Destiny   Leave a comment

I don’t think it makes any sense to half ass having a religion.  I think if you’re going to have faith you should go all out.  And yes, I mean that to the fullest extent.  If you’re going to have the nerve to tell anyone that there is a hell then you should figure out just what the fuck you think makes you worthy of going there and you should stick by that conviction.

I was raised to be Catholic.  I think it’s horrible to raise a child a religion.  I think everyone should be allowed to figure this out for themselves.  But if you believe in your religion, I can see why you wouldn’t give your kid any room to think.  Thoughts allow for too much reason and reason destroys faith.  And what’s really messed up is that sounds like I’m being disrespectful, but I couldn’t be any more straight with you right there if I tried.

Anyway, I was raised Catholic, but as usual most of my family members pick and choose when they are really strict with their rules and when they are lax.  My mom and my Grandmom were rather devout however so I wasn’t all that upset to think that when my mom first found out I was gay she was going to flip out.  To be perfectly honest, she didn’t.  She handled it great, but she did let me know that while she loved me and would always hold her arms wide open to me, her faith was her faith and I know what her religion states about homosexuality.  She always treated me with respect and warmth and I never doubted her love which is all I could ever hope for.  But she was constantly thinking about my soul burning in hell forever.  Now, that’s some heavy shit, isn’t it?  I mean, she really believed that.  How sad and horrible for her.

I’ve never told my Grandmom.  Presently, she’s rather senile so it doesn’t make any sense to mess with her head now.  But she has never held back her hateful talk about gay people.  And yes, I mean hateful.  My father’s mother speaks very clearly with a racist, homophobic and otherwise intolerant tongue.  Growing up, she was pure love or so I thought.  But as I had the opportunity to pull away and see the world for myself, I learned just how much anger, sadness, jealousy and fear she worked with.  While my mom’s version of being Catholic led her to be sincere and concerned, my grandmother’s seemed to only lend it to her attempts to dictate and dominate everything and everyone.

Over the years, I examined the people involved.  I thought perhaps it was the difference between my mom and my Grandmom that would tell me the story I needed to hear.  Then I looked at the perceptions of faith or the experiences of childhood and upbringing.  I tore it all apart and analyzed everything I could.  I have always wanted to understand.

Once our country was attacked on 9/11 I felt overwhelmed by the fear of religious radicalism.  I went the traditional, gut reaction route first.  As a Christian at the time, I thought Muslims were crazy and we were sane and innocent.  Then, it shifted to simply, “You can find nuts in every religion. Every group has its extremes.”  I settled there for the longest time.  My views shifted all over the place while maintaining that general perspective.  As I examine the entire situation, I find that most people are stuck in these parameters.

You have a lot of people filling up the side of “I am Christian, hear me roar!” who are basically as loud, militant, crazy and unstable as any Muslim Jihadist.  You see these types all over the South and Midwest, but they aren’t isolated there.  They are everywhere times have gotten tough and reality has become avoidable.  They watch Fox News, vote Republican and would rather believe conspiracy theories than anything remotely factual.

But what are even more frightening for me are the moderates.  There are many Americans who use common sense most of the time, who are fair minded, kind, realistic and not tied to any particular dogma that makes them fundamentally unreasonable.  When you speak with them they listen, they actually pay attention to what’s really happening and care about the facts of any given situation.  But for whatever reason, they are loyal to their religion when push comes to shove.  While they will calmly and without fear of judgment stand up for themselves and others in regards to all of the ways in which they will break the rules of their identified religion, you will stumble upon a concept every so often where their devotion rears its misguided head.  And no matter how much sense you throw at them, no matter how many good points you make and no matter how little they care about their “faith” in any other situation, in this particular moment it is all that matters to them.

But if you think about it, why have a little faith?  Why not have it all or nothing?  I don’t believe in god.  I don’t believe the bible is holy.  I don’t believe in heaven or hell.  I enjoy this one life and I seek out my challenges and beauty with all that I have.  I am not afraid of death.  I am comfortable with how I feel about all of this.

I don’t understand however how someone could believe in god and want to please him and then only worry about it sometimes.  Or if you believe in him but just think he’s there but doesn’t care what you do, that’s cool too, but if you believe in judgment or hell, how can you not read your holy books and fight your wars?

I find myself mistrusting those that speak of god who do not spend all of their time trying to bring me to him.  I am annoyed at those who do, but at least I trust you.

For all the Christians running around the US talking smack about the Muslims, they are following their hearts and their lord.  How can you mock that?  How can you deny them that?  Your god has done nothing more to prove himself.  He has done nothing more to show himself almighty or dominant or real.  It’s simply your faith against theirs.  It’s your voices no one else has heard vs. those only they have heard.  I don’t think either of you are right.  But how can you be so hurtful, disrespectful, and angry at them for fighting their fight?

Last I checked people from every faith and from no faith get cancer, die in car crashes, win the lottery, get hit by lightening, fall in love, have heart attacks and breathe oxygen.  Your prayers and faith have not separated you in any meaningful way.  So instead of trying so hard and fighting one another over gods who don’t even care enough to show themselves, maybe you should spend some of your precious time and valuable resources doing the things you ask your god to do for you.  I know you like to say “All is possible with god”.  But the truth is we are the choosers of our own fate.  God didn’t make us.  We made god.  And it’s time we took back control over our destiny.

Jen Czahur

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