Thursday, August 4, 2016

Me v. Organized Religion

Dun Dun Duuuuun. Just kidding. Mostly.

The Friday of Father's Day, my sister was in a car accident that literally folded her car like a book. Yes, I realize that cars don't fold, nor are they any shape that resembles a book, that is how bad of an accident that it was.

She was in the hospital about a week, ICU for 4 of those days, and I tried to be there as often as possible. Since I share a car with Gil, and he is possibly the only person I know busier than me, it was a lot of bus rides and drop offs, but 100% worth it.

On Sunday, Gil had a Father's Day family fishing trip that he left for before the sun, and my mom offered me a ride to see Bug. She goes to church on this side of town, and the cost of admission was to go to church with her. I am pretty anti-church, and had only gone for funerals and weddings for over a decade, but I went. It was...... surreal to say the least.

 I grew up in the Christian Church, and witnessed first hand the corruption and cowardice that can be found in large organized groups. But even before that, when I was younger, the idea that there was this firm, immovable line of right that should never be crossed, with threat of burning hellfire seemed a bit unrealistic. And, if there really is this almighty being, out there, somewhere, would they not know that no rule is correct all the time, that life is nuanced? There is no steadfast rule, even when it comes to things like killing, so no rule can be absolute. It made me uncomfortable being around so many people, just 100% buying into it, no questions ever asked, no healthy debates from differing points to bring the stories to life. Baptized and everything, I never bought in.

Fast forward to Father's Day, my mom, my sister's kiddos and I all walk into the church and immediately someone is in our faces saying good morning. I knew ::someone:: was going to try to hand me a program, so I had filled my arms with children. It was a win for all of us. ;)
Drop them off at the nursery, head on in, and service starts. BOOM. Face from my childhood. One of the super cute boys from my summers at camp is a balding adult, leading the praise and worship part, and is the pastor's son. No wonder I saw his face every single year as a kid..
Pastor starts preaching this SUPER sexist, exactly what I remember sort of message about the measure of A Good Man. Not even person, or human, but man. Complete with hammer jokes. (Yes, I know Father's Day, but growing up the messages directed towards women were about how to be good servants and stay meek, never about strength and courage).

I was nervous about my sister, and uncomfortable, and amazed.

All these people drank the Kool-Aid, people were there in wheelchairs because they believe that G-d will comfort them; my mom hauls her ass 30 miles across town because she thinks the pastor has a strong ear for The Word. While I was sitting there counting the minutes, there was people hanging on the Pastor's every word, moved by him. When it came time to pray, their loud voices vibrated off the walls.

It was a beautiful thing, for a lot of people there. Not for me.

Instead, I'm jealous of them. Believing in their G-d, their church, their religion, fills them with peace and contentment. When everything looks bleak they still sing loudly and passionately, because to them, they know what they believe is real, and that's enough.

I wish that was enough for me, but it really truly isn't. Faith alone, in the unknown, isn't enough for me to just blindly skip through life thinking it will all work out for me in the end, because my imaginary friend loves me.

Those flippant words aren't an accurate portrayal of my feelings on the nuanced subject of higher powers, but they do demonstrate part of my disgust at it all. Don't worry, some of my disgust is that I'm jealous of such a simplistic ideology.

We live in a complex, strange, twisted up word, filled with an assortment of colors and variations of right and wrong, good and evil. Trying to say that one thought process is the one and only truth, and all other variations are wrong is arrogant. And automatically wrong. That's the thing with unknowns, we might get some things right, but since there are huge gaping holes in our information, it's more likely that we get something wrong.

But, if we take all those beliefs and lay them out, take a good hard look at them... They basically say: Don't be a Dick.

So lets all just work a little more on that huh? Maybe leave the bigger questions until we get a better handle on this first part? Whaddya say?

A Little Blasphemy as a Literal (and Figurative) Sign of Progress

 Hello there, it’s been a while, and in true returning from ghosting fashion, I am here to either share something vapid and meaningless, or ...