Craig Goes to Church

February 11, 2009

Preface (Feb 23rd 2009):

Wow! I am ever so impressed by the volume, thoughtfulness and compassion in your comments to this one.  I’ve really pulled you mofo’s out of the woodwork.  😉

My experience with Mars Hill Church, now into only its third week, can be classified anywhere between the endpoints of A) being gifted eternal life and freedom by the salvation of Jesus, and B) being psychically metabolized by a cult.

I just have no idea where along the spectrum I am.  No clue.  Manhattan Island?  The Golden Gate Bridge?  Oklahoma City?  Tulsa?  Beats the goddamn out of me.

Once I get me some 20-20 hindsight it’ll make sense and I’ll tell you all about it.  Until then, thank you all for holding my hand in your little ways.  –Craig

——————————–

And now for something completely different.  If you don’t like to see people get bewildered and blubbery then Control-W this tab right now.

“Probably just one of those cry-for-help type things.” –Marla, Fight Club.

Can we talk about this?  I need to talk about this.

I went to church on Sunday.  Yes, church, as in Jesus church, and I’ve been a mess ever since.

I write you good and thoughtful people today to ask if you’ve had any kind of experience like mine, what it was like for you, how you made sense of it and what happened next.

The place is called Mars Hill Church (www.MarsHillChurch.org), and perhaps you’ve already heard about them.  The place is famous in certain circles.  They’re getting a lot of public flack nowadays for denouncing homosexuality, as well they fricking should, because come on people, Iran is that way.

“So why the hell’d you go in there, dumbass?” Yyyeah.  I’ll get to that.

I’d ridden my bicycle past their Ballard (a neighbordhood in Seattle) “campus” about a thousand times.  They have a bunch of “campuses” now, but Ballard is the O-G-rigional and the biggest.  No cross, no steeple, no stained glass, no funny-font sign, no nothing.  Were it not for the word c-h-u-r-c-h spelled out on the understated moderne sign, I’d have assumed it was an overpriced architecture firm or something.

Exterior shot, Mars Hill Church in Ballard, Seattle.

Exterior shot, Mars Hill Church in Ballard, Seattle.

I’d been thinking about going in there for months because, to break it on down for a second, I was lonely.  The only groups of other humans (since college) in which I’d ever found myself were organized around either money, music and/or alcohol, and now that I’m 34 (where’s my cane?) I just can’t keep up with that hampster-wheel anygoddamnedmore.

And not just lonely from other people, but lonely from… something else.

To tell you the honest truth, I do not like the word “Jesus.”  I don’t like to hear it and I really don’t like to say it.  I have better Pavlovian associations with words like “murder” and “poison.”  Words like those I can say without wincing, but not “Jesus.”  All my life it’s been a stupid-person word, an ignorant-person word, the domain of charlatans and suckers like:

  • George W. Bush
  • Oral Roberts
  • Jim Bakker
  • Pat Robertson
  • Jerry Fallwell
  • The Ku Klux Klan
  • Baby-killing conquistators
  • People who honestly believe that the world is flat, 8000 years old, or that Adam and Eve actually existed, like in Sumeria or Utah or someplace

I mean seriously.  You have got to be kidding.

This sort of thinking just doesn’t work at my socio-econo-educational level.  We know too much.  Fossils, infrared background radiation, carbon-14 decay, you name it.

I had a friend in Engineering college named Luke.  He was a Christian, in my Freshman group and always honest and nice to me, and I was to him.  Fellow red-staters, we had things to talk about.  But we drifted in our different directions over the few years, and then the next thing I knew, he jumped off the library and killed himself Junior year.  Not a good sign.

But there’s more to it than that.  The plot thickens as complexity reveals itself:

I’ve also seen and heard the worlds “Jesus” and “love” in very close proximity over the years, and was both intrigued and repulsed.  I’ve expressed my feelings about the J-word above, so let me expound on the L-word now.

I’d never heard someone say they love me without feeling either guilty or suspicious.  I’ve never gotten some award or honor or compliment that I felt.  Straight-A’s?  Perfect attendance?  Yeah thanks, whatever.  Even when a girl would tell me [and it has happened –Craig’s ego], I’d just withdraw, feel ashamed and think “Dammit…  my next victim.”

And that really sucks.  That really really sucks.  I know I have potential, and I know I can do good and important things, but this nagging sense of “No One Cares,” despite all objective and sworn evidence to the contrary, has held me back like a ball and chain for my entire sentient life (and don’t one of you motherfuckers make like you don’t know what I’m talking about, if only just a little, please please please).

