Be selective of your f****

Be selective of your fucks.

Seriously, apparently a woman is born with only a certain number of eggs. Well, I swear we are all born with only a certain amount of fucks, and when we waste it on dumb shit, we are wasting our fucks. So, be selective. Don’t give a fuck about everything that comes across your Facebook news feed. Lady at the drive-thru forget to give you a fork with your salad? Drive your happy ass back around and ask for it nicely, don’t get all pissed off! Or, you could go park and get your lazy ass out of your seat and go in and get one. Who knows? You may run into a future job opportunity by holding a door open for someone on your way into the restaurant.

Religion gives too many fucks.

Capture_Jeffress_Notallroads

Take the book above, for an example. This book, from renowned Fox News, Trump doting Southern Baptist Convention “Pastor” of First Baptist Dallas in Dallas, Texas. In this book, Robert recounts an interview he did with Bill O’Reilly where O’Reilly was asking him about how we should treat Muslims. Jeffress goes on to suggest that “Well, you have to tell the truth…And the truth is that Islam is a false religion, built on a false book, written by a false prophet…”. Nearly every religion, especially the three major religions make this same deceleration about the other ones,”There’s only this way to get to heaven, and all other ideas are false”. Religious beliefs require you to believe what a person should do in the privacy of their homes, how they pray, in what direction they pray, what type of clothes they wear, whether they should have positions of authority based on gender, who they should love, how we should treat other species, and how we should treat others. In everyone of those religious text that I have read there are both positive and abhorrently negative things suggested about how we should treat our neighbors. Typically the more progressive, liberal people of those religions love to lean on those verses to suggest that those of us who read those nasty verses are either taking it out of context, or we are not understanding that times have changed and the meaning behind various religious scriptures can change with those times. Now, fundamentalist will scream at the top of their lungs that this is heretical, and that they are leading them astray. Quite frankly, scripture itself will declare this same thing. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” (2Ti 4:3 ESV), this verse in 2 Timothy in the New Testament of the Christian Bible suggest that as times change, beliefs will change, but scripture never will. Read it in it’s entirety, not just the sunshine verses. Tell me that you do not come to the same conclusion. You literally have to have blinders on to avoid those extremely judgmental, too many fucks given verses. I applaud those who choose to put blinders on, or intentionally ignore those scriptures. They are, after all, primitive beliefs. I give a fuck about this because others continue to use their religion to give too many fucks about how other people live and love. I believe that is a worthy thing to give a fuck about.

Society gives too many fucks.

The secular world is not immune to this epidemic of giving too many fucks. Society also gives way too many fucks about what everyone else is doing. To some extent I certainly understand the need to give a fuck about others, especially when their decision can personally effect your own life. Simple example of this would be people driving on the correct side of the road, and driving responsibly. A choice for them to drive irresponsibly could end up drastically changing your life, or someone you care about. So, I get it. However, we all need to step back every now and then and take an honest introspective approach and ask ourselves whether or not what we spend our time on is worth our fucks. Maybe it’s a draining relationship that you have been allowing to act like a cancer on your emotions and sanity. Maybe it’s a job that has been draining every ounce of you, and that you absolutely hate. Jobs are a difficult task because every job will have something you hate. Yet, if you haven’t even attempted to change your job by putting some resumes out there then you cannot really complain about where you are at. You are NOT a tree, move if you want to.

In conclusion, stop giving so many fucks. I have spent the majority of the past three years giving too many fucks. It causes a TON of anxiety and depression. DO NOT DO IT! Stop giving a fuck, and get your ass up and get moving! If scripture had one thing right, it is that we have gotten to, and really always have been a people that preferred to hear a good lie, over a horrible truth. We generally always need the horrible truth over the beautiful lie. You didn’t like that approach? Well, guess what? I do not give a fuck.

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker

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My hope for you for 2018

The year in review: The good

2017 has been an amazing, joyful, liberating, hurtful, divisive, difficult year. I started this year with an amazing gift from K9s for Warriors, receiving my service dog, Dozer. I was on a waiting list for her for almost two years, and you can read more about what she has meant to me in my blog post, My pill bottle wears a vest. I was thrilled to see the progress she helped me make with so many symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and depression. I ended 2016 not sure how much longer I would be able to hang on, and now I feel like I cannot see far enough into the future. I became a lot more active on my blog writing, which is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. We hit over 1,000 visitors (THANK YOU ALL!), increased our views to over 3,000, and over 29 countries viewed this website, including very freethinking oppressed countries. Our top 5 countries were USA, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and Malaysia (in ranking order). We have over 300 followers between subscriptions to the blog, follows on Twitter, and likes on Facebook. It has been a great year for this blog. We moved to North Carolina during this time, which provides a lot of inspiration for writing, it is a beautiful state.

