“God” Is Bad, All The Time

I can’t think of a more annoying phrase than, “‘God’ is good, all the time!” I’m an atheist, so this phrase is not only irritating, but it’s impossible; “god” is imaginary. Instead of just calling people who utter this phrase, idiots, I decided to use reason to prove the hollowness of this claim.

We all know “god” doesn’t exist in the real world, but he is a character in Judeo-Christian mythology. Using the bible as my source, I will show that “god” is indeed, bad. (I refer to “god” as a male because the bible was written by misogynistic storytellers who clearly wrote about a male deity. Furthermore, if the character known as “god” was a woman, the story of Jesus’ birth becomes a lesbian love affair and according to the “god-fearing” people who protest around the world, “’god’ hates gays!” ***They use a different word.***)

I have no idea at which point in history people lost their minds, but “god” has never been good. I’ll give the character some credit for creating the universe, but we can’t assume that any being that creates a universe is automatically “good.” (Especially when we know the being to be a certified jackass!)

People always give “god” credit for their “blessings” during joyous occasions, but they fail to realize that “god” has nothing to do with anything deemed to be “good.” An example of this misdirected gratitude happens whenever a person enters a hospital and is cured of some fatal disease. What people neglect to remember is the fact that “god” has always been against the advancement of human knowledge. (His followers do a good job of continuing this tradition of contra-intelligence!) If we look to the bible, it is clear that “god” doesn’t want people to be intelligent.

When the devil, the real “good” character in Judeo-Christian mythology, enters the Garden of Eden, he shares his wisdom with Adam and Eve in order to allow for them to be more self-sufficient, but “god” becomes angry. “God” doesn’t want Adam and Eve to be intelligent; he’d prefer for them to do as he says without questioning his orders. (What an evil asshole! I think it’s clear that every case of domestic violence comes from this character flaw that has been instilled in people who believe in “god.” I’ve never heard of an atheist beating on a spouse!)

The Garden of Eden story should cause people to appreciate the knowledge given to them by the devil, but somehow, the boy-touching priests were able to paint “god” as the good guy and people agreed without questioning the facts. (Clearly, it is evident that the closer someone is to “god,” the dumber they are!)

Another example of “god” being bad is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Granted, the people of these two cities were not living a “godly-life,” but death and destruction was probably a bit overboard. Instead of sending down a couple of angels and teaching the people how to improve their lives, “god” decided to just extinguish the cities; killing all of the inhabitants. (This guy is the king of “do as I say and not as I do!” “God” is a dick; whatever the hell happened to forgiveness? Did I misread the “good book,” because I swear I remember something about people forgiving others?)

Jewish people claim to be “the chosen people.” I can’t argue with that. First, “god” asks Abraham to kill his son. Then, right when the pious Abraham is about to obey orders, “god” says, “you’ve just been punk’d!” Are you kidding me? What kind of a psycho jokes around by torturing a child and his family? (We don’t have to get into the record of “god’s” church and the children the institution is entrusted to protect!)

This “god” guy is the worst CEO in the history of the world. First, he chooses the Israelites to be his people, and then he decides to abuse the hell out of them. The chosen people suffered through Egyptian slavery, being blamed for killing Jesus, the holocaust, and being blamed for killing Jesus by Mel Gibson! I get it; the chosen people were eventually rewarded for their faith, but at what cost? I’m not sure if they are thankful, but the gift seems pretty shitty to me. What did “god” give them as a reward? Honestly, the most inconsiderate gift ever; a country in the Middle East, surrounded by anti-Semitic rulers, one of whom said “Israel should be wiped off the map!” (Gee thanks, big guy. I’m sure all the suffering was worth it!)

As if abusing his chosen people wasn’t enough, this CEO went on to be the worst general manager ever. He continuously picks horrible men to lead his church. Hey dumbass, if the guy enjoys raping children, DON’T CALL HIM TO SERVE AS A PRIEST! It’s really simple but this all-powerful, all-knowing loser is so bad. Seriously, what the hell does he think is going to happen? (I don’t know which is worst, “god’s” choices or the people who CHOOSE to follow him!)

