USPS Fuck Fest

With a title like that, you know I’m going to be impartial, right?

Several weeks ago, I ordered a couple of minifigures from Hero Forge, an awesome new-ish company that lets you design minifigures through their website. I’ve been wanting some of these minifigures for a long time and finally decided to reward myself for putting up with all this bullshit in my life without murdering anyone yet. Little did I know the real treat I was in for as the delightful service of the United States motherfucking Postal Service promptly transported my goodies all the way from New York, home of the mighty Shapeways, up to the frozen, god-forsaken land of Alaska. I didn’t even know my parts had printed, let alone shipped. I was goofing around one Cyber Monday afternoon and decided to check Hero Forge to see if it had any deals. There being none, I felt satisfied in not waiting for my purchase and decided to explore what I could of their website out of boredom and the strong desire to not do my homework. Oh, look, I have an account page I wasn’t even aware of. Oh, look, order history, cool! OH, LOOK, IT’S SHIPPED AND THERE’S TRACKING!! OH, FUCKING LOOK, IT SUPPOSEDLY ALREADY ARRIVED BUT FUCKING USPS DEEMED MY HOUSE UNWORTHY OF DELIVERY AND SO THEY JUST SHIPPED IT BACK TO SENDER BY GROUND WITHOUT TRACKING SO THAT IT WILL TAKE FUCKING FOREVER FOR IT TO REACH THE SENDER BEFORE IT CAN MAKE ITS SLOW CRAWL BACK TO FUCKING ALASKA FROM NEW YORK!! FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!

So you may have noticed I’m a bit peeved. I ordered in time for my package to arrive before the craziness-of-everyone-trying-to-desperately-buy-love-from-people-by-sending-them-worthless-shit time. But now I’ll be lucky to get it this year. Or even at all. Because of a thing called UAA.

For those of you who don’t know what UAA is, just wait, it will probably happen to you too at some point, and then you too will get to experience the efficiency of the well-oiled machine that is our government postal service. UAA stands for Undeliverable as Addressed, which is a somewhat ambiguous phrase meaning, “Some little detail on your mail didn’t meet our criteria for us actually doing our jobs.” It can be anything from the legit reason of the address label getting so scraped up during transit it isn’t legible anymore to I didn’t feel good that day, so I didn’t want to do my job but still get paid anyway. Apparently. (I apologize to any of my readers who may be a mail carrier with the same enthusiasm I received from the customer service agents, yes, plural, that I talked to in the fruitless attempt to get answers.) The excuse I was given by the third person to try to appease me when I tried to get an answer for when the fuck can I expect my package to arrive was that I hadn’t declared that I lived there, so it’s actually my fault.

Uh, excuse me. . .? So why, then, is everyone else able to deliver to me except the USPS? Are you trying to tell me you delayed my package by another month for my “protection”? Yeah, I’m gonna call bullshit on that. And get this, the USPS wastes millions of dollars, nay, billions on UAAs. So not only do they get the satisfaction of fucking you over, they get the satisfaction of fucking themselves over. Oh, wait, but papa government can just give them more. So really, they’re just fucking us all over. Some of us twice.

You’d think if this was such a problem, they’d try to fix it. Like, maybe just change their policy so that they deliver things like how the private sector does? This was the first time I had a problem, and that’s because I’ve mainly received packages from FedEx and UPS. As soon as I try to get a package from USPS, everything falls to shit. If they had held my package even for a couple of days, I still would not have gone there in time, but I wouldn’t be so pissed off at them at least. And if they had decided to just contact the shipper who could have then contacted me, it would have saved so much time and money and I wouldn’t have felt the need to burn down every USPS within a 50 mile radius of me.

So really what I’m saying is, it isn’t my fault all those people were cremated alive. Not only should I be released immediately, but I should also have my package found, probably somewhere in Illinois or some such, and it should be flown in by helicopter to my address and placed gently into my waiting, eager hands by Megan Brennan. That isn’t too much to ask, I think.

Rant on Education

I am a testament to the inadequacy of the education system, on multiple levels. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, concentration in Aerospace, minor in Mathematics. Sounds impressive all together, doesn’t it? And yet, what do I know of a car engine? Ventilation? Air foil design? Very little. And it isn’t even because I forgot about it; I was never taught it. Perhaps it is my school, which isn’t a prestigious one by any means. But my school is accredited. My degree actually means something to someone.