And why this church?  Well, I’d visited the local Unitarian Universalist joint here in Seattle some years ago, and found it just boring, not unlike the UU church I’d been raised in back in Muncie, Indiana.  Perfectly nice and intelligent and informed and pleasant people, but frankly just not enough to get up in the morning every Sunday on a consistent basis.

And besides, at least I knew where Mars Hill was, and when to show up, because it says so right there on the sign.  I also knew that they were growing, and I’d heard that it was the youngest church in essentially the whole country.  That helped assuage my expectation of boringness too.

And I’d watched some videos on their website, http://www.MarsHillChurch.org, right there on the front page, including one called “Jesus Versus Religion” that really surprised me.

Saywhuh!?  Jesus Versus Religion?  The heck is going on here?

(Also, if you watch the YouTube, you’ll see the equally surprising and impressive “Why I Hate Religion.”)

I was also superficially intrigued, quite honestly, by this hip/neuvoux outfit in which they’ve dressed up what is essentially… uh… evangelical christianity (Craig sucks in through his teeth).  Homeboy “Pastor Mark” doesn’t even shave regularly, rolls to service directly from the Abercrombie and Fitch dressing room, and does his hair up with goop into a faux-hawk.  What.  The.  Hell.

And I’ve always loved black gospel music.

And religious country songs always choke me up a little.

And I still reflexively say “the lord” from time to time in conversation.

And Pastor Mark’s video sermon-ettes really touched me, right smack on that pre-verbal bulls-eye that waits, ever so vulnerably, within the protective fences of math, language and logic.  He asserts things like:

  • There is such thing as morality.
  • There is such thing as safety.
  • There are differences between the sexes, and that’s a good thing.
  • There’s Right and there’s Wrong, and Wrong will fuck you up every time.
  • There is such a thing as love for no reason.

I mean dangit, this guy is either a perfect sociopathic genius or he’s… something else I don’t have the ready words for.

So yes:

  • I’m an engineer,
  • I got a B average at Harvey Mudd College,
  • I’ve designed thermal and electronic components for NASA (that worked!)
  • I started a company that now employs six with health insurance and everything,
  • I wash, shave and dress myself every morning,
  • I’m good at algebra, trigonometry and calculus,
  • I got an 800 on my math GRE test, 640 verbal,
  • I can find most countries on a world map,
  • I’ve traveled to foreign countries,
  • and
  • I felt the need to go into Mars Hill Church last Sunday.

So yeah.  Here we go.  Don’t look at anyone.  Act like it’s no big deal…

Ho!  Lee!  Crap!  It was like Def Leppard in there!

They have a band (guitar, singer, violin, drums and organ) just like James Brown’s church in the Blues Brothers.  They have five or six big-screen high-definition projection TV’s hanging from the ceiling, upon which they play a Powerpoint slide show of the lyrics alongside various inspirational clip-art like:

  • The highway into the desert
  • The cloud-obscured mountaintop
  • The stairway up into the light of day

…so they don’t need no hymnals!  You just read the words right off the screen!

And then the lights go down and they play, on the TV’s, a little five-minute film noir movie about a woman riding around in a big Cadillac with a uniformed driver wearing a ring that says “hypocrite”.  They stop at a stoplight that says “worldliness.”  She gets out and walks into a seedy office building with a neon sign that says “SIN” and up the stairs to an office door with the crinkled-glass window (just like Humphrey Bogart’s offices) upon which is painted “The Trial: 8 Witnesses.  James 1-2”.  Because that’s the theme for the next eight months.  They give away a half-inch-thick study guide and everything.

Holy moly.  This must be what funding looks like!

And then the lights come up and there’s Pastor Mark Driscoll Himself.  And he preaches.  I honestly can’t remember most of it because my head was spinning with a general mental din of What The Hell Is Going On Here?

He’s dressed up in a black and white suit like a lawyer, because “God puts us through many trials to make us better Christians, and I’m your attorney.”  The stage is made up like a movie set of a 30’s art-deco legal office.  I repeat: The stage is made up like a movie set.

And the place is packed.  I’d never seen a church filled beyond 50% capacity in my life.  They had to strategically remove the side-ropes from alongside blocks of chairs in order to pack the people into the front seats, the next block back, the next block behind, etc.

Maybe one out of ten or twenty people there had gray hair.  Tops.  In a church.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just couldn’t believe it.

