Symbolism (Are You Sure…?)

Some of you may have noticed that I’m not really big on the whole “God,” “Jesus,” and “Religion” thing. And… you’re right. I’m not. But there are a number of reasons that I’ll be telling you about. But FIRST, if you happen to be religious, I’m not knocking your belief. If you want to, that’s your right. First amendment and all that, right?

I don’t have a problem with your wanting to believe in a higher power. Granted, I was told as a child to stop believing in imaginary friends, but if you want to… knock yourself out. And I’m already hearing some of you type, “but Rob, you produce a religious show called the Wytching Hour! It’s Pagan but it’s a religion!” This is true. I’m not really Pagan myself but I do agree with a lot of their philosophy, which happens to be shared across most religions. The whole “do unto others” thing is a great idea – and that’s what most religions boil down to. Not many people follow it, and that’s where issues come in.

Incidentally, I think the main reason I’m not full-blown Pagan is that a lot of their rituals and beliefs involve being outside in nature and I’m allergic to damn near everything outside. Pollen, grass, trees, bushes, animals with fur, animals with feathers, but I digress… What I want to talk about is the religion I grew up with. Not specifically Episcopalianism, but Christianity as a whole. I’ve found more holes in this religion that most Swiss Cheese factories find in their production line.

Today, and there will be other days, I want to talk about the big symbol of Christianity: the Cross. Yes, I know the story. Jesus Christ, not his real name, incidentally, that’s just a translation, was crucified, which means he was literally nailed to a cross. Big spikes through his hands and ankles while he hung there to die. When did this happen? On a somewhat mobile holiday called “Good Friday.” I really don’t get the naming convention used for that. Good? Are you sure? Your savior died on this day and it’s good? “Yay! The Son of our God is dead!”

Three days later, he rose from the dead and may or may not have gone to Utah, or Delaware. Because when you come back from the dead, you deserve a vacation. Actually, while we’re here, let’s look at that last sentance again. “Because when you come back” Jesus came back from the dead. Came back implying he was here in the first place. So, logically speaking, and I know logic is something that makes the Church uncomfortable, Jesus came to Earth on Christmas. That’s a first coming. Then, came back on Easter. There’s your second coming. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it. So, really, those people with the “Waiting for the Second Coming” signs are about 2000-years late. That’s another one of my Christian issues. You guys don’t seem to be able to count to two.

Meanwhile, at the point of this blog entry, we come back to the cross. It came to symbolize Christianity. Is that really a good idea? That’s the thing that Jesus was nailed to for three days. It killed him, literally. If he comes back, do you really think that’s what he’s going to want to see? “Oh look, an effigy of me nailed to that piece of wood. That’s lovely!” To me, this is somewhat akin to having your savior be Abraham Lincoln and the religious symbol be a stove-pipe hat with a bullet hole in it.

And how about all those other crucifixions? Jesus was one good guy on a cross, but a lot of others killed that way were thieves, rapists and murders. Do you really want to use that as a symbol when it could, really, just as easily be related to all those others? What if one of them comes back? Steve the murdering rapist returns to find millions of people using his murder weapon as a symbol. Really? Are you sure?

There has to be a better symbol. How about some of his works? Bringing people together despite their differences, an inclusive logo, like a rainbow. Or, maybe, something about how he was into healthcare as evidenced by him healing people like the blind and lepers. An ambulance, maybe? A big hand, like the one he laid upon the sick. That should work. Incidentally, those pastors and televangelists that do the laying on of hands to heal people, why do you never see them in hospitals just healing the sick like Jesus would have done?

There are just too many issues here for me. And I am stealing this last bit from the internet, but it fits so perfectly. Christianity, to me, is the popular belief that a celestial Jewish baby (yes, he was Jewish) who is somehow also his own father, born from a virgin mother, died for three days so he could ascend into heaven on a cloud and then make you live forever but only if you symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood (canabalism and vampirism?) while telepathically telling him you accept him as your lord and master so he can remove an evil force from your spiritual being that is present in all humanity because an immoral woman made from a man’s rib was tricked by a talking reptile possessed by a malicious angel to secretly eat forbidden fruit from a magical tree. And this story has spend almost two millenia getting people up on a weekend morning to go to a usually cold, stone building and mumble prayers in his general direction while doing a fairly ineffective calesthenics program. (Sit, kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel)

Hey, if it works for you, knock yourself out. I’ll be in bed.



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