Why spirituality is more important than atheism.

For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. (Rom 1:20 CSB)

Our soul, the organ of god placed inside us to yearn for something higher then ourselves (according to some…). The book of Romans in the Christian bible references the fact that the universe, our earth, our own bodies scream supernatural for many people. According to Romans this leaves people without an excuse for belief in god. You should be able to look out into the sky at night and not be so arrogant as to think that you are “it”. Of course, as an atheist, I recognize the fallacy of that thought process, but for the purpose of this blog I do not want to dive into it. We are all on a journey; constantly seeking and finding our way through both personal issues such as a career choice, or where to live, or what to wear each day, and also through much broader topics like what our purpose is on this earth. Almost a year ago I became convinced that for me there was no necessity to a god for me. From a passionate, “spirit-filled” preacher at 15 to this point at 30 I was a little struck personally by this changing within myself. I had certain events take place over the years that brought up questions for me about what I believed and why, but I had largely ignored those questions, and relied heavily on faith throughout those trials.

I believe that it is a healthy thing to search out genuinely why you believe what you believe and to be open minded about other opinions out there in the world. Also, I have found as an atheist the great importance of recognizing the difference between an opinion and a fact. I have read numerous books through this journey, and they have ranged from bold atheism, to bold fundamentalist creationism. In the middle I found an interesting area, the bible might refer to it as “lukewarm”. My decision to return to my unbelief (you are born without a belief in a god) left many confused, concerned, and some even angry with me. I believe strongly that many simply felt a level of love for me that they could not express into words. I would place that position especially on my family; and my parents and siblings being the ones specifically with that stance. Nevertheless, many chose to throw out repeated diatribes against me, and some even towards the eternity of my children (which I took particularly not too well). The reality is, that opinions are something everyone has, especially nowadays (that makes me sound really old).  I have had to figure out what to do with those insults. Initially I chose to “fight back”, if you will, with my own set of invective “memes” and posts. This of course did not win anyone over, that I know of. I might emphasize though that these comments towards me did not win me over either. So, back to the “lukewarm” part. I do not know if you realize this or not, but there are people who do not believe what you believe yet still have a very strong belief in “a god”. For some this is even a very specific god, just as you might, but for others it may be a more general idea of a god. I found in my readings those who believe in the salvation brought to mankind through Jesus’ death on the cross, but because of the amount of evidence towards evolution as a fact, believed Genesis to be a story not meant to be taken literally. To be clear, they believed in the general consensus among scientists that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that we evolved (not created) through a series of evolutionary time periods, but also in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Now, you may say, “not fair”, “fake news!”, but this is what some believe. I want this blog to be both for the fundamental Christian, and the fundamental atheist. It seems that many on the left and on the right have gotten to this point where they are all about emphasizing the fallacies of the other side. Let’s be honest, both sides have fallacies. Both sides of the spectrum have things that you can poke holes in. How important is it to an atheist whether or not there may be a god? For most, the answer would be a big fat zero! Why? Because for the atheist it simply does not matter. Based on everything that we have available to us in science and evidence there simply is no reason to believe in a god. There is absolutely nothing that points us to a supernatural being, but that is a blog for another day. Listen, I love dialogue, and that has sometimes gotten me into hot water with conversations about these topics, because some believe I am being snarky or arrogant, and this is the problem with the medium of the written word. I truly desire to have conversations on these topics with people who are willing to discuss these things. Now let me approach the other side to ask how important is it to you whether or not Genesis is real to whether or not Jesus is believable? I realize for some that answer will be “extremely important”, but I know that for others who search deep you can come to a conclusion that it just simply does not matter.