And they’ve got these Fujifilm cameras following Pastor Mark around like he’s Bono, and I noticed that I’m mostly watching the nearby HD TV, not the man himself further away, because I can see him better on the TV.  I can see his face and his expressions.  How he wiggles his hands and eyebrows.

And then it hits me: They’ve got like ten churches now, all with the exact same service times, and it’s not just for “the consistency of the brand,” like Big Macs at every McDonalds.  Oh no.  (Have you got it yet?)  The people in the other churches (one for almost every neighborhood of Seattle)?  They’re watching TV’s too… exactly what I’m watching in here.  Real time.  Booyah.

Ho!  This place is the laser-guided GPS bunker-busting smart-bomb superweapon of meme warfare.  After all, the memes that win are the memes that:

  • Replicate quickly (thus the smaller neighborhood churches)
  • Replicate accurately (thus the TV’s)
  • Replicate cheaply (no raw materials and they tithe like the dickens)
  • Reject and kill off competing memes (thus the Bible-is-true-and-other-religions-are-wrong thing).

Wow.  Shock and Awe fo-real.

And I feel compelled toward the guy.  He draws a crowd for a reason.  He makes sense of my life in a way no one else has.

And..

And..

AND the crazy bastard insists that Adam and Eve were real.  And that the Bible is literally true, and that all the other holy books are wrong.

Dammit!  I’m going crazy!

Communion time.  More music, more slideshow lyrics.  Everyone gets up and does the thing, but I’d sat in the middle of my row so I don’t have to move.

I watch a young couple in front of me.  His arm is around her, her head is on his shoulder, and they get up and walk to communion holding hands.  I think of all the wonderful beautiful things I’ve been just so sure I could never have (also for no reason!), and then about the malignant sureness itself and If Only If Only and that’s it, I’ve had it.  I can’t take it anymore and bust up crying.

And then the other pastor comes out with his day-three beard, emo plastic eyeglasses and zip-up hoodie sweatshirt telling us all how much he loves us, and here are today’s announcements.

I sit in my chair for a half-hour after it’s over, expressionless.  I’m affected, okay?

I find the Visitor Center (of course there’s a Visitor Center), drink their coffee and eat their cupcakes.  I turn to the nearest name tag, Deacon Joe, and I just let him have it as best I can.   I really appreciate this, but what the heck is up with that?  And we talk for two hours.  And he gives me a book (“Vintage Jesus”, in which Pastor Mark explains how certain parts of the Bible prove why other parts of the same Bible are true, help me Jesus help me).  As I finish my last cupcake Deacon Joe puts his hand on my shoulder and prays for me.  And I let him.  Because I’m grateful anyway, no bullshit.  And Deacon Joe goes to his meeting.  And I go to the grocery store.  I’ve been in there for four hours.

And I’m angry.

I’m angry for being so weak as to get sucked in there at all, and for wanting to go back again too.  I’m angry for being asked to sell out my knowledge and intelligence and denouce my gay friends, who have always been there for me and been so much more generous towards me than I’ve been toward them, just to have a community that I can come to at a regular time and says it cares about me… (and also collects tithes).

I’m angry for not being smart enough to… to find a better way through life that works, makes sense and doesn’t ask me to be dishonest.

…and that’s it.  I’m just exhausted.  I’ll keep you posted.  It’ll make sense later. I apologize for putting anyone off, but I felt the need to come clean about this somehow, and my co-workers are not into this sort of thing at all.  WhatEVER you feel like sharing I would very much appreciate.

“It’s been emotional.”  –Big Chris, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

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14 Responses to “Craig Goes to Church”

  1. Patri Friedman Says:

    Thanks for the post! I don’t think you should be angry at yourself for not being able to replication the social functions of a church. I think the problem is that we lack a secular religion that is true to science and engineering, while also being true to the human desire to be inspired and amazed and lose our identities and feel part of a tribe of people united in passion and inspiration and prayer.

    We are a society in transition. First we were hunter-gatherer tribes. We had a long time to adjust to that. Then we were farmers. For only 10,000 years. We’ve adjusted some – gotten better at digesting grains and dairy, but incompletely. Then, a few hundred years ago, came the industrial revolution. There is evidence that we’ve even managed to evolve to fit that a tiny bit, even though it’s an incredibly short period of time. But a tiny bit only.

    Our environment and social organization and technology are really different from our nature. So of course you get mismatches between social institutions (The Church) and modern things like science. And an awkward situation where science is a superior explanation for the origins of humanity and the universe, yet does not replace any of the Church’s social organization functions. Which leaves us adrift.

