Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fine tuning Pandora

My younger sister on the violin and me at the piano last Christmas. I used
Instagram "toaster" to make the photo look vintage.
So today I was in the kitchen frying up some celery and onions to make a soup using our leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and I tuned into a Pandora Christmas station to get in a festive cooking mood. Because time by the stove is much more enjoyable when inspired by music. I was simmering the onions quite happily when all of a sudden, I found myself shocked at the lyrics of these Christmas songs. I suddenly found them to be offensive and depressing at the same time. How was it that I have listened to these songs my whole life and am only just now being turned off by them? I guess I didn't know any better back then, or I didn't really listen to them... they were just words.

But the message behind the words! "Away In a Manger," "Silent Night," "Hark the Herald Angel." Oohh, they give me the shivers. Why do people feel like they have to worship this man Jesus, when Jesus himself said that we are all equals, we are all gods... you wanna worship him then we should all worship ourselves because we all have the same glory. Jesus said, as I do, you will do even greater. He never asked us to worship him! Good grief. And this born again business. People think they have to "punch their ticket" by saying "the sinner's prayer" which will save them from hell. They ask Jesus into their heart when what Jesus is (love)... is our innate nature and always has been from the beginning. We don't need to perform a formality, and we don't need transformed into what we already are. Perhaps the "salvation" that people go on and on about is really an awakening to the realization that you already are complete, you are enough, you are love, there is no sin, no hell, no judgement, and that we are all deliciously One.

Oh, and this fear of God. He/she doesn't have it in for anyone. We are our own worst enemy. No one will ever judge us more than we judge own self. The hell they talk about in the Bible is something I have no fear of anymore. Burning forever would honestly be a relief compared to some of the things I have gone through here on earth. Some of us make our own hell here on earth that is far worse than the simple physical burning of the biblical hell. Going through abuse on several levels and going through the daily physical and mental torment of this illness and the way others relate to me while ill makes the biblical hell sound like cake. I have no fear of that hell. I laugh at it. Without out the existence of this place, we don't need salvation. Without salvation, I don't need to worship Jesus. And I bet he's saying, "Whew! Thanks, AJ, this worship business is being laid on too thick!" Oh, and this belief that we are sinners at heart. Really it's a depressing business. And it makes me angry because it makes good people cower, makes good people think they are unworthy, it can take a sensitive soul and weigh him or her down. Gives good people this idea that God wants them to tramp over top of people who hold different beliefs. Religion is a form of violence. It divides, it does not unite.

I have been hanging out with born again Christians since before I could speak. I was apparently  "born again" at age 3 in the shopping cart at the grocery store, so my mom said. I was singing "Jesus Loves Me" and was so carried away that I was sprouting tears of joy. Since I didn't recall that event, I asked Jesus into my heart for real at age 8, and each night afterward until I was assured that once was enough. I went to church three times a week, went with my brothers and sisters to a Christian school K-12, went to Bible College afterwards, went on mission trips, taught Sunday school to 3 year olds, read the Bible regularly... you get the picture.I have spent time in the Christian bubble, and lots of time out of the bubble. I didn't know how depressed and repressed I was until I let go of religion and became free from it. Looking back, I was so incredibly weighted down by Christianity. It makes me angry that people I love are blinded by religion and sit there glibly listening to these religious Christmas songs with a content smile on their face, while inside they are a pincushion poked full of lies that make them bleed internally. All these beautiful people laboring under illusions, feeling stuck under God's mighty thumb, scared of him but worshippin his mighty name. When they aren't really in the mood to worship, they are just scared of the pit of hell and want to try to be as holy as possible to appease God. Rubbish. It really makes me angry. I am sure I have a smidgen of residual anger there towards myself because I was part of the sheeple crowd for some time. I know what it is like to be afraid of shadows, and I don't appreciate these Christmas songs that lull people into thinking there is something holy about fear.

Pandora radio is great because you can thumbs-up or thumbs-down different songs on your station and fine tune it accordingly. I have been hovering over the thumbs button more than I have been hovering over the stove this morning, but I am calmer than I was. I am humming "Santa Baby" and Maggie is looking at me cross eyed trying to tell me I am off key. But hey, she must enjoy it because she is still staring at me and hasn't left the room.

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