Story

Bars of Babbitt: An Open Letter to My Loved Ones

As I approach my 27th birthday I feel a strong urge to come out and express myself as who I am, and what I truly believe. Don’t worry, I’m not Gay. But I do hope you will reserve judgment on what you are about to read until you’ve read it in its entirety.
I’m choosing this format to convey this message to you because it’s the most comfortable for me. I feel that I will be able to express everything on my mind in a much more eloquent manner than I would through vocal communication. I also feel that this would be the only way I could speak my mind, so to speak, without interruption. I don’t mean to offend anyone by that statement, but Aunt Joy, you are the mouth of the family for a reason. (Please, don’t kill me!)
I’m not sure where to really begin, so I guess I’ll go to the beginning. That seems like a logical choice. As far back as I can remember I’ve been Pentecostal. Whether it was Evangelical or Apostolic. Every church I went to, every revival, it was Fundamentalist Doctrine. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the words Fundamentalist, and Doctrine, are usually negative connotations, but here I don’t mean them to be. I know no one wants to be called Fundamentalist, but I was. For a while. At times I felt the calling to even be a preacher. In my little private school I used to preach on our Wednesday services. I remember one in particular, It became known as the ‘dinosaur’ sermon. It was about God’s infinite Power, and an example I used to put God’s power in perspective was that maybe dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, he just shrank them temporarily for the ride.
After the flood he expanded them, and since the flood was such a disastrous event it changed earth’s climate and the dinosaurs couldn’t survive the climate change and went extinct. It is silly, I know.
Then I remember one that I did on Acts 2:38, and the plan of salvation. Paw paw helped me with that one. It’s interesting sitting here, typing this out while thinking about these things. It’s almost surreal.
I did a few of those Wednesday services, I volunteered for them, and no one really wanted to do them. I always led prayer in the school. And I did go there a couple of years. I remember enjoying church, most of the time, once I was old enough to understand what was going on and I wasn’t just sleeping under a Pew.
I remember carrying my bible to school when I attended public school. But I also remember backsliding. I remember when I didn’t want to go to church. I remember how guilty I would get. I remember how hard I would pray for God to give me strength to please fill me with the desire to go to church.
Every so often I would want to go to church again, and then I’d backslide. Back and forth. Most all of my life. I also remember the times I’d fake it and pretend to want to go, and force myself to.
And I had good reason to. I knew someone who experienced miracles first hand. Paw Paw. Who had prayer answered nigh instantaneously! A man who gave it to God. All of it. Regardless of what anyone thinks. Paw paw told me constantly. Nothing of his would be if it wasn’t for the Lord, Jesus Christ. The only miracle paw paw told me about specifically, was the Bars of Babbitt. We all know the story, but just in case someone who isn’t family happens upon this I’ll go ahead and tell it to the best of my abilities.
I’m not exactly sure what year it was, but as paw paw told me, he was on the way home from Beaumont. He needed a certain amount of Babbitt. Babbitt is a bearing material, it can be comprised of many different alloys. It’s a Metal. If he didn’t get this metal he couldn’t finish a huge job, and he didn’t have the money to buy it either. So he was Praying for it. When he looked up he saw something shining on the left side of the feeder road eastbound on I-10 Between Beaumont and Vidor. As he got closer he saw it was metal. He also saw another man, an African American, Headed towards him (apparently the wrong way, as the feeder is one way. Or at one time the feeders may have been two-way roads, I don’t know.) So paw paw sped up and got to the metal on the side of the road first. Upon inspection he realized that it was Babbitt! And it was more than he needed! So now he had Extra! He could finish the job, get paid and feed his family because of these bars of Babbitt on the side of the road.
Because he prayed for it. This story was the evidence I used to justify my belief for many, many years. Yet I remember many a prayer of mine going unanswered. I never witnessed a miracle first hand. And we know, paw paw was the most honest person in the world, and never made up stories like being the captain of a submarine in WW2 or anything dishonest like that…
I always wondered why it was pawpaw pretty much only read the new testament. I have spent many a night with my nose in the bible trying to find answers. What I did find was anything but.
I asked myself, how can I believe something without reading it? I was raised to believe this book is the literal word of god. I was doing God a dishonor by not reading it. So I did. The first time I read it I was younger, and a lot of it didn’t stick. But I’ve read it a few times since. It is from close examination of this text, even down to its original Greek and Hebrew direct translations, that I have deduced that if a God does exist he is not the god of the bible.
Read your bibles, all of you, The inaccuracies, the contradictions… the unfulfilled messianic prophecies they are all there, and are in black, white, and red.
The questions I asked my self are questions I am sure every Christian asks themselves at some time. If god exists why does he allow so much suffering? If god is all-knowing, and knows what I will do no matter what, he knows everything and all things, then how does free will exist? One I asked myself is ‘Would I kill my family if God told me to?’ If beyond the shadow of a doubt God revealed himself to me, and he is the Abrahamic god, And he commanded to me sacrifice my family as he asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, would I be able to do it?
I would not be able to.
No matter how much I loved God, or Jesus, no matter how much I would want to be in heaven I wouldn’t be able to do it. I just can’t imagine I could bring myself to do it at all.I’m tired of pretending to be something I’m not. I’m tired of pretending to believe in God, when in actuality I do not. I do not believe the world was created in six days. I do not believe that we are all descendants from Adam and Eve. I do not believe that god created you, or me. I don’t believe in an afterlife.The last one kills me. But there is no evidence to support an afterlife, there is no evidence to support god. Personal experiences are one thing, and they are subjective and relative. They are not proof. I would want nothing more than after I die to be able to see Paw Paw, but I know that won’t happen.What’s the point of life if there is no God? Well, I’ll tell you. The only meaning life has to anyone is what meaning you give it. It’s a relief actually, not believing in God. It shows me how little we have in this universe, and that this is our only chance to Live. Why spend your entire life oppressing your individuality to prepare for an afterlife that there is no evidence to support?

