Monday, April 22, 2013


I saw a number of docs. My bone doc put me on allipurinol to help with the gout. Then saw my lipidologist who took me off niacin till the gout clears up and then I go back on slowly but only up to half what I used to take. And my interventional cardiologist wants me in for a stress test in May. oh what fun.

So I saw a post the other day that was given by John Dehlin, a Mormon supporter who has basically screwed a bunch of the ex-mormon community.

John Dehlin has posted the following: 

"To those who want to tear down religion....I say this.

My sense is that most humans want/need: 1) deep/rich social interaction and community, 2) a compelling sense of meaning/purpose, including a way to deal/cope with existential concerns and death, 3) some sort of moral "code" to live by, 4) some sort of spiritual nourishment, and 5) something (or someone) to inspire/uplift them, etc.

Consequently, I believe that the most ethical and productive efforts that we will see in the coming years will not come from those that seek to criticize, mock, or tear down religions, but instead will come from those that seek to build up (create) something that is inherently more valuable/compelling.

In short, you must strive to create/build/maintain something superior. Plain and simple.

If you can pull it off, God bless you. I (and likely God) will be your biggest fan(s). Until then, I feel like you are simply dogs barking at trains."

So here is my response:

I found JD disingenuous. 1) Deep and rich social action need not come through a church. I have done the same with social groups such as Scottish Societies or with my fencing students. One just need look. 2) My atheist friends cope just fine with death without the need for existential baggage. I am an agnostic. I believe when you die the light goes out and that is it. It makes me savour life the more. 3) Moral code does not just come from religion it comes from human nature. I prefer being ethical over moral. Religious morality allows for genocide, slavery, ill treatment of women, etc. 4) There are lots of forms of spiritual nourishment. How about reading good books? Or perhaps communing with nature. Religion does not have the monopoly on touching the "soul" of man. 5) You know what uplifts me? People like those that ran into the face of danger in Boston to help others. The man in the cowboy hat who had lost so much being there and helping the ones who were so devastatingly injured. People who go into communities and help to build up and fix up those communities. A single parent who raises a good child. A man who despite dying from cancer fights on for his family (personal experience with a friend who just died). That is what inspires me. Not a multi-million or billion dollar organization who's mission is simply to make money and not turn it over to the poor. 

Now if I call out that or those organizations, and point out how they are not living up to the simplest commandment of their saviour, that is, to sell all and give it to the poor and follow him while loving neighbour as self, then so be it, I am a dog barking at a train. a train that is leading their passengers away from their saviour's mission. Read the New Testament in Greek. It is very very clear. In my estimation, pointing out difficiencies and issues is not a dog barking. It is necessary to effect change.


  1. I agree with your assessment of John Dehlin. He tries to walk both sides of the Mormon line and it can't be done. Religion is not, as you have adequately given examples of, is not needed for a full and rich life. Good luck also with your medical issues. We're thinking of you. Bill

  2. "In short, you must strive to create/build/maintain something superior. Plain and simple."

    Teaching people to rely on external structures rather than helping them develop their own sense of morality creates a brittle structure which is easily abused and manipulated by those in authority. This is a negative. Removing the negative is superior to keeping it. Thus, making people question what they formerly took on faith _is_ building something superior. Doesn't get much more plain and simple than that.