What’s the point? Atheist have long tried to argue against the existence of a god, but I believe (as an atheist I might add) that this is a ridiculous argument to have with any theist. Because, the possibility of a god is so difficult to remove. There are truly too many variables to completely dismiss in its entirety the possibility of a god. So, my belief is that when we get into this pissing match over whether or not there is, or is not, a god, we lose the premise of why we are there. In general, what atheist are most against is fundamentalism. Basically, fundamentalism is someone who declares, and believes wholeheartedly that they are right, and their religion is right, and everyone else is wrong. Where it does get truly sad, is when these beliefs about social issues, such as LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, scientific facts to be taught exclusively rights (I realize that is a weird phrase, but work with me),  get intertwined with religious fervor. To the religious person out there, spirituality does not require you to remove the belief in a higher being, or that you go somewhere pretty when you die, and all of your family is waiting on you, and your sweet dog Biscuit. Spirituality does not require you to abandon the belief that your life has a higher purpose, or that you can pray to something out there when you are in pain, or rejoice towards something bigger then yourself when you are triumphant. What it does require is for you to let go of this idea that only your beliefs are the right ones. It does require you to let go of the idea that everybody and their brother is destined for hell because that’s what your book says. It does require you to let go of the belief that your book decides what people can do with their genitalia, and who they can be in a committed marriage with, and who they can love. It does require you to allow a woman to chose what to do with her own body, and allow science (true science, not the fear mongering conservative science) to explain both the benefits, and the risks of abortion, to both the mother and the fetus. It does require you to love unconditionally, because it removes this idea that you might, for some reason be the one who has figured it all out, but instead maybe, just maybe you could learn something from someone else without thinking that you need to teach them about “salvation”.

To the atheist, please let go of this idea that we need to convince the world that their is no god. For some people, this is a necessary part of their lives. When I say necessary, I mean it literally. For some people a spirituality/faith in their lives is the same as water to you and I. If Jack and coke gets you off to a peaceful sleep, for others it may be Jesus (and even some it’s both Jack and Jesus). Because here is the thing atheist, if we focus in on what they hold more precious then anything else in their lives then we are losing the real fight, which is helping people to see that their book ain’t the only one (had to go Texas for a minute). Climate change is on the line when we focus on whether or not god exist. Peoples heads are being chopped off in the middle east because we want to focus on whether god exist. People are having offensive slurs hurled at them and their partner because we cannot let go of the argument over god existing. Stop worrying about how stupid religion is, and focus on helping people to see the benefit of mutual existing among a community of varying beliefs. Coexisting is what we need to promote and emphasize. Religion will always be here, but if we can lean religion more towards spirituality, then fundamentalism I will call it a win. Spirituality, not atheism is what we need to focus on. This is where the meaningful fights will be won.

To being united,

The godless Pastor.

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Why your god is not real

Is there a god? The age-old question that has been debated, and wrote about for ages. In reality, I believe that is a senseless question to have. In a world where religious motivated violence plagues everyone’s peace, the important question to ask is whether or not your god is real. When we live in a country where a baker can deny someone a right to purchase a fu***** cake because their “lifestyle” doesn’t agree with the bakers religious beliefs, the question we need to be asking is whether or not you can know for certain that your god is real. Because when you are making life and death decisions based on your convictions from a book supposedly completely authored through inspiration from this “god”, you probably ought to know whether or not that god is real, not just if a god is real.

An exercise

I want you to close your eyes and imagine god. Not who you have been told to believe, but specifically what you believe god to be like. Now I want you to imagine what heaven is like, who is there, and who is not. I can assure you with 100% certainty that this very specific god is not real. According to everything we know from archaeological digs, and studying the history left by some ancient civilizations, religion was largely restrictive to the local population “back in the day”. In essence, there was no intention to evangelize the world. Now, this very well could have had more to do with the lack of knowledge of a larger community, but it also just simply seemed an attempt to answer life’s most basic fears and unknowns. In that time frame there is certainly little blame that one could cast on our ancestors in having the desire to figure out what all this was about, and especially with such little information available to them. However, we know better now, there is no longer an excuse for actually believing that your god is the only right god, or that there is definitely any god at all. Could there be? Sure, in the same way that there could be a Flying Spaghetti Monster that created everything we see.

What is the point?