I’m sure part of this has to do with paw paw dying. How could god let paw paw suffer? Or anyone suffer? How could god let him go through that? Why did god create cancer? These were probably the beginnings of me seriously questioning God’s existence. And I’ve spent countless hours studying the bible since, trying to find the answers.

There are none.

I am so sorry if I offend any of you, it is not my intent. Aunt Joy, I removed you from my Facebook friends list so you wouldn’t have to see My struggle with this journey, the anger I had at first was pretty strong. “How dare God not exist!!!” was what I was exclaiming. With every attack, with every comment I’ve made defaming god. The blasphemy that came out of me when I came to the realization that my Imaginary friend wasn’t real. It was traumatic at first. But, that’s only because I was indoctrinated, brainwashed. By the Church, by all you guys. I don’t blame you for it, I really don’t, because you whole-heatedly believe this. You believe in god, and to you maybe he is real… but what evidence do you have of this?

Thank you Aunt Joy, for helping raise me. Thank you for everything you’ve every done for me, and for all the support you’ve given me in this life. Thank you for being loud, abrasive, and for just being you.

Uncle John, thank you for being you. You are a very kind person. Thank you for showing me how to install programs on my first computer. Without that I don’t think I’d be as well versed in their uses as I am now. Without that, I would have never used the internet, I would have never been able to find the knowledge on anything I desire. I truly appreciate you.

Derek, I owe you a lot. You’ve been a huge influence on my life. A best friend, a Brother. Yes, at times you could be cruel… [your evil twin.] But in general you were loving, and even though you would get annoyed with me you tried your best to answer any questions I had, whether they be about Star Trek, or God. You exposed me to critical thinking, Free Thinking and to Logic and reason. Without those, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I wouldn’t have been able to shed the oppression that is God. Thank you.

Maw Maw, I love you. I am so sorry you are disappointed in me, I don’t want you to be at all. I’m sorry that I probably disgust you. I’m sorry you’re going to see this as a failure on your part. But it isn’t. I came to this on my own, through studying the bible.

Mom, Well, You already know all of this. I love you, and I think you’re a closeted atheist. =P

I am an Atheist.

Believe it or not, Atheism is just the lack of a belief in god. That is the only thing that binds two atheist together. They both share this lack of belief. Everything else varies. Political Opinions, personal morals, etc… the ONLY commonality atheists share is they don’t believe in God.

I guess, I would have to categorize myself as a Militant Atheist, only because I believe that Religion is a detriment to society, and has held back scientific progress. It has held back medical progress. That without religion we would be much further a long as a society than we are now. I think it is wrong to expose young children to religion before they are old enough to make a decision for themselves. It’s like telling a child Santa Clause is real, and then never telling them he’s not. Except this Santa commands that babies be dashed upon stones, that the unborn be Ripped from their mother’s wombs… and people have the audacity to claim God is Pro-Life. Anyone who claims this has NOT read their bible.

But all of that stuff is old testament right? We don’t have to follow the old testament! Not true. Matthew 5:17 Jesus states that he did not come to abolish the old Laws, he goes on to say those who uphold these laws the least and teaches others the same shall not be called into the kingdom of heaven… Hey every-time I disobeyed you guys and you didn’t stone me to death… that’s not following the old laws to the fullest. Don’t forget to repent. That’s the loophole.

