Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A faith-based pondering…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch has been experiencing a seasonal lull over the past couple of days, so I took my ass offline and indulged in my funk.

Sometimes there’s no way around it.

Anyhoo, I had an interesting conversation the other day about religion. Well, it wasn’t actually a conversation about religion so much as an aside tossed out by someone during a conversation about something totally different. I won’t get into the specifics, because I was more struck by the guaranteed to get a bitch’s back up tone used to dismiss a theory that “wasn’t based in scripture” than what the asshole saying that shit was actually responding to.

Pause…consider…continue.

Yeah, it was the tone…that I’m in this club that makes me better than non-members and we’ve got a rule book that I’ve memorized and use when it suits me to posture and preen.

Note – this is different than the other popular people of faith tone known as I pity you ‘cause you are damned to burn in eternal hellfire and that’s kind of sad to me even though I’m thrilled that ‘tis you and not me.

Here’s the deal…a bitch wouldn’t give a shit if it weren’t for the results of that behavior demonstrated in the other interesting faith-based interaction I had later that same day. A really good friend and I were chatting on the phone about some volunteer work we hope to do together while the weather is nice. He was thinking a Habitat for Humanity build and a bitch was thinking we should also pick a block and get our beautification/trash clean up on. My friend was lobbying hard for Habitat even though he “hopes there aren’t any of those church groups volunteering on the same day.”

And there it is! That’s the shit that makes a bitch give a shit about the ways of some people of faith.

Catcheth thy knee-eth before you injureth thy neighbor…a bitch ain’t painting all y’all with the same brush!

It seems to me that faith is being branded by the fucked up from the floor up actions of a few…and the tragedy of that is that those few aren’t even acting in a very faith-based way. As a matter of fact, they are kind of anti-faithish…if one is thinking of the world’s major religions.

And a bitch can’t help but wonder when this happened. When did some religions and faith in general become the prisoners of certain religious people who use religion like other people use a Louis Vuitton handbag?

Mercy.

Even as I ponder that I long for the faith-based experiences of my youth…for a church full of regular folks trying to find guidance and inspiration so that they can leave the world a better place and do some good.

And I fear for the brand integrity of faith…because the brand suffers when there are more faux Louis Vuitton knock-offs than the real deal.

Blink.

8 comments:

betmo said...

shark fu- it happened about the time that the 'religious' folk discovered the secular world of... capitalism. yep. they have gone corporate. at least the fastest growing branch of them have- non denominational, faith based initiative lovin' evangelicals like pat robertson, dobson, et al. those megachurch building, politician buying folks make movies, produce music, publish books, promote talk shows- all in the name of 'this is a christian nation'. the rank and file can't quite guess it's a ponzi along the madoff line- and they are the 'holier than thou' folk of whom you speak. they buy into the 'wealth doctrine' where they have been told that god does indeed want you to live the good life- but only if you are behind the pulpit. otherwise, you need to 'seed your faith' by giving all of your money to the rod parsley, john hagee church.

these are the folks out there protesting gay marriage and a woman's right to choose. they are the ones so many of us secular, heathenistic types lump together with scorn. if that makes me on their level- so be it. the time for live and let live is over. for me anyway.

Leota2 said...

Having left organized religion when I was a teen, I find myself speaking as your friend did. And indeed, I get a knee jerk reaction every time I am confronted with religious groups because I have witnessed what a rancid few calling themselves "of god" have wrought in this country--the world even.
Hate, fear mongering, racism, homophobia . . And they've even tried to integrate their hate and intolerance into our constitution.

Thanks for this post. And even though I will never be found in a church on Sunday--I need to do better with hating on all religious groups-- as I realize many do amazing work and do it without harming or judging others.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let us speak of faith and capitalism. This is the thing that blows me away about the new old time religion. They have their hands in every money making scheme. It is as if religion is a means to an end. And follwers do not see it. I am sorry, if my Minister is driving an Benz, living in a huge mansion and wearing clothes that cost thousnads, and I am struggling to make ends meet, then I can not get with that. Where are the stories about these men giving back to their parishners? They do not exist. Tis a sad reality.

Wake up all the people.

Nita said...

I don't know who led me to your page, but posts like this is why. I'm a total lurker, and, if I may be so bold...God bless you (however you may conceive him) for sayin' it. Having recently re-claimed my faith, I find it disheartining, frustrating and ridiculous that it has to be so. Don't have a solution, but betmo is right. They're all missing the point, and it's pretty sad.

CareyCarey said...

Well Ms, Shark Fu, I feel like Dorothy from the Wizzard Of Oz. I was visiting a site (RiPPa's) and found myself standing in yo'house. I'll tell you what, this must be Oz because you have a nice spot. I am new to blogging and building a favorites list. I think I've found a jumpoff point. Drop by when you have a moment. My house is not all that so I am looking around to see how it's really suppose to happen.

Leslie said...

I had a conversation the other day concerning a friend's kid that was playing basketball w/a church group. I asked if the churches in town all were in it for tournaments...the answer I got was 'no, it's just our church because the other churches don't believe the way we do'. What? and that is what has happened to religion..the 'one-up' on each other..sad isn't it?

Sandy said...

And the worst of it is that the majority of the "holier-than-thous" that try to smack others over the head with their bible are usually the VERY ones who are doing the VERY things they say is wrong. And then when they get caught...Well, you know the rest of that story. And they are also the very ones who get highly upset when someone of another faith tries to ram thier beliefs down others throats. The hypocrosy just makes me bust a gut laughing. Even mainstream, modern TV is catching on and rips on this: "...then did Tilius say to the people of the low plains: seek not the wickedness amongst your neighbors, lest it find purchase in your own house." --quoted by Daniel Jackson, Stargate:SG1

Jmho.

Valkyrie607 said...

My parents had the good sense not to try to instill any particular faith in me or my siblings. This has given me a wonderful perspective on religion: It's completely mad!

Recently I've been inspired by Richard Dawkins to be more outspoken about my atheism. Sure, religion makes people feel better, helps them get through the hard times, but so do cigarettes. Or knitting circles.

And then you have the downside, which is, in my view, that you actually encourage people to turn off their critical thinking faculties about some of the weightiest questions we can consider, like, who are we? And how did we get here? Turning off your critical thinking faculties is all fine and dandy when you're going to watch the new Terminator flick, but here? Nope, can't condone it.

To me, religion comes off as an amusement, something of a novelty. I felt equally strange getting tikka daubed on my forehead in the temple of the goddess Sukhanda in the Himalyas as I did taking communion with a bunch of nuns in Belgium. Both experiences were meaningful and beautiful, but not so earth-shattering that I felt compelled to believe that the fantastical stories behind them were literally true.

Ah well. Since my perspective on religion is rather unique, I do enjoy discussing it when it comes up. Thanks for the post.