Archives For August 2012
Whether we believe in the divine or not, we must admit something to ourselves. Our ideas are simply that… ideas.
For the believer, any concept you have about God is not literally what God would be, therefore the God you believe in isn’t truly God at all.
For the non-believer, you must imagine a distinct version of a god you are rejecting, which is never the same idea of the god held by the believer.
Over time you realize (well, some of us realize) that reality doesn’t fit nicely into the categories we grew up with. Being raised as a Christian, this fact is becoming all too clear. While many attempt to define positions as “the Christian” perspective, that is simply impossible. For example, some would have you believe that evolution is not a belief compatible with religion and that basically atheism is the driving force behind it. Well, tell that to the 87% of Buddhists, 80% of Hindus, 77% of Jews, 58% of Catholics, 54% of Orthodox, 51% of Mainline Protestants, 45% of Muslims, and even 24% of Evangelicals who believe evolution is the most logical explanation for the origin of life on Earth. You may not like it, but times are changing, and for good reason.
I don’t believe in any organized religion.
No one is right or wrong, and therefore no one has the right to condemn others.
I believe in doing what is right for humanity. If we could do that, the world would be a much greater place.
Just do what is right. And everything could be okay.
Sounds like a good idea.
Follow this mug.
Whether you study The Buddha , or Jesus teachings. They both share these universal teachings: Peace, Love , Compassion. If anyone doesn’t understand : Peace , Love , Compassion, then they do not have peace with themselves. This movement is not a religious movement. As an idealist, I find this movement’s message heart warming with love and kindness.
And just like that, I am reminded of why I started this whole thing.
Running a blog means encountering people with their opinions of your content. Running a blog called “We Occupy Jesus” means encountering people who don’t know how to read our About page (that I took a long to to write, so please take a moment to read it, por favor).
The overwhelming majority of feedback I have received has been positive. However, every once in a while I encounter someone who can’t handle our concept. Here is the general flow of things whenever this conflict rears its ugly head:
1. Someone doesn’t understand our movement, so I explain it and/or refer them to our About page.
2. Someone either understands or misunderstands, and then changes the subject immediately to all the reasons why this is a dumb idea and why they’d never support something with the name Jesus in it, or they then attempt to define atheism as something inherently contradictory to… liking anything about a rabbi from 1st century Palestine. Of course I don’t care if they want to join or not, since the original point was simply clarifying our group’s intention, but somehow now I’m trying to wreck their atheismojo.
3. I, having accepted the fact that the conversation is no longer about the FACT our group is simply a group for atheists, agnostics, and theists who are pro-Jesus principles, then have to make a decision. Do I continue with a clarification of the movement (knowing there is no real point in doing so), or do I systematically refute the obvious petty agenda and ego that is before me. I do not mind clarifying the movement, but when I do this the person feels as though I am trying to persuade them to join, take communion, start a parish, and somehow bow down to the Pope. If I continue with the rebuttals, I suddenly become classified as “defensive” or “arrogant” and conveniently begin to “reinforce” the person’s tainted view of religion (even though I never once make a reference to following a religion… since this is not a religious blog… and I am actually rather agnostic on many levels). Now responding with any hint of emotion, sarcasm, wit, or logic (gasp) justifies everything they are thinking about you.
I honestly don’t care if someone wants to join or not. We’re not an evangelistic group in any sense, besides the fact we want to get the word out that this type of group exists. We know there are lots of pro-Jesus folks who do not identify as “Christian” who are looking for something that is positive, community-driven, and doesn’t require dogmas.
I have some amazing followers who have recently defended the movement (brilliantly) and I am humbled to know them. However, this issue is so ridiculously simple to comprehend. I am a proponent of concise and direct messages, so here goes…
This is a group for everyone who likes the general message of Jesus.
I could say “period” to drive home this point, but sadly people don’t want to let this issue go. Some may feel “true atheists would never like the message of Jesus.” While that is an opinion, it’s false. And when I say it’s false, I mean it’s demonstratively false. People who self-identify as atheist follow this movement. People who do not believe in any god follow this movement. People who have vowed to never set foot back inside a church follow this movement. Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, and even those nifty atheist+ peeps follow this movement. If you feel they’re really theists in disguise, you’re simply delusional.
Sometimes things need to be defined. Other times these definitions need to be expanded. Some may seek to re-write atheism as anti-theism, but that simply is not being objective. While the vast majority of atheists are not following a spiritual path driven by convictions about the Jesus narrative, many of them are. Many of them are finding us. And in the process, they are expanding their own perception of atheism. There is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you less-atheist if you think Jesus was a good guy, teacher, or even an inspirational myth.
Let me put this simply again.
This is a group for everyone who likes the general message of Jesus.
If you think that is something atheists shouldn’t do, make your own group and knock yourself out. We’ll still be here…
P.S. And yes, we will always use the #atheism tag, son.
I did? Apologies.
Submitted by: April.
Deep down we are just trying to make you submit to JESUS according to conservative Christian beliefs. We want to make you believe all kinds of weird stuff because it amuses us. We figure if we can lure an atheist in, we can be all sweet to them in the first week and by the second week we’ll convince them Evolution never happened and all the animals on the entire planet fit onto one boat with one window. Do you see how ridiculously paranoid that is?
Look, life is not an Atheism vs. Christianity binary. We’re not all Christians. I’m more “Buddhist-y” than anything. I don’t think Jesus historically existed. And yet nobody has tried to give me a lobotomy or force a tearful confession or sinner’s prayer from me.
True story. I remain my same Buddhist-y self. We have atheists. We have Christians. We have Buddhists. I’m sure we have many other variations of stuff. The only uniting factor here is people who can agree that… hey… that Jesus story wasn’t a totally lame story. We don’t all necessarily believe in Jesus’ divinity or in concepts like “sin” or “hell”. I know I don’t. We’re more concerned about morality/kindness/decency.
Yet, even as a nonChristian I see value in various myths. I find a lot of value in the Adam and Eve story as a pre-incarnation myth due to my reincarnation beliefs. (I mention that one frequently since it’s my favorite).
Some atheists seem a bit controlling of people’s thoughts and ideas even getting into what metaphors they can like. Jeez. Chill.
I get the anger at “Christianity”. There are some grade A douches out there. But guess what? Your own camp has them too. (Richard Dawkins anyone? If that isn’t the most smug self-righteous… ) They exist in Buddhism, in Paganism, in Islam. It’s not a religious problem… it’s a collectivism problem (When we define ourselves completely by a group/label.) It’s a human problem. So maybe we should forget about where we differ and focus on the issue of: “Is person A a big jerk?” If they are a jerk, their theology or lack thereof doesn’t matter. If they aren’t… same story.
Here’s hoping you disgruntled atheists who feel someone is out to get you here, discover the nuance of life and don’t have a complete meltdown every time someone uses the word atheist and Jesus on the same web page.
Barring that, there is always porn and masturbation. It’s the Internet.
Submitted by: Bananena.
“Atheism” in the Oxford English Dictionary:
disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
late 16th century: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’
As you can see, atheism does not mean “without religion,” nor does it mean “anti-religion.”
Meanwhile, a god is generally defined a supernatural being.
Religions with especially substantial populations of atheists:
- Unitarian Universalism
“Religious people” vs. “atheists” is a dated, exclusive, and nonsensical construction that We Occupy Jesus hopes to break down.
I think things are settled back down again. If anyone else wants to police the “atheist” tag like some glorified hall monitor, talk to my assistant. I’ll be in my trailer being fabulous.