Rollercoaster riding time. I've never been busier in a long while - I'm juggling drawings, sub-editing and school work (which is killer with tests and projects at every turn) - and I think I'm barely hanging on. I mugged as hell and got 16/30 for the first test/quiz, which was pretty discouraging but as said many times before, it's really up to the individual if he/she chooses to be screwed up by something, so I just sucked it up, tried working harder and got a more decent 45/60 for my mid-term paper (yes, freakin' mid-terms at the end of just the 2nd week!).
Had my second matriculation today, which turned out to be a very messed up affair because I was being good ol' me - forgetting to do and bring everything at the last moment. So I'll have to go back again either tomorrow or next monday to finish up. Nonetheless, I got a part of second-matric done today, which included sitting through a rather boring community service talk and getting bombarded by seniors getting us to join all the camps. It's gonna be an extremely busy period in the near future for me, before school starts somewhere around the 20th of August.
Things have become a little complicated between Kee and I for a bit. It's not the first time Christianity has been an issue for the both of us - her faith in it and vice versa for me.
Let's just say that when it comes to the scale of being Christian to being Atheist, I'm somewhere in between rather than at either end. I've come a long way since those naive years of realising a faith like Christianity existed I think. During those early years I resented religion - they made no sense to me and sounded plain ridiculous. I did not exclusively reserve such sentiment to any one faith in particular; I thought all religions were foolish.
Over the years though, I've come to understand that everything is alot more complicated than it seems. To attempt to talk about the reasons that sum up to my stand now would be too herculean a task to handle; I could end up typing for hours and this post would go on forever.
Personally, I do believe that there is a system of sorts, quite possibly spiritual, that governs our physical (non-spiritual) realm and hence I do not doubt the possibility of a creator - God if you will, if personification suits your liking. We are all elements of this system and however you like to see it, we are either co-creators or pawns with a part and purpose to play.
To doubt that tremendously backed fact that everything today is a miracle would be silly; in my own scientific way of looking at it - the Big Bang - if, within one second of the moment of creation, the rate of expansion of cosmic energy had been different by one part per quadrillion (15 zeros), we won't exist. Less, and expansion would be too fast for anything to form. More, and the universe would have collapsed in on itself. I'm sure there will be other interpretations of creation, and you will be entitled to your own beliefs.
I'm not anti-religion, or more specifically, not anti-Christ. If having a particular faith makes you a better person, whether or not you embrace the faith to make you stronger or that the faith has, in some way or other, made you 'see the light', by all means do seek religion.
Around here is perhaps where the problem arises. While I believe that every religion is right in it's own manner, i.e. they are all denominators by which people seek the 'truth' or spiritual well-being and move closer to God, I am perturbed by the insistence of Christianity to be the one true faith. And while it is easy to pinpoint atheists and agnostics as the other extreme end against religion, Christianity seems to take it that all non-believers are wrong. This is said in very simplistic terms, so I'm sure there will be some who will attempt to disqualify this statement. Depending on how strictly the Bible is followed, people enforce this belief to varying degrees.
In other words, just not accepting Christ as a part of my life doesn't mean I'm anti-Christ.
And this doesn't particularly go down well with me, because I strongly believe that to each his own, especially when it is clear that I'm not anti-God in any manner. I have my own ways; I just chose not to embrace the Christian belief of Jesus dying for our sins, leading a Christian way of life and seeing that it is most important to dedicate a lifetime to serving God - in fact it is counterintuitive to assume that I will be more orientated towards finding Spiritual well-being in doing so, because I would probably end up being more disorientated and further from it.
I once posted a joke that the kid in Pursuit of Happyness made - of the drowning guy who didn't wanna get help from passing boats and eventually died and asked God why He didn't save him, and God said, "I sent you 2 boats you dummy!" - there is a point beyond the seemingly innocent nature of the joke. Many people are so caught up with the idea of salvation and the laws of the Bible that they may sometimes overlook what's more important. Now, this is my own little humble personal opinion, but sometimes Christians are so caught up with the sentimentality of the whole thing (of serving God, of Jesus dying for our sins, of the law of the Bible), it almost becomes drama. But I do not doubt that this sentimentality probably works for them because it drives them to be closer to their Christian God, and closer to Spiritual well-being. But please, it is not assumeable that it will work for anyone else. It is like trying to align a rifle bullet with a bazooka and hoping it will shoot all the same.
Which leads me on to a more trivial issue (depending on how you look at it though - it is trivial to me but it may not be so for others). I've told Kee that I find the language of the Bible very haughty. Of course, you say, it is from the Lord Almighty and thus are commands and are rightly so. Everything is in black and white - sin or no sin. How do you judge what is really right or wrong sometimes? Is there no room for doing the wrong thing for the greater right?
I always like fighting a case for homosexuality, because it is a very scientific and religious conundrum. Do you blame or condemn people for simply being who they are? For many of them, the nature of their sexuality is often determined from their first sexual stirrings. It is easy for a heterosexual - especially a heterosexual christian - to say, "but it is wrong, because homosexuality is against nature and thus, unnatural and a blasphemious abhorration against God's will." Well, it would be most unnatural for a homosexual to engage in heterosexual intercourse. Just try and imagine the opposite scenario for yourself.
Ultimately, christian vs non-believer arguments will never reach resolve, unless one of the two is less knowledgeable or that either one or both parties are willing to take a leap of faith in the discussion and be the other person. In fact, the two are basically fighting in wrong directions, because they are assuming they know the right target points to hit when in fact the answers simply don't make sense. Until then, all answers thrown back at questions will hardly be satisfactory to either party. Likewise, any claim made by one side, any at all, will probably sound offensive to the other.
Just picture Christian reasonings. "But the Bible says so" and "because it is the work of Satan" barely makes sense to non-christians and yet they use it so often; it is almost ridiculous to the non-christian. The opposite can be said for atheistic views - to attempt to convince a christian, who is so grounded in his or her faith, that everything was created from a tiny speck that had all the energy in the universe and quite possibly more 'since the universe is still expanding', or that a person recovered from the brink of a fatal illness not because of prayer or God's work but because of fluke science and medicine, would really sound equally ridiculous.
Back to myself, can anyone actually ever perceive a christian Jose? It is just like imagining a rational, peace-loving George Bush or a murderous Mother Theresa, for lack of better examples. I believe I can put it on myself to accept things as they are, but then there are further potential complications.
I don't quite mean to be divulging very personal anecdotes but I think there is a bigger picture for everyone to see.
If you're not already sick from all that reading, do check out the following links. They are really good and insightful:
What the Bible says - and doesn't say - about Homosexuality
The Real Story on Gay Genes
The God Fuse - 10 Things Christians and Atheists Can - and MUST - Agree On
I've got quite a bit to comment about homosexuality as well.
Telepath wanted: you know where to apply.
Puddle Of Mudd - Away From Me