Hey God. It’s me. Over here.

I’m always struck by the irony of Christians saying atheists focus only on themselves.  Christians think of themselves as unselfish.  Just the opposite is true.  Focus on self is part of the faith.

I read an interview with some mega church pastor who said Obama, right now, is paving the way for the return of the antiChrist.  He thinks this is a watershed moment for the morals, not just of the U.S., but the entire globe. Jesus preached to people at that time he and all of them were living at the end times. Jesus thought his few square miles was the entire globe.  Jesus and the mega church preacher are two self-inflated people.

Leaving aside the ego it takes to believe there is a god, ruler of the universe, who knows my thoughts, there is ego also in thinking the particular moment in time I live in is the turning point of all history.

Jesus thought his time was the most important. Every generation has thought the same thing.  It makes humans feel important if they think they are living in a more important time than the other hundreds of thousands of years.  “How can I be just a moment lost to the sands of time.  The future moral values of human kind rests on those of us alive today.”

Neither of the two big politial issues of our day, gay marriage nor Obamacare, are really moral issues. They are things that just that came along.

Neither will be looked back on as watershed changes in values.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-pastor-robert-jeffress-on-heaven-and-end-times-prophecy-including-obama-paving-way-for-antichrist-112950/

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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40 Responses to Hey God. It’s me. Over here.

  1. H.P.Drifter says:

    Jon
    You and I and everybody on the post knows that education is the only thing that is going to sort things out. We are in this era because of education good or bad, it is what it is. If you don’t get people to be independent thinkers nothing will change, hopefully some of us on this blog and else where can help educate people as to how to think for themselves whether they agree with us or not. As long as they start to think about what they think, it is a start. I think history will not be kind to this era because of the subtle manipulation of people by the media, the church, and the government. Change in our time will not happened to level that will enable humans to live like we should free of fear, tyranny, guilt thrown upon us by the fore mentioned groups. The groups themselves will evolve in what direction I don’t think anybody has a clue. Its thinking on your feet while you are running on your journey through life that will make all the difference. Trust no one but your own instincts. Trust is to verify the facts as they relate to you. Build your relationships on facts not just feelings, take nothing for granted. Your liberty is at stake and the liberty of everyone else as well. Being critical only helps you as a person, being critical for the sake of being critical like some people on the blog gets us no where and detracts from the purpose of what we are trying to do here, trade information for mutual benefit. This is not a lesson in semantics as much as it is a lesson in life and living for yourselves and people you care for, then and only then things will change. Dog eat Dog world think or be eaten yourself, If you had a choice I am sure someone on the blog would tell you. As of yet I have not seen this happen. Petty for Petty or Fact for Fact. Lets trade

    H.D.P.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      H.P.D. 12:01 Good essay. Thanks for writing it.

      • H.P.Drifter says:

        Thank you Jon for keeping the the blog and putting up with everyone. It is fun and educational in many ways

        • entech says:

          Certainly educational, I didn’t know that Texas was so far behind the rest of the world. Until I read the referenced piece about Pastor Robert Jeffress and the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, He is doing well congregation is less than half what it was when he was “called” in 1999 – keep up the good work Bob.

          I thought it was all a bit of joking, like Irish Jokes in England – best ones come in reverse. Why do they make Irish jokes so simple, so that the English can understand them.

          So when I read a comment about America and Mexico fighting over Texas, with Mexico winning and forcing America to keep Texas it was only half a joke. And that The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is not really classed as a Reality Show in Texas.??? :roll:

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 11:20 re: Rev Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX

            Maybe Jeffress and !st Baptist, Dallas, are indicative of Texas. In 1991, 1st Baptist, Dallas had 28,000 members. Today it is under 10,000. Jeffress called Catholics, Satanists, Muslims, evil and Mormons, cultists. He’s on a roll.

    • David says:

      Trust no one but your own instincts? That’s a sad world. We have to trust. You likely trust certain scientists if you’re an atheist. You trust the whole notion of science and its integrity, despite the difficulty of the whole notion of proof. There has always been propaganda or manipulation – which when you think about it is nothing more than one person’s opinion. No one is objective. A lawyer will argue their case stressing the best sides of their case. You have argued your opinion but you as a necessity have left out the other side of the matter. One could argue that you are manipulating people – subtly. I wouldn’t characterize it that way because manipulation and propaganda have a negative connotation. In the same manner I think the media, government and religious are trying to make their point. Sometimes they are not effective or don’t promote my values.

      Ironically, I disagree that education in the formal sense is the answer – at least as it exists today. Way to much opinion and soft social science nonsense. The classrooms of today are dominated by left leaning professors. Kids are not taught to think critically but rather regurgitate what the professor wants to hear.

      More important than knowledge are values. Values tell someone what to do with knowledge. We did not have slavery over a lack of knowledge. Some may argue that. However, I would argue that the values of the South lead to justifications for slavery. Values led to the Holocaust. Values allowed Stalin’s brutal campaign against his own people.

      Your remarks above stem from your values of freedom, anti-tyranny, critical thinking and freedom from guilt (presumably religious guilt). However, if I valued conformity above freedom – it would matter little how much I knew. In fact I may use my knowledge to force people to conform. The question then comes as to where we get our values. Are there common values? The battle of values is what is currently causing a polarity in this country. Security v. Opportunity. Equality v. freedom. Safety v. Privacy. Tradition v. Progress.

    • StanB says:

      Paragraphs?

  2. entech says:

    I’m always struck by the irony of Christians
    The problem is they have no sense of iron(y) being stuck with a bronze age mentality.

    • H.P.Drifter says:

      Entec-Iron is too good for them, lets try stone age, still laughing about your erudite and able to hide his attributes post from the other day, got the whole family laughing from Washington D.C. to L.A

      • entech says:

        Stop it you embarrass me, you will have me thinking I am another wannabe, that is a close cousin to a couldabin.

        You know I couldabin a hero, or, I wannabe famous but no one recognises me.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Whatever you personally woulda, coulda, shoulda, or wanna, is your business. Makes no difference to me. What you need is a publicist. some of the least deserving and most recognised have publicists. Tooting your own horn in the parking lot of the Super Bowl is only short term, but feel free to do so.

          • entech says:

            What on earth does this have anything to do with you. I asked H.P.D, to stop saying nice things about me, in case I got to thinking of myself in those terms.

            I does seem that you misinterpretation has more to do with your own problems and your consistent efforts to project them on to others.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your usage of “wanna” was implicit. (remember your self proclaimed dry humor). If your intentions were other, you should have chosen your words more wisely.

            Re. your 5:32, 1st sentence; You said …”I am ((another))wannabe”, indicating another “wannabe ” you are considering. I’m not familiar with any “couldabins”.

            Your 2nd one sentence paragraph spoken in first person, without quotation marks, (your words), makes it appear to indicate a case of low self esteem, or unfulfilled ambitions.

            Your sensitivity reflects the possibility of failed deniability.

          • entech says:

            Not at all. You are taking all of this far too personally.

            You are Wanna B Sure: wannabe, couldabin and similar types of expression are very common here and I am assuming there too. If you remember “on the waterfront” where Brando was saying about being held back and he could a been a contender.

            My last sentence was not at all personal, just intended as examples of the way the expressions are used here. My local pub has a part of the bar designated as “The Couldabin Corner”, very popular on Friday Evening at the end of the working week. Another thing that comes out in this crowd is the “so I said to him I said” comments, this usually resolves to what the person “woulda” said if they had had the courage or wit.

            I know it is hard for you but you have to realise that this blog is not centred around you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            ..”not centered around you”. But much of your sensitivity is.

          • entech says:

            WTF (bit of implied vulgarity) is that incoherent nonsense supposed to mean.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Also; I’, not from there, and don’t go to your pub.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            @ 10:34; There there. You have come to conclusions based on far less information.

          • entech says:

            I had promised myself a rest from the futility of trying to reason with you, but I guess you are following Luther’s thought about reason and Christianity being incompatible. None the less you are a source of amusement, but enough is enough, good bye.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Nothing to do with Luther. But if your reasoning can’t keep up, oh well. Not my nickel.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            AND; We aren’t even talking about anything related to religion, Christianity or atheism. Another failed attempt at expanding the argument.

  3. David says:

    Jon,

    I think narcissism is emblematic of the age within which we are living. I don’t believe it’s restricted to Christianity – nor a product of it. Self esteem has clearly gotten out of control. Perhaps to be an atheist, at least in this country, requires more individualism as they tend to go against the grain. Sometimes people think that atheism stems from hedonism and perhaps that gets confused with narcissism. Sometimes I suppose atheists are driven by hedonism, but I don’t think that’s at the core. I don’t think atheists are narcissists, but there is a sense of superiority that is gained by being cynical. A cynic, in the modern sense, gains pleasure from being right and against conventional wisdom. It sets them apart as having more knowledge or insight. That said, I don’t think it’s selfishness.

    Secularism I think tends to be more the norm. In polite society we don’t talk about religion – or really atheism either. We tend to cringe at displays of religious attitudes. Cynicism for most things especially things of tradition is celebrated. While atheists may not be celebrated I think the underlying attitude is. My point is this attitude runs rampant through a great deal of religious communities. They just tend to be cynical about different things. The focus on self, also a part of secularism, whether it be hedonism or just plain overwrought self esteem. We do not want our children to believe they are anything less than awesome. Most, of course by definition, are average. I just don’t think that this is a product of Christianity, but rather of a culture that breeds selfishness. We’re told that the rich are bad because they took all the money. We are envious of the rich. The rich are mad because the government takes all their money – they are resentful of this “theft” because it is “mine.” Kids are taught that they are all great or need to be great. Everyone needs to win. If they don’t the deck is clearly stacked against them.

    I think Christians are generally as selfish as the next person. That said, Christian doctrine is certainly not selfish. The teaching is to be selfless. Whether you believe in Christianity or not this aspect of it most would agree is noble.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      David 8:50 “I think narcissism is emblematic of the age we are living in. I don’t believe it’s restricted to Christianity–not a product of it.”

      I started the blog with the observations Chrisitans think atheists center of self. The point I tried to make is that Christians center on self. In fact, the doctrine itself says each person is known to the devine and should look forward to personal pleasures in the hereafter.

      I don’t deny our society generally is narcississic–from reading the Bible, it doesn’t seem much different now than it was then. I guess there is no way to tell really.

      “That said, Christian doctrine is certainly not selfish.”

      There are two parts of Christian doctrine. One is to be humble, the other is humbleness is rewarded. I think it’s only partly humble. I’ve asked here countless times if there are Christian readers who would keep the faith if it dropped all notion of the afterlife. No volunteers as yet.

      Thanks for the comments. You are a good writer.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        I think there is a certain amount of selfishness in Atheism as well. Then again depends on which flavor of atheism too. Does it really matter that God is in the pledge.. After all if there is a God its a tribute, if not, who’s it hurting? Pick your battles…

        I find the 10 commandments on public property mostly amusing in that it allows other religious icons to be there (well it should anyways.) As to how it impacts me… meh, it doesn’t. I would like to see something else put up next to it just to show Christians what they’re asking for… But I think Athiests take it a bit far.

        So, I think Athiests can be a bit selfish in trying to force “believers” to see the truth. Though I don’t agree with church practices and organized religion. I recognize that who am I to say they’ve all got it wrong. I know no better than they do if they’re right or not..

        I like the “you have to prove it” montage, however, there may be strict rules on direct intervention with our “budding race”. I think of Star Trek’s Federation rule on contact with a new civilization. Do not interfere with their civilization and let them move forward as they are naturally supposed to without interference. If God has a no interference dictate that we are to figure things out ourselves… Well, then athiests are sorta right and Christians are sorta right.

        I think “thought” could go a long way as a civilization if Christians accepted the possibility “That God isn’t what or who they think he is.” And if Athiests were more open to accepting “There could be some type of advanced being out there. We don’t know who or what it is though.”

        The truth though is we’re stubborn humans, and we want to be right, and that is our selfishness and pride. Both want to be right and are certain they are mostly right.

        I wonder how much more advanced humanity could be if we agreed on a public common code of ethics, and moved forward with religion as a private practice / belief in the institution of family and influencing the community with actions. And churches were discontinued and people didn’t care about the religious beliefs of each other. It would certainly help there to be less amateur judges…

      • David says:

        Thanks Jon. I appreciate your hard work on this site. I am sure you are a busy man outside of writing a blog. I can’t imagine coming up with new topics on religion, atheism and the like. You do an excellent job. I get animated sometimes but I still value your opinion and those of others. If I didn’t I wouldn’t get worked up. Thank you for offering a spot to think about things in a different way.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          David 6:34 “Thanks Jon. I appreciate your hard work on this site.”

          You are welcome and I appreciate you and everyone else who takes the time to read and participate. This blog is the classic, “Hobby that got out of hand.”

  4. Simple says:

    Jesus has been coming back any minute now for 2000 years.

    I saw pastor Jeffries on Bill O’Reilly. So much paranoia. These people claim to believe in a loving and all-powerful god who has their back. They say that in the back of the book(bible) that they win. Then why are they so paranoid and insecure? Maybe they don’t even believe their own BS anymore.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      My dad has focused so much on end times prophecy, teaching classes at church and drawing parallels to our own lives… I think the need to understand Christianity for some lies in the future. If they could just be right about the future then everything else is right. But, my dad being a somewhat cynical christian also states that he doesn’t believe the rapture of christians will happen before the great tribulations. He believes Christians will be tried along side the non christians and that it’s going to get pretty rough…

      My sister got so freaked out by his constant need to review prophecy that she finally told him that I’m not listening to it anymore. And won’t participate in the prophecy conversations. Because she sees how sad and disheartening it is to see society move into a hyper security state, where no one can do anything without the governments approval or risk being killed.

      The sad thing is that christians don’t look at prophecy to prevent it.. It’s unpreventable… There’s no choice it’s going to happen, no they look at it as a way of proving everything is true. You can’t prove the past, so, might as well prove the prophecies are true by focusing on the future.. This will then validate everything in the bible.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wolfy32 2:21 “..n0 they look at it as a way of proving everything is true.”

        That’s interesting to me because I’ve never been around people like your father, obcessessed with prophesy. As I understand it, he “proves” the faith is correct by “proving” these future things will happen. This, because, “You can’t prove the past..”

        • Wolfy32 says:

          Jon, that is my own hypothesis. I don’t really have a way of proving it true.. I had one “debate” with him on the bible and I asked about the age of people in the bible that everyone is hundreds of years old. I got explanations from the gene pool was more pure then and thus people genetically lived longer, and then this canopy theory that pre-Noah, the earth was surrounded by a huge amount of water vapor. And that that amount of water vapor led people to live longer. (by hundreds of years?) And then at Noah’s time, the vapor canopy fell to the earth. Thus creating the rivers, lakes, possibly some of the oceans too… (Not sure how salt was held in the atmosphere though.)

          He was so absolute in how right he was that there was no debate, it was final this was true.

          So, I don’t know if prophecy is a form of validation or if it’s just something that he was obsessed about. I read through revelations 3-4 times word for word as a young adult just out of high school. and most of it just simply terrified me, there was nothing comforting in it. Seeing everyone you know and love vanish, with the threat you may be left behind, but no idea where you’re going if you’re included.. and the whole world turning into a police state that any christian can be killed on site?

          Yeah, a bit terrifying and this is children school and youth group stuff? One sunday school we had to watch a movie on the end times and how the whole world turned against a group of people because they were christian.

          It’s pretty crazy to be raised on the stuff and not be paranoid that someone’s out to get you..

          • Jinx says:

            Wolfy, I was exposed to some of that by my mother when I was a preteen and I eventually rejected it. I have a couple of nutball right wing christian sisters who spout that crap all the time……

            Very insightful post, never thought of that before!

  5. H.P.Drifter says:

    Great posts Wolfy an insider’s view into a world some of us have really never dealt with in life.

    I got the more cold stuffy, prim and proper version we were dressed in uniforms shoes shined for breakfast at 6 am, coat and tie for dinner at 6pm. We were required to report what we did for the day at dinner. I was the eldest I went first, if you were late for anything you were screwed.

    • Henry says:

      HP Von Trapp:“We were required to report what we did for the day at dinner.”

      Sounds like your parents took an interest in your daily life. That is good.

  6. H.P.Drifter says:

    Wolfy and guys

    I am a practical non believer, some how people label non believers as Atheist and militant at that. Which was implied this morning by David. That I was somewhat manipulative as well, which simply not fact or the fact that I trusted Science or Scientist as factual, I don’t. I have seen them over my life time change the facts too often. If you call people out to start thinking and not just take orders and go with flow, then you could say I was manipulative.

    Really if someone wanted the ten commandments inscribed on roads around here I wouldn’t object, perhaps the roads would grip better and they wouldn’t no have to redo them so often, I don’t care what anybody else does, as long as they have some basic morals and exercise ethical behavior.

    Don’t bother me and you won’t hear from me or see me going about my own business. I think people should be exposed to things so they can make up their own mind. Most of my large family are very strict and tea toddlers, at home when I was young and we were at the dinner we had three choices of what to drink, water, milk or wine (father liked wine with dinner) or any combination of the three. I was in high school when I drank my first soda pop, now I drink distilled water most of the time (tastes better, just make sure you take a multi-viatim so you get your minerals) Maybe I might have a soda when we eat out, never even been in a Liquor Store here in the state, don’t know what the rules are don’t care, don’t drink alcohol.

    People need to be educated, formal and non formal, read instead of watching TV, use the libraries. Watch a movie once in while, have fun, exercise, be productive at something, if you want to take it further great, if your happy with simple life that okay too.

    Religion just doesn’t do it for me, like Realist said I am happy as a clam, without religion. My pet peeve is when I see someone being stupid or acting stupid and making themselves dangerous or dangerous to others this I don’t need. Keep it intelligent and keep it simply,

    H.P.D.

    • David says:

      HPD – I did not mean to call you manipulative. Rather, what I was saying is that all people expressing their opinion are manipulating. Society tends to give manipulation a bad connotation, but it’s really only when we don’t appreciate the point of view that we call it manipulation. I don’t have a problem with manipulation in the sense that people are trying to persuade. I very much appreciate your opinion. I just see things differently.

      I also tend to agree with a healthy dose of skepticism as well as critical thinking. I also believe, however, that we need to trust. We will get hurt, but I think on the whole it is a better existence.

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