Saturday, August 28, 2010

According to this, I was Wise in Kindergarten

This has been bugging me for almost a year.
I pass by this congregation almost every day on my way home from work. It's in West Hollywood in a heavily Orthodox Jewish part of the city. For almost a year now, this sign has been bugging the heck out of me.

So, does this mean I was becoming wise at the ripe old age of FIVE? Because that's when this god character really started to spook me. He was like Santa Claus, only instead of deciding whether I got presents or coal, he decided whether I went to Heaven or HELL. Whether I got to hang out with angels in the clouds or be tormented by devils with pointy sticks in the eternal fire. To me, every little infraction was worth confession. When I received First Communion in the 2nd grade, my catechism teacher told us that if we prayed with our hands folded and fingers pointing down....we were pointing towards HELL! If we kneeled with our little butts rested against the pews... Baby Jesus would CRY!

I also started to worry as I got older that God/Jesus was some kind of pervert. If he was always watching... was he watching me in the shower???? Now, I understand that my childhood ideas of god and religion were...well... childish. But some people do interpret religion literally. 

But my real question is, why would anyone want to believe in a scary, vengeful god? Why not believe in the lovey-dovey all-is-forgiven, try-to-be-nice-to-everyone god? It seems like hypocrisy to only behave "morally" because you're scared shitless that your god will smite you. And what a terrible way to live anyway. If god is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient... you should theoretically be OMNIFRIGHTENED! And that just doesn't seem very wise to me.

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