If a man is jealous, he’s a bad boyfriend. Same goes for a jealous “god;” he is a bad character in the bible. Let’s also remember some of “god’s” creations. People are always quick to point out the good ones, without giving any thought to the bad ones. Cancer, AIDS, famine, plague, chicken pox, Gigli, hurricanes, earthquakes, war, weapons of mass destruction, snow, cold-weather (Never mind; these don’t apply anymore!), death, crack, blowjobs with condoms, etc…  (Bad “god!” If only we had the ability to wipe his face in the metaphorical piss that he showers onto our newly-stained figurative hardwood floors!)

I think my point has been made. No one can argue that “god” is not bad. If I really wanted to, I could continue to point out an infinite amount of examples to show just how bad this character is, but that is not necessary. I don’t mind people believing in the bible, but at least get it right, THE DEVIL SHOULD BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR. The next time one of your family members survives cancer, thank the devil for providing the doctor with the intelligence to figure out a cure. (While you’re at it, don’t forget to say, “fuck you for creating cancer, bad ‘god!’”)

Oh yeah, how can I forget. The idiot appeared as a burning bush. Are you freaking kidding me? A BURNING BUSH! Do I even have to mention that burning bushes are bad? Seriously, this guy couldn’t think of anything else other than showing up as an STD? I thought Steve Carell was out of touch in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but Moses risked his life and challenged the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses, and successfully freed his people, for a burning bush. (Talk about putting the pussy on the pedestal!)

BURNING BUSH

     “GOD” IS BAD, ALL THE TIME!

@PeteTeix617

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A Wish Granted

     Some people believe that thirty-three is old. To those people I say, you probably won’t live to see thirty-three; GOOD LUCK!

This challenge began with a simple encounter. “What challenge are you referring to?” Read this post to catch up to speed: A Challenge.

It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles (When isn’t it a beautiful day in LA!) so I decided to go for a walk. The calendar app in my phone showed that it was April 4th, to be exact. I turned the corner and saw a glorious vision; with the sun beating down on me, I could only make out a silhouette. Standing in front of an open garage door was what appeared to be a sculpture of a Greek goddess, carved out by Leonardo Da Vinci himself.

Like this…

Not like this…

     I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated; it’s not every day that one happens upon such a beauty. I did my best not to make a fool of myself and continued to approach the home. I didn’t know what to say; I wasn’t even sure I should bother attempting to court this stunning mortal. Thankfully, I didn’t have to make the first move. She sauntered to the end of her driveway and each step caused my heart to beat faster. She was even more exquisite than I originally believed.

The conversation seemed like a dream. It was as if I was outside of my body and I was watching the two of us talk. She turned out to be an easy going young lady, who agreed to “get together for some fun.”

Her name is Crayon Dynasty. She is a child of divorce who lives with a single mother. Crayon Dynasty’s father is an A-list celebrity, which is why she has such a ridiculous name. Her mother doesn’t work because she receives a king’s ransom in alimony payments.

That night, I sat on the couch and made a decision; I would give “god” one final chance to prove his existence. I often read Facebook posts from people who feel the need to thank “god” for all everything that he has done for them, so I decided it was my turn. I wanted to share in the good graces of the lord.

The Challenge was simple. I gave “god” two weeks to help me sleep with Crayon Dynasty. He had until April 17th to prove that he is indeed all powerful and good. If the clock struck midnight on my birthday, I would know, once and for all, that “god” does not exist.

To be fair, I made the decision to study the bible in order to learn exactly what I was required to do. The way I saw it, “god” only helps those who follow the holy book, so I knew I had to study; I had to study more than I ever studied before. It was my duty to understand how the lord works in order to do what I needed to do to allow him to help me. I read every page of the bible and I even reread the really good books. (You know the ones I’m talking about!) I was doing my part, but nothing was happening.

I met Crayon Dynasty at a local restaurant for dinner and drinks, and although she was inebriated, she declined an offer to return to my place. Most men would have been deterred by such a response, but I saw it at a good sign; this girl was a “good girl;” I would not be in danger of contracting the AIDS.

