Day 25 Question 25:
What do you believe constitutes as a sin?
I answer this question with the blood pumping through my veins pretty rapidly. As you know I have been on a documentary kick lately. I don’t get into scientific and history documentaries so much…they may peak my interest here and there though. Tonight I decided to watch Most Hated Family in America. I speak of the Phelps family from Topeka, Kansas. The creators of the Westboro Baptist Church. I have never watched such pure filth in my entire life. I completely admit that I am ignorant when it comes to religion and the complete understand of various theologies and the Bible. I never attended church regularly and when I did as a child I never put much effort in while I was there because honestly my mind was elsewhere. Not one ounce of me (and I am sure lots of people that know me would agree) believes that I am a bad person or I am damned to go to Hell because of making the choice not to believe in something. I spend majority of everyday trying to increase my knowledge and treat people with kindness and respect. I strive to make people’s days better by paying them compliments or sharing stories with them. I believe I have a gift of putting people at ease by making them feel an immediate sense of comfort when they are around me. I am not bragging. I am just stating qualities and traits about myself that I believe are very positive. God, the Bible or church had no affect on these characteristics I have within myself. I have stated it before and I will state it again, I have a great respect for those that attend church and praise their God. I admire them for having such strong convictions. I just choose to live believing in love and making your own choices as you see fit according to how you feel. I am currently in a time in my life where I am seeking knowledge wherever I can and am trying to take in as much as I can. I want to absorb things. Yes, I would like to try to absorb as much positivity as possible but I expose myself to negativity as well…some by choice and some by chance. I really don’t criticize people’s lifestyles unless I believe they are harmful to themselves or others and usually that is pretty extreme. I am a good person and no one can convince me differently. I believe that if someone in the church is going to judge and criticize me for my choices or actions then they are not living by the words of the Bible they claim to be so sacred. I cannot chain myself to a belief because I know I will make mistakes throughout my entire life. I know I have and will continue to “sin” throughout my whole life and I do not want to live a life of fear because I am not following a certain set of rules that in my opinion are unknown. Again, I respect people’s beliefs, but FOR ME (and me only) I have a hard time believing something I do not absolutely know. Religion/God/The Bible are only one small part of the stuff that I am unsure of the truth.
According to the dictionary sin is
1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time.
According to these words, I sin all of the time. I have done things in a moment without thinking that I regretted later. Some of these things may have included using hateful words or language or using poor judgment. I see these things as being human not as sins. At this time in our lives we are already bogged down by laws and rules and regulations and policies almost everywhere we go. Society is making us into robots in a sense. Big Brother is watching us. I just believe that living through the fear of “sinning” and going to hell is no way to live. In my opinion, it takes the joy out of life because you are no longer living for you. I do realize though, the message of many churches is to put God before yourself. If people choose to do that I am completely fine with that. I do not choose to do that. I believe people have to be accountable for their actions and from what I have experienced and viewed a lot of people are putting their actions into the hands of “God” to take care of. I don’t know if they are just not understanding what the message really is or if I don’t???
I know I am probably going to catch a lot of heat for this blog entry. Religion is a very touchy subject. I will say it again though, these are just my opinions. My character shines through in my writings and I would hope that most people would realize that. So, just to get back for a moment discussing the documentary I watched. If I were to believe in “sin” then the Phelps family are the absolutely truest sinners in the world. I find all of their actions to be an absolute disgrace to the human race. I am actually shocked that no one has gunned them down at one of the rallies (no I am not saying I want that to happen, I am just saying I am surprised some very angry individual has not done it—then again I can’t believe OJ Simpson wasn’t gunned down but that is another story in and of itself). I believe everyone in this world has love within themselves and has the capacity to show it but some just choose hate instead. I believe that if there is a God that he would think the same way. To walk around saying God Hate Fags and saying soldiers that were killed fighting for our countries freedom deserved to die is nothing but pure evil. I may be ignorant about a lot of things and may not always be sure what my beliefs truly are but what I do believe in is humanity and helping thy neighbor. It will not always be an easy task but being compassionate and empathetic is within all of us. This documentary showed 7 and 9 year olds picketing on the side of the road holding signs that said: God Hates You or God Hates the Troops. When asked if they knew what these things meant they both stood there clueless. They had to have the answers fed to them by their mother. This is not a church. This is a cult. These people have all been brainwashed. This is no different from David Koresh and the cult he lead in Waco, Texas. If I were to use the word sin, this behavior would define it.
