(I am back and we have some things to discuss. Can't... control.... anger!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I don't understand religion (part 1)

I'm not what you'd consider religious. It's not that I don't like religion, it's just that I don't like watching people I don't know shove religion in my face. There is truly nothing in the world more annoying to me with the possible exception of browsing the bargain rack at JC Penney's with my wife.

I would gladly trade my 14 prayer channels for one music video channel that actually played music videos. I would consider it a good trade even if all they played was Tony Basil's "Mickey Mickey" video over and over, 24 hours a day. I think I have inherited some anti-religion recessive gene from my mother's side.

I don't practice Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Shinto or any other religion. I know very little about any of these, and know less about the people that practice them. I am fine with that. I will admit that I actually understand the rules to Judaism. In fact, I've been to a Jewish wedding.

When it comes to Christianity, however, I am completely clueless. I've somehow managed to reach middle age without having the slightest idea what is going on. The rules just confuse the hell out of me.

I went to mass once to see if I could get some free wine, but I guess I was too early or too late because it wasn't served. I stared at the priest for a while to see if I could figure out which one it was -- early or late -- but after about 30 seconds, I gave up. He said something about some guy and his brother or something having the most sheep. I'm not completely sure what he meant by that, but I think it has something to with how many times the brothers had sinned. Let me give you an example of the depth of my Christian knowledge.

Here is what I know: In Cathocism, unlike Protestantism, there is usually a set amount of standing and sitting in each mass. I only know this from my limited vistis to each church. I don't have to stand and sit as many times at Protestant mass as I sometimes do for Catholic mass, which can apparently go on forever in total disregard for any and all previously scheduled programming. I know there are other Christian sects.

That's it.

So assume for a moment that I am sitting at home on a sunday, and I turn on the television. For some strange reason, as I'm flipping channels, I actually notice that there is a church show on.

I watch the screen carefully.

After a few minutes, I am able to discern that they are speaking English (sometimes). I watch the television for a few minutes more.

I see some guy in a red shirt light a candle, and the guy in white talks about how people in the world should stop trying to kill each other for a second. Then one guy screams some stuff, someone faints, and they repeat the process.

Strategically speaking, I can make more sense out of the battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies than I can about what is going on in a church.

The worst thing about this is that I fall flat on my face in casual religion conversations. I started out attempting to learn just enough about any sect to be able to fake it for a few minutes, but that was too painful, so now I just admit my weakness. If someone says "What do you think about Catholic Doctrine?" I usually say, "Um, that's [Christianity/church/about gays/about priests], right?" Followed by a weak laugh. I've stopped getting invited to church and mass. I don't have any idea why people go so mad in march, or exactly what it is they are mad for. I still get the occasional pity invite from my friend Jeff, but he doesn't really understand the depth of my aversion.

Put it this way -- I actually hate the sound of an exangelist coming out of a TV. Any TV. It is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. When my personal television is the one in question, it's almost as if it's been defiled. After Jeff leaves my house on Easterg, I feel compelled to get the Lysol out and scrub the church residue off the screen.

On the other hand, I have much more free time than the average joe. I have time to play video games, finish my basement, fix things and screw around with things like these here blogs.

Anyway, whatever religion you like, I hope it gets you to heaven, because that is the only reason I could think of to even care who is right.

Thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure my religion deficiency is the major reason my wife married me. I'll have to bring that up someday when I'm bored out of my skull in JC Penny's. I'll let you know how it goes.


Blogger Sarah said...

1 - A Protestant service is not called a mass. It's called a service. The more you know. (insert little jingle here)

2 - Catholic weddings make me want to jab my eyeball with a hymnal.

3 - "Church" on TV is not church.

4 - Going through bargain racks at JC Penny's really sucks.

5:08 PM

Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

you suck soooooo bad. But that was funny as hell.

I could sue you, you know. Then take the money and fix up *my* basement.

5:32 PM

Blogger Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Scott, you're lucky man to have not been corrupted by religion. I have been overexposed to a few different strains, and at the root level, it all comes down to what they tried to teach you in kindergarden.

"Play nice."

Everything else are stories and legends and baggage man has added to make it fit their needs.

8:33 PM

Blogger Scott said...

Full disclosure - I *totally* stole this post from Johnny Virgil (one he wrote in February). I basically changed the words football to religion and voila! Here is the link to the original (I am sitting here feeling smug and clever - fyi)

12:24 PM

Blogger KOM said...

As a tip from Father Ted, if someone asks you about a religious matter, answer "That is an ecumenical matter."

12:27 PM

Blogger Jacq said...

AMEN. Can I get a witness?

2:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things...

"Hymnal" sounds dirty.

People get mad in march cause their alma mater loses in the tourny. That's why it's called "March Madness".

7:41 PM

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3:16 AM

Blogger steph-a-ninnie said...

You know, Scott, I think I'm the only one who, without reading your comment, actually recognized this as Johnny's post. (So now we're both officially clever.) I hear you on religion. Funny, I hate religion too, and I am a Christ-follower. My money's on the fact that Jesus hated religion too. That's what the Bible says, at least.

9:44 AM


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