I don’t like evangelists. What is it with some people, thinking they have a personal hotline to God that nobody else has? One thing i know about religion – you don’t need an intermediary. If you want God, he/she is right there – that made in their image stuff pays off – they’re a part of you.
To save time – because spiritual exploration does take time, no matter what the born-agains tell you – I suggest you worship me. It’s easy, just read my blog, and my tweet stream – we’re quits. You get the Access All Areas pass to the Kingdom of Darkness.
Oh – and i do not want your soul, (unless i need to sell it to Satan for drugs – I’ll take a raincheck, ta), nor do i need you to be a true disciple. Following me on Twitter is fine – real life, I get paranoid when people are behind me. Ok, ok, more paranoid.
If i ever get a book published, you need to either buy it, or rave to your mates about how good i am. Both if you can manage it. The rest of it, well, you need to understand you might as well be nice to people. Being hated, no matter how much politicians and lawyers promote it as cool, just isn’t that much fun.
Being nice won’t stop people from being nasty, in fact, you may on occasion need to thump someone (at least figuratively) – but it does mean you won’t have trouble sleeping at night. Salvation and a cure for insomnia – this is how it should be. Value-added worship. Seems to me to be a decent way to run a religion.
Actually, the above is pretty close to my belief system. There are times when you need to stand up to bullies and dictators. There are other times when you need to ignore them, run away, or keep your head down.
It can be better to ignore people – this is one of my favourite net functions. If only we had a Block or Ignore function in real life – aside, obviously, from a court order. I figure fucktarditis might be catching – and it messes with my sense of Zen. If i don’t see fucktards, they can’t annoy me.
When i was eleven, i found out i hadn’t been baptised. I was horrified, as all the Christian religions said that was important. My parents were Church of England and Roman Catholic (Irish branch). I’d gone my own way in primary school, and attended either Scripture class. So i knew that if i’d died before they got around to christening me, i would go to Hell. Christianity is filled with holes in the doctrines, but this never made sense to me. Sending babies to Hell? What kind of forgiving, loving God was this?
After all, let’s take the basic tenet of ALL Christian religions – and God did sacrifice his only begotten son. Jesus died so that our sins were forgiven, and his Coming was the end of Original Sin. Basic, right?
Original Sin was passed down to us by Adam and Eve. God hexed them for wanting to know things – the Old Testament God was a vengeful bastard who guarded his internet with razor wire. Adam set up a proxy to avoid God’s Giant Net Filter, admittedly, at Eve’s insistence, after someone Tweeted her a link. God got totally miffed and took away their WiFi. And their Wii’s.
Meantime, they were freaked out about being naked, probably from overdosing on God’s drug stash (not as good as Satan’s), and Internet Porn. This was Original Sin. We were all marked – until Jesus died on the cross. As we were told over and over, the New Testament changed the human contract with God.
No longer were we born sinners. Halle-fucking-lullah. God had morphed, he was now Kind New Testament God With Added Baby Jebus And Wait, There’s More! Now comes complete with Holy Spirit too! If so, how the fuck did unbaptised babies get damned? They hadn’t said they believed. But they don’t say it, i said, the babies can’t talk. Ah, but it covers them until they do. Yeah, right.
This was not the only flaw. Thou shalt not worship graven images, said a commandment – God is Love, said the priests – yet the Catholic churches were full of Christ statues, the bleeding, tormented God of a cult of pain and suffering, and of course, his poor Mum, a late addition. The Trinity was hard enough to understand as far as the “One God To Rule Them All” thing went, but adding Mary made it a nonsense.
Don’t worry about oppression in this life, the Church told me, about fighting for your rights, or about bosses, politicians, and churches lining their own pockets at the expense of workers, electorates, and parishioners – the Afterlife will be better. You’ll be in Paradise. Give us your tiny earnings in the meantime, and the Church will do Good Works. Like buying gold cups to serve communion wine in.
Hmm – and you don’t get that it’s a rort? Designed to keep you pliant and obedient? *shrugs* This is it, people – you’re in-body. This is as good as it gets. Doesn’t matter if you think this is your only life, or one of many - enjoy, for fuck’s sake. Don’t stay with your hated partner for the sake of the children, don’t do the job you hate, in fact, avoid hate, it will poison you and everything you touch. (It’s alright to hate fucktards, because everyone is a fucktard at least some of the time.)
