Three Rules

This is the last Sunday Sermon I’ll do.

I started out just intending to remind myself of what I thought I’d learned in church on Sunday… whether it was the meaning of life or just some stupid joke that somebody told. Instead I find myself writing these nasty, scripture-filled pieces of sanctimonious crap. While I’m trying to figure out my own spiritual truths, I’m making my friends squirm in their seats–dying to raise their hands in protest, yet too nice to want to offend me. (As someone with a terribly fragile ego, I thank you.)

I don’t have any answers. I don’t know why God does what He does. I don’t know why things happen the way they happen. I know what I believe, but even that is subject to change on a daily hourly basis.

I only cling to these rules (human Laws of Robotics, I guess):

1. Always remember that someone, somewhere loves you.

2. Whatever you do, try not to hurt yourself or anyone else.

3. Help someone else out, if you can–no matter how insignificant it seems.

Tomorrow, I may wake up Buddhist. I may be a pagan or an atheist. But to my mind those are the only ones that count. The rest is just bullshit.

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20 Responses to Three Rules

  1. Ric The Schmuck says:


  2. kat says:

    Well, the rules you have laid down are the basic rules of good human kindness. It does not have to be because a god says you should behave this way. You do it simply because.
    You never make me squirm in my seat. If people have a problem discussing religion without name calling, too bad for them. They are closing themselves off to new ideas and theories.
    I always find these discussions, when held by well informed and educated people, to be some of the best conversations I have ever had.

  3. Solonor says:

    Kat and I are having this e-mail conversation about a comment I made on her blog about the movie Dogma, too.

    I said I feel like it’s a great example of the nature of God (probably reading more into it than what’s there).

    What I get out of the movie is the fact that even God has to live by certain cosmic rules….and nobody knows what they are! So, why are we running around trying to beat each other up over who knows more about what God wants than the next guy?

    Whether you believe that these are the commandments for you to live your life in a Godly manner or that they’re just things that everyone should do without anything spiritual behind them is missing the point that they’re still the right things to do, I think. We spend too much energy worrying about someone else’s faith (or lack thereof) that we don’t do anything with our own (besides proclaim it to the world).

    Most of the atheists I know are the most spiritually gifted humans in the world. They just don’t acknowledge it the same way I do. 😀

  4. Zuly says:

    I loved Dogma for exactly the same reason.

    Maybe don’t give up on the Sunday Sermons. Maybe just write them more as reflections on your faith. Maybe write about something that struck you during the week that you’ve been thinking about in a faith context. I don’t think you should give up on them. Maybe think of them as more of a spiritual discipline for your own purposes. A Lenten practice, if you will.

  5. Ric The Schmuck says:

    I absolutley love Dogma. (The movie.)

    It’s especially fun for me (the heathen) as our dear friends (the ones that still live here, mind you) are Catholic. OLD school Catholic. French Catholic. (Lewiston French Catholic, Solly.)

    I have soooo much fun with them. Let’s just say I blew her mind when I asked to help me sort out that Limbo/Purgatory thing.

    Religion can be a fun topic for respectable debate, or conversation. Just as long as those involved in said conversation can play nicely with others. When you lose that ability, religious discussions become, well…. I try and avoid those situations.

  6. kat says:

    Lewiston french catholic? Is that anything like Biddeford french catholic? haha, sorry. I grew up in maine and know them french catholics very well. 😀

  7. mac says:

    I wish everyone would live by those rules. I am an agnostic, but those are basically the rules I live my life by.

  8. human Laws of Robotics as stated by Solly

    I only cling to these rules (human Laws of Robotics, I guess): 1. Always remember that someone, somewhere loves you. 2. Whatever you do, try not to hurt yourself or anyone else. 3. Help someone else out, if you can—no…

  9. Lisa says:

    Those are very good rules, indeed.

  10. jadedju says:

    And here I was admiring you for not hiding your faith. Hmmph. Now who should I rely on for my spiritual guidance?

  11. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Twu, jadedju, I was enjoying “religion via Solonor”. Methinks he should reconsider. It’s a side of him I didn’t know, previously, and it’s been fun reading him wax philosphical.

  12. Solonor says:

    Wax on. Wax off.

    “To know love, be like the running brook, which deaf, yet sings its melody for others to hear. Feel the pain of too much tenderness. Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for yet another day of loving.” – Master Po (“Kung Fu”)

    “Mmmm… beer…” – Homer Simpson

  13. Brian says:

    Several people I know who like to trumpet their devoutness just a little too loudly for my taste should take a page from your book, Mr. Rasreth.

  14. Les says:

    As someone who argues with believers over the existence of God and other such concepts all the time on his own blog, I’d just like to say that I thought your Sunday Sermons were fine by me. I must have missed the one that was full of the “nasty, scripture-filled pieces of sanctimonious crap” you mentioned as I’ve yet to see it. Instead what I’ve seen is someone who believes trying to further his understanding of the faith he practices and how it should apply to his life. Something I would be more than happy to see more believers undertake rather than the blind acceptance of whatever they’re handed by The Powers That Be.

    I have kept intentionally quiet in these entries simply because you weren’t posting them to open up debate, but to share your process of learning with us. Whether I agree or disagree with them is immaterial to the point (or what I thought was the point) in your posting them, which was to provide some insight into what could be considered a very personal aspect of yourself. I always enjoy learning more about people I admire and I admire you in many ways.

    For the record, I too follow the three rules you listed. I just do so for differing reasons. 🙂

  15. Solonor says:

    Ok, so maybe it’s just me that’s squirming. I guess I’m trying to pin the blame on other people when it’s really ME that’s getting uncomfortable. Sorry about that!

    I just hate, hate, hate it when people are made to feel like they’re doing something wrong by some stranger preaching at them (that’s a mother’s job).

    Plus, there are times when I can argue and debate theology with the Pope or with Madeline Murray O’Hare. But a lot of the time I just sit here wondering why I believe what I do. So, depending on the mood, these posts could open up an intelligent discussion, a violent flame war, or a depressed whiny exit from the blog world. Or all three.

    I truly appreciate the comments I’ve received on this topic. You guys are pretty special.

  16. Ric The Schmuck says:

    I guess I’m just surprised that I never saw your devout side after seeing you on-stage at the Mid-Town Motor Inn…. weellllllllll, it’s……
    40 below…..
    Keep on preachin’, buddy. Who knows, ya might save somebody!

  17. Solonor says:

    Got a heater in my truck, and it’s off to the rodeo…

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that song! It’s a classic. The God I worship watches South Park. And gets it. NYAH!

  18. Ric The Schmuck says:

    It weren’t the song that was scary about the “Hotel-Motel” time, Mid-Town Motor Inn….

    And God must be in good company, cuz I love South Park, too…..

  19. SgtGrump says:

    If you’re gonna do it, you might as well found the “Church of Solonor” and make some money.

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