Took a well-deserved break there...bet you all thought I was gone for good!...needed a little recharge time and I've been hard at work finishing the first short film I've ever made. Very excited about it...I'll throw up a link here when we publish it to the old world wide web tonight...
Anywho, today I will be talking about Christianity a little bit. Yes, the old polarizer that is organized religion...faith vs. science...the whole spiel. But, out of respect to a population that has been overwhelmed by religious debating, I'll try to make my redundancy quick, and my insight fresh. (What more can you ask for???)
“If Jesus came back and was actually mad at me for not believing in him, I’d tell him to stop being a douche-face.”
There goes the "not publishing anything that could hurt my political chances later in life". Oh well, rain down the lightning bolts, my judgment day shall arriveth!
As you all may know, some people in this world believe in God. (Crazy, I know.) For perhaps the first time ever, it is now somewhat acceptable NOT to believe in God. (Yay!) Now, I'm not going to sit here and talk about what you should believe or what you shouldn't. Many of my friends are raging Atheists or Agnostics who instantly write off religiously inclined people as idiots...
Ok, I'll admit it, I occasionally fall into this group.
As a proud Agnostic, I think people shouldn't need to be afraid of God or want to go to heaven to do the "right" things in life, (this will be covered in a later post about Game Theory and the book Non-Zero. If you all want to have your minds blown, read Non-Zero by Robert Wright.) I've already stated that I think it's dangerous to ever think you KNOW anything for certain. Faith-based decision making is troublesome on many levels - no need for logic and reason, propensity to see your religion, and therefore YOU, as better than others, and so on. (And I know that Science is just faith - faith in the belief that just because something has happened it will happen again - but there seems to be some pretty solid evidence for this...) And beyond all that, Christian religious beliefs (along with Jewish, Muslim, etc.) just don't make any fucking sense. There are, like, fifteen Jesus stories in different cultures and traditions...you really believe yours is the true one? It's just too damn convenient. Humans needed a way to control people on a massive scale so there would be some semblance of law and order...how better to do it than tap into our base insecurites and loneliness? All this heartache and trouble isn't worthless, because someone is watching out for you AND you'll be happy forever in heaven! Yay!
Which would be all well and good, except it's just not the deal. Another human instinct is to look for the truth, to want to know what's actually happening. And this is why there are more self-identifying Agnostics than ever before in history. Jesus COULD be the deal, we just don't rightly know...Zeus could be the deal, God could be the couch I'm sitting on, who knows. I am know there is much about existence that we don't know and can't perceive, but making any conclusive decisions about it is, well, conclusively stupid. And it scares me how many people are still conclusively sure about some random dude from thousands of years ago being the son of God.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it's really easy to hate on Christianity. I, and lots of other friends I have do so regularly. But I think, as we're trying to understand and communicate with each other, that it's important to find things about religion that are "good" ideas. There are plenty of books documenting good things about religion..bringing people together, searching for answers, supporting those around you, etc. But there's one thing in Christianity, in particular, that I've recently decided I like, and it's something often seen as an example of annoying Christianity:
"What would Jesus do?"
This line gets made fun of constantly...I mean, it is kind of ridiculous...WWJD? But, I think when you look at what it's actually saying, it's pretty fucking cool.
Who knows who or what Jesus really was...whether he was a group of people, what he looked like, anything. We don't know. I think it's almost certain he wasn't the fucking son of God, but other than that, all we really know is what it says in the New Testament. And from reading some of that, he appears to be one chill-ass mofo.
Here's how I see it going down. The straight-edged, prudy Rabbis wanted everyone to be wearing fucking black clothes in desert summer all the time, and like, do all this Jewish shit that no one really wanted to do (not eating pork being just one example of the insane amounts of fun the Jewish bible cuts out from life.) In comes this dude, Joshua (Jesus's actual name), who's been smoking way too much weedsies and says, fuck that, fuck all this hard shit, I want to just be chill and have a good time with my crew, and we'll all be mad cool with each other 'cause life's all about love, so yeah, fuck you, Rabbis. The Rabbis got pissed, the Greeks (or Romans? Meh, who knows anymore...) got scared, and in a truly phenomenal (though not uncommon in those days) display of hatred, crucified the poor hippie.
But his love thing struck a chord. Because all of a sudden, everyone was like, wait, when I love other people, and hang out with people who love me (and though "Love" is a somewhat undefinable term, I tend to think it means giving yourself to those around you, caring and acting as though they are as important as you are) life becomes better for me! And though none of them understood truly why this was (again, you'll read about that later in my Non-Zero column) it seemed to work.
So, back to WWJD. I like this because it says "When you are in a tough spot, and don't know what to do, what would Jesus do?" Now, presuming Jesus was this chill, love-loving free spirit, I tend to think if one stops to think in a moment of crisis "What would a hippie do?" it usually makes for some better consequences for all parties. Peaceful = better in my books.
So yes, doubters like me, I understand why it's easy to write off religion. But the difference between us and those who are unquestioningly faithful is just that: doubt. We must constantly reassess our own beliefs, and look for good ideas in others. Call me a stupid hippie, but I'm in favor of sitting down and figuring out why it's cool to be chill and love each other and not be douche-baggy. If you have to believe in God, I guess that's fine providing you actually follow through with this love business.
(But, like, could we PLEASE take religion out of government...pretty pretty please? Time to figure out how to make life best for humans without the crutch of an "ultimate creator" or "heaven". We, being all life on this planet with humans, presumably, as the intelligent controllers, have a planet to figure out how to live on.)
Aaron Sydney Golden