Does God Hate Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll?

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by Melody Fletcher on June 12, 2014

 

Awesome Dude asks: “I have a question… It’s quite serious (for me personally.) I am a religious person (wait, don’t click away!) I have found alignment within my religion. I’m a Muslim and I found out that the Law of Attraction fits in perfectly with my religion. The only thing that I don’t really understand is the prohibition of some stuff, including Homosexuality, Adultery, Alcohol, drugs in general. I mean if God (or in your case source) wants us to expand and grow, why did he prohibit the things that help us do just that? The reason why I’m asking you and not some religious leader is that some of them are a little bit on the crazy side…most of them claim to have knowledge about religion but I can feel the discord in their tone. And you’re really awesome and I trust that your answer is going to be not crazy (I hope XD).”

Hey there Awesome Dude,

First of all, “crazy” is relative. I’m about to do a post on God which will fly in the face of A LOT of what religions have taught us. Some might call that crazy.

Also, don’t worry. We don’t hate religious people around here. We don’t hate anyone. Just like God. See what I did there? Yeah, you do…

I’m happy to use the term “God” if that’s your thing. If it’s not, you can translate it into “Source”, “Universe” or “Your Higher Self”. It’s all basically the same thing (we are all aspects of God, the Divine, the Universe, whatever), so use the term that makes you feel the best.

But, if we’re going to use the term God, then we have to define it first. Because there are a lot of definitions out there, and not all of them are what we would call resistance free.

What God isn’t

God doesn’t hate. God doesn’t prohibit. God doesn’t exclude. Go doesn’t punish. God is not angry with humanity.  God is will not make you burn in hell for all eternity for making a “mistake”. God is not testing you. God is not powerlessness. God does not want you to suffer. God does not need you to prove your worthiness. God is not petty. God did not give you “free will” only to smack you for doing something he doesn’t like. God doesn’t put things on the menu that you’re not allowed to order (that is not free will). God is not the douchebag.

What God is

God is love. God is compassion. God is inclusive. God is kindness. There is no punishment because there’s no need to punish. God doesn’t judge. There is no eternal damnation (holding a grudge for eternity… Really, religion?). God is empowering. God is joy. God is playfulness. God gave you free will so you can use it, and however you use it is ok because there’s value in all experiences. God knows your worth. God knows your perfection. God is emotionally balanced. God is pretty damn awesome.

The contradiction

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s dig in a little further. The confusion that you’re feeling is normal (this stuff should confuse you. It makes no sense). Disclaimer (like it’s going to help at this point…): The following description is kind of an amalgamation of modern religion, and isn’t meant to be a representation of the Islam faith or any other specific belief system. It will, however, be colored pretty heavily by Christianity, because that’s the faith I grew up in and know the most about. As always, take the bits that resonate with you and disregard the rest.

You’re told that God is loving, but then people try to use that same God as a justification to hate, torture and kill others. They use the concept of God as a way to exclude others, call them unnatural, and judge anyone who dares not to conform to whatever rigid rules they’ve decided connote virtuousness. And I know that I’m going to get letters for this (don’t care), but God didn’t prohibit anything. Why would he need to? Think about. The basic concept of God that most of us have been sold is this:

Picture an angry, petty, yet all powerful being that creates a planet and puts a bunch of beings on it. He decides to make one being the “master” of all the others, so the beasts are in service to man. He can basically be as shitty to them as he likes, and that’s ok. Also, he can do pretty much anything to women and children, too. They don’t really count as much, either. So, the whole system is based on hierarchy, with someone being at the top (God, then man, then maybe horses, then male children, then women, then livestock and then female children. Or something like that…) and all others being somewhere below that. The higher you are on that pyramid scheme, the more you get to torture those below you under the guise of keeping them in line with God’s Will.

Which, by the way, is fickle. God doesn’t like a whole lot of stuff, and it’s always changing, depending on who’s talking to God. That’s not going to be you, of course, since you’re not qualified. Someone with a higher standing than you, like a man of the church, will do that for you. But I’m sure they’re all totally unbiased and never have their own agenda.

Now, this God totally loves you, but if you mess up even a little bit, and seriously, it could just a teensy bit and be something totally arbitrary, you should be put to death, preferably in a horrific way. You’ll then burn in hell for all eternity. If all of humanity pisses God off, or if he’s had too much to drink, he’ll just wipe us all out. He created us, but apparently he kind of messed us up (we’re broken), but because his ego won’t let him admit it, he blames us and charges us with proving our worthiness despite our inherent design flaws. He also loves to play mind games and incite wars, inflict famine, withhold affection and food, and is basically a collection of humanity’s worst qualities. This God is more representative of an abusive husband than an all-powerful, loving creator.

How did we get it so wrong?

Now, before you despair or go screaming “conspiracy theory”, let’s take a quick look at how we could’ve gotten so far off course on this whole religion thing. I mean, it’s pretty clear from the early teachings of each religion that the base of each was bathed in love and compassion and empowerment. But then, it kind of got off track. Why?