After hitting the fast track – to being claimed by the Church – at about 13 I was supposed to go to my First Confession. No freaking way, i decided – i wasn’t prepared to lie while under oath to God, besides, I was not convinced of God’s existence.
No man was going to hear my sins. You see, even thinking – about anything they call a sin - becomes a sin in organised religions. They want to torment you with guilt, it’s a good way of controlling you.
As i told Pastor Fred (who’s trying to redeem us sinners, in the comments on the pope porn post), i’m allergic to organised religions. That covers Catholicism and all the schism faiths. That’s you, Pastor Fred, just another Christian offshoot – which is just another offshoot of Judaism, like Islam. It’s the same as every other kind where someone sets themselves up as holier than the rest. Especially those with a caste system.
Frankly, Pastor Fred didn’t stand a chance. Aha, he thought, an embittered Papist, ripe for conversion. Sorry to disappoint, but i’ve made my own religion, and I’m quite happy with God. Pastor Fred is unabashed, he’s praying for Nick Hodge, a friendly atheist he found in the comments.
As for Wicca – another organised religion – they at least recognise the Solitary. Wiccans love labels – i still remember the happy sigh as a Wiccan figured out what to label me.
The Solitary doesn’t need to hang out in congregations, or work to get their next badge, but goes their own road. To quote Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles, “We don’t need no stinking badges!” I’m not Wiccan, by any stretch - i don’t accept Wiccan belief, practice, or ranks.
Though Wicca is almost as funny as the modern Druids, with their Oak Leaf Second Class bollocks. Some of the herbal knowledge is useful, (the rituals are probably as authentic as the ones in Charmed), but I don’t like cliques, clubs, or people telling me what to think, so Wicca is out. I also don’t believe in their pantheon.
I am not an Atheist – atheism often sounds like organised religion territory – all the shouting about not believing and how strongly they don’t believe.
I don’t care what you believe, but trying to convert me is pointless. I’m happy in real life to talk about religions – if you’re capable of listening, of learning, and of discussing, instead of screeching like a banshee that your Way is the Only Truth. We don’t have to share the same beliefs – i’m happy, if you are, that’s great.
As for the evangelists – if the nuns and priests, with two thousand years of indoctrinating the faithful, couldn’t shake my belief that their God was something evil – when i was just a child – do you honestly think some born-again who doesn’t know history and thinks the Bible is the actual Word of God is going to do it? Oh, don’t make me laugh!
At around 13, i chose not to be part of the Church. I knew in their eyes this damned me to Hell, but i’d already broken several commandments, so i was damned already. (Using the name of God in vain, um, disrespecting my parents, and… um… oh, coveting - i’d coveted big time. Mortal sins, go to Hell – Confession won’t help a mortal sin, you’re damned.)
I’d learned to hold my parents and my teachers in contempt, (most) religious leaders too, and i’d also learned that anyone who tried to judge me was likely to be a bigger sinner than i could hope to be. Especially nuns. They were bitter, unloving, vindictive, insincere, the works.
Gosh, what an interesting place this blog is. For me, at any rate, i hope you lot are still enjoying yourselves. So here i am, the most religious person you probably know. I genuinely try to be kind to my fellows, to worship God every day, in letting the joy of being-in-body, and the glory of the world fill me. I meditate, I pray, and of course, i light my votive candles.
I’m also extremely sceptical, do not believe in the Bible, and have read enough of the recent translations of Revelations to know the Rapturists are talking out of their respective arseholes. I understand that it is quite possible i’m lighting candles in a Godless, purposeless darkness. In my perceptions, with what i’ve seen and experienced, i don’t believe that.
I don’t need fellow-worshippers and i don’t need a formal religion. I love talking to genuine scholars of matters religious, whose methods aren’t stymied by their faith. I’ve been studying religions for nearly 40 years. People like Pastor Fred are on a hiding to nothing. Which is why i do so enjoy telling them i’m the Antichrist.
The whole point of the Queen of Darkness is that she is kind to people, unlike most Christians, so – if they’re on the side of Light, then I’m the Queen of Darkness. Yes, i get cranky, yes, i do tend to call a fucktard a fucktard – but being blunt, and speaking the truth, does not preclude being nice to other people. Or even to myself.
If you’re interested in finding your own spiritual path, @GGW_Bach has an excellent starter article on Seven Powerful Ways to Develop Your Spirituality. I’d recommend all seven he mentions.