Religion, viCariously Speaking…

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.

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13 thoughts on “Religion, viCariously Speaking…

  1. Love this post. We’re Christians but don’t do church for a number of reasons, and just looking no further than Facebook, it seems like it’s always the ones who have that special in with God spreading the most hate. No thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I could go on for about 5 years about this topic, and that would just be a drop in the bucket. I would like to think of myself as a Christian, and I use that word loosely- because “Christian” actually means to be “Christ-like”. That’s a pretty bold claim! I fail on most levels there. I was raised a Pentecostal with no TV, no jewelry, no make-up, no pants- (the list is long)- it was heavy stuff. To this day, I consider Jesus one of my best friends and we’re pretty tight- He and I. 😉 As for the many (MANY) hypocrites who profess to know and love Him, who debase others who do not, I simply cannot tolerate them any more than Jesus could. He put them in their places- FAST. Your coworkers lack depth and understanding. It’s totally not ok to down-talk others for not praying or not praying enough, etc. Sometimes, it’s best to shut up and practice what you preach rather than using God as a human spear to assault others with. Sadly, that’s what many people do. I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said, “Religion is what you make of it.” Love that. 🙂 I know a lot of people (many of my family members included) who make a mess of it all for the sake of “putting on a show” and basically, being a Sunday Christian. Again, I call “hypocrites” on that one.

    Anywho, for what it’s worth, I think a lot of people can relate to this post and how you feel. It’s not ok to shove God down people’s throats- unsolicited. I’m betting I would have had a thing or two to say to your (former) coworkers. Starting with, “Thank God I’ve been given a better job away from you people.” 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I met a woman and her two beautiful children at a local pool several years ago when I took my kids to swim. Her and I struck up a conversation and immediately became friends. She explained that a few months earlier, she wouldn’t have even been able to talk to me because I was military. Her parents had raised their family as practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, and her and her husband had finally broke away from the religion. When they told her parents that they were not going to be following that religion any longer, her own parents disowned her, even refusing to accept her and her family’s presence in a local eatery. Now, I understand that this is one extreme, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand how a belief in God could force a mother to snub her nose at her own child.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s so awful! I’m permanently moved by stories about how Jesus walked, talked, ate (etc.) and spent much of his time with the “rejects of society”- the blind, deaf, lame, dumb, possessed, drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes, lepers, and many more people that nobody wanted anything to do with.

        People who say they love you (or others) but they cut you off “due to God or religion”- that person is a fake. Plain and simple. The evidence of God is LOVE, you know? it really is that easy. So, when I see someone who says that they know God (and stuff) but yet they’re cold-hearted and uncaring- they’re a liar. (Again, it’s really that simple.) Cutting off one’s own child as a result of any kind of organized “religion” is just a shame. (Feel really badly for that kid/those kids.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tolerance. That’s what it all comes down to for me. I came from a Baptist household, switched myself to Methodist, questioned all Christianity due to “tho shall not judge” judges, studied world religion in college, and finally decided being a good person and doing right by my other humans was where I felt best. Now it is the tolerance factor that turns my wheels. Whether it’s the atheist putting down Catholicism or the Christian putting down agnostics, I have not respect for it. Just co-exist and realize nobody knows for sure, we’re all just trying to make our way. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Cari,
    I don’t disagree with a lot of what you said, but I would be remiss without saying that it’s not about “religion.” If We (big “We” – as in mankind) had all the answers, there would only be one denomination of “the church” – but so many things come down to human interpretation. And humans are fallible. We are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. I of course can’t speak for the creator, but I would go so far as to say God dislikes religion. Throughout history, man as done so many messed up things in the name of religion, I refuse to blindly follow any religion, blind adherence to any pre-conceived notion is just not a good plan. For me, it’s all about having a relationship with God. Yes, I am a Christian, yes, I still do dumb things – I sin. Sometimes it’s willingly, sometimes it’s a lack of trust in God & trying to control things I can’t control, but like I said, we’re imperfect beings in an imperfect world. The beauty of what I believe is that even though I screw up, my Father in heaven loves me unconditionally and will forgive me if I just seek him out.
    Does being a sinner make me a hypocrite? I hope not, I do my best to not stand up and shake my finger at “sinners” because, I am also a sinner. There certainly are Christians who just don’t get it – just like in any walk of life – and those people can certainly turn others off, but I like the fact that you’re thinking for yourself and realize stupidity for what it is, just please don’t lump all “Christians” in with those folks and let that turn you away from God for good. I’d love to talk to you some more about this if you want. That’s my 2 cents anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jim!

      I am happy that you and your family have come to a (in my opinion) healthy understanding of where God fits in your lives. I like your perspective. And I want to make it clear that I am absolutely NOT stereotyping all Christians… just like with anything, there are the extremes, but most fall somewhere in the middle. The two individuals that I wrote about are definitely on one end of the spectrum.

      The thing is that for me…. I don’t know if I believe in one God. I don’t know if there is a heaven or hell, and if my actions on this planet will land me in either when I die. Obviously, I comprehend right and wrong, and live my life accordingly. I question creation and origin. I have a hard time with “and on the six day, God created man…”. The Big Bang Theory and Earth having a perfect scenario for life and one cell splitting into two, splitting into four and so on resonates easier with me than “poof! and then there were humans”. I agree with your comment though – religion is 100% about human interpretation.

      Thank you for your comment Jim! I truly value your opinion, and am honored that you took the time to read.

      Like

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