If you remember that your reality is simply a mirror to your vibration, and that society as a whole is a mirror to society’s collective vibration, then it stands to reason that the way we see the concept of God is merely a reflection of our collective beliefs. In other words, if we feel powerless, then we have to have a God that reflects that to us. If we feel unworthy, then we will have to have a God that requires us to prove our worth, but never really allows us to. If we feel judgmental, the so will our God. If we feel angry, then so will our God. Our God is a reflection of us. So, when we see a concept of God that basically reflects the worst of humanity, this is merely a mirror of the vibration that was present at that time. In Christianity, the Old Testament God is a hell of a lot more emotionally and psychologically unbalanced than the New Testament God. Well, so were the people.

When you feel completely powerless, it actually feels good to think that there’s a vengeful God up there somewhere who will smite the “bad” people. And if you are drawn to the idea of torturing others in order to express the fear within you and your civilization, then what better way to give yourself permission to do that than to convince yourself that this is what God would do? And if Homosexuality makes you uncomfortable because you have strong beliefs that won’t allow you to be who you really want to be (and if you can’t be yourself then why should they be allowed to, goddammit), then God hating gays becomes a convenient excuse.

Don’t blame the words

God’s words don’t cause us to judge and hate others. But how we choose to interpret those words (any words really, but let’s stick to religion in this case) is a reflection of the fears and judgments that are already present. If you have a lot of fear in your heart, you’re going to read the Bible or the Qur’an or whatever very differently than when you’re coming from a place of love. In other words, don’t blame religion for fundamentalism. Fundamentalists are crazy, hateful people who will use anything as an excuse to lash out (they are coming from a place of extreme fear), and God fits the bill nicely. Because you can’t argue with the word of God, can you. Or can you?

Well, I happen to think you can. “God said so” is not a valid way to justify an action or point of view. Whose God said so? Not my God. Maybe your God. But why would you choose to focus on a version of God that’s so fear based? Why does your God have to be so afraid?

Yeah… you have a choice

But that’s the rub, isn’t it? People don’t realize they have a choice. In fact, we’re told actively that we cannot simply choose whatever version of God appeals to us. We have to accept the one we’re presented with, no matter how crazy, vindictive, hateful, prejudiced, or petty that version may be. And boy will we fight to the death to prove to each other that OUR shitty version of God is the “real” one. We should be afraid of God. And we should have the good decency to hate ourselves for not being good enough for this mentally unstable, abusive douchebag. Well, I call Bullshit.

God isn’t a douchebag. But some people are. And we can use the concept of God to try and justify our doucheyness all we want (and we will not be stopped, free will and all that), but in the end, it’s still all us. God doesn’t force us to hate anyone. In fact, there’s a reason that hate feels the way it does. It’s because God, the Universe, our Inner Being, doesn’t agree with hate! God isn’t afraid and has no need to force us into conformity. Again, that’s all us.

I have an idea: Why don’t we all agree to stop using God as an excuse to be assholes?

So, Gays and Booze and sleeping around are ok?

The short answer to that is: yes. From God’s or the Universe’s point of view, it’s ALL ok. If it wasn’t ok, it wouldn’t be on the menu. You can order whatever you want. The key is to figure out what you want, what serves you.

There’s nothing unnatural about being homosexual or heterosexual or transsexual or nonsexual or anythingelsesexual. There’s nothing unnatural about the human body and its urges. Because there’s nothing unnatural about us.

Now, I know that sex is a loaded topic, and while I can’t address the whole subject here, I’m happy to hit a couple of highlights. When sex comes up, we inevitably hear about the dangers of sex, specifically how it might impact the children. We should all stop having sex or even talking about it because of the children. They’ll either want to do it, or they’ll get molested. Because that’s how pedophilia happens (that’s sarcasm right there, in case you missed it)…  Of course, the ideal and balanced sexual state is one that involves not only the consent of both (or however many) parties involved, but total abandon, free from shame or guilt or judgment. The key to avoiding unbalanced sexual encounters, however, is not to demonize sex altogether, but rather to look at what causes the imbalance in the first place. This means, that we need to talk MORE about it, address imbalance openly, allow people to examine and release their fears, and embrace what is so obviously a gift of immense pleasure.

In other words, the way to stop pedophilia or unwanted teenage pregnancies is not to make kids afraid of sex. It’s honesty, openness and a willingness to delve into our own discomfort. Of course, if you don’t understand how people function or how emotions work, and you’re too afraid to deal with your own shame and fear, then hating anything that triggers you and blaming God for it is, well let’s face it, a lot easier.

It’s also totally ok to drink alcohol. Now, you may not choose to, because it doesn’t make you feel good, personally, but don’t condemn the whole concept of drinking. I personally only drink about once a year now, and only champagne (it’s the only kind of alcohol that still agrees with me, and only when I really feel like it). I don’t try to stay away from alcohol, it simply holds no appeal for me, and I’m happy to be around people who are drinking, as long as they’re happy drunks. My recent video on Marijuana outlined how I feel about drugs, and my post on cheating covers adultery.

