They say two topics start the biggest arguments: religion and politics. Since I’ve already posted about my view on politics, it seemed fair to make a post about religion. I’ll warn that it’s going to make you laugh and feel bad while doing it or completely make you look at me like I’m a godless amoral person, which you’ll probably be right on. Instead of thinking too much about how I’ll be looked at afterwards, I’ll just dive right on in.
Anytime someone says to me “What would Jesus do?” I usually have the same general response: “Why would I do what Jesus did? He landed himself nailed to a cross to come back as a zombie 3 days later.” This is usually followed by a comment about the zombies he’s created. I wouldn’t label myself an Atheist though; I don’t like the idea of not believing in anything. If I had to, I would cross my beliefs in Agnosticism with a dash of Paganism. I don’t like labels though, so I usually just don’t associate myself with any organized religion. I believe that I’m far more spiritual in thought than I ever will be sticking myself with a “group” I don’t fully believe in. (Sound like my talk on politics?)
I don’t have a problem with organized religion. I don’t feel like people need to go to church and waste 45 minutes to 2 hours of their life listening to an old guy out of touch with his community preaching about morals. If there was a God, I’m certain that he’d have more concern over more important matters than whether you attend a mass every week. In fact, I’m pretty certain if he did exist, he’d have a lot more to care about than most matters that don’t involve harming another person or thing. Likewise, I feel if he did exist, he wouldn’t like the squabbles or wars that have existed or now exist to fight over which God is better. I also don’t think if he existed, he would want people to feel isolated and hated as a result of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. I would hope he wouldn’t care; otherwise I don’t think I’d want to believe in him anyways.
I grew up in a Catholic family. I was a good little Irish Catholic that attended my CCD every week, though I complained the entire time doing it. When it came time for my confirmation, I admit I made a mockery of it. In fact, my confirmation name was “Brigid”, the patron saint of Ireland who was also the patron saint of reformed prostitutes and unwed mothers. (I think the joke ended up being on me a year later.) Denis Leary once made a joke that the Catholic religion still stands as a result of spite. “If I had to suffer through it, my kids do too.” Inspired by that statement, my son attends CCD every week as I did, but it’s important to know that I do feel every kid deserves a shot to make up his own mind about personal matters like this.
My problem with religion is the same problem I have with politics. People fight over the main principles. One side is better than the other, though in the case of religion you have probably thousands of religions fighting over who’s right. Wars are fought over this all the time, and acts are terrorism as a result of differing beliefs is all too common. You could say my biggest problem with religion is extremists, but that’s my biggest problem of any kind. Realistically, I know that people will never agree on the “best” God. I don’t think there is a “best” God. I do hope someday, more tolerance will exist across all differences.
I think everyone needs something to believe in. I think if we lack a belief in anything, the world would be full of lonely, miserable people. When tragedy happens, sometimes people need something more. I think as people age, they don’t want to be depressed at the thought that soon they’ll be nothing more than ashes or a corpse decomposing in the ground. I know I’m happy learning about other religions, and realizing at the core, they are all exactly the same: they want people who “do good”. I also know I’ll proudly wear my pentacle tattoo, and I’ll proudly wear my Celtic cross. I don’t think I need to associate with any one religion to be a good person.