Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My First Argument about Religion

When I was a wee lad I had 2 imaginary native american friend named Walking Stick and Buddy. I guess it because of my dark skin and the fact that my mother always told me that she found me on an indian reservation that my imaginary friends were native americans. I was an only child and sometimes we lived where other kids my age were not readily available to hang out and pal around. Walking Stick and Buddy even went to Disneyland with my mom and I when I was five. I really loved those guys. I could see them at the time we would hold really deep conversations.
Then came religion. My mother claims to be religious, like most do. She does not go to church except once every five years she will get a wild hair up her ass about her immortal soul and go for 3 weeks straight. It was time to get me into a nice religion like, oh I don't know, St Joseph's Catholic School in Marietta GA. I think I was 5 at the time. So off we went to sign up for 1st grade and get some religion into me. All was well with that, except for the occasional visit to the head nun for a knuckle shot. Swear to god, they hit with rulers back then!
So anyway, flash forward a few years and my mom had decided catholicism was indeed evil and had the whole family converted to Baptist (of the southern ilk). During a meeting with several deacons at our house, they were trying to get me to be baptized again. I argued that I did not indeed need a second one and what was wrong with the first one? They told me that catholics did not follow the same god as they did etc. etc. etc. I find it to be the usual argument.
That's not the story I want to convey. And I do not want to convey that I feel that I was damaged by religion by the arguments I had. The real argument came when they told me Buddy and Walking Stick would not go to heaven. When I asked why, it was not because they were imaginary, but it was because they were native american. I asked if any "indians" would go to heaven and they of course told me No. Indians would not go to heaven because they had not heard the word of christ. Even if they were here before him they would not go to heaven. I argued with the deacons for what seemed like eternity to me at the time (I was really into indians at the time). I was finally asked to leave the room so that they could talk to my mom. I'm sure they had kind words to say about the precocious son.
I never did get re-baptized although I did go to that church for years. I always knew where it counted that if there was a god, he did not have anything against the "indians" and that if there was not then it did not matter. What I did know at the age of 7-8 was that religion is highly judgemental by nature and wrong. I knew that no one was put in a special place to make such decisions or even comments about a whole nation of people. How can a child understand such a thing that adults refuse to contemplate? It seems to me that it must be a fundamental understanding of the way the universe is, before the un-teaching begins.

9 comments:

  1. Religion is not the same as God/Goddess ( at least not in my opinion)

    That is why I don't put myself in a category anymore, because what I believe isn't all pagan anymore, but it also isn't all christian.

    But, the Methodist church I go to doesn't think that Indians/native americans are going to Hell. In fact, while looking through the hymn book one day I found several written in native american languages.

    All in all, I guess my point is....is that you can't but God in a box or a book. Anyone who say's otherwise is full of poo.
    Nuff said.

    Hugs!
    Mander

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  2. I love you Mander! We argue about things (which I love, BTW) but you say what you think.

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  3. Jeff,
    I just have to ask, just to be sure. You as a christian, believe that anyone will go to heaven no matter what their beliefs are? American indians that worship animals all the way to eastern Indians? Don't worry I don't expect an answer.
    This story is a small part of my experience with religion and most of it was good. I loved summers and vacation bible school with my jug of frozen water. Good times.
    And this story has nothing to do with god, it does have to do with the nature of organized religion. God, if he does exist, or if he does not, has absolutely nothing at all to do with organized religion. You will find god in a rock a million years before you will in a church. God for me, since we all believe in something is gravity, and left-spins and sparticles. No more caring of what I do than you do about the roly poly's in your yard. Less in fact.
    This to me was a story about my first encounter of the fact that religion should not exist and what happens when it does. It doesn't happen some of the time, it happens all of the time with religion. That is just my belief. Be happy with yours.

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  4. Anonymous6/5/09 19:43

    I love you too P! ( Send the rest of the family hugs for me).

    Adults need to be so careful about what they say to kids.

    I remember AGES ago when I was a little girl ( maybe 7) this lady from church took me out for ice cream.

    We were talking about God, heaven, etc...then, I said something to about animals in heaven, etc. Then she said "animals don't go to heaven". Now, you know how much I love animals so just imagine the shock I felt. Then I asked her "why not"? She proceeded to tell me that animals didn't have souls so they wouldn't be in Heaven.

    Here I was, just a kid and was thinking "well, that sucks". Even at that age my bull-shit-o-meter starting going off like crazy, but it was also the first time I remember questioning God.

    I think that God can be found in rocks, trees.....all through nature. I mean, if God created everything then wouldn't everything have God in it? Just like if someone took a blood sample from Rose they would find equal parts of you and Laura in her.

    Even the humble earth worm ( in my opinion) has God within in. Sure, it may look small and insignificant...but these tiny creatures help make the soil richer, and they can regenerate which is something that "us superior humans" can't ever do. Once we lose an arm, without a speedy surgery it is gone forever.
    But, the humble little earth worm just regenerates and keeps on trucking along.
    Anyway, I am rambling but I guess what I am saying is how you can see particles and gravity as being god or god like, because I feel like I see God/Goddess in the most unlikely places as well.

    p.s. one thing I like about Joel Osteen, is that he refuses to say that atheist will go to hell because it isn't up to HIM to judge someone, that it belongs to God and we should leave that job to him. At least that is what he basically said on Larry King one night.

    Mander

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  5. I meant to say I can understand how you may see gravity or particles as God or god like.

    Geez, I am getting tired I can't even type correctly.

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  6. I knew what you like meant like yeah. Wherever you seek some comfort in this world is a-ok with me. I ain't going to judge someone's beliefe, but I may judge someone's actions. You should check out some Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

    Love to CJ too.

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  7. Anonymous7/5/09 11:00

    The bottom line is it isn't about Native Americans or any other group - it is about any individual or group that does not accept their way of thinking. Accept it = good deal. No accept = no ticket to heaven.

    I would consider that those Native American hymn translations were in that hymn book for those that have converted their evil ways.

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  8. There has lately been a movement of "understanding" in the christian realms. I think they are finding that they can convert a lot easier if they are not so "judgemental" at the outset. The same agenda is still there though.

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  9. To whomever posted about the Native American hymns being for those who have converted their "evil ways".

    Those were written by actual native americans, not some "white guy". If they were converted...who cares? Free will.

    I don't think that the Christian community is becoming "more understanding" in order to convert people. I think that the understanding is from becoming more educated. Like, with gay people. I think most of the Christian community is starting to understand that being gay is biological, and that it has nothing to do with "demons, or evil". Some may that Christians still have an agenda, but doesn't everyone?

    I don't care who you are or what you believe or don't believe, everyone has an agenda. There are some people in the world that I like to call Evangelical atheist, because they are just as fanatical about being atheist as the 700 club is about being Christian.

    Both are extremes, both are equally dangerous, and most importantly, nobody really cares.

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