Monday, March 25, 2013

I really need to aspire to be more like Carl Sagan.

In my defense I am much, much better at not picking fights and trashing people's belief systems.

When I was younger I once sent a young newly "reborn" Christian college student fleeing from my dorm room in tears and sent a Catholic priest on a three day drinking binge.

However I do recognize that I can sometimes be more than just a little condescending in my discussions about religion and that it may turn some people off from hearing the truth.

Wait, did I just do it again?


  1. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Your path is true and your quest is righteous, my friend.

  2. angela2:13 AM


  3. Wow, I wish I had that skill. Putting someone down with grace and integrity. I am going to memorize this for my next in-law encounter.

  4. Sally in MI3:29 AM

    I love the last line "None of us comes fully equipped." Some of us are just closer than others. And, yes, I too have become far less kind in the past five years (golly, who entered my consciousness in August 2008?) Let's try kindness.

  5. Anonymous3:37 AM

    I'm with you on this, Gryph. Keep feeding pablum/kindness to people and they never develop teeth to chew on their own.

  6. Anonymous5:44 AM

    Many of them don't allow us the same consideration Gryphen. They get to sit on the right hand of God and judge our worthiness with their ugly, hypocritical superiority complex.

    So, no, can't say I'm going to agree with Dr. Sagan here, though it is a decent sentiment.

  7. Beldar J. Conehead7:46 AM

    "sent a Catholic priest on a three day drinking binge."

    Gryphen, are you SURE that was your doing? How do you know he hadn't had that bender carefully planned out well in advance of talking with you?

    1. That is one of my proudest moments.

      Don't ruin it for me.

    2. I once asked a priest if he believed in the efficacy of prayer. He was drinking coffee at the time, and exhaled in laughter so hard, he sprayed it all over me.

      One of MY proudest moments!

  8. Gryphen,

    Maybe one day you could post the stories of the college student and the priest.

    I would love to hear about those!

  9. Leland9:32 AM

    Since the first instance of my seriously questioning any and all religion, I have tried to present my thoughts and ideas as clearly and decently and politely as possible. Only when laughed at or attacked (mostly attacked!) did I refuse to turn the other cheek and refuse to accept their childish and ignorant arguments - almost ALL of which were biblical. In other words, the assholes were even too stupid to recognize that saying the bible is the TOTAL answer as its own proof is just plain closed loop philosophy which would collapse without people holding it up with their ignorance.

    To get back to my intent and away from a rant, I treat people as I wish to be treated and only when they begin to ridicule and attack (sometimes literally) did I (do I) stop being nice.

    Only those who honestly treat people with respect deserve to be treated with respect. So I treat people with respect - until they show their foul plumage.

  10. Carl Sagan felt most fully equipped to explore faith, art, sex, the meaning of life, and so on, while stoned. He waxed religious under the influence of weed, and shared his thoughts on the topic using the unimaginative pseudonym "Mr. X." It's worth reading.

  11. Anita Winecooler1:49 PM

    A three day drinking jag? Damn, Gryphen, you're good!

  12. emrysa6:51 PM

    it is a good thing to recognize, gryphen, atleast you are conscious of it. there are some topics where it is quite challenging to not sound condescending, and religion is certainly one of them. I've become much quieter than I used to be about certain topics for the same reason. if people feel like someone is being condescending, they will never hear the message that is intended. that said, it is also important to push the envelope when appropriate. sagan's quote is a good thing to keep in mind when presenting one's position on issues.


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