And here I am, back in the system working on my Master’s degree. I know how the system is complete bullshit, and yet. . . here I am. Here’s the secret to being an engineering student: make good friends with your colleagues, do your homework, memorize what you need to, pass the tests, and then dump all the information. Repeat every semester for every class, and boom! You’re crossing a stage in front of thousands of people, grabbing an empty, fancy folder, shaking hands, wondering what the hell happened to those 4+ years of your life, your head only a little fuller than it was before you poured time and money into this thing called higher education.

Our high schools, middle schools, hell even elementary schools cram it down our throats that we need to go to college. Going to college will guarantee us a job. Going to college is worth the cost, no matter what degree you get. Just go to college and your future will be secure or you’ll figure out your life or you’ll at least meet new people who will stick with you for the rest of your life. Why is that? What does college give us? I can tell you one thing it guarantees: money out of our hands. If you have no idea what you’re going to do with your life, the last thing you should do is commit to going to college. Find a shitty job, work, earn money, pay rent.

College can teach you a lot of things, it’s true; and some of those things can even get you lai- I mean, paid. But is it worth it? Depending on what you want to do, maybe, but probably not. It will suck up your money and time and leave you questioning your purpose every day if my experience is the norm, and in the end, all you have to show for it is a piece of paper that says you know how to jump through hoops and hop when an authority figure says frog. It doesn’t mean you’ll know how to do the things your degree implies you should know how to do.

The standards are low for teachers, at least in my department at my university. Only a select few know how to teach in an effective manner and convey information in a way as to promote learning. The testing methods are laughable. I was never really taught the principles of subjects; just memorize this equation, use this method when this key word appears. But perhaps I simply don’t have the mind for it, in which case the system should reveal that. It should be something I have to overcome in order to succeed. As it is, I can surpass those who know the material far better than myself because I know how to test. I know how to jump through hoops, how to hop when an authority figure says frog.

I know how to bullshit. And that’s all my college experience has ever been. Bullshit. Do I regret it? No. Would I recommend it? Hell no.

Featured image from Faustin Tuyambaze of Unsplash.com

~I mean, come on, the more people getting college degrees, the more competition everyone else has for job hunting. The college degree has been watered down to shit. Why aren’t skilled labor careers suggested?~

Rant About Coworkers: Engineering Sexism?

I believed for quite some time that there wasn’t really sexism in the workplace, at least not in the type of workplace I sought, which was one of educated people. But now I’ve come to realize that it truly does exist even here and that I’ve just been fortunate enough or ignorant enough to not see it directly. I have noticed now, however, and it simultaneously pisses me off and depresses me. And I’m usually already halfway to depression in any given circumstance anyway.

The first time I thought someone was sexist against me was when I was taking a mechanical engineering class that involved using the machine shop. The instructors would not let me nor my roommate, who happened to be in the same class and lab as me, use most of the machines because they thought our hair would get tangled in something and would then proceed to wrap around our throats and strangle us. My roommate’s hair didn’t even brush her shoulders, and I kept my hair in a bun or tucked inside my shirt. It took me a few months of being allowed to only use the CNC machine to realize I was being discriminated against, but even then I thought, well, maybe they really are just concerned for my well-being. And that was that. I went through the entire lab using only two machines deemed simple enough for us lady folk, and didn’t say a word of complaint. The instructors were old men whom I thought were cool and knowledgeable and well-intentioned, so I shrugged it off and moved along my way.

I graduated with my bachelor’s in mechanical engineering (emphasis in aerospace, minor in math, yada yada yada), and got a job working for the university as a 3D CAD designer of mechanical payload integration for unmanned aerial systems. In this department, I was treated with far more respect and trust than I gave myself. I was majorly underpaid, but so was everyone else and I was in no delusion that I was receiving less than my male counterparts. I was badgered daily by my supervisor to go to grad school and even slightly had my job threatened, although I doubt he really thought that was what he was doing, and so eventually I caved and went to grad school.

The first semester I took a class taught by my supervisor, and it was there I would experience my first taste of what I’ve come to realize is true sexism. It wasn’t in my face. It wasn’t blatant. It wasn’t harsh. It was subtle to the point where I didn’t realize it until I was ranting to a colleague about how I was being treated. It clicked then.

The class was to design and produce two unmanned aerial vehicles from two different frames, the DJI S900 and the Lockheed Martin Stalker, both of which my previous employer had in its possession. These systems were in the inventory for a long time and unusable simply because they were carcasses without the guts, and our class was tasked with putting working guts in it. I was one of two mechanical engineers; the rest were electrical. I was also one of two females (the other female was electrical). I knew a lot about 3D design and 3D printing at this point, and the professor really talked me up to the class. And yet, when they assigned me a task and I completed it to their specifications, time and time again they would ignore what I had to say and instead listened to the other (male) mechanical engineer. I put off believing it was a sexist response for quite some time, wondering if perhaps I didn’t sound as confident or if maybe the other guy was right. I questioned myself constantly until finally, near the end of the semester, I couldn’t take it.

And I bitched to a colleague. Oh, how I bitched. I had to show him several emails before I sent them to make sure I wasn’t being bitchy to those who truly deserved it, to make sure I wasn’t being passive aggressive, and to make sure I wasn’t making an ass of myself. And then he pointed it out: dude, they’re being sexist against you. I wasn’t surprised. I had thought about it but held back the accusation because I don’t like the “bigot” card being flung about, but he got me thinking that yeah, maybe they truly were. And that made me realize that sexism does in fact exist in these situations; they’re just so much more subtle than I thought.

But here’s the kicker: were they actually being sexist? That question still rings through me, every time something like this comes up. They certainly didn’t seem to intend that I get put down, in spite of the fact that they did it continually throughout the course of the semester to the point where I would have dropped the class had the period to do so not have already passed. But maybe if I had spoken up about how their actions were perceived by me, it would have stopped immediately. I don’t accuse someone of being sexist lightly.

The school year passed, and now I’m working for the same department in the summer, working on my Master’s project. We have weekly meetings, and many of those who were in that class are also now working for this department and also attend these meetings. One of the motherfuckers, that other mechanical engineer everyone paid heed to instead of the one who was endorsed by the professor himself, explained to me how I should take length measurements in one of those weekly meetings. Length measurements. Like the kind you use a ruler for. Apparently, I’m not competent enough, with my Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree (which he has yet to finish), to measure how long something is. I nodded along with a grin and a laugh, thinking this is a joke, right. It has to be. And then another guy chimed in some suggestions. And another. My grin faded. Cool. Thanks, guys. Glad for your support. There’s no way I could have figured out how to use a measuring tape. Another thing of note in these meetings is that everyone shuts the fuck up when other people are talking. Well, unless that person is me, in which case I guess it’s protocol to interrupt and tell me how I should have done things. I consider myself lucky when I can just go through my information and no one says a word and we move on.

I realized today that I want out. But I set up my own rules for doing this grad school thing, and that was that as long as it is financially feasible to do so, I will, and I will not drop out for any other reason. August is coming up, and with it the news of whether or not this next semester is feasible. I used to hope that I would get a TA or RA position and be able to continue forward as before, but now I’m thinking quite the opposite.

What makes it worse is that the reason this has become a problem today is because a different mechanical engineer who also doesn’t have his bachelor’s at this time gave me advice on how to improve one of my 3D printed parts. But this MechE I respect and believe he has a good understanding about how this all works. He’s better at CAD software and 3D printing than I am, and I’ll be the first to admit it. But the fact that I have constantly been doubted this whole time has made me immediately resent criticism, even if it’s helpful. My first reaction is now rage and I have to calm myself before I say something shitty and make a fool of myself and hurt someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Were all or any of these instances of sexism? Maybe. It’s still hard for me to say for sure when something like this is sexist. I think men are often taken advantage of because of the cry of sexism, and I would hate to add to it. I do, however, believe I have been wronged, though I doubt they meant anything by it. I’m frustrated with myself that my first reaction would be the desire to give up or lash out, but I am encouraged that I have enough personal insight to see these short comings and try to work against or around them. I’m sure few could say the same.

Captain America: Illogical Arguments

I watched Captain America: Civil War this last weekend, and for the most part it’s what you’d expect in a film adaptation of comic book superheroes. The movie was entertaining, but there were several things about it that bugged me (heh heh, well, besides Antman and Spiderman). These issues were what made the movie work, and so I can’t fault it too much. I guess.

And here it is: misplaced guilt and illogical arguments. This was throughout the movie and was a basis for the split between Captain America and Ironman. A bad guy with a grenade tries to blow himself and a hero up in a crowd, another hero steps in to save the first and the crowd. . . only to blow up part of a building resulting in different people dying. So that means that second hero is responsible for those deaths, according to the movie.

Wait, what? So the hero is the one who killed the bystanders and not THE GUY WITH THE GRENADE?! The hero made a snap judgement that resulted in those in the surrounding area surviving, including the two heroes who will continue to save the world another day. Could the hero have changed the trajectory and saved everyone? Maybe, but there was only a second, if that, to respond.

