Agnostic: One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
That’s me. I have faith in faith, not “A God”. I believe there are many possibilities in deities – there could be a single god, or a government of gods, each with separate ideas/places to rule. Maybe the Greeks & Romans had it right after all!! What about nature & elemental spirit worshippers – most notably wiccans, ‘native’ peoples around the world (considered ‘uncivilized/savage’ by their Christian brethren)? Maybe God’s worshippers who insist we not eat unclean foods, or remain shrouded, revealing little flesh – have it right. Holy Crap, what if the comet cult was spot on???? What if God resides in the 85% of our brains that we don’t use? WHO HAS IT RIGHT?!?!?!?!
The point is NO ONE KNOWS!!!!!! Hell, even within the same fundamental materials, teachings and general philosophies have sprung varying viewpoints, &, consequently, sects & denominations.. HELLO – I’m talking to you “Christians” – Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Baptist, etc… You all follow the same frickin’ principles, bibles & belief system!!!!!! WTF????
Now that we’ve gotten straight to the point, let’s meander around it for a bit:
I take issue with following doctrines, examples & philosophies written by solely by men thousands of years ago. It has only been within the last century that women have even begun the slow, torturous & humiliating journey toward earning the right to be deemed ‘equals’ to their male counterparts. The thought of a woman president will immediately be surrounded by a cacophony of titters, chortles, & outright gaffawing. It’s still a surprise & ‘rare event’ to hear of a successful businesswoman (who has not been surrounded by rumors of ‘sleeping her way to the top’.)
…and it all goes back to Eve. We point to every misfortune, endurance, physical hardship placed on women (including a certain cycle – considered inappropriate for discussion in mixed company), and social stigma, with the assertion that if Eve hadn’t given into temptation, man would be gliding through beautiful, untainted Eden, instead of trudging through Earth’s troubles, ugliness & general mire. This fable, in fact, is so oft told, that it has become a commonly accepted ‘fact’ by peoples around the globe. Again, I refer to the simple fact that these were stories, first verbally passed along, then written by monks (who, by definition, are males – what if there was mischief (and sexual frustration) within the cells, and like children writing in their textbooks, certain ‘creative embellishments’ were added)???? Sure, you don’t see doodles of boobies abound in King James..but, mayhap a swat or 2 at the female gender, nonetheless…
OMG – WHAT IF JESUS WAS A WOMAN??!??!?! Your belief systems would be FUCKED!!!!! And if she was Black!?!?! Ooh, all those old “mamie”, ‘yes massa’ stereotyped shit would put the next 432 generations automatically to hell!!! TAKE THAT MISOGYNISTIC BASTARDS!!!
Although it is human to err, & we all display hypocrisy, the blatant dichotomy of the teachings of churches & their presented attitudes make me angry indeed. Christians pledge to follow Jesus’ example – to love & accept your brother unconditionally (unless he is homosexual, a different race or color, follows a different religion, has habits unbecoming to a gentleman) & love & accept your sister unconditionally (unless she is promiscuous, won’t perform her ‘wifely duties’, or tries to rise above the accepted role of ‘mother & nurturer’, and DEITY FORBID if she wants to have an authoritative role in the church itself – such blasphemy is reserved for ‘lesser’ religions).
My studies in college were focused on my majors of criminology & sociology. What, pray tell (no pun intended) does this have to do with religion? Well, kids, sociology deals with how people act, react & interact with & within groups. Religion boils down to a group of people sharing their faith, values, doctrine…. The problem is that when people become part of a group, to some extent they lose a bit of their individuality. I don’t care what kind of group it is – you submit a part of yourself, agree to agree (in general, of course) with the group’s philosophy, standards, and/or activities & rituals.