My point in writing this blog is to plead with all of you to consider the point of coexisting with other belief systems, even non-belief systems. If it helps you sleep better at night to know that there is a supernatural god at work in the sky caring what you do with your life, then great, believe that. There is zero evidence for it, but knock yourself out. The silliest argument that atheist try and have with a theist is whether or not there is “a god”. That is such a senseless argument for most of these individuals because the real idea that you can, need to, and should destroy, is the notion that their god is the only god, and that everyone else should live according to its rules. This is the debate to have. Not whether or not there is a god at all. There are too many variables for that debate. There are too many possibilities, as we atheist like to point out with things such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster (no offense to those who genuinely follow this possible deity). However, there are absolutely zero ways that anyone can prove with certainty that their specific god is real. According to several sources there are approximately 4,200 different religious beliefs (this number includes variants within the same overarching belief system, i.e. denominations). Approximately 75% of the world worships under one of five possible religions, which are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Of these five religions, Christianity and Islam are the most widespread. These values, and ethics vary from sect to sect, but in just the two largest religions heads are being chopped off, daughters are being murdered (honor killings), and people are being discriminated against (at a minimum) if you do not line up with what their god says is the right way to live. One of the common questions that theist like to ask is how do we know right from wrong as atheist, but I would argue that when removed from the overarching bondage of religious orthodoxy you can better attain for yourself what is right and what is wrong.

My hope

We need to have an understanding that when it comes to religious freedom, this does not give you the right to impose your religious beliefs on me, or prohibit me from participating in things that your god would forbid. If you want to operate in the open market then you should be made to serve all of your customers. If you desire to have a family, for the love of humanity, love your children no matter what their sexual orientation. Please, do not let your religious beliefs harm your ability to have empathy, and understanding of someone’s situation. This world needs a lot more love in it, and religion is the last place most people these days think of going to get it. We may not know whether or not a god is real at all, but we certainly know that the specific god you have thought up in your head is not real. The chances are slimmer then winning the lottery. As Bill Maher says in his segment on Real Time on HBO, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true”. This doesn’t need to cause you anxiety, or anger. You need to accept this reality, and open your arms, your hearts, and your lives to people outside of your cult. It could do you some good. You might just realize your god playing banjo with Hank Williams Jr. aint the only god out there. Now, go crack open a beer with an atheist, or a muslim, or someone of a different race, or gender orientation, and learn something about someone else other then yourself. Let’s do this together!

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

****Check out Be selective of your f**** for a read of a great recent blog**** Leave me some comments if you enjoyed this blog.

The Selfishness of Religion

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16 ESV)

Oh, how special you are. You, being specifically a human, are special. Everything was created for your benefit, for your pleasure (but not too much pleasure, that is sinful), for your enjoyment. Southerners in the United States are notorious for believing in the idea that a sense of entitlement is what is wrong with this present generation, and that “kids today” just do not understand that the world does not revolve around them. While that is certainly a debate to have, it is rather ironic that these elders of the south are largely Christian conservatives, and most likely Baptist. The reason being, because the whole premise of any of the three main religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is that you are extremely important. When you go back before the days of these monotheistic religions (yes there was a time before these beliefs existed), you see more of a animism/spirituality approach. Everything had value, including the plants, animals, and fellow species of homo sapiens. Religious beliefs were local, and there was not a “I am right, you are wrong” type of thought process when it came to religious thought. The world had a soul, and I think that is a beautiful thing from that time period.

