I grew up in a fairly conservative family environment, went to catholic schools until I made it to High School, and spent four years dutifully being an altar boy most Sundays. Like most kids, when I was young I simply took everything at face value. If my parents told me that there was a heaven and a hell, and that Jesus loved me and died for my sins, then I believed every word they said. Like most kids though, once I hit my teens I started to question everything, and the number one question I had was “Is all this religious stuff I’ve been taught a complete bunch of crap?” I pretty soon came to the conclusion that it was all just a fairy story and that the bible was nothing more than the book of Jewish mythology. Mind you, helping me along to wards this decision was the desire to get laid as soon as I possibly could, so any justification for getting away from the churches hideously restrictive rules on sex was fine by me.
In many ways, my experience is no different to those of most other teens in this part of the world, which probably helps explain why Australians have about the lowest church attendance levels on the planet. We engaged our brains, realised it was all bullshit, and got on with our lives.
It’s for that reason that I’m always a little amazed when I run across adults who fervently believe the whole religious scenario, regardless of whether they’re Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I find it quite strange that they haven’t analysed the lack of logic in the whole ‘God created everything in seven days around 5000 years ago’ theory. I mean, if he could do all that in such a short space of time, he must have spent the roughly 2 million days since then being bored shitless because fuck all else has happened in the interim.
Secondly, quite often those people who are religiously inclined have a ‘Do as I say, not do as I do’ approach to their life, in that they’ll prattle on about how someone like me is going to hell for being a pornographer and an adulterer and not following the bible or the Koran, while they’re secretly ripping off their friends or fucking their workmates (Hello, Mel Gibson).
Perhaps one of the biggest pieces of hypocrisy I’ve seen recently concerns an 18 year old American girl called Bristol Palin. She’s the daughter of Sarah Palin, who was running for Vice-President of the USA last year. Both mother and daughter proudly claim to be Christians. Sarah is also the Governor of Alaska, and Sarah believes that sex education in schools should cover only one topic – abstinence! Unfortunately abstinence didn’t work for Bristol, because about a week after Mummy was announced as the Vice Presidential candidate, Bristol announced she was pregnant, and told the world that, for teens, abstinence is not realistic. Now, less than a year later, Bristol is doing the rounds of the TV talk shows and, surprise, surprise, she now thinks abstinence is a good idea. I guess she didn’t think about it too much though when she was face down and bum up getting regularly fucked last year. Could these people be bigger hypocrites if they tried?
And finally, why is it that fervently religious people, living in relative comfort in a peaceful western country, seem to think that God is taking time out from all his other work to even give a rats arse about their puny problems. 25,000 people a day die of hunger on this planet – it’s a staggering figure that I have trouble getting my mind around, and which God apparently can’t or won’t fix. Yet we are constantly bombarded with the rants of sportsmen and the like, who having just scored a goal, won an Olympic medal or knocked someone out in a boxing ring, proceed to tell us how they couldn’t have done it without God’s help. If there was a God, don’t you think he’d be spending all his time trying to help those 25,000 people get a meal each and every day, rather than trying to help some sportsman get a bigger contract and endorsements next year.
Despite all of the above, I’m a firm believer that a person’s religious beliefs are their own, and none of my business no matter how ludicrous they seem to me. Coupled with that though is a desire not to have their religious beliefs thrust in my face, and a hope that they’ll actually be true to their beliefs in their own everyday lives. More and more, it just doesn’t seem to happen that way. Happy Sinning!