Save them- Save yourself

This year. Could it be rewound? Be kind, please rewind?

A friend has died. Last I heard they didn’t know why or how. He was in good health.

He was brilliant. When he was optimistic he was one of the most optimistic people I knew.

I used to.

I used to, if I had a really good idea, write it to him. Cause I thought that if I didn’t make it he would. We had talked about the things that are now, about the tree and the serpent, the winter and the fire.

This can’t be real.

This is real.

god. what is this?

I am the one to do the things now. I have remember- myself. I don’t have the luxury of failing. There is no one else.

oh god. this is not how it was supposed to be.

 

Strange and Marvelous Shiftings of Blame. Part the Second.

I wish my dad’s death had changed the effort he put into his relationships. With me or, really, any of his children.

Picking fights with him or my mom worked. Kind of. For me.

But you know. Before I started in on that- or if I didn’t fight, it wasn’t like he bothered.

And it’s not like any of the others are gay, so it wasn’t even that.

 

Strange and Marvelous Shiftings of Blame. Part the First.

I saw a film. That’s what I did. A week or two ago. Went and saw Dr. Strange.

It was such a cool movie. I have been waiting for them to do Dr. Strange- not as long as I have been waiting for the Prometheus sequel, But at least all summer. All the magic and stuff. Inception style curdled architecture. Mordu as Dr. Strange’s black best friend. Wong being the librarian instead of Dr. Strange’s magic personal servant.

The inspiring theme about accepting failure and never giving up. I really liked that. I really want to write a post about that.

It made me feel happy feelings for a while.

Wait. Back up.

Ooooohmygosh. Marvel reduced the black hero to being merely the white hero’s black best friend.

Again.

Mordu is given no back story. Even in the case of Dr. Strange’s Asian Mentor who was magically a European Woman who was magically deprived of all Feminine Markers Like Hair so that a White Man could almost learn to take her seriously without throwing a hissyfit-

well

the story(tellers) decided she still had to die for it. for correcting a White Man- and being right

-even in her case they explain the lack of backstory by saying ‘she doesn’t talk about her past’. She hasn’t told the other characters, so the Audience(protagonist) can’t find out either. OoooOOOoooo. Mysterious!

She probably doesn’t talk about her past because she used to be an Asian Dude and she knows what racist transphobes y’all are!

Mordu, they don’t even make a mystery. Why is he doing the things he does? ‘He had a hard life’

What does that have to do with it?

Doesn’t matter. Case closed.

He’s told the other characters. He’s talked about it. They’ve been round and round, trying to work through the pain of his past, channeling it into constructive forward facing strategies.

It’s just that the suffering of a black man isn’t important enough for the white (protagonist)Audience to even suffer through a one or two sentence description of it.

He has fulfilled his narrative function in the White Hero’s Journey. No vestige of humanity is required. Dr. Strange moves from ignorance to enlightenment and from whimpiness to badassery -by means of Mordu’s instruction- without ever having to become conscious of -say- the white cop who shot Mordu’s dad over a broken taillight.

Or whatever.

‘Cause if it wasn’t something White protagonist(audience) was implicated in-

Then they could say what had happened. Couldn’t they.

If it were Thanos’ fault somehow. Or maybe an Asian Dude’s fault. Then it would be okay to say ‘Thanos killed his father’ ‘He follows the rules so strictly because he was cheated- an Asian Dude blamed him for a thing he didn’t do.’

It wasn’t The Big Bad who caused the pain in Mordu’s life. Because then we(the audience) could bear to hear WHO caused that pain.

And- because I can see the words forming in your brains because of how magical I am- if they bring Mordu back, in a later film or WHATever-

They will still not make him a full fledged character. I guarantee it and bet you a thin dime. They aren’t withholding this information to make it more special when they finally tell us later. They are

never

going to tell us Mordu’s backstory.

Well. For all that. It still could have been worse.

They could have had three black best friends, like they did in Civil War.

AND THEN.

And then.

And then the black best friend turned out to be EVIL.

His evilness consisted of a plan to run around the whole world- and STEAL the power of OTHER PEOPLE.

