To All You Religious Zealots Out There

I see a lot of religious propaganda on a daily basis, mostly involving the Church’s stance on various political issues.  While I don’t have a direct problem with this, I do take issue with the suggestion that the Church demands every member and follower of that faith absolutely must share these views, which would totally negate that stuff we have called “free will.”

If memory serves, free will was given to us by God as a gift and is rather self-explanatory: an individual is free to make his or her own choices in life without having to conform to a larger ideology.  This includes all kinds of freedoms in life, like the freedom to wear pants, be a vegetarian, or even not to believe in God at all if you don’t want to.  So, I ask: why does it seem like the Church is forcing its will upon its own followers?

I’m starting to wonder about the future of religion, specifically Catholicism. I’m personally not a subscriber of any faith, but I hold no ill will towards any that are.  On the contrary, I understand it completely and silently admire (envy, sometimes) those that are able to have faith.  Today, however, we are living in an age of wisdom and curiosity.  New discoveries are made all around the globe, progressing the collective knowledge of human beings as a whole on a daily basis, while the Catholic Church seems to be moving backwards, or is at the very least stuck in the past.  Now when I see religious content anywhere, I don’t see a group of people saying “Amen!” or “Praise be to God!”  I see harsh criticisms and mockeries being made of those that have found religion.  I find it very hard to believe that this may be a trend, but rather I see it as the evolution of the people’s thought of Catholicism as a whole.

“Evolution” is probably not the best word, considering their stance on that hot subject.  So I’ll put it in layman’s terms: the Church needs to grow up.  We as a people cannot survive by abiding to laws that were applicable over two thousand years ago; it simply isn’t possible.  Hell, we can’t even live like we did two hundred years ago.  Society is constantly changing, and instead of adapting and trying to overcome, the Church seems to be caught in a constant cycle of Condemnation and Forgiveness.  Thanks for acting like the good guy in the end, but seriously, you’ll just hate me for something else tomorrow.  What’s the point?

The Bible-quoting arguments are the ones that really make me laugh.  People that post random Bible verses in order to support an argument amuse me to no end, mostly because there’s only one of two possible outcomes: 1.) there’s a different variation on the interpretation of the quote you’ve selected, thus invalidating your point, or 2.) there’s a verse a few chapters down the road that completely contradicts whatever you just said.  People fail to understand the actual meaning of the Bible.  It is not a directive on how to live your life.  Not every word is meant to be taken literally.  It is a collection of parables and guidelines on how to live your life appropriately in the eyes of the Lord.  But instead of doing that, it seems preferable to be completely random at which exact rules to follow.  If you were born gay then you’re going straight to hell, all while nobody seems to care about the rampant murder, incest, and rape that takes place in the Bible.  Seriously, have you read that thing lately?  And I mean actually read it, not just listened to a few clergies here and there.  The Bible contains countless atrocities in vivid detail, a small example being the impaling and agonizing death of a man on a 70-foot-tall pole.  Granted, the man I’m referring to was Haman and he is regarded as being a bit of an asshole, but what happened to that “forgiveness” stuff I mentioned earlier?  That’s a pretty huge value contradiction there, wouldn’t you say?

Faith can be an extremely powerful thing.  It grants people the ability to overcome their fears and problems, gives them the strength to overcome adversity, makes them feel like they are not alone, and above all else, faith can make a person just feel happier.  Unfortunately, all I see these days is the use of faith to exacerbate fears and hatred instead of trying to dissipate them.  For all of you theists reading this, I strongly urge you to follow the Two Great Commandments instead of the original Ten (for unaware parties: the “Two Great Commandments” refer to “Love thy God” and “love thy neighbor as thyself”), because if you do, the other ten will fall right into place.  The way I see it, using God’s name in support of your personal beliefs on today’s hot topics and contradictory issues is the same as taking His name in vain, which in turn shows a complete lack of respect for your own faith.  I urge you to be more supportive and understanding instead of screaming your views and condemning people to hell all the time.  Disagreement is a part of life, and an important one at that.  Without it, we have no free will at all.  So don’t fight over the gift that God bestowed upon everyone.  Instead, share it with others, take pride in it, respect it and yourself; but most importantly, have respect for others in the process.

