JotaKa talking about Religion

So… yeah, after a short hiatus, I decided to make… a religious post. I really don’t know why. I’m thinking of doing a music review shortly, but unfortunately, I’m short of inspiration and good albums to review, even if so bad it’s good to bash them to shreds. So, a little short story:

My name is José Eduardo, I’m Brazilian, I’m majoring in Geology, I’m a rocker since I remember it and… I’m also an atheist since I remember it. I don’t think I ever believed in god, looking back, and to be quite honest, that’s something I count as a bad thing, since I never was able to see things from other eyes, and won’t ever be able. I come from a catholic family, even though my parents are more of hippies than actually anything religion related, so I wasn’t baptized. I grew up making lots of questions to my parents, but since the only examples my parents can give back are questions about minor stuff (like “how Michael Jackson walks backwards” and “was there any wizards”), I guess I kept all the really deep questions to myself… maybe even not ever questioning them, since I already had an answer.

I think everything boils down to the lack of lying from my parents: I never believed the tale of the baby carrying stork and Christmas was always about “giving is better than receiving” (even though admittedly, I believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny). I still like Christmas very much, I just don’t attach any Jesus feeling into it. So, even though I really don’t remember when I became Atheist, I can’t give you a precise date. It just… kind of came naturally. And as the years come to me, I was presented with more situations that being what I am was genuinely better than believing that I wasn’t right, so I had to adjust. And more and more, I see some issues that really bug me through and through in most Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions.

A little disclaimer: I don’t get this cult on Richard Dawkins. I never read God Delusion, but quite frankly, it sounds to me like some sort of fallacy. The Atheist Belief is a double edged knife: we are pretty convinced that there is no higher power, but… if it happens to be, I won’t be on the cynic side. I know of some people that, even if the clouds opened and a face came through and said: “I’m God. Really. See this tree growing from this brick. And I nourished all of the people in Africa and cured them of diseases. Also, I brought Hendrix back from the dead, so that he may have an opportunity to repent his ways and be the guitar god he is down there, only up here”, wouldn’t believe in god. Trust me: if that shit happened, I would think “So why didn’t you do that before?” and move on with my life, but now, believing in god. It’s just that maybe god exists. Maybe there is a god. Who knows? I don’t.

So here is where the complaints start. This is a list of why I hate most of the religious belief that happens around me: the Judeo-Christian religions. More focused on Catholicism and Protestantism, along with some Pentecostal churches.

First and definitely one of my biggest complaints: people don’t believe in the god they say they believe. It’s quite a complicated idea, but a simple matter. For both religions, god is love. It’s actually a pretty strong thing to believe: if I’m going to believe in something, it would have to be something that loved me, or loved us. I wanted to believe in something that hated me, I would believe in Pump Up the Jam. And that’s okay by me: God is unconditional love. Period. Then why, oh why, when I close my eyes, I can think of so many sentences that involve: “God Hates”? He is the “embodied” feeling of love… however, he hates Atheists, Gays, People from African based religions… see? I don’t get that. So, well, he is not unconditional love. That’s called conditional love. And as more facts are being shown, being homosexual is something that happens naturally, proving that, if god hates homosexuals, he made them so that he could hate them.

God is all powerful, all knowing and all present. That could be discussed later, but I’m discussing beliefs of Christian people that believe on those three maximums. Then why do so many people go to the church, pray and pray and pray, and donate money to the church… and nothing gets resolved? You don’t need to be a major in administration and financed to guess that if there is a sector of your… for lack of a better word, industry, that is lacking in resources… stock it. I’m not sure of what I’m going to say since tithe is not accounted for but I believe that if 1/10 of… quick math time, we have 13.000.000 people on the Pentecostal churchs, let’s say each and every one of them gets… let’s for sake of bizarre argument, each one gets as salary 1 dollar… preposterous, I know, but let’s see: 1.3 million dollars goes to someone’s pocket each and every month (and we know it’s way… WAY more than that)… and do you see improvements? I’ve been told before that sometimes a church gives some of the tithe money as a donation, which I find cool, but… why don’t give it directly? Why not give it some non-governmental organization that you trust? Maybe give it directly to a cause you care. Get involved! It’s better than just giving money. And there are some religions down here that make tithe compulsory. Dead serious. I once asked a guy why he paid the church 1/10 of his salary instead of donating to somewhere important and he said “I’m not paying the church, and giving back to the church, since God gave it to me in the first place”. And here’s a little bit of information for you guys: there are some guys here in Brazil that are neck deep in money because of this. Quick search: Edir Macedo, and take your own conclusions.