    I mean, I guess I’m being overly nice when I say it isn’t your fault at all. It is a tiny bit. There are substitutions. You can go out and find them. But they are definitely inferior – hence why The Church is still so successful despite massive evidence of it being deeply wrong about important things it claims authority over.

    It could be worse. You could choose to believe in what makes you feel good, instead of what you know to be true. I prefer truth to happiness. But I’d rather have both. In a few decades when I get done fixing government, maybe I’ll start a church, if no one has started a good one yet :).

  2. craigrmeyer Says:

    My man. Thanks Patri.

  3. ekpaulson Says:

    My wife and I are both atheists. It is more difficult to face life without the comfort of some “greater purpose” and/or a powerful paternal figure “looking out for you.” But for me, it is more honest.

    I agree with Patri that science has (unintentionally) destroyed the credibility of religion and hasn’t created anything in its place that fills the necessary social role of the church. And unfortunately, I don’t think “anti-religion” is enough of a rallying cause (nor should it be) to sustain an alternative “church.” You can’t herd cats, or atheists.

    Outside of church, the only places I have found the sort of human bonding like you are describing has been playing sports and performing music, neither of which are easy to find in adult life, especially if you haven’t developed skills already. I am missing these things myself. I was playing indoor soccer and taking kickboxing classes, but both those opportunities dried up and I haven’t gotten around to replacing them. I feel a void because of it.

    Many people fill these needs, I am sure, by becoming part of an organization centered around a mission or even a hobby. And for some their work life may be enough.

    Others turn to social drinking or gambling, which is a pretty self-destructive way to try to fill this void. For these people, religion is likely a blessing, and I am glad that it is there for them, although I wish there were other better options that didn’t force people into self-delusion.

    This discussion reminds me of “The Nothing” (ala Neverending Story) which you talked about in college. It seems that it is one of the perils of modern life, much like obesity and sloth.

    In the past we humans *had* to band together just to survive, and a few moments of solitude was probably a precious thing. Now we can lay on the couch, isolated in our private space, eating an abundance of high-calorie food, half-filling our need for interaction using a television or computer. Our instinctive desires do not serve us well in modern life.

    I don’t have any easy answers, other than to say you aren’t alone, both in life and your unfilled needs for bonding, acceptance, purpose and joy.

    I wish you success in your journey.

  4. craigrmeyer Says:

    Man. I’m so impressed! I’ve shown myself as weak and uncertain as I’ve ever been, taken and published a shapshot of that me, if you will, and gotten back nothing but empathy and understanding.

    Thank you again.

  5. Mark Says:

    I grew up in SoCal, so I didn’t have too much religion around me, although it *was* Orange County, so there were quite a few people who went to church on Sundays and the TBN building. Religion always seemed like an “other people” thing to me.

    But I can still feel the need.

    I’ve been thinking for a long time about a church-like place. A place where people can get excited and FEEL, just like they do in church, but about things that are REAL. Philosophical debates about morality in the absence of a cosmic tattletale. Observations of how AMAZING the universe really is, without the need to blame it on someone. Real “Good News” about the latest discoveries, keeping us informed and excited about the world around us. Good works and volunteerism, without being told to do so by some dude at Y0K. Maybe we can sing some songs, too.

  6. George Vamos Says:

    Megadittos.

    I have the same problem, along with the ridiculous urge to cure it.

    I concluded that religion and science are compatible, iff:

    1. Science sticks to “what is”
    2. Religion sticks to “what should be, and what should we do”

    Statements of values are not validated by matching the world state. They can be inhumane, inconsistent, vile, but they are never defeated (as values) by scientific observables.

    Without either of these requiring the truth of propositions in each other’s domains. Of course, If religion has to be mythology and ethics derived from that mythology, the above would be impossible. (I would say that most people would argue that to be a religion, it must be based on some mythology, but that would still leave the possibility that the benefits derived from religion may not require a mythology.) It may also be possible that the role of “faith” is to demonstrate our commitment to the community in a way that our fellow members can judge as “reliable”. Think of it as the ability to make a trustworthy commitment with another prisoner in a game of prisoner’s dilemma. Religious people say “they do not trust the secular, since they can do anything…” taking this at face (faith?) value, maybe believing the unbelievable is a way to signal to your fellows that you can be trusted not to betray them.

