Friday, September 08, 2006

Take it as you will

Here's the thing with God and me: I like the guy. If I'm going to be totally honest, I will have to tell you that spirituality is a very large part of who I am. It's just that I'm afraid to tell you that. Because if the same is true for you? Fine. And if it isn't? Fine. But anymore, it seems most people only admit to believing in God as a preface to launching into some diatribe, and I don't want you to see me like that, because that is so not me. It seems that an admission of Christianity automatically makes you a fanatic.

But wait. You know what? I don't think that's true. Not really. Or, no more true than it ever was. It's just that...Well, it seems as though the Diatribe Tribe have more power than they used to have, and more attention, and that makes them scarier. But the odd thing is, I don't judge people of other faiths because of the fanatics that claim those faiths; I don't think that all Muslims are terrorists. I find it appalling that people of a given faith can't practice it in piece without other people making broad erroneous judgments. Those people who claim to be Christian and then go around spewing hatred and intolerance? I don't see any difference between them and Muslims who go around spewing hatred and intolerance. Or Jews who go around spewing hatred and intolerance. Or Hindus who go around...see what I mean? They just stand out more, but I don't think that means they're the majority, and by letting them hijack my religion, I'm just giving them more power. My spiritual beliefs are a huge part of who I am, and to me personally, they play a very major role in most of the decisions I make and the way I try to live my life. But unless we're having a philosophical or theological discussion, I'm not likely to bring it up in conversation, and I sure as hell am not going to judge you if you hold a different opinion than mine, just as I hope you won't judge me.

I lust after John Stewart and I can't stand Bush&Co. and I have a devotional by Joel Osteen by my bed and I read it every morning. I go to church every Sunday and dear lord I know that South Park is disgusting but I laugh until I cry every time I watch it. I swear like a sailor (when the kids aren't around) and I'm in charge of putting together the advent devotional for the church this Christmas. I teach vacation bible school every year and I vote for the candidate that seems the most liberal (whatever party they happen to be in) because I happen to take all that "love thy neighbor" stuff literally. I believe in evolution and the virgin birth. I have a rosary and a string of buddhist prayer beads and I use them both. I wish I could've had a marriage that worked but I don't believe that God is pissed at me just because I didn't. I think every family in this country should have equal rights, regardless of the age, race, gender, or marital status of the people in those families--and regarding marital status, I think if you want to get a piece of paper that certifies your commitment, I think you should be able to do so, whether you're straight or gay. I don't like abortion but I really don't like the fact that there are people who would rather illegalize it than make it unnecessary by providing free, safe birth control and sex education. (And speaking of: I really really really miss sex, dear god do I ever. People, somebody needs to help me get a date already. Hop to it!) I really don't care whether Jesus got it on with Mary Magdalene or whether he didn't, because either way it doesn't change the message: Be kind. Forgive. Believe in good. Do good. Love your life, and the people in it, and never give up hope. And yeah, I happen to go the Jesus route, but I see a lot of people of a lot of religions (and of no religion) following that same message, and frankly I think they're a lot closer to paradise than the so-called Christians who have nothing but judgment and hatred and fear in their hearts.

I don't think I'm alone, or even in the minority. People just aren't that simple. Are they?