Mass Confusion

mass confusionIf anyone asks, I’m a member of the Religiously Confused (not that it’s Anyone’s business). There are weirder religions and the standard religions are already pretty wacky.

I was baptized Catholic which I think means I’m a Catholic – no opting out of this club. But I haven’t been to a Catholic service since I was about 12 (unless you count the time I had my picture taken with the Pope, but this was more of a tourist thing.) When I was 12, my mother decided to take her spirituality in a whole different direction (Had Tambourine, Will Travel) and I was too young to have a vote.

It’s not that I’ve been insulated from religious issues (a favored strategy of the fundamentalist): my husband is Jewish, my sister-in-law is Muslim, I was married by the Methodists, and played organ for the Episcopalians. I even have friends who are Bible Bashing Atheists, I know what I mean – hard core. And I’ve read my Bible back-to-front (which now that I mention it, may explain my confusion).

I don’t have a particularly difficult time with spirituality or even the idea of a higher power; I just distrust religion – on religious grounds.

There are extremists in any religion, but there’s something in the tone of voice that comes with Holier-than-Thou-Christianity. They must go to a special school. It strikes me as car salesman mixed with just a hint of fingernails on chalkboard.

I occasionally misdial on my TV remote and I know in a millisecond if I’ve tuned into a religious channel. The preacher could be speaking Urdu and I would still know what he’s saying. In a panic, I stab at the remote buttons, but somehow miss. Damn. There’s another one!

preach tv
Self-Help TV. Be just like us. Then we’ll love you. (And send us a check $$)

Some people find harps and bells comforting and uplifting – they set my teeth on edge. This is a real shame because the church bells are ringing again at the church down the road. They ring at this same time every day. My home is probably extra-blessed since I’m surrounded by churches. What’s the opposite of the Devil’s Triangle? God’s Hexagon? My house is within spitting distance of the Lutherans and the Methodists. The Catholics are up the road with a school attached. There’s a new age church just around the corner and the Christian Scientists are a block over. You should see the Sunday morning traffic jams!

I’m not sure why the bells ring every day. Maybe hundreds of years ago, they rang to tell the time, but time telling isn’t an issue in the 21st century, I can see three clocks from where I sit. Maybe they ring just to remind me to think of God. Great, even the bells are proselytizing.

I know lots of people find comfort in the church. I just can’t get past the history with all of the hate and killing that has been done in the name of various religions – bugger history, it’s current news!

religious hate
Intolerance Institutionalized

Religion, regardless of the flavor, provides a support system and a set of rules for living with one another. I guess that’s why people practice religion – they haven’t gotten it quite right.

I’m Jae and this message is not kosher.


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