Why I am not a Christian


I am not a Christian. I am an Antiochian Orthodox Christian. I risk offending the majority of my readers with this post but so be it. It is now on my mind so I will write it. I can’t stand it when present day Protestants, at least many I have encountered in life, proclaim “I am Christian. Why do I need a label?” I wonder if people that say that have truly considered those words or if they are being conveniently obtuse in order to prove some holier than thou point of acceptance.

So you say it doesn’t matter what kind of Christian you are as long as you believe in Christ? Do you believe what some of the Jamaican and African mixtures of Catholicism believe then? They worship snakes and believe in some interesting aspects about the dead, but they also worship Jesus and according to you that makes them just as Christian as you are… right? Do you believe in the rigid stature of the Catholic faith or the accepting nature of the reformed Churches in America? Every one of them is different in so many ways, not even mentioning creed or religious order. So if Aliens landed tomorrow, which Scientist now say is possible (isn’t that amazing how we have progressed?) and demanded we send delegations of our religions before their council for acceptable explanation or face extermination for all, you would be ok with ANY Christian being sent? Regardless of Christian denomination, because we established you don’t believe in this? Interesting… I will say I don’t feel the same way.

I am not a Christian. I am an Antiochian Orthodox Christian that has a creed that holds our beliefs. If you don’t follow those beliefs then we aren’t of the same religion, it really is that simple. If you don’t believe in my godhead and the way we view its formation you don’t believe in my God. That is why an Orthodox practitioner cannot take communion, the bread and wine, in a Catholic church and vice versa. In the view of the Orthodox Church the Catholics do not believe in the same Godhead that we do anymore. We believe that the Catholics changed the Godhead when they split from The Church. Orthodox means “the straight path or true way” and that is what we consider our faith. We are taught that our church has kept the original Godhead and that is what makes our religion the correct path and that is how serious we take it. That is why we care when others wish to compare or even coincide themselves with Orthodoxy. It is not being snobbish, the simple truth is that we care about what we believe. Don’t you?

Below is our Nicean Creed in case you care to read it. Since the age of 3 I was brought up as an Orthodox Christian and my father is a Priest. We went to church 7 times a week and that wasn’t even during lent. I don’t go regularly anymore, but that is a story for a different post. I welcome any questions of a direct nature, but if you are interested in the faith feel free to Google for that. -OM

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets; And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the age to come. Amen.

“Jason is a white person’s name… you can’t be Asian!”


I have heard it all. I had a recruiter look at me hard for a full three minutes and say “are you sure you are Jason Cushman?” I of course looked down at my hand like I was reading something and then looked up and said “yep, it is still Jason Cushman.” Honestly I like my name. It really doesn’t get much whiter than Jason Chandler Cushman though, but recently I did have cause to celebrate. I have worked hard at my Google SEO and finally gotten my website linked to the top search for the name “Jason Cushman.” Now considering there is Cushman and Wakefield, Cushman golf carts, and apparently a Jason Cushman that is a drug dealer in prison… it took some time to gain that top spot. I did a happy dance.

I’ve had liquor store clerks take their thumb and rub the corner of my license to see if it is fake. Because obviously an Asian running around with the name Jason Cushman has to be the stupidest fake ID holder in the world right? I sure hope no one is counting how many times I name drop… because I am going to do that a ton in this post on purpose.

I have my father to thank for my name. My father is Dr. William Cushman and he is one of the top research physicians in the study of hypertension in the world. He is also a priest, a loving husband, and a caring father who has given everything to his family. I am not ashamed of my family or my name and you can feel free to google us. We have nothing to hide and are an “average” family that likes to drink together, laugh together, and live. My mother is Susan Cushman and she is an author, iconographer, and writer. She inspires me to want to be better.

I have begun to share more of who I am. I do this partially because I want to, but also because this blog needs to always be connected to the author. It has to be. I hope by showing a little of my life people realize a real guy writes the crap they read each day. A person with feelings, emotions, good and bad days, and obviously opinions on every little thing he encounters on a daily basis. It is easy to forget that a “human” is on the other side of the screen. I hope that people that choose to read this blog always keep that in mind.