And this illogical argument is seen repeatedly throughout the movie. Remember the last Avengers movie when the bad guys lifted a huge hunk of earth and that crashed down on a bunch of people when the Avengers ruined the bad guy’s plan? According to this movie, it was the Avengers’ fault all those people died, not the bad guys who, you know, caused the hunk to fly around in the first place.

And perhaps what irks me most is that this misplaced blame leads to the Avengers agreeing to be under government control. Because no government has ever killed anyone before or made any horrid mistakes. . .

A more minor thing that would bug me is that Ironman is the one to agree with it fully and immediately. Ironman, the guy who told the government to piss off, those were his super suits. I can forgive this so long as it isn’t an oversight and is intentional, demonstrating Ironman’s change in character, but it’s hard to determine if it was a mistake or if the creators are actually developing the character. It would make sense to me for Ironman to stick with the decision to the end out of stubbornness due to his ego, but I need that reassurance that he would have made the initial call. . . which the movie provides. The movie built up on this a bit, using that misplaced blame to guilt him into it. I would hope an alleged genius could see through the illogic, but again, I can forgive this because of Ironman’s arrogance. Due to that, he might see the results as his fault because he thinks he could have prevented it. Consider me appeased.

What I can’t forgive is Vision following the same fallacy. Vision should think logically, like a computer. The fact that he also misplaces the blame for these events onto the Avengers really irks me. I understand his actions for trying to help one of the heroes by not letting her leave because he is concerned more for her public image and her own acceptance than because he thinks she’ll go out and kill more people (even though that’s the just of what he said to try to get her to stay), but he still supports the argument that the Avengers should have supervision (heh, superVision. . .) because of all the people they “killed.”

Overall, it was a fun movie and I’m glad I saw it. I just wish one character would have stood up and said, “You guys are all as egotistical as Stark if you think all these deaths are your faults.” Nobody asks, “What would have been the alternative if the Avengers hadn’t taken action?”

Featured image ripped off from the vast expanse of the interwebs

About Religion

Since this blog is relatively brand spankin’ new, none of you know about my personal beliefs. In a professional sense, that is perfectly fine, but as I’m writing here in part to rant about certain things and to hopefully provide some insights to those seeking answers, to those who have been where I have been and need to know that they are not alone in their struggles, I feel it is necessary to write about something that was once a big part of my life, and that involves religion. More specifically Christianity.

Now before you run away, know that I’m not here to convert you. Quite the opposite. I grew up in a religious household, but I’m far from that now. My parents are uninformed about my current view of life, and if luck holds out, they always will be in the dark. Or at least, I’ll try to maintain the illusion until they move out of state and I’m ready to be disowned just in case that is their reaction. If you face this same dilemma, I feel for you. I wish I was more courageous and capable of just telling them and then washing my hands clean, but we know what happened to the guy in that story and I’m too sensitive to be villainized just yet.

Growing up, I was deeply embedded in the Christian religion and surrounded by friends and family who were all Christian. I thought it was right and true and everything one could hope for and that I would strive to be the best Christ-like person I could. And then I moved away from most of my friends and family, moving thousands of miles away with my parents and sister. The initial response from being yanked from all my close connections was to “draw closer to God,” so reading the Bible and praying and shit. I tried to maintain those connections through email discussions of passages and such, but they all slowly withered away, as many long-distance relationships do. That was the first sign, one I didn’t even notice, that indicated a fork in the road of life coming up. (Yes, cliched, I know.)

My immediate family found a new church in our new hometown to attend. I was ignored by the other teens there, which I initially didn’t mind because I don’t necessarily like a bunch of attention at once. But it gradually gnawed at me that these twits wouldn’t invite me to their Christian-y events and excluded me in conversations and left me out of their hangout circles during little breaks in church activities. This lack of connectivity to Christian peers in my age group led to me withdrawing slightly. Even then, I was embedded enough I wouldn’t slip out of the Christian ranks, however.

And then college happened. I left the influence of my immediate family, the only thing keeping me tied to the Church. At that point, I was aware of how much I had backed away from Christianity. Granted, I was saddened by the fact and wanted nothing less than to find my way back to the “straight and narrow.” I found a church in the city the college is in and attended regularly for another several months.

Finally, it hit me. The services weren’t doing anything for me, and I had to wake up earlier and drive out to go to them. I no longer firmly believed in what I was being told in church and in fact disagreed with common Christian views on some subjects. I made friends who were non-Christians who shared their perspectives on issues, and I agreed more and more with what they had to say.

