Ash Wednesday 2013

17 02 2013

I just looked at my last Ash Wednesday post.  How things have changed in a year.

In the past year, I re-examined my feeling that I need to believe in God.  And my need to go to church.

The church part was fraught with so much angst.  They actually made it easy to decide on the “I’m not going to go anymore” front. They did this by persecuting nuns who were only trying to be progressive (ie make the church more Christlike), by continuing to hide and deny pedophilia, by denying condoms as disease control and condemning them as birth control, by being more active in trying to keep us unruly women in line rather than focusing on what should be the work of the church:  feeding the hungry, healing the sick, reaching out to work for the poor.

Plus, although the Church gives lip service to the role of women, their actions speak so much louder:  We don’t matter.  We distract men from their “real” work of being holy, so they can’t marry us.  We are dark and mysterious, and goodness knows that mystery has no part in church.  Although a woman supposedly gave birth to their Savior, that’s all we are good for, thank you very much (pats on head).  (And by the way, that woman, although married for years to a human man, never had sex.  Uh huh.)

I posted last year that I had felt disconnected from God for months.  I finally decided to break up, or whatever.  I am no longer sure God exists.  If He does, He is surely doing a piss poor job of looking after His people.  I mean, seriously, letting 20 precious babies die in gunfire right before Christmas?  And yes, I understand free will and all that, but honestly, wouldn’t an all knowing and all powerful God be able to do something about this beforehand?

So, although I know that there is a soul, and that we are probably linked together somehow, I reject the notion of an old guy making marks in a book and ready to judge my every move.  Besides, shouldn’t I strive to live a good life because it’s the right thing to do, rather than looking forward to rewards later on?  Yeah, I think so.

So, now to Jesus.  I actually think there’s plenty of evidence that Jesus did exist, as a real person, and a prophet.  Someone who daringly changed the world.  Someone who showed us that the way to live was to love thy neighbor, to feed the hungry, to bring hope to the imprisoned, to clothe the naked, to show the downtrodden that there’s a way out.  I dispute that he is the son of God, but I understand that in his world, that belief in God was a given.  It’s all right.  Jesus is someone I can look up to, to try to be more like.

So, this year’s Ash Wednesday was a day of reflection.  Again, it’s a day to look at your New Year’s goals and reset if needed. I’m happy to say that my goals are moving forward.  I’m almost half done with my 100 day challenge! And I’ve added one more wellness goal (to keep track of my food every day).  Just about ready to add another.

Rock on, and stay safe.

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