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Why I Turned my Back on Religion

Greetings all! Long time no hear from, right? Life has been keeping me busy, but I’m trying to return to blogging somewhat regularly. Today I’d like to talk about a topic that been bouncing around in my head for quite some time recently: Religion.

So some friends that know me may or may not have noticed recently that I’ve been rather anti-religion. This isn’t actually anything really “new,” it’s just largely been provoked and re-awakened by life recently. I’ve been fortunate enough (and by that I mean unfortunate enough) to have more dealings lately with uber-religious people than usual. And all of those dealings have been closed-minded and ignorant.

Just a little personal background. I was raised a Baptist Christian. My parents made me get up for church every Sunday morning. I did the whole Bible Study thing when I was younger because mum thought it would be good for. Basically I’m the product of two God-loving/fearing faithful Christians. I’ve always been skeptical, going back at least as far as my preteen years, maybe longer than that. When I was younger than that, I always looked at the Bible with this, “How could this stuff really happen?” mentality. It seemed like an amusing work of fiction, great propaganda for trying to get people to think a certain way. I swear I actually, at one point in my life, thought church was just the weekly amusement for my family, kind of akin to the weekly tradition of  Sunday afternoon football. I didn’t realize way back then the extent to which people just ate this stuff up as absolute.

Wait… you’re telling me all this time I was supposed to believe this stuff ACTUALLY happened? A senior citizen really built a giant ark and put representatives of every animal on it?

So naturally I grew older and more skeptical, but of course I’d continue to go because my parents want me to learn morals and stuff (and because I technically couldn’t disobey them and not go to church because I’d be grounded for a week or something).  Enter: college. One of my first weekends there, I tried to go to a church close to the college with a couple of friends. Complete torture. It was a southern Baptist Church, but the traditions were all weird. I guess we picked a Sunday where they were ordaining new deacons or something after the sermon, so members of the congregation went up and greeted them and did whatever, I don’t know, it felt the Catholic church or something. (*note: Dad was raised Catholic originally, so I’ve been to Catholic church services before… total snoozefest. Go for the experience, but definitely not recommended in regular doses.) So we were up and out of there faster than Sarah Palin at an Obama rally. (Weird analogy… what would Sarah Palin be doing at an Obama rally in the first place?) BUT I digest…

Anywho, we were required to take religion classes at the college. I took Old Testament, as well as New Testament (the basics, pretty much everyone chooses to take those two). I also, in my final semester of college, decided to voluntarily take a third religion class, World Religions, because the topic actually legitimately interested me. But anyroad, it was in those first two classes where I firmly found my anti-religion stance. Studying the Bible, studying those Books, dissecting and analyzing the context, meanings, inconsistencies all present in the book made me realize firmly that Christianity was NOT for me.


Bible thumpers LOVE throwing verses of scripture out and telling you how you’re going to Hell because you are gay or have a different belief system than others. And yet at the same time, they love to preach about how their God loves and accepts all mankind. Um… confused much?

“God loves you! He loves you!” “I’m gay. I thought being gay was a sin in the Bible?” “It is but if you repent for your sins, God will forgive you!” “Wait, so you’re saying your God made me a certain way, gave me the ability to believe what I want to believe and feel the way I want to feel, but in the end, he wants me to… apologize for all of that, just so that I can go to Heaven?” “… Yes!” *facepalm*

And… that’s about how it goes.

Ignorance is a disease. Please don’t spread it.

Listen, I have some very dear friends to my heart who are ultra-religious. But for the most part, they’re not super in my face about it. Except a certain select few, which worries me. Certain people I’ve always thought to be raised pretty well, and have good heads on their shoulders. They’ve always seemed pretty reasonable. And then we have a conversation in which they denounce beliefs that don’t line up with theirs because “The Bible says it’s wrong!” You have to look at stuff in the context in which it was written. Your Bible also says it’s okay to sell your daughter into slavery (which was socially acceptable back then). That’s great that you know your Bible verses, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge ANYONE. No, I can’t spout every verse from Psalms off the top of my head, but the ability or inability to do so doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else.

The strength of my character makes me who I am, not my adherence to any one religion.

When I look around and see all of these conflicts and wars today in parts of the world than many people can’t even pronounce correctly, if they’ve heard of them at all, what is at the root of a lot of them? Religion. You can believe what you want, but if you’re going to talk about acceptance, have to be tolerant of others. And so many people who follow their “God” are just ignorant and intolerant. Plain and simple. The world will never be at peace as long as we have so many people that are unable to accept others as they are. I have dear friends who call every Muslim a “towel-head.” Well forget that, some of my best friends are Muslims. I mean, one of the first women I ever deeply cared about was a Muslim woman. I teach students who are Hindu and Buddhist. I know so many different kinds of people in the world, and I could just never fathom hating any of them because they have a different belief system than I do. I would much rather seek to understand their beliefs than outright shun (and at its core, THAT was my main reason for taking that World Religions class in my final semester of college).