Then monotheistic religions came into play, as early as c.1350 BC in Egypt, according to the records we have. This was truly a change in direction, and quickly turned spiritual thought away from “everything is sacred”, to “we are sacred”. Now, we kill others, both fellow species, and other species down to the smallest life forms all to (supposedly) better ourselves. The selfishness of man has been seen throughout the ages, and monotheistic religion was a push in that direction. As the verse above gives reference to, monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam took the world in a direction towards believing that not only are humans what everything is about, but specifically a certain type of humans. You now need to believe a certain way, or even be born a certain way, in order to be special. The animal kingdom is completely taken out of the picture. No longer do we care about the world, because hey, it is here for our benefit anyways. The irony is hard to miss, and it is strikes at the heart of all things that humanism stands for. When Christians tout their “caring” religion, it truly doesn’t take long to realize the hypocrisy of this whole religious system. The importance of realizing our place in the world as a whole cannot be understated. Just among fellow humans, we are one in approximately 7.6 billion other humans. That does not even include animals, and plants. Christians, specifically the Southern Baptist Christians love to mock those who defend animals, and plants as “tree huggers”, and trying to suggest that we must care more about animals then we do humans. I do not understand why we cannot do both, care about humans, and animals at the same time. There is a lot of work to be done in the area of care for our world. Climate change is a reality, and all the other species are suffering for it. Homo sapiens have left some pretty amazing advances in technology, and knowledge in its wake, but we also have left devastation and destruction. You are not the point, get over it.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

Check out a recent blog, The randomness of science or the mysteries of god? for a good read. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Why Hell Does Not Matter

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mat 5:27 ESV)

Before Jesus came into the picture, hell (Sheol, מִשְּׁא֥וֹל), seemed to be more of simply a location that you went to when you died that was the opposite of heaven. There really is no reference to “weeping and gnashing of teeth” until you get to the New Testament. Jesus doesn’t only step up his game on how bad hell will be (obvious necessary component to the whole thing), but he broadens who is at risk of hell. I think most people, even atheist, may hope for a hell for certain breeds of people that are murderers, or rapist (as an example), but if your worst crime has been telling your parents that you came home by curfew, when really you barely made it in the door before their 5AM alarm, I don’t think hell should be concern for you. I would even venture to say that most of us would not consider things like hating someone (while not a noble thing to do, and very exhausting), would deserve hell. I mean, hell, hating someone is hell in and of itself. Then, while porn may be considered grotesque by some, I don’t think we’re ready to condemn someone to eternal torment for it, right? Maybe I am only hoping at this point, but I am truly hopeful that you do not think like this. Well, guess who does? Jesus. In Matthew 5 he goes through a pretty lengthy discourse where he condemns porn as adultery, hate as murder, and marrying a divorced woman as sexual immorality and adultery. I realize that many believe this, because of the whole “Holy Bible” thing, but let’s be real. Can you honestly say that someone who simply hated their brother for a stint deserves hellfire and brimstone?

If you are on death row, then maybe you should weigh your religious options, but otherwise I think it is safe to say hell should not be your greatest worry in life. The advantages to describing the afterlife as this horrible place for all who do not follow your religion should go without saying really. It is a clever marketing practice really, but it just simply does not pass the smell test. You should be as good of a person as you can possibly be. You should leave a legacy. You should share kindness, love, and empathy with those around you (including other species), but perfection is ridiculous (even the Bible admits that). When you consider that the first alphabet did not even come about until around 2000 BCE in Syria, it is silly to suggest that these rules would have always applied. If they did not always apply, because of the lack of access to the information, then why was the information ever shared. It is really a circular problem that can make your head spin. I realize your grandma is going to want you to get baptized (by full immersion), and your mom is going to want to make sure you repent of your sins and go to church every Sunday, but these are ridiculous reasons to be sent to hell. You know it, I know it, we ALL know it (in my opinion). I completely accept that the “Holy Bible” says something different, but that is open to interpretation, depending on the denomination you subscribe to.

Simply put, there is plenty of hell on earth. While it may be good for business to make people consider an everlasting hell, it is not good for the heart, or the emotions. No one wants to think of sweet old grandpa, who would say a cuss word here and there, smoked like a freight train, and had porn magazines in the garage on top of his work bench is going to hell because he didn’t follow the right teaching about salvation. I mean, sweet old grandpa worked his fingers to the bone providing for his family, he gave his all every day, he fought for his country, and he was a good man. Who cares if he whacked off every now and then to some October 1989 Playboy. It is just plain silliness. The statistics for violent crime show us that at any given time less than 1% of our population has committed a violent crime. The church thrives off of making every Dick and Harry guilty of hell for everything under the sun. Give me, and the rest of the world a break. This is why hell does not matter.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

****Check out Be selective of your f****, for a great read on a recent blog… Let me know what you think in the comments.****

The randomness of science or the mysteries of god?