Be willing to dig deeper

The point is no activity is inherently “bad”. There are activities that are creative and inclusive and move you towards love and Who You Really Are (God), and there are activities that are destructive and exclusive and move you away from Who You Really Are. Which activities fall into which category is going to differ from person to person, and from time to time. For example, you may find that you cheated on someone in the past, but you now want to stop that cycle.

In order to shift those behaviors, however, we need to dig a little bit into the root cause of those actions. What would make a person want to get drunk every night or cheat on their partner? What would make a person hate others? What would make a person lash out violently against people or animals and justify cruelty? There are answers to these questions, but they’ll be different for each person. Having one, simple solution for all is a great marketing tactic, but it’s not helpful in the least.

We’re waking up

If being intolerant no longer feels good to you, then good. The reflection of intolerance (the church’s decree to hate a group of people) will no longer “fit” for you, and you should drop it. Remember that your religious beliefs are a reflection of your vibration, not the cause of it. If you’re intolerant, it’s not God’s fault, even if it’s easier to blame him than get to the source of your intolerance.

If judging certain behaviors to be unacceptable no longer resonates with you, then good. It means you’re becoming less judgmental and more God-like. God doesn’t judge. When you can allow others to be who they are, and where they are on their path, when you can learn to shine your own light so brightly that you can’t help but illuminate all those around you, instead of focusing on how others should NOT shine theirs, when you can give yourself FULL permission to be Who You Really Are, to be happy, to be joyful, to be love, to be worthy, to remember who you’ve always known you were, that’s when you’ll feel closest to God. That’s when you’ll know God. That’s when you’ll realize that you are God. And, it has to be said, it’s about freaking time.

 

{ 33 comments }

Stacie June 12, 2014 at 19:13

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Meloldy! That is all.

Lorraine June 12, 2014 at 19:32

Hi
Great post and I just love the picture!!!

Speak soon

Lorraine xxx

Eva June 12, 2014 at 20:01

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! I grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical church and I broke ties with my family and everyone I knew when I left there (except one sister and her Family). I had to get out of this cycle of fear and power, where forgiveness was preached, but never granted and love was proclaimed, but never practiced. Reading posts like yours today makes my heart sing and I feel so joyful, because in the mean time I’ve learned (and still am learning) to trust what feels right to me – and this SOOO does!
Big love!!!

Anne June 12, 2014 at 20:06

Amen to that! Love you for writing this post. Up till now I found your site ‘interesting’, but this makes me feel al warm and glowy inside, because finally someone – you- put a voice to the sense of the world I carry inside me :)

Zequeatta Jaques June 12, 2014 at 20:19

Melody, I agree with you that God is an all-loving God and He wants the best for us all. And yes, He did give us free will, however, He also gave us guidelines to live by – Not guidelines to use to judge others or to justify warfare or whatever, but standards that He as our creator wants us as humans to live by. Too many people look to others for their answers to life when they should break open the Bible and read it for themselves. And there are too many who twist the words of the Bible to fit what they want it to say and not what it actually says. Enjoyed the post. Wish you the best.

Rev. Roxanne K. Cottell June 12, 2014 at 20:47

Well…if it isn’t the God with whom I also grew up, and in the same manner that I did.

Hey Melody…how is my favorite Snarky Pup? While I read your words, so eloquently stating in the most “Mel” kind of way, the way that the God of the masses is very dearly and very much like an abusive mate I could do nothing more than (of course) think of these words to write to you, and of course, throw my head back in boisterous laughter thinking that finally, someone else on this planet GETS IT in terms of how it is that a vast majority of domestic abuse victims and survivors were all raised “in the church.” Yes, of course, this post applies to me and particularly to an abusive husband, which, as you are well aware of, I know much about.

Like you, I also had to get over everything that I was told would send me to Hell with a quickness, and I had to take things in a logical manner (which is like, way way way hard for me…I’m a Pisces…we are the imagination of the Universe lol), and this did not happen for me until about ten years ago. After thirty plus years of believing in someone else’s fears, I learned, very well, in fact, how it was that my being someone’s victim of domestic abuse came to be, and it was all connected to the beliefs that I was raised with.

