Teen Skepchick's Reality Checks

Eternal Things and Dwarves

‘Tis the time of year for my grandmother to send me a very pointed message about her god. Since I deconverted this has been our only communication.  Let’s see if it is effective in bringing me back to the ranks of Christianity.

This year I just got an email, the subject line of which begins “Fwd: Fwd.” For those of you unfortunate enough to end up on the mailing lists of Christians, you know this for a bad sign of something likely trite, factually wrong, or maybe just vaguely offensive.

First paragraph:

Dear children, since we can’t give stuff that won’t last, I’d like to give you something that will. “things that are not seen, are eternal”.  This poem has helped me and I’d like to give it to you for Christmas/New Year’s.

I am not sure the problem of stuff that won’t last. Food doesn’t last and I still buy it regularly. Just because something isn’t totally permanent, which is the vast majority of things, doesn’t mean they are worthless.  Of course as far as stuff that is forever, I’m not sure what being able to see something has to do with it. I can’t see the oxygen I’m breathing, but I’m converting it into carbon dioxide, so that probably makes it temporary. I don’t actually mind poems. I like poetry.  Receiving poetry can be fun, though I will bet this particular poem won’t be so much.

The poem itself:

“No time for God”  “No time for God! What fools we are, to clutter up our lives with common things, and leave without heart’s gate the Lord of life, and life itself, our God. As soon to say, no time to eat or sleep, or love or die. Take time for God or you will dwarf your soul! And when the angel Death comes knocking at your door, a poor misshapen thing you’ll be to step into Eternity.”

First of all, descriptions of dwarfism as leading to poor misshapen things is cringe-inducing and insulting and offensive. Let’s please not. As for the rest, one of the major costs, in my opinion, of being religious, is the sheer time commitment required, and that’s just to attend all the worship and there’s a lot of pressure to commit to other things as well. Folk who are into Pascal’s wagering tend to present the choice of their particular religion as one that has no risk, but it comes with a not inconsiderable risk of spending a lot of time doing something pointless rather than something to make one happy, or make the world a merrier place. Or even something that doesn’t involve metaphorically calling folk with dwarfism misshapen things.
Still not a Christian. Nor did I find the poem helpful. Better luck next year, Grandma.
Featured image:: Perriscope via flickr
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Elizabeth is a professional belly dancer, a flaky computer scientist, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She lives in Georgia (the state of the U.S., not the country) but is nonetheless somehow not a combination of stereotypes from Gone with the Wind and Deliverance. Her personal blog is Coffeefied. Operafied. Fluffified. Beglittered.

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