Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh God, You Devil.

So now that we have covered my religious preference, I can focus on attacking it like white blood cells on cancer. I've mentioned that Catholic Priest have nearly destroyed my religion for me, while preaching tirelessly how Jesus proclaimed that the Devil would enter his church, implying this is all bad press, but no reason to abandon your church over fear Father Friendly might touch your child. Truth be told, this is EXACTLY why you should avoid going to your church and maybe look into other parishes that shy away from molestation and child pornography. But, then, I read about the insane actions of others not Catholic in nature, although the number of cases might be forever held by the pontiff and his posse, and shiver even more nervously. Take for example the case out of South Carolina, about the preacher who was arrested for raping women behind the church, in a trailer, at gunpoint! The details are disturbing. "LADSON, S.C. — Dale Richardson was saved at a tent revival 32 years ago, was called to preach the Lord's word in 2006 and, for the past year, had served as pastor at Freedom Free Will Baptist Church, a modest red brick structure on a South Carolina side road running along a railroad track. Now he's in jail, charged with kidnapping and raping three women at gunpoint — two of them in a trailer behind the church — and kidnapping a fourth who was not sexually assaulted.

Take a moment to go back and read the piece in its entirety. Go on, I'll wait. 

Now, these are representatives of the LORD, God. And I know man is flawed in too many ways to note here but, if you take a sample from a murky river and closely examine it under a microscope, all of the bacteria you see are the good in people, while the water would make up the rest of the human gene pool. The ratio is just overwhelming. One of many problems I have with faith is how easy it is to start your own "religion" and have the government actually acknowledge your weekend Dungeons and Dragons meeting among Clerics and Paladins as meaningful spirituality, and, by the way, here is a nice tax credit for your trouble. I have tried to avoid research on all things I blog about (it just takes out the authenticity to me), but I have come to realize the real reason I do not like to look into topics of interest is because I tend to emerge from my rigorous research with a new found hatred for it. For this post, however, I decided to do a quick Google search and found this. 

More reason to turn away from God (provided you believe in Him ). God has finally outgrown himself and his legend and mercy, which was once a beautiful story of sacrifice and love, is now a running joke that anyone with a sharp (devil-like) tongue can transcend into a gut-busting-tear-jerking-spiritual release of orgasmic funny that is unlikely part of His "Plan". So, when you have one person making a mockery out of God, while another is preaching how great God is, only to go out back to the trailer and rape your sister at gunpoint, you start to wonder if you have wasted all of your life believing in the greatest fairy-tale ever conceived, or eternally pissed off the one being you do not want to fight with. If Satan is constantly working to pull you away from God's grace, he is doing a fine job. 

And I cannot place all of the blame on bad church leaders, atheist groups, God Hates Fags, KKK, or Sarah Palin. There is plenty enough blame to pass around, specifically, to those people who are praying for the "alleged" rapist reverend AND for the families of the victims, which is a lot like saying I am praying for the victims and their families of 9/11 and also for Osama Bin Laden's family, because I am sure they too will miss their son. Sometimes, God does not (at least he should not) have a role in things. Fucking women against their will and threatening them with a shotgun is probably one of those areas, I'm just saying. My God, if everyone is getting his attention, bad or good, it's a wonder he even gives a shit about any of us. And those people who pray to God for delivering their army sons and daughters to them, when he decidedly thought their comrades time was up, should be ashamed of themselves. God did not save your son over the next, because you quietly think to yourself that you prayed the hardest. God does not favor...anyone. His own Son was crucified, which should be the end for all people. You think he thought more of Charlie than Lt. Dan? 

