Wednesday, March 9, 2011

god, or God? ...or OH God... or whatever

Since yesterday I accidentally talked about politics when I didn't even realize it was the next topic in my thirty days of truth, I will instead choose to talk about religion.

I'm Lutheran, and I love it. I went to private school for 9 years as a youngster (K-8th) and I really wouldn't change that for the world.

Not only did I get a great education because of the small class sizes (and I do mean small, my graduating 8th grade class had only 17 kids in it), but I also got to grow up in a safe environment where the teachers really cared, everyone knew each other, and a girl with big boobs could still play sports even if they interfered sometimes.

During a volley ball tournament my 8th grade year I had the opportunity to bump the ball... because my aim was slightly off, instead of hitting my outstretched arms it hit my boobs. And instead of going anywhere it sort of flopped, losing all its momentum, and fell to the ground with a thud. Everyone laughed... I obviously felt awesome about myself and was monumentally particular every time thereafter as to make sure the ball hit my arms, and not my boobs.

In private school, be it Catholic, Lutheran, or Nondenominational, you still have religion class every single day (except Wednesdays, but at that point you have Chapel, which the whole school attends and you don't have to do homework (yes, I had religion homework)). You also had a memory verse each week. We were also monitored on how often we went to church, that too was a part of our grade. Basically, I know my Bible.

But what do I think of religions that don't follow conventional New King James or the like versions of the Written Word? How do I feel about religions that don't allow you to eat meat on Fridays, or, more horrifically: bacon. Ever.

As far as never eating bacon ever goes, in my mind that in itself is a sin. Bacon helps me see God, therefore I think it in itself is a holy symbol.

What do I think of religions where the ladies don't cut their hair and only wear skirts, or where you can't read Harry Potter books?

Basically I think religion as an idea is an excellent. As a practice, if left to define your every day morality (which, thanks to radiolab we know that morality has little to nothing to do with religion whatsoever) and how we treat and love others it's also a great thing. But, when organized religion leads people to hate and cast judgement and have a "holier than thou" attitude toward those who believe anything differently I am not impressed.

In fact I'm appalled.

Take my parents for example. My mother (the republican) and my father (the democrat) have been divorced for about 17 years.

My mother insists on going to church every Sunday, she does daily bible studies, tells me to pray ever time I try to discuss a problem with her and seriously, I kid you not, watches the yelling religious type shows with my nephew, and the pathetic "God has changed my heart, I'm alive today because of him" shows on a far too regular basis. But, when it comes to her current marriage she is a total bitch. She treats my step dad like crap and blames every single problem they have on him. She won't face her problems and is still living with me despite how much stress she causes me knowingly. Instead of trying to make her life any better, she looks to God, inactively. My mother is very unhappy.

No one (not even God) can help you if you're not doing anything. Ignoring your problems will get you nowhere; trust me, I know.

My dad goes to church on Saturdays so he can golf Sunday mornings. He tries to get my little sister to go with him, sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't. Either way he is happy to go, enjoy the company of his church friends, worship, sing, give offering, and take communion all while keeping his feet and head on the ground. He loves and believes in God, but he understands that hatred and judging anyone for anything isn't his place or responsibility. My dad is a happy man.

see how fun I can be?
Looking at religion as an obligation isn't how God intended it to be. In his Word (I'm going by Christianity here because it's what I know best) he talks about peace, love, and leaving certain things up to Him. We are to worship him, but that doesn't mean just in showing up and going through the motions, it means living as though your presence matters, your actions affect those around you, and making every decision you ever make based on the golden rule: Love. It means that when your heart is in the right place the rest will follow. You're existence will be a testament, not your fake words and your ability to take scripture out of context.

I see religion as a guide line for how to best show love. If you're showing love you're showing God. Judgement isn't love. Blaming others and having no responsibility of your own isn't showing love. Hating, mocking, belittling, thinking you're somehow more important than another person... none of that is love. None of that is God.

And that's why I see no reason to attend church with my mother, or any other person who views religion as she does.


  1. "The kingdom of God is inside you and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and God is there; Lift a stone and you will find God."

    You can like or loathe the movie (Stigmata), but I agree with this 100% and it's always stuck with me.

  2. Bacon IS from the heavens. I feel for those who aren't able to eat it. They are for real missing out.