Mark 7:9 Jesus scolds the Jews for not stoning their disobedient children. And this is well within Context. That’s what killed me about reading the bible is NOT taking it out of context. In Context the scriptures are much darker and much more evil.

When is it morally right for anyone to kill a baby(Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9)? Derek, when is it morally right to burn your daughter alive as a sacrifice to god(Judges 11:29-40 )? When is it OK to take virgins as slaves? Or Slaves at all? (Leviticus 25:44-46 / Exodus 21:2-6 / Exodus 21:7-11)

I say never. It’s not even OK for God. That is cruel, and immoral regardless of who or what you are. Period.

Those are but a few of the issues I found with the bible and why I stopped believing. I’ve attached to this letter more, so you can go through and see why I stopped believing.

If I held a gun to your head, and told you, “You have the free will to give me your wallet or not, but if you don’t I’ll kill you.” What would make that different from god saying, “You have the free will to love me, and accept Jesus as your savior… but if you don’t, you’re going to burn in hell.”
Think about it.
But wait, didn’t I speak in tongues? At least once. In brother Cooper’s church. Well, I struggled with this too, but science explains speaking in tongues. It’s called Glossolalia. It can be learned from others, and is a form of self-hypnosis. It has been studied by psychologists and neurobiologists. It isn’t supernatural, or Divine. In fact Tribal societies have done this in their rituals for thousands of years before Christ was born. This is scientific fact. And also, there is no biblical support for Speaking in tongues to be evidence of the holy spirit entering you.
Speaking in tongues is a Natural function of the human brain. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossolalia#Scientific_explanations)
I Love all of you, and I hope this explains some of my behavior over the past little while. Excusing myself from prayer, staying away from God conversations, etc.I miss all of you terribly, and I do love each and every one of you. And I hope you can come to the enlightenment that I have found one day.

Love,
Dai

P.S. I am More than willing to come to any church service, any church to be Prayed through, or for, on one condition. It can be filmed.
P.P.S. Below are all the problems in the bible that I have found, they are NOT out of context. I wouldn’t be typing this letter if I didn’t think I had biblical backing in my statements. I’m sure there are more, I do hope you go through these, and do look into them so you can understand my reasoning.If the Bible was divinely inspired, then why would it have so many really obvious contradictions?
[in the actual letter I have 20+ pages of references to contradictions in the bible, old testament and new, and how Jesus didn't fulfill messianic prophecy.]
UPDATE
My mother read the letter I wrote to my family concerning my atheism. She was very impressed by it, so much so she suggested I look into ghost writing. (I dare say she is biased though…lol) My grandmother on the other-hand, refuses to read the letter. “Too Blasphemous” is what she said to my mother. She is choosing to not acknowledge the letter.
She is in denial about the letter and I can only speculate as to why. So far no one else has read it either in the family, not because of refusal but because of lack of opportunity.I am looking forward to my cousin’s response/reaction. In fact his reaction is of significant importance and interested to me. He has been a major role model and big brother figure in my life. For this reason I value his opinions greatly.
Though all of this sparked an interesting conversation with my mother. She still claims Christianity as her religion. The conversation was about believe and what was of particular interest to me had been when my mother stated, “You can’t change fifty years of someone’s belief.” To which I replied, “Well, what do you believe?”
“That the bible is true.” She replied. “How do you know it’s true?” I inquired.
Without hesitation she responded, “Because god said it’s true.” Of course, I asked, “How do you know god said it’s true?”
“He said it was true in the beginning.” was the reply I received.

“How do you know what he said in the beginning?” I asked her.

She replied, “Because the bible says so.”

I then said, “So you believe the bible because the bible says it’s true?” There was a few moments of silence, 10-15 seconds, after which she replied with, “yeah…”

So maybe my mother isn’t the closet atheist I once believed her to be, but I definitely see doubt in her. I know my grandmother will believe until the day she passes and that she probably needs this belief to get through each day. My mother does not. My Mother is far from a fundamentalist.

I already see doubts in her, and I know that she does ot need these irrational beliefs. I just don’t know hot to convey this to her. Not in a way she will not take offense to. Suggestions would be immensely appreciated.
This woman birthed me on March 4th, 1985, I literally owe her my life. Against all odds, as a single woman, she had me. Even though her mother, a fundamentalist Pentecostal, was urging her to abort.
She deserves to live without the oppression of religion. How would, or should, one go about this delicate situation?

What would you do?

2 thoughts on “Bars of Babbitt: An Open Letter to My Loved Ones

  1. keep planting those seeds of doubt….i recently watched jesus camp…it was horrible to see all those children so scared.

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