Have You Found Jesus or Did You Know He Was Missing?
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Religion… Feel free to run for the hills as someone has the audacity to satirize this while trying to make cogent points and be fair, but will no doubt be seen as the biggest jerk on Earth for just bringing up the subject. Let me start by saying that I am agnostic. What does that mean? Some would say it means that I don’t want to be religious, but am too big a pussy to be a full on atheist. I disagree with that. It means that I try to keep my mind open while having my serious doubts about spirituality and strongly disliking dogmatic practices that sometimes don’t follow any version of logic. Imagine a box… Never mind. That analogy is great, but it takes too damn long to type out, so trust me when I say it is a really solid one.

So, how do I feel about religion? Well, let me be even more honest. (At some point, you will probably stop giving a shit about me because I don’t seem capable of not telling you anything.) I was raised in a fairly traditional Protestant household as a Methodist. My parents didn’t beat me over the head with religion, they didn’t demand I read the bible every day, and nothing beyond some basic teachings on the morality side were ever really imparted to me. It was something we did. We hopped in the family car (with the common amount of resistance or trouble one would expect from small children) and headed off to church every Sunday. We have some great stories about those times. Apparently, as a small child, I escaped my mother and ran through the wood floored church in cowboy boots. People noticed. This took place before I was adequately forming memories, but I do find it amusing. Also, one Sunday, my sister, my mother, and I all were victims of an uncontrollable laughing fit during the sermon. Much like the boots, people noticed. I see these things very positively and never viewed church as anything bad. At worst, it was an annoying use of my time, and at best, it was actually a place with a lot of cherished memories. (That was a sappy statement. Shit, who taught me to write?)

Overall, I don’t care what religion any person follows based upon two conditions. The first is simple. Don’t assume that everyone else should think just like you do. If someone makes a joke about the sacred nature of your religion, don’t worry about it. They can think that. You can think they are going to be tortured for all eternity in a place of endless grief. (This “Hell” let’s call it, could be anything from a landscape of burning torture, a cold pit where the devil personally chomps on you, or a doctor’s waiting room with only six magazines at least four months old.) I am cool with that. As long as no bullying or physical harm comes from this thought process, why would anyone give a shit? If there is one thing I have learned for sure in my study of spiritualism and religion, it is that these are really hard questions, and independent, rational beings are very likely to interpret the signs differently. Great, now discuss. This brings me to my second point. Do not take comments contradicting your philosophy as personal attacks. If someone says he or she doesn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus, he or she is not spitting on every Christian on Fox News. He or she is making a personal statement. Big Fucking Deal. It has nothing to do with anything else. Atheists and agnostics, my friends, if someone is also extremely religious, don’t worry about it. Let them believe whatever as long as it doesn’t harm you. If you must engage this person over it, be cool. Everyone, be cool. Listen to what the other has to say, don’t take it personal, and take or leave whatever you want based on that conversation. All of us are also allowed to view others as crazy after this conversation, but hey, no big deal. Humans are kind of naturally judgmental bastards. It is kind of how we function; just don’t be an asshole while being a judgmental bastard. (I’ve come to notice most of my personal philosophy seems to be leaving each other alone while being the weirdest version of ourselves. Awesome)

I have a lot of beefs with people on these issues. I have had numerous arguments with people about religion and spiritual matters, but I like to think that none of these were personal attacks. Let me tell a story. I am an obnoxious ass. Don’t worry, there is more to the story. A Baptist church going gentleman came to my door once wanting people to come to his church. I didn’t have much going on that day, so I stood at my door and argued the finer points of religion for almost twenty minutes. He walked away mad. I have no idea why to this day that he was upset. I thought we were having a great conversation, but the truth is that this is though stuff. I really stick to my guns and he couldn’t accept that this obnoxious ass wouldn’t see his point of view. In my utopia, he thinks, “Great, I told that guy what I believe and he can debate it for himself.” It doesn’t work that way far too often. When people ask me what I think, I tell them. I occasionally crack a joke about dogma or being agnostic in a very Christian area, but I mean no harm. (Most of the time, I did describe myself as obnoxious.) So, believe what you want. I really don’t care, unless you’re a Mormon. Those kids in the white shirts and black ties creep me the fuck out. (Kidding. I’m kidding.)

Lastly, we all know about the “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” controversy. What a stupid controversy. So, let’s say someone walks up to another person and tells them that they wish them well at this time of year, and the other responds by telling the first to fuck themselves. You may be taken aback. That is what this is to me. If someone walks up to a person and says either phrase, the response should be that this person is wishing me well and I shall respond in kind. Anything else is overthinking it. If a person walked up to me and said “May you be blessed by the rainbow farts of Bill Gates,” I like to think after my initial confusion, I would thank them, wish them well, and move on. They intend nothing bad. (Maybe weird, but whatever.) So, no matter what you believe, be kind. If you feel Jesus is the savior, Mohammed was the true prophet, Vishnu is watching, or the Bill Gates farts rainbows, just be cool to everyone else and accept they may not believe the same thing. (Especially, the last one.)

Also, I used the picture I did because someone told my mom I looked handsome in it and I am that kind of conceited.

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