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August 5th, 2004


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09:54 am - God? Are you out there, God?
God is trying to contact me.

No, really. I'm completely serious.

It all started yesterday. Yesterday, just before work ended, I received some spam.

Usually, this is not a defining moment in my day, but this particular spam wanted to help me meet Christian singles, presumbably to get it on with (by "it" I think I mean "pray").

The subject was: Meet Christian singles at ChristianCupid.com

I checked out the site this morning, and I was amused to see that despite the number of smiling happy people all over the page (who really do look like they're having fun and enjoying themselves in Godly prusuits), there is only one female between the ages of 18 and 25 who has a photo in her profile. In fact, there are 7 women between 18 and 25 total, four of them being from somewhere not in this country.

Don't get me wrong, the 18 year old isn't prohibitively ugly (heck, not even close), but her interests include the Disney Channel. I have to draw the line somewhere.

"So you got spam," you say. "Everyone gets spam. What's that prove?"

Nothing, of course. It's what else went on that begs my ear.

Yesterday, I was thinking hard about this whole "calling" thing. This "vocation" that I'm worried about. Well, I was doing some searching on Amazon to see what I could find about callings to the priesthood.

"Who better to ask about callings than people who are priests and have written books?" I asked. My co-workers looked at me a bit funny and then went back to work. Between the monkey noises that come from my cubicle and the army men, it's safer that way.

Imagine that: the only books on this are from Christian authors. Heck, fine with me. It's not like the calling is going to be different for two people. I did some searching, came up with a few titles, and then headed off to the bookstore so I could browse.

I spent three hours in the section marked "Christian Inspiration" at Barnes & Noble. I discussed Christianity and compared conversion experiences with several people. It's amazing how much friendlier Christians are in their section than Pagans and New Agers are in their section.

Or maybe I just got a good batch of talkative Christians.

In the end, I got a lot of good answers, and I took three books home. That's forty-two dollars and 29 cents going to "the cause" of conversion, I'm sure.

And I now have new things to think about, as I read through these books. . . It's enlightening.
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: "Coconut Telegraph", -JB

(48 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:bean_drui
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:05 am (UTC)
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"God" had his chance with me... the year that I went from being athiest to methodist to jewish (at least in my head) and then entertaining thoughts of catholocism...he had his chance. I even asked him to try and give me some faith in him, a desire to worship him or even acknowledge him....

and you know what happened? I stumbled on anglo-saxon heathenry.... which was the first step i took towards converting to paganism and then druidism.
From:therubydolphin
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:08 am (UTC)
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I did the same thing. Kept trying to find faith in the Judeo-Christian God and kept being disappointed and feeling like something was wrong.

And then I stumbled onto goddess-worship... and now I'm a happy pagan. Who only dances naked in her own house with the curtains drawn.
God called... - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:therubydolphin
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
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I think I got an email from them, too. It went out with the rest of the spam.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 5th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC)
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Didn't they look happy in the email though?
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From:tlachtga
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:07 am (UTC)
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Hmm. Have you talked to Esus and Eris about this? Maybe this is just a sort of test to see if you really want to be Pagan clergy.

As for the Christians being nicer in their section, well, let's face it--the New Age section of bookstores are pretty crappy to begin with, and in the bookstores I've worked in, it's mostly flakes who are hanging out in that section (OK, so I was a flake when I was 18--what a shock). We have few religious authors of the caliber of Christian authors; and all our ancient authors are shelved in poetry, mythology, or philosophy, unlike all the Christian authors who are generally lumped together. The good books are rarely ever carried in most bookstores because they won't sell to the fluffies. Grr.
[User Picture]
From:bean_drui
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:20 am (UTC)
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Yes, in my opinion, anything neccisary for pagan religion can't be found in a "new age" section...mostly because it isn't new age, it's history.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
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The fluffy fundie who's right and you're WRONG

The thought of combining "fluffy" and "fundie" makes me laugh -- it sounds so incongruous yet it's all too common.

Not enough bookstores carry Ronald Hutton.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)

Conversion stories?

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You compared conversion stories? Did you tell them about Eris and Esus?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 5th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)

Re: Conversion stories?

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No, we talked about their conversion. It was like a party, though. there were about 10 people there.

All it lacked was a tent, and we could have had a revival.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tosk
Date:August 5th, 2004 08:20 am (UTC)
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Every spirituality seems to have something to offer. While Eris makes the most sense to me, right now. I learned a lot about some parts of spirituality from my decades as one of Jehovah's Wittnesses (I got a lot of bad information there too).

Yesterday I became an Ordained Revrend with the Universal Life Church... In fact, I'm thinking about heading over to one of the Unitarian churches some sunday this fall and giving a sermon, a real one, not a crazy Discordian one... well ok, maybe I'll have some Gurellia Ontology thrown in... well, maybe a lot... but only to try to give people new ideas to chew on, not destroy their faith in God or anything :)

Like what you like, Enjoy what you enjoy.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 5th, 2004 08:28 am (UTC)
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Oh, I agree that all religions have things to offer. Actually, we can learn a lot from Christianity. Hell, they've been doing pretty well for 2,000 years.

I'd like to visit when you're preaching. Let me know.
[User Picture]
From:qorinda
Date:August 5th, 2004 09:02 am (UTC)
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Erm. This hit WAY too close to home. My brother, who is a born-again fundy Christian, has been sending me emails about how I am being controlled by demons. Argh! He thinks he is so RIGHT. Makes my head spin (when I bother to think about it).
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:August 5th, 2004 10:16 am (UTC)

born-again

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Maybe you just need to share conversion stories with him. Seemed to work for chronarchy. Oh wait, chronarchy apparently managed to avoid sharing his own stories.

Or maybe your brother is the demon who's controlling you, and that's what he's emailing you about.
From:bloodlikerain
Date:August 5th, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)

this makes sense to me

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i belive very much in a christian god, in fact, i figure he has more believers than any other deity at the moment, there for he has more life force and power.

we have a love hate relationship.

he loves to let me know he exists. and I love to hate him for his ego problem.
[User Picture]
From:suicidekttn
Date:August 5th, 2004 10:08 am (UTC)
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I usually get spam that wants me to eliminate debt the Christian way. Which perplexes me. I don't know if I'm supposed to pray it away, or burn it, or what.

I still believe in God, I even go to church sometimes and pay respect towards him. I just don't keep him as my primary worship-deity. In fact, I repetedly have the image of all the pagans sitting around drinking with God watching the Christians being judged at the end of the world. It's quite amusing.
From:cktraveler
Date:August 6th, 2004 08:57 am (UTC)
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I have had similar experiences in the corresponding sections of bookstores. I'm not sure if it's so much that Christians are friendlier, but that they are secure in their majority and thus don't feel threatened.

Anyway, I think it may be that "calling" is a Christian term, and other faiths call it something different. I'm not sure if Judaism has anything similar -- the rabbis I've spoken to have said it was more a question of simply wanting to learn as much as you can about your faith, and becoming a rabbi to learn.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 6th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)
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It comes from the Latin, vocare, meaning "to call".

I'm merely assuming that a person who wishes to become clergy will have some sort of drive/desire/reason to do so. It's entirely possible that a "calling" is incorrect as an exact word, but it's the best I can think of.

If it is something that's just further study, I'm already doing that. I'm looking for if there's something more.

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