Callers share their stories of coming out of religion, too.
*The audio autoplays, so check your volume before you click.
Al Stefanelli joins us for an all out hoot of a show. We’ll discuss his Bapticostal roots, to his days frightening off “prayer warriors” in the grocery store. Al is the Georgia State Director for American Atheists, and one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet.
Jerry DeWitt is the new executive director of Recovering From Religion, and he joins us for a wide-open discussion of the process of leaving faith and finding a way to make a life of reason work for you.
While I admit there is nothing particularly dangerous about a surgical procedure I’m about to have, It is a chance to stop and think about things. I’m getting my gallbladder taken out. Not a big issue. There are some minor complications, but that’s stuff that concerns the surgeon, not me. I’ll be fine.
But just to be on the safe side, we decided to draw up the advanced directive. I love the one for Washington, state. Its wording is beautiful (as can be for something so dire) and empowering. It says just what I want said.
It gives me a chance to think. This is not the first time I’ve been in a potentially (albeit very little potential) life-threatening situation. It IS the first time I’ve been in such a situation as a non-believer.
As a believer (I couldn’t be lucky enough to be the kind who believed once you were saved you were always saved, I had to keep up with the sin question.) I always wondered if I was really saved. I prayed. I longed for answers. I remember going into a simple surgery, hoping against hope that I really had crossed all my ts and dotted all my Is. Otherwise, any slip of the knife, and I’d be into the flames.
This time is different. I realize things can go wrong. Sometimes horribly wrong. And if they do, I realize I’ll never know about it. My last moment will be the moment the anesthetic takes me into dreamland. I plan on facing that moment with confidence and peace. Confidence that I’ll see my lovely Deanna when surgery is over, and at peace that if not, I’ll never know.
When you think about it, dying in surgery wouldn’t be all that bad. You go to sleep and just never awaken. The light goes out, and never comes back on. Pretty simple. Painless. Peaceful.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not afraid. Not that I’m some kind crazyman who fears nothing, but that these circumstances are very good. I’ll get better. Or I’ll leave this world quietly and peacefully.
When I look back, it’s all to easy too see that religion didn’t bring peace to my life. It only brought turmoil and fear. The true religion of peace, is no religion at all.