Lobster Lust

Sent in by Paul

We are all alone. Try though we may to change that, we cannot escape that state except in snatches of time with pieces of ourselves, but I believe the effort to connect is well worth it, important. I think the desire to not be alone is one of the driving forces behind belief in god. At anytime, in any situation, the believer is never alone (at least, that's the theory). That's not always great. If you like lobster and your god doesn't, there's conflict. But despite all the conflict that derives from crossed inclinations there's the accompanying notion of being loved and cared for by a god who understands completely and cares (as long as you don't eat lobster).

Some people believe in lobster hating gods, others have an adjusted god who let them eat lobster. I think those with an adjusted god are probably a bit happier, but their god loses credibility with some because of their lack of structure and standard (especially with those whose god hates lobster). If we de-convert, we gain the option of eating lobster guilt free, but lose the notion of being known and understood 100% by god. So we join a blog.

I think connecting with other people is important. It would be more honest to say, "I feel connecting with other people is important," which is really the desire (drive?) to be known and affirmed by others as being and having value. That gives purpose to life.

I have found that my former belief in god has made me more alone. I was one of those people who really liked lobster but believed in a god who considered lobster an "abomination." I was part of a community of people who also believed in a lobster hating god. Some of the people in that community really hated lobster, so they really had no problem with that particular aspect of god. Those who liked lobster simply pretended otherwise when amongst the others of the community. Some actually ate lobster in secret. I ate lobster in secret. I couldn't help myself, I was born with my love for lobster. So, I was pretty alone in that community. I knew it was 'sin' to eat lobster so I did so in secret. It wasn't always that way. When I was younger, I had dreams of eating lobster before I'd ever actually eaten one. That's how I discovered I was a lobster lover,in a dream. I was a sincere believer though, I knew eating lobster was a sin, so I mustered the courage to confess my dreams and inclination to my church. That was called "walking in the light." The idea was, if I walked in the light and confessed my 'sin,' I'd be forgiven and delivered by the lobster hating god. Some were sympathetic, others were sanctimonious. How could I possibly love lobster? I needed to just say no to lobster. I needed deliverence. But god loved me, and if eating lobster is wrong, surely god would indeed deliver me from my desire...or at least help me to resist my lobsterlust. I learned that it didn't pay to confess my lobster problem to other believers, no one really knew how to deal with it. Oh sure, many thought they had the solution and I spent many desperate years following their advice on how to overcome lobsterlust. Of course, these people had never had or even wanted lobster, so they really didn't relate or know what it meant. Turns out they couldn't really help me, I was alone. I went directly to god, but god didn't help me either. I was alone. I spent years blaming my self. I must be really depraved that i cannot overcome this lobster lust. I must be really missing it with god, not seeing something. Time and again I'd ask god, "what am I missing?" silence. Surely a god who hates lobster and loves me would provide me with a way to deal with this? It took years to admit I was still the same lobster lover that I was when I first confessed my lobster lust as a teen. So, I left my lobster hating community, and de-converted from my lobster hating god. I am left with some deconversion nuances though. I married a lobster hating woman when i still believed in a lobster hating god. I have two kids who we diligently raised to hate lobster. Not hate lobster lovers, mind you. Love the lobster lover, hate the lobster (turns out they have a hard time disconnecting the two). The wife and kids know of my lobsterlust and consider me broken at best, an arrogant rebellious sob at worst. I'm alone. Now I have to deal with the problems of living with a lobster hating family.

In my new life, away from the church, I've begun to be open and honest about my love of lobster. I've found others just like me who are lobster lovers or have other loves that the lobster hating god also disapproved of, so they can relate in many ways. I'm less alone and so are they.

My experience is that Christianity promotes division, conflict and being alone, despite Christianities claims to the contrary. Christianity attempts unity and cohesion by having a standard, but those who believe cannot actually conform to the standards (everyone falls short), so they only pretend...they're alone, divided and conflicted. They are not known by anyone as they really are, are they really "living?" They are alone.

