What is religion? It's nothing more than an idea that many people take far too seriously, and if I am going to live a life I can continue to tolerate unmedicated, I am going to have to take it less seriously, too.

My problem isn't religion; it's what fake religion does to people who don't know better, and what it does to people who do know better, and all those million shades in between, the great mass of Orwellian doublethinkers who knowingly and unknowingly interpret "holy" words to best serve their fears and prejudices. That last group deserves a more thorough examination than I am capable of.

Over the last however long it's been, it's been in my mind that those most responsible for the world's misery use "faith" to mask and to justify their bigotry and other twisted psychological dysfunctions. I can't --but don't need to, do I-- go through a chain of events to illustrate that faith was, at some point, hijacked by "faith", which was genius. It created an unbeatable, unquestionable assurance and much political power was thus derived. I am confident that the transformation of faith to "faith" had something to do with television, postmodernism, money, and power.

People who don't identify with a religious group, or like myself actively identify outside one, are at least forced to apply a more sincere philosophical analysis to questions that religions answer, like the soul, and who deserves what, and what it's all about. You'd think that that knowledge alone would nourish me and give me satisfaction, but all it did was take me to levels of batshit aggravation that I took out on youth pastors and other flakes who use their bullshit to scare and hypnotize gullible people. The more gullible people are, the more we all lose collectively, yet the more the church wins. You can see how I really got into hating on religion, right?

My endlessly pissy fury aimed at everyone who's faithful missed the point that there was a major rift that I was too lazy to consider very deeply. There's a kind of faith that people who honestly meant well were practising, and there's a kind that spends a lot of money trying to look like that other kind and succeeds, except that its message is one of exclusion, selfishness, and so on. (A good rule of thumb might be that the more people one is addressing, the less seriously each person should take you. I think you zero out at about a million. Alas, we all live among the cultural wreckage of that the pre-mass media mind was unprepared for the likes of Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Rod Parsley, Tony Little, and Ron Popeil. If only I could go back and warn them.)

In closing, I am still plenty grouchy, but I'm not angry at a thing called religion, nor the people who were brought up inside and still adhere to a system of belief based on tolerance, sacrifice, consideration, and gratitude. I'm making an effort to figure out who it is that I ought to be mad at.

On being white, a section I deleted from this post but want to include:

It's convenient if I want a decent job, or want to shmooze, but shmoozing is for people with no honor. I'm from the south, and if I need to identify with something because of that, something I can go to bed feeling good about, it's that I know what honor is. And is it honorable to take a shit on some poor people, or make a crack about how someone's brown, or is named Muhammad?

Part of the reason you see so many young, healthy white people with tattoos all over them is their whiteness conflict. They don't have a space to live in intellectually, and at least partially because of this, have to draw it with ink. That's what I think anyway.


At Friday, June 29, 2007, Anonymous fairlane said...

If you're interested our friend Blue Gal and several other blogs are holding their annual "Blogswarm Against Theocracy" from July 1-4. The link below will give you more info on how to submit posts etc if you're interested.


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