Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Five Stages of Losing Faith

Over at Debunking Christianity, Harry McCall has reworked Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief into five stages of losing faith. It's got the same five stages as Kübler-Ross' (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), but his stages seem to start quite a bit before one actually goes through the actual loss. If Kübler-Ross' started this soon, you'd start dealing with grief before you had a reason to grieve, if that makes any sense.

So I made my own, based on my own experience of what it was like to go through the painful upheaval of realizing you've been wrong about life's most basic questions. Here it is:

  1. Denial - My faith is fine. These questions I have are just questions, but God is real. Smarter people than me have grappled with them and come out fine on the other side, so there must not be substance to them.
  2. Anger - What the hell is wrong with me! Why am I having such a hard time holding on to my Christianity? Stupid George Michael! Stupid! Get a grip!
  3. Bargaining - Please God! Don't let me go! If you're in any way concerned that I am slipping into deep water, tell me to come to you on the waves and I will! Are you there?
  4. Depression - Everything I've put my faith in for the last 20 years has turned out to be a fairy tale. Interesting and compelling, but a fairy tale.
  5. Acceptance - I can't honestly call myself a Christian anymore. Okay, what's next?
What do you think? If you've been through a similar experience, did it have quasi-identifiable stages like this?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Why do so many people hate February? Is it simply because they long for winter to be over? Is it because Valentine's day conjures up the depressing realization of their aloneness in the world?

Those are boring answers, and therefore false.

The real reason is because an alien race from somewhere in the Aquarius constellation is bombarding us with a rage virus that will eventually bring about a zombie apocalypse.

So yeah, 5th Dimension was a little off in their prediction.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Better Religion

Clicking from link to link, I stumbled upon this gem and wondered if you would be moved by it as I was.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Times I Got Mugged, Part 1

I spent fourteen years of my childhood living in Bogotá, Colombia.

Quick side note: That's right, it's Colombia, not Columbia. The places that most often misspell the country's name are, infuriatingly, establishments that sell coffee. Know your product, people! Also, do you think it is socially acceptable to point out that your sign may mislead geographically literate people to assume you got your beans from South Carolina?

Yes, fourteen years in Colombia. And during this time, there were several instances of attempted mugging, only one of which was successful - the first.

I think that this first attempt was the only successful one because it was the only one in which the muggers just took what they wanted without any sort of request accompanied by threats of violence. They just took it. There's a lesson to be learned here for would-be muggers - asking for the cash will get you nowhere. You need to just take it and run. I do not endorse this lifestyle, by the way.

But I get ahead of myself. Later, once-and-if I've shared all of my mugging stories with you, you can let me know if you have a better explanation for why the first one succeeded where the rest failed.

I must have been around sixteen or seventeen. I had recently purchased a ball cap. It was purple. It had some team's logo emblazoned on the front, but I can't remember which team it was, which is interesting to me - why did I buy it? Purple was not my favorite color. The team can't have been one I was a fan of, as none of my favorite teams' colors are purple. And, if I remember correctly, it didn't fit me all that well, either. Perhaps it was very cheap.

I was riding a bike (my brain won't commit to whether it was mine or my sister's) from my house to an unremembered location that had to have been several blocks away, judging from where the mugging took place. Could have been church, or youth group, or my mother's work place. Or maybe I was just out for a ride. Jeez, I feel a little bit bad for you! Here I am trying to tell you this story, and I sound like a rambling old man who can't get half his facts straight.

Right, so I remember riding my bike on a street that was on the north side of a pretty big mall. And there were a couple of hot girls walking towards me on the opposite sidewalk.

I heard the sound of an approaching motorcycle behind me and steered the bike so I was closer to the curb - better safe than dead. As the driver passed within inches of me, his passenger reached out and *yoink* grabbed my hat off my head.

My head was jerked to the side as they drove off. I lost my balance, turned my handlebar too sharply, and flipped over the front of the bike, beautifully scraping both palms on the asphalt. Fueled by rage and probably the unconscious desire to appear manly before the approaching ladies, I quickly got to my feet and began to run after the motorcycle, but it was too fast, and had already rounded the corner at the intersection, my purple hat with it; gone for good.

The two hot girls crossed the street to me, wringing their hands and speaking words of pity to me. I believe the word pobresito (which pretty much means "poor little guy") was used.

For some reason, this added humiliation to my boiling anger.

And that's all I remember about this first and only successful mugging attempt.