This is why I find myself on the fence about many things with faith and religion and God. An argument can be made in one direction or the other, and there is never any real conclusion just self-satisfaction for those who were luckier than others. My God gave me a brain. I think he gave everyone else one too, but I often find myself wondering about this more than I probably should. This brain of ours is a mighty piece of tissue, capable of a great many things and yet none of us have figured out how to bridge the gap with mankind and their God. Instead, we pledge allegiance to a flag that is one nation under ___________________ wait a minute...I recall something here. I also recall a time when the doors of the holy church were opened all hours, and then someone decided getting robbed in the middle of the night was just not worth seeing the creator sooner than necessary. I remember a lot of things about God that time had slowly, methodically, wipe out from the public consciousness, which I can understand some of the outrage, but the real problem is relying on other people to do something you, as a parent, should be doing anyway.  My daughter is two, and she is aware of my God in so much as Him being a tasty chew thing in my wallet. (I carry a scapula with me. Have done this since I was a teen, which I am not sure why I have it. I think it might protect me from some things, except a robber, car wreck, illness, malice from a co-worker, anything human and animal with height and toothy advantage and some fungi. But I am still alive and mostly well, so this thing is a true blessing.) My wife is not godly, preferring to be spiritual (as I wrote about before) so I have elected to teach her about my God, when the time arrives and tell her, as best I can, about this being you will never meet, until you die, but don't rush it. My wife will tell her to hug a tree, when she is lonely, and I will likely tell her to hug a tree, but make sure it has the face of Jesus on it first. I guess, touching on the procedures of being a Catholic, I should probably leave my wife and explain to my daughter later that daddy had to appease his God's church and find himself a decent woman, which might be more trouble than it's worth...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bridging The Gap

I have been asked a few times now, what's in this for me? The answer is winded in its explanation and candid to a point that it makes me a little uncomfortable to even think about it. So forgive me if I do a poor job of explaining this. Removing the distractions from God; the faith; the religion; the outside heavily opinionated views of your fellow worshipper; the views of others not of your own faith and just focusing on God in whatever form God is, what remains?

Space. Nothing. Without the fancy intellectual clothing, God is naked to humanity. A personal journey for those who believe and want to believe that there is something more to this unexplained existence of ours. God is a nature walk without the filler. Using this analogy, for me, I stroll through life mostly on auto-pilot, going about my business and trying not to get myself killed with the numerous dangers around me. But, sometimes, I will come across a curious flower, a new construction, a strange cloud formation, a family of four walking a trail hand in hand and stop everything I am doing (hoping this is not while driving or crossing the intersection) I do this because there are moments, when you see something that current fundamental understanding of the world does not explain, I have to stop and try to apply reason to. Picking on the human side of those I listed, seeing a family of four walk hand-in-hand along a trial is almost as uncommon in today's modern world than seeing a spotted tailed Quoll.
click for info on pic
In case you wanted to know what a spotted tailed Quoll was.

How does God play into this? I have to believe that God weaves his "mysterious ways" into those families that stick together in such means as a simple nature walk with their brood holding hands and enjoying one another and the life around them. There is something about this scene that reminds me there is something much more to life than the bullshit man adds to it daily (myself included). Is this reaction God? Possibly. It can be argued easily that it's just good parenting, but, if this were true, are we then saying our world has dropped the parenting ball? Turning this thought to the advancing machine that is mankind, seeing a marvel like the Sears Tower or a more modern behemoth, such as the Space Station Mir, I cannot help but stand before an open night sky, looking up to the blanket of space riddled with thousands of starry moth bites and wonder, while acknowledging God, Where is this all leading? OK, but "What's in it for you?"

In a word, Hope. Hope that there is something more to this life than just being one day and not being the next. You can argue life's cycle with me until we are all blue with depression, but living and dying is way too simple for such an intricate and complex animal. And I am hip to all the species in the world and their own complexities, however, I do not see many dung beetles building sky-ways or space stations beyond their own habitat. We are up there, in space, and though we are only a few now, there are thousands of people on Earth working diligently in punching through that space . We are opening ourselves up, removing cancers from our bodies, and stitching up the wounds with lasers for faster healing. We find human miracles, such as the young boy who was officially dead for 20 minutes, suddenly revive without brain damage or complication to his being dead. We humans do unthinkable feats every day, and achieve unspeakable acts of human ingenuity, god-like yet grounded by the tethers of "human advancement" rather than considering the godly inspiration behind our own daily proclivities.  You might say I am part of that group who wants to believe all this beauty is not the act of a random event. 

