Steroid Nights, Part I (part II will come much later as I still need to finish part II of suicide is not painless)

Once a week, with my chemo, I must take a hefty dose of steroids. Those nights I fall asleep and then awaken about midnight and am up for the rest of the night (typical side effects). During those early mornings, my mind (again from the steroids) become filled with a stream of important thoughts. This is an attempt to get up and write those down.

You will never be as young again, as you are today.

Your own death is always more palatable when viewed from a distance.

Never fully trust someone with an agenda . . . virtually everyone has an agenda. I have an agenda, not always good.

The good scientist, and most are good, are the one person in our society that is seeking truth above all else. They are therefore doing God’s work.

For many people, their relationship with God is defined by emotional, mystical experiences (like a drug high). I’m so glad that my relationships with my wife, kids, or dog are not defined that way … and certainly not my relationship with God.

A good reporter, and most are, are doing God’s work because they are seeking truth.

A propagandist, posing as a reporter, does the work of the devil by passing along lies in the guise of truth.

A marketer posing as a scientist, is doing the work of the devil because they wear lab coats while shouting lies.

Those who prorogate lies, that cause harm or death to those who believe them (such as don’t get the COVID vaccine because it is not safe), that person is guilty of murder.

If God exist, and I think he does, the more we are in touch with reality, the more authentically we live, the better we can see him, because he lives in reality. The more we live in magical worlds, created by our wishful thinking, the more opaque God becomes.

Faith without evidence is silly superstition, castles built in thin air, an offense to the God of reality.

The most dishonest people in our society, those who seek truth the least, are the politicians, the marketer, and the religious … because their goal is to promote a dogma, not to seek truth. Michael J. Lindell is an example of where all three meet in one person.

Not a big fan of religion, but totally enthralled with the historical Jesus … we share our distaste for religion and our love for the poor and displaced.

The end game of all religious endeavors is a (false) sense of moral superiority. The end game of a personal connection with the Creator … is simply that.

Most atheists reach their positions, not because of moral failure or stupidity, but because the theists have failed to show them a reasonable alternative. The religious-theists prefer to believe that the atheists have a moral failure or stupidity because the religious’ ultimate end-game is the (false) sense of moral superiority.

I believe that God will look kindly upon the atheists who pursued truth honestly, but for whom the path was made opaque by by the theists.

If Dante’s hell existed, the front row seats of the most detestable would be those religious people who exploit others for power, money, sex, or ego. Behind them, the politicians who do the same.

If Jesus was the bird of paradise . . . then Christian religion is KFC.

I would rather travel to Mars on a two-year journey in a spaceship of honest atheists than Christians with a personal agendas, because they will always hide their ill-intent behind “God’s will” or personal “spirituality.”

The American church is dying a rapid death, and I believe God says good riddance. On the right or conservative side the church has lost its flavor by being absorbed into the Republican Party and American Nationalism. What was “white evangelicalism” is now, “religious-flavored republicanism” and Fox News is now their place of worship. On the left, the church has lost its flavor by adopting “new age pantheistic ideologies” (cherry-picked ideas from Hinduism and Buddhism) for the sake of harmony. Jesus said we have harmony, not by compromising our beliefs and all people agreeing, but loving profoundly those people which we disagree with the most. But my hope is in the fact that God always saves a remnant of the Church, and with each cycle, thus one must hope, it gets better until the gates of hell can no longer prevail against it.

Jesus said that we have harmony, not by compromising our beliefs and all people agreeing, but loving profoundly those people which we disagree with the most.

There is more intimacy on the wrestler’s mat than in the lover’s bed. If your relationship with God is built upon spiritual success stories, then you don’t him nearly as well as those who have wrestled with God within the throes of despair.

No one has the right to look at you and tell you that you don’t have the spirituality or relationship with God as they do. This is a symptom of the religious pursuit of (false) moral superiority.

A well-worked out, litany, of countless precise dogmas within a religious framework is designed to to help reach the end game of a (false) sense of moral or intellectually superiority over those who don’t hold them.

The Bible is the most over-thought book in history, where the placement of a comma can create a new dogma and new church denomination. The “Cliff Notes” of the entire Bible is found in Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

When you share a personal struggle with a Christian and their response is to share how they succeeded in the very same area in which you have failed, their purpose is not to offer encouragement, but it is part of their religious end game of a self (false) sense of moral superiority over you. You deserve better friends, who know that you are better than your struggles and that they have struggled worst than you.

The emotions is a gift and blessing from God. It is for us to use to enjoy or to fear the reality that our senses and reason finds for us. This is how God designed us. However, most religious idolize the emotions as something greater, something beyond the material by which we can find truth. Emotional reasoning always leads us further from reality, not closer to it.

Nature is God’s work and gift. Within the Christian framework, while created perfect, is now broken. It is not despised as the evangelicals claim, good for nothing but exploitation. It is also not perfect as the pure naturalists claim. But very, very good, yet can be abused (if we are not careful), or improved (if we care enough) upon by humans.

Supranational miracles today are rare, if at all. This is not based on anything that the Bible says but upon the reality that God has created. To falsely call something that happened via natural laws (which God created) a supranational miracle does God no favor because it is a lie in that case. God is opposed to lying, even lying “for him.” The more we live in lies, the least we know God who, if is there, lives in reality. Fake miracles win many points within religious societies. Still, I always hope for miracles and let God, not my imagination, determine if one should occur.

Unfortunately suffering is always married to isolation, which magnifies the suffering. The reason is, no one else (except rarely an extremely empathetic like my aunt Helen ) can take that journey with you and no one really even wants to imagine that journey. Because, for someone else to try and imagine the depths of your pain, it exposes their vulnerability of some day having the same pain, which is profoundly threatening.

For the person that says there is no possibility that God does not exist, never had a doubt for a second, then it is not great faith they have, but social coercion and rearing dogma (which eliminates all other possible choices) for the religious idea of (false) moral or intellectual superiority. Those who knows the possibility of there being no God, yet looks carefully at the evidence and chooses to believe, based on that evidence, that is the real person of faith.

Hebrews, chapter eleven, tells us that real faith is the emotional confidence we carry once our God-given senses and reason has pointed us the way (“The assurance (emotional) of things hoped (believed or reasoned) for”). The Christians have abused the word faith into an anti-reason leap into the total dark and wear absurd actions “based on faith” as a badge of honor. That’s not faith but insanity and deserves no merit of accomplishment.

The world has never seen, since Christ, a person who has loved others as equal to themselves. But we can keep trying.

The world has never seen, since Christ, a person who has loved others as equal to themselves. But we can keep trying.

Those who have the greatest despair, those who are suffering, the refugee, the dying, those who are hungry, those who are unsheltered, or suffer from mental demons . . . those containers have the greatest capacity to carry all your love.

While there is a huge moral difference between the person who seeks to love and to save lives and those who harm and take lives, there is only a thin line between the patriot and the terrorist, based on the perspective of those being harm or killed. I’ve spent time talking to the Taliban on the boarder with Pakistan. They sounded almost identical to the American, hyper-national, evangelical … whose food is conspiracy theories.

Those who look at their own institution, be it a political party, religion, or business, and white-wash over and deny all of its flaws, present and historical, they move further into the wilderness of illusion and propagate those flaws into the future. I’ve taught church history classes and pissed off a lot of people when I told the truth.

Someone asked me once if I laughed at “dirty jokes?” No, I said … not all of them … only the funny ones.

To stand out within an institution, be it a political party, religion, or business and declare the real flaws; that individual often faces the harshest of social backlashes and condemnation, because the majority around them prefer that wilderness of delusion because within it, they can maintain their (false) sense of moral or intellectual superiority over their competitors.

As a twenty-year evangelical, and now twenty years removed from that, I can testify that evangelicals imagine that they are superior to the rest of society, morally, but I can tell you from personal experience that they have their “shit together” only on the surface. I’ve heard many spine-chilling stories, often late at night, from the very secret vaults of “godly” missionaries, pastors, elders, and etc. of depression, suicide attempts, incest, adultery, drug use, porn addiction, closet homosexuality while opposing the “gay agenda” in public, and you name it. It is okay to be private, but when we pretend on the surface to be one thing, but live privately like something else, then it becomes religion, were the end game is to have a (false) sense of moral superiority. The worst case was guy I knew during my years as a Navigator, who was then the elder of a large Presbyterian church and who confined with me late at night at hotel that he had habitually sexually molested his daughter … but “God had not convicted him of it yet.” Of which I became enraged and defriended him immediately. I would have reported him to the police, but the daughter had just reported it herself and that was why he was telling me. But he didn’t want any Christian to find out … nor his church.

Religious societies tend to build cultural fortresses, where inside the walls, all ills are over-looked (like Donald Trump’s atrocious personal morality, or TV preachers screwing prostitutes with the attitude of “we all have flaws” or “who am I to judge?”), yet on the outside, all other people are demonized as detestable and are shown no mercy. Like all literal stone fortresses, it is about power and defense … and a (false) sense of moral superiority.

In 1990 I made a deliberate decision to live authentically, warts and all. It has been hell at times and I’ve lost many Christian friends over it. Many would detest what I’ve written here. But, I had no choice if I wanted to know truth and wanted to know God honestly. But I do love my new friends of other of no faiths.

Mike. Time to go to bed, not time to proof-read.

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Published by J. Michael Jones

J. Michael Jones is a writer and PA who lives in Anacortes, Washington. He is the father of five children, who are now grown and out discovering this wonderful world on their own. He has previously focused his writing on non-fiction including medical topics and issues of the philosophy of Christian thought. With the success of his last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, Michael is now moving into fiction with his first novel, The Waters of Bimini.

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