I grew up in a good Southern Christian home. I was taught many things. I was taught to pray at night and before I eat. I was taught to say “yes ma’am” and “yes sir”. I was taught to open the door for a lady. I was taught not to curse. I was taught not to drink alcohol. I was taught many things.
For many years I prayed over food. For many years I prayed at night. For many years I opened the door for a lady. For many years I did not curse (within ear shot of my Mother). For many years I did not drink alcohol (for the most part).
Now I never pray over food. I never pray at night. I simply never pray.
I still open the door for a lady.
Now you might ask why I still open the door for a lady although I no longer pray? Because opening the door for a lady seems like the right thing to do; and I do as I damn well please (oops; guess I let the cat out of the bag as to where I stand as to profanity these days!!)
My point is this:
Among the Christian & Southern values on which I was raised; there are those that I reject, and then again there are those that I still practice. But those practices which I do these days are not because of “my raising” or because of some belief in a deity who just might be watching. I merely do as I damn well please, and by the way so does everyone else. Some are pleased to continue to live by the values of their raising; others do not.
As for me, I choose to live by my own values. Some of those values happen to be consistent with those of my good Southern Christian raising. Others are not. But my values are my values, and my choices are my choices. And the consequences of my decisions are the consequences of my decisions.
For example, I drink, but I do not get drunk. I do not refrain from allowing myself to get drunk because “I was raised better” or because “the Bible says it is a sin to get drunk”. Frankly, my reasoning is much more sensible than all that. I refrain from getting drunk because I do not like headaches or nausea. Its as simple as that.
Now if by some chance I do get drunk, and spend all night throwing up, and wake up with an awful headache; have I sinned against my good Southern Christian raising? Hell no! I simply afflicted myself with pains and discomforts that I don’t like, and that is as far as the consequences go with regards to the matter.
Every person has to choose for themselves how to live. Its as simple as that.
And as good ole Kurt Vonnegut was moved to say:
“And so it goes”…..