Sunday, September 30, 2012

On Religion

I understand that religion draws much of its power from explaining things to people who need things explained. Mostly, these are things like "What is the purpose of life?" and "How do I find meaning in a seemingly cold, finite existence that is but a blink in the eye of the measurable universe?" You know, philosophy.

Then there are people who make me think that if you're going to make the decision to be part of a religion, you'd best pass a test evaluating your competence to comprehend and distinguish things like parables and literalness. Example:

I don't mind having to explain to you that the King James bible is a translation commissioned by the court of King James of England in 1604 in order to further distance the Church of England from the Catholic church, who still performed mass in Latin up until 1965. That's not something you'd be expected to know. Hell, I had to look up the dates while I was typing it just to have something better than a ballpark figure.

I may get a little miffed when I have to explain how the King James Version and the New American, and New International, and Revised editions are all different translations of the four gospels and such, made at different times from mostly the same source material, accounting in newer cases for more accurate descriptions of people and events, as reflected by modern English. The actual differences allude me, so why should you know more than that they are different in subtle ways, but tell the same story in predominantly the same fashion.

I get pissed when I have to take the time to explain to you twice that all Christian bibles will have both the Old and New Testaments.

Listen, I get that you're trying to get your daughter into Sunday School and faith young, but that child is going to have her faith drastically shaken when she turns nine and realizes she's smarter than you. You don't want to risk her getting brainwashed because you didn't know what it was you were teaching her. I have a friend who was taught there were 36 weeks in a year, until I confounded her with math in her early twenties.

If I ever had faith, it would not be in humanity days like this.

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