Roger Bissell Posted December 9, 2005 Share Posted December 9, 2005 As I mentioned in my essay "Up from Despair" http://wheelerdesignworks.netfirms.com/Obj...wtopic.php?t=10my wife's ex-husband (who has had various compulsive and addictive behavior problems) became deeply and/or obnoxiously religious after she left him over 15 years ago. He used to send reams of religious material, much of it his own voluminous blatherings, attempting to convert us from our Godless atheism, but for several years now it has been blessedly quiet from his corner. Until now.We have an issue regarding their younger daughter and her financial and college plans, which I need not go into here, except to note that Becky's ex was trying to "triangulate" and involve us in something that should be worked out between him and their daughter. Here is how his first email began (leaving out the financial and legal details):I come in peace this wonderful holiday season, wishing you and yours much joy and happiness as you all are together for not one but two very special occasions! Of course I am refering to both Christmas and thewedding of one of Roger's little ones! It is my hope and prayer for each of you that your hearts are filled with love as you gather in Tennessee forthe blessed moments of holy matrimony, and of course, this Christmas may you each find that the babe in the manger is more than a mere child's story! (But God in His wisdom has made salvation from sin and death so easy, even a mere child could understand it.) To that I simply offer one paragraph: "Wise men Still Seek Him." And that the secret to my personal happiness here in Omaha was that day in absolute sorrow I turned to the heavens and was introduced to the Saviour. He has been my steadfast friend these nearly 17 years. And if you are not aware of it, I have been shown that it was God who brought you and Roger together. I bless God in more ways than one for that day. This is a powerful statement. Please know then, that I hold no animosity in my heart, but rather can only offer my heart-felt blessings upon you both. Please receive it in the spirit in which it is intended, in Love!Now, that smarmy stuff is typical of the "nicer" things he used to send us. Sounds like a gift, doesn't it! But note the rewriting of reality embedded in his "gift." Instead of our getting together through our own rational thinking and valuing and deliberate, chosen actions, our getting together was instead actually part of God's plan. Apparently is how Becky's ex, for self-esteem reasons, has to rationalize his having screwed up and losing his wife's love and their marriage. Like, it wasn't his fault. It was God's will that his marriage would end. It was part of a great Plan, to bring not only him, but also Becky and me, to the Lord Jesus Christ and eternal salvation. Yup.Anyway, here is our fairly level-headed, non-judgmental response (biting our tongues!):We received your email. It's too bad you can't make any more car payments for Marissa. You should be aware that her first semester does not end this month before Christmas. It continues well into January, so if she is to finish her semester, she cannot take on an extra job until late next month. (If she drops out of school at this point, she will receive all F's for the semester.) We strongly feel that you should at least see her through the next two months -- December and January. Also, you should let ~her~ know well ahead of time, if you are truly unable to help her next semester, for the time to enroll is coming up very shortly. It is your job to tell Marissa whether or not you can help her. It is not our responsibility to "steer" her in the way you want her to go. She is an adult now and can steer herself, and if you are wanting to make changes in how you help her, you need to speak directly to her.Pretty civil stuff, right? Not trying to stir the pot or wave the red flag in any way. Except, it didn't seem to do much good. He wrote back (again omitting the financial and college items):I will certainly avoid communicating with you again in the future about our daughter. Your response here is truly Ice Cold and without any feeling. I don't care to experience that again. >>> Life without God (Who IS Love) is really fascinating and cool isn't it. Enjoy each other's company every day as the end of it all is closer than you think. But what I do not understand is how you both keep turning your back on a God Of Love who sent Jesus the lamb of sacrifice to die for your sinful disobedience brought to you by Adam and Eve at the garden; and you just continue to disbelieve that HE can Save your lives from Death.........The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Truth. For we who Believe it, it has become our possession too! God just wants to have a relationship of Love with each of you! Give Him a chance! What will it take for Him to grab your attention? Atheism is dead and full of errors and is a lie from the Pit of Hell! Have a wonderful joyous time at the wedding, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! God Bless you! Marissa's Father. Good Day! And yes I did turn 58 today......thank youWow, talk about doing a 180! Being an atheist is "cool," because atheists get to be emotionally "cold" and unfeeling and uncaring. (Actually, he was pissed that we didn't offer to take over an obligation he had agreed to, despite our and his daughter's discouragement, several years ago.) We are living errors and lies, but we will be very sad if we don't repent, "because the end of it all is closer than you think."There is the veiled threat that always comes out when he's pissed. If we don't become Christians, we will burn in hell. Have a nice afterlife, you goddamned sinners. hahahahahahaha. I've saved, and if you don't listen to me, you won't be, and you'll rot eternally. Yup.What this is all leading to is a few final comments on the issue of mortality (since Rich and my wife's ex both brought it up).Yes, we're getting older and closer to the day we will die. But so what? If you do not believe there is an afterlife or a God, what difference does that make? No one wants to die. But focusing on death robs life of all the joy and value it should have. The meaning and purpose of life is to pursue values and be happy. That requires that you focus on life and on what values you want to attain and how to be happy. Focusing instead on death only gets in the way of your enjoying your life to its fullest.If you're a Christian, this life is but a miniscule sliver of eternity, so it can't have much value or importance compared to the afterlife -- except for the purpose of converting others to Christianity so they too can share the afterlife. It is only to atheists that this life can have value and importance for itself and the happiness it can bring, not for some supposed future but non-existent afterlife. That is why, if you are really serious about this life being all that there is, you should focus on life and happiness and turn a deaf ear to all the religious fanatics who try to get you to short-circuit your mind with faith.In closing, I want to mention a perfect example of the love of life-orientation. I recently read a biography of George Washington, and I was amazed to find that on his deathbed, the last thing he did was to take his pulse! Not to thrash around frantically, sobbing that he didn't want to die, or that he was afraid of death, but that he wanted to go out with his boots on so to speak. He was seeking values to the very end--more particularly, knowledge about reality, about his physical condition. Some people say "I want to be just like him when I grow up." I modify this and say, "I want to be just like George Washington when I die." With my boots on. Seeking values. Seeking knowledge. Loving life.REB Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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