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The Boyfriend

25 Mar

A strange phenomenon that plagues Western Christianity is a genre of songs that some have tagged as “Jesus is my boyfriend” music. The oldest song of this type that I know of is attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, who lived in the 12th century:

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Sweetness filling my breast at the mere thought of my beloved strikes me as pretty erotic imagery (is it me, or is it getting warm in here?). The remainder of this stanza is not so overtly erotic, but it doesn’t need to be – the tone has already been set, very effectively, by the first two lines.

Moving on to the 18th century, if you thought Charles Wesley was a stodgy old Methodist, you may change your mind when you realize that he penned the words,

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly.

If you ask me, those lines don’t leave an awful lot to the imagination. In fact, they’re so suggestive that I was never able to sing them without squirming in discomfort. I don’t know if I was more disturbed by the thought of someone other than my husband making love to (my soul or any other part of) me, or because I wondered what Jesus’ bosom would be like. Hairy or clean-shaven? Solid pecs or flabby?

The 19th century brought us Fanny Crosby. Among the many insipid gospel songs she wrote was this one:

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershadowed,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

My goodness! Jesus has a hard time keeping his breast to himself. I ask you, how can straight men possibly sing these words without blushing? I can barely manage to do it.

C. Austin Miles may have outdone Ms. Crosby, though, with his evocative 19th century gem:

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and he talks with me,
And he tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

How romantic! A garden, evening dew, walking and talking together, enjoying an exclusive relationship – and a prefiguring of Burt Bacharach:

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you!

The Jesus is My Boyfriend genre of worship music is still thriving. The folks at Hillsong (this one’s for you, Sean and Oz) are pretty adept at it:

Closer than my thoughts
Closer than a kiss
How could it be
More intimate than this?

I’m sure some of you can think of suggestive creative answers to that question.

Since you’re probably getting saccharine overload, I’ll forestall potential lawsuits and finish by citing the post that stimulated this whole line of thought. This little bit comes from a song about Jesus, which is entitled – I kid you not – My Romance:

Look at the way the flowers bloom for You
They want to show You their beauty
Running waters dance
You and I romance.

If you check out this lady’s sidebar, you’ll find the following note:

ABOUT ME: I’m hopelessly in love with Jesus (He’s drop-dead gorgeous). He’s hopelessly in love with me (He thinks I’m ‘to die for’). What more is there to say?

What more is there to say? Plenty. This lady imagines that some dead guy whom she’s never seen (and whom some will argue never lived in the first place) is drop-dead gorgeous. She imagines that this dead guy loves – present tense, not past – her enough to have died for her and come back to life so that he could spend eternity with her. Does she love him

a) because he’s hot,
b) because he’s God (and/or God’s Son, however that works), or
c) because he loved/loves her enough to die for her and – she hopes – come back and take her to heaven with him?

What do you think? Is she repressed or just living out a weird Cinderella-style Some Day My Prince Will Come fantasy?

Whatever the answer to that question is, the only sense I can make of this sort of religious faith is that it’s juvenile, pathetic and degrading.

– the chaplain

 
57 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2009 in humor, music, religion, sex

 

57 responses to “The Boyfriend

  1. atimetorend

    March 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks Chaplain, that one was good for a well-needed laugh. I know I’ve sung at least the C. Wesley one, as a man, I am embarrassed to be realizing what it might feel like to be an infatuated school girl…

     
  2. ozatheist

    March 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Having quite likely sung a few of those songs in my dark past, I suddenly feel a bit dirty. I’m off to do something really manly. lol

    I feel a bit sorry for that girl. She probably loves him for all three reasons. How does she know he’s ‘hot’?

     
    • Lorena

      March 26, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      What do you think? Is she repressed or just living out a weird Cinderella-style Some Day My Prince Will Come fantasy?

      Chappy, you’re hilarious!

       
    • Lorena

      March 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      How did that other comment end up here?

      But, ozatheist, you’re hilarious, too…. I suddenly feel a bit dirty.

       
  3. Sarge

    March 25, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I seem to remember being told that Fanny Crosby was crippled and considered herself unloveable. Maybe a “dream lover” wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.

