Religion. Always a touchy subject and I am probably going to piss a lot of people off with this post.
For a little background… I have gone back and forth in my mind as long as I can remember regarding my faith and spirituality. I was force fed Catholicism for 17 years of my life. Every Sunday, I was required to get up early, put on clothes that I didn’t like to wear, sit and stand and kneel for an hour and a half, listening to some old dude preach from a book of “God” that was written by men. Wednesday nights were bible study. When I screwed up in school, I had to go to confession. Even with all the Hail Marys and Our Fathers, sermons, bible versus, rosary beads, preaching, lectures, and teaching, I could never quite grasp the whole “faith” portion. In hindsight, having faith in your religion is everything. But, I never did get it. The answers I received to my “why” questions were unsatisfying. Maybe it was my childhood… maybe it was the more scientific approach to life that I had absorbed in science classes in school. Maybe it was the catty, gossipy Catholic Church that my family belonged to: when the church wasn’t going to allow my mom to attend any longer because she was divorcing my abusive step-dad, that all but sealed the deal for me.
When I graduated high school, enlisted into the military, and went off to boot camp, I attended several different churches to try and gain a different perspective. I really tried. I attended a Catholic Church, I went to the Presbyterian services, Episcopalian, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Non-denominational. Hell, I even attended a Buddhist-based group. None of them sat well with me, and I came to an understanding at the young age of 17 that maybe religion wasn’t for me. I want to reiterate that: religion isn’t for me. Some can base their entire lives around their religion and faith, and that is okay. That is them.
It actually has been difficult at times; sometimes I am jealous of my extended family’s participation in the church. Sometimes I question whether or not I should be not only teaching my kids about the church from my experience, but letting them experience it on their own. Sometimes I wonder what it is about my mindset that prevents me from believing. And then other times, I feel just fine about where I am at with (or without) religion.
Last month, I had a run in with a “devote” Catholic piece of shit.
I currently work with a guy who is constantly going on and on about his religion. I have heard about his church, about his faith in “God”, about his participation in the church, about how he helps other church parishioners, who he prays for, how devoted he is, how I should bring “God” into my life. Blah, blah, blah… The problem? This guy is the most sexist, racist, bigot I have ever met. All of his “holiness” is completely null and void in my eyes.
He was grumbling one day about “them” taking over the company he works for. When asked to whom he was referring to, he stated “women”. Excuse me? The 1950’s called and want their mindset back. I tried explaining that the comment he made was extremely sexist and in this day and age is just as intolerant as a racist comment. This pissed him off (he is African-American, and just happens to harbor more prejudice any other race I know). I was told that “women have been known in history to be subservient and should not be in a place of power”. Wh-whhaaatt?
I could have, would have, should have filed a complaint, but at that point I only had a few weeks before I left for my new job. Karma is a wonderful, wonderful thing, however… When his computer crashed a few days ago, do you think this “subservient” female, who also happens to be efficient, assiduous, and the only one in the office who could resolve his computer issues was jumping at the chance to help him out? Not on your life.
And then there is another soon-to-be-ex co-worker: Let’s just call her ‘S’.
While I am not FaceBook friends with this troll, I do share mutual friends and am constantly subjected to her comments about “praying” for other individuals, and how “God has a plan” and “live your life how God wants you to live it”. Sounds legit, right? I am all about giving words of reassurance to put others at peaceful ease, especially during times of tragedy. The problem?
This ineffective “Christian” is about as far away from religion as I think a person could be. She “prays” for the tragedies while preying on the individual’s problems. She “helps” by advertising the “help” that she has given. Other’s issues are a conduit for her self-acceptance. Horrible, horrible way to live your life, in my opinion.
What I have come to conclude is this… Not all atheists / agnostics are lacking a moral compass. I don’t have to attend church and believe the masses to have strong morals and values that I can instill in my kids. In the same breath, not all people who claim to be religious and do “God’s work” HAVE a moral compass.
Does this “God” care whether or not I love a man or a woman, regardless of my sex? Does this “God” care about my profession? Am I too “subservient” to perform it, even though there is no one better suited than me? Does this “God” care about the color of my skin? Does this “God” believe in me, whether or not I attend a church service once a week? And if I don’t attend, does that make me any less of a believer?
Again, my opinion is that ‘Religion’ is in the eye of the beholder – it is what you make of it. But you won’t see me jumping on any religious bandwagon anytime soon.