Category: Religion

I work in a downtown area. our city is plagued with issues regarding drug use. Meth specifically is the biggest local problem. The church behind my office has always attempted to do something. they are always doing some kind of community involvement.  Soup Kitchens, donations, fundraisers etc. Last year when Trump basically declared war on the Islamic faith there were a few mosques in the area that got bomb threats. This church (which is Methodist) opened its doors to those people to come to pray at their building so they had a safe place to worship.  They really seem to understand that the community is super important to a healthy city.

About 18 months ago, they took this to a new level. They started offering rehabilitation for people who are struggling with drug addiction.  The result for the rest of us has been mixed. on one hand, they are doing a good thing on the other hand, it’s brought a mixture of desperate and out of sorts of people. We’ve had car break-ins, peoples gas siphoned and a various number of other issues. Among those is yelling, sometimes they are yelling at others, but often, they are not yelling at anyone. usually, this lasts 30 seconds to a couple of minutes and it stops.

This started happening with increased frequency. We learned to ignore it.

One day I heard it start up about 10:00 am I brushed it off and kept working. until 20 minutes later I realized it was still going on. I left my desk and walked to my back door where I could see a man and a woman fighting they started throwing things at each other. I went to pull out my phone to record it because it was escalating, and as soon as I pulled my phone in my pocket that man cold clocked the woman. Sent her to the ground. I started recording and he walked off and she continued to throw things.

Now some people would get angry at me for not intervening at this point instead of recording it. the fact of that matter is I attempted once to help one of these people who had knocked their shopping cart over and she hit me with a stick. Last summer some random dude who I was going out of my way avoid because he looked high as a kite. Despite my going completely off the sidewalk and on to the grass. stepped in front of me and head-butted me.  I don’t like seeing people hurt, but I’m no longer going to go out of my way to help someone at the potential cost of my own physical safety.

At this point, the staff at the church showed up to help the woman. I called the police and spoke to someone. Because he’s a resident homeless and there’s no way to find this man, they sent me a form via email for the report. I filled it out and emailed them the video footage.

A couple of hours later I go outside and in the church parking lot, I see an ambulance, a rescue paramedic truck, and a police car. The guy from earlier had come back and knocked someone out cold.  I approached the closest officer told him what I saw earlier showed him the footage gave him the police report. They arrested him.

I re-enter the building when one member of the staff approaches me quite excited and says “Hey! you missed all of the fun!”

“You mean the police outside? I didn’t miss anything, I just talked to them?”

“No!” she said “The naked lady in the lobby!”


The story she told me… only seems to fit on a day where everything has gone nuts.  a woman walked in. went into the lady’s restroom stripped completely naked, and ran into the lobby, naked, and was screaming that the bathroom was trying to drown her.

I’m rather glad I missed that.

But it’s not over yet.

A few hours later. I again found myself outside waiting for a car repairment to come out While I was standing there. I saw two guys yelling and swinging their fists at each other, neither of them was the same man from earlier. they were missing each other by 6 inches to a foot. I cringed inside, it lasted another 20-40 seconds, then they screamed profanities at each other and walked away. I breathed deeply. I didn’t want to have yet another police involvement today.

I’m still not done.

The guy showed up, did the car thing. Left. I went inside to gather my things came back out to see a barefoot man wearing only his tighty-whities and a torn white beater screaming about how something is trying to eat him.

I went home and resolved to not go anywhere for the rest of the night.

Crazy people be lurking about.


To start with, I really don’t know how many of these I will do.  But these are the some of the reasons, in detail, why I left the church.

I think part of this is was helped along by the fact that I have a very severe learning disorder. That I mostly didn’t get a hold on until well into my 30’s. I was ranked really high in some of the worst cases of ADD that the Doctor had seen at the time.  This diagnoses came to me in first grade, although I didn’t fully understand the statement. At least not until I pulled my medical records when I got cancer. I wasn’t just an audio learner, or even a visual one, I learn best by doing.  Ideally, I need all three. And being an 8 year old in the church who at the time was child number 3 of 5 in the house with a learning disability didn’t help matters. My mom tells me that she was at her wits end, she had 4 children under the age of 5 she almost lost it. I remember when both of my youngest two sisters were born.  I Remember being very angry that Pauline was a girl. I didn’t want another sister, I wanted a brother. because at least then maybe I’d have someone to play with. I already felt excluded in a house full of girls. When my youngest sibling was born, and was also a girl. I just kind of rolled my eyes. Figured I was cursed.