    I know two young ladies who have been badly disfigured by IEDs, they almost fell into the religious trap, too, but were luckily disuaded by the reactions of their prospective new friends in this “community of love”.

    They talked about their isolation and unacceptability, how they would have accepted any surrogate.

     
  4. Vitamin R

    March 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Sweet basil marinara, those songs are freakin insipid. If I were Jeebus, I’d have personally bitch-slapped each of the song writers–assuming they got past the pearly gates. Honestly, it’s worse than anything Diane Warren ever wrote.

    Although . . . I suppose it’s very modern and progressive for so many ye olde days dudes to be so very gay for Jeebus.

    And that Canadian chick is barmy in the army, let’s not mince words. If Jeebus had actually existed, he’d probably look more like a diminutive Palestinian guy, than he would that weird, blond, Mormon-style Jeebus that probably gives her the down-low tingles.

    Besides which–Jeebus already had a ‘hag. Her names was Mary Magdalene.

    But I hear Zeus always has room for more talent. He’s really into the wenches, like, whoa.

     
  5. Digital Dame

    March 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Well, at the risk of being the party-pooper here, the usage of the word “breast” in these songs from way back in the olden days was more along the lines of the third definition in Merriam-Webster of “the seat of emotion and thought”. Like calling someone a “bosom friend”, had nothing to do with sex or sexuality. It’s an archaic usage now.

    But yeah, this gal is batshit anyway. Reminds me of a woman I saw on a talk show many years ago who was so obsessed with Kenny Rogers she felt like she was married to him. They’re just off in La-La Land. At least Kenny Rogers is real (although probably close to Jesus’ age by now).

     
  6. PhillyChief

    March 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    What’s with the bosoms? Jesus had tits? What a creepy collection of Jesus songs.

    If you’ve never seen Hamlet 2, you have to check out Rock Me Sexy Jesus

    As for that messed up chick…

    Your Delusion

    Look at the way the flowers bloom for you
    They want to show you their beauty
    Running waters dance
    You still have a chance

    Yet you forsake it all for fantasy
    Yet you forsake it all for fantasy
    (repeat)

    Reality surrounds you
    It’s wonders right before you
    Open up your eyes, see
    All that you’re missing today
    For now ignorance surrounds you
    Poisoning and blinding you
    Open up your eyes, see
    All that you’re missing today

     
  7. ChimaeraLaurie

    March 25, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I clicked on the link and just couldn’t get any farther than the profile you already cited. Completely changing the subject – although it says she’s from Vancouver, Canada, I believe I have sighted down that exact canon in her header photo in Edinburgh, Scotland.

     
  8. Eshu

    March 26, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Nice poem, PhillyChief!

    Chappie, I think we should keep in mind they’re all talking about a spiritual love… You know, like the kind Ennis and Jack had… ;-)

     
  9. yunshui

    March 26, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Surely this kind of adolescent adulation is exactly the same emotional response that enables cult leaders to sow their wild oats amongst their followers with impunity? Everyone loves a Messiah figure – it’s just a shame that these people will never get to consummate their Jebus-lust because – sorry, guys – he died 2000 years ago. Maybe find yourselves a nice modern holy man to crush on – I hear the Mormon fundies do a good line in them?

    On another line of thought, do you think maybe Jesus went for the whole Messiah-schtick just to get laid? He would be laughing his head off at modern Christians: “Haw haw, I just told everyone I was the Son of God to get into Mary Magdelene’s pants! And you all fell for it? Losers.” Mind you, that approach never worked for me at university…

     
  10. nullifidian

    March 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    The whole “it’s not a religion, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus” thing really gets up my hooter.

    How many other “relationships” are tax-exempt? I’d love to get the tax back for everything that I spend for my SO, friends and family.

     
  11. seantheblogonaut

    March 26, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I concur with the dame on the archaic usage. While it probably wasn’t erotic it certainly was a romantic love. Now the Hillsong lyrics are just creepy but hey it is hillsong.

    I wonder if she realised that Jesus looked more like the president of Iran than the hoff she would think he was hot.

    I don’t know is this whole I am in love with Jesus a way for severely repressed Christian women to legitimately experience psuedo-sexual thoughts?

