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Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Year, New Me.

It's kind of interesting that in the midst of sadness and hard times, the incessant longing for happier times can make the person suffering unable to see some of the positive things that are coming from the changes that caused the initial sadness. Anything that causes profound sadness is likely to also teach you invaluable life lessons. Since you cannot escape feeling sadness from time to time, it is best to just ride it out and rather than get stuck in abyss, try to focus on the lessons you are learning from whatever has caused the pain. In other words: make the best of it. Don't allow yourself to become a victim.

Someone dear to me once told me: "The moment you think your life is perfect means it's probably not."

I think the challenge there is to never get TOO comfortable or settled in any one point in your life, no matter how good it is, and to realize that happiness, like sadness, is transitory. The goal, I think, is to be happy in a moment but recognize it can change and make sure you know how to make yourself happy, separate of any one person or thing. While not easy or foolproof, knowing you have things that fulfill you as an individual will keep you on track when unwanted changes happen in your life.

Sometimes when you suffer it's because you weren't equipped to deal with the situation that has presented itself to you. If you do not let your pain teach you how better deal with such situations, history will repeat itself. If you do, you emerge from the pain, stronger, wiser, and less likely to be as affected by similar situations when they inevitably occur again.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mother atheist?

Modern Christians have touted Mother Theresa as an inspiration for faith and religious compassion for decades. Turns out, she didn't believe in God when she died. She renounced her faith, and even though she desperately wanted to believe in God, she no longer could. Her work with children in Calcutta, India's slums made it difficult for the former woman of faith to remain a believer, though she began her work there citing "a calling", based on unquestioned faith.

This article spoke to me because if there is a sole reason for why I can't believe in a Biblical God it is because of the sheer amount of suffering I see in the world. Surely a rational person can agree that not all who suffer somehow deserve their suffering, as religion would have you believe.

"Where is my faith?" she wrote. "Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness...If there be God — please forgive me." "Such deep longing for God…Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal," she said. "What do I labor for?" she asked in one letter. "If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true."
(Found on Reddit: "What is the most interesting thing you know?")

Friday, December 2, 2011

Absolution does not exist.

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices." 
-Alfred A. Montapert