Tuesday, September 09, 2014


1. A person's own religiosity is not the same as their general membership in any religion. (Opinion)
2. My childhood membership in religion is generally grouped as Mainline Liberal Christian Protestant.
3. I have experienced atheism as a rather unwelcome visitation that was not foisted on me by atheists, who had never attempted to rid me of belief in God, though I had known atheists. An atheist would have failed at it, had one of them tried. Then the idea of choice would have been inherent. The atheism I underwent I did not choose. It was foisted on me by my exclusion in a spiritually-oriented group I belonged to. It mounted to my feeling not welcome—unprecedented for me—to participate in community prayer and possibly in public worship in any form. My exclusion was very unpleasant while it lasted. I felt forced to wear a helmet of stone. The imaginary helmet weighed like stone and covered that part of my forehead known in Hinduism as my god’s eye. I referred to my ordeal as “involuntary atheism,” and once, my brother expected me to try to describe it. Privately-educated Catholics ignored my having a brother. Syncretic Catholic Linda criticized my trip to see him in California in 2009. I incorrectly thought why. My life and inheritance remain unopposed to theirs. I attributed my discontinued belief to cult damage. I lived as a spiritual exile over more than seven, perhaps ten years. I took refuge in rereading the poetry of two American masters. One, a member Transcendentalist, seemed during my black-out maturity heartbreakingly expired in spirit, though in poetry she has no better. I read there God in His jealousy had withdrawn her worship. Later, I felt restored to my belief pattern of "agnostic.” My restoration did not greet me as a “miracle.” I just felt like myself again. I survived killers’ predictions. One of the would-be killers compares to Job’s Wife in the Bible, as Frank Kermode describes Her line in an essay. Instead of dying—as programmers obedient to Cynthia Macdonald and Catholic Sandy tried to order it, contrary to our link to what may be a common God—I became restored to beliefs that were mine before I met them, aimless, silly programmers. I remembered my sense, without its initial joy, that travel is the wandering Voltaire inscribed. Joy is not a belief, all-y’all father-fuck'ng, no-account no-writes.

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