Saturday, March 14, 2015

Prosperity Pimps...and their hoes



Why is it that preachers can offer us intangibles by asking us for tangibles?

How do we sit there in the congregation, smiling, "Amen-ing" and cheering the "Man or Woman of God" on as they brag about their mansions, their private jet, their Armani suits, their fancy car....stuff our money gave them-not God?

What is it in us that makes us blind to reality? Why do we prefer to see someone else prosper other than us and sacrifice our own limited resources to make sure it happens?

We allow these people like Creflo Dollar to talk crap to us about not giving enough (money) and that our poverty is due to our lack of faith. Why aren't we asking him where's his money?

If God's blessings are upon him or her, if he (or she) is God's chosen one to lead the rest of us as God's ambassadors, why hasn't God blessed them with the abundance they need or desire?

If these "anointed ones" who tell us that heaven doesn't have a light bill, how do we tolerate them turning right around asking us for money for their light bill?

If they tell us about the "law of attraction" and how to manifest the life we desire, why do they need our money?

If we need money, why can't we go to our church (that we give our money to) for help when we need it?

Just askin'.

These pastor pimps petition their congregations for funding for things like private planes in the name of:

-When you give, you are giving to God, not to men (stupid)

-Planting a seed. God will bless you if you give to me money you ain't got (really stupid)

When do we stop the games?

They say "don't hate the player, hate the game" but I say, "don't hate the player OR the game, hate the people sitting on the sidelines cheering".

My life turned around when I started tithing to myself 10 percent instead of to the church. Tithing is an investment. I realized giving the church my money is not an investment. It was guilt, manipulation-and desperation from dire life circumstances. Pastors and churches just want your resources-your time, your money, your energy-to fund their huge church mortgages and every other maintenance expense... without giving anything in return.

And they tell you that to expect something in return is sinful.

What a game. Damn those cheerleaders.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Is there such a thing as "right" and "wrong" or is moralism just a big lie used to control us?



                                 Good versus Evil? Is there such a thing or is it mere religious fantasy?


One of the worst inner conflicts I've ever wrestled with has been this idea of what's "good" and what's "bad".
In the church, you're brainwashed with this concept of morality, which is pre-packaged for you. Your specific religion and sect of that religion determines what falls under "good" and "bad".

Do I think moralism is "wrong"? No. After years of reflection I have come to view moralism as a necessary component to the human experience-particularly for humans living among one another. Today we call this "civilization". 

Murdering another human being is generally immoral, right? Unless it's self defense as I believe and the court system believes.  Murder, rape and incest are the easy distinctions, but what about things like sex before (or outside) of marriage? What about road rage? What about getting angry and losing your cool with the obnoxious cashier at the store?

Or...the M word. Masturbation?

Masturbation is a great, great illustration of this topic. In the church, masturbation was considered a grievous sin. I shared in one of my older blogs on this site about the disturbing moment during a Wednesday church service (we called these services "Midweek") when my female evangelist told our singles group that when we masturbate, what we're really doing is masturbating Jesus. 

I NEVER forgot that moment. Even until this day. You should have seen the horrified looks on each girl's face as we sat in that circle. It was one of the most perverted things I ever heard. The idea of jerking off Jesus because my body was the "temple of the holy spirit" where he dwells was pretty yucky.

Now, as I write this, I find it quite comical. It was devastating then because I didn't know any better. The church told me Jesus was a real human being who walked the earth and stuff...and believing that paradigm made all the difference. 

If you're reading this, you might be a bit thrown off by my last statement about Jesus. But if you continue on your own spiritual path, I'm confident you will come to your own conclusions about the literal interpretation of the Bible imposed on you and me by religious forces. 

Back to the topic: why is masturbation a sin in the eyes of God? And according to who? How has such a personal act be labeled as morally wrong? 

Look, I'm not pro or anti-masturbation. Just using it since it's a great, real, honest example that I can relate to. Just wanted to say that...

But what makes something "good" or "bad"? 

A very, very good question I started asking myself and I recommend you ask yourself, too.

Because here's the thing: when someone else determines what is good or bad, they own your mind, your emotions and maybe even your soul. When religious powers can tell you what's right or wrong, they can then determine your fate should you break their "commandments".

What I started doing what taking time to figure out what my own personal definition of right and wrong were. This was indeed a challenge when all my life religion has done this for me. But although I haven't made it to the Emerald City just yet, I have freed myself from a lot of invisible chains that were keeping me on a rollercoaster ride of guilt, shame and regret. 

In other words, if  I do something, what makes it "wrong" is that it harms me (or someone else) in some way. My actions, thoughts, words or beliefs have lead me to results that are not in my best interest-or in the best interest if someone else this directly affects.

I feel that context is everything. For example, masturbation to me is wrong if it becomes detrimental in some form or fashion-like if it becomes an addiction. I suspect self-stimulation can ruin your sex life with other people, too. 

The most important thing here is that we all must form our own belief systems about things. Some stuff like child molestation I keep, other crap like not going to church every week I throw out. And I feel so much freer and strong and confident now that I define my own morals and standards.