I need to know for more reasons than I can state here, but will likely divulge over time, that God is out there. Not watching over me or thinking about pulling the same numbers as those on my lottery ticket, because I prayed the hardest for an easy street, but to know that life, not just my own, was all worth something to the celestial purpose of anything being at all. I have to believe that God is and not just because someone smarter or holier than me says so. I need to know that that giant luminous Moon of ours is not just a fancy hole punched into a massive cloaked dome hanging over our self-indulgent planet, and that it's there because it was a crucial piece in our existence. That God put it there as his little human ant farm's nightlight, so they will feel as though he is watching over them all at once. I want to believe that the beauty of life I have created with my wife in our daughter is not just a temporary pacifier to make me feel special to someone other than a woman who could leave at any point in time and take back everything she ever said with a signature on a document. I desire to know that when I pass on, I will see my family again, one day, in some fashion; although, in the flesh is highly unlikely. I can sleep a little easier at night, knowing that I might return as an amoeba that shares the same pond as my daughter or wife on a planet 900 light years away from here. It may not be the same as fleshing out my hand to touch my girls face and tell her that I lover her dearly, but it does allow me to exist on a similar level with her.

Now, about that religion aspect of it. Being raised in a "catholic" family had some part on my choosing, to say that it did not would be a lie. However, it is not all of my reason or even half. If God is out there, again this is assuming we all believe in God, then surely he visited his ant farm as any good boy would. Playing on the Word that we were created in His image, I am left with my own devices in trying to piece together what God may have wanted from his pet project. The only thing I have to do with this is another person like me who was also created in his image. The problem with this is a very common problem in all of life's decision making. I have to accept what I cannot see or hear (God) much in the same way I have to choose my favorite football team. Who is on the roster? Do I like them? Will they entertain me (ironically) on Sunday? Do I have enough faith in them that they will bring me a Super Bowl title? I will never met the players on the team, at least not in the sense that I can school them on the game and pick their brains. So, I look out there and I venture the best guess and become a fan. For those of you who do not like sports, then the comparison would be choosing the right vehicle to get you where you want to go, without really knowing the man who built it. Sure, you will speak with its representative for a few hours, and he will sell you on said vehicle until your trust is earned and you buy into that no interest, no down-payment payment plan for the next eight to ten years, but was it the best buy for your money, or did you just invest in a lemon that will likely get you killed, which sums up the whole analogy nicely. So, what's in it for me? I guess a quiet place to go to when I feel like there is nothing else around, or no one left to listen to me. Remember, we are all going on faith, which is just a sweet way of saying nothing at all. And I don't equate my religion to being "God" as I would not do so for anyone else practicing their faith in their own institution. God, according to most bibles, just is. And how do you pursue something that is not there, but really is there?

The blog is called "My God" not "I am Catholic", and even though I do not follow the rules of being such, I am, nonetheless, officially a Catholic. Even if I decided to move to the boot hill of Quatar and worship sea snakes and sacrifice babies in the name of Seth the goat-headed meanie, I will always be Catholic, according to the ordination of my baptism. I do not "get" anything from this, other than the title that comes with the ceremony of being baptized. I use it as a way through the door, when I need to feel closer to God. I suppose I could do this by walking inside a synagogue, but I hear they are far more serious about their religion than my own, and some traditionalist Jew might smite me for steeping my Catholic foot on their carpeted ground. And, yes, I could just take a moment to myself and hug a tree to feel closer to God, but I do like shiny objects and God knows my church has plenty of those things lying around to inflict holy hell on my A.D.D.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the Outside, Looking in.

I give you a rule, "Read only if you promise to share this blog with others." and I have no other way in knowing you are honest with this, other than to trust your word and my faith in you as a loyal reader. Now, logically, I know you are not going to do anything other than read a post, and possibly, if you really like it, refer the link to a friend; but, nine out of ten times you are just going to read the post and maybe contribute a comment. There are two main goals here with me as the writer and you as the reader, which I can compare to the "rules" of following a religion.

1. I write something I feel passionately about. You read the post and feel passionately about liking or vehemently disagreeing with it. Either way, the first rule was met. I posted and someone read it. (Hopefully.) With religion, the rule is the same. Someone feels strongly about a God and writes some gospels that one or two people buy into as 'The Word" and some others hear or read the same writings as Blasphemy and anyone who agrees with it as Heretics. Same rules, different mumbo-jumbo.

