Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rerun - Left Behind?

Left Behind?

It seems absolutely certain that I’m going to rot in hell. Now, depending on precisely what flavor of god is your poison, what that hell is going to look like, how many levels it may have, and how long I’ll hang out in purgatory, drinking bad wine and watching reality television, changes. It hardly seems to matter, though, as all the colors of the god/flame-filled, stinky, polyester-tastic hell sound pretty not okay to me. I’d just as soon not rot there. Any of the theres, really. I mean, given my druthers.

So it seems like my only choice is to believe in god. Okay, easy enough, right? Not really a tough task, when stood against some of the mountains life gives us to climb. Believe in smiling, benevolent happy man in sky, avoid rotting in hell. Easy math, easy decision. Right? Right. Riiiiiiight...

But then it turns out it isn’t quite as simple as all that, I guess. First I have to choose which god I’m going to believe in. Apparently, not all gods are created equal and happy and smiling and sitting in the sky wearing sandals and looking disturbingly Jerry Garcia-esque.

Some gods have beards and sandals, some gods have elephant heads, some gods have tridents and some gods apparently have four arms and severed heads and cups to catch the blood.

How to choose?

Aesthetically, I gotta say I dig the severed head/catching cup image. But, I’m not sure how much I love the ritual sacrifice/murderous bitch element. That seems like it could present a problem somewhere down the line.

But if that’s a criteria, hey, even my happy dancing hippie god is a bit of a problem. Turns out he’s a homicidal fuck too, and vengeance is something else these two seem to have in common. Problematic, that. Although it does seem that if I chose the Catholic flavor of happy hippie, I could fuck up just as often as fucking up caught my fancy, and if I did some manner of apology dance, then this funky wacky great thing they call absolution would be granted, and I’d get to skip right on up to heaven after all, upon my death. So far, the Catholic patchouli sniffer is my guy. Although I have little to no desire to rape children and murder their parents, I quite like knowing that I’d be forgiven and would then get to spend my afterlife sipping martinis with a good book, if I decided I just couldn’t get through my day without murder and sodomy. That sounds nice and reassuring. It seems like a handy insurance policy to have on hand.

Which means, if we grant that I’m going to finally settle on some version of anglo-american god image, I can’t then choose the subdivision of Mormonism.

I’m pretty fond of the following things: Coffee, alcohol, pre marital sex. All of these seem to be out within the confines of Mormonism, so I’m out too. Although I have to admit the idea of polygamy is appealing, when I dug further, I found that it was limited to men getting to marry multiple women. That turned the appeal right off, there. I mean, polygamy is only really appealing if it means I get to enjoy a garden of cocks at a whim. I can just imagine strolling through, picking a lily-like cock on Monday morning, and one slightly reminiscent of a rose on Monday afternoon. And hey, couldn’t I also choose a bouquet of cocks, say, on Saturday night? When I felt like getting a little wild? But no. Apparently only vaginas get to be flowers here. Moving on, then.

Muslims pray five times a day, and so much for that, then. I’m a busy girl, and I can’t be expected to get down on my knees in Starbucks, or while I’m having a pedicure, now can I?

That Catholicism I was so enamoured of seems to be out, as well. Upon further inspection, it seems they are not only also opposed to the pre-marital sex I’m so fond of, but also the birth control that will be necessary to keep me from spawning lots of screeching little monkey like creatures that drag my attention away from the aforementioned coffee and pedicures in much the same way that pesky constant prayer would.

This is so much more complicated than I would have thought.

But, to conquer this hurdle, I’ve settled on a nice, vanilla version of god. I’m going to be a non denominational christian. They seem to be okay, generally speaking, with my penchant for getting drunk and then possibly having sex with a man that isn’t my husband, and even with my desire to be on the pill while doing so. Score. I guess this means I have to give up my beloved absolution, but hey. You gotta give a little to get a little, right? I choose martinis and drunken one nighters over child rape and a touch of murder any day.

On to the next hurdle.

How do I, in the face of amazing and vast scientific evidence, choose to believe that we just arrived, shiny and naked and new, one day, on this earth, because some all powerful being (who we’ve just learned I’ve decided it’s okay to just call GOD, as opposed to Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Zeus, or anything else) decided he was sick of playing chess with stars and needed a new form of entertainment? How do I force my rational brain to cooperate with the idea that this bored god now possesses the attention span to hear and listen to and respond to the prayers of every single praying person on earth all at the same time? Everything all at the same time?

I asked some preachers, I asked some priests, I asked some rabbis.

The resounding and common answer? FAITH. I just need to have faith and everything’ll be all right. No pesky logic, no pesky doubt, no rotting in hell.

Alright. Okay. Let’s say I find some faith.

But what then? What of the times I notice that religion, beyond just not making any goddamned sense, also seems to be causing emotional distress, murder, pain, family splits, and hey-o, even most of the worlds wars?

What do I do about that?

Faith again, is apparently the answer. Take 1 cup faith, add 1 cup faith, stir, then gradually add more faith. Cook until faith. Enjoy, but not without saying grace.

When it’s pointed out, (by me? Noooo, never) to these preachers and priests, that none of this makes a goddamned bit of sense, what do you think they told me?

Do you think they told me to have more faith?

If you think that they told me to have more faith, I think that you probably deserve ten thousand cookies.

In the face of this, the rational mind is, of course, dying a thousand painful deaths, screaming all the while as though guessed it, burnt by the flames of hell.

Prepare my bed. D’ya suppose it’s too much to hope that there will be mints on our pillows, in hell?

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