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Nicole
07 February 2013 @ 10:13 am
So I told one of my best friends everything a couple days ago. And I know I've been majorly unfair to him in the past, and I thought that's why he deserved to know. I consistently told him that our friendship was stupid, and unfounded, and that it was just waste a time when we hung out. I'd suddenly unfriend him on Facebook and just try to avoid all conversation with him for a couple days. And I have no explanation for the things I did. And I tried. I just couldn't bring myself to say the things out loud that I really felt. So I made the LJ entry I posted a couple days ago, and sent him the link. And I got the response " I'm sorry Nicole, for a lot of things. Mainly for making you feel like I was using you as a vice for something at all, let alone that it was the reason for our friendship. I really don't know how to say anything else, or what I would say, but I'm always here for you if needed." And now a couple days later, he doesn't respond to any of my text messages. And the worst part is that I can't actually bring myself to keep trying, or to apologize, or try to fix this, because I know he's right. He's better off without the crazy I bring. But it still just sucks
 
 
Nicole
Disclaimer: I'm fairly certain that the Catholic God is 99% the same as the God of all Christianity denominations, but I don't actually know for sure this. Catholicism is the religion I was raised upon, so almost my entirety of knowledge on religion is based on it. I don't intend to offend here at all, and I don't usually, but it happens. I welcome comments and opinions and disagreements on any or all statements, questions, etc. 

I'm going to assume that there is in fact a God for this, though I'm not fully convinced one way or the other.

Who/what is God?
To me, God is some sort of higher being. I'm willing to believe that he created the world/universe, as in, got the ball rolling. I think that he did so 4.6 billion years ago, and since, he's essentially left. I whole-heartedly believe in evolution, and it makes more sense to me than creationism. However, how science doesn't quite explain to me well-enough that we just simply came into existence. (Although this also brings me to question who created God, so perhaps I'm not quite sold on this story either.) I don't believe God is all-knowing nor all-powerful. He has no control over me; there is no fate. All things have free will. There are no miracles. I also do not believe that he ever had a son, nor do I believe any of the stories in the bible. I also believe God is imperfect, just as everything else, and that he is essentially part of nature just as any other being.

Why should I worship God?
My mother created me, and I don't worship her. I appreciate what she has done for me, and I love her, but I would never worship her. Why would I worship God? 

If God is perfect, why do terrible things still happen to good Christians?
For instance, a child is baptized (therefore eliminating the original sin), and has no had the time nor ability to sin for him/herself yet. Why would God create a world in which they can still get horrific and painful diseases and illnesses, or suffer terrible events in their life? 

If God is good, why is there an Original Sin?
The fact that we are all born with an Original Sin sounds like God is prejudiced against all human beings. It also seems as though he's holding a grudge. Neither of these are very becoming, and I can't imagine either are very "Godly".

Why would God care about homosexuality? Why would God care about abortion? Why would God care about suicide? Why would God care about pre-marital sex? Why would God even care about marriage at all? 

If God is good and perfect, why would he create humans that are capable of evil and imperfection and then punish us for the imperfections he in fact created within us? 

How do Christians find joy in life when it's merely a rigged test and a waiting room for some Heaven?

Why is there a Hell? Is it only saved for puppy killers and child rapists? Or do adulterers get sent here too? Does this not seem harsh? 

How forgiving is God? Is he so forgiving that I can commit any atrocity and ask for forgiveness (and let's say I genuinely mean it afterwards) and all is forgiven? 

Why do priests assign you a certain number of "Hail Marys" after confession? (This may be something they only do for kids, I can't be sure, but it seemed rather silly to me. What does this solve?)

If I am genuinely a good person, and never sin, why do I still need to pray and believe in God and go to church?

Why does God want us to worship him? Isn't that narcissistic? Should his narcissism be idolized?

If we are made in God's likeness, why are there different skin colours and races? Why do some people have physical deformities?

Is my soul removable from my body? When my soul ascends to heaven (or hell, let's be real) what exactly remains in heaven? My personality? My memories? My intelligence? Do I maintain any sort of physical or visible form, and what would that look like?

Are the stories in the bible supposed to be a real record of history, or are they simply stories made up to illustrate the concepts of what God is capable of or to express some sort of moral?

How can you believe parts of the bible, but not 100% of it?

If God is all-knowing, how can there be so many different interpretations of the bible? Would he not have foreseen this, and told his disciples to write it more clearly? Or could he not have somehow ingrained within us the teachings of it, without actually creating a written version of it?

Why can you not ask for forgiveness after death? It seems unfair to punish one soul for the same crimes and not the other simply because one died right after confession and the other did not? 