I have become attached to the name Opinionated Man. It started as a joke… I mean “opinionated man” isn’t exactly original. And yet being opinionated is what “we” all are as people right? I do find a small sense of satisfaction that some here have begun to call me by my real name. I don’t normally get called “Jason” by friends though, so that is a bit strange. But we will roll with it and you may all call me whatever you wish. I don’t know about “OP” though… that one feels strange, but at least you aren’t looking at me and questioning if I am “sure I am that guy” or not. Small victories people… small victories.

-Opinionated Man

 

Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter


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She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain has come and we have weathered storms. We still touch… but sometimes our hands Fall like leaves from our tired limbs. The chatter of children running around our base keeps us united, we are still united with finger painted signs and chalk figures. But some nights are cold and the moon shines two shadows upon the ground.

It snows here in Denver. The Winter seems to be most of the year… at least lately. But even with the constant ice, it does melt with the strength of will. A will we share each morning and return to each night. The seasons form a timeless ring that hardens into a golden promise. They touch each time our hands unite with infused emotion. Regardless of what emotion that is the presence of feelings means that we still care.

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man

7/11/2014

Chasing Hope


Hope is a funny thing. Such a blessing at times and a poisonous curse at others, it can cause you to do the craziest things. One day you are content with your life and then Hope knocks at your door. She tells you that your life is not complete and that you must travel across an ocean to seek something you don’t know if you will find. But you hope… and apparently that is enough fuel to pull a prodigal son and ask your father for your last year’s college tuition to find someone that doesn’t want to be found. But you hope… you hope that perhaps she will change her mind in the end and want to hug you. You see all the signs telling you that what you are about to attempt is foolish, but instead of ackowledging them you merely write them off as a façade. Because Hope is there holding your hand. She whispers sweet nothings in your ear and you go on that fool’s errand, only to look like a fool in the end.

When you turn around and throw your hands in the air and say “what the fuck Hope? I thought you said things would turn out different?” She only smiles and offers you the other hand, another Hope. That is life really, chasing dreams or tails we still seek that which sometimes never existed. That faceless phantom that is always a step ahead, that is not your mother. It is Hope and she is a fickle bitch.

I still hope one day that I might meet my sister. Her name is Ahn Jong He and she last lived in Busan, South Korea when we were seperated at the orphange. She is probably around 35 years old and I miss her even though I don’t remember her face. She is Hope to me and she is still a dream.

-Opinionated Man

“You speak English son?”


In a country as diverse as America you may randomly get asked this question. I suppose that is to be expected, however, there are a few instances where I find it ridiculous. The main instance is when you and I have already had a conversation and THEN you ask me if I can speak English. “No Sir I can’t, I was really just nodding my head to the rhythm of your words…

It was a Saturday night and the wife and I had decided to go to Blackhawk, CO to play at the Indian casinos. We had an amazing time, namely because my wife was extremely lucky that day and hit two large jackpots on slot machines. We of course had a shot of patron for each win, but because I was driving I withheld the urge to have more beverages to celebrate. We stayed a few hours at the casino, more than enough time for me to process twice as much alcohol as I had, but we still made our way carefully down the mountain back towards Denver. The road can be remarkably dangerous and I knew this first hand having hit a deer in my brand new Eclipse a couple years earlier. Apparently deer have no regard for their own personal safety or the image of my baby car which I still mourn to this day.

As we made our way towards the one gas station located a few miles outside of Blackhawk I began to see red and blue lights ahead. I immediately thought it was either an accident or a DUI checkpoint, and sure enough the police were standing in the middle of the road conducting DUI “interviews” on passing cars. I say “interviews” here because the cops were actively talking to each driver and sending the ones they “suspected” of being under the influence to the dirt parking lot nearby. It was my lucky night.

Sir have you had anything to drink tonight?” the cop asked me.

I had a couple drinks three hours ago,” I answered honestly. I could actually feel the nervousness from my wife.