I was taught that the man is the head of the household, and for years, I might have heard my mother talking as though no man would be in control of her, but then, as I got older and the abuse got to be more heinous, I started realizing that I learned my dependence on someone else’s idea about me from her. To this day my mother is a staunch Born Again person, lives her life by that book that I was taught to thump people with whenever it was that they said anything at all that did not match what I was taught by them, and is an expertly trained judgmental person. Hawaiians – we have what I call “the token gay” in every family, and one can imagine my confusion while growing up about how it was that in church, when my dad, the preacher, would tell us that according to his book, we are meant to be exclusive and that all others were beneath us and that we had to save them from themselves, finally, at the tender age of…I think I was 12…I questioned what it was that he was teaching. We shall say that I was promptly punished, not for questioning them (because I reminded them that Christ was but a child when he was in the temple with the scholars and also questioned them, as I had questioned my own parents). I wanted to know how the hell it was that we were taught to love all, but that if who we were loving was not also Born Again, that it was my duty to lead them to the Lawd. Imagine how it might have been for me when, at that age, and having danced hula my whole life, and having been around a whole LOT of gay Hawaiian men, how confused a little born again (NOT) in training I was…as you well know, and according to what you see on my wall on facebook, I clearly failed that training, and happily, even luckily so. Because I lost the fear of the angry God, I ultimately saved myself and my own kids from the same fate I suffered, and of course, went on to work in the world with other abuse survivors and am now thriving, sort of, or at least am starting to.(And I am SO digging it!! I have you and this awesome blog to thank, at least in part, for my pulling my head out of my okole…mahalo, girl!!)

Now, let us get one thing very clear here – I hate no one, hate no religion, have no judgment call to make when it comes to other peoples’ beliefs, but I have to draw the line where people will tell anyone else at all that if they do not conform to the things that these people who are shoving this crap into the brains of the masses are being told, that not only will we be sent straight to hell, but we will be judged harshly, by their God, through them, and that since it is that they are saved, they have the right to do God’s bidding no matter what.

I am sorry, but this is horribly abusive, is dangerous in a lot of ways (think bombers in the name of their God and crazy gun toting rednecks and their Lawd), and keeps hidden the truth of things as they really are. The reason that people like bombers and rednecks end up, in my opinion, doing the things that they do, all in the name of the Lawd, is because it is one thing to question what we each believe – it is normal and healthy to do so – it is quite another thing to believe what we will, so dearly, and then to,underneath it all, question our very selves, and more, to have to deal with it when other people find out that we were wrong, that the things we have been taught and chose to believe were not the rightest and neither the most upstanding-est, and then there is the guilt over lambasting others over what they do not want to believe (free will rocks, folks), and the shame over having believed something that was metaphoric in nature and not the absolute black and white truth of things.

In the same light, the way that an abuser turns a perfectly not-so-outta-her-mind person into an actual almost-outta-her-mind-person is through the very same tactics that are used by these people who are more about collecting people to take their side (ummm…hello? Westbourough Baptist? Might not be spelled right…but it’s because I can’t give attention to morons choosing to join the moron parade…). An abuser will always reach for the fear within us, always take the easiest way to finding out how much of an actual douchebag he or she (yes, LOTSA she’s out there in abuser-world) and will always and actually put a hurt that is, in essence, permanent (because no one can un-go through what they go through…something that my own coaching clients have a hard time thinking about but eventually understand with a few sessions…I am sure you get what I am saying…anyhow…) and is made permanent by the constant and ongoing reminders that we, their at-one-time (in my case) victim, are beneath them, will never be as important as they are, are the only person in their lives who is useless without them, are broken and wrecked no matter how cool we really are, and that the only way to surviving this lifetime is through them, the very ones who scare the crap out of us, much like the unenlightened religious zealots who are scared to be found out as a fraud with their own level of beliefs, are and the zealots who want to save us all through scaring the hell and the vengeful God into us. It is the same.

SO, I thought I might comment about how it is that a whole LOT of abused people end up that way because of how we were raised – with the fear of God and with the man at the pulpit, himself, not truly understanding that not everyone is going to continue to stay static in what they are willing to believe. Like an abuse victim who is striving to survive, so, too, must those who are questioning their own beliefs and how truthful said beliefs were handed to them and in what manner those beliefs were delivered. In the same light that is the abused person wanting to survive, so, too must people who were brought up to believe what they do and who now question those beliefs come to the conclusion that they were lied to, horribly, and that most of all, the beliefs that they hold, no matter what, are the only ones that matter and the only ones that should matter to them….

…and Mel, frankly, even though I am a Pisces with a wild and vivid imagination (yes, even at the ripe old age of 44), I look back at all that time I spent in church, with my well meaning yet way over the top born again parents, and realize that I never really believed in their God, that I always loved the idea of the family feeling at church and with those people, but always knew that I was different. This did not become apparent to me until the day came that the first blows were given to me….and that is another heartache all together, and one, like the born again thing, I survived, all on my own…it was but a matter of time.

The beauty of it all, though, is not only that I found my niche (I know you remember the emails lol), but more, that I am not scared to face certain truths, not only about others, but about me, and this is the most magnificent gift there is…

The gift we all are once it is that we choose to accept our own truths and not just be a nice guy about someone else’s…

Aloha !
Rox, the rabid feral kitten <3
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Just call me A. June 12, 2014 at 21:29

I have not read the entire article yet, but I think rock stars are a group who really make the world a better place, and add to it in a glorious way with music, lifestyle, saying what is on their mind, going against the status quo, telling people to lighten up because they really, really should, being a voice for those who do not have one and representing groups that are shunned by society, being pleasant and spreading some joy. They are really aligned and live life in a way that life gives back to them big time. They live life deliberately and we can learn a lot from that. I am not talking about the ones that OD and get arrested. There are plenty who do not have criminal records and fight for freedom, because that is what it is all about. They got it and spread it and, thank goodness, do not listen to their critics.

