religion and the governing ‘body’

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first of all, let me apologize for how long it has been since the last update. my home computer decided to eat its main hard drive, and, though i was able to get it back up and running, i was in a very bad way for a few days.

in the latest issue of Playboy Magazine (i read it for the articles, really) minnesota governor Jesse Ventura railed on about organized religion, in addition to such topics as lawn darts, prostitution and gun control.

in the sound byte heard round the world, he called organized religion a “sham”, saying it was “for weak minded people”.

Governor ‘the body’ made it clear that he was more annoyed with establishments like the catholic church and the church of jesus christ (and don’t call them mormons) of latter day saints. making an enemy of one or the other isn’t enough to put one at the bottom of a nearby body of water with comfortable size 12 concrete blocks, but calling both a “sham” is more of a deathwish than going up to a meeting of scientologists and shouting “thank god L.Ron’s dead, or there might be more of you weak minded freaks!”

now, how does this bear on ventura’s political career? not at all, really, since he said worse and more inflammatory things during his election, and still managed to beat out career politicians for the job as minnesota governor. add to that the fact that he’s been, among other things, a biker gang member, a bouncer, an actor, and, oh yes, a professional wrestler and i doubt this little bit of noise will add much to the general static surrounding him and his future bid for president.

on a side note, the last link went to which lists a link to ‘investor relations’. how times have changed.

anyhoo, back to organized religion, which is the topic of this rant, and not jesse ventura. i like to keep my politics separate from my religion, which i like to keep a tight lid on, organized or no.

but when someone in public office goes on about how religious establishments are only for weak minded people who can’t think for themselves, who need a crutch in order to get along.. for some reason, people take offense to that.

not me. i happen to agree with the governing ‘body’.

personally, i don’t have a religious leaning. if anything, i’m a non-practicing buddhist – since buddhism emphasizes improving the person, and not on any ‘personal relationship with god’ crap. don’t lie, cheat, or kill anybody, and you’re golden in the eyes of buddhists.

what doesn’t turn me on about buddhism is the perception that one has to be a monk living in a monastery in order to be a buddhist, or at the very least, to become enlightened. sure, it helps, but hey, anybody can live a good life and meditate. even if they have an aversion to shaved heads and orange robes.

and it’s the same with any religion, especially the latest upsurge in so-called ‘christians’. who are these people, anyway? have they no spine? can they not at least identify with a sect, a creed, a denomination? it seems to me that these people have not educated themselves about the history enough to take sides. isn’t that what christianity is all about? hating everybody that’s a jew, a catholic, a baptist, a mormon, a libertarian, isn’t like you?

and denominations is what jesse’s talking about. despite all the hooey about a ‘personal relationship with god’ and ‘accepting jesus as your personal savior’ what has become fashionable is to be with the ‘in’ crowd of ‘christians’ because to be in the out crowd of people who think for themselves is like wearing white shoes after labor day. no matter how ‘personal’ your relationship with god, you’re still having a relationship with somebody else’s god – you’re told who he is, what he thinks of what you’re doing, and what kind of god he is. organized religions and structured settings don’t allow the average worshiper to make up his own mind about just who this god person is. whether you believe in a god that’s forgiving and loving or the kind of deity that likes to smite whole cities at once, the only thing you really get out of a church or structured setting is a support group.

i consider the new ‘kinder, gentler’ catholic church a bunch of like-minded people gathering together to try and figure out what the popular way to worship today is. is it song and dance? is it self-flagellation? whatever it is, the ritual must be performed – it’s like shared obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). if the ritual is not performed, we can not go on. even if you’re just living your life, getting along with others, being morally ‘good’ in the way only christians are supposed to be – if you don’t go to church every sunday, you’re a sinner.

even if you outperform mother theresa in acts of goodness and die a horrible death having devoted your life to others, if you don’t believe in the ritual, if you don’t go to church every sunday, if you don’t belong to the same sect-within-a-sect, or god forbid, you’re an atheist, you’re still not good enough for some people.

hearing such exclusionists as the mormons and jehovah’s witnesses talk, it makes the branch davidians sound almost.. likable. at least david koresh could get laid on a regular basis.

“if you look different, sound different, or express yourself in a way that we deem inappropriate, you’re going to suffer not just in the eternal hellfires of damnation, but we’re going to make it hard on you in this world, too.”

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