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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Christianity not only makes people alone; it creates an enemy within one's self. Individuals know who they are, but they are told that they are inherently evil. I left Christianity for that reason. It was literally tearing me apart mentally, not because I was immoral (looking back on it), but because I never knew if I was moral or not. Most people who are happy with Christianity are double-agents who go to church to socialize, but really, they live how ever they want while hoping no one finds out about their secret life.

A. Ford

resonate11 said...

Paul, I like your "lobster hating god" label. I don't know for sure whether your references to loving lobster are literal or metaphorical. Which ever it is in your particular case, it is easy for one to metaphorically slip in our own loves deemed sinful by a particular religion.

Lorena said...

"I think connecting with other people is important. It would be more honest to say, 'I feel connecting with other people is important,' which is really the desire (drive?) to be known and affirmed by others as being and having value. That gives purpose to life."

Well some of us believe that there is some force out there, which many call God, and it is formed of ourselves and all living matter around us. That includes all people who derive happiness from a connection to the Universe, which we DO NOT worship.

I guess for me, the fact that the Christian God is fiction, doesn't block my ability to tap into the power that my relationship with people, animals, and nature can afford me. I guess it is a non-theistic God--or whatever.

paul said...

A. Ford,

I think you are right. Funny, the apostle Paul wrote of that "enemy within:" "...that which I would do that do I not...oh wretched man that I am, who will rescue me from this body of death...?" One has to wonder what he was talking about, he wasn't going around killing people anymore, he never tells us why he was so "wretched." It is very telling that he notes the struggle but never has a release from that struggle because he is depending on Jesus to "rescue" him. This sets up a victim mentality. One has this list of stuff they're not to do but only a non-existent entity can "rescue" from that inability. Now there's a recipe for success. I think many who live a secret life are really sincere in their belief that that rescue is just around the corner if they will only just remain 'faithful.' Meanwhile, the bible becomes a script, believers become actors, the church becomes a stage. Quite a production.

resonate11,

My lobster hating god was an attempt at satire.

lorena,
I think there may indeed be a "force" or "whatever" out there...where we people seem to have trouble is when we start defining it. When we take our theories and call them knowledge, we end up making rules and laws. Then we create the boogey man in the heavens who will send you to eternal flames if you don't follow said code. If that's not treacherous enough (and really, probably, because there is no boogey man in the heavens)a select number convince themselves and others that they are in touch with this boogey man and have been chosen to carry out the boogey mans will. So, we get blown up twin towers, inquisitions or legislation to give the boogey man some much needed girth.

Nvrgoingbk said...

I really enjoyed your post, Paul. I too wrestled with myself for years begging God to give me answers, but only silence rung back at me. My husband wrestled with masturbation while he was in PRISON, and thought he would go to Hell for it. He constantly felt dirty, but the physical need for release was too much. He would beg "god" for deliverance. For me, it was always one thing or another, but the underlying guilt and shame associated with all so-called sin is the same. Like you, I tried to live transparantly and share my "sin" with others, hoping that I was being true to the scriptures that encouraged us to do so, but sympathy and understanding is rarely what I recieved in return. Usually, it was a mild disgust and a condescending tone. Sometimes, there seemed to be a mask of concern and an "I've been there", but always with an accompanying "you have to stop such and such NOW, or God will burn you in Hell"

The Christian community can tell one that if they really loved God, they'd stop doing such and such (usually things that are natural to the human body), but if you ask God for healing or deliverance from an affliction we have to make sure we ask that it be "in His will" to do so. If His answer is NO, we must accept His "wisdom", and understand that he is either testing our faith or is only allowing said affliction to remain for "such a time as this" OR He allows the affliction to remain, because of some hidden sin we are unaware of. WTF! He can take his sweet, fucking time, but if we are trapped in "sin", we better learn to overcome it right away!

A sincere God-fearing man or woman only finds increasing mental torment as their companion over the years, as they never can quite seem to meet up to the standards of their capricious god. The bar is continually raised. Most of us here at Ex-C were that sincere. Like you, we continually tried to please Him, ignoring all of the warning signs and holding tight to the faith in a God that seemed to constantly be stepping on our fingers, as we hung from the ledge.

I sympathize with you regarding your familial situation. I am fortunate that my husband left Christianity immediately after I did, and together we can fight the fight of reason. I "pray" the same for you one day.

paul said...

nvrgoingbk,

Thank you for your kind "pray[er]" and thoughtful words.