Valerie June 12, 2014 at 21:45

I agree with your entire post, Mel.

I knew SOMEONE would say out loud what I have felt in my heart.

Thanks for being ballsy enough to take all the crap on the chin, and still remain standing.

Lovey squishy hugs to you!

John June 12, 2014 at 21:52

Wow, Melody, I love this post! It probably helps that I agree with everything you said! I love the clarity and forthrightness of your expression of spiritual freedom, joy and wisdom! You are awesome!

Estela Marie Actub June 12, 2014 at 21:53

I just want to say that you are awesome and i’ve been reading your posts and and found clarity… Keep it up :)

A_Blindy June 12, 2014 at 22:54

It’s funny, because I actually found evidence of this horrible depiction of god today, before this post even came out, in a news post:
Oklahoma supports stoning gays because it ‘came directly from god’
It’s insane what lengths people will go with their misguided views of god.
Sometimes, I just wish I could shout all of these “truths” from the rooftops, but that could probably end in disaster :-) .
With that in mind, why do so many “fundamentalists” when they hear this kind of view, dismiss it and just go back to where they were? Are they afraid, or does it trigger so much resistance in them that they run for the hills screaming?
Finally, this post reminds me of something. It’s a bit urh, dark, but some people might really like this.
There’s a church. It’s called the Church of Subgenius, and they make satire out of people’s misguided views of religion. Their website can be found here in case anyone, I guess, is at a point where they find this satire as funny as I do.
Thanks.

Jay June 12, 2014 at 23:33

I read this post with much agreement. It’s sad that mankind, via organized religions, doctrines and dogmas, can use a concept of what they view as “God” to be assholes to other people. Especially the Roman Catholic church. Anyone ever read the history of the Christian church? Doctrines of eternal damnation, judgement and punishment kept many folk in check or in submission to the human powers-that-were throughout history. Church people killing in the name of God, in the name of Jesus….in mutual co-operation with the state and to further its own agendas and preservation.

I also say this, having spent 20 years in the Christian church. Brainwashed indoctrination and socialization. SO glad I am OUT of it now. Well, I have been for years now. Church is kinda like a “spiritual fantasy”, complete with contradictions in their beliefs that many in it cannot see. A mindset that is rather closed and repulsive to thinking people. I say this, too, from having been there and been that way to some extent. Live & learn, though. And I live in the so-called “bible belt” here in Kentucky, where there’s a church on every corner in a small town and a church or two down every little backroad our in the country :P

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a person will NOT grow spiritually, or in other ways, unless they are willing to consider something different other than what they currently believe. I know I did just that in more recent years and have had a lot of expansion and growth. Yet, enlightenment or revelation just goes to show us how little we still know. Anyway, I’ll shut up and quit rattling on, hehe.

I enjoyed this post. Straight to the point and telling it like it is. You go, Melody!

AH June 13, 2014 at 01:10

Thanks Melody. Again a great post. I kind of instinctively knew all of this from a young age, because all these rules reminded me of my parents, and I wasn’t crazy about them so I thought God = parents – no thanks! I used to argue with my scripture teacher – when she couldn’t answer some basic questions (about how everyone came from Adam and Eve – wouldn’t that be inbreeding?) I decided it was a crock of BS. Also the only religious people i knew were pretty smug and annoying and not all that loving. When I got older people were doing all sorts of rubbish in the name of religion, so your version (pretty close to my version) always made sense.

SOS June 13, 2014 at 02:12

Melody! Help!

I put out an order to the universe ( shall we say) about a month ago for a particular reality to align with me and my reality. This particular manifestation in itself comes with a deadline and it fast approaches me. I have done the emotional work (promise) and my reality is getting increasing weird. Its being advertised everywhere ( which it normally isnt at all)-thus being constantly brought into my awareness. I am wondering if yyou truly let it go does the universe continue to nudge u in order to remind you of your wishes? Is there a pamphlet on the signs and symptoms before ure manifestation is about to manifest?