Crayon Dynasty had to be properly wooed if I was to bed her.

Each day, I reinvented myself. I studied the bible in the morning and did my best to make Crayon Dynasty fall in love with me. I pulled out all the stops, but she refused to engage in sexual intercourse.

It was time for desperate measures. I cooked dinner for her and her mother, Jill. I met with her father and did my bet to convince him that I was the man for his daughter. It worked! Crayon Dynasty was impressed, but there was no sex on the champagne room.

I was at my wits end. I did everything required of me, but the result I needed continued to evade me. This could only mean one thing; there is no “god!” That can’t be right. I had to keep trying. (Quitting is only for people who smoke cigarettes!)

An hour before midnight, I shifted into genius mode. I went through my bible notes and read over my favorite passages; there had to be something that I overlooked.

“And when the Lord, your God, delivers it into your hand, put every male to the sword; but the women and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth plundering you may take as your booty, and you may use this plunder of your enemies which the Lord, your God, has given you.” – Deuteronomy 20:13-14

No, this quote doesn’t have anything to do with my wish. First of all, I don’t have any enemies and I don’t want to plunder any cities.

“Lo the day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished…” Zechariah 14:1-2

It seems like I’m getting closer, but I’m still not finding the answer that I am looking for. I must keep searching!

“They must be dividing the spoil they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man…” Judges 5:30

This isn’t it either. Wait one minute…what is this?

Eureka! I got it.

I turned to the clock; it was 11:40pm. Being on the Pacific coast provided me with three extra hours and I was going to make them count. I only had twenty minutes. I grabbed my keys, my bible, and bolted out the door. I briskly walked to her house and rang the doorbell. Crayon Dynasty’s mother came to the door.

Me: “Jill, is Crayon Dynasty home?”

Jill: “Yes, she’s in her room.”

Me: “I was reading through the bible and there is something that I have to show her. Is it ok for me to go upstairs?”

Jill: “Of course. Go right on up.”

I ran up to her room and knocked on the door; Crayon Destiny invited me in.

Me: “This is going to be the best birthday present ever!”

Crayon Destiny: “What are you talking about?”

Without saying a word, I moved the dresser in front of the door and I took her by force. She screamed and yelled for her mother to help, but there was nothing that could be done; I took what was rightfully mine. I took what the lord wanted me to have.

After a long thirty seven seconds of ecstasy, the deed was done; I had ravished her. I dismounted the damsel and put on my clothing. I moved the dresser and allowed Jill to enter the room. The two women wanted an explanation for my actions and I was prepared. I opened up my bible and read through selected verses.

“Here is the most important verse of all. ‘If a man comes upon a maiden that is not betrothed, takes her and has relations with her, and their deed is discovered, the man who had relations with her shall pay the girl’s father fifty silver shekels and take her as his wife…’ – Deuteronomy 22:28-29 I was looking for answers in all the wrong places. I expected for ‘god’ to do all of the work for me, but I finally figured out how prayer works. If not for the bible, I would have never understood the positive power of rape. Thanks be to ‘god’!”

Jill: “I understand. What happened today was beyond the scope of what we can understand. This act was a blessing from the lord himself; your future is set. “God’s” will has been done!”

Me: “Almost. Do you see? God wants us to get married and he laid out the plans for me. All I have to do now is pay your father fifty shekels and we can get married. This is a joyous day!”

Crayon Dynasty: “These tears that I cry are tears of joy! What did I do to deserve this!”

“God” is good! Our “god” is an awesome “god!”

@PeteTeix617

Funny Church Signs

Due to a lack of free time, I have decided to post some funny church signs. Some of these have clearly been photoshopped!

#1

Sex will always sell!

#2

Talk about your money back guarantee!

#3

I’m sure the townspeople enjoyed explaining this one to the children!

#4

How the hell do they know?

#5

Sounds like a great time! Where the hell can I find a baby Jesus?

#6

That’s not nice!

#7

I think Jesus is going to lose this battle!

#8

Why would anyone want Santa to die?

#9

I thought the church was against heat!

#10

Of course, this is my favorite of the bunch. Thanks for thinking of us!

*BONUS*

How can you not step foot in this church after reading that?

I hope these were enjoyable!

@PeteTeix617

 

How Quickly People Forget What Is Truly Important

Yesterday, I wrote a silly story about my difficulties with Thanksgiving. (You can read the entry here: No Thanks) The truth of the matter is, Thanksgiving is my second favorite day of the year; no other holiday can compare. Thanksgiving provides us time with family and friends, great food, football, relaxation, and leftovers. (If you never purchased the Thanksgiving Day sandwich from D’Angelo, you my friend have yet to live!)

It seems our culture has a way of removing the essence from each holiday. I hate to say it, but consumerism trumps all else. Arguably, the two most effected events are Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The way I see it, Black Friday is a horrible idea. When I grew up, no one mentioned the term; people only cared about spending time with family and friends; that’s what the holiday is all about. It isn’t about the pilgrims and their dinner with the Native Americans; only school children care about the pilgrims. (If you’re an adult and you thought about the pilgrims during your Thanksgiving Day, you might be insane!)

For those who are not familiar with Black Friday, the day marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. Traditionally, stores open earlier than the normal business hours and select items are marked down. (This seems like a wonderful concept, but it is a bad idea!)

Looks like a great time!

     Normally, stores open around 7am, but this year has changed everything; stores opened their doors at midnight. Thinking of all the great deals causes people to miss the fact that Black Friday ruins Thanksgiving Day. (There is always a price to pay for greed!)

Families are forced to cut short their time together so people can rush out to brave the November weather (unless you live in a warm climate!) in long lines. The weather is not the major problem; retailers only place a limited number of items on sale, so it is literally a duel to the death. (I am not exaggerating; people have been trampled to death and fights are commonplace!)

The violence is unfortunate, but the loss of the spirit of the day is the biggest downside. Employees are forced to staff the stores, causing them to miss time with their family and friends. The customers also suffer; I read one story about a mom and her son who arrived at a Best Buy at 7pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. (What a horrible way to spend such a great holiday!)

I would do away with Black Friday, entirely. The retailers should come up with a better way to kick off the holiday shopping season. A possible solution may be, moving the event to Saturday night, instead of Thursday. Creating a “Black Sunday” will at least allow people to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday. (Never mind, I completely forgot that the bible forbids us to work on Sundays. Unless of course, you need to make money to support your family; I believe “god” allows the one exception!)

The day is only part of the difficulty, no one should have to put their safety at risk just to get a great deal; retailers need to go back and hire better marketers. I can’t support the creation of a hostile shopping environment; honestly, it just doesn’t make any sense! Black Friday is a horrible idea!

I am against religion so the fact that Christmas has been stolen from the Christians is great. There is no arguing the fact that Santa is far more popular than Jesus; possibly year round, but definitely on December 25th. I honestly don’t understand how a true Christian can allow Santa to supplant their “lord and savior,” when it comes to importance. Can you honestly say that you ever heard a child being excited about Jesus’ birthday; “the son of god” has actually become an afterthought. As an atheist, this fact brings joy to my heart; religion is losing its influence over the people. (Christians love Jesus, but they love presents a lot more!)

I can remember always being asked, “are you going to mass on Christmas?” It was as if the mass was an option, but no one ever asked, “do you want a Christmas gift this year?” (People can lose relationships with loved ones over forgetting to buy a present!)

No one believes in Santa Claus, but when it comes to the battle of mythical heroes, Jesus gets his ass kicked on Christmas. People may try their best, attempting to explain why they care more about gifts than Jesus, but in the end, religion is nothing but hocus pocus; no one actually cares. People only turn to religion in times of hardship, and that’s it. Each Christian, who loves Jesus, may lie to me, but they must wake up and look themselves in the mirror and admit the fact that Jesus doesn’t really matter on Christmas! (WHO CARES IF IT’S HIS BIRTHDAY?)

Although I only became an atheist earlier this year, I left religion a long time ago; I guess I always saw through the ridiculousness of it all.

