Blessed? Aren’t You Special by Christina Knowles

blessed_1063_1280x1024I am so tired of hearing the constant gushing of ‘I’m so blessed because God . . .” Fill in the blank with all the nonsense people say was God’s gift to them—nice house, new car, health, a good job, etc. I don’t think they know how rude and offensive this is taken in light of the millions who are not “blessed,” such as the homeless, the sick and dying, the children currently being molested and abused. Yet, God chose to bless you and ignore them. Aren’t you special.

Sure, many people mean this just as a humble way of saying that they don’t deserve all they have received in life, but many people really do mean that out of all the suffering people in the world, they were chosen to get special treatment. Usually, they connect this to some behavior they have done to trigger God’s blessing. Disguised as humility, they are really saying that they do deserve this special treatment.         blessedThey often state it something like this: “God is so GOOD! Ever since I turned my life over to Him and followed his will, things have all been falling into place for me!” The other one that is popular is giving credit to other people for praying God into submission to their will. It goes something like this: “Sending prayers to you ASAP! We have all our prayer warriors on this!” implying that God will have no choice but to comply with “prayer warriors” fighting the battle for God against Satan. Apparently, God either needs permission to stop Satan from wreaking havoc, or he’s not capable of doing it on his own. Maybe he just needs the popular vote from his followers to decide that finding a missing child is worth his attention.

Of course, if things come out in their favor, yay God! He is soooo GOOD!!! Yeah? Well, what about everyone he didn’t rescue? They didn’t have enough Facebook “Amens” or “Sending prayers!” posted, I guess.

And what happens when after all this prayer, they are not “blessed?” They don’t get a new job, their car breaks down, they can’t pay the rent, and the doctor gives the worst news? Are they suddenly quiet? Ashamed that they must have done something to deserve this? Confused, wondering why God has deserted them? Or like, Job, do they give the standard, “Who am I to interfere in God’s plan? He gives and he takes away.”       Some have these reactions, while others continue the vigilant prayers, never wondering why they choose to worship such a capricious and cruel god, even though they would never treat their own children like this. Struggling to make meaning of suffering, they ignore the obvious conclusion. The things that happen to them are merely a result of a combination of random chance, coincidence, and the natural consequences of the choices they and those around them make.

Just as the ancient Greeks were desperate to explain the droughts and floods, the lightning in the sky, and the numerous uncontrollable aspects of their lives, we are desperate to make meaning of tragedy and chaos, so we too, invent myths to explain them and to comfort us. But they don’t comfort us. In fact, they are disgusting and harmful.

To those who believe in this god, is this myth you perpetuate, this god, the same god whom you think is going to send your child to live in everlasting flames merely for being unable to believe something for no good reason? Is this the god that would let a child be raped and murdered in order for those around him to learn some sort of twisted lesson? Is this the god that would allow free reign of ultimate evil for a time to separate the wheat from the chaff? Ask yourself, would a good parent let one child jump in front of a moving truck to teach the other child to look both ways? Would a loving parent let home invaders in to terrorize and kill just to see who finds the faith and strength to not give up? This is one twisted god you serve. And that’s what I think of every time you post how blessed you are.

Stop saying that when you do things right, or when you experience random good “luck” that God is blessing you. Stop saying that every time you have a good day, miss all the red lights, and find a parking space that God has blessed you. Stop saying that your expensive house, good job, and new car are the results of God’s goodness and love for you. Not only is it an affront to common sense, it’s cruel. How do you think that makes the abused woman feel? The starving child? How are they supposed to take it when you credit God for giving you a big house, a nice job, and lots of friends? If God would really do all that for you, why wouldn’t he throw this molested or neglected child a break? So that’s what some of us are thinking every time we read your ridiculous posts. Look, no one has a problem with you being grateful, but stop acting like you are chosen to miraculously be rescued from the suffering that God chooses to ignore in everyone else’s lives. Please.—Christina Knowles

“Bohemian Atheist” by Christina Knowles

“Bohemian Atheist”

meditate1

I’ve got my bellbottoms and tarot cards,

but I don’t presuppose the divine;

dismissing science disregards

progress and favors magical design.

And though I prefer flowers over towers,

I draw the line at prayer.

Inaction really sours

compared to deeds anywhere.

Still I enjoy a touch of Zen,

a little yoga under a leafy tree.

After all, there’s a clear correlation,

de-stress and meditation;

it requires no special plea.

As for enjoying the vegetation,

a nature devotee,

the data’s the confirmation

that this is a worthy state of mind.

I respect the earth,

to conservation I’m inclined;

preservation for future generation’s birth,

and with all beings I’m entwined.

My survival’s not unilateral,

as history substantiates,

nor dependent on the supernatural.

It’s cooperation that necessitates.

And while I love the earth, I won’t worship it.

I’d rather depend on rationalism.

I’m multifarious but not a hypocrite

even though my Buddha puts me in a peaceful state.

It’s simply symbolism,

no higher self to elucidate.

Just this hippie chick

chillin’ in my Existentialism,

no supernatural trick

Crystals and full moons—

I don’t dismiss them out of hand,

I won’t necessarily impugn

These things we don’t yet understand

I’m open to the evidence,

but I won’t believe just any tale.

There may be power in the elements,

but the scientific method I’ll avail.

And I’ll work for my fellow human,

fight injustice, and help the poor—

the humanistic acumen,

kindness the allure

because I’m an evolved member

of my hominid species.

My greed, I temper

with a social treaty

and a bit of liberalism,

rather than a divine delusion,

a healthy dose of skepticism.

I see through the illusion,

so while I may participate in protest

the notion’s not the craziest.

My behavior manifests

in an anomaly, a Bohemian atheist.

—Christina Knowles

Bongos

This Beautiful Life by Christina Knowles

nature love

“Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems.
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun . . . . there are millions of suns left. 
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand . . . . nor look through the eyes of the dead . . . . nor feed on the spectres in books.
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me.
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.”

“There was never any more inception than there is now,
nor any more youth or age than there is now;
and will never be any more perfection than there is now,
nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”– “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

These are some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard, and they embody my worldview. The beauty of the honest search for truth is the most exquisite gift we can give ourselves. The realization that we do not have to “look through the eyes of the dead” and believe in the myths of old, do not need to listen to the ghosts of ancient men and their antiquated notions, do not need to listen to our conditioning, but we can read, investigate, think, and dialogue all ideas and decide among them for ourselves is true freedom. And my conclusion that this world is all I will ever know, that this is both my heaven and my hell, has given me appreciation for every sweet breath I take, joy in every moment with those I love, and the perspective that allows me to live, really live, taking nothing for granted, and noticing every lovely thing in this beautiful life.—Christina Knowles

Photo via weheart.com