     
  12. PhillyChief

    March 26, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Don’t they still say nuns are married to Jesus? Who are priests married to?

    Rock me, rock me, rock me sexy Jesus…

     
  13. the chaplain

    March 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

    atimetorend:
    The whole “In Love With Jesus” thing is both pathetic and hilarious.

    Ozatheist:
    A cold shower works wonders.

    Sarge:
    Fanny Crosby was blinded in childhood. She eventually married a blind guy. He was pretty liberal (by 19th century standards) and insisted that she keep her maiden name.

    VitaminR:
    Yeah, the lyrics are pretty lame. I’m sure I could find some even worse ones if I check some of the hymnals and songbooks I’ve got lying around here.

    Digital Dame:
    Good point about the old usage of “breast.” Still, as a kid in the 20th century and an adult in the 21st, that word always conjured up entirely different images for me. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I snickered over song lyrics that we interpreted in ways that were never intended.

    Philly:
    Good poem. As for the songs, there are plenty of Christians who find them just as insipid as we do. But, it all comes back to Sam Harris’ complaint – when one allows any sort of irrationality into the mix, one has little basis for disallowing some sorts and accepting others.

    Chimaera Laurie:
    Thanks for dropping in. I don’t know why the link didn’t work for you. Here it is again: http://karynbaker.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-romance.html

    Eshu:
    Uh, yeah, Ennis and Jack were very uh, “spiritual.”

    yunshui:
    Good link between this sort of adulation and cult mentality. Of course, these people insist that their beliefs are not the least bit cult-like.

    Nullifidian:
    The “relationship not religion” thing is a joke. And the joke is on those who believe it.

    Sean:
    Even the idea of romance, rather than eroticism, with Jesus is far fetched, to say the least.

    Philly:
    Since I didn’t grow up Catholic, I’ll let someone who’s better informed than I answer your question about the priests.

     
  14. (((Billy)))

    March 26, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Am I the only one who is flashing on Cartman in South Park?

    I seam to remember some songs by Petra or Stryker/Stryper (?) back in the 80s which, had they been sung by a non-Christian band, would have necessitated an adult label on the album (my girlfriend at the time was born-again; as I had a VW Microbus Transporter, anytime she and her church gang wanted to go to a concert (or anywhere else), they covered my ticket in return for transprortation (I saw some weird shit!)).

    I agree with Digital Dame, though. Many songs of the 18th and 19th (and early 20th) centuries use breast and bosom to mean the place of love in the body, not the actual anatomical boobies. “Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” always struck me as an odd one.

     
  15. the chaplain

    March 26, 2009 at 8:55 am

    (((Billy))):
    I also agree with Dame and Sean (and you) on the archaic usage of “breast.” That doesn’t change the fact that people, especially kids, singing those words today are going to think about something entirely different from what Charles Wesley, et al, thought about. Nor does it change the fact that the notion of a close relationship with Jesus, with or without sexual overtones and/or undercurrents, is wacky.

    Rock My Soul – now there’s a song I haven’t thought of in years. That one also got lots of giggles from me and my dirty-minded little church friends.

     
  16. GodlessInND

    March 26, 2009 at 9:32 am

    “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus!”

    Jesus is a slut AND a huge jerk-face for leading so many men and women on.

     
  17. (((Billy)))

    March 26, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Chappie: Sorry. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Poorly worded on my part.

    I remember hearing it around campfires out west. My sisters thought it was funny. I wasn’t old enough to get it, yet.

     
  18. ChimaeraLaurie

    March 26, 2009 at 9:49 am

    :-) I actually could see her blog, but couldn’t read it. The inanity made my head hurt.

     
  19. Benzion N. Chinn

    March 26, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Funny that you mention Bernard of Clairvaux. He also had visions of himself nursing from the breast of the Virgin Mary. Now that is good theist erotica. And I was told that Christians were prudish about sex. We need to bring back the good old fashioned Christianity. (Minus the Crusades and the Inquisition.)