A second cop approached from the passenger side and shined his flashlight at me. The first officer placed his hand on his gun and said “I am going to need you to pull over so we can do a quick sobriety test.” He made it apparent this was not a request. “Please pull over slowly to the right and don’t allow your car to break contact from my hand” he said with what I imagine he thought was a stern demeanor.

I pulled slowly over, very slowly, and ensured his grip of authority never lost contact with my vehicle. I was a little nervous, not because of the possibility of blowing over the limit, but because both the cops were white and I have a large suspicion about law enforcement in general. Namely that I think police are worthless for the most part, at least in many of the cities I have lived in, and they seem more gauged at causing trouble for the law abiding citizens than the criminals. Once I had parked my car the cops motioned for me to get out of the vehicle.

The police explained to me that they had pulled me out because they smelled alcohol on my breath. I thought “bullshit” because I had only had two shots and after those I had eaten and drank non-alcoholic drinks. There is absolutely no way he smelled anything but my Febreze air freshener. I was very confident because I knew I was fine to drive and that these cops were just looking for a criminal if they could find one. We spoke for a few minutes in which I explained why we were in the mountains, because apparently Asians don’t travel into the mountains at night because they melt from the high altitude, and then he dropped the question on me.

Before we begin I need to ask if you speak good enough English to talk to me. Do you need a personal translator?

I had a hard time biting back my retort which would have thrown me in jail. The deciding factor was his partner who still had not taken his hand off his gun. Overaggressive policemen are not hard to find and they frequent Youtube these days on viral video after video. I wasn’t about to be the next “when police attack video” that got a million hits, it wasn’t worth sacrificing the beauty of my face just for a viral video. But seriously where does a guy get off asking me if I speak fucking English when we just spoke for several minutes and my vocabulary obviously exceeds your own?

We began the test and let me point out that giving ANYONE a DUI test on a gravel parking lot is complete bullshit. I have trouble enough walking a straight line in the street, add some rocks and I definitely wasn’t looking very coordinated. I am a part-time ninja, but I can’t do shit without my ninja outfit. The issue arose when we began the ABC test which consisted of me saying the alphabet backwards. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, maybe I am just a dumbass, but I have never practiced saying the ABCs backwards. Why would anyone learn to do that? I was about two vowels away from getting tackled before I made it through finally. It wasn’t pretty, but I suppose I could have simply said “I guess I really don’t know English…”

So what ends up happening? After all five tests, YES FIVE TESTS, were done the idiot ends up giving me a Breathalyzer test and guess what this non-English speaking Korean blew? 0.00, that is what. I refrained from giving the cops any sign language as we drove off and I am surprised they didn’t chase after me for “accelerating too fast.” What can I say? Cops love me.

-OM

I hate


There are strong connotations connected to the word “hate.” Instantly people have an opinion on it. I was brought up in a religious home where it was often said that “we should not hate anything.” My mother would scold me and tell me not to use the word because as children we quickly learned to throw extremities around to solidify our point of view. The great thing about being an adult, other than getting to eat whatever I wish, is that I am now free to hate. I hate.

I angered some readers when I wrote my mother’s day post. In it I said “To my “other mother,” I still hate you one more year.” There are technically two groups that I have found that dislike the word hate. One is the religious group, which as I have previously said I have a lot of personal experience with, and they take their lead from Jesus. They believe that hate has no place in this world and only see negative value from it. You also have the “cause” group that don’t necessarily need to be religious. Regardless they have a cause and that cause is normally against any type of negative action or emotion. Hate is thereby classified as negative to ensure there is a cause for the week.

I have hated, I hate, and I will hate in the future. Hate is a human characteristic and can have self-serving qualities that if used properly can be anything but negative. Side stepping the notion that “hate” is a disease that will eventually destroy your soul, I can list several uses for hate as a motivator and inspiration for action. Those results are only a bad thing if you want them to be. I currently use hate to block off personal pain and anguish I have towards my birth mother. Countless people have told me and will still tell me that hate is a useless thing. That I should let it go so I can move forward. I tend to disagree because my “life” has progressed with hate as a companion.

He comforts me in the night and warms my body when I am cold.

-OM