I haven’t turned by back on religion. Religion turned its back on me.

Overall, I’m just… way too accepting of others to follow any one religion. If I choose to believe in a God, I’ll believe in a God who truly loves all of mankind, and accepts everyone for who they are, no matter what they believe. And that’s where my Faith will lie.

You don’t have to have a religion to have a God.

Until next time…



Marvel’s The Avengers and why it works so well

Greetings all! It’s been a long time since I’ve created a blog post here, but I have just had some thoughts I need to get out of my head.  Beware, this is where my “geek” side kind of comes out, so if you never cared for The Avengers or superhero movies in general, you might want to just kind of skip this one.

So this was a summer full of superhero movies. Between The Amazing Spider-man, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises, this was the summer of the geeks. We don’t need another Revenge of the Nerds movie, the nerds have had their revenge. They’ve won. The most talked about movies this summer were, you guessed it, comic book movies. So why is it that The Avengers is breaking records (so they say), but The Dark Knight Rises, a pretty much equally anticipated movie, isn’t kicking the Marvel team to the curb?

In my opinion, it boils down to this: film SERIES vs. film TRILOGY. The first one works. The second one, while still doable, isn’t going to be as impressive.

In this day and age, a franchise’s true success lies in its staying power. Nolan’s Batman films are a trilogy. The have a clearly defined beginning (Batman Begins), middle (The Dark Knight), and end (The Dark Knight Rises). And that’s all well and good. he had it story to tell, and he told it. How effectively he told it, well that’s up to you. Personally, I enjoyed the films a lot, though I could easily see that they weren’t without flaws. But either way, the films amount to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Sorry Bats…

This format is arguably the same format taken by the previous Spidey film trilogy. And that was literally Spider-Man 1, 2, and 3. Each part was a literal sequel to the last one. And there’s been an announcement that they’re planning film trilogy with The Amazing Spider-Man, as well. Which is pretty much given, as they made it very clear that they were setting up a running story with the first film.

As a friend of mine said recently (paraphrased more or less), “Wow, they’re planning a trilogy? Big surprise. I’ll be more impressed if they plan to have more than 3 movies.” Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

This is where Marvel’s cinematic universe steps in and pounces no them all. Now I am a DC guy through and through, I always have been, and I always still will be. But Marvel definitely has the edge here. And here’s why. Marvel Studios has gone on record saying they’re not looking to do any “trilogies.” They’re trying to create a last film series, where the movies can continue on and eventually just replace actors as they need to, a la the James Bond films. They’re not telling a story in multiple parts. They’re telling self-contained stories in each film that just all still happen to be connected to the other films.

And that’s why it works.

Say what you will about the Burton/Schumacher films, but they did what DC needs to have been doing all along: create a film series. There’s a great line in Batman Forever that really stands out as great development in that series:  “You see, I’m both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. Now… because I choose to be.” That line basically sets up what could have been an INFINITE amount of sequels. And it was headed that way, too, until they dropped the ball with Batman & Robin, and there went that. (Man, between Batman and Superman, those DC movies really don’t have strong fourth films.)

The Bat-nipples and, err… large codpieces didn’t help matters, either…

Anyways, in essence, that’s what DC is lacking. You can’t really continue a film series with Nolan’s universe because, well, it had an end. Any film series continuing on would either invalidate the end that was established with TDKR, or we’d just eventually end up having another TDKR-type situation with the new guy. (Come on, the movie’s been out for almost two months now, so let’s not pretend we don’t all know how it ended.)

To trump the Avengers, DC needs to create a film SERIES again. The Avengers films are continuing stories that happen to all share a universe. As people who read comics books and watch shows that continue on for years, we want the ever-continuing franchise. A trilogy can be great, but at the end of the day, it will still just be a trilogy. Superhero movies need to break beyond the “trilogy” mindset and go the “lasting series” route. I hope that the next DC superhero movies can finally go beyond that to establish a successful, lasting franchise.

But those are just my thoughts on it. What are yours?


My car goal for 2012!

So… I have officially begun saving up for a new car. I really want a (2012) Hyundai Tucson! I started a Motozuma account… Contributions welcome, every little bit helps! 🙂

Motozuma: Your new car is now within reach..

So pretty!

My favorite color.. but I’m not sure I’d want it in red…


Hello again!

So, you’ve probably all been wondering where I’ve been over the past two months. Well… I’ve been focusing on getting my life together, etc etc… And I will continue to update this blog as my random “thoughts of the day/week” blog, but I’ve also started another blog, with a more concise focus: my recent workout journey/progress. I’m super committed to it, and I would love it if you guys would all follow it and support me in this life changing journey. I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin, and though I’m doing it for myself, it never hurts to have a little extra support!


Thanks in advance!


Late night/early morning musings…

I hate this, I hate feeling this way. I’m at this point in my life, a crossroads. It’s a point where I cannot continue going on the way I have been going. Not if I ever want to truly move forward or go anywhere in my life.