Kelli June 13, 2014 at 03:35

Hey Melody
This was an amazing post…I especially loved the part where you discussed how we got it all wrong and how we view God is just a result of our collective beliefs. I also like when you said take what works for you and discard the rest…that is always something I recommend to people when they are exploring new theories,etc…I think a lot of us feel the need to identify fully with one religion, philosophy,etc…but it doesn’t have to be that way. Embrace what feels good and makes sense and chuck the rest!
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Kristin June 13, 2014 at 04:07

I can’t even put words to how happy reading this post made me. I could literally feel a rising in my heart. It was like with every word I was just shouting “Exactly!” I’ve been struggling with where I fit in with my religion for awhile now because of precisely what you just wrote, I think it’s what drew me to LOA and your blog in particular. It’s funny to me how emotional I’m feeling right now but I guess when you truly resonate with something it moves you!
Anyways, I’m not usually one to comment but I just had to say thank you for putting into words what I needed to hear (read). I hope you know how valuable what you write about is to not just myself but to so many people and I hope you never stop! You are one awesome lady! I wish I could just give you the biggest hug!
Take care,
Kristin

D June 13, 2014 at 04:27

I’d like to invite all the females who replied with a big “THANK YOU!” over to my place to celebrate. God would want it that way.

Usama June 13, 2014 at 09:23

Wow, beautiful post! Thank you, and rock on! :)

Summer Starr June 13, 2014 at 16:31

Awesome post Melody!

I grew up Christian and also believed in this spiteful, vengeful God that would punish you for the least little thing. It was a horrible, sad way to live and I kinda feel sorry for people who still believe that to be their truth. Which some people live that way and have no problem with it (which is why they don’t question it I guess) so to each their own.

These beliefs never sat well with me. I was the kid annoying the preacher with questions about aliens and dinosaurs and I never got my answers. LOL!

I’m a firm believer that we are pieces of God. We are the best aspects of God, Source, Universe (whatever). The best analogy I ever heard (and this came from church, but it has always stuck with me) is God is like water and we are like water put into ice trays and frozen. The ice cubes are individual if you look at them, sure. However ALL of those ice cubes came from the SAME source of water. So they may be seperate, but they are still all the same. And when they melt they don’t cease to exist, they return to source.

If we are tormented in hell for all eternity, then we would only be punishing ourselves. I know I would not toss myself into a lake of fire for all eternity, nor would I do that to someone else. We are meant for love and to honor ourselves and each other. :)
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Karen June 13, 2014 at 16:45

God is “expression of thought” and any form of the verb “to be”. Just BE!

zizo June 13, 2014 at 16:57

Thank you for this amazing post. Honestly I couldn’t express how happy I am right now. Thank you again. XD

Ryan Biddulph June 13, 2014 at 17:52

Excellent Melody, especially the video at the end ;) I view God as life, or The Force, in Star Wars terms. Would life, flowing through living things, hate, or judge. Could a plant hate, or judge? Or punish? Or deem us hell-bound? LOL…..God is love, infinite, and all the contrary views are ego, human beliefs, and misguided beliefs at that. As for sex, booze, etc, again, the life force simply cannot judge such, it’s just life and love, and we add the labels. Thanks!
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Andrew June 13, 2014 at 18:45

Melody said she would get “letters” as a result of this post, and I hope that this doesn’t end up as one of those “letters”, because I actually have great respect for Melody and the work she puts out on this site. However, as a happy Catholic, I would like to provide some counterpoint to some of the “religious bashing” that goes on around here after a post like this, not really so much from Melody as from some of the comments. I don’t think it’s as simple an analysis as “religion bad, LOA good and enlightened”, because there is quite a bit of variation on how religious people approach questions like homosexuality.

First of all, I am more than willing to admit that many religious people use religion as a cover for their own bigotry, towards gays or any other group. If this is the experience of religion that you had and that caused you to reject it, then I am sorry. I am sorry because you deserve to have experienced religion at its best, and what you experienced was not it.

I agree with the content of much of this post, namely that God is about love, and that we are called to love everyone equally, regardless of orientation, as God does. The image of a trigger-happy God, ready to send you to Hell for the slightest infraction, is far less prevalent amongst Catholics than it used to be in the past. I think that the history of the Catholic Church is much more nuanced than Jay’s comments, above, make it seem, but in any case I’m not sure that it’s quite fair to assume that an institution’s actions from 800 years ago is a direct representation of where it is today.

Where it gets controversial is the Church’s viewpoint that homosexual relations tend to lead a person away from Who They Really Are, and so it calls its homosexual members to a life of celibacy, not to oppress them, but out of a genuine belief that it is the best way to help them get to Who They Really Are. It is the same call to celibacy that is given to Catholic single people, and the Church’s own clergy. You may very well disagree with this viewpoint, but what I want to get across is that when the Church is at its best (and it is not always at its best), the motivation towards sexual “prohibitions” is about a genuine desire to lead people towards being life-affirming, not about intolerance.

There’s a Catholic documentary that speaks to this question. I am including a link just for reference, but the quote that stands out in it is below.

http://vimeo.com/93079367

My favorite quote:

“I think what’s in people’s consciousness is, as we all know that horrific church that goes around with the ‘God Hates Fags’ signs. No, God hates your sign! Go burn your sign!”

Do we Catholics, as a whole, have some work to do before we can be at our best? I would say that the answer is yes. I take seriously Pope Francis’ admonition “Who am I to judge?” I see no contradiction between proposing a life-affirming standard of living, and loving people unconditionally whether they happen to live up to that standard or not. And I look forward to a day when people think of the Catholic Church and don’t think how intolerant it is, but how loving it is.

