June is a crazy month. I haven’t blogged in over a week because there’s been a lot going on in my life. Nothing bad…just the normal hectic stuff…schedules and commitments that keep me from having any opportunity to sit at my keyboard. Consequently, I’ve been buried in email because I just haven’t had time to keep up with it. As July approaches, I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, there’s always the chance it might be a freight train about to run me over.
Though I haven’t blogged much in June, I have thought deeply about some things. These thoughts may be indicative of a mid-life crisis or they may actually be signs of some form of spiritual growth…who knows. I’ve observed people, history, and mulled over personal experiences and have come to the conclusion that religion sucks. I can honestly sit here and tell you that in my experience and in my observations religion has caused more problems than it has done good. I have come to the poignant conclusion, or had an epiphany, that religion is nothing more than the conglomeration of political games in the name of God, hinging its success on the power of guilt and fear. How many people throughout history have died fighting over a religion? How many people have justified killing with religion? How many relationships and friendships have been destroyed over religion?
And where is God in all of that mayhem and madness? Probably shaking His head and wondering how humanity can so outlandishly miss the point.
Whenever I question things of a spiritual nature, I always go back to three fundamental things. Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest and most important being love. If we love God and we love others, how then does religion even matter? If we live simply by this principal, where then does religion gain its power over us?
Love is untainted, pure and the most powerful force in existence. If we simply spread that love with our lives, isn’t that enough? Jesus Himself said, “the greatest of these is love.” Therefore, I take that to mean that above all else, we are to love….God, others, ourselves, and all things living.
Religion taints love with regulations and guilt and fear tactics. Give this much. Don’t do that. Do this. God hates this. God loves that. The asinine rules go on and on and on. The irony is that love isn’t about rules, it’s about relationship. The Ten Commandments are rules, yes, but if you are living a life of love, following those commandments is a given. If you are living a life of love then you have no desire to murder or steal from someone else or deceive others. If you are living a life of love, giving to assist others is second nature, lending a helping hand is common place. You don’t need to be told to do it… because you already desire to do it.
If life isn’t for living and living abundantly than what is the point in being here? I ask myself this question frequently. If our purpose for being on the planet isn’t to love others and have a damn good time while doing it, then why the hell are we here?
I have many friends from different religious backgrounds. Most, if not all (myself included) have suffered severe guilt from their religions. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. That’s the favorite religious word. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t listen to secular music. Don’t dance. Don’t wear pants. Don’t swear. Don’t curse. Don’t have premarital sex. Don’t use birth control. Don’t drink caffeine. Don’t show your ankles. Don’t go out in public without your head covered. The list goes on and on and on; and not one of these rules has anything to do with God and love.
It’s all a sham. It’s a money making power trip. It’s a political game in the name of God and I am hereby standing up and publically blowing raspberries in the face of religion.
I love God and I love His son, Jesus Christ and I am thankful every second of every day for salvation and the blessings He has bestowed upon me… and I say this recognizing fully that nothing in this sentence has anything to do with religion.
Life is a gift… one religion wants to control, stifle and command. Don’t let it. Life is a gift that was meant to opened and enjoyed and shared. No father gives his children the gift of rules and regulations and judgments and condemnations, fear and guilt… neither does our Heavenly Father. He gives life and love and He gives it abundantly.
I understand fully now that Religion gives rules while God gives relationship. I choose the latter.
My entire life has been one quilt after another quilt and one fear after another fear, all religion related; and I’m just plum tuckered out. So, Religion, you can kiss my big, fat, white ass. You can take all the fear and guilt, the judgment and condemnation and shove it…. because life is too damn short. I’m going to live the way I want to live. I’m going to love God and love others and I’m going to do it my way. Like Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way.”
The irony is, I’m not writing this from a rebellious spirit, but rather from a place of understanding. See, if I strive to follow all of the rules and yet, am so stifled by them that what I’m doing, and how I’m living isn’t real; then the love I’m trying to show isn’t real. It’s all a façade and I don’t want to live a façade any longer. I want to live loving people because it’s how I truly feel, not because it’s just one more thing I’m “supposed” to do. I’m done with the religious “have-tos”…. I’m finished with the bullshit. If I’d rather sit on my deck on Sunday morning and have Bloody Marys with friends instead of going to church, I’m going to do it and I’m no longer going to feel guilty about it. Why? Because let me say it straight, sometimes church is boring and friends are more fun. That’s saying a lot because I go to a pretty exciting church…still, there are days when I feel closer to God at home than I do in the church.
See, God is everywhere and anywhere. I don’t have to get on my knees or pray a certain prayer or be in a particular building. I can talk to Him in my home, on a mountain and even on the toilet. He’s there and listening….just like a dad…because He is one. It’s about love not church. It’s about love not rules. It’s about love not have-to’s and shoulds.
Love…it literally and figuratively makes the world go ‘round. It’s all that matters. It’s the salve that soothes. It’s the only constant and the only fix that works. It’s healing and intoxicating and it fulfills unlike anything else on the planet. Love…that’s what life is all about. ~