Walking My Path.

You don’t wake up one morning and say “You know what? I don’t believe in god anymore.” It is a process. It doesn’t just happen. When you have friends, or know a family member with a story. And then you ask questions… about your faith, and yourself, then the people you trust.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior on January 17, 1991, the evening operation Desert Shield became operation Desert Storm.

I was 12.

My best friend, Eric, brought me to a youth group event at his church. They were convinced this was it, this was the beginning of the events that foretold the return of Jesus, and I had to be “saved” right now.

To me, that argument seemed pretty sound!

So I prayed with youth group leaders, and friends in the congregation. And by the end of the evening I asked Jesus to wash away all my sins and began the moral life of a Southern Baptist Christian.

That evening was not the first time I had gone with Eric and his parents to Vista Baptist Church. They were involved with the congregation. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays most weeks, unless special events were happening. Eric’s mom was a devout ‘fire and brimstone’ Christian… and she LIVED it!

She was inspiring. The entire church was! The love and faith that pours from a Southern Baptist Church is beautiful! It moves people to stand and raise their arms to the sky. It fills the air with love and praise. Being in a service on Sunday with a good servant of the Lord, recounting the gospel’s word to hundreds of families of faith… you can’t help but sing!

The welcome feeling of love and faith was appealing to a kid from a single parent home. It was closer to the TV reality I grew up watching at home, than home REALLY was.

Eric and I participated in a religious version of Boy Scouts called AWANAS. We would receive awards based on bible memorization and understanding of different messages. Some of the kids wore the uniform and had badges and pins. It was quite involved if you really wanted to get into it. At that time, Eric and I were in Boy Scouts. It did not excite me to the same extent.

I did enjoy going to the Large music events. The organization that sprang up in the early 90s called “See You at the Pole”, where Christian youth would gather at the flagpoles before school and pray before classes started, also involved large concerts with Christian artists. I saw Carmen twice. I saw a Christian death metal band. A couple Christian boy bands. Sadly, I never got to see Amy Grant. I had her “Heart in Motion” album and I STILL know the words to the songs even though I haven’t owned that album since I was 16. One of the songs popped up on the music at Walgreen’s one day and all of a sudden I’m singing along with a B-side track off of an Amy Grant album, in the middle of the afternoon… in 2018.

I spent a lot of time going to events and being a good Christian Solider, spreading the word to as many as I could. I felt the word of Jesus and shared it with everyone. I felt a connection, and it showed. I brought my Aunt Marty to Jesus shortly after my grandfather died. I know it helped her through a difficult time in her life, as that period in time was difficult for all of us.

Less than two years later, grandma would be gone, too. It was comforting to believe there was purpose to the loss. That, even though it was not seen, there was a reason for the madness. And though we could not see it, in time, we would know… we just had to have faith.

As I got older, as is inevitable, I started asking questions. Science and math have always been my favorite subjects outside music, and a good scientist always asks questions! The answers were always the same… you just have to have faith.

I remember meeting a devotee of the Krishna Conciseness movement, and I asked him about their view of Jesus. He explained that they saw Jesus as a messenger. Jesus told the people, in that place, at that time, exactly what they needed to hear. The only way to salvation is like THIS. The kingdom of heaven lies through ME.

So, I bought a copy of the “Bhagavad Gita… as it is” with a full interpretation of the text. To help put it all into context. It was the first time I contemplated another religious text and not the bible, and it would not be the last.

Modern religions. Historical religions. Ancient religions. ALL carry similar stories. ALL teach LOVE for our fellow Man and PEACE comes from understanding. I would never claim to be a religious scholar, but every religious text I have read shares a compelling story about love. The WORDS they teach give COMFORT to families who grieve, they proclaim the ceremonies of Unions are CELEBRATIONS, and these texts anoint the new generation, when those Unions so decide. But as I grew older I could see the hypocrisy. The WORDS of Men seemed pure, but their DEEDS were pure evil.

… and it is NOT just to be thrown upon religious establishments. Unfortunately, it undermines EVERY aspect where power over weaker individuals creates profit. It just so happens this continues to this day.

I believe in the power of the SUBATOMIC. I believe in a balance of power. I believe that my actions HERE, can DIRECTLY effect someone on the OTHER SIDE of the planet… It’s spooky almost!

But I also believe that on a subatomic level, when we consider what each and every atom actually IS, that we are made up of mostly EMPTY SPACE, and yet I sit here and CONTEMPLATE… YES, don’t tell my ‘Atheist Brethren’, but some days I would call myself “agnostic”… but only SOME DAYS. Agnostic suggests someone who’s “on the fence”. No… pick a side, then let’s Move On!

Each religion, from historical to modern, shares stories that share common themes within common narratives, yet their origins are separated by thousands of years. Wise men recorded these stories to share knowledge with future generations. What elders learned in THEIR years that kept them alive, inspired by the WORD of the Creator, Universe.

As I have walked my path, seeking the answers, walking as FAR AWAY from religion as possible, I found… the answers lie within creation itself!

It can never be as brilliant as the LIGHT, it is only a spoken representation, The WORD of Universe… and We are ALL a part of it.

So, in other words- I will continue to walk my path. I continue to want to know ALL I can. I want to learn ALL I can from every religious text. I want to know the story so I can compair that with other stories, and find the commonality that lies within ALL our shared history!

And I want that opportunity to exist for ALL MANKIND, forever. Each person’s spiritual path is just that… THEIR OWN!