I often heard in my “Bible-belt” culture of East Texas claim that god works in mysterious ways. That phrase became taboo over the years, even in Christian circles, because apparently there is nothing mysterious about god, because everything he does is promised in black and white ink (some red for you red-letter edition folks) in the Holy Bible. So, no surprises here apparently with the Christians. However, as my beliefs began to evolve into what they are now I started appreciating the randomness of science.

That may sound a little confusing, so let me try and clear it up. I don’t know if you have ever heard the phrase, “science only comes so far, then there’s god”. Well, that idea is this premise that because things happen that we cannot explain with science (which I would argue the facts are closer to being not consistently 100% certain, then that science cannot explain something at all), this leads to the “obvious” conclusion that this is proof of a supernatural being. I want you to consider for a moment that while this idea works rather comfortably for scenarios such as “I got the job, even when there were 100 other applicants, that must have been god”, or “Yes! that parking spot opened up close to the door, and I am in a really big hurry, god knows what he is doing…”. On the other hand, sometimes we see things like a child contracting a rare illness, and dying. Or, we see a perfectly healthy individual with a promising future die suddenly from some tragic event. You see, I know that these rare events happen to the best people, but did you know they happen to the worst people as well? Guess what else? Good things happen to bad people, and good things happen to good people. I am an analytical, statistics kind of guy. I struggle with anxieties, and I often happen to casually look at the risk of contracting the flu for any given week during the peaks of the season, for an example. This is not healthy, and I do not recommend it, but it is something I do. The thing is, there is a sort of peace in knowing that there “ain’t shit I can do about it”, instead of thinking that there is some supernatural god in the sky that may or may not help me depending on my service, and worth to this god. Christians want you to believe that there is peace in knowing that in the midst of the chaos god has it all under control. Excuse me, but if this is “under control”, I don’t want to see “out of control”. The reality is, things are not “under control”. “Shit happens” is a much better analysis of life, and to me that gives much more proof to the randomness of science (which I do not find challenging), then to the mysteries of god.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

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

When the Locker Room is in the West Wing

“And we should get on to much more important things and much bigger things.” –Donald Trump, then GOP Nominee for President during the second Presidential Debate via New York Times transcript.

The 2016 election has long passed, and we are now almost a year into Donald Trumps Presidency that has been constantly marred by President Trumps tweets, outlandish statements and actions. No different were his days as a Presidential candidate though. The most bombshell statement came from President Trump during a 2005 Access Hollywood tape that everyone and their sister has heard by now, where Donald Trump is overheard making a comment about grabbing women by the “p****”. When this tape surfaced, Donald Trump, and unfortunately many other “men” defended these comments as “Locker room talk”.