To Best Buy, I say, it would be wonderful to purchase a forty two inch HD Flat-screen television for only one hundred and ninety-nine dollars, but it is not worth me losing the second best day of the year! (Everyone knows that April 18th is the greatest day of the year! Don’t be an idiot and argue this fact!)

Please allow me to kick off the holiday season and be the first to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

     I often hear Christians say, “Jesus comes first, then family and money.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I challenge all Christians to take back the day, for their “lord and savior, Jesus Christ.” If you truly love Jesus, skip the gifts and spend Christmas day doing what Jesus would do. Take all of your Christmas cash and help out those who are less fortunate. Once you exhaust your extra funds, spend the rest of your day celebrating with family and friends, worshipping the birthday boy. (I didn’t think so! Santa Rules the day!)

The Grinch didn’t steal Christmas; the true culprit was Santa, and he stole the day from Jesus.

@PeteTeix617

A Special Letter

 

Dear Lord,

It’s been a while since I woke up in time to attend Sunday mass, and for that I apologize. Furthermore, I honestly can’t remember the last time I confessed to a priest. I feel it would be better for your loyal followers to confess directly to you, but I admit that I am incapable of comprehending the justification for using priests as middlemen. Since I haven’t confessed my sins in quite some time, I’ll take this opportunity to do so; I hope you don’t mind.

Let me see…sins? I can’t really think of any because I’ve been extremely obedient, but I guess if I were forced to, I could come up with a couple questionable ones. There was the one time when I heard a Jewish guy deny the fact that my brother Jesus was your son, and I didn’t speak up. I promise it will never happen again!

I guess if we were splitting hairs, one could say that another of my sins happened when I stumbled upon a shameful bachelor party. I failed to look away, completely, when the stripper disrobed. I felt a strong sense of indignity wash over me and I quickly removed myself from the premises.

You will be happy to know that other than the two instances which I just mentioned, I have always asked myself, “what would Jesus do,” before any action. (I will continue to live according to your just laws, as long as this blog’s title remains the same.)

     My reason for this letter is not to confess my sins, but to thank you. You blessed me too many times in my life for me to mention all of the instances, but I will go over some of the highlights.

Thank you for my education. There are those who may think that I worked hard and accomplished everything on my own, but I know I had nothing to do with my success. All of the glory goes to you Lord. I may have spent sleepless nights studying and working hard, but you are the one who did everything. Thanks again!

Some people may feel that I am a talented storyteller, but I am no fool. My creativity does not come from my life experiences and all of the support that I receive from my family and friends; it is you who blessed me my talents. Without you, I would be nothing. In fact, I know that you can take back your generous gifts, at any moment. I will never forget what you have done for me.

Thank you Lord. Thanks for my sense of humor. I know it may seem like I developed my personality from my father, but I know that his playfulness did not shape my traits. It is you who blessed me with my joy for laughter. You have bestowed upon me a great bounty, and I will dedicate the rest of my life to serving you. I am nothing without you!

I would also like to thank you for allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers to defeat the pitiful New England Patsies. Please continue to allow Mr. Thomas Brady to finish his career on a downward spiral. May you punish his “bunch” for centuries to come! On that note Lord, I would like to ask a question. There is no man on earth, other than myself, who cares for you more than the great Tim Tebow. Why have you not allowed him to rule over the National Football League as he dominated college football? Other than me, he praises you more than any man alive. I am hoping that you are allowing Mr. Tebow to slowly progress into the greatest quarterback of all time! I look forward to witnessing his rise, while he continues to praise you!

     I will end this letter with a request. Can you please punish all of the fake Christians who are obviously closet-pagans? They speak about how much they love you, but there they are, wearing costumes and celebrating the devil’s holiday. Halloween should be banned from the United States of America, but we have yet to elect a true Christian President. Please send these devil worshippers to Hell, so they can celebrate with their true master!

Many of your so called followers attempt to praise you by proclaiming, “God is good,” but I do not agree with their misleading declaration. I know you are much better than good; you are great!

     Sincerely,

Your loyal subject, Peter

P.S. Tell Kevin that Notre Dame SUCKS!!!

