Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keep your Religion to Yourself, Dammit!

When I was a kid in the 50's (the mythical time, that didn't exist) if a person wore their religion on their sleeve or talked about it all the time, they were considered a nut case.

Once when I was in grade school, a friend's mom put a whacky religious tract in my jacket pocket. My mother found it and was really pissed, so pissed she called the kid's mom and reamed her. At the time my mom was a Sunday School teacher. The kid's mom was nuts. By the way, Mom stopped going to church in her 50's. She remained by all standards a good woman. My last good act for her was to stop the hired minister at the graveyard from playing Amy Grant tunes on a god damned boom box as she was lowered in the ground.

My grandmother was a church musician, she played at as many as three church services on Sunday mornings. When I stayed at the farm with she and grandpa, I'd get dragged along to the services with her. Grandpa would stay home and read the paper. I was exposed to the old Missouri Synod Lutheran theology which consisted of "you are all sinners, you're going to hell as sure as I'm standing at this pulpit and there is nothing that is going to save you from burning for eternity". I would sit and watch the farm families flinch and duck at the minister's words. When it was over, you always knew when it was over because the minister shouted "God is Love!" The farmers, their wives and children would slink out the door of the church and head home apparently filled with peace and wonderment. Not a smile in sight. On the way home or to another church, my gram would never say a word about the sermon, she'd just stare straight ahead and keep the Oldsmobile pointed down the road. I asked her one Sunday why the minister was so mean to the people all she said was, "I don't think he really spends much time reading the New Testament." and she continued to drive.

When I was in high school my girlfriend would go to church every Sunday and to Luther League every week. I know because I'd pick her up after LL and we'd go park. I can't recall ever having a conversation about religion with her or if she ever brought it up, she just went to church because that's what she was supposed to do. I told her mother I'd dropped out of confirmation class in the 7th grade and never went to church anymore, she didn't mind, nor did anyone in my family.

I got married too young to a nice catholic girl, we were married by a judge. A baby and just over a year past and she 'needed" to get our marriage sanctified by the church. The boss priest said we needed to go to marriage instructions, so we did. Our priest instructor was slightly older than we were and knew nothing about relationships, sex or marriage at all. He had a real problem keeping his eyes off my wife's legs during our sessions and she obviously made him very nervous. In retrospect his interest in my wife was a good thing because he probably kept his hands off the altar boys as his career progressed in the Holy Roman Church. Years later when the sex abuse scandal broke in the Boston Archdiocese. A priest who had a 25 year relationship with a woman and produced two daughters was considered one of the good guys. (Of course, Cardinal Law is still not in jail. the dirty bastid.)

At my Dad's funeral, once again with a hired gun minister, who didn't know the old man at all said during the ceremony, "And now our soloist will sing one of Robert's favorite hymns" as the organist intro'ed the Old Rugged Cross. My sisters and I broke out laughing. Duke Ellington's Take the A Train, anything by the Dorsey Brothers or Glen Miller would have been more appropriate for dear old Dad.

When I was a kid, nobody in their right mind took Oral Roberts seriously, much less the other men of god on the tee vee or radio. My friends and I would listen to Dr. Michelson's Hebrew Christian Hour on the radio and try to imitate his accent and make the spittle fly like he did when he got wound up towards the end of his daily 15 minute semi-anti-Semitic rants. His show was on a Top 40 station and a Roy Orbison tune would segue right into his show and he'd finish and some other early rock ditty would would start up after the 'Channel 7-90" jingle would play.

Today it seems to perfectly all right to shove religion up in other's faces, to condemn folks who don't have the same belief system as you do. For churches to back political candidates openly from the pulpit and over the air or in print, for Churches to provide funds for anti gay marriage legislation or to  promote the overturn of Roe v. Wade and even promote anti-contraception legislation.

Today we have the Republican Party backing candidates who attempt to define rape into hair splitting categories or saying things like if a woman gets pregnant from a rape it's god's will that she should carry that little "gift from god"....they are all hypocrites, all of them.Their God must really be a dick.

Remember what Barry Goldwater said about Jerry Falwell? I'll tell ya, Barry said "Falwell needs a swift kick in the ass." So does Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson,Tony Perkins, James Dobson, the entire hierarchy of the Catholic Church, all of the old white guys ensconced in the Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City, the Southern Baptists and all the rest who use the old and new testaments as a personal fucking menu.

George Carlin once said "the ten commandments are bullshit, you only need one, don't lie"

Think about it.