I am cursed, plagued with insecurities and doubts. I know I’m not perfect, I have never pretended to be perfect. But now I see… I have so many more imperfections than I originally thought. I don’t know what happened. I used to be so confident. Nothing could phase me. I could walk through life with a smile, and be positive, and just be happy that I was alive and living. That’s always been enough for me. Until recently, until the past couple months… What happened… what changed?

Why am I so broken?

I can’t maintain any of my relationships. I have destroyed the relationships for several of the people that I care the most about. And I have no idea how to fix anything. I just don’t know where to go from here. It’s hard for me to even type right now… my hands are shaking so badly just from thinking about it… And obviously it’s affecting my sleep, as I’m writing this at 6 AM in the morning….

I just don’t know what to do or where to go from here. And of course no one can help me, the only one who can figure this stuff out is me. Except that I don’t even know how to do that.

There’s an old saying that goes something like “If you’re not happy with your life, then change it.” I want to… I just have no idea where to begin.


A letter to you… from my heart…

To you… You know who you are… at least, I hope you do…

You are amazing. I wake up in the morning, and you’re the first one I think of. I wonder if you’re awake. I wonder what you’re doing that day. I wonder if I’ll see you today, or even talk to you today. I think of you throughout the day, wondering how your day is going. I wonder if you’re happy or upset. And, of course, I wonder if, at any point, you’re thinking of me, too.

When I see you, I’m wondering what’s going on in your head. I wonder if you’re happy to be spending time with me. I wonder if you’d rather just be somewhere else. I wonder if I’ll say something really stupid that will make you think I’m an idiot. I wonder if I’ll say something perfect that will make you fall in love with me. Crazy, I know, but still. I didn’t say everything was completely logical.

At the end of the day, I’ll go to bed thinking of you. I wonder if you’re in bed yet. I wonder if you’re dreaming, and what you’re dreaming about. I wonder if I’ll dream about you tonight. Let’s be serious, though… I probably won’t. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. Because sometimes you are in my dreams. And the possibility of meeting you in my dreams makes me happy.

Things aren’t always perfect. We fight… oh do we fight. Sometimes I piss you off, even when I have no idea what I did… what can I say? I’m a guy, we rarely know what we did wrong. And sometimes you make me so frustrated by some of the things you say. Nobody can get to me or get under my skin like you can. And it’s because you’re already under my skin. You’re in my heart. Which is why I never stay upset for very long. It’s just too hard to stay mad at you.

One text from you is enough to lift my mood, no matter how good or bad I may be feeling. Your scent is intoxicating. You smile is gorgeous. I can get lost in your eyes for days on end. Your beauty is endless. Your voice is enchanting. Everything about you has captured my heart. I’m a strong, independent guy, but if you need me for anything, I will bend over backwards to make you happy, no matter what. It’s so hard to say no to you.

What does this all mean? It means exactly what you think it means. You probably don’t believe at least half of what I’ve written, but I promise you, it’s all true. I’m crazy about you. I’m dead serious about that. I want to be with you. I want to hold you. I want all of you. I just want you. And you will probably never know how much.



So yeah… I kind of miss you.

It’s been a long time… over 4 and a half years… Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been that long.Well, I guess there’s some things that I need to say. I’m sorry that I haven’t spoken to you lately. I hope you’re doing well where you are right now.

It still feels like just yesterday was the last time I saw you. When we went to Panera bread. When the Explorer overheated and broke down, and my mom had to come rescue us and we had to tow the car. It was just another day. I’m sorry that I didn’t get the chance to say a proper goodbye to you that day. “I’ll see you the next time we’re both at home.”

How did I know that you’d have your life unfairly ripped away from you before you came back home?

You know, I really need you right now. You were my best friend. I could trust you with anything. If there was anyone who could convince me that a beautiful smile and an amazing hug could make all the problems of the world go away, it was you. I still love you so much for that.

When you were taken away from us, I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I rush home? And do what, wallow in my tears over things I had no control over? So I just went on with the rest of the week. I was dying inside, but I went to my classes… I went to my rehearsals… I played my performances.

I never once grieved. I think it’s starting to catch up with me. Now, over 4 and a half years later… I need to grieve.

I miss you, sweetheart. I miss your smile. I miss your gentle voice. I miss your amazing hugs. I miss your laugh. I miss literally being able to tell you everything, things I couldn’t, wouldn’t, or didn’t tell a lot of other people. I miss sharing some of my deepest secrets with you. I miss everything. When I was having a bad day or a horrible week, you could always bring my smile back. I still remember everything about you like I just saw you yesterday. Maybe it’s because I still see you in my dreams. Or when I don’t get enough sleep. You can never be replaced in my heart. I carry you with me always.

I miss you, Mary. You were my best friend. And now you’re gone. And it still hurts. A lot.


(Thanks, Avril. Couldn’t have said it better myself.)

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