Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rolling Along

My life here is just rolling along. I get up, I go to work, I deal with various frustrations and get the various rewards for my efforts. At the end of the day I go home. Two nights a week I have Dutch class, one night a week have choir rehearsal. I go to church most Sundays, enough so that if I miss people ask where I was. One Thursday per month I have a beer night with some expats I'm in a group with. Weekends are spent with F doing things - sometimes a long bike ride, intense house cleaning, family gatherings, dinner with friends. It's a pretty normal life.

Last night I started thinking about this life versus a life that would be very similar in, say, Texas or even New York City. My life in NYC was very much like this. My life in Texas, because I left at 24, was never quite this normal and routine. I think it's all pretty much the same. You get a job, have friends and activities, have a relationship (or not). It's all about the background, what you see when you look out the window, what kind of surroundings you walk through on your way to the grocery store.

For me, of course, there is the aspect of freedom and tolerance. I read and hear about the growth of conservativism in the US all the time. I've just finished listening to The Question of God by Armand Nicholi, Jr. It's a comparison of how Sigmund Freud thought about God, sex and death, among other topics, as opposed to how C.S. Lewis thought about the subjects. It's about what they wrote about in books, as well as personal writings and diaries. Freud, of course, was a life-long athiest and Lewis was an athiest until about the age of 30, when he converted to Christianity. It was long, but enlightening. I recommend - to listen rather than to read.

I've also listened to a few interviews regarding the religious right recently. Fresh Air with Terry Gross is one of my subscriptions on, and I'm enjoying those. I must say that the people she interviews are much more convincing - as was Lewis when recounting his conversion - than is my family, when talking about why they believe and do as they believe and do. I just hate to be given a list of things I should believe and be told that I should believe it or I will burn in Hell. My feeling is that any argument should stand up to a good deal of scrutiny. God is very powerful. God can handle it.

I hate what's happening in the US with the hateful attitude that these right wing Christians are taking. I hate what they've done to the word "Christian." With things going the way they are, I am glad to be rolling along here where I can be free to be myself.

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