Over 29 countries viewed this website, including very freethinking oppressed countries.

What I learned

In looking back, we should only seek to learn lessons, not dwell or wallow in self-pity. On that note, in 2017 I learned what I believe for me. That has been a tremendously good thing. I introduced myself to people like Julia Sweeney, by watching her monologue; Letting go of God.  I watched a documentary on “The Amazing Randi”, about a magician James Randi, who staked his reputation on debunking magic tricks, psychics, and even an evangelical “Preacher”. I learned who George Carlin is, and found out subsequently that he unfortunately passed away. I have now watched the majority of his stand-up work, and it brings me joy to watch the way in which he articulated what so many of my thoughts were about religion. I have reconnected with my brother who has been out of my life for over 20 years, which has been phenomenal, and I am looking forward to that relationship continuing to grow. I read, and I read some more. I have always loved to read, but I would filter my reading based on my preconceived notions of what was “worth” reading, and what was not. You want to know what was not worth reading? Anything that questioned the idea of god. In case you didn’t know, that is a lot of f****** (for my PG readers) material. Let me give you an example; at the beginning of the year I started to read The God delusion from Richard Dawkins, and only about two chapters in I put it down, and immediately sought out Christian approved responses to this book. Only wanting to hear what was wrong with the book, and why I could safely dismiss it as garbage did little to satisfy my longing for the truth. The way in which I worked my way back in was actually through somewhat middle-ground material. I guess what I mean by that is moderate believers. A good example would be Rob Bell. I admire Rob Bell for being willing to step out of the box, and consider an alternative way to believing in god. I read his book What is the Bible?, which created a lot of controversy and judgment from the mainstream Christian crowd. I read Karen Armstrong’s A History of God: The 4,000 year old quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The most convincing book that caused me to walk away from my beliefs, which I held for 21 years of my life, was the actual Bible (The Holy Bible in ESV, CSB, HCSB, NIV, NASB, and yes even KJV). It was once I started to consider the inconsistencies in scripture, and the major implication differences between denominations that my beliefs really began to unravel. That was the moment I became The godless Pastor. I was at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when the light went on for me. That was scary. Trying to hold back from coming out completely, I just started asking questions, and pressing myself to look beyond my labels which I had, and society had placed on myself. Once it became clear that simply moving outside of my initial comfort zone, and clearly the comfort zone of my circle of influence, it seemed inconsequential to go ahead and declare my atheism, which I did in the blog Dear Friends and Family,. During this time I also stumbled upon one of, if not the game-changer book, godless by Dan Barker. Reading his story, and his background, I immediately connected with his history. I then re-read the entire book The God delusion by Richard Dawkins, and my mind was blown. From there, I continued to read, and I was, and am continuing to read everything. Like a bird that has been in a cage its entire life being released into the air, I am spreading my wings into territories which I never even considered. Unfortunately, this decision to be open about my beliefs has not been as inconsequential as I have hoped. I have lost a lot of people in this process, and had very hurtful things said directly towards me. I hate that this decision to be open about my beliefs, and to call into question others beliefs has caused so much divide. However, mixed in with that I have had so many people reach out to me personally and thank me for doing this. I have had many people, even current Christians, confide in me their appreciation for my blogs, and my boldness about what I am learning. While I have lost some people, I have gained so many others that I would have never met if it hadn’t been for my blog. All in all it has been a wonderful, amazing year.

2018 reading list

I honestly do not know how you could enjoy writing, and not enjoy reading, but for me it is my escape. I love to read. I want to share with you what my reading goals are for this new year, and encourage some of these books to you.

1) The Seven Decisions, by Andy Andrews

2) The Mind of God, by Dr. Jay Lombard

3) The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

4) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

5) The Lynching, by Laurence Leamer

6) Cosmos, by Carl Sagan

7) Parenting beyond Belief, by Doug McGowan

8) The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins

  9) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson

  10) Science in the Soul, by Richard Dawkins

11) Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari

12) The Holy Bible, by multiple human authors

Check these books out, and let me know in the comments if you plan on reading any of these with me during this new year.