I knew I was different from my classmates, I was excluded from school events with my peers in first grade. no one wanted to sit next to me, I was bullied in subtext by being told that I Wasn’t cool enough to hang out with others. My mom said that I was “One cool dude”. But because I was being told by everyone else that I was a terrible person, I knew that I couldn’t’ believe her. I just figured it was the little lies that parents tell their kids to help make them feel better, like Santa Clause. This was how I was treated at school, you’d think an 8 year old would be treated better at church. Nope I wasn’t, because it was the same kids who were doing it. We lived across the street from a family full of boys who were bullies. They’d chase me and throw rocks at me. One of them shot me in the back with an overpowered BB Gun. He put a BB in my back that stayed there for a week before I told my mom, because I didn’t want to get blamed.  Because beyond my ability to understand how, but somehow, it would be my fault. Everything bad at school that happened was my fault, everything bad that happened  to other people at church was my fault. I knew this because I was told this, when I said I didn’t have anything to do with it, I was told that I was stupid for trying to hide it. and they’d concoct some kind of lie that no matter how many times I would say that I didn’t do it. I got yelled at for it. It went so far as to be a game to the people I went to school with. There was one night when I was high school I had jumped ship to get out of my house and got on some weekend evening. I got on my bike and just rode, I didn’t care where I went,  I did it to just leave, to just get out. Some kid, who was a bully to me in school saw me and started chasing me.  We will call this kid Jarrod. When he got close enough that he could kick me. he did. but he didn’t just kick me, he kicked me while I was riding, then turned around and ran over my arm. Told me that I had been talking shit about him to someone else.  The person in question I was afraid of, terrified actually. I wouldn’t talk to him.  Jarrod then punched me in the face and told me next time he’d hurt me. To which I said nothing. I learned quickly that fighting back made things worse.  This event was one of many that ended up with me telling my mom. My mom went into the school and talked to the school about it. This act, while it she was trying to make things better for me, had the exact reverse effect. This made things worse, much much worse, they were just better at hiding it so they couldn’t get caught. This was the first time when I realized that people were picking on me, because I was different, I was their punching bag of an easy target. But come Sunday mornings, I’d hear theses kids who tortured me, be praised about how much god has blessed them.  I couldn’t believe my ears, God blessed them. They were great children, both at home and at school and they were talked about as if they were the noblest of the most noble.  No, they were abusers, they were assholes, and I loathed all of them.

When I was 8 years old I went into for my baptism interview.  I remember being talked up how important it was, and that I was going to be quizzed by the bishop about what I believed. Quizzed? I didn’t know what that meant, nor did I understand what I was supposed to do. but for once I wanted to feel like I had done something right by someone. I remember sitting in this man’s very cold Cinder block painted pink office. He seemed really old to me,  I thought that he must have been a man of god because how was he still alive? he must have been over a hundred years old. I remember very clearly behind scared out of my mind. I remember being asked questions and thinking that I didn’t understand what he was asking, nor did I understand what it meant. But I knew, knew from years of being told how much of an honor it was to be one of gods chosen, that I had to pass this. Because it would mean that I was doing something right, and maybe for once I could do something right. So I did exactly what I thought he wanted to hear. Because that sounds like the right thing, like the right set of answers. I remember leaving his office and having him tell my mom that I did very well and I’d “passed”. My mom was beaming, it was a huge relief to me.  The only thing I got out of the experience is that, I would be perfect and all of my past sins would be washed away.  I remember the day that it happened.  My grandparents  stopped by and we had dinner outside.  And for some reason the power went out, I thought that part was awesome. that was a best part. I remember thinking that I could go to church the next day and get my confirmation and I would be treated fairly and stop being blamed.  Boy, was I wrong.  I remember the next day one boy hit me, and called me a name that was created for me from school last year.  I told him that I had just been baptized and he couldn’t do that anymore because all of that was gone. He reasoned with me that was school this was church it wasn’t the same thing, and so he could still do it. From that point forward, things got worse.  I remember being told that God didn’t make mistakes but people do. So I had to wonder, and began to think that Perhaps god forgot about me.  But then it occurred to me. That as far as I understood it, I was doing everything god wanted me to do, I didn’t question I just did.  But all of these kids who were terrible people to me were blessed by god. As their parents were so fond of telling each other. So I reasoned that I was being punished, I must had done something bad in heaven, and I was being punished. Which is why all of these children who were gods chosen, kept hurting me. At that point in my life, I believed that I deserved it

In 1997 I moved out of that town (for the second time) and to Salt Lake City, Utah. The only friend I made in high school that didn’t at some point, treat me like shit, helped me move. I was so grateful for him. One person in this world who accepted me for who I was. As it turned out, he was also gay.  I was told at the time by the church, that being gay was wrong. That gay people work for Satan, and that they were all inherently bad people. That they were all child molesters.  I remember when he came out of the closet. We were in the middle of no where in the woods, It was he and I, and my Girlfriend at the time. I remember she shrugged at him and said “okay, whatever makes you happy.” and carried on like it was no big deal. At this point in my life, I had met several other gay people. I was starting to shed this idea that all gay people were bad. I started to see that there wasn’t one thing about any of them, that made them good or bad. just like some people were just good people, while others just weren’t; and that regard they weren’t any different from anyone who was straight. I remember not saying anything for a long time while I reasoned this out in my head, I mentally fought against the ideals that I was raised with. He looked at me somewhat concerned, and asked if I was alright. My Girlfriend said that I looked shocked and I was.  I knew there was something different about him but I couldn’t put my finger on it. But I had decided years previous to this, that I didn’t care what was so different about him. I finally reasoned in my head that, here was this man. Who I respected, and as far as I was concerned he was my brother. He was more family to me, than my own family, and he was Gay. despite being raised with this notion that gay people are evil, and wrong, and should be persecuted, clearly they were missing something — they had to be wrong. I accepted that fact that he was gay, and that didn’t make him a bad person. I respected his courage, and to this day, I still respect him, and view him as my brother and my best friend.

In 1999 I  had my first child a little girl. I lived in western Wisconsin, I was married to a different woman. it was the week after the spring general conference sessions. I had my daughter who was only a few months old at the time was asleep in my arms, and I was sitting in gospel Doctrine  class. In the room was the bishop, the steak president, and the teacher of the class was the wife of one of the counselors of the bishopric. The week before the prophet had gotten up and talked about how The gays were destroying gods plan, and they they were an abomination to god. I found this very unsettling. She got up and started to continue to preach this. she spoke of them like they were less than people. I was quiet upset by this. I verbalized that she needed to back up because that was wrong. She was clearly aghast at the idea, I reminded her that everyone was considered one of gods children, and even if she didn’t like their lifestyle she needed to afford them that much respect. After finishing that sentence the Steak President who was sitting behind me, grabbed me by the ear like I was  6 years old, and dragged me out of the classroom into the hallway. I almost dropped by daughter on the ground due only to the sheer force that he used on my ear.   He yelled at me, told me that My blasphemous words had no place in the church, and I should be ashamed of myself. And he was considering excommunicating me for it. I told him to do it. I told him that I was upholding one of the tenants of the church that is taught to everyone starting in primary. And if my opinion on the matter, gets me excommunicated then fine, I didn’t care. He stumbled over his words and  then stumbled back into the classroom. I stayed in the hall nursing my ear which was bleeding. Within about a minute The Bishop came out. He told me that he respected my opinion, but then followed it up by saying that my opinion had no place in the church. I very clearly remember saying “So Church Doctrine, has no place in the church?” he told me that I was twisting his words, and this is the work of Satan, and he was instructed by the steak president to take my temple recommend. (which was fine, because I didn’t have one at the time.) I just walked off at that point, I was so angry and confused.  After the hour block was over, I was approached by the woman who was leading the class.  She said that she understands my opinion. Her brother is gay. So I asked her, is he a bad person? Does he hurt people?  She defended him.  I don’t remember if I responded to her at that point, I just remember being really confused. She loves her brother, and states clearly that he’s a good person, but then condemns him because of his choice of lifestyle. I told this story to my wife when she got out of her church calling, and I didn’t feel like she took me seriously. To the best of my recollection, her response was something a long the lines of “How else did you really expect them to respond?”

Up to this point in my life all of the stones that I’d thrown into the pond were pebbles, and the ripples were only felt by me, everyone else was on the fringes. This was a boulder, tossed by a crane into a puddle, and the mud splattered everywhere. I got scolded and talked to by at least a half dozen people from that classroom for my words. But just as many approached me stated that what I said made sense, and that the reaction of the people in that room was uncalled for.

Some people contribute, life events, or spouses, and children and luck, to God. Because clearly he made it happen, That’s fine, they have the right to believe that, that’s their fail safe. And if these people want to believe their silly ideas about how gay people cause natural disasters or are all child molesters, they have the right. But, they shouldn’t be allowed to use a public position to spread their hate. What the church did in 99 was hate and fear mongering. Pure and simple, hate discrimination.

No one should sit idle in a classroom and tolerate this kind of hate. it’s not okay. If you do not speak up when people are preaching hate and fear mongering, you are fostering the environment that’s allowing it to continue.

Editors note: This was originally posted on my facebook on September 19th of 2012. Figured it was blog  material


I constantly get survey calls for everything to my cell phone. I moved from Utah, I noted that most surveys that I get, also come from Utah. My cell phone still has a Utah number and I have no intention on changing it. On the way home from work my cell rings and it’s a Utah number so I pick it up. A male voice on the other end says he’s from some company doing a survey for an organization that was supporting the Romney Campaign. He said that he wanted to know if I was a “Utah resident” and if I’d be willing to answer a few questions for him. I figured why not, and agreed. “I’d be happy to take your Survey” He never asked for clarification on the resident part.

He said thank you and then said that he wanted to know a few things about me first. I said that was fine.

His first question

Survey:“Are you Mormon?”


Survey:“Do you consider yourself Christian?”

I need to insert something here. Almost 10 years ago, while working in a call center in Utah I got the “Mormon question” almost weekly. Usually it got followed up with people trying to convert me to their faith, or a “why not” type of question I got really annoyed by it, so I came up with my own outrageous response that most people would not respond to, mostly out of shock, and because they don’t want to offend someone else religious belief. I’ve not used it in years, this was my opportunity.

Me:“No, I’m a Cross-Dressing Satanist.”

The voice on the phone stammered.

Survey:“I’m sorry, you’re a what?”

Me:“You heard me, I’m a Cross-Dressing Satanist.”

Survey:“I… I I don’t even have a way to mark that.”

Me:“You don’t even have an ‘Other box’? Wow, talk about religious discrimination. Just mark it as Atheist because that’s what it ultimately is”

Survey:“Oh, well, in that case, I can’t talk to you.”

Survey person hangs up

First of all, I must admit, it’s kind of douchebag thing for me to do. but for some reason, I take pleasure in being part of the margin of error in political surveys. exists, especially when they are that start with religious preference, especially when it’s a political campaign call. Secondarily, refusing to talk to me because I declared to be an atheist is bad, that’s discrimination. Anyone who says that we Atheist are discriminatory has no idea what most religious people are like. In the end, I kind of felt bad for the guy, I suspect that he didn’t want to do it, but it was a job and income. If nothing else I hope he gets a good laugh out of it eventually. at worst he was so narrowed minded that he thought he was going to lose his soul by speaking with me,

It was cold.

My wife and I spent the better part of the last two weeks in Utah, really not at our choice; but we roll with the punches. So while we were sans kids for a few days we realized that we have some really bizarre conversations when the kids are not around. Many of them came at the oddest of times.  Since last week was Christmas, and my wife has this love of pretty lights, and we were in Utah – we went to downtown Salt Lake City looking at Christmas lights; because it’s always full of pretty lights. This is absolutely more for her than me. I couldn’t care less about ‘pretty lights’. This also happens to be in the Mormon Temple square area because that’s where they do the most lights. This is my wife’s thing; she loves Christmas lights even if she has to tolerate some religious bullshit in the middle of it. However, every once in a while she surprises me.

On the top of all of the Mormon temples is a statue of an angel with a huge horn. So my wife looks at it starts laughing and says “You know from this far away, all I can see is a long tube with a ball on the end. I can’t tell if that’s’ a horn, a bong, or if he’s giving someone a blowjob.” Yup, babe, you nailed it. He’s giving god a blowjob.”

I’m not sure if anyone heard that, but I’m pretty certain that most people would either find that offensive, or amusing. While most of the people we ran into were nice enough, there were those that made you want to slap them and make obscure references to pagan rituals that they are destroying for the sake of an invisible man in the sky.

I digress.

Having spent most of my youth in Utah, you learn a few things. Even with 40 inches of snow on the ground it’s very dry, and as a result we were drinking a lot of water. After a few hours of wandering downtown Salt Lake city I find that I have the need to relieve myself. So I tell her that we need to find a bathroom. Since we happen to just be outside of the temple square she suggests we go into the square and find a visitor center.

I really didn’t want to go into the Square.  It was not that it wasn’t shoulder to shoulder like in years past. It wasn’t even the religious symbolism everywhere, or the fact that people were peddling their beliefs inside like a 2nd hand flea market. It didn’t even make me uncomfortable. If anything it amused me that I’m atheist on the “concentrated” Mormon church grounds taking pictures for the sake of what kind of elegance I can get out of lights more than the architecture or the surroundings. In the end, it was purely that I didn’t feel like traversing inside.

I told her that the only reason why I’d step foot in the square again tonight is if I could go over to the nativity scene and pee on baby Jesus.

She hit me saying it was mean and pretty offensive. Okay fine, but I still refuse to go inside.

The next logical choice is a train depot just down the street. For anyone who’s never seen the light rail in SLC it’s a matter of simplicity. They have tons of little stations but the main depot is downtown. It’s an old Union Pacific Railroad building next to an outdoor mall. This station with the people that are here and the sheer distance is 10 minutes away, but because we had to walk to the train  and Murphy being a cruel mistress, we just missed it. It had just left, so we wait. It was closer to 25 minutes by the time it arrives.  As the train pulled up to the station in front of the UP Building, I’m starting to see yellow, my bladder is screaming at it because it’s very cold, and my bladder doesn’t like the cold. When the train stops I Walk/Run inside to find out that the bathroom is locked and closed for the night. I was standing there stammering trying to think of the next closest place. My wife looks at me and says “Maybe you should have pee’d on baby Jesus.”

Laughing when I have to pee this bad is no laughing matter, Thankfully I found a Barnes and Noble not too far away.