Folks, I am not sure if I have ever put a warning label on post before. This time I think I will. What I will post here is not meant to offend anyone. I have many many friends who have incredible faith. Though I can never understand how they have that, I would never ever try to take it away from them.
We can all believe what want, which is one of the things I love about where we live.
However, while watching 2012 with John Cusack (A GREAT disaster flick!) I had an epiphany, about life, beliefs and people. So, meaning no disrespect, here’s what went through my head during and after my 20 mile roller workout at the movies! Church goers may not like it, so feel free to skip this post, I won’t be offended at all if you do.
Now a little background first, When I was a kidlet, my folks did their best.I went to Sunday school, did first communion, and even hung out for a day at a bible day camp in our trailer park. My mom has told me that I was so interested and asked so many questions, that she thought for a while that I might become a priest.
However, as time went on, it made less and less (religion that is) and I became much more interested in science. It just makes more sense. In fact as I type this, I remembered my first ever religion vs science argument. My 2nd and 3rd grade best friend was Donald Godby (can’t make that up!)
Editors note: Funny, we met when we crashed into each other around a blind curve on our bikes! Even then cycling influenced my life! But I digress
He and his family were church goers and by that time we really weren’t. Somehow we got on the discussion about pictures of Jesus. He said, “It is wrong to have pictures of Jesus! No one alive has ever seen him, so how do we know what he looks like? They shouldn’t do it!”
Well, my 8 or 9 year old brain pondered that for a bit, and I said, “But Donald, they have pictures of dinosaurs too, and they are WAY older than Jesus was. I have lots or dinosaur books with pictures!”
The look he gave me is much like the looks I know I get when I ask questions or make comments about religion on Facebook nowadays. “That is NOT the same!” said he, and then we went for a bike ride around the trailer park. Hell, he may have no memory of this, but I look back and smile.
I have read the Bible cover to cover AND in college I went to services 2 or 3 times. (Of course this because the guitar player was VERY cute and I liked her a lot!)
So what does this have to do with John Cusack and the movie? Well I promise I will get there…
As I grew up, my dad and I loved to read disaster and end of the world books (I HIGHLY recommend Lucifer’s Hammer, about a comet that hits the Earth. A classic, and I have read it 20 times.) This has continued until today with movies like 2012 and Bruce Willis’ Armageddon (among others).
So today, (FINALLY I know) I was riding along, watching the world end, and they showed What I believe was the Sistine Chapel and the Pope, gathering in prayer. (yes I know he usually hangs out at St Peters, but this had the painted ceiling) In another scene, a group of people from India were about to swept away by a tsunami and also knelt in prayer. This was alluded to be happening in Mosques, Temples, Synagogues. Churches and whatever other place people pray at depending on their religion.
So here is thought number one that hit me. Let’s say I look up, see an asteroid coming at us and world is up the crick. I am surrounded by places of worship for 27 different religions, all with people streaming in to pray.
Now the faithful would argue, this is good, praying, especially at the time you get turned into asteroid paste, is a sure way to get to heaven. But the science dude in me balks at this. Which one do you choose? They aren’t ALL right. Some are convinced the other is evil, or wrong. But how can anyone know religion A is any more correct than religion Q? They all have faith, but different gods. And as far as I know, each has its own “in the beginning” and prophets and saviors as well as heaven and hell.
I could decide at the moment to go into the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (A real thing, my buddy who is ordained in that church, married us!) and pray like no ones business just to find out it’s the wrong one. You have to go by faith, and that just doesn’t work for me.
Editors note 2: Seems simple to me, if the correct god would just make sure tornadoes bounce off the correct religion’s churches, then we’d all know.
But again that is NOT the epiphany.
What hit me in my ride tonight, when the earthquake hit the chapel was this: More often than not, in books and movies, those that gather to pray, end up being the first to go. Earthquakes, Category 10 storms, zombies or comets.
The ones that survive? Those who gather their clans, and head for the hills. Doing what they need to survive, and never giving up. For the record, YEP, I know this is fiction, but for me this is a metaphor for life. I know for a fact that right now, anything that happens, I can meet it head on and handle it. I like knowing my life is what I make of it and not some strange plan.
I believe this has made me more accepting of people in general. I see followers of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormons and anything else you have in the same light, They believe what they believe, and they have as much chance as anyone else of being right, but they ALL have the right to believe what they want and should be accepted.. All I ask is NONE of them knock on my door and bother me trying to convert me. It doesn’t work.
And as much as they have the right to believe, I have the right to question what doesn’t make sense. (which might be another post someday)
And finally it makes me live my life for the now. Those with faith believe in an afterlife and are comforted by it. I believe I become worm food, and sooner or later some of the atoms in my body will return to the stars. For me, there is no better resting place! So I live for now and NOT for later.
So that’s it in a nutshell. For those still reading, thanks for doing so, I am honored to have many of my readers as good friends, and again I meant no disrespect. But my blog means I can share.
Like the wind y’all!