So this is a pretty long overdue post. Hopefully I can get this done today. In the past few weeks I have covered politics and sex here. According to my caucasian cousin Shirlann, I need to cover religion next. Just to have a balanced diet of social commentary. Luckily I just so happened to have something up my sleeve. (Warning: this post is not for those lacking in brain cells.)
A while ago I went to see Bill Maher’s “Religulous” movie. I really enjoyed it. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the movie, Bill Maher goes around and talks to people about their religion and why it makes sense to them. The movie centers around Christianity for the most part, but also talks some about Judaism and Islam. He of course is very skeptical, and he admits this, but basically he is challenging people to help him understand some of the more farfetched aspects of their religion. It’s one of those movies that gets people talking. Everyone who was in the theater came out having some sort of discussion. When we were waiting for my girlfriend to come out of the bathroom we broke out in a mini debate (a civil one) with some people out in the lobby. Then the five of us who went to see the movie went to dinner and talked about religion (and some politics tied into religion) for the rest of the night. I love movies that get people talking.
Want to know what we were talking about? How bad do you want to know? Say pretty please. Well since you asked so nicely…
The idea of questioning faith is something that many people frown upon. When someone questions your faith the person is looked at as a blasphemer or as some sort of lost lamb. Questioning your own faith is something that is looked at as weakness or impurity. Who are we to question things after all? Everything is laid out in the bible for us nice and easy. All we have to do is read and obey right? Wrong as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing wrong with questioning things. Even things like faith. There is just a right way to question things and a wrong way to question things.
In the movie Maher makes it a point to tell people that he is not an atheist. Atheists believe that there is no god. Maher says that he does not preach atheism, but rather he preaches “I don’t know.” He doesn’t know if there’s a God and he doesn’t claim to know. Now here is where I agree with him. Let me state first that I am a Christian in the sense that I believe in Jesus and in God. I was raised Roman Catholic, but I wouldn’t really say that I can classify myself as that anymore. My church is Roman Catholic, but I am not really. Now for the record, questioning things is not exactly a staple of the Roman Catholic church. Luckily for me my Dad was not always the best at making it to church. I mean we went, but it definitely was not like clockwork. (Okay enough on that tangent. Back to questioning faith.)
Being Catholic I received the blessed sacraments and thus had to sit through my fair share of Sunday school (and bible study at times). I was baptized, I had my Holy Communion, and I even had Confirmation. I had to read alot of bible for that. I was taught a lot about my religion. I was also taught not to believe everything I read. Some stuff in the bible just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The story of Lot sticks out like a sore thumb to me. You know what we would call a guy today who tells people to rape his virgin daughter instead of him? We’d call him an asshole that’s what we’d call him. There is just no good moral to that story for me. Yet for some people there is a good moral to that story. That is that god hates faggots. I digress. Point is religion is not an exact science. In turn this means that faith is not an exact science. I am not supposed to question these things sometimes. Please!
Look I’ve said this before. Having faith is by definition BELIEVING without KNOWING. That is the whole point. It would be super easy to believe in something if we knew it was real. (Example: If I told you I could make you a millionaire would you believe me? How about if I gave you a million dollars, would you believe me then?) This is why I don’t claim to know things like if Jesus is real or if there is in fact a God. What I do know is what I BELIEVE. I BELIEVE there is a God. I BELIEVE Jesus died for our sins. If you Catholics were paying attention at church then you would know that its in our creed. It goes “We believe in one god, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth” not “We know with absolute certainty that there is one god…”
So as I said before there is a right and a wrong way to discuss faith. That means to all you Christians out there, if you want to ask someone why they don’t believe in God, then do just that. ASK them, don’t tell them. See if they have questions and try to answer them. If they are going to be Christian let it be because they decided that it made sense to them and not because you told them they are going to burn in hell. Also, to all you atheists. (Yes I am scolding you too. The Christians get it all the time, its your turn now.) While it’s okay to politely engage in a debate with someone about their faith and ask them about things you may not understand, it is never okay to try to tear down a person’s faith. Faith is a beautiful thing and it is never okay to try to take that from someone.
Okay I have more but I’ve decided to end this here. There will be a second part to this next week. Hopefully on Monday. I still have to talk about why my Dad left the movie looking like he saw a ghost and the end of humanity. Also don’t forget Xanga Mystery Blogger is starting next Tuesday. Till next time dweebs.