Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

>Got religion?

October 26, 2010

>Remember Antoine Dodson, the Huntsville guy whose interview became an internet sensation?

Well now the hit doggie costume at New York’s Halloween Dog Parade is Antoine Dogson.



Photo credit Jim Kiernan

Here is an “It Gets Better” video from three United Methodist pastors. It’s good to see the church, any church, getting involved.

Alex Day is a smart young guy. He frequently posts videos that are interesting. Here Alex talks about religion and skepticism and atheism and the history of the universe (what happened at 11:45 PM on December 31?). I like young smart people. They are going to be in charge one day.

So he “doesn’t need religion to make the world seem more impressive than it is.”

A lot of young people feel that way, it seems. Drew Dyck wrote a book that examined why young people stop going to church. The book is titled Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith…and How to Bring them Back. (And I thought my book had a long subtitle). The author was interviewed by Greg Richter of the Birmingham News.

Dyck says that there are several categories of church leavers.

1. Post-modern leavers reject Christianity because of its exclusive truth claims and moral absolutes.

2. Recoilers leave because they were hurt by the church.

3. Modernists reject supernatural claims.

4. Neo-pagans leave for earth based religions.

5. Spiritual rebels leave to indulge in behavior that conflicts with their faith.

6. Drifters just drift away as God becomes less important to them.

Wow. There are a lot of reasons for a someone who does not just follow like a sheep to leave a church, it seems.

Did you leave the church? For one of these reasons? Or another? Post a comment on this blog.

Dyck also addresses the question we often hear about American culture causing young people to leave the church. Nope, he says. It’s what happens inside the church that pushes young people out, rather than peers and pop culture pulling them.

The fact is that most churches today do not fit into the modern world, for whatever reason. Some will claim that they are supposed to be separate from the world, and don’t want to fit in. But they run the risk of becoming a sort of anachronism in the way that many view the Amish today.

The churches should look at that list of reasons and, without changing their doctrines, address them in ways that answers young people’s questions. That is, and will continue to be, a challenge.

>Easter, Spring wishes

April 2, 2010

>Today is Good Friday and this is the most Holy Week for most Christians.

It’s hard to take Christianity seriously, however (even for a Christian), when the leader of the largest Christian body is under fire for being an enabler of pedophiles and another high profile Christian is getting court approval for disrupting the funeral services of U. S. service members because of his misguided homophobia.

So my Easter message is just one about hope and renewal. From nature. From my backyard. Each of these pictures was taken yesterday. Within a few days all of these plants will look different.

Here are the “fiddle heads” of a Christmas fern.

Hostas quickly springing up.

The tips of columbine, one of my favorites, you know if you have followed this blog each spring.

A tulip, lagging behind the rest of its brethren.


A Japanese maple. It sits at the edge of my waterless pond in my tiny Japanese garden.

This Lady Banks rose will have thousands of yellow blooms next week. I think it likes the bamboo structure I built to hold it up, but the structure will need reinforcement this year.


Next week wisteria will be blooming all over this place. I love it for two weeks out of the year. I battle it for 50 weeks out of the year.


This is a sassafras bud. Next week it will have odd little flowers and later the mitten like leaves.

So, celebrate Spring. Celebrate Easter. Celebrate renewal in your life, your relationships, your health, your surroundings. Let this be the beginning of a year in which we see the fruits of the hope we have been anticipating during the previous year.

Obama and Christian Leaders

June 11, 2008

Barack Obama met with Christian leaders, including Bishop T. D. Jakes, Rich Cizik (vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals), Rev. Franklin Graham and others.

Graham, son of Billy Graham, found the senator “impressive” and “warm“.

Cizik said the issues discussed Tuesday included “protecting the traditional family, same-sex marriage, gay rights, religious freedom, genocide, poverty and hunger in America, and how we might even improve America’s standing in the world.”

He said he told Obama: “Religious Americans want to know why is it you love this country and what it stands for and how we can make it better.”


Cizik said participants agreed not to give specifics of Obama’s responses to their questions, but that “there was nothing softball about this meeting and that’s the way he said he wanted it.”

