Monthly Archives: February 2012

Change of Heart

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Good grief.  So I did a little research about US history in the past decade and the more I read, the more I stand firm.

For those who think I must have fallen off the turnip truck yesterday and hit my head really hard [because who in their right mind would think the way I do?!?], I’ll tell you now, it took me eight years of fact checking and wrestling with my conscience to finally accept that I’d been manipulated into fighting for something I disagree with all the way down to my soul.

Because I spent those eight years researching and struggling to find the truth, you can rest assured that even though I somehow came to a conclusion that a lot of people disagree with, I didn’t do it on a whim, and I didn’t do it without a LOT of serious thought and prayer about how to handle my change of heart.

I was shocked to find that once I stopped taking someone else’s word for it on what the truth was and set out to find it on my own, my own perception was WAY different than what I’d been taught.  If I’m being honest here, I felt seriously betrayed and lied to.  How is it nobody had ever told me the unvarnished truth?  Why did everything have to be tarnished and sullied by ‘spin’ to make the other side sound utterly evil? I should say that I don’t think these people told me falsehoods out of malice or any intent to harm me.  They genuinely believed what they were saying.

Once I listened, really listened, to what the other side was saying, I found that there was no way I could continue on the path I’d been following for years.  And then came the guilt.  How had I been so blind?

The fact is, it was my own fault.  Growing up, I was pretty much a free spirit.  My whole philosophy centered around love, which included being compassionate and trying to figure out a way that everyone could have enough to have their basic needs met.

I was kind of a hippie, which, in the 90s was something I didn’t talk about much. And I guess I was also a closet communist [in the same way the hippies were, with their Communes].  Because see, in my heart of hearts, I’m perfectly okay with working and pooling resources with others and sharing everything equally so that we all have enough.

You can’t even imagine how exhilarated I was the first time I read Acts.  Holy crapoli!  These people shared everything with each other!  To my mind and heart, this is a beautiful thing.  No one cares about who has the most ‘stuff’ because it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we all have enough to live the lives we were created to live, whether that means writing poetry, working in a garden, sewing clothes, being a nurse or doctor, or whatever.  Reaching as much of our own potential as we want is the only goal because we don’t have to scrape and fight for our basic needs to be met.  It’s already taken care of.

I saw the picture in Acts as a model for us to live by.  Needless to say, I was devastated when the people I cared about not only didn’t receive the idea with enthusiasm, but actually became hostile.

Here’s the thing, though, when we’re ruled by love and compassion for each other above all else, it’s not about who deserves what based on what they’ve done or not done.  It’s about seeing a need and filling it, because it’s the right thing to do, and because it’s also what we would have done to us.

So it didn’t take long for me to realize that regardless of what people say, love is always conditional, which is why Communism in practice is not a good thing.  If people could get over their greed and selfishness, it would work brilliantly, but because we’re so worried about having what we want, we’re willing to prevent others from having their needs met, and we’re even gleeful about it, because they don’t deserve it because they didn’t earn it.

I found myself disillusioned and even horrified when I realized this.  I managed to think that way for a few years, and I’m still struggling with the soul-deep scars it left behind.  What bothers me the most is that I learned about this judgmental, conditional take on love in the exact same place I was taught that even though I would never be able to earn it, Jesus came to earth and became man so that I would not be lost.  So that I could have what I really needed: Life, and that abundantly.

I still don’t understand how people can claim to love others when their words and actions toward the weakest, most desolate of souls shows nothing but contempt and ‘Keep your hands off my shit. If you want some, go get it yourself.”

I’m pretty good with words, but I don’t even know how to express to you how utterly sad and hopeless and desolate I feel right now. And I have for a long time.  In fact, ultimately, this is what caused me to basically cut ties with all things Christian.  For a while, I was so angry with God I couldn’t even talk to him, let alone follow him.  I hated the church for a while, too, and I’m still unspeakably disappointed in how badly it’s gotten twisted.

Recent events have gotten me praying again, and I think I’m slowly beginning to come back around to wanting a relationship with God, but I’m having to test the waters all over again and try to figure out if He can actually be trusted or not.  Because based on my personal experience, I’m just not sure anymore.  I was lied to and victimized in so many ways by Religion, and it managed to bring out the very worst in me while almost obliterating everything that was good.  I don’t know how or why my experience was so incredibly different than what most people talk about, but it was.  And now I’m left here, trying to pick up the pieces and trying to figure out if it’s even worth another shot.

And in an odd way, all of this started with an election a few years ago, where I believed a man who claimed that God was guiding him, and then a few short months later,  watched in horror as he showed with his actions that he had no idea what love, compassion and stewardship looked like.  Oh, he was loving and compassionate to our countrymen and anyone else who followed his real religion of “Democracy… Or Else,” but he didn’t bat an eye when it came to disregarding the freedom of others, or their human rights.

And before anyone dares go off on me about 9/11 and our human rights, you can just back off.  That eye for an eye bullshit died with Jesus on the Cross, and two wrongs DON’T make a right.  Gitmo was wrong.  Indefinitely imprisoning a human being who has not been officially charged with anything is wrong.  Torture is wrong.  And just because someone else does it is NOT a valid argument to justify that behavior in ourselves.

I’m frustrated, sad, and downright angry right now.  I brought up a lot of stuff writing this post that I still haven’t worked through yet, and it was a little ahead of schedule for some of it.  I’m taking baby steps in regards to God, and that’s what’s best for me right now.  I know all the ‘comforts’ Christians like to offer in cases like mine, because I used to say them to others.  I finally see just how little good they do.  This goes a lot deeper than some cliche on an embroidered napkin.

I’m not sure where this path is going.  I feel that maybe I’ll end up stronger for it, but I gotta say, it kinda sucks right now.  And there’s nothing anybody can really do about it, either, except maybe pray for me.  I want the truth, no matter what that may be.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted.  I guess the bright side is, the more lies, distortions, and untruths I find, the closer I am to finding the real truth, right?  Heh.  Great.  This should only take what, another thousand years or so?

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