Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

My error, revisited

I’m going to talk more about me/my wife/sex/honesty/feelings etc. My point in this is not just to write for therapeutic value, though I do find it therapeutic. I am opening my life up here to tell my friends and family (as well as anyone else) what its like to deal with issues of personal failure without Christianity.

It’s not, in retrospect, quite as serious as the previous post made it sound. I do dumb, hurtful stuff sometimes. I have conversations that I shouldn’t, and sometimes the things said mean more to me than they really ought too. Becky is aware of this, and since it is such a problem for me, I told her about it when we were dating, least it surprise her at some point in the future.

I was pretty upset when I wrote the previous post, and I hadn’t had the time to process precisely why I was so upset. It’s taken me a bit to figure out why I was disappointed with myself. I’m not disappointed with myself for having the feelings. I’m not even disappointed in myself for the action I took. In a different context, it wouldn’t have even been a big deal.

What bothers me is the context. Had I sat down with Becky and said, “You know I am stressed out and the only thing I know that numbs that feeling is macking on girls I can’t sleep with.” she probably would have said something a lot like this.

“Honey, I think that is a really stupid idea. I think its a terrible precedent to set, and I am concerned about your emotional health if that’s how you feel. I’m not going to forbid you to. We don’t forbid each other. You’re smart enough to cover your rear and not get caught, if you choose to anyway. I am really uncomfortable with it and if you do it, there will be some consequence to us.”

What bothers me is not how I felt. What bothers me is not what I did. What bothers me is the underhandedness of it. I have the coolest wife in the world. I could have done this in a context of total honesty, but I choose not too. My failure here was not an issue of sin. It’s not about feeling bad, or how I did this because I don’t have Jesus. (I did stupid, hurtful things when I “had” Jesus too). The point is understanding my failure so I can not do it in the future.

Now, let me clarify here, what I did was not right, it was wrong. But instead of just instead of having done wrong honestly (which is bad) I did wrong underhandedly, which is worse. The best thing would pretty obviously been to not have done it in the first place.

I guess more than anything, I must say to my Christian friends, I still have a conscience. Growing up a fundamentalist (and darn near a christo-fascist) I thought the only thing that makes people do good things was the holy spirit. I believed that if I didn’t have the holy spirit I would go on a horrible, sexual, and violent rampage. My urges would master me and I would die slowly and painfully of venereal disease, alone in a Chilean prison. Turns out, not so much.

In this case, I did something really dumb. I talked all sexy with a friend of mine. According to normal Christian, Dobsonite thought, as a atheist/deist sort a guy I should have no reason not do anything that feels good. So I talked all sexy with my friend and it felt really good. And you know how I felt 3 minutes afterward? Like shit. And you know how I felt when I told my wife? Like shit. And you know how I’ve felt when ever I thought of betraying my wife’s trust like that again? Like shit.

So it turns out that treating my wife badly, even in a very passive and not-so-quantifiable way makes me feel really bad. The friendship is now somewhat awkward for the three of us, and will be for awhile. The cost to benefit ratio on this is totally not favoring doing this again.

Like I said I did things like this when I made a big noise about being a Christian too. My character, never changed by Christianity, is not especially different NOT believing in a personal relating to me God. What is different, is that for the last couple days I have felt dirty, and lame instead of suicidal and despondent.

Even with setbacks like this, life not believing in a personal god who can magically solve my problems continues to be richer and better than life believing in a personal God who could rescue me when I sought Him.

September 18, 2008 - Posted by | Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. Excellent! Thanks for sharing all this. If you don’t mind, I may link to it sometime in the near future.

    Comment by Lottie | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. Link away!

    Comment by truthwalker | September 19, 2008 | Reply

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