Which is LITERALLY

The story of EUROPEANS and the rest of the HUMAN RACE.

Running around the whole world, stealing the labor and the ideas and the bodies of other humans. Trying to scrub their souls into the same state ours were in, so that WE would be more likely to attain salvation for having made the attempt.

Europeans literally betrayed the humanity of All Humans Everywhere, by treating other(any) humans- and in practice particularly Africans- as a sale-able commodity. Subsuming the power of an enslaved person to the (innately criminal)enslaver who may then by means of the enslavement use that power as their own.

And here we are.

Comforting ourselves during hard times with a smarmy story about how an African betrays a European by committing THAT crime and gosh isn’t that evil of HIM.

And how the European has such endless courage despite being killed over and over. Yeeaaaaaaah, that’s totally who gets killed over and over these days.

No.

No.

I am at the edge of my life’s energy here, magical or otherwise. I would love to sink into this tale of courage and death and adventure and meaning and let it lift me on wings like eagles.

And be comforted.

But I am not comforted by this story.

If Marvel meant that- that main theme- that you have to be willing to accept your failures?

Why are They not owning up to Our own goddamn crimes, America? Our- failures?

Embedded in the structure of the story is a refusal to do what the story seems to be saying. They don’t seem to mean what they’re saying.

And if the audience(We) was(were) able to accept what the story is telling us(our failure), wouldn’t (They)Marvel HAVE said it and meant it?

Who has failed?

There is something rotten in Denmark.

tired beyond reason

20161101_073754

That picture doesn’t really have to do with anything.  I feel.

So, all this has been difficult to deal with.

I’ve been drinking a little more than usual, which is a thing, I think, that is bad.

Drawing is better than drinking. Dancing is better than pacing.  Writing is better than laying on the floor- sober- staring at the base of a book shelf for hours at a time.

So I’m going to try to write more.

I’ve been too tired to do anything lengthy or linear. Yeah! Who needed that shit?!

Thinking of all the things boiling under the surface of your life.  All the things that could go wrong. Trying to calculate how many of them are happening and how soon they could happen and what you can do to fend them off and where you could go if you can’t.

When it’s too much effort to lift your foot from the car to the ground after you’ve opened the car door. But you know it looks funny that you’re just sitting there with the door open.

I don’t feel like the sort of person who survives. Times like this. Things like this.

I found my new favorite quote today.

I have never once in my life consciously and deliberately listened to a song by Madonna. Lady Gaga, Yes. Madonna, No. I don’t know why.  I’m sure they must have drifted past me, in stores or lobbies or wherever.

“People say that I’m so controversial, but I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around” – Madonna

But who did Madonna turn to, when Madonna was depressed?!?

Among others- Maya Angelou.

 

And that sums up social progress in America.

***   ***   ***

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

 

Window

The night of the election I had been at a coffee shop. Watching with jolts of horror as the numbers jumped and rose and fell.

It wasn’t over.

But the coffee shop had closed. And the numbers looked, except for a very unlikely chance, certain.

I rolled into the dark parking lot slowly. The other cars and the brick of the buildings rolled past. Despite my caution, no one was out.  I pulled into my parking spot.

My neighbor’s car sat next to mine. I did a double take.

One of the windows was smashed out.

Maybe I’m old at the beginning of thirty, but he seemed young to me. Early twenties. He worked at a large company nearby and always looked the part. Clean cut, button up shirts. Business like but friendly.  He sounded like white people, something I found out as we passed each other, coming and going to our cars, and I squeed over his nerd bumper stickers.  Howl’s Moving Castle. Death Note. Star Wars.

His car wasn’t even usually parked over here.  It was usually parked over at the edge.

I got out, stunned and thought of something.  I walked back to where his car was normally parked.

The spot was empty.

There was shattered glass covering the ground, right below where his window would have been.

***

The next day, in the cool sun and cold wind blowing through every thing, I visited one of the galleries in town. I had been there so often the owneress had declared me a regular.  She had paintings of puppets and people with their guts out and did shows by black artists and ne’er-do-wells.  It was refreshingly different from some of the more pompous galleries in town- blandly interesting paintings of farm landscapes, sculptures of corn.  Playing local interest and the wealthy tourist sorts.

