing to humanity…because slavery is right…their Maker has decreed their bondage…” Ebenezer W Warren, Pastor of First Baptist Church Macon, Georgia, 1861.

The Southern Baptist Convention did not recognize, nor apologize, for this stand until their convention in June 1995. That is correct, I said 1995. At that point they stated, “lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery..we apologize to all African Americans for condoning and /or perpetuating individual and systematic racism.”

You can imagine my shock and outrage that the Creation Museum is revising history in this unacceptable fashion. I felt revulsion at it’s claim that human thought was responsible for slavery, when I knew the history of the convention that I was a part of. I attended that June 1995 convention with my then minister husband. While I was grateful for their apology, I was mortified that the convention that my church was a part of took such a role in the evil domination of slavery.

My current husband and I now life in an historic home built in mid 1840’s. It is believed to have been a station along the Underground Railroad passing from the Ohio river, to Cincinnati, though our town, and onto Canada. There is a small doorway in the attic knee wall, which appears to have had no purpose other than to hide something, or someone. We are restoring this home and I am pleased and very proud of the person and his family who put their life on the line for the protection of the oppressed people who came to his door. He was a founding member of the Presbyterian church down the street. They are not of the literal mindset of the Southern Baptists, so therefore, that congregation would be described by this museum as part of the support to slavery.

The ludicrous representation at the museum blew my mind, angered my emotions, and grieved my heart. The museum is a place that uses falsehood to promote hatred and animosity. I knew that the scientific community had opposed this museum. I understood why. The museum twists facts of science. I am not a scientist, but a humanist who loves people and all living entities. The museum lies of who is really the person who cares for others angered me. They propose the narrow believing church to be the only group of people with moral fiber and concerns for others; when in fact that is the group who owned people, struck them, sold children from families, split asunder spouses….and rationalized it with their narrow belief-claiming the rest of us heathens.

How does one reason with people who are unreasonable? How can you discuss history when they alter it? How can scientific merit be considered when they twist science? How can the children who are being raised by the families that promote this altered version of reality be able to enter an adult world so different from what they were told that it would be?

I believe, and hope, that education will be the means for people achieving greater knowledge. Education, and being exposed to new ideas, was the light that lit my new path, away from the southern baptist church and into a new freedom of thought. As we learn new, we should put away old.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela