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Friday, October 22, 2010

Born Again Christians

I believe Jesus was a wonderful man, the son of God, like we all are. So, I have no problem with accepting him as your “way” to awaken from your slumber; teachings by those who have reached the level of enlightenment you are seeking, then searching inward through prayer and meditation is your only way. I have known good people who claimed to be what they call, “Born Again Christians.” by “good people” I mean they wouldn’t kill you or take the Lord’s name in vein. They shouldn’t be coveting your wife, either. The only hang-ups with them seem to be their obnoxious self-righteousness and crude opinions, along with their obsession with enforcing God’s laws and their tendency to alienate blasphemous relatives. I must admit, though, as fully indoctrinated Catholic school student, with four years of honorable Altar Boy service, these Johnny-come-lately Jesus freaks rub me the wrong way.

I love my Mother-in-law. No, not that one. My Brother-in-law’s mom. She is well traveled when it comes to matters of spirituality. She was meditating before I was born, and she holds an M.A. in psychology. That’s why I can’t figure out what the hell she’s doing. Still, I thought I would accompany her to a “prayer group,” which consisted of about 20 women, ages 30 and up, all the way up, and a couple of men, including me. I was ready. I was actually into it; this is all “post-Hawk,” remember. On the way there, I mentioned that they may be a little to dogmatic for me. I was right.

I won’t go on about the session. Look. You have these women, led by the “pastor,” a woman, around 60 years old, well kept, hair done, nice business suit, armed with a small boom box, her million-dollar smile, and the Holy Bible. She was also able to speak in tongues and, in fact, does so after every energetic phrase. She is able to look very mean; I could see her in a position of authority or selling property. So, the ladies prayed loud, gave thanks to Jesus, said Alleluia and spoke in tongues, which anyone can do, actually. It’s therapeutic. They blessed me, then introduced me to Jesus and begged me to take him as my savior. Jesus and I pretended we just met. We didn’t want to ruin anything for that. It would’ve been very uncomfortable to tell the pastor that she read my fortune wrong after all of that. Plus, they wouldn’t believe me, because she performed miracles.

Anyway, I got through it, but I swear, there’s just something about the new weasel that walks on to a job you’ve been doing for 30 years, with an online degree, claiming to know the “real way” to do something. You know what I mean? Every Sunday for 18 years (1,000+), I was dragged out of the house on my day off, in my starched collared shirt and nylon everything else, (just what I love to wear on the weekend) so I could spend and hour and a half singing, chanting, standing, sitting and kneeling, day dreaming, and trying look at girls without thinking about them, all while this tenderfoot was still in his pajamas getting ready for the game, eating Captain Crunch and masturbating, all with a crystal clear conscience, a cool hairstyle, a full wardrobe and a lot of stuff bought with all of the tuition, uniform fees, church offerings and raffle money his parents saved by sending him to an easy school, where he got to keep his identity AND ownership of his eternal soul.

I mean, this privileged bastard probably had no concept of right and wrong, which is why he was able to enjoy the sins of the flesh with no recourse and no guilt. Ahh.. no guilt. Imagine that. Huh, convert! So, anyway, I get it. You poor guy; you had no “guidance,” but Jesus is there for you now. Great. What, did you receive the Sacraments online? Haha. I don’t know what you want me to say to you, guys, but if you dodged the draft, a Nam Vet doesn’t want to hear about your week at the Gulf War. That’s all I’m saying.

So, “Born Again,” I suppose you know about Original Sin? Hope you enjoy that. Listen read these blogs, fool. You needed to find yourself. Great. We all do. Don’t get caught up in that ridiculous Bible, though. I’m telling you what that book is, a mish-mash of second hand reporting, based on hearsay about a year or two worth of seminars, by a common man who three people claim rose from the dead, which fell into the lap of a Roman Empire and has been rewritten over thirty times to fit the needs of the governments that have used it to rule throughout the world for 2,000 years.

Look. Jesus was a great man; there’s no question. Listen to his words and carry them over to the guidelines of Buddhism. I will be going over the Noble Truths and the Precepts, which are Buddha’s answer to the Commandments, not rules but suggestions. I’ll compare the two. My point is that you need to step away from those rules and stop being so quick to condemn everyone to hell. You guys begin to sound like the Puritans. They loved to enforce God’s law, but it isn’t God’s law! Look to the East! Listen, I know when you shop around for something important, you do your research and your due diligence to make sure you are getting quality. That’s all I’m saying.

Here is the history of the Born Again movement:

In 1976, Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson's book Born Again gained international notice. TIME magazine named him "One of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America."[9] The term was sufficiently prevalent that during the year's Presidential campaign Jimmy Carter described himself as born again, notably in the first Playboy magazine interview of a U.S. Presidential candidate. Modern musicians Rev. Little Richard Penniman, Mark Farner, Dan Peek, Donna Summer, Bob Dylan,Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope, Dave Mustaine, Nicko McBrain, Roger McGuinn, Johnny Cash, Brian Welch, Keith Farley, Cliff Richard, Randy Travis, Alice Cooper and Lou Gramm[12] were artists whose born again conversions had an impact on modern culture. Others such as James Cash Penney, founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy, wrestlers Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho and Sting, Jesse McCartney, Charlie Daniels, Kirk Cameron, and Mr. T are also mentioned as being born again. Former Alabama governor and U.S. presidential candidate George Wallace became born again in the late 70s, which led him to apologize for his earlier segregationist views.

8 Please add your thoughts to the discussion.:

Anonymous said...

Sean...again, another great blog but here's my 2 cents. You wrote in your blog about money that many people with "vices" or addictions will look for spiritual connections that chasing the almighty dollar and I can contest to that. In fact, it was my chasing the dollar that literally lead me into a world of vice and addiction; literally!

In 1995, I looked in the yellow pages of the Orlando phone book and called this escort service because I was desperate for money. After a DUI and then getting arrested in another county for driving with suspended liscense and possession of under 20 grams of pot, I was looking at quite a bit of expenses. The man at the service told me to dress nice and come to his office. The office was located in a bad part of town and as I opened the door, I saw several pretty girls sitting on the couch, waiting. What are they waiting for, I wondered. As the night progressed, I soon learned that these women were waiting for "calls" which were men (or women or both) calling to HIRE a woman for sex! Anyway, to make a very long story short, I became a hooker. Oh that choice wasn't made without many, many tears and heartache but it was made none the less. As the years went by, I ended up in Nevada, where the sex-industry is legal and thriving. My name was Tia Pett and I was one of the top courtesans at the Mustang Ranch. (the original Mustang which actually closed in 1999) I used the internet as a promotional tool and became quite popular. At first the work was very hard. But the more work I did, the easier it became...and the more money I made. Eventually, I would end up making over 3,000.00$ every weekend, and would work week on and week off. My bills were paid, my credit was stellar, I shopped, gambled, traveled, did drugs, and was basically a miserable piece of shit; or so it felt like that inside. was my love of money and what I thought would bring me happiness, that left me empty, dry, depressed, and totally destroyed my self esteem (even though men were paying me thousands)

Now fast forward to 2001, and I found myself pregnant from a very nice younger man who I met. We decided to try and make a life together even though I still planned on hooking after the baby was born. Anyway, God had other plans.

I fled back to Florida in 2004, and I say "fled" because the temptation to go back into the sex-industry was almost to hard to resist. My father was dying in Florida so I thought it would be good if we were closer to him.

God, or should I say, Jesus, drew me to Him with words of love that my spirit craved. The records of love between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the sinful woman with the alabaster box, the record of Rahab, the harlot, and even the strong-willed Gomer in the book of Hosea, spoke to my heart! The Jesus that I found (who SAW me in all of my "sin") loved me just the way I was! But the "church" was another story.

I was "saved" when I was 14 and used to watch shows with my mother where people would stand upand give their testimony! I swear I saw this woman tell the congregation that she used to be a whore. She spoke of her salvation and the people stood up and applauded her! THIS is what I thought they would do with me! Not a chance! This evil spirit called "religion" is VERY prominent and prevasive in churches today. People are filled with self-righteousness and judgemental attittudes that go against what Jesus teaches! Again, to make another very long story short, I am not in a traditional church. I am looking to another teaching called the "Gospel of Inclusion" and I find this in the gay church here in my community. I don't believe in hell and I don't believe God wants anyone there! I could go on and on about this but the kids are asking me to cook lunch! So, I will continue this maybe later tonight!

Dr. Frank Plume PhD., Sarcastic Order Of Simple Metaphysicists said...

