The Internet Is His Religion

Jim Gilliam gave one hell of an inspiring speech at the recent Personal Democracy Forum.

He talks about growing up as a fundamentalist Christian, attending Liberty University, getting cancer, losing his faith, and then finding a new (much more powerful) religion.

As I was prepping for the surgery, I wasn’t thinking about Jesus, or whether my heart would start beating again after they stopped it, or whether I would go to heaven if it didn’t. I was thinking about all of the people who had gotten me here. I owed every moment of my life to countless people I would never meet. Tomorrow, that interconnectedness would be represented in my own physical body — three different DNAs: individually they were useless, but together, they would equal one functioning human. What an incredible debt to repay! I didn’t even know where to start.

Don’t stop it after the first standing ovation. The closing is incredible, too.

(Thanks to Craig for the link!)

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  • Um Hemant, I thought I mentioned the Church of Reality on your site a few times, check your archives…

    http://www.churchofreality.org

    It’s an open source internet religion.

    You are welcome to join.

    ~WR

  • GregfromCos

    Absolutely phenomenal. Thanks for sharing that.

    I’m amazed how many of us were woken up by 9/11. Myself certainly among them. I hope we will always remember that the greatest time to change peoples minds is when Religious Faith makes itself to be the fool. Whether it be something small and personal, or something grand, the fool Faith makes more freethinkers than anything else we can do.

  • Larry Meredith

    kind of a strange way to look at it, but really inspirational nonetheless. I’m a bit wary of it because it almost sounds like the people who call atheism a religion. I know he’s talking about the internet, not atheism, but it still sort of sounds like it.

  • Joan

    Wow, that was very moving. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Sarah

    How strange it is or isn’t depends how familiar one is with one’s mortality. While my life (thankfully!) hasn’t been quite as interesting as his medically, I and my family had enough similar experiences at a formative age that this really resonated. My personal beliefs are slightly different than his, but he posits an intriguing framework of the universe for those of us who see little evidence for a benevolent deity but plenty of evidence for a (at least potentially) benevolent humanity.