2. Invoke raw emotion. Extract said emotion. Reach into the reader, as the outspoken writer, and wire your brain to incite a riot of feelings, laughter, anger, tears, jeers, joy, sadness, hope and the list goes on. As the reader, one of these emotions or feelings makes you act. Either you clicked on the follow widget, with giddy anticipation of the next installments, or you closed out from the page making a mental note not to ever fall for such garbage again. Religion is the same here as well. Granted, it's far more elaborate and scheming than anything I have done here, but religion also has a few thousand years head start.

Two goals met, both as a blogger, a reader of blogs and a believer in God and the faith institution banking on Him. The nice thing about these goals is that each and every one of you fit into one or the other, or both. I mention this because there has been a lot of chatter about rules and following said rules in order to "be" something, whether it's a Catholic, a Baptist, a Mormon, a Jesuit, a Jew, a Muslim or a number of other religions. My God, the one I feel pretty confident about being the same God as most other religions, except maybe Buddhism and Satanism (that would be the ultimate anonymous for God to be Satan too) tends to be loving, and possibly jealous. But seriously, are we really that stuck on ourselves to think God actually cares if we go one way or the next? Have you seen space recently? There are billions of galaxies out there. I imagine God is way too busy to really care much about Little Nicky cutting heads off chickens in the name of Lucifer to garner more TLC from his mommy and daddy.  In any case, my God never made any one religion a requirement. If he had, according to my own faith, one would think he would have added it to the Ten Commandments. Maybe take the one about killing people out and put in its place "Thy Shall Be Catholic And Nothing More." that way, when someone like me wonders about the rules, there can be actual consequences in my doing so. The problem with this is I just don't believe there will be any consequences to something Man alone created, being rules and their necessity in following them down to a tee.

And rules only apply in things that have conclusions, such as Mathematics or Russian Roulette. Tangible outcomes that everyone can see. Either 2+2=4 or it doesn't. One bullet, five pulls of a trigger. The question is not will there be a bullet, its when will the bullet no longer be in the chamber, which even then you are not going to know it, but the winner will be awfully happy about knowing himself. Faith, on the other hand, is the intangible truth we all want to believe in, because the alternative flat out sucks. To me, rules are placed around the religion to strengthen both the tangible (The living Priest speaking to you that you can see and hear) and the intangible (that the Priest believes in the magic man in the clouds as passionately as he does those stories he tells you about on Sunday) tethering you to the selected faith. Its these very rules that cause people to blog hop, if you will, from one religion to another. The reason why many Baptist were once Catholics, Catholics once Greek Orthodox and Goats disgruntled Sheep. Without rules, I might congregate over to being a Methodist and pony up my hard earned money to that denomination. I better place this "rule" to scare them into thinking our way is the tried and true way.

If you don't follow the rules of the institution then you cannot be a part of that institution. Negative. What if I were christened into several faiths? Can I become a Cathodest? How about a Jewvangelical? Maybe I could get real crazy and deem myself a Bapmon or Mortistican

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather 
than proof.

How can anyone have faith in any religion when the "rules" of the very word state that your complete trust or confidence is in another person, and we all know NO ONE IS PERFECT BUT GOD. I do not trust anyone and that includes myself. Why? I am human, therefore, I am flawed. Flawed in my thinking, my intent, my nature, my very own existence. I equate being a Catholic like this. Our Government tells us that an unruly country is developing weapons of mass destruction, in which they can use to threaten the foundation of society and kill our children, and they must defuse the situation before it gets out of hand. Part of this is true, there is no doubt about that in my mind. The problem is that I also know there are other interest in this region that my greedy country would love to have stakes in, so I know the overall explanation given to me by the "speakers" and media outlets are, for the most part, bullshit. The core issue, the threat imposed by an enemy with nukes, is very much a reality that I can see and hear and feel from afar. My God is a lot like this, in that I know there is something out there far greater than any mind a human can grasp with. I know there are authentic people out there who wish to observe this God and explain the concept of God as best it can, but I also know there is A LOT of money to be made in this, and times are tough. Yet someone always manages to reach deep into their pockets to help, because that is what God wants us to do. Help one another. I am faithful in my religion and my God and the core belief that the two are united as one, lost over time by a great deal of selfish people with too much power, too many rules and not enough, as it were, faith