Cizik also stresses that this was not a meeting of people endorsing Obama, just a learning experience, I guess.

Article

You know, its OK to be religious and support Obama. Christianity is, in spite of what some think, and in spite of how the media often portrays it, made up of a diverse group of beliefs and followers, and Barack Obama is, a Christian.

It is not like the United Church of Christ is way out there or anything. It is considered a “mainline Protestant denomination” with about 1.2 million members . Surveys show that some of their congregations are very progressive, some are very conservative and most are middle of the road. Their beliefs and practices are certainly no more controversial than, say, the Catholics (who previously had denied one of the attendees at Obama’s meeting communion because he has endorsed Obama) or Southern Baptists (who are still struggling with how to suppress women…”To consider churches with women senior pastors to not be “in friendly cooperation” with the denomination” is a proposal they are considering for next years convention. Plus there’s that whole “submit graciously” thing).

Anyway, United Church of Christ began a campaign a few years ago, based on the quote “Never place a period where God has placed a comma” meaning God is still speaking. Remember this ad that was banned from some tv networks:

The “Bouncers” ad allowed the white, straight (appearing) couple and their children into church, but denied the African American, the gay couple, the disabled and the Latino entrance. Then it shows the text “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.”

They followed this with the “Ejector Seat” ad, in which certain people are “ejected” from church and states “God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we. The United Church of Christ: No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

This is not an endorsement of the United Church of Christ, rather a suggestion that all Christians seek an understanding of God’s inclusiveness and reject the exclusionary policies that many churches practice. After all, it is kind of ridiculous to believe in God’s creation but to place higher value on those members of creation that are just like oneself and a lesser value on those who are different. But that is exactly what sexism, racism and homophobia practiced by some churches are doing.

No wonder membership is down among most denominations. American people are more interested in uniting around stopping genocide and war, enviromental issues, and human rights than in the divisive messages we hear from some church leaders. Start doing something that really helps the world and your membership might grow.

Oh, and vote for Obama.

>Obama and Christian Leaders

June 11, 2008

>Barack Obama met with Christian leaders, including Bishop T. D. Jakes, Rich Cizik (vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals), Rev. Franklin Graham and others.

Graham, son of Billy Graham, found the senator “impressive” and “warm“.

Cizik said the issues discussed Tuesday included “protecting the traditional family, same-sex marriage, gay rights, religious freedom, genocide, poverty and hunger in America, and how we might even improve America’s standing in the world.”

He said he told Obama: “Religious Americans want to know why is it you love this country and what it stands for and how we can make it better.”


Cizik said participants agreed not to give specifics of Obama’s responses to their questions, but that “there was nothing softball about this meeting and that’s the way he said he wanted it.”

Cizik also stresses that this was not a meeting of people endorsing Obama, just a learning experience, I guess.

Article

You know, its OK to be religious and support Obama. Christianity is, in spite of what some think, and in spite of how the media often portrays it, made up of a diverse group of beliefs and followers, and Barack Obama is, a Christian.

It is not like the United Church of Christ is way out there or anything. It is considered a “mainline Protestant denomination” with about 1.2 million members . Surveys show that some of their congregations are very progressive, some are very conservative and most are middle of the road. Their beliefs and practices are certainly no more controversial than, say, the Catholics (who previously had denied one of the attendees at Obama’s meeting communion because he has endorsed Obama) or Southern Baptists (who are still struggling with how to suppress women…”To consider churches with women senior pastors to not be “in friendly cooperation” with the denomination” is a proposal they are considering for next years convention. Plus there’s that whole “submit graciously” thing).

Anyway, United Church of Christ began a campaign a few years ago, based on the quote “Never place a period where God has placed a comma” meaning God is still speaking. Remember this ad that was banned from some tv networks:

The “Bouncers” ad allowed the white, straight (appearing) couple and their children into church, but denied the African American, the gay couple, the disabled and the Latino entrance. Then it shows the text “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.”