This is a scary & powerful thing. Further, it is an opportunity for someone to exploit such a position. It’s similar to the ‘cool kid’ with a sycophantic following. One of the fundamental human needs (beyond the physical food, water, air, shelter) – is to be loved and accepted. We all wanted to be the cool kid at one point, or settled for being liked by him or her. Some of us outgrow that when we figure out no amount of attention, sharing of our toys, or sacrifice of ourselves will guarantee being in favor with the group. Let’s face it, in order for the elite to stay that way – some people have to be rejected. Lucky us!!!! But, let’s face it, as long as you’re following the ‘good book’ – in religion, you’re always one of the ‘cool kids’, and come to accept more than you would in an a-hole elitist clique…
People in general are creatures of habit… In some religions, this is also part of the costuming. Haha, yes, there is wardrobe attached with religion as well (and a bad pun in the first sentence)… – you can easily identify a monk, priest, or witchdoctor by their simplistic or elaborate costuming & accessories. Who hasn’t seen some image of a repenting soul kissing the Pope’s ring. Or of a voodoo priest wearing a necklace of teeth, barefoot, maniacally performing his ritual? We identify with or against people based on our senses & vision is usually the most used of all. Again, we think of the ‘cool kids’ – they had style, or were beautiful, or just this smile of confidence. We think of other sectors in life – blue collar vs white collar workers (the dirty, ignorant peon vs the educated businessman), costumes to designate trust (Policeman blues, doctor’s white coats), to signify competence or wisdom (nurse’s scrubs, judge’s robes)…The point being, unless some public tragedy occurs to shake this deep-rooted teaching, we believe, based solely on sight, what a person will be like. Religious leaders are practically deified themselves, as the voice of their God(s). Is it any wonder abuse of power & corruption occur? In the end, we are all thinking, feeling, human beings.
In general, religions which emphasize magic or ability to control the world around them, feature priests in some of the most outrageous garb (voo doo priest), those who preach simplicity (and actually practice it), wear meager clothes designed to cover them from the elements (buddhist monks). Thanks to the Jim Baker scandal, we were given a glimpse into the excesses such a glorifying responsibility of a true evangelist enables. The thousand dollar suits, complexes to house “God” & his worshippers, and, of course, the millions of dollars for Tammy Faye’s inches of makeup & shoulder pads. MILLIONS of dollars to a false prophet. And, how many others go unnoticed, and paid out the wazoo?!?! Cause REALLY??!?! God needs money???? Why? Cause he can’t afford his new Ipod?!?!?!?!?
So, that brings us to general abuses. From the times of “God’s Voice” priests, there have been abuses well ingrained into the system. Priests were given the lion’s share of wealth, food, livestock, and for the non-celibacy sects – women, men (and boys & girls)… They wore the finest silks while the poor toiled in burlap… oversaw the collection of ‘tributes’, and punished those who weren’t up to snuff. They tortured, murdered, and otherwise abused innocents in “_____ (A God’s)” name. The Spanish Inquisition, Salem (and other) Witch hunts, Nazi’s Jewish roundup & intended extinction techniques, missionaries who invade ‘heathen’ environments, destroy their earthy possessions, and otherwise crush the culture, valid personal beliefs & social structure of otherwise fully-functioning societies. Yes, kids, the closed mindedness of religion certainly has far-reaching, and deadly consequences. And because of WHAT? A fucking difference of opinion about who’s god is bigger…er better.. That’s right, it’s like a weird Creator penis envy…
“MY God is better than your god because…..”
“YEAH, well, MY God…..”
“OH YEAH??? I got you both beat – cause MY God…….”
WHAT!?!?!? People are DYING and KILLING for their beliefs because they think their interpretation of God & His will is supreme, infallible, solely truthful – and whomever doesn’t agree deserves what comes to them!!! EXCUSE ME?!?! What are you people going by? Are you reading your fiction literally? Do you REALLY think your ‘benevolent’ God condones violence against ANYONE? Judge not…lest you feel superior???????… What the fuck are you preaching that JESUS teaches??? HE LOVED EVERYONE… HE DIDN’T JUDGE!!!! If people really read the stories, believed in a fair God, their interpretation may be a bit different than the kamikaze Jonestown/Waco affairs.. Or, Ruby Ridge? Kamikaze pilots? Jihad? But, I fear I’m repeating myself.