If Jesus died for our sins, then why does the original sin still exist?

Why does God hide from us?

Why would God make sex (and other sins) pleasurable for us if we are not to engage in them? This sounds like a set up to me to ensure our failure and descent into Hell.

If two people walk out of confession, all their sins forgiven, and one is about to cross the street and get hit by a car and die, would it be cruel to save them and prevent them from ascending to Heaven sin-free? Would it not be a sin to save them, thereby denying them this?

Is there a Satan, and why does he exist? Did God created him, and if so why? If not, why can't God, being all-powerful, destroy him?

If "thou shall not kill", why does he ask his followers to do so in stories of the bible?

Why are there so many different denominations of Christianity? Is one right, and the others wrong? If so, what happens to those who follow the wrong religion, but still live a good life?

Why did it take seven days to create the world? Why did he take one day off? What does he do on his days "on" since?

The cliche, can God make a rock so big even he can't lift it?

If Jesus rose from the dead, is he a zombie now?

Why has there not been a second-coming of Jesus? Is there going to be one? Why or why not?

What of people who regularly attend church, and follow the bible and their interpretations of it, but are generally bad people? 

If you find a loophole in the bible "laws" (I've just forgotten the word that describes this), are you allowed to take advantage of it?

Is a born-again Christian better or worse than one who was raised and always believed? What of a child who believes because that is how (s)he was taught, but has not made the conscious decision for themselves?
 
 
Nicole
04 February 2013 @ 09:20 pm
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Current Music: Damien Rice - Cannonball | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
Nicole
04 November 2012 @ 11:33 pm


TattooSome of you asked for an explanation of my tattoo, so here it goes.

The shortest quickest answer I give is this:
It's to commemorate my trip to Holland, and Holland has tulips.

But it goes deeper than that. When I arrived at the airport in Amsterdam, my dutch family was waiting there for me to pick me up, with a red and white wooden tulip.  They allowed to me to stay at their house for almost the whole month, they provided everything I needed. They drove me all over the place, included me in activities, paid for everything. And I was essentially a stranger. They had met me once before when they had come to Canada and stayed with us for a week. At the time they visited, I had a full-time job so I didn't even see much of them. So partially for me, this tattoo is about family. My family in Canada has never been close (as you might know if you'd read past entries). And just the importance that family is given in the Netherlands (and likely all of Europe), even to a family member you barely know, is amazing to me. They did more for me, cared more about me, had more in-depth conversations with me than I have ever had with my aunts and uncles who have known me my whole life and lived within a day's drive.

But the main reason I picked this tulip, the semper augustus, is the history behind it. The semper augustus was a tulip in Holland in the 1600s. It was quite a rare and beautiful flower, and quite quickly became a luxury item and a symbol of status in society. And the market price of it got bid up, far above the intrinsic (or worth/value outside of the market) value. And as the price rose, people created a futures market for it. They signed contracts agreeing to purchase a certain quantity of tulip bulbs at a certain price at the end of the season. And suddenly the market collapsed.  People lost insane amounts of money on contracts, being contracted to buy tulip bulbs that no longer had value anywhere close to the price paid. Most of the time, people walked away from their contracts. The tulips themselves were flawed, though, and that's what had made them so desirable. They had some sort of virus that caused their petals to have multiple colours. But because of the virus, these bulbs were extremely difficult to cultivate, and because of this eventually died out. And while I love the economics behind it, and I love that I have a permanent reminder on my body to remind me that this is my passion, it's the story itself that speaks to me. It's a beautiful, sad sort of story. And in a lot of ways, I feel like the tulip itself. All my life I've essentially been told what a special snowflake I am. That I look at the world in a unique way. That I have tons of potential. But the bottom line is that I've always felt that I had an underlying flaw. Something in my brain just doesn't work quite right, and occasionally just breaks down completely. And because of that, I have a tendency to let people down, accidentally end friendships, and just make a lot of mistakes. Every couple months, I just have a freak out in which I try to push everyone away. And every friend I've had in the past just walked away from it. I wasn't worth the hassle. And there were times in my life, many years ago now, when I contemplated suicide (never actually attempted, though, I might add). Not because I was depressed (though I definitely wasn't happy), or my life was terrible (it wasn't, and I knew this even at the time), but because I felt like it would make the world a better place, not having me in it. But I got over it. And so for me, this tulip is a reminder that it doesn't have to be like this for me. There can be beauty in the imperfections. And it's also a constant reminder to myself that while most people who come into my life are just looking to see how they can benefit from knowing me and will leave afterwards, not all will

And this is probably the most personal thing about myself I've ever told to anyone else.