About Easter

I grew up in a household that believed in God, more or less. I’m talking about the Christian one, the one with the Old Testament and the New Testament and Jesus as the Messiah and the Ten Commandments. All that stuff. We didn’t believe in Odin or Zeus or Hercules as the savior of man or that Balder died for our sins; we pretty much took the Bible on faith.

My family didn’t go to church – I think that was my mother’s choice. My mother told me, much later in life, that she believed in God but did not enjoy going to church because of all the fighting. There was a controversy in her church about speaking in tongues, she said, and she just stopped going. She didn’t mind that everyone interpreted the Bible differently, she just didn’t like that people didn’t accept that everyone could. I guess she wanted God to be the judge of man, not man to be the judge of man. She was a good Christian, I would say.

When I went to church regularly, in my teens, I ran afoul of the same controversy. A friend of mine went to his uncle’s church. He learned there that the only way into heaven was to speak in tongues. The only way. If you don’t speak in tongues at some point the Holy Spirit never moved through you and you have no access through the pearly gates. Harsh. My church, the one I attended in my teens, believed it was optional. We were Pentecostal and tongues were fairly common. As I recall, though, only a select few ever spoke, and only a select few ever interpreted. No problem, according to my church. You’re baptized. No problem. God would let you in.

I did some research around that time. This was a hundred years ago, give or take seven decades, so there wasn’t any internet. I researched it the old-fashioned way. I read books, I asked people, I looked stuff up in Bibles and magazines and encyclopedias. Then I found a third belief about the same topic. There were chapters of Christian believers who held that if you speak in tongues it was the devil moving through you. You were going to Hell.

Going. To. Hell.

To summarize, there were three different types of Christians: the ones that believed you only get into Heaven if you speak in tongues, the ones that believed it had no bearing whatsoever on your afterlife, and the ones that believed if you speak in tongues you were eternally damned.

That’s a pretty wide gulf.

People ask me all the time why I’m an atheist. When I was young, I believed in God for the same reason I believed in Santa Claus. That’s what I was told. The controversy about tongues didn’t drive me away from faith in a Christian God. It didn’t specifically drive my mother from church. But it made me question the validity of it. It made me dig deeper. I looked beyond what I was told. If my life has a theme, it is that. Dig deeper. Look beyond what you are told.

I hope everyone has a spectacular day, whatever you believe. Hug tightly to all the family you see. Love one another as much as you love your faith. In fact, love each other more. Speak to them in whatever tongue you favor, and don’t judge them for their sins. Don’t judge them for their beliefs. Nobody knows the truth about why we’re here, especially not the people that swear they do. But while we are here we have each other and we have days like today to be together.

I would give anything I have to hug my mother today. Not judge her, just hug her. And I would give anything if you could, too.

Happy Easter. Everyone.

28 comments on About Easter

  1. Amen to that brother! Very well written and I was very touched and wish I could hug my mother today as well! Have a wonderful Easter with your beautiful wife! 😘😘

    1. Thank you for the wonderful compliment, Alanna! Today was indeed a good day; hope you had a wonderful Easter, as well!

    1. Very nice of you to say; thanks for reading! It’s not too late to catch my calling, is it? 😉

      Love and miss you, too, Sister Kat!

  2. Very well said! Made want to dig deeper in what I have been told when I was younger. Make me miss my family thst are so far way.

    1. Thank you for reading, Sara! We are all overlaid with social and cultural programmings from when we were young and most of us choose to accept these programmings as fact. Everything we experience runs through these filters. If we have an “experience” we immediately relate it to the programming, without a second thought. There are hundreds of different belief systems and thousands of different cultures and every individual relates each experience to their own cultural reference. That realization was the first one that made me question … everything … more than three decades ago. 🙂

      Again, thank you for reading and responding; I hope you had a great Easter!