Ah yes. I was in the Midwest once. On business.

Lucrative business.

I wanted to ask her advise about something.  I was facing a life direction sort of decision, made suddenly urgent.

We chatted for a while before I brought it up. We were both horrified by the results of the election. Shaken, if the tears in the back of my throat and the added wet brightness of her eyes was anything to go by.

I’d stepped into a Starbucks earlier. Hefty white people, laughing and talking loudly about their daily lives. Enthused.

“Oh, he texted me!” She was sitting on the couch doing a charcoal drawing and watching her phone at the same time. She was waiting for a buyer to show up. A round comfortable shape in a room plastered with colored squares. Someone from Africa was asking her if what they were hearing was true. The hate crimes blossoming in news feeds already. Only the morning after.

“I tried to describe it to him.” She waved her pencil. “It’s hard to explain about election cycle reporting, how the media plays the most shocking things for ratings.”

***

The night of the election. I went and sat back down in my car and tried to think what I should do. The parking lot was full of cars. And distinctly empty of people. And quiet. So quiet.

I had been living here like a hermit. No one over, talking to no one. My subliminal assumption is that I’m some kind of freakish abomination, so I general cut out the unpleasantness for us all and avoid people.

Finally I decided that I would rather try and fail then wonder and got out and went over and knocked.

His light was on, but there was no answer. I waited a little. Fair enough. This is a bad night, all around.

The next day, when I got home from work, the window had been replaced.

After the weekend, a different car is sitting in his parking spot.

 

 

 

 

 

Confession of an Atheist: God exists.

There has, over the last few years, been a slow boiling discussion among some of the people I admire, here in the land of the internet, about God.

When I have time and energy I intend to examine this in more detail, and give credit to everyone- they all spoke persuasively and with critical intelligence.

But right now I am very tired. There is just a little time to get to shelter before the storm hits, and I find myself wondering if I have enough energy even just for that.

So here it is.

God exists.

God is an idea.

God is not only an idea- he is an ideal.

God exists- not as a spiritual or mystical being- but as a pattern of approved behavior coded into the minds of the people who are socialized into His religions- true believer or unthoughtful backslider or holiday attendee.

God is a character in a story. Unlike most stories, the story God occurs in is called religion.

So instead of the readers reading the story and deciding what to think about that character, readers are told, from every direction and on as many levels as possible,

-that THIS character decides what THEY think.  That Wrong is disagreeing with this character and Right is agreeing with Him.

If Zie does somehow exist as a spiritual or mystical being, somewhere out in the universe, it does not change the fact that this pattern of approved behavior exists. It does not change the fact that it gets coded into the minds of those who have been socialized this way- that this Thing is called god- the One and Only.

I will also kick Zier in Zeir goddamn shin if we ever meet- for  leaving us to wallow in this slop that passes  for divinity.

Because God- as described in the book that so many take as literal fact- and so many other take as useful metaphor-

-is a shallow, blustering, gaslighting, rageful, moronic rapist of a homicidal narcissist.

God is the personality (even if as an atheist you don’t believe he is also an actual person) who forms people’s ideas of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

God is the Father.

Because God isn’t an Abusive Boyfriend. God is an Abusive Parent.

Because America has Daddy issues.

And America went out and got a Boyfriend just like Daddy.

 

 

The Most Progressive Church in the Room- Passive Aggression- Allergies

“Who are you?”

She asked- looking at us all. The question was one of the bullet points in the list she had been writing on the white board as people filled in and sat. Now she asked it directly. When the room stared at her, lack of verbal response punctuated by a few nervous chuckles, she asked again. And again.

I was a visitor.  Let them answer their own speaker.

The shape of the sound of her words was a little strange to me. She asked people to repeat themselves if they were looking away from her when they spoke. When the meeting began, the organizer had introduced her.

“She’s deaf” the organizer added.

She said hello to every one and then indicated the organizer.

“You never tell people that about someone. It’s rude.” she looked around at us. “That’s for me to tell.”

Outing is on my mind a lot. Being outed by someone else- in certain situations- was a fear that crawled around the floor of my mind.  So- that made- sense-

I sat up a little, interested.

A little later, the lady sitting next to me referenced the organizer’s introduction and the speaker’s response.

“I appreciate that you stood up for deaf culture-” she explained.

The situations I don’t give out information about myself have nothing to do with LGBT culture. They have to do with my personal fear of the human capacity for cruelty and my personal desire to not be it’s object.

The church flyer had said this was a talk on how to “create inclusive partnerships”. The description turned out to have been ambiguously worded. Buzzwords- our theology of wholeness-  oblige- values- our congregation allows full participation- I had come expecting to sit and listen as someone explained what the church thought. It billed itself as the most progressive church in town.

At the very end of the talk, it was mentioned that this was not an action committee on inclusion. The speaker expressed surprise. She had been under the impression that it was. She moved on from that discovery and continued grilling the people who had wandered in at the beginning- how would they create change? what steps were needed? who did they need to talk to in the organization and how would it be carried out. She carried them through. There were actually steps possible. A national organization had given them a list. They could petition the board. They could do a lot more, they realized, then they had thought they could.

After “Who are you?” the next item on the list was “Who are they?”

Meaning the people who walk into that church building.

“We know that they’re people seeking something!” suggested the lady next to me.

I’d spent most of my life- adult and otherwise- visiting churches. To prove they didn’t have anything for me or to make sure that the thing I was looking for wasn’t there. Sometimes I had been seeking something from them. Usually not.

“Would you know that without asking them?” I finally made an interjection.

“I mean, why else would you drag yourself out of bed on a Sunday morning, get dressed, and make the trip to church?”

A little more surreal.

“So- you wouldn’t go to church except for that reason?”

“Yes! Exactly!”

More possibilities were suggested. ‘They’  were this. ‘They’ were that.

The lady sitting next to me was my new favorite enemy. A woman with disordered grammar came in and sat down by us. She had come up to me after the service and started talking about the government and incriminating papers that had been hidden and people thrown out of helicopters.

The lady plucked a paper plate off the top of the stack and slapped it down in front of the woman, face plastered with a curling smile. Her canines were showing. She shoved a bowl of grapes at us.

She made another suggestion to the speaker.

“They aren’t allergic to white people!” She nodded, smiling widely at the only person of color in the room. One of two persons of color I had seen in the entire church.

Because if you’re uncomfortable here, it’s your problem- not ours. And not a social or emotional problem either. It’s probably some kind of weird medical condition relating to your body.

“They aren’t bothered by being in a room full of white faces.” she clarified.

Because she isn’t racist. People who object to being around her object because they’re racist.

The talk went on.

Near the end, the speaker stopped suddenly.

“Who am I?” she asked us. There were almost tears in her eyes.

She handed out orange printouts. Lists of phrases. Person who uses a wheelchair. Person with deafness. Person with hemiplegia. Not crippled. Not afflicted. Not normal. Not abnormal.

“You need to hear the language you are using.”

“Who am I?”

“I am a person. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am Jewish. I am a rabbi. I enjoy cooking. I love horses”

One of the ‘normal’  people leaned over and whispered to the person next to her.

“What did she say?”

“She loves horses.”

“I am deaf.”

The room was quiet.

“Do you understand?”

“I do not have a hearing problem. I can’t hear. It is not a problem.”

“What you are able to do for others depends on who you are.”

“Who are you?”

 

 

 

Evidence that Demands a Verdict- Part II

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Mom, you’re straight.  It’s like- you can live in the world of swollen lymph nodes.  You can keep your friends, and agree with your mentors and feel loved by your god and repeat whatever shite they say about gay people- without it ever effecting you personally- even if it’s horribly and terribly wrong.

And that’s fun and relaxing and comforting. And who wouldn’t want that? Who wouldn’t want that story to be true? I get it.
But do you understand that I don’t get that luxury? Do you understand that I have to live in the world of tumors?
Do you understand what it’s like to be a tumor?
***

Well – I might understand what it’s like to be a tumor…. I don’t know. I have taken some positions that are very unpopular, and have been despised for it. We all make our own choices. I stand by mine no matter what anyone else thinks, because I believe my positions are right. You just have to figure out what you truly believe is right (not other peoples’ opinions) and then live it.  And also you have to try not to feel sorry for yourself if others don’t agree. That’s pretty universal.

I see no “victims” here. Only choices, and the courage to stand by the choices you make. Who is treating you like a tumor?

Hey – do you still feel like coming out and doing your craft with [minor sister] tonight? If you do, you have first priority.

But if you don’t, we might go over and help [adult brother] with some things at his house tonight. (The sellers left a huge pile of garbage on his curb for the big garbage pick -up day Saturday, but now the city is telling [adult brother] they don’t want to take it unless it’s “organized”.) Either way is good – let me know how you’re feeling.  Love you!

two.jpg

No!  The problem is people are treating me like a lymph node! Like this can’t be true!

I am thinking of [adult sister] in particular here- saying that this was a lie of Satan- but I’ve gotten the distinct feeling that its being talked about behind my back this way- Grandma sent me a note with the same reference to the ‘lies of Satan’  without coming out (har har) and saying what she was talking about.

Unfortunately it’s not a lie. Nor am I just saying this for attention.  Instead, unfortunately, I am the abominable thing that our people think is out to get them.

I been dealing with this actually for a long time now- when I was still gung ho about Christianity and everything.  When I believed that that version of the religion was true, when it wouldn’t go away, I was perfectly content to just be single forever- its not like I’m any good at dealing with PEOPLE anyway.  I prefer hiding in a pile of books.

I didn’t set out to be this way.  If I had had a choice I would have chosen something else.

Do you believe me?

***

(one week without reply)

So there we go.

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[name], I responded to your email. I wrote it in a letter, which is sitting on my desk. But all week, I have not put it in the mail because I believe you will despise what I have to say and just turn and rip into me. It has just been so nice having you stop by.  I am so sorry. Would you like me to drop it in the mail, or wait until you come by the next time?  Love you.

***

It should be a pretty simple answer, Mom. Do you believe that I’m giving an honest account of my own physical sensations or not?

If your answer is no, just say it.  No amount of rationalization or long winded explanation is going to make that answer easier.

***

Yes, I believe you have same sex attractions.  I stuck the long winded explanation in the mail yesterday.

Love you!

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Hi mom!

I finally worked up the nerve to empty my mail box and read your letter.  I have to tell you that I disagree and object to almost everything you said.

However, I am thankful that you were willing to tell me.  The visits home were getting increasingly tense for me- knowing there were things you weren’t saying and trying to guess what they were.

I appreciate it!

***

Fair enough, [name]. I love you!

***

Hey!  Could you email me the text?  I think probably neither of us wants to get into a debate, but I journal on my computer as a way of processing. It would be helpful for that.

***

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Some problem?

I mean, I could scan it in but that would mean checking to see if the library had one or using Grandma [name]’s scanner, and both of those would be kind of a hassle.

Make my poor sad life easier here?

***

WELL OKAY THEN

 

 

Evidence that Demands a Verdict- Part I

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One time in CO you sent me a keith green song.  I wanted to send you this one- I thought that you might treat it as me arguing with you instead of trying to communicate how I was feeling.

But it was how I was feeling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCAo5tKFyc

These days, I think it would be a different song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0Hx4NJw0nU

One day a kid who came in for a massage had a tattoo that said,

“A second chance means nothing, if nothing has been learned”

I stared at that tattoo for an hour while I was giving the massage.

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Hi [—]!  I listened to both your songs.  I love you so much, but I just can’t relate to what you’re thinking and experiencing. To me, you seem full of darkness and despair, and it seems that you have chosen it.  I can’t comprehend how anyone could say that God is a monster and that they would be proud to go to His hell, when He has done everything to set us free from the curse, but I will continue to stand back and respect your right to reject Him.   Like I’ve said before, it’s your life, and you have every right to do with it what you choose, and to believe what you want to believe.