Thank You, Anonymous (wink)

I do appreciate you joining the discussion. We need to collectively come awake. This is all Jesus was teaching, 2000 years ago, but unfortunately, his teachings are gone.

I know you love Jesus, because he represents the truth about our existence, and there is a great attraction to the truth inherent in us. But please, leave that churh of the inclusion. You don't need to be "included" in anything!

It doesn't matter how many times they revamp the Catholic church, which has been broken up for centuries to "include" new people, all the way up to this Inclusion crap. Why? Because the whole thing was based on bullshit.

Jesus can still be your "way." He said all you need to know: To love God with all of your heart and to love others as you love yourself. Take that and supplant it in Buddha's words.

The next thing I write is some kind of comparisons between the "suggestions" which Buddha taught in an organized fashion for forty years, and the commandments, shaped by Roman law.

Please don't take this as a promo for Buddhism. (They are not looking for parishiners.)You actually don't need a place of worship, because all of the answers are inside of you. This is only for you.

I understand that you're looking to form a relationship with something. You want to be a part of the church, but why would you want to be accepted by a church that selects who can be saved?

You are carrying that label of "ex-prostitute" around, (or even part-time lol) but that's not who YOU are. That is not even reality. You are identifying yourself with a memory from your past. That is not reality.

You don't need to be forgiven. There is nobody to "forgive." A tree doesn't need to apologize for anything, does it?. Humans have created the concept of good and evil based on fear of loss, based on memories of the past and projections of the future. But it's not real.

I wish I could make that clearer to you. I'm sure we will further the discussion.

I know that it's a tall order, but I would recommend studying the teachings of Buddha. There are no rules and no need for acceptance. Nobody is judged because there is no good or evil in the present moment. You just sit down and shut up. lol

Or else try Guy Finley or Dr. Dyer. Many of these guys are lumped into the category of "self-help" or "new-age spirituality" and are put right next to Dr. Phil, but they are teaching the truth.
It's like the Ultimate Fighting Championship. At first it would be a wrestler vs. a boxer or Karate vs. Judo, BUT now they see that the best fighters used a little from each school. Now it's called M.M.A., mixed martial arts, and it is a balance of everything.

We'll continue. Thanks A

Anonymous said...

This is the thing, Sean...if I REALLY felt like there was "no good or evil" then my ass would be back in Nevada or even on the internet, trying to make a quick buck! Like you, we are REALLY struggling to pay our bills. That "stellar credit" I had is gone and so is all that money. The nice 30,000$ car I drove has long been auctioned off by the bank. My clothes come from that wonderful boutique, GW (Goodwill)! I work my ass off 40 hours a week and my husband does too but we still come up short every month. If I thought there was nothing wrong with it, I never would have let my car go. I wouldn't have let my credit go. As it stands, sometimes I get tempted but it's my values inside, and how my beautiful daughter would think if she ever knew...THOSE THINGS keep me on the straight and narrow Sean! I might be 45 but I know a woman right now, we makes money and she is over 50!!! I don't do bad things because I don't want to suffer the consequences! It's not about hell either, it's just simply knowing that HOOKING is wrong. It is harmful to your soul that craves LOVE! And our souls do crave that right along with the mind and body!!!

Anonymous said...

There is just no way that I could ever live just doing whatever because there was no right or wrong way. I tried that and look where it got me. Jesus keeps me on the straight and narrow (and mine isn't that straight either) and keeps my mental health in check as well. He is real to me...very real! I have been in His arms and cried while He held me like a child! He is very real to me, Sean because He met me where I was. I'll never NOT believe!

Dr. Frank Plume PhD., Sarcastic Order Of Simple Metaphysicists said...

OK. I could tell by your exclamation points that you have misconstrued something I said. I knew this would be hard for some people to swallow, and I'm sorry that I can't make it any simpler.

I never said to go back to Hooking. I never said to denounce Jesus. There are a couple of assumptions you are incorrectly making from the beginning that is causing you not to see.

First of all, you don't need to be FORGIVEN for anything. The reson you were miserable doing what you did wasn't because it was a horrible thing to do, for which you need to be punished by anyone. It's because you did it for the wrong reasons.

Let me also say quickly that I do not have trouble paying my bills, and I'm not saying that in order to uphold an image of myself. I say that so you KNOW that I am not a hypocrit and you KNOW what I'm saying is true.

You did what you did because you thought that the stellar credit and the cars and the cash would make you complete and whole.

So, even if you are on the "straight and narrow," you are on the wrong path because you are fighting temptation to get that money, and you have already seen that money isn't the answer.

I could sense that the next thing coming has to do with your child and your bills, but the fact is that you will be fine, and you KNOW you will be fine. What you are "struggling" to do is keep up an image of yourself, based on your memories of the past, and try to secure what you think will make you whole, based on your projections of the future, both of which aren't real.

I'm not trying to be condescending toward your faith. As I said, I know Jesus Christ well. Follow him. Realize what it is that has you "struggling."

Thank you very much for the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Wow. Now you are giving me something to think about.

Dr. Frank Plume PhD., Sarcastic Order Of Simple Metaphysicists said...

I'm glad you came back, Anonymous, I was just thinking about you. Besides, we're having fun now. Check out the dinosaurs and the Christians. lol

Back to you, though. I've written a little about good and evil, and (if I ever get a chance lol)I'm about to go over the laws of the land, the legislature, known as the Ten Commandments. (Another one for you to check out)

Realize, when I say religion and government are one in the same, they are just that. This was not so much a conscious decision of the part of wily politicians; it's the structure of the human mind.

Laws and Commandments are based out of our fear of loss, and I'm spending some time really studying the science of our mind, so that I could describe what I've been saying about that better. So, the best way I could explain now is that we are the only ones with a mind evolved enough to have a sense of time.

A frog has no idea what "tomorrow" is. It does not know it is going to die. It doesn't fear death. It doesn't fear anything. We would not be able to fear things if we couldn't think of the past or predict the future.

What we know as good or bad are based on our fear of loss. Human Beings long for relationships with things to identify themselves with, a partner, a car, a job, a career, a title, and we go through life trying to accumulate these things that we want to have (or be).

As soon as something interferes with our stuff, a theft or a breakup or being fired, it's BAD. We don't like the feeling of losing something (even though it's natural), and when we do , we store that feeling in our memory and stir it up as an emotion when something reminds us of that loss.

Do you see what I'm trying to say? Have faith. Jesus agrees with me.

Come over to the Ten Commandments and we'll go throught them, although you could probably see what I mean already.

Continuing to your situation though, regarding good and evil, as we perceive it through our fear of loss, I said our mind evolved more than any other mammal, so we are the "lucky" ones who get free will and who get to experience "evil."

God loves us so much, he thought we should be able to go to hell, come on. No other animal is evil.

Animals don't "murder" each other.(although the ones just below us in mental evolution, Chimps, have been known to kill for no reason on occasion)

Animals don't steal from each other (in the way WE do, to HAVE it), and they don't stress over getting robbed. Everything they do is instinctual. They don't calculate based on time.

Animals have no shame. They don't get jealous. They don't feel regret. These are things made up in the mind of human beings, based solely on them HAVING things and losing them.

We respond negatively to loss. We mourn loss in death, in break-ups, loss of job...etc. We hold these feelings in our memory, and our mind spins them into emotions when they are triggered.

We are taught these emotions from the beginning (remember the "happy face, sad face?")As we grow, we collect them. After a while, we are running totally off of memory and learned responses and feelings.

You only KNOW that something is evil, the way you KNOW that the sky is blue, Anonymous. Shakespeare said, "Nothing is bad, lest the mind maketh so." The past is not reality and there's no reason to use it simply to draw regret from.

I was thinking about why we only remember the good parts of life when we reflect back, you know?

kathy said...

I think what anonymous was saying is that her religious belief, i.e. a fear of hell, or of offending God, is what changed her life. If she did not have that belief, then she would have no moral compass. She would be able to do anything she had to do to make money and pay her bills if she did not have that moral compass. If you believe that this mortal life we have is all there is, then why not make the most of it and enjoy it with the best things in life. Money alone can't buy happiness, however, in my case, my children (my life) live 1200 miles away. With money and freedom from work I could fly back and forth and see them at will, thereby bringing myself happiness and fulfillment.

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Thanks for reading that. Please add some comments, give an opinion, ask questions, disagree. I would love a healthy discussion on this, not to find a winner in this debate, but to find the truth.

- Professor Plume

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