Monday, May 22, 2006

Participating as Requested

My friend over at God Is Patient, I am not has started an interesting conversation on her blog and asked me to participate, even though we come at our spirituality from very different directions. Therefore, at her request, I am posting my responses to her thought provoking questions. If you are not comfortable with alternative spiritualities, or not open to a little humor with your god discussions... this might not be the post for you.

Nor are my answers meant to be any sort of red flag that send the "convert you for your own good" bull into a rage. The Writer already knows this, so that warning is not for her. It is for any random passer-by who after reading this feels compelled to 'save the poor pagan girl'.

That said-- Here we go...

Last time I went to church:

Church? Eeek…um… Christmas Eve, whenever it was that I last went home to FL for Christmas. (I watch my mother sing in her choir at Midnight Mass) Ritual? Last Monday.

This many of my friends that I went to college with go to church :

Don’t know. When I was in college, I did a performance of “Godspell” with a church group. (the Director was my acting partner in my upper level class, and he needed a strong alto for “Sonia”) They were an eclectic church group, and they had a very understanding and open way of “being in the presence” and “praying” that made me feel very comfortable, even though our beliefs were not identical. I enjoyed my time (couple of months) that I spent with them. However, when the show was over, I didn’t attend further services. Currently in my life here, I can think of two people in my social structure who attend church with any sort of regularity. One is the person who created this questionnaire.

When I hear the phrase “Jesus”, I think:

I think he was a nice guy. I think he existed. I think he is a child of the creator and the universe, like we all are. I believe he was a powerful prophet and a very good soul. Do I think he “died for my sins”?.... Mmmmm, No. I like how Unity Church puts it about seeking “The Christ Consciousness” in each of us. To me that speaks about being at your highest and most loving self. My term for that is being “yummy”. Thus "YummyTeece" speaks to my spiritual quest to be my highest self.

When I hear the phrase “organized religion”, I think:

RUN! RUN!! Grab your bags, do not pass Go… Do not collect $200. Just sprint for your f**king life.

Three things I think organized religion (for lack of a better word) gets right:

-- Providing a space for a community of like minded individuals to come together to discuss what they need to discuss in a place of love.
-- Like communisim, the theory is good on paper.
-- Really? 3?…. I have to come up with 3?

Three things I think organized religion (for lack of a better word) gets wrong:

-- The Mob mentality, i.e. the more of us who band together, the more we can say that you are wrong and therefore going to hell.
-- Thou shalt not kill (Unless of course you are doing in the name of your god, in which case, it’s all good).
-- Everyone coming together, so focused on good intentions that they are blind to the long-term ramifications of their short-sighted actions. They are so busy curing or fixing the now, that they are not looking at the bigger picture. They focus on “WHAT” is “Wrong” and not “WHY” the situation occurred.

If I were God, I’d change these three things about the world, because I don’t understand why these things happen:

-- I would like to expand global awareness to recognize animals, plants and all creatures of this planet as fellow members in our large community (as opposed to secondary citizens whose rights are forfeit just because we feel like taking over their space or hunting them for fun.)

-- I would somehow design a genetic imperative in people that would not allow us to litter or further pollute the resources of our planet.

-- Hmmm.. and I'd make Tigers & Silverback Gorillas bigger and more deadly, so that they would be able to better defend themselves against poachers. If you poach wildlife, I think you totally and utterly deserve to be ripped limb from limb or eaten while still alive. Eeek. Did I really type that? Hmmmm… probably a good thing I’m not an all powerful deity.

If I were God, I’d change these three things about this one person (who shall remain nameless.)

Slight variation on this answer… I’m doing 1 thing for three people.

I would have Person#1 release his very rigid idea of what is “proper & appropriate” and instead, allow himself to really experience and enjoy passion as it occurs in the moment.

I would have Person#2 find peace around his grief and anger.

I would have Person#3 release his hold on this life and pass into the next, without further pain or illness.

If I were God I’d change these three things about me:

-- Greater Capacity to love and understand without “being attached to the way it looks” (to swipe a Landmark phrase)
-- Ease around Anger, finding expression for it that is not based in fear or jealousy… allowing myself to experience it without judgment or vindictive action.
-- Eternally Perky/gravity defying breasts and no cellulite my thighs or butt. *grin*

Worst thing I ever heard in church or from a religious person:

I had a friend who was gang raped when she was 13. Her family was extremely religions, and therefore, didn’t call the cops…they called Clergy. Her Clergyman came over and asked her to repent for whatever evil she had done that “made those boys sin like that.” I find that vile to the point of being physically nauseated the first time I heard this story.

Best thing I ever heard in church or from a religious person:

I can’t think of an exact phrase or story, but Reverend Brent at the West Valley Unity Church ALWAYS made me feel at home, at peace, and part of a loving community. He made me laugh, he helped me feel accepted, and even though I’m not “Christian”, his words, his teaching, and his personality are a large part of the reason that I was a semi-regular at that church the first several years that I lived in LA.


Josephine said...


I have two reactions to this honest and lovingly written post of yours.

The first is that I am thankful for your kindness toward religion.

The second is that the word "church" sends chills up my spine and turns on my "fight or flight" reaction!


This is thought provoking. Religion is one of my favorite things to discuss, but it's rare I get to discuss it because it impassions people so much.

The Dung Beetle said...

It sounds like we share similar views regarding organized religon.