2018, a hope

My hope for all of you in this new year is that you are able to think critically, and without walls. May you always be willing to look outside of the black and white box the world tries to put us in, and look in the gray area. That is where the best of everything is. READ, I cannot overstate this enough, read, and read some more. This includes religious material. Read magazines, books, newspapers, etc. I have found I need the tactile feeling of actual pages to turn, and so e-books are not my friends. However, whatever floats your boat, have at it. I just want you to think. If this means you become stronger in your religious convictions, great! If this means you walk away from all of your religious convictions, great! As long as you do it for YOU! My last hope for all of us, including me, would be that we would figure out a way to realize that we are one of 7.6 billion people (even more co-species), and empathy needs to happen. We need to start caring, and caring more about the other living, human beings, and other species then we do our religious convictions. It is in your hands, my hands. We are individually responsible for how this next year will pan out. So, let us get a spark in our ass, and start doing. Let’s do this!

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker

BREAKING NEWS: FCA Goldsboro, NC; Pastor says parents of children born out of wedlock are illegitimate

A local private Christian school, Faith Christian Academy, regularly host visiting preachers to come to their chapel, according to their website. The school utilized their Facebook page to post a recording of both their elementary and middle/high school chapel services towards the beginning of this 2017-2018 school year. During the middle/high school chapel service, a visiting pastor from Houston, Texas stated to these middle/high school children, “…even the world calls offspring from a union that was not from a legal binding marriage, they call the children illegitimate children…let me say parenthetically that I would never refer to a child born out of wedlock as illegit, I do refer to the parenting as illegitimate, the parents are illegitimate.”. You can listen to this in the video below at around the 16:00 mark, not to mention this preacher goes on for nearly 50 minutes to a group of middle/high school kids.

This is just more fundamentalism that needs to be spoken out against, and should be considered mentally, and emotionally abusive to children. Conservatives are always complaining about how children are not given a choice in reference to abortion, but then they do not give their children a choice in what they believe, who they love or marry, and on and on and on. I often hear fundamental Christians describe abortion as disgusting (even when not understanding or listening to the story behind it), or a LGBTQ couple as disgusting. Folks, this “preacher” is disgusting.

**I have reached out to the school administrator for comment, and have not received a reply as of the time for the posting of this blog post.**

Parenting: Can an Atheist be thankful?

“The most terrible moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank.” -Anonymous

A statement that used to cause me to be puzzled is the one above. Yet, I heard that statement many times over the 21 years I spent as a Christian. I grew up in a home where we rarely “gave thanks”, in the traditional sense. My upbringing, until my teenage years, was an environment where god was assumed to be real, but rarely was he discussed. Yet, I often found things, and people to be thankful for. Their truly is not any reason why an atheist could not be thankful. The silly assumption in the quote above is that an apparent large percentage of the things we have to be grateful for, have to be divine in origin, and divine only.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love is eternal.” –Psalm 136:1, CSB

In the Christian faith you are supposed to give god thanks for everything that happens in your life. Your spouse gives birth to a healthy child, give thanks to god. You’re able to put food on the table, give thanks to god. You get a great job, thank god. The more twisted versions of this thankfulness would be when you are ill. However, most mainstream Christians teach that even in your pain you are supposed to give thanks to god. After all, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV). In the Christian faith, no matter what happens to you, whether extraordinarily amazing, or horribly bad, praise god.

So, how do I teach my children?

Bertrand Russell has said, “Good parenting is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”, and this is where I believe every kid thrives. A Christian would have to avoid reality to suggest that a belief in god is the “thing” prevalent in every healthy home. Just like Christians do not own the corner on “good people”, they do not own the corner on good children, a healthy home, or gratitude. I know the necessary message of the Christian is that you don’t have it all, and that answer is Christ, but this is simply missing a larger point. I know that the “hole in your life” analogy has been preached in front of me many times over the course of my life. The basic concept of this analogy is that you feel an emptiness inside of you, the speaker knows this, and his answer for that emptiness is god. Where in reality that hole is love, and knowledge. The “thing” in our parenting does not have to be god, but it better be love, and knowledge. This is no different in aspects of being grateful. I absolutely will teach my children gratitude. Yet, unlike the Christian, I do not have to explain gratitude as belonging to god, but instead to actual things. You see, I can explain to my children that they can be thankful to the doctors, and modern science when we bring home a little sibling for them to love. I can explain to my children that when we put food around the table this thanksgiving, and everyday, that we can be thankful to so many actual, living people. We can be thankful to the farmers, we can be thankful to the grocery store workers, we can be thankful to whoever made the meal (Mommy or Daddy, or if someone brings food, thankful to them). I can show my kids that when good things happen to us, that there are real people that we can be thankful towards, and that this big 7.6 billion person world we live in gives a lot to be thankful for, and that it is all of us that makes the world go round. Additionally, when we experience heartache, or pain, or suffering we can be thankful that we are still breathing. We can be thankful to the doctors for easing our pain, or the pharmaceutical companies for their hard work at making medicine to help us through ailments. There is a lot to be thankful for, and I would suggest that the list is even larger for an atheist.