     
  20. mutzali

    March 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

    (((Billy))) — I truly enjoyed Cartman’s lyrics in the episode called “Christian Rock Hard.” They included these lovely lines:

    The Body of Christ! Sleek swimmer’s body, all muscled up and toned!
    The Body of Christ! O, Lord Almighty, I wish I could call it my own!

     
  21. (((Billy)))

    March 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    -Mutzali: And didn’t it include the line: “Spray your love on my face?”

    Oddly, that was the first South Park I ever saw. And I’ve seen, maybe, ten.

     
  22. John Evo

    March 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    If you’ve never seen Hamlet 2, you have to check out Rock Me Sexy Jesus

     
  23. John Evo

    March 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Well, fuck me. My monitor sucks so badly that I thought Philly didn’t leave the link! I only figured it out after re-posting it and it didn’t look like I left the link either.

    Oh, and fuck Jesus, too.

     
  24. the chaplain

    March 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Godless in ND:
    Jesus is such a tease!

    (((Billy))):
    No apology required – but I’ll accept it anyway.

    ChimaeraLaurie:
    It is pretty difficult to read the drivel. Maybe if you take it in small bites… But, why bother?

    Mutzali:
    Maybe Jesus and Michael Phelps should have a showdown.

    (((Billy))):
    Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever watched South Park.

    John Evo:
    Thanks to you and Philly for providing the link. That’s a funny tune. And, if you want to fuck Jesus, he’s all yours. I’m done with him.

     
  25. The Ridger

    March 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Considering that the entire “official” explanation for the inclusion of the intensely erotic Song of Songs being included in the Bible is that it prefigures the relationship of Jesus and the Church, romantic and even semi-erotic hymns are only to be expected.

     
  26. mutzali

    March 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    (((Billy)))
    Yes, there was a line that went
    “I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus!
    I wanna feel his salvation all over my face!”

     
  27. Sarge

    March 26, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks, it’s been a lot of years since I’ve even thought about that stuff.

    I don’t think she’s in a lot of the newer hymnals.

    I’ll have to dig through some of my shaped note books. I remember there were some real head scratchers in some of them.

     
  28. DB

    March 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how out of touch with reality some people are. I wonder if there is some kind of deep rooted psychological problem she has that explains this. It just seems so…odd.

     
  29. athinkingman

    March 27, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Yes, this thing always did seem odd to me, even when I was on the ‘inside’. And of course, there is also Bernini and St Teresa: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2215/1566710791_5c108546c1.jpg

     
  30. ArchangelChuck

    March 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Is it just me, or is it true that even in terms of sappy love songs, these “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs tend to be the most banal and devoid of any soul?

     
  31. Digital Dame

    March 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    @ArchangelChuck:

    The people who write and listen to those songs are probably the same ones who make their kids watch Barney, instead of Rugrats.

     
  32. the chaplain

    March 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Ridger:
    The sappy songs may be understandable, but they’re still pathetic. Anyone in the 21st century who is making love to Jesus is doing a solo act, not a duet.

    mutzali:
    That song doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. I prefer subtle erotica, myself, but I guess some people like in-your-face porn.

    Sarge:
    I think you’re right. Fanny Crosby’s day has passed. A handful of her best-known songs, like “Blessed Assurance,” may still be sung, but she’s being replaced by several newer generations of Christian songwriters.

    DB:
    It’s definitely a very odd way of viewing life.

    AThinkingMan:
    I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the expression on St. Teresa’s face was caused by a merely “spiritual” experience.

    Archangel:
    Welcome to my blog. I think you’re right. These sorts of songs surpass many sappy pop lyrics for vapidity.

    DigitalDame:
    My kids watched both Barney and Rug Rats, but they preferred the latter by far. It’s just as well – Barney’s singing really got on my nerves.

    Archangel:
    Evil Barney! Hilarious.

     
  33. Beth

    March 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I hate to admit this, but I belonged to a group of women who were studying the ‘Christian’ book “Captivating”. (Recently too – how embarrassing). I still have it – not sure why – so I just have to share a quote from it. The following quote is from the chapter titled, “Romanced”:

    “Think of one of the most romantic scenes you can remember, scenes that made you sigh. Jack with Rose on the bow of the Titanic, his arms around her waist, their first kiss….Now put yourself in the scene as the Beauty, and Jesus as the Lover.”

    The first time I read this, I literally screamed out loud. And this, among other things, is contributing to my de-conversion.

    Thanks, chaplain, for your insightful posts. I am so glad to have found this site.

     
  34. Greta Christina

    March 27, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    The folk song “Anchored in Love” is another. A lovely song, actually (the Carter Family almost never suck, and the Freight Hoppers do a delightful version); but it’s so much of a love song that I actually think of it as a love song instead of a religious song. What’s that joke from the Simpsons about the musicians leaving a Christian rock band for a regular rock band? “You just change the word ‘Jesus’ to ‘baby.'” I do that with “Anchored in Love.”

     
  35. John Evo

    March 27, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Remember that song Ted Haggard used to sing? “Bending Over Backwards for Jesus”?

     
  36. ArchangelChuck

    March 28, 2009 at 1:47 am

    chaplain- Thanks for the warm welcome. Found your site since you’ve dropped by several other ‘blogs I check occasionally. I’m digging it; keep up the good work.

     
  37. the chaplain

    March 28, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Beth:
    Welcome to my blog. That Captivating book looks really creepy. I know that de-conversion can be a disorienting process as you sort through all of the things you’ve believed, questioned, etc. I also know it’s uncomfortable – and even maddening – to realize that you actually bought the myths, etc. LeoPardus wrote a very nice piece a few months ago that you may like.

    Greta Christina:
    The Simpsons are full of wisdom as well as wit. I’ll have to look up that song and try out your method.

    John Evo:
    Sorry, I don’t recall hearing that one. I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed a Grammy or Dove (the Christian equivalent) Award winner. :)

    Archangel:
    You’re always welcome to come back.

     
  38. The Ridger

    March 29, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I didn’t mean they weren’t sappy and even pathetic, I only meant they were in the fine tradition of Christianity from the very beginning. If you can’t control or stamp out sex, then you *might* be able to redirect it.

     
  39. the chaplain

    March 29, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Ridger:
    You’re right – Christianity has been about controlling, or at least redirecting, sex from its earliest days. If Christians could have stamped it out completely, they probably would have. Of course, even they realized that sex was a necessary tool for acquiring new generations of believers (and, eventually, tithers).

     
  40. Beth

    March 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    chaplain –
    Thanks for the welcome and for the link. This IS a disorienting process – I’m just grateful that I’ve come across blogs like yours to help me through.

     
  41. CommiusRex

    March 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    There is a Dandy Warhols song called ‘Hard-on for Jesus’. Something along the same lines, perhaps?

    Maybe not…

     
  42. Argentum

    April 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    The album “Bloody Kisses” by Type O Negative features an excellent song called “Christian Woman” that explores the idea of a young woman’s pathologically sexual obsession with Jesus. It’s wonderfully erotic, full of religious innuendo, and at times hauntingly beautiful. And guaranteed to piss off the religious right for sure!

     
  43. the chaplain

    April 25, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Argentum:
    Welcome to the chapel. “Christian Woman” sounds like an interesting song. Besides that, I’m sorta partial to anything that’s guaranteed to piss off the Religious Right! Do you know if it’s available online?

     
    • Martin Cauvin

      April 25, 2009 at 7:48 am

      “I’m sorta partial to anything that’s guaranteed to piss off the Religious Right!”

      Interesting statement. So you have some issues….

      Which leads me to a question I have thought about asking since I stumbled across this blog. It is really addressed to the athiests. And forgive me if it has already been aswered in archives or something. Please just direct me to the proper post.

      Why the disire or need or felt necessity (or whatever else it may be) to respond so much to what you don’t believe in? That is, why do athiests (certainly evident to me on many of the posts here) seem reactive rather than proactive?

      Always strange to me when people define themselves by what they are not, rather than what they are.

      MC

       
      • the chaplain

        April 25, 2009 at 11:36 am

        “So you have some issues.”