  3. I am not a religious person, meaning I do not believe that any one religion is absolutely right or perfect. I am, however, a Christian, meaning I do believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God who is our creator. I also believe in the Bible. The Bible can be and is interpreted differently by each and everyone of us. I look at God as my Father who created me and the Bible as his teachings. He said that we must search the scriptures. But he did not promise that we’d find all the answers. Anyone who thinks they know, is delusional. Our God knows beforehand what we are going to do. He gave us free will to make our ownselves as comfortable or as miserable as we wish. He does not control our every thought or action but He does already know before it happens. My main point is supposed to be that God does exist, He is real. He loves you and me! He is watching over us all and someday He will reveal the truth(which by the way none of us actually know). We will all be in AWE!!!! Looking forward to that day when all is revealed!! Just some thoughts to consider…. I do have more thoughts but this is your blog so I’ll shut up now and give it back to you. I do like your blogs!!

    1. Hahaha! Thank you for reading and for the great, well-thought out response, Auntie W! I absolutely agree with you that we do not know all the answers, and I would guess that we never will. The old question asks: do gods create man or does man create gods? A friend of mine said something similar to me on Sunday and phrased it like the old chicken and egg argument. I believe that man created gods to explain the universe and all of its mysteries which is why we have so many of them to choose from throughout history!

      Thanks again for being a part of it; more to come!

      1. I thought this response would post to fb. Guess I screwed that one up!!! There are many out there who might benefit from( my words of wisdom). Is there a way for my response to post to fb??

    1. Thank you, sister! I’m a big believer in one thing: the right to believe what we will. As I told a good friend a few weeks back, there’s no chance that all of us are right but there’s a very good chance that all of us are wrong. 😉 Hope your day is fabulous, C!

  4. This was a wonderful post.
    I’m an atheist too. Once a believer too. Then I grew up and stop believing in Santa.
    Just like you, I don’t mind when others do. What I don’t like is religious fanatics who, like political party members, want me to say too that their God is the supreme being. So basically, if I don’t feel endangered, I’m ok with it. If I do, we don’t have a deal. I’m not trying to make you see things my way and I’d appreciate you do the same. Same rules for all.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Bojana! 👏👏👏

      I’m glad you checked this one out, thank you! This is one of the first ten I ever posted, and still ranks as one of the most viewed of all time. I think, though, I lost a goodly amount of my early readers after this one, and they were all my family. 😉

  5. I love your comment at the end where you encouraged your readers to love on people more than their religion. That’s the problem with religion, honestly. Folks get so wrapped in practices that they forget that it’s the people that they’re supposed to be loving on, not the religion. Love this post.

    1. Thank you, Yaa Yaa! I just jumped over and checked out your site, obvi. 😉 Good stuff!

      I have an inherent bias against religion, and I know that shows. But it isn’t the religion itself, or the people that believe that create that bias, it is the bias that the religious seem to put against everything else. There is no problem with believing something with all your being – I encourage that – but there needs to be an understanding that what we believe may not be the all-being answer, and therefore we should treat others as if their beliefs are also plausible. Mutual respect.

      In fact, whenever religion crosses the border beyond mutual respect, that is when it should be shunned.

      Does that make sense?

      Again, thanks for joining us here; really appreciate your insight! ❤️

      1. Yes, it makes sense. Ya know, I like the way you think: mutual respect, loving on one another, anything is possible, independent thinking…

        These are all principles of most religions, so the real question is – where do they go wrong? Is it because we use religion (like race) as another way to divide people? Perhaps the real problem is the people who endorse these religions.

      2. I think you’re absolutely right, there. Religion always starts as a good idea, then becomes fettered with human dogma. I still think we have a good chance to turn this around, and the only argument anyone has against that is that it’s never happened before. 😉

  6. I have a rather controversial view myself. In my neck of the woods…that can get one in trouble. I have found more atheists to be tolerant than those who preach the peaceful word of their God. Funny thing that, isn’t it.

Now, You Be You:

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