Monday, April 05, 2004

Gimme that old time religion (and none of them monkey trials)... 

Sidenote: what is it that we're told NEVER to bring up in pleasant company? Sex, Religion and Politics? I'm going for the "trifecta" this week.

So far, I haven't gone to see the film "The Passion of the Christ." I don't feel I need to...I read the book so I think I know how it turns out. This is not to say that I don't appreciate Mel Gibson's effort. I see it as a monumental task to take on such subject matter and do a good job at it. At the same time, regardless of how well a film like that is made, you KNOW that people are going to HAVE to see it, "just because," just because of the hype, just because of the subject matter. Remember the fervor that surrounded the film "The last Temptation of Christ" way back in '88? Heck, folks were lampooning that one without even having seen it...Rumors and such were flying about like so many miller moths. My point is that you could make the ABSOLUTE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE, but if it's about a biblical subject, PEOPLE WILL SEE IT, and not just religious types, either. Religion is BOX OFFICE GOLD, It would take a a lot more time or money than even the ACLU has to change that.

Of course, the amount of press that this movie has received HAS been absolutely insane. The frickin' buzz began way before the film was finished. in fact, the public has been SO WELL AWARE of this film's arrival that it just seems as if "The Passion" has been one of the most anticipated films of our time, maybe of all time. Thanks be to the big fat hype machine that is the media, who LOVE to glom on to controversial subjects. It's always humorous to watch the media blow little tiny details out of proportion so as to further panic, even the slightest bit of panic. Part of this hype/panic that came out about the film was, of course, that there were some that held the fear that it could "spark antisemitism" since the movie depicts the Jews as the instrumental figures in the death of Jesus, as if this fact is not recorded in the bible. To these people, I'd love to say "get over yourself." Stay with me here...This is very simple...

Heck yeah the Jews killed Jesus. You know why? Because SOMEONE HAD TO.

I mean, c'mon! What tenet is the cornerstone of Christianity? The fact that God sent his son to DIE ON THE CROSS so as to absolve us of sin, that's what! Remember that whole "for God so loved the world" business from the bible? Remember that, smartass? Remember the part where if you accept the fact that Jesus died for YOU AND ME then you're saved? huh? It would seem that there are a whole hell of a lot of people out there who simply want to be nasty and then claim the bible as their reason for it. Damn, people, think about this... If you're a Christian, you should be THANKFUL for the fact that the Jews had Jesus crucified, IT FULFILLED THE PROPHECY! Without that event, there would be no Christianity...There would be no Christmas...There would be no New Testament. (I guess there also wouldn't be any Mormons, but everyone's hit or miss, right?) And don't give me any crap about Pontius Pilate, Barabbas and Judas...They, in the long run, were just pawns in the game my friend...Instruments of God...Jesus had to die, God sent him to do just that. Who better than GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE to do the deed?

That's right, I said GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. Go back and read the Old Testament if you don't believe me.

And that's another thing! The Old Testament...I've come across too many damn people who claim to be 'christians' and then love to quote from the Old Testament when it's convenient, forgetting that Jesus implored us all to forgive those who would do us wrong...Yeah, dumbass, whenever it suits you, go ahead and remind me "an eye for an eye, that's in the bible..." Yeah, so is a lot of other screwy stuff about begattin' and begottin' and ilicit reproduction for the sake of reproduction and incest and sodomy and IT'S FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, GENIUS which was pretty well negated by what Jesus preached during his time on earth WHICH IS WHY WE HAVE THE NEW TESTAMENT! Yeah, in the Old Testament it says you shouldn't ingest pork, BUT Jesus told us in the New Testament that "it's not what goes in a man's mouth that defiles him, it's what comes out of it." Check that Old Testament over if you need to, you'll also find interesting guidelines that include safety features that should be on the roof of your house. Simply put, the Old Testament is pretty much obsolete if you're a practicing Christian. Don't be confused by false Christians that hang on to it like some sort of refuge for hate or an excuse to resort to violence or bigotry.