So, I stopped going to Church, initially out of laziness and then out of the realization that I didn’t share their beliefs. Why go? It would only be a waste of my time.

I didn’t realize I made a choice at the fork of the road at that point. It took me several months before I realized the surrounding changed. I was actually watching a video of a guy called Mr Repzion when I realized that I could not consider myself a Christian anymore.

So, that’s the setup. Now here’s the dilemma: my parents. They’re concerned about my lack of church attendance and view it as a reason to pray for me. God dammit… I used to feel gratitude when hearing someone say that they were praying for me, but now I cringe inside. I now thoroughly dislike hearing about Jesus and about the Bible and about sin. Unless it’s discussed with an open mind by people who don’t act like they have a stick up their ass and not someone who is trying to “bring me back into the flock” because they “fear for my soul.” I don’t mind an open-minded discussion and in fact can enjoy it since I have that background knowledge of the Bible combined with the dissatisfaction of growing up with ignorance-encouraging, close-minded, preachy Bible-thumpers I call family.

Do I tell them I’m not Christian anymore, or do I wait until I’m in a different state and not dependent on their hospitality? I don’t know how much longer I can fake still being a Christian for the sake of avoiding the chaos that will ensue after I announce I’m now agnostic. A part of me believes I shouldn’t pretend to be something that I’m not, but I really don’t want to deal with the reaction to my announcement just yet. I wish I could believe the best of my parents, but I can’t. I just know they’ll try to bring me “back to the light.” I think only shock therapy or a lobotomy could put me in the condition in which bringing me back would be possible. But that doesn’t stop them from trying.

I still have strained relations with my mother, who is freaking out that I stopped going to church. She’s afraid that I’m turning my back on Christianity. Which I am, in essence, and here’s why:

The Catholic Church decided which accounts of men would be bound together under the title “Holy Bible.” These were accounts written in Hebrew, ancient Greek, Arabic, and possibly other languages originally, then translated into Latin for the priests and clergy. From what the Catholics chose, Martin Luther translated into the vernacular, the common tongue, so that non-clergymen could understand it themselves. And from there, it was translated into other languages, such as English. The English monarchy chose how it was to be translated; King James I took the Bible and gave his translators instructions so that his version would conform to the Church of England’s views. The language itself changed into what it is today, resulting in more and more “modern” translations of the Bible.

Therefore, you (here “you” will refer to Christians, not “you” as in audience, unless you are, in fact, Christian audience members, in which case that is merely coincidence… or not, considering my tags) place your faith in men. It was by Man’s hand that the words were initially recorded, by Man’s knowledge that those words were then translated, and by Man’s volition that those groups of words appear to Christians in their text.

But Christians (at least the ones I know) will argue that the Holy Bible is God’s Word. They will say they place their faith in God that the Bible is His Word, not Man. They won’t see all the places men could have stumbled in the delivery; they’ll claim the package is not damaged without even rattling the box, let alone opening it. God wouldn’t let “His Word” be misrepresented, right?

If you make the assumption that there is a god, even if you assume that the Christian God is the one true God, there are still issues to address about the Bible. Doesn’t God “work in mysterious ways”? If God allows some people to die but others to live, with no reasoning that we can make out, who’s to say He won’t act differently than what people assume? God didn’t strike Hitler down to stop the Holocaust; who knows His every plan? He allowed the Mormons their Book, He didn’t stop the Qur’an from being recorded, and He didn’t strike down the creators of the Tipitaka. Who’s to say this “Holy Bible” isn’t just another?

It’s great that people believe in things that help them get through life with hope in a satisfying future and less stress. But people shouldn’t look down on or “fear” for others just because they don’t hold the same beliefs. Maybe there is a God, and He just doesn’t want to see His “children” squabbling. Maybe He’s waiting until we can all live in peace, and then He’ll reward us. Maybe there is no god and religious bickering and fighting is completely and utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things. Maybe one religion has it right and the rest of the world is screwed, but how do we know which one it is? In any case, we should be tolerant of each other, assuming that one’s religious beliefs and practices are not disruptive or harmful to our fellow living organisms, especially humans.