RD June 14, 2014 at 13:42

Some people are happy to belong to a defined stable organization (religion?), and this is OK. Some people are happier with exploration and discovery, forging a path without guides and maps, and this is OK.

I have had the pleasant company of many happy devout religious people. Personally, I always felt shorted, limited and discouraged to explore beyond the boundaries. Limiting my chances to see what else is in the beyond.

So I went exploring, leaving in my dust, a dominant abusive ex-husband and an organization (religion) that bestrode the males all powerful leadership. Women were granted marriage and many children. My health and self worth, was found beyond this organization’s boundaries and limitations.

My best discovery: If one lets someone else define one’s life (self worth), it will never meet an explorers expectations.

“Thanks Melody!”
(Where’s that party?…. ; )

Reply from an
Explorer/Discoverer/Inventoro

Susann June 15, 2014 at 04:53

Wow, Melody — just . . . wow! I have *never* seen the topic of God & religion discussed as eloquently, clearly or humanely as you have done here, and I thank you so much for it. I’m sure you *will* be getting letters.

As a student of Medieval Studies, I would like to add this. I do wish people who hold up the bible as some sort of ecclesiastical rule book to life would learn their history. The bible is a compilation of only *some* of the religious teachings of Jesus & his contemporaries — those teachings which were deemed useful in advancing the agenda of the religious leaders of their day. Anything that failed to do that was simply left out. Not only is it a partial compilation, but everything that IS in it has been edited, twisted and changed by the scribes & monks who rewrote the thing countless numbers of times over the years, sometimes accidentally, more often deliberately.

So the “holy bible” we see today is a nothing more than a poor and threadbare shadow of the original teachings of Christ. And need I add that the misogynistic phobia toward women held by the male-dominated church back in the day has NOT served us women at all well throughout the ages, and it baffles me that any woman today would actually allow herself to be willingly devalued by what some would have them believe is “God’s word”. The bible makes for some interesting reading as a work of literature, but as a “rule book”, it’s nothing more than a stick used by the fearful to control those they fear.

Susann June 15, 2014 at 05:11

And then, of course, I need to apologize to Melody and everyone else for using this blog as a soapbox for my own beliefs. Deliberate Receiving isn’t a platform for religious discourse, thank goodness, or I wouldn’t even be here — my own hypocrisy amazes me at times. My apologies as well to anyone here for whom the bible is a source of comfort and support. My opinion is just that, and I should have taken a deep breath & remembered that fact before allowing myself near the keyboard. Mea freaking culpa.

I should have stuck with my very first thought on reading this, which was: Here’s to sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll!

Craig June 16, 2014 at 21:30

Susann,
It is always interesting the way people will “edit, twist and change” the real meanings of what they choose not to understand.
Without question or doubt the bible has been incorrectly translated in many areas and is also, without question or doubt, only part of what God and Jesus taught throughout the centuries of man’s (and woman’s) existence. But to say that it is “nothing more that a poor and threadbare shadow” displays an extremely limited understanding and awareness of what is in the bible. It is very rich in pure gospel teachings and there are very pure and precious teachings in the bible.
I look forward to the times in the future that additional teachings of God and Jesus will become available but I treasure the limited amount that we have now.
And as far as the “misogynistic phobia” you refer to, the bible tells us that God created Woman (Eve) to be a help “meet” for Adam. He did not create a slave, nor an inferior being of some sort. He created a “help meet” for him. A help “meet” means, a helper suited to, worthy of, or corresponding to him. In other words a helper equal to Adam. Eve was NEVER intended by God to be inferior nor superior to Adam. She was always his equal in the sight of God. And God tells us this while he is preparing to create Eve. Before she was with Adam, both God and Adam knew that Eve was to be his equal not his subordinate.
Anyone who pretends that Eve was in any way intended to be, or was, inferior to Adam simply does NOT understand the bible nor what God intended.
I like much of what Melody has to say but be VERY careful about taking her word as the “final authority” on everything she claims to understand and postulate.

Nay June 15, 2014 at 06:52

Awesome Melody!

So simple yet so profound. Trying to get others to believe, think and/or be what we want is always the path to unhappiness, whether through religion or some other means. It’s not even possible to get everyone around us think/be just like us, and even more, how boring would that be!
We all get to believe what we want. And when we let others do the same, it’s amazing how problems just fade away. Not always easy, but truly the only way to go.

Such an amazing post. Great love Melody.