    I would happily participate in social rituals in an community where the main focus is how should we live our lives support the larger community. (2400 years ago the Stoics and especially the Epicurians had such communities. ) And if I were not happily married, I would be especially happy to meet girls there who shared my values.

    In the Seattle area, are there any communities built around social action, such as Habitat for Humanity or Medicins Sans Frontiers? The music will probably not be great, but they should require less doublethink. they may even have realistic, intelligent but still warm hearted girls.

    May Athena, Aphrodite and Hera bless you.

  7. craigrmeyer Says:

    Thanks to everyone. Keep it coming. People are finding this.

  8. craigrmeyer Says:

    I walked home the long way a couple weeks ago (pre-Mars Hill) and had a private out-loud don’t-give-a-fuck crazy-person conversation with God/intuition/whoeveryoucallit.

    And I came to the conclusion: “I’ve been trying to live without you [God]. It had never occurred to me to take seriously the possibility of your existence, and even if you DID exist, I’d never suppose you cared about ME… and that’s the same thought, isn’t it?”

    And: “I’ve been trying to build up my little sand castle bunker of bullshit in which to HIDE from life and the world. From money, from people, from women, from risk, you name it. I tried to set my expectations and desires so LOW, and my “skills” and “education” and “abilities” so HIGH, that I could make the equation work and maintain a hiding place I could CONTROL, because I was alone and that’s the best I could do.”

    “And it hasn’t worked for shit. Not matter how LITTLE I try to control all by myself without any help, it still goes out of control and takes me with it.”

    And I was reflecting, with the help of my good friend Lion over the telephone, about my experience last Sunday, and my being flabbergasted by 1: This baseless yet heartbreaking assertion of “love without reason” and also 2: How observing the example of the young couple shone a flashlight into this huge and empty–but also heavy–box I’ve been carrying around All This Time.

    And it came to me, just a few minutes ago, that I’ve been living a life that’s LOVELESS, without even the concept, however realized. Like I said, whenever someone has said they love me, I feel either A: guilty for having manipulated THEM (and believe me I have), or B: contemptuous for their manipulating ME.

    Maybe I gave up when I was a youngster, or maybe I never learned it in the first place. I had never thought or felt about WHY my parents had me, or about how I was something they WANTED. I was just THERE. And of course this jibes pretty well with what little I know of THEIR stories too. [No doubt you’d ever want me to think that, Mom and Dad.]

    So one of the “reasons” I was so struck by the Mars Hill place is that before, I just hadn’t noticed that the box EXISTED, let alone that it was cold and EMPTY. No one has ever asked me “So, which make of helicopter do YOU fly?” either. It’s like that.

    Experience, integrate, experience, integrate…

  9. Walt Says:

    A good ship was never made to lay in safe harbor, don’t be angry, just love your scantlings…

  10. robbbbbb Says:

    I’m late to the party, but need to comment, ‘cuz what you’re going through is important. Really, seriously, deathly important. And you’re going to get the opposite point-of-view from me than you’re going to get from Patri.

    I was in high school when I got the same exposure to evangelical Christianity that you did. The thing that struck me, the thing that pulled me in like Mars Hill did for you is the love in the room. And that’s a big thing.

    Look, you’ll find assholes everywhere. You turn over some stones, you’ll find them at Mars Hill, too, I guarantee it. Any organization that size will have some bad apples. But I have generally found that Christian Churches have a higher percentage of genuinely nice people than anywhere else I’ve ever been in my life. They really do care. They love you unconditionally. And they want you to feel the joy that they get from that church. It is, quite literally, their mission in life.

    That’s what got me. That’s what pulled me in. And that’s what’s kept me attached to Christianity, through all the ups and downs. I don’t do an especially good job of being a Christian, sometimes, but then, all have fallen short of the Glory of God. And it’s nice to have that reminder, and the ability to pick yourself up after your mistakes. And a community of people who are there to help you after you’ve decided you’ve made an error.

    You never did get that from the Unitarian Universalists, did you? You know why? ‘Cuz they don’t believe anything. (Or, rather, they believe everything, which is the same damn thing.)

    And you don’t have to give up being an intellectual to be involved with the Christian Church. St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Hi.” More recently, John Paul II was a deep and subtle thinker, and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Heck, pick up some of C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction. Mere Christianity is a great start. (But The Screwtape Letters might be his best work.)

    You’re my friend. And you’re local. This is terribly, deeply important stuff, and you have my attention. I can recommend books; you can call or email to follow up, too. And I know people in the area who’d be willing to chat with you, on just a moment’s notice. (And heck, a friend of mine runs a Bible study in Bellevue. We can crash it, if you want.)

  11. craigrmeyer Says:

    My man! Thanks, Robobbbb.

    I haven’t missed a Sunday or Wednesday Bible study yet. Yeah no shit. They’ve introduced me to their spouses and kids and given me a Bible and everything. In the past I’ve imagined myself as a great inventor, phenomenon country singer, astronaut, Marine, debtor’s prison death-row inmate, police officer and high-tech drug smuggler, but NEVER a Christian. It would appear that anything is possible, Rob.

    And I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate my interest in and respect for other peoples and cultures with the it’s-Jesus-or-it’s-wrong *facet* of what they’re up to, and how IMPORTANT it is to believe something absolutely. There’s got to be a bigger-tent “solution” to this and I’ll keep on trying to work it out because it’s damned important.

    But you’re absolutely right, Rob. There’s love in that room, love I’ve not found in public anywhere else, at least not in this town. It reminds me of home (Muncie Indiana). I’ve met plenty of Christian types back home who believe the earth is 8000 years old and that Saddam “had something to do with 9-11”, yeah sure, but they’ve ALSO done all kinds of thing to help me and my family out, big and small, with honestly nothing to gain themselves. It made an impression.

    And my friendship with Deacon Joe continues. He’s been there when I needed to talk to someone and has even invited me out for coffee and stuff. Simple and affordable gestures, you could say, but simple and affordable gestures I haven’t been getting from (or giving TO) anyone else. That says a lot too.

    I remember when I first “got” calculus, and the magic relationship between derivatives and integrals, and how they related to physical phenomenon. It was a new concept that was also TRUE, and opened up new doors to bigger possibilities than I’d seen before. That’s the closest analogy I’ve yet arrived at for my experience with Mars Hill Church, though it isn’t a very good one. My language is still lacking for describing this kind of thing.

    So yeah, a long-winded way of saying “Thanks. You’re right. I hear ya.”

  12. robbbbbb Says:

    The big thing I’d encourage you to do is broaden your exposure to Christian thought. Your local church is a marvellous resource for your emotional and social needs. But you have intellectual needs, too. And getting exposed to other thinking on Christian ideas will only help you understand better.

    Re: Language. You will also find that Christians have their own internal language. I tend to refer to it as Christianese, and it drives me absoutely ^&*@# nuts. It’s lovely, sometimes, because it describes events and emotions that have no place outside of the Christian life, but it’s an insider language.

    And if you ever have a hankerin’ for the real old-timey stuff, you can come to Catholic mass with us on a Sunday morning. You can listen to my wife blast out the big ol’ hymns on the organ while we all sing along.

  13. Nathan Says:

    Hey Craig, This is Nathan from way back at the Academy… I saw the link to your blog on facebook, and read this interesting post… and thought I’d give my own two cents…. having been in a similar boat and all.

    For me, I’ve found a route to the truth in Zen and it’s koans. I think Buddhism is more compatible with Science than Christianity… There’s a little problem in that Science is inherently dualistic and I think that doing Science contradicts some of Mr. Buddha’s life advice… but Buddhism can still work to get your enlightenment on, and after that you don’t need to worry about any conflict betwixt God and Science… you see that Science and Math are intertwined with the Divine and whatnot…. and the Divine is everywhere in every moment, and knowing how to see it offers me peace on bad days..

    And if you don’t like Eastern mumbo-jumbo, there’s also a path to the Truth through Jesus via Gnosis… which is a type of Chrisitianity that was largely exterminated by the Orthodox types around 400-500 AD. Turns out doubting Thomas wrote a gospel, and it reads well for us skeptical types.

    Anyway, I’m rambling… if you’re interested just drop me a note on facebook and I can point you towards some good reading material and offer up some mathematical style logic…

    I don’t normally put my nose into other people’s religious biddness, but I just wanted to offer my help if you wanted something spiritual that still matched science (and didn’t teach gay-hating).

    And if you want to chart your own course, drop me a note anyway… I’d like to catch up 🙂 No mumbo-jumbo if you don’t want it, I can stay out of your biddness. To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever been motivated to share this sort of stuff… growing up in Indiana taught me to fear talking about this stuff.

    p.s. a link about the Bible an similar books: http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

  14. craigrmeyer Says:

    Some notes from a chat session with Da Ex, with surprising overlap with the above:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/

    (Dassit for today.)


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