They followed this with the “Ejector Seat” ad, in which certain people are “ejected” from church and states “God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we. The United Church of Christ: No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

This is not an endorsement of the United Church of Christ, rather a suggestion that all Christians seek an understanding of God’s inclusiveness and reject the exclusionary policies that many churches practice. After all, it is kind of ridiculous to believe in God’s creation but to place higher value on those members of creation that are just like oneself and a lesser value on those who are different. But that is exactly what sexism, racism and homophobia practiced by some churches are doing.

No wonder membership is down among most denominations. American people are more interested in uniting around stopping genocide and war, enviromental issues, and human rights than in the divisive messages we hear from some church leaders. Start doing something that really helps the world and your membership might grow.

Oh, and vote for Obama.

>In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

>The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.

In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.

>Dominionism…and Heath Ledger

January 24, 2008

>Coincidence is not the word. Ironic is not the word. Strange could be the word.

Anyway, sort of funny definately describes The Western Tribune endorsing Mike Huckabee in the Republican primary and on the same page printing my anti-endorsement of Huckabee. The Tribune also endorsed my candidate, Hillary Clinton, for the Democratic nod.

My concern is Huckabee’s dominionist leanings, more of which I will address later in this post. And Heath Ledger too.

First, here is the column, for those who have not read it. The parts in blue were edited (for space I am sure) from my orginal copy:

This week we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but this follows two weeks in which his legacy and accomplishments have been overshadowed by media reaction to comments made by presidential hopefuls in the Democratic race.

I say media reaction because it is utterly ridiculous to believe that Bill or Hillary Clinton would discredit Dr. King, or that Barack Obama would lack any understanding of the important roles that both Dr. King and President Johnson had in advancing the cause of civil rights.

Why the media made such an issue of this and ignored what Republican candidate Mike Huckabee said about our constitution is beyond me. Speaking to an audience in Michigan, Huckabee said the following.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”


Thomas Jefferson must have been spinning in his grave after that remark.

A public information project at Cornell University called Theocracy Watch documents the rise of the Religious Right beginning right after Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964. That may sound like old history to some but the Republican Party has not always been controlled by Christian fundamentalists.

It is not evangelical Christians that we should worry about if we love our country. It is Dominionists such as Pat Robertson, Roy Moore, Phyllis Schlafly and Mike Huckabee, who seek control of this country in ways that the founding fathers never dreamed of.

Dominion theology holds the belief that society should be governed by the word of God as set forth in the Bible to the exclusion of secular law.

Were he alive today, Dr. King would find many ways in which we have yet to achieve the dream. I am sure he would find that replacing our Constitution with “God’s standards” would result in more of a barrier to reaching his goal than achieving it.

God may be all powerful but he certainly does not depend on the human lust for power under the guise of Christianity to demonstrate it. What these Dominionists actually demonstrate is both a lack of understanding of the supremacy of God, and a total misinterpretation of the principles upon which our country was founded. And what we do not need is a Dominionist as president.

Dominionism. It should scare the hell out of you. Theocracy Watch, which I mention in the column, is a wealth of information. There are buttons to the left of the page that direct you various topics, but I am going to put links here to some highlights.

Here is Taking over the Republican Party and here is Bush.

There are several pictures like this one that show Bush in messianic situations.

Does that not make you cringe?

There is a page on homophobia, as well as one on the war against women.

There is a lot more, and this is not some fly by night anti-christian group…it’s from Cornell University.

I will get slammed for this, but dominionism as described is more of a threat to our society than any radical Islamic fundamentalism. I mean, this is from within. They are over there. Who’s gonna get you first?

And to show how wacky and depraved some of these people are:

You have Fox’s John Gibson mocking Heath Ledger after he was found dead.

You have “Christians” planning to protest his funeral, not because he is gay (he is not) but because he played a gay cowboy in a movie.

You have “Christians” saying God struck him dead for the same reason.

You have “Christians” saying he killed himself because of his shame after playing a gay peson.

You have someone on TV (I couldn’t get to the TV in time to see who said it, but I heard it) saying he killed himself because he watched the Democratic Presidential debate Monday night.