When Donald Trump was asked about these comments during a Presidential Debate with CNN he claimed that he did not do these things (I hope not!), and then continually pivoted to other topics, ultimately making the claim, “And we should get on to much more important things and much bigger things.”, and in that moment many felt as though “locker room talk” and “more important things” apparently needed to be discussed. Until the #metoo movement of 2017, this has largely been how this country and the world really has responded to the sex problem of us men in society. There are currently 130 million girls not being educated, according to several sources, across the globe. This is, in large part, due to the view of women as second class citizens in almost every corner of our world. Whenever the man that admitted to making those claims is elected to be the President of the United States it sends an alarming message that we have more important things to talk about then the oppression, and objectification of women. Maybe to make this easier for some people I should say, the oppression and objectification of another human being is being dismissed as less important then other issues. Presently, leaders from across the world have made a commitment to have girls educated for a full 12 years by the year 2030. I personally find that to be a ridiculous timeline, this needs to happen much sooner. I recently read a story in TIME magazine by Malala Yousafzai, titled Who Runs the World? Girls!. This was a wonderful story about several young girls reality where they are practically traded through marriages, and removed or even never allowed to be formally educated. In America there is a long-held, deep understanding as women being “barefoot and pregnant”. There are still cultures here in America, particularly in the south, where women are encouraged to get married, have children, and be a homemaker. While, in some circumstances, this is genuinely what a woman wants, I would attribute this to manipulation then a woman’s actual choice. I personally do not think that a marriage certificate should be issued for anyone under the age of 21 at least (yes both individuals must be 21). I have no understanding why a woman, or man should be allowed to enter into a contractual obligation with another individual before they can have a drink of alcohol. Many in our country look at marriage as a binding institution that, outside of adultery (and some even question that), should never be dissolved. A woman’s role, in many societies, is to follow the leadership of her husband. This archaic teaching, combined with the access to marriages at a young age, leave women in this “first-world” country to be oppressed without even knowing it. I realize that many couples have a story of meeting at 18, or even in grade school, then marry at a young age, and die married. I do not doubt these stories one bit, however I feel like if they would have been required to wait until 21 to be married it would have made that outcome indifferent. Basically, if it was truly “meant to be” (another blog for another day), then waiting until 21 would have changed nothing. With most insurance companies for parents being willing to carry their children well into their 20’s, and to file on taxes, why does someone need to get married before they are 21? I believe, that removing that opportunity for a man to tie down a woman contractually (whether that is his mindset or not), would encourage women to pursue a career and/or education first. I truly believe that “knowledge is power”, and women are already remarkable without the access to education.

When it comes to the oppression and objectification of women, the easiest route to destroying this disease of men is access to upward mobility in careers, equal pay, and access to education. A woman needs to know that her body is not what is required to succeed, but her abilities, in the same way as a man. However, unfortunately right now in our society the way a woman is discussed, and treated shows that a woman’s body is all she has. While upward mobility, equal pay and education are pivotal in this culture changing; I know that without the “Billy Bush’s” (the Access Hollywood reporter that was heard laughing at Donald Trumps remarks) growing a spine, there will be slow progress. I have this crazy idea that there are more “Billy Bush’s” then there are “Donald Trumps”. I do not think that Donald Trumps comments are normal “locker room talk”. However, it is those of us who laugh at these comments, and dismiss them that are harming this progress. We have never said the things that Donald Trump stated, but we laughed at the statement from our “cooler” buddy, we kept quiet when the WORK e-mail (even the “af.mil” e-mail) that had pictures of barely clothed women came across our inbox, we shared in the stories of the women we had crazy sex with (even if they were most likely made up stories) to “fit-in”. No, we are not sexual predators, we are not rapist, we are not even disgusting men (as our talk makes us seem), we are worse then that, we are spineless men. We have to be willing to step up and speak out when women are treated this way, often without any women present when it is spoken (go figure). Are you willing to stunt your growth in a company by calling out your supervisor for making a sexist comment? Are you willing to risk being black-listed, demoted, given a low EPR (Enlisted Performance Report) when that Chief Master Sergeant makes that degrading comment about a woman Airman who just walked out of the room? Are you willing to allow your manhood to be questioned when you show disgust towards another man when he makes a comment such as “yea, I’d hit that”? Please explain to me how self-restraint is not a mature character? These “men” need to be called out. Women need to be given opportunities outside the strip clubs, the porn sites, and the kitchen! Donald Trump “men” need to be put in their place. Locker room talk needs to be removed from our culture. Unfortunately, the locker room has moved into the west wing of the White House. In 2020 we need to make a stand. I do not mean the women either, they can make their stand, and I know that they will. I am talking about all real men. We need to boot this disgusting animal from the oval office. He needs to move his locker room back to Trump Tower.

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker