This is what "Christian Love" looks like...

You fear the Lord. Just admit it. You fear something greater then yourself. You have been abused and left by those close to you so you dread the one thing that can make you whole. The hole you can't fill within you is the space you need to fill with God. Nothing else will fill it. There is nothing else in the world that will fit in the desolation you have. It's not your fault though. Having so many disillusionments in life can destroy anyone’s ability to allow faith in and hate out. The loss of loved ones and the anger at something you don't even believe exists must be insufferable. I will pray for you and that you find Reconciliation.

- Paul Gilman, Fresno Bee

Armchair psychoanalysis can be pretty funny - especially from a believer.  What is even more funny is that it seems that Paul has been reading my blog.  Perhaps he knows about RonnieHe is sure to know about my wife.  I'll admit - last year was a bad year for me.  I spent the first six months being terribly depressed, and I got help.

But I didn't require spiritual help - Instead I got real help!

I took the antidepressant Wellbutrin last year after coming back from Korea.  And I spent some time with a qualified psychologist.  I've made major adjustments to my environment, and spent time with close friends.  My family was there for me in my deepest time of need, and my friends kept me fed and my apartment clean while I worked things out.

God, Allah, Zeus, Vishnu - none of these, or any god, were required.  And if asked, none of them would have been able to provide the care that I required.  Because they don't exist.

I've been very upbeat this year.  I've become more active in the community, I've got a girlfriend now, someone who I care about a great deal, I've moved into a new house and am looking forward to putting my woodshop back together.  I do more volunteer work and give more to chairity than I've been able to do for a long time.

But of course, I can't be allowed to be happy, because that wouldn't fit God's plan, according to this nitwit - Paul Gilman.

Other people have jumped to my defense in the comments at the Fresno Bee, and the response by Paul Gilman is... enlightening.

Are you aware that you are not just venting to your computer monitor but to a human with very real emotions and feelings? This is quite possibly the most alienating and offensive post I've ever read. If you don't understand why, then you should stop posting.

The truth hurts? Dig deep and you will find God and his love for you.

Let me clarify. You have ripped open another's horrible wound and poured caustic pain into it. You have no spiritual authority to treat another that way, because you are not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. In your need to pontificate, you have wiped your feet all over someone. That's what I mean by alienating and offensive.

Well I guess you will have to get over yourself. I open wounds that need opening and cleaning out by the purity of god.

"By the purity of God!"  That is a very scary statement isn't it?  That is exactly what I can imagine a black-coated white collar wearing preacher to say just as he throws a torch into the pile of wood at my feet!

It is funny.  I've been having a very good year this year.  I've been remembering what my wife told me - she knew she wouldn't be around forever, and she encouraged me to "enjoy my life".  I've made changes in my life to do those things that we couldn't do while we were together. 

And dear readers, family, friends - when my time has come to cease existing, please take the time to celebrate my life by celebrating your own lives. 

Don't waste your time thinking hateful thoughts about my fictional eternity of torture. Because only the sick and the evil, and those who are inhumain through willful ignorance would think such a torture is just, and that an all-powerful God who permitted such a thing is loving.

As for Paul Gilman - hey thanks for reading my blog.  Take a look around, maybe you'll learn something... like basic compassion.

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