So, if you’ve read this far, you think I’m an attacking ass with no idea or understanding what she’s talking about. Destined to hell, or to repeat this life again until I get it ‘right’, or doomed to an eternity of some sort of punishment or torture. Or, maybe I’ll just wander around soulless, ‘haunting’ a particular area – most likely my bedroom, since I rarely go out… The point is… WHO KNOWS?!?!? Cause if someone TRULY knew the ONE ANSWER, don’t you think they’d be telling it? AND, IF someone knew the ONE ANSWER & was sharing it with the world, what would we do??? How would we thank them? That’s right – we’d lock em in a f’ing looney bin!!! If true prophets existed today – in the same dirty, smelly, Non-Abercrombie guise as their alleged ancestors, we’d write them off as homeless, crazy, and not worth our time or ears! They’d be dissed, dismissed & generally pissed upon. Same with nature worshippers – if that is the TRUE religion, who’s gonna believe a hippie chick or long-haired 40 year old claiming to be a ‘warlock’??? “UM, Hey, everyone, Brother Bush says we need to stop fighting each other… and, if you could, um… stop picking flowers cause you’re messing up the universe”…
Yeah, raise your hand if you’d buy that!!!
What, no takers???? Shocker!
OK, as this is long enough, I’ll wrap it up. Do I besmirch faith??? Hell no! I have faith in people, nature & in faith itself. I know, it sounds weird, but really, no more silly than worshipping a story, or fable, or whatever your neighbor is currently into *cough cough Kabbalah*. I really considered starting a movement myself – centered on the super deity Bob [my all-purpose generic name (not to be confused w/my fave name Marc)]. A few people have heard me mention him (hi FSC friends – back then he was just my ‘invisible friend’ – till Nicole murdered him)… Haha… another story. But, if enough people PRETEND to worship something, and are convincing enough, soon people will be curious. Some will claim to have ‘been there from the beginning’. From there, a movement is born. Now, I don’t want to mislead people, so I choose NOT to embark on that slippery slope. But, you know, deep in your heart of hearts, that I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me – try this Sheeple experiment: Have you & 3 of your friends sit in a random place – restaurant, church, theater… – one by one, look at the ceiling & stare at the same spot. Watch how many people 1. Look up.. & 2. Continue to look even though there’s NOTHING THERE!!!
Religion is like that – we keep staring at the same damned books, skies, ‘signs’, skin colors, cultures, amulets, props, and icons. We look because others before us have looked. We continue to look, hoping to find SOMETHING. It’s like a stereo-gram… except everyone who “sees” something has a different interpretation. For one, it’s a pine tree, someone else sees an arrow to glorious heaven, yet another person sees a one-legged midgit on a stilt………and the rest of us get a headache staring at a psychadelic arrangement of dots! IS that Jesus on a piece of toast? The Hand of Allah in a cloud formation? Yahweh in Yuri’s yodel? Jehova in Jane’s Jello? Buddah is in my Brotha!!!!! Yeah, I could totally speak in tongues, does that make me silly, bored, possessed, ‘blessed’, or distressed??? Do you call a priest? ambulance? Channel 10??? Dr. Drew!?!? Brett Michaels???? Next season – Rock God of Love….
I’m sure I have more in mind, but this seems like a good stopping point. Great, I hear the angry mob approaching…. must get the hose to douse the torches…. The point is: have faith, belief, love & respect – just don’t reserve them for the ‘like minded’. Be leery of your ‘leaders’ & when you know something to be wrong – for Bob’s Sake – question it, & if the answers don’t feel right – don’t turn a blind eye!!!! We are given Free Will, so says most religions – exercise it as your gift, right AND RESPONSIBILITY!!! Be my friend – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Athiest, Satanist, Wiccan. Whatever, just like I don’t need the personal details of your bedroom activities, preaching your faith is not a requisit to friendship. Be a person, not a ‘prophet’ or ‘messenger’ or, Bob forbid try to convert me. I will love you as a person & expect you to do the same. Respect me as a person & my beliefs & I will ultimately respect yours. Sure, we may rib each other, but good naturedly; trying to push something unsolicited is offensive – to me & you…. We are humans, we need to believe in something or someone, and just because we give it or them different names, doesn’t mean we aren’t really reading the same page – it just may be in a different language…or have a different illustrator…. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else – your faith is fine.. and so is yours… and yours…
And, always remember:
BOB LOVES YOU!!!!