May 2005
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I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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I seem to be running into this topic alot lately, so I’ll ramble a bit here.

Like many small-town hippies, my folks were never big on religion in general, despite at least one fairly devout Christian grandma. The subject really just never came up. Sure, there was a Bible on the bookshelf, but I don’t think that copy had ever been openned more than twice in my lifetime, and once was when I looked up a particular quote.

(An anecdote from a magazine described how college kids had taken to putting taglines on the front of their pants, and one smartass had put “Mathew 7:7”. Look it up.)

(truncated for easy avoidance)

Anywho, my first major look into religion came about due to (you guessed it) a girl I was dating. Her dad asked me to go to a special sermon with them regarding the evils of rock-n-roll. Me? A sucker for redheads? Naw!

The preacher went on at length as they are wont to do, but the upshot was the obvious lack of morality blah-blah-blah…He made the mistake of mentioning Oingo Boingo (my personal fave at the time) and I couldn’t believe he had mistaken such outright satirical cynicism as anything else. I quietly left the room and went out to the car.

Her dad followed me out and asked me why I left so-on-and-so-forth, so I whipped a ‘Boingo tape out and played a few selections for him. I didn’t straighten him out completely, but I give the man points, he heard me out, and gave some serious thought to the idea his preacher could be wrong.

I think I ended up in a church for a sermon maybe one other time at the behest of my dad when he went on a religoius kick (about the time he started selling Amway), but that’s about it. I could just never get past the idea of belonging to a group where they don’t encourage you to ask questions, and usually just give you a form-letter answer when you do ask one. My mom taught me to think for myself, to ask questions and seek answers. ‘Faith’ never entered into that mindset past having faith in the laws of physics.

Shortly after high school, I hooked up with a girl who showed me the hypocrisy common to many religions. Have you ever lied in bed naked while your gal (also naked) quietly recited the Lord’s Prayer before bedtime, after having a couple hour’s worth of pre-marital sex? Hoo-boy.

A friend of mine down in ‘Vegas has been excommunicated from the Mormon church. By church law, his family should disown him, but he was still living at home. Points for family loyalty, I suppose. The bad part comes when you look at his father’s browser history and realize he’s into kiddie porn. And this guy was well on his way to becoming a church Elder. It was a constant fight between the father and son, the son installing internet filters left and right, and the father circumventing them.

That kind of started me off on a “screw with the bible-thumpers” phase, in which I wouldn’t chase off the religious folks bent on converting me, I would just ask the tough questions and watch them squirm. They’d try their hardest to get me to go to the church and ask the padre, but I’d eventually say something along the lines of “If you don’t know the answer, that means it has never come up in your church, which means that nobody in your entire congregation has ever once stopped to think about what was being fed to you. That completely baffles me, and I can’t be a part of that.”

Now, I am faced with a government led by a man who has been religious all his life, and who has obviously never stopped to ask the questions either. The bible belt is crowing about their ‘victory for God’ while the rest of the world stares at us in a terrified stupor, waiting for that idiot to invade them. Americans get spit on in foreign countries, and it’s a victory for God?

So, what do I believe? Is there a God?

I think there’s something to be said for the idea that “what goes around, comes around.” The Golden Rule is, in fact, still pretty shiny. I try to treat my fellow humans with a modicum of respect unless they’re being stupid. (This usually happens in the car.) I say please and thank you alot. I make room for people who are polite. I basically believe in the idea of Karma, and try to spread what good vibes I can. I have ‘felt’ or ‘sensed’ bad vibes / energy / whateveryouwannacallit before, and been in the presence of extremely fortuitous happenings. When I have extra, I give and hope that others will too. If you ask for my help, I will usually give it to you, as I my need a hand someday.

What name would I give to this? Well, I’ve studied a few religions (to better mess with the religious). Toaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism, even a bit on Bushido, which may not qualify. For a while I was a member of the Church of the Sub-Genius. Only one name has ever held true for me though…

Call me Jedi.

4 replies to “Religion”

  1. BtFR Says:

    For those who are lazy it’s:

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    Personally, though, I would be real careful on who I let knock and how they did it….

  2. The Cyberwolfe Says:

    Spoilsport! Make the lazy people Google it :)

  3. Graumagus Says:

    I’ve been in way too good of a mood today to pick a political fight, but I have to ask one thing: If having someone who sincerely has religious beliefs in office bugs you, what do you think about the hypocrites who slip on their church costume to gain Christian votes every election (and yes, I think the left is more guilty of this, but by all means that crap isn’t exclusive).

    It seems that you have a serious dislike of religious hypocrisy (so do I). Did it bother you in the least when Kerry was playing the church going Catholic card even though he supports a slew of positions the church condemns? It seems every democrat out there who supports abortion and other policies opposed to the religious is suddenly giving speeches from a church pulpit come election time.
    (I’m not trying to make this an argument pro or con on abortion, etc., just asking if the blatant hypocrisy bugs the hell out of you like it does me).

    You basically say that anyone who is religious has never sat down and really used their brains. I’m an agnostic, and even I think that’s really arrogant and misguided. I’ve run into scores of the sheeple you describe and I pretty much share your disdain for the mindless flock, but I’ve also known devoutly religious people who could debate your ass (and mine) into the ground. They can back up their faith intellectually as well as spiritually, and even if I don’t agree with their reasoning they are hardly mindless cogs in the theocratic machine.

    I respect someone who is honest and forthcoming about their beliefs (Atheist, Agnostic, or Religious) and lives by them a hell of a lot more than I do someone who pretends to have faith when it’s convienient for social and/or political gain.

  4. The Cyberwolfe Says:

    Once again, you and I are very much on the same brainwave.

    I have nothing but respect for anyone who has justly thought through their religion and follows it’s tenets through faith and conviction – I just have rarely met them. (The grandma I mentioned earlier is one of them.) The ones I used to play with, however, are the ones who blindly put on their Sunday best because they haven’t figured out that their God is omnipotent and sees them the other 6 days of the week too. When a woman clad in a fur coat and a Cadillac is more worried about my soul than whether or not the bum on the porch next door has eaten this week, man, I just can’t let that slide.

    Yes, it bothers me greatly when someone uses a religious standing for personal gain, even more so when that personal gain includes power over the American pubic. In my studies, I have found that most religions can be boiled down to some of the same things youe were taught in kindergarten: be nice to your neighbors, clean up your own messes, and share your toys. Those aspects of religion I can fully stand behind, and if a candidate were to stick to that, I would have no problem with them campaigning from the pulpit. I wasn’t happy with Kerry’s campaign tactics, but I still think he would have been less dangerous than Bush.

    That, mon ami, is truly the saddest thing of all: the fact that all we have to choose from is ‘bad’ and ‘worse’, never mind which one is which. We can’t even hope for ‘good’ anymore, all we can do is hope for ‘mostly harmless’.