This is what I would like to see out of everyone: holding to your own beliefs without trying to stuff them in other people’s faces and down their throats. Live your life the way you believe is good and right, question everything you are told and taught, don’t try to “convert” people. If your way of living is so great, people will ask about it and then you can tell them. Otherwise, don’t be pushy and claim your way is right and everyone else is wrong. Don’t be AFRAID for someone you think is going to hell. That means you believe firmly that they are wrong and you are right. This is basically what my mom has said to me, that she is afraid for my soul in the same way that she is afraid for someone’s life if they smoke. That analogy blows (couldn’t help myself). That is saying that since you don’t believe exactly what I believe, you’re going to hell. Unfortunately, that basically sums up all religion.

That’s basically religion’s goal from my perspective, to convert you from your current set of beliefs into another and then maintain its hold on you until you die. If you are a part of any other religion besides whatever THIS religion is, you’re wrong and will pay for your blatant ignorance. But then there’s a different sense to the label “religion,” isn’t there? In my mind, there are the Religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Pagan, Shinto, etc.), the groups of accepted beliefs with a following, and then there are religions, what an individual believes. I know, that isn’t exactly the definition. You’d say that those are just a person’s set of beliefs that perhaps do not have a convenient label on them, but it’s much easier to just slap the term of “personal religion” than that explanation. Everyone has a personal religion, even atheists. Now, I know many Christians believe that atheism is a religion itself, but really it isn’t. It is merely the rejection of a specific religious concept that there is a god in existence based on the lack of evidence for such a claim. It isn’t so much of a belief as a disbelief. Anyway, the point of introducing the idea of a personal religion is this: while Religion’s goal is to convert you to whatever you aren’t, personal religion’s goal should always be to find the truth of things. Religion is arrogant, fundamentally fundamentalist. Personal religion should be humble and eager to question and learn and seek out and ponder, confident in the truths it has found but willing to admit such perceived truths as false if given clear evidence. This is a dangerous thought and is discouraged in almost every church I’ve ever stepped into. They like to degrade it, calling it a convenient “buffet” style of religion. Bah! I have nothing positive to say to that, so I won’t.

And more than just religion, we shouldn’t assume that our views in general are so much better than someone else’s, at the very least until we’ve heard them out on why they see things the way they do. Take, for instance, one’s outlook on life. Here’s a link to an article written by a religious person on fatalism. And here are my problems with what she has to say:

I don’t see why the writer has such a negative view toward fatalism. Sure, fatalism isn’t a great outlook on life since it usually involves self-fulfilling prophecy. But do you trash pessimism? Is optimism the only way anyone can think? Is someone somehow less than you if they think that whatever happens will happen? I myself have been accused of being a fatalist because I’ve said similar things. I don’t really consider myself a fatalist; however, in case that’s what I actually am, I’ll let you in on my views of life.

We each try our hardest. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. Can we do better than our best? We can strive to improve and progress, and our best becomes better, but at any given moment there is a limit for our own efforts. So by saying, “Whatever will be, will be” someone like me is simply stating, “I have done what I can. The situation is out of my hands now, and I’m choosing not to stress about it.” That’s one of the best things about praying is that you don’t have to worry about it, whatever “it” is, anymore. So if someone finds comfort in such an outlook, why do you have to attack that?

And it’s hardly right to say to someone who has suffered, “You have suffered for no reason. God just let it happen. He could have stopped it, but he didn’t, and there was no divine reason for it.” If they can deal with their past because they believe that there was a reason it happened to them and that they are stronger now because of it, why deprive them of that? Why take away someone’s method of coping with the crap they’ve gone through?

Also, pagans are a specific type of people, not necessarily all non-Christians… The Catholic church did much to make the word “pagan” associated with evil, but pagan is just another label for someone who has a certain set of beliefs.

Also, karma doesn’t have to be directly tied to Buddhism or Hinduism, though it has its origins from them. I believe in karma, but I’m not from either religion. Karma can simply be the belief that someone who does wrong will be punished and someone who does right will be rewarded. “What comes around goes around,” “you reap what you sow,” etc. Even if you are Christian and the “blood of Christ covers your sin,” if you do wrong, there will be consequences to your well-being, even if it’s very slight, like feeling guilty. I don’t see how such a belief is bad for someone to have.

And as for Christianity being “tainted” by different beliefs, OF COURSE it is. Srsly? Do you not know your own religion’s history? (to the author) Well, I suppose that is to be expected.

Well, that was really long so I’ll end it here. I’m just sick of all the religious bullshit I have to go through because of my oppressive, religious family. I know I’m not the only one who has to deal with things like this, and so if you’re going through it too and are reading this, good luck, I wish you the best. Courage to you to do what is best for you. I sometimes wonder if I’m only being cowardly by not telling my parents… but I’d like to think it’s more out of laziness and convenience.