Many people are petrified of this. They think the world would be sheer chaos if people are left up their own beliefs. Maybe, maybe not. Just figure it out for yourself. That's one of the best ways to develop self-love and self esteem is to redefine yourself on your terms. And religion has worked overtime to strip us of self-love and self-confidence from Day One of our lives. Otherwise, the powers that be couldn't control us.

Until next time.
H.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hi,

I know it's been a while, but I wanted to share a cool milestone for myself and for anyone listening.

Recently, on May 29, I was a guest on an internet radio show sharing about Spiritual Abuse-my own journey and recovery.

Here is the link:

bit.ly/1kObKkb



Sunday, December 8, 2013

10 Reasons You Should Never Have a Religion-reason #7 (con't from previous blog post series)

Taken from Steve Pavlina's self-empowerment blog, www.stevepavlina.com

For all us religion refugees... enjoy.



Reason #7:  Idiocy or hypocrisy – pick one.

When you subscribe to an established religion, you have only two options. You can become an idiot, or you can become a hypocrite. If you’ve already chosen the former, I’ll explain why, and I’ll use small words so that you’re sure to understand.

First, there’s the idiocy route. You can willingly swallow all of the contrived, man-made drivel that’s fed to you. Accept that the earth is only 10,000 years old. Believe stories about dead bodies coming back to life. Learn about various deities and such. Put your trust in someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Eat your dogma. Good boy!

Congratulations! You’re a moron believer. You’ll be saved, enlightened, and greeted with tremendous fanfare when you die… unless of course all the stuff you were taught turns out not to be true. Nah… if the guy in the robe says it’s true, it must be true. Ya gotta have faith, right?


Next, we have the hypocrisy option. In this case your neocortex is strong enough to identify various bits of utter nonsense in the religious teachings that others are trying to ram down your throat. You have a working B.S. detector, but it’s slightly damaged. You’re smart enough to realize that earth is probably a lot older than 10,000 years and that pre-marital (or non-marital) sex is a lot of fun, but some B.S. still gets through. You don’t swallow all the bull, but you still identify yourself as a follower of a particular religion, most likely because you were raised in it and never actually chose it to begin with.


To you it’s just a casual pursuit. You’re certainly not a die-hard fundamentalist, but you figure that if you drink the wine and chew the wafer now and then, it’s good enough to get you a free ride into a half-decent afterlife. You belong to the pro-God club. Surely there’s safety in numbers. Two people can’t be wrong… although 4-1/2 billion supposedly can.

In this case you become an apologist for your own religion. You don’t want to be identified with the extreme fanatics, nor do you want to be associated with the non-believers. You figure you can straddle both sides. On earth you’ll basically live as a non-practitioner (or a very sloppy and inconsistent practitioner), but when you eventually die, you’ve still got the membership card to show God.

Do you realize how deluded you are?

Perhaps if you have to throw out so much of the nonsense to make your chosen belief system palatable, you shouldn’t be drinking the Kool Aid in the first place. Free yourself from the mental baggage, stop looking to others for permission to live, and start thinking on your own. If your God exists, he’s smart enough to see through your fake ID.

From time to time, some of my readers take a stab at converting me to their religion. Most of them come across as total loons, but I can at least respect their consistency. I’ve no idea why they bother to read my site (which is about raising, not lowering, consciousness). Perhaps some of them are getting ready to convert from fundamentalism to common sense.

You’d think I’d be quite a prize for any serious religion. With 2.4 million monthly readers, that’s a lot of people I could potentially enslave convert, not to mention how much I could fill the Church coffers by soliciting indulgences donations on their behalf. Henceforth I expect a much better conversion effort. If you won’t do it for the money, then do it for the souls. You can’t let so many of us go to hell without trying in earnest to save us, can you? ;)

Just keep those conversion emails below 10,000 words if possible, with no more than 9,000 of them quoted from your favorite great book.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Church: A surrogate for the down and out

Hi all,

I've been busy writing my memoir on my experience with Losing my Religion so keep an eye out for it! I will be keeping you posted....

Now. Onto today's topic:

As I am writing my memoir, it's been inevitable that I stroll back through memory lane. And religion has been on my mind. 

One of the things on my mind has been how I got into the church-and how many of us did.

There is a myth that the church is a place for the "down-and-out" --folk who are losers in society.

Not entirely true. More accurate is the fact that the church is a place for the people who have "fallen on hard times".

The difference is that  "down and out" people are not LOSERS, they are LOSING in life. Usually they "come to Jesus" after some life trauma (like a parent dies) or a dramatic life change (like moving to a new city or having a baby) or some kind of "fall from grace" (like a celebrity losing their status over a drug addiction).  You also have the people who "came to Jesus" while life is going great, too-the prom queen, the money-maker, the celebrity, the man running things...

Point is, although the church is definitely set up as a breeding ground for the Steve Erkels of society, it really is a surrogate for the down and out. When life kicks you in the ass, you are vulnerable. And because we all have been subliminally programmed to believe that religion and church = spirituality, every time we go through something in life that is difficult, we have "strayed" from the  "truth"  (meaning church and religion dogma) which is why we are having problems in the first place.

Hence, we feel "lost" and gravitate toward (or attract to us) someone who invites us to their church or we end up attending some church event to quelch that sense of despair inside. Maybe our Nana was right-God has the answers. And church is where those answers will be shared.

And that's typically what happens. The names may change. The city may change. The people and their culture and ethnicity may change. But that's usually how it happens.

Which leaves us with the church as our surrogate--our surrogate father (Pastor or Priest-who we call "Father" by the way); our surrogate husband (for the ladies)  and surrogate family for those of us who came from broken families.

The church is also a hiding place for the masses of people who aren't ready or willing to interact with themselves or with life on a holistic (mind, body, spirit) level. It's a lot easier to pray Jesus into your heart or be a usher or teach in children's ministry than to actually deal with your problems. You can just go to service, fellowship, "catch the spirit", "sing praises"...and lose yourself-even if just for a little while.

After all, it feels easier to just "let go and let God". Which in Christianity translates to: "do nothing because God will do it all for you."

It takes time and dedication to undo the mental programming of this. The church offers these sweet promises to the struggling ones of us who are weakest and can't outrun its grasp. We must reclaim our power and face ourselves. We have the answers to what ails us in our lives-but those answers are within. But like Neo in the movie "The Matrix" when he is first introduced to the real world, as he lies pale and guant on the table and tries to stand with all the acupuntire needles in his body. Remember Morpheus tells him, "You've never used them (his legs) before". 

Well, we are Neo and we have never used our "spiritual muscles" before. The very idea that the answers to what we seek lies inside us is scary rather than comforting because it's foreign to us and in our minds, quite unreal.

On my journey, I walk day by day, one foot in front of the other, struggling to trust myself and rely on the real "Holy Spirit"-- the infinite power that lies within me that I was brainwashed to believe was "out there" somewhere- and if it was in me, it was the "Holy Spirit" the church told me about.

But I keep going. And I know more of who I really am each moment, each hour, each day.  That's what this blog is about. I truly welcome you to walk your own path, your own way, in your own time.

Until next time,
Helen



Friday, September 13, 2013

Religion goes pop: New Pastor Reality Show on Oxygen Network "Preachers of L.A."






As the title suggests, Christianity is moving to a new level with a reality show on the cable Oxygen Network called "Preachers of L.A."

Here is a clip of the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml8bQDnnkKk

I've watched as much of it as I could stand. Being someone far removed from religion and dogmatic paradigms for some time now, even I got nauseous 3 minutes in.

Let's be clear: If professed Christians, "saved folk" "God's Chosen" don't see the writing on the wall, it's too damn late.

Let's face it: it already is.

These pastors are ballin' out of control (meaning they are living lavishly) and have now moved from being millionaire "Pastor-preneurs" (a term c/o Fortune Magazine) to the ranks of reality t/v/ show celebrities, i.e. Kim Kardashian, Honey Boo Boo, and the Real Housewives of everywhere.

You got these Christians running around saying one of two things:

One-It's "Not my Church!" No Christian EVER thinks it's their church. Their pastor is always the most sincere, honest, friend they could ever ask for. Their church is always a "family". They look at pastors like the ones on this reality show as the "bad seed"-the "a few, not all" delusion-ahem-I meant mentality.

Two-I don't see nuthin' wrong...These are the bipolar, delusional, asinine, obnoxious, naive, Christians who are in a lifelong state of self-denial. They adamantly defend these Pastors and more importantly, the reason they support them. They possess no logic or reasoning skills and they consider critical thinking to be "anti-Christ.", atheistic or unspiritual.   They will argue with anyone who questions the validity of them giving at least 10% of their income to a man (or woman) pastor and church staff every week in addition to all the special fundraisers and out-of-pocket expenses incurred from travelling to services and church events, unpaid volunteer services given to pastors and church events, and all the other miscellaneous stuff imbetween.

These people claim, "Well, I don't give to MAN, I give to GOD".

Obnoxious, delusional pricks.

Whatever category these people fall in, they have one thing in common:

They're being pimped..... And they just don't care. 


I was, for years a victim-or a participant- to this pimping game. I know what it's like to be on my knees cleaning the Pastor's toilet bowl with a toothbrush for free in the middle of college mid-terms. I know what it's like to babysit the Deacon and his wife's three bratty children and them donating what they would have paid me to the Church as a charity gift. Did I mention I was disabled and on assistance because I couldn't work and was one foot in a homeless shelter?....

But I woke up. I realized that I allowed them to use me and abuse me while they lived in big homes in great neighborhoods off of the sweat of my brow. It clicked that they could care less about me....and I started caring about myself.

It's called self-esteem.

You can call it self-love, too. Something dogmatic Christianity says is evil.

Anyway, just watch the trailer and see what you think.

Because it's at a point where people are not only being abused and used, but they want to be abused and used...and even when Hollywood puts it right in our faces, they rub their noses in it and smile.

Until next time.