And this is a religion (and a party) that wants people to embrace their principles? If this kind of rhetoric does not drive people from the Christian church, I don’t know what will.

OK, I know I am painting the Christian church with a broad brush, but isn’t that what people do with Islam? To the world, this is what the Christian church in America looks like, intolerant and foolish. And notice, I did not say the Christian Faith, because that is a far cry from the Christian church of today.

You know, I think the more proper way to acknowledge Heath Ledger is to appreciate the body of work that he produced. Brokeback Mountain will be playing this weekend on the big screen in this house. And we might watch A Knight’s Tale, too.

Here is a tribute you can watch right now.

In the meantime, watch your back. The Dominionists are out to get you.

We will miss you, Heath.

Dominionism…and Heath Ledger

January 24, 2008

Coincidence is not the word. Ironic is not the word. Strange could be the word.

Anyway, sort of funny definately describes The Western Tribune endorsing Mike Huckabee in the Republican primary and on the same page printing my anti-endorsement of Huckabee. The Tribune also endorsed my candidate, Hillary Clinton, for the Democratic nod.

My concern is Huckabee’s dominionist leanings, more of which I will address later in this post. And Heath Ledger too.

First, here is the column, for those who have not read it. The parts in blue were edited (for space I am sure) from my orginal copy:

This week we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but this follows two weeks in which his legacy and accomplishments have been overshadowed by media reaction to comments made by presidential hopefuls in the Democratic race.

I say media reaction because it is utterly ridiculous to believe that Bill or Hillary Clinton would discredit Dr. King, or that Barack Obama would lack any understanding of the important roles that both Dr. King and President Johnson had in advancing the cause of civil rights.

Why the media made such an issue of this and ignored what Republican candidate Mike Huckabee said about our constitution is beyond me. Speaking to an audience in Michigan, Huckabee said the following.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”


Thomas Jefferson must have been spinning in his grave after that remark.

A public information project at Cornell University called Theocracy Watch documents the rise of the Religious Right beginning right after Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964. That may sound like old history to some but the Republican Party has not always been controlled by Christian fundamentalists.

It is not evangelical Christians that we should worry about if we love our country. It is Dominionists such as Pat Robertson, Roy Moore, Phyllis Schlafly and Mike Huckabee, who seek control of this country in ways that the founding fathers never dreamed of.

Dominion theology holds the belief that society should be governed by the word of God as set forth in the Bible to the exclusion of secular law.

Were he alive today, Dr. King would find many ways in which we have yet to achieve the dream. I am sure he would find that replacing our Constitution with “God’s standards” would result in more of a barrier to reaching his goal than achieving it.

God may be all powerful but he certainly does not depend on the human lust for power under the guise of Christianity to demonstrate it. What these Dominionists actually demonstrate is both a lack of understanding of the supremacy of God, and a total misinterpretation of the principles upon which our country was founded. And what we do not need is a Dominionist as president.

Dominionism. It should scare the hell out of you. Theocracy Watch, which I mention in the column, is a wealth of information. There are buttons to the left of the page that direct you various topics, but I am going to put links here to some highlights.

Here is Taking over the Republican Party and here is Bush.

There are several pictures like this one that show Bush in messianic situations.

Does that not make you cringe?

There is a page on homophobia, as well as one on the war against women.

There is a lot more, and this is not some fly by night anti-christian group…it’s from Cornell University.

I will get slammed for this, but dominionism as described is more of a threat to our society than any radical Islamic fundamentalism. I mean, this is from within. They are over there. Who’s gonna get you first?

And to show how wacky and depraved some of these people are:

You have Fox’s John Gibson mocking Heath Ledger after he was found dead.

You have “Christians” planning to protest his funeral, not because he is gay (he is not) but because he played a gay cowboy in a movie.

You have “Christians” saying God struck him dead for the same reason.

You have “Christians” saying he killed himself because of his shame after playing a gay peson.

You have someone on TV (I couldn’t get to the TV in time to see who said it, but I heard it) saying he killed himself because he watched the Democratic Presidential debate Monday night.

And this is a religion (and a party) that wants people to embrace their principles? If this kind of rhetoric does not drive people from the Christian church, I don’t know what will.

