As I brace myself for a fun filled week at work (be sure to read about all that tomorrow night), I can’t help but reflect on some observations I’ve made.
It seems like there’s a lot of people in the world that just don’t want to think. They don’t want to take them time to reason why things are the way they are. They just accept what people tell them and take it at face value. Why? Fear? Laziness?
I’ve mentioned before that I am on a new path of spirituality. Now this doesn’t mean that I’ve become what I affectionately call a “Bible beater.” Oh no, no, no, quite the contrary, I think my path has taken me further than that. Now that statement would make some take pause. To me the Bible is a nice book of stories and a somewhat interesting read, but how can one take everything in there at face value? Incest was encouraged. Folks were enthusiastic about slavery. Women who were not virgins when they married were to be killed. Men were permitted to have babes on the side. And then there’s that mention of the whole gay thing being bad – how do we know that Leviticus wasn’t having a bad day because he had a fight with his lover and decided that he’d write something nasty about his boyfriend in the Bible and then it got all twisted around? And then there’s the folks that read the Bible and say “even though it says this, here’s what he really meant.” Oh really! Are you fluent in Aramaic? Do you have the original, unabridged version? Were you there? You don’t look a day over 1500!
I overheard a conversation not too long ago… two guys at work were arguing about whether Jesus Christ was a Christian or Catholic. What? Neither side of that conversation made any sense. What did he do, follow himself? That’d be like chasing his tail! The argument was because “Pastor” said that Jesus Christ was really a Christian, then he must be a Christian. Eeks! I think someone wasn’t paying attention somewhere at sometime. Blind Faith. It makes me crazy.
I guess I stop and think outside of the box because I’ve always been intrigued by the whole New Age arena – psychics, reincarnation, the paranormal, symbols, signs, nature, magick and witchcraft, the whole deal. I regularly read books and articles by Sylvia Browne (the psychic). I constantly scan for the presence of my spirit guide and deceased loved ones. I thank them for their help. I believe that I have reincarnated several dozen times (yes, Shirley McClaine and I hung out during the Middle Ages, or maybe it was the Industrial Revolution.) I watched John Edward when he had the dark colored set (didn’t like the later shows too much), Earl and I even saw him in person. Now this does not mean that I walk around looking in the shadows for dead people or that I talk to thin air. No, I’m much more discreet than that. And because I’m interested in these things, people think I don’t believe in God or whatever. Hardly. I do believe in an all-loving, all caring, all perfect God that’s all around us, in our hearts and minds, in the air, in the breeze, in nature. It’s this cranky guy that sits up on a throne that people fear that gets me crazy.
First of all, if we didn’t reincarnate, wouldn’t heaven eventually get rather crowded? And don’t tell me about hell. I don’t believe in the whole devil, bad guy, hell thing – I think that’s just a tactic to scare people so that you’ll invest more money in the church so you can be guaranteed a place in heaven. Why would an all loving, all perfect God condemn his (and/or her, depending on your beliefs) children to eternal damnation? That doesn’t make any sense. Do we think God likes us crawling around on our knees begging for forgiveness all the time? How would you like it if your child crawled up to you on his knees begging for your forgiveness, lest you lock them in the basement. Please. Hate and anger and all that is a human emotion. I bet that God has a sense of humor and laughs regularly about the whole thing, but is probably dismayed with the mess we’ve become.
I just think that people take this whole life thing way too seriously and too blindly. It’s simple – you’re born, you do good, you share your love, you learn what you can, then you shut up and go home. That’s it.
I wish people would stop and think. Focus on love. Not on hate. “You’re going to hell because you’re going to Planned Parenthood.” Oh – these abortion protestors are gems, aren’t they. They scream murder and then kill the doctors. “You’re going to hell because you love another man.” When the gay and lesbian couples married in San Francisco, et al, I didn’t see society come to a screeching halt. The sky did not cave. The world did not end. No horsemen rode in. And then there’s this one – “You aren’t children of God because you weren’t baptized correctly.” Try explaining to your six year old daughter why her teacher told her that one day. My mom was faced with that very problem a couple of decades ago. More hate. More control. (Being raised Methodist, my sister and I were “sprinkled”, not “dunked” when we were baptized.) Apparently, this didn’t sit well with the strict Baptist church down the street, where the teacher was the wife of the minister.) I don’t care if my mother had us climb a tree, light a candle and throw salt into the East wind while we prayed to God under a full moon naked – if we thought that ritual baptized us, then we were Baptized! By the way, did the ‘baptism’ include the molesting of young boys during piano lessons, or was that something else? (Not that I’m bitter – good thing I didn’t go to piano lessons that summer!)
My cousins Theresa and Charlie have had quite a problem finalizing the headstone for their daughter Lindsey, who passed away this past Christmas. Lindsey’s favorite saying was “The Best Is Yet To Come.”, and Theresa and Charlie wanted this inscribed on her headstone. The church wasn’t going to permit it. “Only passages from the Bible are allowed.” How cold. How callous. How unfeeling. Here they have lost their oldest daughter. They are still grieving and will grieve for the rest of their lives. Their family has been turned upside down and inside out. And we get a “tsk-tsk” from the church because they want a Sinatra phrase on her headstone, a phrase that gave Lindsey joy. The church eventually gave in and allowed the inscription – but only after many letters, pleas and tears. And this is loving? Again, it’s about control. To them, I say “tsk-tsk.”