The godless Pastor,

Billy Crocker

 

Roy Moore, Al Franken, Donald Trump, and Jesus

“…Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16 ESV)

Definitely Author of Confusion series worthy

What is it with sex? Obviously, if you are doing it right, it should be pretty awesome. However, the obsession that our culture has with sex is ridiculous. As much as conservatives want to paint liberals with a broad brush of “Hollywood sexualization”, they are not, and have never been immune to this issue. Look no further this past week then Roy Moore, Alabama Christian conservative running for office. What makes this so hard to watch, is the inability of the Republican party to get a handle on this situation. The people have already spoken, with Sean Hannity as their spokesperson that it is the victim that should be demonized and accused, while Roy Moore should be able to keep on running for office. Why not, right? Across this world, sexualization is a reality. Is the god of the bible clear on how we should be with members of the opposite sex? Is the god of the bible our clear moral compass so that we can know what we should do about this problem? I beg to differ. Let us take a look at some of the scriptures available to us:

In Deuteronomy 28 we read about the blessings of following the “LORD your God”. In the next several verses God goes on to decree the punishments for not following the “LORD your God”. One of those punishments were the following, “You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape her.” (Deu 28:30 CSB). Over the course of the entire bible there are several instances where women are treated as second class. This verse in Deuteronomy shows that apparently god would choose to use a woman as a form of punishment. It is the man who has done “wrong”, because it is only the man that can make decisions, according to the bible. However, it is the woman that will be apart of the punishment, in the form of being raped. I honestly cringe when I read this verse, and I wonder, “what the hell?”. The reality of the scriptures is that when it comes to issues such as slavery, and women, there is no greater example of this whole book being made up. Here is what I mean, when you think of sexism, who do you usually think of? Men, if I can make an assumption here. I am not saying that in todays world that is the only place it comes from, but definitely during biblical times, sexism was from men. Men, specifically white men ruled all. So, it is, in scripture that you truly see the author(s) for what they truly are. The author of the bible is not a supernatural god, but men. All of the censuses in the bible are only directed at men (Num 1:1-2; Num 3:15, 28). Only men could be priest (Lev. 6:14-18; Lev. 21:9). So on and so forth.

Yea, but this doesn’t mean the god of the bible would support rape, or sexual objectification of women, right?

As I have already mentioned earlier, Deu. 28 not only supports rape, but uses women being raped as a sort of justice token for the wrong that the man does! Wow!?!?! Not only does he support rape, but it is clear that throughout scripture, women are clearly, and outright objectified as pieces of property, or as sleazy men say in modern times “a piece of ass” (1 Sam. 18:27; Ruth 4:5; Deu. 22:28-29; Jer. 8:9-10; Exo. 21:7-9). Here is one for you; a woman’s menstrual cycle is a cursed thing (I am sure most women would not disagree), and it requires a sin offering, and referred to as her “unclean discharge” (Lev. 15:29-30). Like seriously!?!? WTF!?!?! You created the problem “God”! Now, they are required to bring a sin offering because of this? Hang on a second, my head is spinning.

You may say, “Ok, but that was the Old Testament”. That is true, I have only mentioned OT verses, but you do realize that the NT puts women as second class citizens as well, right? In I Timothy 2:11-14, Paul declares to Timothy, “11 A woman should learn in silence with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. 13 For Adam was created first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.” (1Ti 2:11-14 CSB). Then in 1 Timothy 5:14, Paul states, “Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.” (1Ti 5:14 CSB). Whether we are talking about the OT, or the NT, the god of the bible unfortunately objectifies women.

