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And you thought you were religious julio 31, 2004

Posted by Johan in Religion.
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I totally understand that this world can be pretty tough. Lots of big guys pushing everyone around. Lots of death and disease. Lots of heart-break, and disappointment of all kinds. So people do what they can to get by. Religion is better than drugs, anyway.

There’s still something about all religions that I can’t stand. If you’re an active member of any major religion, the first thing you’ll learn while you’re still a kid is basically this: “We are the true chosen people, our God is better than their God, and if they fuck with us, our God is going to kick their asses.” Pure, shameless propaganda. And if you are a kid, you’ll believe it

I read the Bible every now and then and I don’t like the old testament one bit. God’s a real crank. Not the kind of guy you’d want to watch the game with, let alone spend eternity. He’s temperamental, arrogant, violent, pushy—I guess he really did make man in his own image. The new testament God isn’t exactly a bucket of candy either, but I’d rather be on his cloud. More compassion. Better advice.

But whereas some religions are big secrets, elitist clubs, with mystical languages, and near impossible initiation rituals, Christianity may look like a walk in the park. Actually, it’s way beyond that. There’s not a carnival tent large enough to accommodate the level of hypocrisy that emanates from some Christians. Especially those who start talking about forgiveness and charity, and hanging fancy words with fancy frames in the wall, when they are waiting for you to turn around to stab a knife in your back

Besides that, I really don’t think you have to give money to that TV evangelist if you want to go to heaven, in their own book it says that rich people won’t get there, anyway. They even made videos for us, with smiling, white, middle-aged men saying, “So you’re probably wondering why all your friends and family are no longer among us…”

The good things about religion have little to do with a belief in God. Things like community, doing good things for other and the search for meaning in life. People do need religion. I need religion too, but there aren’t any that are practical for me. I’ll probably start my own when I get around to it.

Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

How would you like to die? julio 29, 2004

Posted by Johan in Personal, Religion.
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There are thousands of ways to die, but unfortunately, you can only choose one. People in my family tend to prefer going through a short period of painful diseases before saying goodbye. No sudden heart attacks, or car crashes, or drug overdoses. The other day I was reading about this guy who told his son that when he died, he’d like to die in his sleep. He then went into the next room, fell asleep in his reading chair and died. He should have said that he’d like to die making love to Britney Spears.

It’s funny how nobody wants to get old yet nobody wants to die young either. I’ve noticed that when you ask someone who really enjoys life, he’ll tell you that he’d like to die at a young age doing something incredibly stupid, like jumping out of an airplane. To these people, death is just another of life’s wonderful activities—another step in the way. But when you ask someone who has a hard time with life, he’ll tell you that he wants to die quietly in his sleep, at an old age. For them death is another of life’s many burdens—something to be postponed as long as possible, and experienced under sedation.

Regardless of how it happens, I think death is a necessary component of this world. Death is like our school’s Principal, checking us out from the end of the hall, making sure that we got there on time, and that we get the most out of our education. And I hold resentment towards this ominous figure, as any schoolboy would. I would much rather run free through the halls, yelling and smashing things. But without this threat constantly looming over my shoulder, would I bother to get any work done? Would I bother to construct a life with meaning? Ultimately, without death, I’d have little reason to live.

Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.