Wednesday, May 21, 2008

religiosity

You should know before we go anywhere that this post is not going to be funny. Please deal with that fact and move on...

Dealt with?

Accepted?

Fine, let's continue shall we? Earlier I was watching TV (no good can come of that) and as the show lapsed into commercial break and I found my attempts to fast forward through the commercials thwarted by the fact that I was watching live TV an ad for a 3 volume set of Christian music came on. I could have just ignored it like I do 75% of advertisements I come across, but instead I trained my eyes on the screen and put on my listening ears... I was overcome with an urge to know. To hear. To listen.

As I listened a few thoughts occurred to me.

Some people are very serious about the Time Life Series.

Some people are very serious about their religion.

I don't fall into either category.

In case you haven't picked up in the past I am not a religious person. I have no deeply held spiritual conviction. I don't have faith that a higher power will make this world a better place. I don't believe that some all powerful deity is responsible for my fortunes in life at the same time that a child is dying of starvation or being killed in a brutal dictatorship.

I believe in myself. I believe in my family. I believe that there are good people on this earth who want to make the world a better place.

I also believe so very strongly that I deserve the right to believe (or not believe) what I choose to.

I believe that you have the right to choose what you believe and even to practice it as long as it doesn't bring harm to others.

Oh yes I have a problem with any religion that encourages it's disciples to harm someone. Or to threaten them. I'll even be honest for a moment longer and tell you that I am awfully vexed by religions that encourage their followers to tell non believers that they're going to hell. That sounds an awful lot like a threat to me, but I digress.

Good thing for you to know about me.

Also good to know? I love cheese. and cherry coke. and cupcakes.

Right, now back to the religion thing.

I understand it, to a certain extent. As someone whose faith does not lie with the church I of course can not completely comprehend all aspects of it but I do get it. I think faith is a beautiful thing.

Another important thing to know about me? I don't think that religious people are wrong. They could be right. There could be a god smiling or grimacing or smirking down at all of us even as I type this.

You or you or you over there in the back? You could be completely right. I don't begrudge you that.

But I don't personally believe.

And I don't want to.

I don't think I need religion or god to be a good person. I don't think I need them to raise my child well. I don't think I need them to make my marriage solid and happy.

But if you do? That's alright by me.

Do you need to go to church on the major holidays? Fine.

Something a little more regular? Worship once a week? Good for you.

Not enough? You want to add in meal time prayers and bible study? Fantastic. Have fun.

Still need more? Help in the church? Encourage others? Teach? Help the less fortunate (even I like to do that)? WONDERFUL. Keep it up.

Is your faith so overwhelming, so overpowering that you feel the need to join the clergy? Lovely!

But really... do we need that 3 CD time life series?

No. I don't think so.

18 comments:

Bubblewench said...

we hate those commercials.. what's worse is I caught Scott singing one of those songs and when I pointed it out he screamed. He hasn't done it since... and we turn the channel now.

Nice post.

Lilacspecs said...

Great post and I agree with you a billion percent n the religion thing. Oh and if you send me aaalll your peanut butter, I'm sure I can figure out a way to send you some awesome cheese (we are right next to france afterall). And I prefer cherry pepsi over cherry coke, but they don't make it here so it's not much of an issue for me anymore.

stephanie said...

Well, I do love Jesus and cheese, cherry Coke, and cupcakes. But I do not love 3 CD sets or Time Life.

And when I take you to St. Cupcake, I promise not to talk about loving Jesus. I think we already agreed to talk about things far more scandalous than our personal belief systems...

;)

Xithor said...

I remember these songs from my brief flirtation with religiosity. It's worse than the commercials make it out to be, in that nearly all of them are just mindless praises, with no real affirmations of faith, or any substantive content at all.

Kimberly said...

Love this post, Cami, love it! I'm hugely religious, but I'm one of the crazy whack-jobs who think people have a right to their own beliefs AND think you don't go to Hell for not going to my church (what is with that idea?!). In fact, I know a bazillion (give or take) wonderful, good, loving people who have no specific religious beliefs at all. And I know some people who go to my church who give me the shivers. Religious beliefs do not a good person make.

CamiKaos said...

kimberly: I love you more everyday. Which also means every day I am more saddened by the fact that your family moved away from Portland before I even got to meet you.

Xithor: You listened to them? Shiver.

Stephanie: Yes. St. Cupcake and scandalous talk, now we just have to work out the date since YOU are available as soon as school lets out and that's when I become busy all the time.

lilac: what kind of peanut butter do you like? Creamy or Chunky?

Bw: One of them, the songs that is, is floating around in my head right now.

fairytalesandmargaritas said...

I always tease my husband and tell him that I'm buying that set for him. He is the semi-religious one, me notsomuch.

holly said...

but what was the cd series OF? i totally heart the time life *books* that helped me write more than one sarcastic punishment report (yes, i employed sarcasm in my got-caught-talking-in-class-punishment-reports. teacher actually liked it).

i am 100% with you on the religion thing. 100%.

Lisa Milton said...

I don't know ladies: St. Cupcake sounds a little churchy to me. (It would count as a religious experience if they have vegan offerings...)

I don't know what to make of the devil, but I'm pretty sure he's got stock in Time Life.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Cami is it bad that I laughed?
I'm sorry, but the last line made me snort.

missburrows said...

C'mon, don't they at least throw in a free crucifix or something?

tarable said...

I spent last weekend burying my extremely religious grandmother. If only I had a copy of this post to hand to all those in my family who asked me when I was coming back to the church. You put it much more eloquently than I ever could.

sybil law said...

You forgot to mention the frankinsence! (No idea of that's spelled right...) Catholics loove the frankincense!
*shudder*

julie said...

I could have written that. Well, I could have tried to, but you wrote it way better than I would have. And I would have edited it to be diet Cherry Coke. But other than that...

loveyh said...

Amen cami! Oh, wait, damn. So..good job, very well-put.

So...is St. Cupcake the patron saint of good cupcakes? 'Cause I'm all out of good cupcake hookups and I need a new one for the kids! And the one on 11th in the Pearl, near Ben and Jerry's? Not so much.

CamiKaos said...

lovey: hey now, I like a good amen just as much as the next girl...

I've never been to St. Cupcake... Stephanie is a tease.

Julie: Thank you... I wish I could edit out the Cherry Coke but then it wouldn't have been nearly as honest.

beth: oh and the myr... how could I forget the Myr?

tarable: I'm sorry for your loss... sometimes that can be one of the toughest time to deal with the religious pressuring.

Missb: I am sure they would throw a crucifix AT you if you'd like...

Mmmm... cupcake. if they have vegan options I'll tell you.

Holls: It was the Christian Inspirational Music or something series.

Jo: Oh dear lord I was hoping SOMEONE would laugh. I did when I thought it up.

Lori: Oh good, cause I totally had it sent to your house.

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions

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