I had a girl send me an email once that said how can you call yourself Agnostic when you speak a lot about Buddhism and read stuff from the Dalai Lama. My answer was simple. I keep my mind open to as much as I possibly can in order to potentially find stronger convictions in certain things. I told her I admire a lot about Buddhist philosophies but I cannot claim myself as a Buddhist. I also told her I would not be opposed to reading the Bible. It is a learning tool and an experience just like anything else. This is why I love the way I choose to live because I give myself this kind of freedom. I choose not to be limited. I do not mind if people educate me on their beliefs but I do not want it shoved down my throat. I do not want people telling me I need to think this way or that way or even tell me I SHOULD think a certain way. What a lot of people do not understand is the concept of tact and discretion. I am willing to listen to you and consider what you say if you come at me in a manner in which you are exposing something new to me to give me new information. Once you tell me my way of doing things or my way of thinking is wrong or I need to do things a certain way according to your beliefs I will immediately shut the idea out of my head.
As so many of you know by now I believe in beauty. I think that the world is all about these things and sometimes these things get lost or get warped but they are still there. This is all I want to share with people and if they choose not to take it that is ok. All I want is for people to experience happiness in their lives that comes at their own free will. I state over and over again in this blog that everything I write is strictly opinion based because my experiences will never match up with another person’s. There will come times that I want people to agree with me and I will get frustrated when they don’t but I am aware of that as well. That does not control me. It’s a self-awareness and learning process. I don’t care what religion, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender you are. If you show that you are a kind person that strives to do good as often as possible then I will accept you. If you make mistakes and take ownership for them I will have great respect for you. It is quite simple.
One day I was driving to my parents house and I passed a church and on the sign it read: Homosexuality may be legal in New York but it is still illegal in the bible. I literally did a double take and couldn’t believe I didn’t run my car off the road. I see people as people. We all live and breathe the same air and walk on 2 legs (if we are lucky) and have eyes and ears and mouths (again if we are lucky). I thought to myself, “Why don’t they just write I Hate Fags on their sign.” The message they were trying to convey was pretty much that anyway. I can’t wrap my brain around prejudices like that. I, honestly believe that people are born gay. In this day and age I do not believe ANYONE would choose to be gay with how mean and hateful people can act. Matthew Shephard was hung from a fence in the middle of nowhere and left to die because he was gay. He was ridiculed and beaten because of his sexual preference. I still remember being in my college dorm room and listening to the news and waiting to see if he was going to make it. He did not. People are people. Everyone should have the same rights and everyone should be treated the same but unfortunately it is not that way in this world. It saddens me because I have many gay friends that I think are some of the most amazing people in the world. One of my closest friends is the manager at the restaurant that I work and he is gay. I love him with all of my heart and I want nothing for him but the utmost happiness a person could experience. His sexuality is of no concern to me. What matters about him is his caring nature and his connection to the people he surrounds himself with. Many people don’t even know he is gay and his personality just makes people radiate to him. So, because he is gay, he does not deserve the same rights as me because I am straight? Out of all of the people I have met in my life he ranks in the top 5 of being the most wonderful, kind and compassionate people I have encountered. His sexuality does not define him at all. I really do wish things were different in this country…hell in the world but I realize in my lifetime I may not see all of the changes that I would like to but that does not mean I won’t stop fighting with this army of 1 (ME). I really did not get too in depth with the question at hand but I believe I gave my thoughts for the day that I felt were important. I, usually leave off my posts asking for people to just keep an open mind or think about something or another. I am not asking you to agree with me, just keep the thoughts in your head and be open to something different. With this post, I just ask you to think about the love that is in the world even when you may not see it. When you have the urge to judge or condemn someone ask yourself what you are guilty of and if your judgment is then necessary. We all make mistakes in life and there is nothing wrong with it if we do what we can to fix them. I wish the Phelps family had a different mind-set but they do not and probably never will. It is saddening but it doesn’t change me. To all of my readers, thank you for the continuing support. Even if our views don’t match up we are all still artists and creators. :0)