        Certainly, as do many former believers. I was raised in a fairly conservative evangelical tradition; I followed the religion of my youth, and served as an ordained minister in the denomination to which many members of my family still belong, for a long time. Some of my “issues” include resentment at a strict upbringing that excelled at instilling guilt in inappropriate situations, at the imposition upon me of ceaseless demands of self-sacrifice for the sake of God and denomination, at having been indoctrinated into a belief system that I now see as deeply flawed, to say the least, and at having wasted years, even decades, of my life pursuing something worthless and silly. Yeah, I still get annoyed about all that sometimes.

        As for the religious right in the USA, my issue with that body of believers centers on its desire to enforce its beliefs and moral codes on everyone around them, in personal and public spheres. The religious right has a right to participate in public life, and I have no problem with its point of view being one among many. In fact, even though I am a political centrist who leans left, I crave some intelligent, thoughtful input on social and political issues from the conservative side of the spectrum. I recognize that my views need to be balanced and checked by the insights of others who see things differently than I do. What I don’t like about the religious right is its demonizing of those who disagree with its teachings and its unwillingness to find middle ground with others who don’t agree with its pronouncements. Anytime two or more people get together, disagreement is inevitable. The key to handling disagreements fairly is to respect the other party. I rarely (if ever) hear any respect in the pronouncements of religious right activists who insist that atheists are immoral, that gays undermine family life, that pro-choice proponents are murderers, etc.

        You asked, Why the disire or need or felt necessity (or whatever else it may be) to respond so much to what you don’t believe in? That is, why do athiests (certainly evident to me on many of the posts here) seem reactive rather than proactive?

        My initial reaction to this question was, “Oh – that old canard again.” But, the fair thing for me to do is to assume that you asked the question sincerely and go ahead and answer it.

        The fact that atheists are speaking out these days – on blogs, in books, lectures and debates – is actually proactive. It means that it’s becoming okay for atheists to come out of their closets and speak openly. Moreover, it means that atheism is becoming more mainstream and acceptable than it used to be.

        The reason atheists react strongly against religion (in the US context, primarily Christianity) has already been mentioned: there are religious believers who seek to impose their morality (and, ideally, their beliefs) on people who don’t share their beliefs (this group includes nonbelievers and those who adhere to other faiths). Atheism has to be reactive to some degree because it’s still a minority position and it’s a position that some religious believers oppose vigorously and hostilely.

        I don’t think I’ve written a post about this issue. I know other bloggers have written about it, but I can’t recall any links right now. Therefore, the best I can do is direct you to this page at Freethoughtpedia.

         
        • Martin Cauvin

          April 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm

          Hi chaplain,

          Thank you for the response. Yes I did it mean it sincerely, though I am not sure I still understand how it is proactive. I am glad that atheists feel free to express their thoughts.

          I have often wondered how much of the problem comes from the “religious right” in the United States. I am “conservative” but have not found much that is edifying in the “religious right” of the States. Fortunately I don’t live there (no offence intended, just a statement).

          I’m sorry you and other atheists (and other faiths) have experienced some of that extreme hostilaty, anger and fear.

          Is it a little like a support group then? Talking it out that is? This is not intended as a criticism just wondering.

          Whatever the answer I will probably head off from this blog. I think I understand a little better, and I thank you for that. I’m even probably in agreement with at least some of your concerns around the “religious right” :-).

          Take care,

          MC

           
  44. JohnFrost

    April 25, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned the new(ish) band Flyleaf. When I first heard their song “All Around Me,” I honestly thought it was some kinky vampire love song.

     
  45. the chaplain

    April 25, 2009 at 11:45 am

    John:
    Is Flyleaf a Christian band? I’m really out of touch with contemporary Christian music. Is the song available online?

     
  46. the chaplain

    April 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Martin:

    You asked, Is it a little like a support group then? Talking it out that is?

    That’s a large part of what it is for me. When I opened this blog, I was completely in the closet. I’ve since come out to some friends and family members (my husband was one of the first). Until I began doing that, though, the atheosphere was the only place where I could express my changing beliefs and get support through what can be a very difficult, disorienting process. My beliefs are settled now, but I enjoy interacting with people in the atheosphere, so I’ll probably still be at it for awhile.

    I understand why this blog probably doesn’t hold much interest for you in the long run. You’re always welcome to come back and share your point of view with the rest of us.

     

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