Craig June 16, 2014 at 20:53

WOW!!! what an interesting view of God. I have been a very religious person (Christian) my whole life. I have read the bible multiple times. I have been involved in innumerable religious meetings and settings. I have heard literally thousands of sermons and discussions of God and his attributes. I have done a LOT of personal study into various aspect of God and his designs for us and this world and I have NEVER heard even a hint of the “God” you described. God has NEVER been presented to me as the hateful, vengeful, nasty “thing” you presented.
It is VERY convenient to pretend that God allows us unlimited free will and that we can choose “anything on the menu” or it “wouldn’t be on the menu” if God didn’t want us to choose it.
How do you propose we learn to make good choices if we have no option of making bad choices. I realize people may have different definitions of “good” and “bad” choices but I think we would all agree that it is probably a bad choice to kill another person, is that fair? If we agree on that, we must all agree that is one of the choices that is available to me (and everyone else). I have chosen NOT to kill any other person, EVER. Some people have made choices to kill other people. The “logic” presented in this post indicates that, for that person (who chose to kill another) that was the “right” choice. I still think God is going to disapprove of one person killing another just because they decided that it was what they felt like at the time.
If God disapproves of that choice (killing another person), is there any possibility that he may disapprove of some of the other choices people make?
Maybe give it some consideration (if it feels right (a little sarcasm there, “in case you missed it”)).
God tells us in the very first part of the bible (Genesis) that He made a help “meet” for Adam. That means that Eve was “Meet” (not meat) for Adam. Meaning that she was his equal, on the same level, neither superior nor inferior to him but an equal companion to him. There has NEVER been a “hierarchy” in God’s eyes putting men or women above the other. And regarding children (being lower in that “hierarchy”), Jesus himself taught that unless we “become as little children we will not inherit the Kingdom of God”, and he also taught that if anyone offend a child (abuse a child) that it is better that a millstone be put upon his neck and he be cast into the sea. That does NOT appear to be putting children at the lower end of the theoretical “hierarchy”.
It may be of some benefit for you to consider actually learning a bit about God (maybe even before trying to teach us all about him and what he wants for us).
I know that you “don’t care” and that you will completely discount and ignore what I have written (if you even read it at all, which I seriously doubt). But I felt compelled to respond to what, to me, is a rather serious distortion of the reality that you claim to understand and elaborate on.

Laura June 18, 2014 at 09:30

Listen, I have grew up Christian & from reading the posts it’s pretty obvious most of us have read the bible. There are parts where God is depicted as being loving and just and other parts that aren’t so different from the petty, easy to anger Muslim god. In the bible, it said homosexuals should be killed ( even though the commandments state “thou shalt not kill”), giving birth to girls makes the mother twice as UNCLEAN than bearing sons, and Paul says women should be silent in church, young women are “lazy” and gossip too much, condones slavery and obeying a corrupt government. God, according to the bible , condones raping women and the rapist marrying his victim. Since you are smarter than us, would you be so kind to explain those parts to me?

Now, like I said in an earlier post. Jesus was noble and respectful, yet everyone else and even his own father is depicted is as …well…no need to say. I believe in God and I believe he is loving and fair, but there so much contradictions and deceptions in the bible that you’d have to be blind not to see. I am not saying it’s all B.S, but a lot of it is.

Laura June 18, 2014 at 08:48

I have no problems with Christ himself. Actually, I reread the bible after years of “giving up on it”, & realized that I admire the teachings of Jesus. He befriended prostitutes, thieves, the drunks and all kinds of “unholy” people. What angered him the most were the Pharisees and the religious leaders. He even said the “sinners” will surely get into the kingdom of heaven before they do! I was an awe because what annoys me about today’s fundamentalists is what pissed him off at that time as well. Yet why are his “followers” so blind to this???
I agree there’s a lot of contrast between Christ and God the creator in the bible. My belief is that it’s a bunch of truth mixed with a lot of lies, so it’s important not to be so gullible. He wanted to free everyone from the strict law of Moses , which is why I also believe that Moses might have received some inspiration from God, but his own limited thinking and personal agenda distorted the message. So you could say I respect Jesus but everyone else in the bible doesn’t feel right.

Anyway, “Christians” don’t just bother the agnostics and the atheists, but the open-minded, loving Christians as well. They don’t like hearing that you love God and you believe that HE loves you UNCONDITIONALLY, no they want you to believe you are a pathetic sinner, that’s not worthy of God’s love, and you will have to try to “earn” it for the rest of your life. I am not saying God is unfair and doesn’t care about justice… my belief is he is not okay with murdering, raping, and hurting others….but I doubt he expects us to act like perfect robots! GOD IS BIGGER THAN THAT!

ruben June 20, 2014 at 18:25

Thank You, Melody. The most comprehensive catechism I have ever received. Don’t you just wish everyone got this in Sunday school? It would have saved my world so much sooner, instead of all these belief systems I now have to unlearn. Any ideas of how to go about deleting them all so I can manifest at least something to participate of joy and clarity and well-being and abundance…? Thank again!

SK June 22, 2014 at 12:04

Son: Dad, what is a man?

Father: A man is someone who would loves you unconditionally, would supports you and always try to protect you.

Son: Thank you Dad, I got it. When I grow up, I will be a man like Mom.

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