Next, we have the issue of lack of creativity. This is an issue I have that is sort of a minor issue, but it bugs me every time. Mythology, be it whatever it may be, should be fantastic. We are dealing with people with huge powers. In the Christian mythos, Moses opened the red sea with his hands! After plaguing Egypt with 10 (12?) plagues, each different and progressively harsher, until the point he killed most (all? I have to reread the bible) first born child. Citing the New Testament, Jesus walked on water! Jesus was dead for 3 days, came back, and was completely alive, even though he had holes in his hands and feet moved around! For crying out loud, there’s even a point where the idea of Unicorns is presented! What’s the problem with big reptiles? That’s something that I really don’t get. Belief in a supreme being that made a race out of dust, that’s okay. Before us, huge lizards? Preposterous! Here goes JotaKa’s Gospel:

“And before his main creation walked on earth, God realized that the seeds needed a compact ground for which to grow. So, he created a creature that would be responsible on fertilizing the ground and live for hundreds of years. But the creation was not complete, as it didn’t have the soul of God: so he smith them after their job was done, and they were overjoyed from being smitten, since they fulfilled the purpose.”

See? It’s not that hard to do. The bible suffered a lot of revisions throughout the years and a lot of different interpretations… why not add this one? And for that matter:

“In the beginning there was nothing. Through an explosion, God created the heaven and earth. Why an explosion? To exemplify to his later creations the reach of God and his infinite power, wisdom and presence, as his creation was growing and growing and growing each second”.

Again… not hard, right? Well, maybe I’m wrong.

Other issue: the bible and its interpretation. For me, Bible can be seen in three different matters:

  1. It should be analyzed for what it is. A combination of hard facts that should be read and taken literal. This point of view I can understand: it’s sort of stupid, but I get it. If the bible is really the message of a supreme being, it should be taken literal. Heck, if I believed that, I would take it literal too. But thinking that a book that is roughly 2000 years out dated sound desperate to me. Maybe he could send his message again? I don’t see why he couldn’t.
  2. Take it as a list of morals and as a guide line to live as a good human being. Another point of view I can understand: there is a lot of really beautiful stuff in the bible. But to counterweight that, there’s a lot of a grim stuff in it as well. I could cite some specifics, but I won’t: there are some pretty dark and crooked morals in that book, and if you studied it, you know what I mean. But seeing it as a book of metaphors, you can really see it as a work of it’s time.
  3. Total dismissal. It’s a book, written by people that wanted to send a message of peace and love… two thousand years ago. This is my point of view: let’s take for instance the beating of slaves, right? The bible agrees with it, as long as the slave doesn’t die from the wounds in three day. After three days, even if he dies, who cares? Even though this could be seen as “the Bible agrees with slavery!”, I see it as “how fucked up the world was to the point that beating a slave to death was an issue, and to treat him well for three days after was a good deed?”.

3 points of views that for me are reasonable and valid. What I don’t get it those people that get the first two mixed up. There are some people that believe in the “what happens is fact, what doesn’t happen is metaphor” and that really makes me pissed off. Let’s get the bible for this one. What does the bible says about sex before marriage? Honestly? Nothing. But there is a passage that most people like to quote: the one that forbids fornication. And they will compliment that with what fornication means: to have illicit sex, or sex before marriage. However… that definition is wrong. To fornicate, to fuck, to have sex, to copulate are synonyms. So, close your eyes for a sec and imagine: does anyone think it’s healthy for a guy in his twenties to not have sex? To only have sex after marriage? Marriage is a serious thing. I wouldn’t do it, but it’s a serious thing! You can’t marry someone without knowing how she is in bed. What if she’s bad?

…I’m not saying that marriage is based on sex. But sex has a great deal in any amorous relationship.

I think I made my point and going on could make my rhetoric suffer, so I won’t. I think my main statement after all is: do anything to be happy, think in your beliefs, don’t take anything for granted (after all, if someday Evolution is disproven by any logical evidence, I’ll believe in a more convincing theory) and know that probably no religion is right. Maybe the mix of all of them is the right path, or maybe choosing the other path to roam is simply better. Don’t force your point of view on people and may your god keep you safe when you need him.

This is JotaKa, signing off.

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