If we were talking about real estate instead of religion, we'd call it a "scam."

It seems many who de-convert do so because they discover their belief is just that, a belief that the land they bought in Florida (sight unseen) is really a swamp and not a house site where you can actually build something.

In the second half of the bible we get the explanation that the law was given to expose just how sinful we all are. Apparently "God" knew we couldn't actually obey (which begs the question, why would God do that?) So, now we got ourselves a "new commandment" (apparently the old in new packaging)...which if the apostle Paul is to be believed, we cannot keep either. It sounded good, in theory, to have a "saviour" who would "rescue" us...but when that saviour doesn't actually rescue us we discover we have to save our selves. Work out your own damned salvation, and do it with fear and trembling (that's one of the wonders of the bible, if you choose one of it's directives and discover it doesn't work, you can often find another directive elsewhere in it's pages that tells you to do the opposite). But, if you get to a place where, in the absence of a rescuer, you have to save yourself you end up asking why you need a "saviour" and either deconvert or add to your confusion.

Lorena said...

Paul said,
"When we take our theories and call them knowledge, we end up making rules and laws. Then we create the boogey man in the heavens who will send you to eternal flames if you don't follow said code. "

Lorena responds,
Agreed, Paul, that is completely true.
But you may not be aware that it isn't black and white. One extreme is religion, the other extreme is 100% atheism. There are millions of people out there who are not religious, never go to church, have no rules and regulations, and don't go around preaching. Yet those people, derive some strength from knowing that other humans and nature are there for us, and we call that god.

This community, for example, is an example that, when people get together, we can give each other support. The exact same thing that Christian are looking for and haven't found in Bible-god or in rule-ridden churches. Yet the Webmaster has used his "god" abilities (not god-given, his own) to bring us together. It follows that we can still have the assurance that we are not alone, without being religious. When we choose the Universe as our source of support and belonging, we become humanists--no need to believe in anything supernatural. All we do is believe in ourselves and in others, a heck of a lot better than believing in a mythological being up in the sky.

.:webmaster:. said...

Lorena,

Excellent post.

And, for no other reason but to (en)lighten the mood: The Book of Dave.

paul said...

Lorena,

I have a bit of an aversion to "black and white" ("like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car"), having come from there I am not inclined to replace one deity with another. The good news is (punny) I don't have to acknowledge your "god" to fellowship with you. And, I see you have your "gods" approval (webmaster=god). :)

boomSLANG said...

Lorena: When we choose the Universe as our source of support and belonging, we become humanists--no need to believe in anything supernatural. All we do is believe in ourselves and in others, a heck of a lot better than believing in a mythological being up in the sky.

Good. Totally agreed. But I take a bit of an issue with this next statement:

Lorena: One extreme is religion, the other extreme is 100% atheism.

I hope it's okay to be inquisitive towards another exchristian's statements, since most people here claim that being "exchristian" is the only common denominator here.

That said, I'll procede and ask---what is the difference between "100% Atheism", and say, 90 % Atheism? In other words, how can non-belief in something--in this case, supernatural deities--- be "extreme", since Atheism is not a statement about "knowledge", but about belief? Anyone---what is the difference between someone who says, "I don't believe in Zeus"..and someone who says, "I really, really, REALLY don't believe in Zeus"? Is the latter taking an "extreme" position? If so, please explain.

As far as the "black and white" analogy---it's the "Theist" who generally claims "knowledge" with certainty that a supernatural deity exists. Sure, that could be one extreme. However, that a supernatural deity absolutely does NOT exist, is NOT the Atheist position---therefore, I fail to see said position as "extreme". So I don't quite understand how that correlates to a "black and white" issue.

Lorena: There are millions of people out there who are not religious, never go to church, have no rules and regulations, and don't go around preaching. Yet those people, derive some strength from knowing that other humans and nature are there for us, and we call that god.

I agree with everything that was said here. However, one can still lack belief in supernatural deities..i.e..be an "Atheist", and still fit into this set of people.

Furthermore, hell, one could call Eric Clapton "God", if they so choose. However, if one chooses to call him what he is, i.e..a "man", instead of the metaphorical "God", hopefully it wouldn't make them "extreme" in any way.

Any comments welcomed.

Micah Cowan said...

Lorena said: One extreme is religion, the other extreme is 100% atheism. There are millions of people out there who are not religious, never go to church, have no rules and regulations, and don't go around preaching. Yet those people, derive some strength from knowing that other humans and nature are there for us, and we call that god.

Lorena, I like what you said, except that I object to your calling the lack of these things “100% atheism,” or that we call that “god”. I have most of these things, but don't call it “god” and consider myself a “100% atheist” (I don't like to be wishy-washy in my beliefs, part of the reason I'm an atheist in the first place). And even if I did call it “god”, I don't think that can technically make me a theist. I don't consider it reasonable to call belief in a non-sentient, non-individual-being god, theism. Please call the abandonment of love and/or faith for humanity something else, as it really has nothing to do with theistic beliefs or lack thereof.

I can't actually say that I “know that other humans and nature will be there” for me—I know too much about humans and about nature to really believe that. But I will, at least, strive to be there for other humans and for nature, to the best of my abilities.

.:webmaster:. said...

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Anonymous said...

"what is the difference between someone who says, "I don't believe in Zeus"..and someone who says, "I really, really, REALLY don't believe in Zeus"? Is the latter taking an "extreme" position? If so, please explain."

The difference is that I don't believe in Zeus AT ALL. Because what you call Zeus, the authoritarian, blood thirsty, personal God of the Bible, is not at all what I call God.

So, when it comes to religious God (Jew, Muslim, Christian, etc.), I am 100% atheist. From that point of view, I am demon possessed and going straight to hell.

The problem is that when you say god and I say god, we are talking about completely different things.

And when I say that 100% atheism is an extreme, I say so because you went straight from believing in Bible God to believing in I don't know what (I respect whatever that is).

There are other concepts of God out there that don't resemble Bible God even minimally. I won't say again what my concept of God is, because it is "mine" and I am not trying to convert you.

For all I know, you could be right and I could be wrong, so I am not trying to argue against your beliefs, just throwing out there the idea that the concept of Bible God isn't the only one available.

Peace

Lorena

Anonymous said...

"having come from there I am not inclined to replace one deity with another."

Funny, I do not recall having written that I have a deity, unless you are a deity, because for all I know, you are god too.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

That's hilarious. I bow before you, Master!

ha, ha!

eel_shepherd said...

Paul, it's a sin to obsess about a sea creature.

paul said...

Hiya Lorena,
Just to clarify, I'm not trying to get into a pissing match with ya. Blogging is a less than perfect medium for communication, it lacks tone and facial expression. I appreciate your time and effort to respond to and engage me.

Lorena wrote:
"Funny, I do not recall having written that I have a deity,"

and formerly wrote:
"Well some of us believe that there is some force out there, which many call God, and it is formed of ourselves and all living matter around us."

and:

"Yet those people, derive some strength from knowing that other humans and nature are there for us, and we call that god."

Be it a "force" or the overall collective of "humans and nature" that you refer to as "God" then "god," God or god is synonymous with deity, just a different word meaning the same thing. It doesn't matter much, that's just what I was responding to. That and your "black and white" statement. I quipped by quoting an obscure line from an old album (was hoping someone would pick up on it and catch the humor). Truth is, I am a very non black and white person and tend to shy away from that because I cannot convince myself that I know enough to be either black or white...especially when it comes to god or God. To me, God/god is an issue of belief, not knowledge. I do feel pretty safe saying I know (or know of) no god/God.
best regards
paul
:)

paul said...

eel_shepherd said...
Paul, it's a sin to obsess about a sea creature.


Really? Damn. I was under the impression it was only a sin to eat lobster, not to desire it...but then, if you eat lobster in your heart it's as though you have actually eaten it. You may be right. I'm doomed.

stronger now said...

O.K. enough bickering. Lets all try and stick to the point of the post.(he-he)

Lobster is good.
god is good.
therefore god is lobster.
therefore god exists.

And he said, take and eat this is my body given for you.

And he passed the butter saying, Take and dip this is my blood shed for you.

boomSLANG said...

In trying to determine what makes non-belief "extreme", I asked:

"what is the difference between someone who says, "I don't believe in Zeus"..and someone who says, "I really, really, REALLY don't believe in Zeus"? Is the latter taking an "extreme" position? If so, please explain."

Lorena responds: The difference is that I don't believe in Zeus AT ALL. Because what you call Zeus, the authoritarian, blood thirsty, personal God of the Bible, is not at all what I call God.

Respectfully, the point was missed. I don't believe in "Zeus", either. What I was asking was, at what point does "100%" non-belief in something, anything, become "extreme", or "irrational"? To further illustrate my point---if you and I both lack belief in "Zeus"(or substitute anything else), how could my position be deemed "extreme", and not yours?

Now, if someone decides to name their cat "Zeus", or some other "God", and thus, by some stretch of their imagination they think that makes them only "90% Atheist", that's fine... yet, I do not feel it makes my postition as someone who disbelieves in supernatural beings an "extreme" position.

Lorena: So, when it comes to religious God (Jew, Muslim, Christian, etc.), I am 100% atheist.

Myself, as well. And I find nothing "extreme" about either one of our positions, which is the point I've been trying to make.

Lorena: And when I say that 100% atheism is an extreme, I say so because you went straight from believing in Bible God to believing in I don't know what (I respect whatever that is).

And the respect is mutual, however, if you admittedly "don't know" what I believe/disbelieve, then, again, I don't quite see how it could be concluded that my position as an Atheist is "extreme".

Honestly, I don't want to bicker either, but on the other hand, I just feel a bit uneasy when it is suggested that I'm the non-believing equivalent of a fundamentalist Theist...i.e.."extremist". Methinks not.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Boomslang, I'm totally with you. Since we are all friends here, and the two of you are choosing to discuss this issue before the rest of us vouyers, I suppose it would not be too forward of me to respond.

Lorena, the only difference between you and Boom is that after leaving Christianity, you still retained some belief, some sense of, some allegory of this entity, this presence, this...sense of divinity. Whatever it is you call it, be it the Universe, humanity, energy, etc., you STILL have retained some sense of the mystic.

Boomslang, however did not replace his former belief with anything. For whatever reason, he has chosen to believe what his senses perceive (five senses plus common sense). There is nothing extreme about EITHER side. I do not see how his lack of mystic or spiritual belief of any sort equals an extreme position. It is simply a LACK OF, not an EXCESS OF.

I doubt Boomslang is actually OPPOSED to the idea of God, should reliable evidence be presented, but until then, he takes the intellectual position that no said "god" exists. He does not attach anything spiritual to humanity or the cosmos, but that is not extreme.

Pardon me if my opinion is unwelcomed, but as I said before, we are all friends here. We are all of the opinion that religion (with Christianity as our main focus), is a stain on the underwear of humanity. That is a good place to start.

Love yas, Tiffanie

Natedog said...

Before I became a Vegetarian, I used to love ham. Now my son has the same love for ham sandwiches. Oh, the pig is unclean just like the lobster. It is detestable according to the babble, but some Christians still eat it.

NateDog

Jamie said...

As a gay former Seventh-day Adventist, who married a woman before escaping the clutches of a religion that told me how awful I was, I found Paul's lobster post to be both thought provoking and entertaining.

As I try to figure out the whole "gay thing" and what to do about my marriage and children, I have talked to people about the "god thing". About homosexuality, some affirming christians would say, "Sure the bible calls it an abomination, but it says lobster is an abomination too". They'd say this to dismiss the Levitical edicts, since no one really thinks eating Lobster is a sin.

But that was the catch. I grew up Adventist. I was taught that eating lobster really WAS a sin! So there was no arguing with my former churchmates on this point. I guess if I was really interested, I could talk about their god who hates cotton-rayon blends...

Anyway, this longwinded post is my way of saying that the lobster metaphor resonated with me on many levels. Thanks for posting it.

paul said...

Jamie,

Glad it resonated with you. I am in a very similar situation to your own, feel free to email me if you wish a friend who can relate (couldn't find your email on your profile, otherwise I would have written this there).

Paul

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