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Random Stream of Consciousness

I haven’t been writing lately. I’ve only added maybe a thousand words in the last two weeks. I have been conflicted about the whole idea, my hopes dashed from within by multiple factors. I am concerned nobody would ever want to read it, and I have good reason to think so.  I can’t even get people to read what I have so far for free, aside from one of my cousins. Not to mention that whole “From the Hollow” self-publishing bullshit I did three weeks ago. There hasn’t been a single sale since I put it up for free for two days. That was…what, two weeks ago? About that. Not one! You know what this means? Simply put, it is generating absolutely NO INTEREST. Plug away as I might, I’m consistently met with remarkable such as “Oh, that sounds interesting, I’ll buy it now!” or “Hey, it’s only a dollar, I support you!”
How about, instead of saying things you think will make me feel better, you can just tell the truth. “No, fuck off, I’m busy.” “I don’t want to read it, I’m not a big reader, I prefer just chilling out with a movie.” “Sorry Nick, but you’re a douchebag and I hate you.” That’s fine! Just stop lying! It’s not like I won’t notice, either. The sales reports are literally at the tip of my finger, I can check them anytime, day or night.
Ugh. The saddest part is I still enjoy writing. I enjoy the challenge brought forth by the creation, fixing the inconsistencies, making it a perfect, harmonic, living world, full of easy-to-believe characters and an impressionable background. I’m just losing faith in the process. What’s the point of going on if nobody gives a single, solitary shit? I want people to read it. I want to be told it sucks, or it’s good, or I have potential. I don’t care what the feedback is, as long as the feedback exists. It serves as proof that someone cared enough to read my work and then discuss it with me. Is that too much to ask?
Yes, apparently, it is.

I’m done ranting. I’m sure I offended some people with this. If they had the spare time to read it. Ha!

Racism

Today I shall talk about racism.
I came home from work this evening. My roommate Ian works as a developer for a gaming company, so he often feeds me little tidbits about the industry and keeps up on all the relevant news. Today he told me that the creators of Borderlands 2 (specifically the character of Tiny Tina) was under fire for being racist. Why, you ask? Simple: she used the words “crunk” and “badonkadonk.”
This brings a few questions to mind. Before I get into it, however, I would like to express that I am not racist. I believe we are all equals, I’m pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage…pretty much pro- anything that expresses said equality. Having said that, I must say these seemingly random arguments and accusations infuriate me to no end.
Firstly, since when can an entire race of people “own” a word? Sure, I understand the N word being unacceptable, since it has been used throughout history as a degrading and derogatory word, but “crunk” and “badonkadonk” have nothing similar in that respect. So how is it offensive for a white person – nay, a fictional white child – to use these words? The only reason seems to be reflective of the fact that the black community invented these words. Good for you, I’ll stick with the tried-and-true dictionary and stuff that only white people invented. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
On that note, does that mean only people from Mexico and Spain can speak Spanish? Or only people from France and Canada are allowed to speak French? They invented the language, so clearly we shouldn’t be using it. You know, in case they find it disrespectful in some unfathomable way.
Second, why choose this to single out, of all things? A child in a video game, one which I might add doesn’t even take place on planet Earth, not to mention the fact that one of the four main characters is a black guy. And (spoilers) he dies at the end. You’re okay with them abiding by and even encouraging the oft-used “joke” of killing off the black guy, but a white girl using a slang term for “ass” is beyond the boundaries of acceptability?
Fine, have it your way. If that’s how it’s gonna be, I want a White History Month, as well as the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, just to balance things out a little. Don’t like it? Well, stop being racist and go make some more Tyler Perry movies instead.
To the rest of you, no matter what color, let’s try to be more tolerant of the rampant stupidity that currently plagues our world, especially since the invention of the Internet makes it so easy to spread like wildfire. As they say, “don’t feed the trolls.”