Thursday, November 04, 2004

Your mama wears combat boots.

I bought some. Combat boots, I mean. I feel like a soldier, or more like the world's falling down and I need to be prepared. Not to fight it, it's really not in my nature to be militant. No, just to survive I guess...

My parents have found religion. What? No commentary on the outcome of the election? No, I'm getting there... let me finish. They're going to a Baptist church. It bothers me. Alot. So, I've been thinking about it. Alot. I'm worried about confrontational conversations. I've always had a negative view of organized (mostly Christian) religion. I think the followers are often close-minded. They all congregate in the same place for their weekly brain-washing, and "spread the good word" the other 6 days. Well, I'm not buying it.

Okay, maybe I'm not being fair. I know. Under a microscope it's fine, or can be. Religion helps a lot of people through rough times. And with the right preacher it can be a good thing too. I've met a few who are really open to questions, debate, etc. They weren't ready to feed me their sale's pitch, and were open to letting me hold my own opinion -even if it was different from their own. But, in my experience, these people are the minority. Generally the Christian religion is nothing more than a mind-control machine that not only keeps people "good" and "honest" but also uses them to push for political and social ajendas.

See, I have these unresolved problems. Mind you, I know very little about Christianity, but living in a Christian-dominated country, I think I've picked up a few things...

Homosexuals are bad says the pope. They shouldn't get married or have relationships. Certainly not sex. Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but science has pretty much proven that it's biological. So, "God made them that way. " What now? They're still bad? Apparently. You're view hasn't changed.

People who don't believe go to Hell. Or that place in-between. But certainly not Heaven. What about the people God put in the middle of the jungles of Africa with no contact with "civilization", and therefore no means of ever even hearing about "God", "Jesus", whoever? They go to Hell as well? Hardly the "fair" and "just" rules of a "loving God".

So, what would Jesus do? According to many passages in the Bible "smoting" was a favorite passtime. Yep, wiping out villages, cursing a man's children and grandchildren for his mistakes, etc. I don't know, dude. I don't think I can buy in...

That being said, there are some who take the Bible as fable, and disregard parts that don't make sense to them. They listen to the preacher, and interpret the sermon as they see fit. They use Christianity as a framework and bend it to their own reality. These are "thinking Christians" and I respect them.

No, the people I have a problem with are the ones who read everything as reality and never put any thought into what they're told by the guy in the robe. The nod with a far-off stare and go out in droves to "save souls".

My views are just background here, though. One point I guess is that I'm afraid of my parents trying to "convert me". The other, bigger concern is this: In a conversation at work a few weeks ago we were talking politics and someone said that he was watching the Presidential debate when his son came in and said "Dad, my Sunday school teacher said that Kerry's bad because he wants to let people kill babies." The world stopped. Blood rushed to my head, and anger threatened to pour out of my eyes as tears. It's fine for an individual to hold an opinion about abortion. I admit that my mind isn't completely made up one way or the other about it. I also know that it's the church's view that abortion means the killing of a human soul, and therefore they are against it. But bringing politics into a class of children who are there to learn about religion is wrong. I see it as evidence of brain-washing, and I was encouraged to look into this further.

Before I go further a disclaimer: when I say "brain-washing' I don't mean overtly. I don't think that's the goal of local churches, or the sunday school teacher, or whoever. I think everyone has "what's best" in mind. No, but religion has a lot of power over people. And when the majority of a nation calls themselves "Christians" all of a sudden the church has a lot of power over nations as well...

Back to my investigation... I wasn't going to go to church (although the thought of showing up in my combat boots is amusing), no I watched TV. Sunday morning. The preachers were more than enthused. It was actually quite fun to watch. I saw three different preachers in the course of my two or three-week investigation. One guy I'm throwing out because he didn't actually preach. No, he "healed" people, and sold little packets of healing water from some well in Ohio. Okay, so 2 preachers, and both of them mentioned how Kerry would be bad for the nation. They actually spent time talking about the election each time I watched them, and outright said that Kerry was evil because of his "immorality"-his stance on gay marriage (more like "civil unions"), stem cells, and abortion.

As I watched, my heart sank for I knew that Bush would win re-election. Vote for Bush or go to Hell. What a campaign slogan. And people fell for it. Religion has a strong hold on our country and I don't think it's a good thing.


  1. Anonymous2:55 PM

    DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT! I know, it seems strange, wierd, and different. Its not that bad:

  2. I hope you don't mind: