Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zombie Jesus... That's what I wanna see!

I have absolutely nothing of value to say today. Of course this isn’t uncommon as most of my rants are of no moral substance, nor do they lend to the betterment of humanity. So today I figure I will strike up a topic that will piss some of you off and leave others wondering where I lost my sanity. Well the answer to my sanity’s whereabouts is simple really, I happen to leave them in baggage at LaGuardia International with a nice young lady who appeared to be holding a sign that said “Will Hump For Food”. Though I am unsure of what she really meant by this never the less I left my sanity there when I was in New York this summer. So what is this thing that might cause you to wonder about the state of my mental health? Well to be blunt it’s quite simple really, it isn’t a statement or creed that proves I’ve gone off the reservation so far that I should be considered for institutionalization, nor weekly treatments in a chair at the Psychologist. I simply think that religion controlled by humans is ridiculous and bad. I grew up in a strict extremist Pentecostal church that taught us to fear the world and to understand that everyone that doesn’t attend that church is going to hell. To which I always thought was ridiculous bullshit, but being the good church going son I was I didn’t raise my voice to this. I simply bit my tongue and thought that most of the people in the church were fucking morons. I was educated that the ways of the world were evil, to buy a product made by Walt Disney was a sin because they were part of the evils of Hollywood, which is in the same state that some Pornography is made, which links Mickey mouse to porn thus making Disney a manufacturer of Porn, which meant that Mickey Mouse was shooting porn in the Walt Disney movies and by that thinking we should boycott them. By boycott I mean we were not allowed to go see their films, which didn’t matter because we were not allowed to go to the theater because it would show rated R films and those films come from Hollywood, which is in the same state that some porn was made, that meant porn was shown constantly in the theaters in every town across America and because there was porn being shown people would fornicate and molest each other while engaging in a mass orgy. Later in life when I rebelled against the ways of the lord and snuck in with a friend of mine to see the film Jurassic Park I was greatly disappointed that there was neither porn nor any orgies that I might take part in and thus fall from grace. Though watching Jeff Goldblum did seem like a sin as he was absolutely horrid in that film. I attended this church until I was nineteen when I was asked to leave for telling the other teens that the bible contradicts itself in many places and that Jesus the son of God who is all knowing didn’t know everything according to the bible and lied to the people on the mount when he ascended into the heavens. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he said something about the faithful not tasting death before his return. As far as I can tell every last one of those people are dead or never existed. Let’s just say that the preacher wasn’t too happy about that, or the fact that I told him his wife was a bitch. But I am getting ahead of myself, let’s take a step back and discuss a little more about the dogma that plagued the cult….. I mean church I was forced to attend as long as I lived under my parent’s roof. At the tender age of eight I remember watching my first live action Easter reenactment! Excitement coursed through my every fiber as this was the closest thing I could get to watching a movie. I was excited to see the live portrayal of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, his death and ultimately his resurrection. I was looking forward to seeing Zombie Jesus! How fucking disappointed was I when it turned out that he was just a walking talking person with a couple cheap fake scars to impress the ladies. Hell I didn’t even get to see him get stabbed on the cross! I wanted to see the blood, the violence, the absolute destruction of this mans back from a whip beating him within an inch of his life! What did I get? Flashing lights, cheap smoke machine and bad acting with crappy corn syrup with food dye. I was looking forward to the violence that the bible promised, and I got a G rated version of a NC – 17 story. First thought came to my mind? This is bullshit! I think it was that moment that helped me start my path to discovery about the beliefs I now hold. So lets all give a round of applause to Church! Good job on retaining a member! Later when I must have been about thirteen or fourteen, I was in youth group. It was a Wednesday night sermon with lots of yelling and really cool modern music for the young people of Gen X and the early Gen Y’ers … lets get one thing clear, Christian music sucked then… I’m pretty sure it isn’t any better now, but since I don’t listen to that any longer I wouldn’t know. Instead I now listen to a variety of music that according to one preacher I was under stated was devil music. I’m pretty sure that Bache would be very upset if he learned that he was a creator of “devil music”. Though perhaps some of the other music I listen to might be considered “evil” I still don’t think it’s the devil’s music. If there was such a creation that one would call the Devil I am sure that he has grown into a little more class than to listen to AC DC’s highway to hell, in fact I would think he would listen to a little more classical music like Chopin since he has been around since the beginning of time…. So perhaps that preacher wasn’t so far off after all on what the devil might listen too… Well I have to say that I like the devil’s taste in music. A surprising notion as I happen to not believe in the devil. But back to the thought on the time when I was in my early teen’s, I remember many Wednesday nights attending youth group sitting in the back running the audio board thinking to myself that the electronics I’m attending too make more sense than the religious dogma that is being screamed from the microphone. For me I found that the construction of metals and circuits, the way that energy entered the box and exited made logical sense. The thought that everyone who didn’t believe exactly what was told by the preacher was going to hell; including those who hadn’t heard the “good news” in other parts of the world. This thought lead me to another thought, if other religions are out there, they must believe that all other religions are wrong and that we are going to hell for not believing what their preacher told them. This made me worry that perhaps in my parents limited knowledge of the world that perhaps they picked the wrong religion, perhaps I was going to hell for believing what I was being told. I was devastated by this notion, I being intelligent to understand that I didn’t understand everything in the world I asked my youth minister this perplexing question. His response was faith was the answer; if I had enough faith that god would speak to me and tell me the truth. A truth that stated that this church was the only right religion in the world and that over six billion people were heading to hell because they didn’t believe exactly what I believed. This confused me more because I was under the impression that god is love, to me sending six billion good people to hell because they didn’t attend and believe my churches beliefs was a shitty and mean thing to do. Asking the preacher why a god of love would do this I was told that He is a jealous god and he demands me to have faith in him and the leaders of the church. To me this just meant that I needed to shut the fuck up and stop asking logical questions because I was becoming too interested in the very thing they wanted me to be interested in. This marked the second stage of my fall from faith.

The final fall from grace… well that is pretty simple. I realized around the time I was sixteen that religion didn’t make sense and that though it taught some very decent morals it went about it the wrong way; at least at my church they did. I found by the age of eighteen I had a understanding of the religion they wanted me to know and also to teach others about. I understood that what they were wanting was for me to follow a path that I didn’t believe and couldn’t understand why anyone else would want to believe either. The basics were good, don’t steel, don’t cheat, don’t murder, and don’t covet. All these things were good morals to live by, but the catch with religion was that you were told not to do these things because that loving god upstairs is watching you like an evil dictator waiting for you to screw up so he can pimp slap the shit out of you and send your soul to a fiery hell. Again, doesn’t seem like a loving god that they teach in Sunday school to small children. The ideas taught were of obedience and submission through fear of the unknown. This for me was the greatest wrong anyone can do, they told me that if I couldn’t accept on “faith” that they were right then I should leave. So I did and have not been very welcomed there since. Let’s talk a little about faith, faith is a funny word. Let’s see what has to say the definition of “faith” is.

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

By looking at these explanations of faith we see that what the church I attended wanted me to understand was number three “belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion” But for me number two was what made number three invalid. “belief that is not based on proof”. This is also reflected in the bible as well Hebrews 11 verse 1 states according to the King James Bible “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I am not going to preach out of the bible, but I use this to illustrate my point that even in the bible faith is a hope or belief in something that there is no proof of or evidence to support as a theory. For me this is the straw that broke the camels back, this was the final piece to the puzzle that had plagued me for nearly a decade. This led me on a quest to understand other religions and in the process find what I could believe in. during that time I spent a fair amount of time exploring things that had little or nothing to do with religion, but let’s face it. I didn’t get to see porn or even rated R boobs until I was sneaking into theaters and I felt I had some making up to do. So there were many a night I spent in less than Christian locations. I looked into Zen, a little into Islam (by the way, screw the seventy two virgins, give me one experienced girl. That is about all I can handle) I even into other strange mystic crap. Turns out each was just as full of shit as the next, but they each were glad to take my cold hard cash for educating me in their religion. Scientology, that made up religion at least advertises that you have to pay to get to the mother ship! Christianity, they just pass a bag or plate down the pews each week and make you feel bad for not giving to the church every week. Because if you don’t give to the church then the preacher who has dedicated his life and sacrificed so much for the good of the people may have to trade in that caddy and drive a Chevy instead. I’m not going to get started on the finances of religion right now; it isn’t a subject I want to delve into because I want to keep my dinner down. Some of the practices in churches are sickening when it comes to the finances.

Religion at its core is a decent idea for those who fundamentally need a hope to hang onto. A dream that they will live on beyond this world is common and a absolute cornerstone of religion. They tell you do good and you will be rewarded, be good and you will go to heaven. I say fuck that shit! Do good because it is right! Be good because what you do now impacts those around you and the future generations that are left after us. Care for those we will leave behind when we pass. Ask yourself which is better, to do a good deed because you will be rewarded by a overseeing entity that will punish you if you don’t do good? Or is it more rewarding to do good deeds not because you want the reward of not being punished, but because it is from your heart and you feel and know it is the right thing to do. I go to sleep each night knowing and understanding that my actions each day leave a foot print in the world, how I walk will leave either damage to the world that will take time to repair or if I am careful and caring with my footfalls I will create a path that leave no damage and by doing this I leave this world better than I found it. I know that some churches teach to do good for goodness sake, but do they teach tolerance of other religions? Or do they teach that only those who ascribe to the beliefs of that church will reach a paradise after they die? For me I believe that this is it, what we do here is the only shot we have at life. We live and die here and our legacy will be what lives on forever in the lives of those we leave behind. If I am wrong though, somehow I think that if there is a “god” he\she\it would be a fair and just god. God would look at each person and determine by the life they led if they were a good person and worthy of “paradise”. Throughout history some of the greatest crimes against humanity have been carried out in religions or god’s name. If the world were free of religion a couple things would happen. First many people wouldn’t know how to do anything because they believe Jesus still makes the sun rise each morning and if the sun came up without Jesus making it rise their little brains would explode all over their cheerio’s. I personally like cheerio’s and would hate to see them wasted by having dumb peoples brains all over them. The other thing that would happen is the religious wars that have caused America to attack Iraq, Pakistan and other Middle Eastern countries would end. The world would find that they are pretty much the same for the most part, and that most people want the same things. They want peace and happiness. They want their families to be healthy and safe. People would stop killing because someone else didn’t believe that their religion was the only way. True as humans we would just find another reason to kill each other, but at least you wouldn’t have read this long blog by me!

Let me leave you with this thought, if at eight years old I was thinking Zombie Jesus would be cool to see… how fucked up was I even then? Oh come on! You have to admit that Zombie Jesus next Easter would be totally awesome! Fuck it! I’m going as Zombie Jesus for Halloween!


  1. Again, another good read on your blog Adam. If nothing else you make people think. I enjoyed that one...not as much as the ketchup one but still enjoyed it. I agree with what you said about doing good deeds. I for one do them because that is the person I am and to be able to look in the mirror each day and know that I did right because I wanted to. Not because someone told me I had to. I have a question that I have wondered about for a while now. When I owned 2 motels in Idaho, I finally got to meet the Guidian people that bring the Bible's to the motels to place in each room. One year they brought us the new one and I asked why am I getting more the old ones are just fine....lets face one rents a motel room to read the Bible (at least not me, coy smile)...well they said this has been updated! What??!! How can the Bible that was written so long ago be updated? The writer has to be dead, right? That has got my head spinning.

    All I know, is that I get up each day and treat everyone the way I want to be treated. You fuck with me and I will fuck with YOU!! If that makes me a bad person going to hell, so be it.

    I don't profess to have any answers but will leave that for someone else. Adam, thank you for the blog that makes people think. If not their stupid..........

    Adam, don't ever put on the mouth filter...I like you just the way you ARE!!

    Kathy Marie

  2. It's interesting that so many of us kids ended going the same basic direction: away from the version of "Church" and "Faith" (note capital letters) that was shoved down our throats as kids. True, we're all arriving at slightly different destinations on this journey, but I think its safe to say that we're all on that journey to some extent.

    What's even more curious to me is this: while you may be the exception to this rule, it is fairly evident that no one in our family cares (dares?) to inquire about where I am on matters of religion and faith. Now, granted, this sounds a bit self-absorbed, but I am the one who has spent the last 12 years of my life in universities studying religion. I would love it if the rest of the family (and you, if this so pertains) wouldn't feel intimidated by my education; I really want everyone to feel comfortable enough in our relationship to approach me about such matters. Not that I want to be consulted, but these issues are my professional interests, and I love to discuss these things!

    But I digress. GREAT post, bro! I seriously hope to be able to hear more about where you are on these issues in the future. :)

  3. Adam, Adam, Adam, after reading this today, I really realized how much I miss these talks and just how you could get Joel in such a tizzy. I've always been fascinated by your mind and even though you think sometimes that its absolute bullshit, you are the only person that I've ever known to take that bullshit and make the world around you think that you might be the next true philosopher...You are incredible, no matter what they say!!

  4. Roy,

    I it is truly amazing how each of us have turned out, we have walked very different roads but in the end most of us have come to many of the same ends. I think part of this is due to the fact that we have always asked the question "Why?" and most of us have set out in a quest for the truth that we can find.

    I am always open to talks regarding religion. I will not pretend to have all the answers, only the ones that I have come too.

  5. As one scholar to a potential scholar (YOU!), I happen to agree with Carrie! I'd love to say I have a "Philosopher" in the family! :)

  6. I don't think I can afford to spend the next 8 years back in college bro LOL.

  7. Who said anything about being able to afford it?! :) We, the crazies, who undertake such insanities, do so more because we can do naught else, for it is who we are. And the more I read your blogs, bro., the more I see that the black bile of the brooding intellectual courses in your veins!! You can only run, not escape! Wa-Ha-hahaha!!

  8. Wow!!! Great Blog. It's always great to be able to take a minute and see into the mind of a close friend who has not filter. Its like listening to my own family back home. Thanks for making feel at home my White Bro!!

  9. Roy,

    That black bile might be in me, but I am a Garton afterall and we are a stuborn breed!

    All I can say is that means a lot coming from my black friend. Yep People I said BLACK not African American! If they haven't figured out I'm not very politically correct I'm surprised.