It is my belief, whenever someone decides to ask questions about their humanity, they should be guaranteed access to the answers… ALL OF THE ANSWERS. To make the best informed decisions… After all, on that day of judgement, there will be no one there to answer for your actions… but YOU. We all follow the path, together, the LIGHT showing us the way.

… but I am just an Athiest! I don’t have all the answers. Nor would I ever be so arrogant to claim that I did.

There’s only one way to find out for sure.

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

…with respect and humility.

Our grandparents touched evil. Our great-grandparents knew what it meant to have families separated. Their innocence was lost and their reality was threatened by true evil.

Evil so hideous, that it would brainwash a mother to jump to her death with child in her arms, than suffer at the hands of Allied Forces in the Pacific Ocean. Evil so potent that it could convince others a race of humanity was the cause of their misfortune. That the solution to the ills of the economic world would be the total demise of the culture and beliefs, of a People, who brought forth to the world Jesus of Nazareth. And to THAT end, would they not have eventually seen the followers of Jesus himself as part of their ‘solution’?

After defeating the Axis Powers, our Great and Grandparents tried to tell their children of the dangers they knew. They warned them of how this evil rose to power. How the coward is the courter of the devil, and that No Appeasement should be given.

This Far, and No Farther!

That men Of Peace know not of the World War that raged before. Education being the remedy, they taught steadfast courage and adherence to the rights of Humanity were the ONLY solution, come what may.

Men of Courage were born of that war. Bush, Reagan, Kennedy… Eisenhower knew that war was not the weapon of choice. And we know it solves nothing. It only eliminates our Brothers, as sure as our enemies tried to kill theirs.

But, would we trade, if offered in a genuine sense, this that we know, for the past to be changed and war to be avoided? At first thought, I want to say Yes. Of course the avoidance of a World War as all-encompassing as the second was would be amazing! Just in the scores of families that would not have been destroyed. the countless souls who died because of the beliefs of others. The inhumane losses born by citizens neglected in times of crisis.

But I hesitate. Only because I realize the gains humanity has enjoyed because we stood for the liberty of others. The Civil Rights Movement may not have taken flight. As soldiers came back to a segregated America, they were inspired to create the freedom they enjoyed abroad, here. The Women’s Movement may not have risen. After enjoying equality in sports, in manufacturing, in Society while the men fought overseas, it was degrading for them to be forced back into servitude as the men came home.

The Technological Revolution we are all a part of NOW, was fully funded and encouraged during the war for counter espionage. breaking codes, tracking ballistic missiles beyond the horizon, aerial photography from the edge of space, knowledge that lie at the heart of the atom itself…

And so many more advances we take for granted today. Open markets across the planet, human rights expanded to countries that oppressed their people, the knowledge and confidence to go to the MOON was born from the horrors of war. The cost of every life lost was paid IN FULL by our grandparents, and it is not given to us today as if it were our inheritance. It was won, hard fought by them, so we could have a CHANCE to fight for it AGAIN. Today. So it is, that EVERY generation must make that choice.

Because the Choice is ALWAYS Ours.

So we balance these questions on a razor’s edge today. As sure as people were in the streets in the 1960s, we see it today. As sure as napalm leveled the jungles of Vietnam, the drones fly high in the cradle of civilization, devoiding the desert of humanity.

The lessons learned are not forgotten. For those with eyes to see, the fight is as fierce as it was then. And the stage is set for a fight today that NO ONE wants to see. That NO ONE wants to start. That is so potent, I fear it may have already started…

But NOW we have a choice. The choice has always been with Us. It is NOT the in the leaders’ hands. It is NOT in our enemies’ hands. It is in OUR HANDS. The Liberty to choose our own destiny is NOT ours alone, we are a small part of a LONG line that stood before us, and the line that stretches off into the unknown infinite, but we are given the righteous responsibility to defend it NOW, as it has, and will be given again.

NOW, our war is rhetoric. Our injustice is only an injustice of Words. NOW, we see how powerful the pen can be, because the Words of ONE MAN have put back into motion the mechanisms that enabled evils, now only remembered. NOW, the words produced by a leader and his men, have started down a path we ALL know too well.

And we will ALL OWN IT…. come what may.

DO NOT spark the powder kegs! DO NOT injure like they would encourage. But NEVER BE SILENT. ALWAYS stand firm and SPEAK LOUDLY. Proclaim where you stand NOW, for when they try to take that freedom from you, and they ask you “Where do YOU stand?” we will ALL know. The people around you, the people behind you, and the people you didn’t even know could hear how LOUD your voice was… can hear you, too.

If NO ONE stands SILENT then the MINORITY BELIEFS will not corrupt the Truth. Fear cannot silence TRUTH when we stand United. We speak out when Law is subverted because without Law, we cannot find TRUTH.

Equal protection Under Law.

When enforcement of the Law is detrimental to the citizens that established it, The LAW MUST CHANGE. Seeking to craft Legislation that reflects the values that ALL Americans share, those that are taught to every generation in the ancient texts of every caring religion on Earth, is why people established Our Government in the first place- it is the “Just Patriotism” George Washington spoke of in his Farewell Address. Our Constitution isn’t celebrated because it is OUR Constitution, it is celebrated because it is a document worth celebrating!

Pride in our Law, in Our Constitution is expressed clearly when we speak in unison, and demand an unjust law be repealed immediately.

Long Live The Constitution!

Long Live the OFFICE of the President of the United States!

Keep your head UP!!

JC