Matthew 24:34
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."

October 15, 2007

Genesis Concert

Last Saturday, my wife and I saw Genesis in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I've never really considered myself a fan, but my wife loves them, so I bought tickets for her birthday.

They sounded great in concert, and we both had a lot of fun. It was my first time at the Bowl, and it was much larger than I had imagined.

They had this one song called "In The Cage", and during the entire song, there was a 50' tall graphic of a human figure on the screen behind the band. The figure was running, towards the camera, away from the camera, and at angles to the camera, and there was a red grid in the background representing 'the cage'. At one point as the music crescendos, this giant figure shatters as it runs into the wall of the "cage". The shattered figure ends up being propelled outside of the cage, representing the person finally escaping to the outside.

There is a point to this.

I was seriously tripping out on this figure. I couldn't take my eyes off the fucking thing. Added to this was the fact that the crowd had already begun lighting up joints. The smell was everywhere.

Now, I haven't done any type of drugs since 1997. I personally have no need for them, and additionally my job screens its employees for drug use every 5 years or so.

The italicized part of that sentence is critical, and really is what I'm writing about.

I fully realized my Atheism last year, throwing away my God security-blanket after about 6 years of Agnosticism. Since then, I've noticed a distinct change in the way that I view life. In fact, I'm noticing that my outlook seems to change for the better every day. The one key theme in my changing outlook is that I have an urge to live my life. A by-product of this urge is the fact that I seriously dislike my job. I don't enjoy limits on my freedom, and part of my job requires that my freedom to live life be infringed upon. However, it's paid the bills for seven years and so for now, it must be.

But is it right that I should limit my life because of my job? At the Genesis concert, had I wanted to hit a joint, would it have been wrong for me to do so? I mean, I'm not smoking crack. I'm not shooting heroin, or dropping LSD. Smoking a joint at a Genesis concert is not going to affect my performance at work, it's not going to compromise my integrity, it's not going to negatively impact my life. One could even make the case that it would positively impact my life, if you consider the fact that I wouldn't be bitching about it on this blog.

I understand my employer screening people, and it is definitely within their rights to do so. That doesn't change my perspective on my own life, however. It doesn't change my desire to live my life as fully as possible, knowing that my existence is not forever. It doesn't change the fact that my job, which I dislike immensely, is dictating how I live. In the grand scheme of things, is the money gained from working more valuable than the experiences never enjoyed?

Phil Collins stated that last Saturday was the last show, of their last tour, since they're all getting old. My opportunity to see that running image will never happen again during my lifetime. It's interesting that my memory of the runner will be forever married to my thoughts of being like him, trapped inside a system of living that won't allow me to live.

I love my life, and I'm just now learning how to live it. It will certainly be an interesting ride.

October 7, 2007

God is a bigot

It's Sunday, and neither my wife or I have to work. It's looking to be a nice day, so perhaps we'll go down to the beach and walk the pier. Or maybe we'll just grab some good cds and drive around. My wife is great, she doesn't need to go anywhere in particular, she just wants to be with me wherever we end up.

My wife is a Thai Buddhist. She doesn't believe in God, or Jesus, or Heaven, or Hell. She believes that when we die, we die. Nobody knows, and she isn't about to fill in the blanks. I mean, why not go with what you can actually observe and test?

My wife has one of the kindest hearts of anyone I've met. Everyone who meets her, from family to friends, feels this. Part of it is cultural, and part of it is just her. It is such a breath of fresh air from the typical hate and fear that is preached by the Christian majority in this country, and which is burned into our own culture by default.

For instance, take homosexuality. As a man, to think of two men donkey-balling each other is repulsive to me. Shit, I can't believe that women can actually be turned-on by men. To paraphrase Michael from The Office:

"The penis is the most magnificent sight a woman could ever see. But taken in the wrong context, it's like a monster movie."

But hey, if that's what homosexuals want to do, then who am I to tell them they can't? Why should they be discriminated against in our country? This situation is a perfect example of the hate preached by Christianity, and soaked up in our culture.

Quick question: Name three countries who, as a whole, regard homosexuality as immoral.

Was Thailand one of those countries? How about Sweden? The Netherlands? Do you know why? Because none of these countries is majority Christian or Islamic. The people in these countries don't hate others for being different. Meanwhile, homosexuality is punishable by death in Islamic countries, and is perpetually one of the main topics in public debate in the United States. Politicians are pimping out the Christians in our country, knowing that a topic as irrelevant as gay marriage will win votes.

In our country, which God has blessed, why are we discriminating against homosexuals? Why are we discriminating against anybody? If God can heal acne and sciatica, then why can't He eliminate discrimination in this country that He hath blessed? Is it because no Christians are praying for it? You know what, maybe that's right! I mean, why would Christians pray for an end to gay bashing? BibleGod Himself is a bigot, so I'd have to think that he's a gay basher in His own right. An interesting idea...let me slow down on the coffee intake.

I've informed my wife that we may both be heading to Hell, since, as the popular Christian bumper sticker goes: If you're living like there is no God, you better be right. Her response was: "That's okay, I've never been there, so it should be fun to visit."

This simple response should infuriate Christians. I mean, how could a person be so nonchalant about the very real perils of Hell? It may even arouse desires to witness my wife burning in Hell, as many Christians say: "I'll be laughing at you while I'm in Heaven."
"Every knee shall bow" stokes the fires of Christian bigotry, as it reinforces their belief that those who reject Jesus will be made to kneel, be made to wimper, be made to beg.

Wow...have you ever thought that this same insanity is what causes Islamic warriors to rejoice as they behead an infidel? Isn't the same core belief responsible? Why so hateful?

Shit man, I've got a long neck too. The kind of neck Christians and Muslims alike would salivate at, waiting to get their first shot at cutting it.

So anyways...The wife and I will be out enjoying each other's company today. Maybe have a nice lunch somewhere. Maybe we'll throw a frisbee around? Or maybe we'll find a nice place to take some pictures. There's a wonderfully cool breeze blowing through my wonderful house right now, as my wonderful wife laughs at me as I type. What a wonderful day to be an Atheist!

October 6, 2007

The UFC back in town!

Chuck Liddell vs Keith Jardine
Last week my wife and I went to UFC 76 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. I'm a big fan of MMA and of course, the UFC is really the only show in town. This is my third time at an event, and it's always great.

Anthony Johnson vs Rich Clementi
Remember when your pastor told you that Atheists are evil, miserable people? And you just drank it up like everything else your pastor feeds to you? Well, at least from outward appearances, it looks like your pastor is wrong. My wife and I are plenty happy with life and living as you can see from this picture of us taken at UFC 76. Maybe I'm a little pissed that we're sitting nosebleed, but otherwise all systems are go.

Happy Atheists
So anyways, the event was fun. Tyson Griffin was exciting as always, Forrest Griffin did what most people thought was impossible, as did Keith "I have the worst nickname in MMA" Jardine. Nothing really surprises me anymore in MMA.

My dad joined us as well, as he's also a pretty big fan of the sport. The tickets were $100 a piece, so it's definitely not cheap. But hey, you only live once, right?

I'm heading out to another MMA event tonight. My friend Peter has a friend that is fighting out at the Anaheim Convention Center, so we're all going to watch him fight.

Please pray for us to reach our destination safely.

In Christ,
The Atheist

Masturbation Guilt hits home.

I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour multiple times. In church, understand, they push this on you regularly. Couple that with my Christian elementary school, and I was accepting JC all over the place. To the best of my knowledge, Jesus doesn't care if you feel His presence like other Christians. If you truly accept Him, in a heartfelt manner, then you are saved. So, lest you charge I was not a true Christian, think again. Being Christian doesn't require you to be social, or to speak in tongues, or prophesy. I didn't feel compelled to do these things, but I was a Christian, and that was that.

Here are a few memories I have of walking and talking with my Lord:

In either 5th or 6th grade, and over and above all actions in church and elsewhere, I distinctly remember accepting Jesus into my heart on two separate occasions while getting ready for bed. I repeated the action, because I was scared that it didn't "take" the first time.

In 7th grade, I remember praying to Jesus and asking Him to deliver me a girlfriend. In fact, her name was Laura Wells. I actually made a deal with Jesus: Let me go out with Laura, and I'll stop choking my chicken. I'm not sure how long I intended the beating hiatus to be in effect, but I imagine that I thought I'd never do it again. Needless to say, Jesus didn't deliver, and neither did I.

From ~5th - 8th grades, I was a masturbation phenom. Unfortunately, I was also a Christian, and I'm sure you all know what that means: Masturbation Guilt. Oh, how I would pray and pray for strength from Jesus to resist my urges. Ten minutes later, I'm praying to Jesus again asking forgiveness for being sinful. And on and on it went. When my prayers for a girlfriend (see above) went unanswered, I jerked it with a ferocity previously unknown to me, merely to spite Jesus. Predictably though, like a hungover man at an AA meeting, I was back in contact with JC, asking forgiveness.
And so it went. Asking the Lord for strength, courage, and forgiveness, typically in that order. Regardless, I knew Jesus was in my Heart, and I was going to Heaven.

A background in the Church.

I grew up attending a Pentecostal church in Long Beach, CA. My grandmother's husband founded the church in the 50's, then died of an aneurysm while preaching at the pulpit. The church elders laid hands on him, but apparently they didn't try hard enough. Eventually, my uncle took over the church.

I never really fit in well at the church. I tried lifting my hands up towards Heaven as I sang his praises. I reached my hands out to those who were being prayed for. I even honestly prayed during these moments. However, never during these times did I feel the need to speak in tongues, prophesy, or cry at the altar. Even as a 12 year old, I just couldn't see why people were doing this.

An interesting note on this: As a kid, I was never really social to begin with. I wasn't the type to go out and make friends with strangers. I was very popular at my elementary school, but it was a private Christian school where all of us attended kindergarten-6th grade together, so we were all comfortable with each other. Perhaps being active in a youth group really lets the healing balms of Christianity soak in a voluntarily-outcast warrior for Christ, I guess that shit didn't work on me.

October 5, 2007

An introduction.

[insert cliche opening introduction here, choose below]
[So yeah, I decided to do the whole blog thing...]
[Good afternoon. My name is Daniel, and I'm an atheist.]
[Buenos noches. Me llamo Daniel, no creo en Dios.]

My goal with this blog will be to give you some insight into the life of an Atheist. Some posts may have nothing to do with religion, though I believe most will. I'm kind of an interesting guy, so hopefully you'll enjoy my life as much as I do.

I figure I should give you some background on me before we get started, so that you can presuppose many things prior to my babbling on about my existence in the land of Jesus:

I'm 29 years old and married (12/07) to a beautiful lady with a lovely smile and a firm grip. We've recently purchased a home in Garden Grove, CA.

I served in the United States Army from '96 - '99. I graduated from DeVry in '01, was hired by a defense contractor as an eletronics technician, then promptly went back to school to get my electrical engineering degree. Or at least that was the plan...

I attended Long Beach City College for five years, received A's in all of my classes, except for Calculus II, where I got a B. I applied to and was accepted to the CSULB School of Engineering, upon which time I had dropped out. After getting married, I realized that the only reason I went to school was because I was bored and had nothing better to do. I couldn't stomach another five years + of that shit.

Now that we've got that outta the way...