That’s why I sent you the song, The Solid Rock – because if you ever decide you don’t want to live in darkness and despair, you can also choose to leave it behind.  I personally believe arguing with a depraved mind that rejects Truth is fruitless, but it makes me sad to think that you might interpret that as me not caring.    Until my last breath, I will be here in the background of your life, praying for you.

Father God, please protect Tegan while she struggles this out. Your word says “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. You’re a big God, and Your compassion is huge enough to stand by and wait for Tegan to come to the end of her raging self, and to still be there with open arms, offering her Your grace. Thank You Lord, for creating this precious young woman, with all her adorable, delightful ways, and her cute, quirky personality.  Father God, I ask You to grant her repentance leading to a knowledge of the Truth, so she can come to her senses and escape the snare of satan who has taken her captive to his will, hurting and discouraging people, deceiving and being deceived, when You created her to be a comforter and an encourager. This is no life for Tegan and I ask You to draw her back into the light with Your kindness.    In Jesus name, I ask this of You.

I hope you can dome see Schultz soon. He has doubled in size since we got him, but he is still a fuzzy baby. You will like him!  Love, mom

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I’m not, Mom.  Any new skill takes a while to learn and requires practice to become proficient.

But I no longer have to suck up to a being who ordered multiple genocides by calling it the source of moral perfection.

And I no longer have to publicly accuse myself of being an abomination for having biological impulses that I certainly would have done away with if I could.

And I’m becoming happier and happier.

I could get married, Mom.  Do you have any idea what this means to me?  I don’t have to sit at a window, holed up with my books, forever, weeping because of my secrets, staring at a life going past me that I can never have.

But as things stand, I could never invite you to the wedding, do you understand?

That I had to leave you behind in order to save my own life is my despair. It’s my only despair.

And don’t fear, oh you of little faith.  You are worth many puppies.  When I get up the courage to come, it’s to see you.

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Tegan, I really am very, very sorry you feel that way about God, and although I disagree with you, I won’t argue with you. It will take His own Spirit to convince you that you have believed a lie about Him, so I will leave it to Him.

I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes, to see things from your point of view, and I simply can’t.  To me, knowing God is “the pearl of great price”;  the treasure that’s worth giving up everything else for, even including giving ones’ life. Especially now, after what Dad and I went through, I see that nothing we give up in this life is worthy to be compared with living in His presence. Even lust – just not worth it. I can’t comprehend your hatred of Him or your desire to see Him as malevolent. But that you would have to leave me behind in order to pursue lust, now THAT I understand. But it’s your choice.

I wish you all the happiness your life has to offer, while realizing very sadly that when you reject your Creator’s provision for atonement, this life is the closest thing to heaven you will ever experience.  Without a doubt, you’ve made a bad trade, but God Himself gives you that choice, so who am I to selfishly demand that you fake it to make me comfortable?   I love you dearly, my beautiful daughter,   Mom

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“but God Himself gives you that choice”

Nope. Actually not.

There is no possible amount of argument that make genocide not a crime- of ultimate proportion.

If there was- you would be able to argue. And you can’t.

The demand for truth and righteousness require that God (or possibly the Bible) be discarded.

“..to convince you that you have believed a lie about Him”

Magical feelings don’t turn faulty logic and the lack of ethics into sound logic and the presence of ethics.

“But that you would have to leave me behind in order to pursue lust, now THAT I understand”

Yeah you do. It’s in the Bible.

Genesis 2:24New International Version (NIV)

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Matthew 19:5New International Version (NIV)

and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[a]?

Mark 10:7New International Version (NIV)

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[a]

Ephesians 5:31New International Version (NIV)

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[a]

If that DOESN’T involve lust, they’re doing it wrong. Because they’re sure as heck not becoming one flesh with out that.

Finally; re: heaven.

Given the hideous lack of morality displayed by the deity described in the Bible, how do you know that Christianity isn’t a trap of the devil allowed by God to sift the wheat from the tares- and that the only people who ARE going to heaven are the ones who reject it?

 

TO BE CONTINUED