So, what does this have to do with Roy Moore, Al Franken, and Donald Trump

During the election of our 45th President we witnessed around 14 women come forward with sexual assault allegations towards then, GOP nominee Donald Trump (Source: Video, Chicago Tribune). The response from Donald Trump was threatening a lawsuit, and an immediate comparison to the Democrats support of Bill Clinton during his sex assault allegations brought against him. The response from Christian evangelicals, his biggest base of supporters, was outright demonization of the victims, and full support of Donald Trump. After all, he was chosen by god to lead this country to prosperity. With the allegations against Roy Moore, an Alabama Senate candidate, we have another instance of demonizing the victims, (Source: ABC News) and multiple references to “Satan’s attack” against “God’s children” from several of his ardent supporters. Al Franken, a Democrat senator, and former Comedian is of course being treated completely differently by the right-wing conservatives. Conservatives have wasted little time in painting Al Franken as a typical liberal, godless, immoral man. If only Al Franken was more in tune with “God” then maybe this would not have happened. The reality, of course, is that all of these instances of sexual assault allegations are serious, and beyond a response of simple apologies, which few conservatives have given. Instead, these men do need to step aside.

The connection to god is not seen, and that is because god has nothing to do with this problem. Obviously, my reason for believing this is because I do not believe that god is real, but even for those who do, it must be recognized that god (or lack thereof) is not the common factor. A persons being a theist, a Catholic, an atheist, Methodist, or Southern Baptist simply has zero to do with their morals. I know that this is hard for many to accept because of the connection that Christianity claims to morality, and being the source of morality. Morals has to do with our culture, and our culture, both with god and without is corrupt. Whether you look in the church pews or the bar stools, ethics problems reign. The most common culprit being men. Whether this man is white, black, Hispanic, or other race or ethnicity, if this person is a man, chances are he is the culprit of sexual assault. The Bureau of Justice has a report out that shows that “Female victims accounted for 94% of all completed rapes, 91% of all attempted rapes, and 89% of all completed and attempted sexual assaults, 1992-2000.” (Source: PDF File from BJS). The idea of a woman being second class unfortunately transcends generations, religious beliefs, races, nationalities, and any other category. The recent #metoo campaign on social media has led to many women coming forward with sexual assault claims, and I could not be more proud of these women for being this bold and brave.

“Female victims accounted for 94% of all completed rapes, 91% of all attempted rapes, and 89% of all completed and attempted sexual assaults, 1992-2000.” (BJS, 1992-2000)

It is very personal for me

I am a victim of rape from a family member when I was only around nine years old. This rape was from a home that claimed Christ as their champion, and had plenty of crosses on the wall. I was ashamed, and embarrassed, and unfortunately nothing was done in response to my admission of this when I was very young. I became extremely sexually confused following this event, and have always struggled socially with this weighing on my heart and mind.

Now, while I am a man, I was one of the few male victims of a violent crime. Here is the reality though, violating someone sexually, should be met with extreme punishment. This steals something from a person that can never be given back, no matter what punishment is given. I have a three year old daughter, and two boys, so my wife and I will have to face this problem head on. I believe, that just like males are often the perpetrator of these crimes, males must become the defense against these crimes. We must speak out against this sort of behavior. Across all male cultures like the military, construction, news outlets, comedy, sexual innuendos, derogatory imagery, and language has been accepted. The time for that sort of behavior to end is now. We all must speak up, and speak out against this sort of behavior and make it clear that we stand behind anyone who wants to come forward with this private, and difficult admission. Obviously, these claims need to be investigated, and if found to be false, that person should face a penalty because of the way it ruins it for the truthful claims.

Make no mistake about it, we must be the voice of reason, not a holy book from 2,000 years ago. Instead of looking back, we need to look forward, and change the culture, starting today. No matter our sexual orientation, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, we all need to come together under this issue. We should all be able to join hands in denouncing sexual assault in any form, including the “innocent” language and sexist language that our culture uses on a regular basis. I look forward to the dialogue on this, and I hope to continue to see support behind every #metoo person who has the courage to come forward. I would hope that my daughter would have the future freedom to succeed in life without the objectification of her body. I would hope that my sons will have the respect of another person, to honor another persons body, and to always get consent. I can only hope that if I am willing to be apart of the solution. Thank you for your patience through this blog, I know it was kind of all over the place. My thoughts were racing.

The godless Pastor,

Billy Crocker

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Featured Image Photo Credit: NBC News

Hello, There!

Hello Fellow Blog Readers!

My name is Mollie and I am Billy’s wife. He has invited me to write on his blog occasionally and I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I am 27 years old, a wife, momma of three rambunctious little ones, daughter, sister, friend, wine connoisseur, coffee lover, YLEO (Young Living Essential Oil) enthusiast, healthy living advocate, proud military and veteran supporter and lover of all things FALL!

In the coming weeks I will be writing on various topics that apply to Billy’s blog that I am super passionate about and sharing more of our personal stories and experiences with you. I hope you will enjoy reading my upcoming posts. Stay tuned!

-Mollie