OK, I know I am painting the Christian church with a broad brush, but isn’t that what people do with Islam? To the world, this is what the Christian church in America looks like, intolerant and foolish. And notice, I did not say the Christian Faith, because that is a far cry from the Christian church of today.

You know, I think the more proper way to acknowledge Heath Ledger is to appreciate the body of work that he produced. Brokeback Mountain will be playing this weekend on the big screen in this house. And we might watch A Knight’s Tale, too.

Here is a tribute you can watch right now.

In the meantime, watch your back. The Dominionists are out to get you.

We will miss you, Heath.

>Near Death Experiences

October 1, 2007

>On Sunday The Rev. John McKee Sloan was elected the new bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Here is the news from The Episcopal Church online . Good fortune to “Kee” as he is known, and to the Church in general.

I read something about a person’s “near death experience” recently and it got me to thinking. You always hear about such experiences from a Christian perspective, but what about those of other religions or no religion who almost die. What do they see. CECW (conventional evangelical Christian wisdom) would tell us that they would not see the same bright light of God and feel welcomed and at peace and all the different things you hear about.

Since the Muslim religion is the “suspect religion” de jour, I thought I would start there. Seems when they have a near death experience, it is much the same as Christians.

Here is the experience of a Muslim woman and also the story of “Muhammad’s Journey to Heaven.”

Let’s see, now who else do the evangelicals say is condemned…oh yeah, gay and lesbian folk, even if they profess to be Christian. So here are some gay and lesbian near death experiences to ponder.

Both of these links come from one source, near-death.com, where you can find a wealth of information about near death experiences of Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, Jews, athiests, celebrities, children and more.

My conclusion is that we all experience nearly the same thing when we die or almost die, part of which is based on memory and the experiences we have had, part of which is based on physiology and what is going on in the body with neurotransmitters and other chemicals responding to changes in oxygen levels and temperature and such, and part of which is coming from the not fully understood realm of our common source, which, if you really think about it, would have no reason to treat any of us any differently, or put one group above any other group, and would “welcome each person back” whether it is through a spiritual embracing of a “spirit” or/and a physical re-joining with the chemicals that make up the earth.

In other words, we all return to that from which we come. And that should be enough to make anyone look at death, not with fear, but with a yawn, realizing that it’s just another step in the journey.

Near Death Experiences

October 1, 2007

On Sunday The Rev. John McKee Sloan was elected the new bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Here is the news from The Episcopal Church online . Good fortune to “Kee” as he is known, and to the Church in general.

I read something about a person’s “near death experience” recently and it got me to thinking. You always hear about such experiences from a Christian perspective, but what about those of other religions or no religion who almost die. What do they see. CECW (conventional evangelical Christian wisdom) would tell us that they would not see the same bright light of God and feel welcomed and at peace and all the different things you hear about.

Since the Muslim religion is the “suspect religion” de jour, I thought I would start there. Seems when they have a near death experience, it is much the same as Christians.

Here is the experience of a Muslim woman and also the story of “Muhammad’s Journey to Heaven.”

Let’s see, now who else do the evangelicals say is condemned…oh yeah, gay and lesbian folk, even if they profess to be Christian. So here are some gay and lesbian near death experiences to ponder.

Both of these links come from one source, near-death.com, where you can find a wealth of information about near death experiences of Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, Jews, athiests, celebrities, children and more.

My conclusion is that we all experience nearly the same thing when we die or almost die, part of which is based on memory and the experiences we have had, part of which is based on physiology and what is going on in the body with neurotransmitters and other chemicals responding to changes in oxygen levels and temperature and such, and part of which is coming from the not fully understood realm of our common source, which, if you really think about it, would have no reason to treat any of us any differently, or put one group above any other group, and would “welcome each person back” whether it is through a spiritual embracing of a “spirit” or/and a physical re-joining with the chemicals that make up the earth.

In other words, we all return to that from which we come. And that should be enough to make anyone look at death, not with fear, but with a yawn, realizing that it’s just another step in the journey.