What is a false Christian, you ask? Well, bearing in mind that this whole entry IS simply a statement of my opinion, I'll tell you that a false Christian is anyone who would try and hide behind the bible, all the while tainting the name of Christianity, to justify their own hatred and/or bigotry. The Ku Klux Klan immediately jumps to mind for me. Disgusting filthy demon spawn, the lot of them. I once guest-hosted a radio talk show here in town.
My topic one particular day, because it's one I love to debate, was racism. One of the program's callers was convinced that all racism was the doing of, as she put it, "all those Christian white supremacists." I warned her to stop using that phrase after she uttered it a few times during our discussion, but she kept on keepin' on. I disconnected her abruptly and offered this succinct explanation right before going to commercial: "She made me sick talking like that...I have to say right now that if you ARE a white supremacist, then you sure as Hell aint a Christian."

There's also this church in Kansas that is nothing but a vile abomination and truly very anti-christian in my opinion. I mean, if you REALLY get down to the brass tacks of what Christ's message was, whatever it is they do at this church, it really aint it. Their website makes me ill, but it's their 'public appearances' that really make my blood boil. These damned redneck bigot bastards travel in filthy packs by bus to anything they believe to be wrong, such as funerals of gay individuals (including that of Matthew Shepherd a few years back) and have the absolute gall to protest with signs like "God hates fags" and "he's in Hell." It's enough to make me go insane. WHO DO THESE ASSHOLES THINK THEY ARE!? Haven't the relatives of these poor people suffered enough without a rabid gaggle of self righteous idiots parading around with offensive signage? It's morons like these that make actual Christians look bad. (postscript...I just checked their site and it makes me dislike them even more. You'll see if you follow the link)

Of course, the issue of homosexuality HAS long been a point of contention among religious types. I'll offer my theory on this very quickly. Yes, it's true,
Homosexuality IS condemned in the bible, even upon pain of death. Of course, this is in the Old Testament (Leviticus). In the New Testament, Jesus implores us to love all equally, especially sinners. Is homosexuality a sin? yes. So is heterosexuality outside of marriage. It's the 'sexuality' part that's the sin, folks...So what are we to do? Nothing, that's what...Just hang out. Just be yourself. If you know any sinners (and you do, believe me) love them like you would yourself. it's in the Bible, Jesus spoke about "who needs a doctor more, a sick person, or a well person?" Who needs Jesus more? A sinner does. It's not Christians' responsibility to stamp out "sin" or to force people to change into whatever it is they believe to be the ideal. Of course, there are enough jerks out there that think along those lines, but it shouldn't be the case. We (meaning Christians) should simply live our lives, using our gifts and talents and hope in doing so that we reflect the light and love of Jesus. If the people around us don't think like we do, so be it. We still have to love everyone. It seems hard, but it's not. It's REALLY called 'live and let live.' Or as Joel always put it "I'm just tryin' to live my life."

And yeah, I can hear it now. "You hypocritical bastard, you have no convictions if you say things like that, live and let live." I'd reply with "you're dead wrong." Why should I criticize other people's choices? If my goals are loving all people equally, existing in the company of 'sinners' and 'believers' alike, not giving preference to either and acting in a forgiving manner, then I'm doing EXACTLY what I believe in. Do I always meet these expectations? Of course not, I'm just as much a sinner as anyone else. We're ALL SINNERS after all, that's another little tidbit you can get from the bible (if you're inclined to read it, that is). The real trick is admitting this fact and then turning all of that anger and pain and such over to God. Sounds simple because it is, it's supposed to be. I'm not sure why so many people want it to be so complicated. You know, all sin is sin, there's no ranking system. "The wages of sin are death" and we all will eventually die. There isn't a single solitary one of us out there who has lived a life completely devoid of sin. Humans are hard wired for it, it's built in. (Built-in sin...I like that, I'll have to work that in somewhere else...)

I got to thinkin' about halfway through this entry that yeah, this entry really only applies to Christians, but that's what I am. I'm not looking to offend anyone. I'm not lookin' for props or dittos or kudos or flames, I just felt like ranting. If you're of another belief system than me, more power to ya, as long as you sincerely follow what you believe, then I'd say you're on the right track. Heck, when it comes right down to it, as long as your beliefs show you a way of life that isn't destructive and makes you a better person, what's the harm? If it makes the world around us better, whatever "it" may be, "it" can't be all bad. Frankly, I don't want to debate the finer points of one religion's advantage over another with anybody, that kind of stuff makes my head hurt. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing and where I'm going, but I will say that I like the path I've chosen. Just like Chuck Berry said in the song "My Ding-A-Ling": "this is a free country, live like you wanna live, baby!..."

Just play nice with each other, okay?

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