 

For those of you, who wish to donate money in order to help me spread the Lord’s word, please e-mail me and we’ll work out the details!

@PeteTeix617

100 Things I Miss About Being Catholic

 *****POST NUMBER 100*****

     Here we are; the one-hundredth post. I didn’t think I’d live to see the day. (Seriously, religious people kill for far less than some of the things I wrote!) In some weird way, I have “god” to thank for the success of this blog. Without his “existence,” there would be no religion to speak of. (Thanks, mighty wizard in the sky!)

At first, I wasn’t sure how to celebrate this milestone, but I placed my faith in the big guy upstairs and the idea eventually came to me. (BIG thanks to the imaginary obese man who lives on my roof and sends down great ideas!)

Before I begin with the list, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have supported this blog. I would list names, but if I forgot to mention someone, I would never forgive myself. (You know who you are!) The text messages, post comments, Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets, and in-person support has been phenomenal! I look forward to continuing the blog for at least another seven hundred fifty three thousand and forty-six posts. “Why that exact number?” Who knows!

This list will contain some of the aspects of my life as a member of the Catholic Church which I truly miss. I will first start with a few of the things that I missed out on due to my enlightenment! (Catholics may refer to my new lack of spirituality as, “the path to hell!”)

     Let it be known; this was a difficult list to compile. With so many wonderful things to miss about being Catholic, how could I ever expect to whittle the list down to a mere one-hundred?

**The Catholic Church promised that reading this list will not cause people to go to Hell. (Cost me a pretty penny to secure that promise!)**

     Here is the list: (If the list is not in alphabetical order, shake your device. *Be sure to shake well*)

1.       I MISSED OUT ON being able to drink myself into a stupor, act like an ass, bang some random slut, then upload a picture of Jesus to Facebook so I can show that I am a good person! (I really wanted to do that!)

2.       I MISSED OUT ON seeing the same girls from the club, showing up in their Sunday’s best. (I hope the tequila after-taste goes well with the “body of Christ!”)

3.       I MISSED OUT ON becoming a fanatical Christian and high-fiving the guys after each mass and yelling, “That was a kickass sermon!”

4.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to get a giant tattoo of a cross on my chest with the bottom shaped like an arrow. There would have been a sign which read, “If you think this cross is big, take a look down there!” (There would be another tattoo on my ankle which said, “Down here; Big feet!”)

5.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to cover the back bumper of my car with great quotes like, “Jesus is my co-pilot” and “Honk if you fuck Catholics!”

6.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to explain the facts to my children when they say, “hold on; this doesn’t make any goddamn sense, DAD! If Adam and Eve were the only two people in the world, and they only had two sons, where the Hell did everyone else come from?” (Sorry kids, Eve banged her sons, I guess!)

7.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to marry my sister. (After all, every female is my sister since we’re all “god’s” children, right?)

8.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to write a letter to my congressman, complaining about a future toy which I will deem inappropriate for my future child. (I wouldn’t have allowed Hasbro to promote their new, “Atheist Arthur” doll!)

9.       I MISSED OUT ON the opportunity to be a parent who forces his children to believe in a magical wizard who allowed his enemies to kill his water-walking son for their sins. (Don’t feel guilty or anything, kids!)

10.   I MISSED OUT ON the new policy of allowing altar girls. (This ain’t your daddy’s Catholic Church!)

11.   I MISSED OUT ON being able to post Tweets containing lyrics from gangster rappers who are always mindful to praise the lord. (Don’t mind the murder lyrics!)

12.   I MISSED OUT ON being able to create a profile on Christianmingle.com (I might still give that one the old college try!)

13.   I MISSED OUT ON being able to follow his highness, the Pope, on Twitter! ()

14.   I MISSED OUT ON telling the younger Catholics about the great superhero, Jesus of Nazareth, who turned water into wine! (I promise to go back, if he can turn water into Johnnie Walker whiskey!)

15.   I MISSED OUT ON being able to hide the fact that I’m using the “lord’s” name in vain by writing “got damn” on social networking sites. (Believers are so tricky!)

16.   I MISSED OUT ON the day when a crazed man attacked a fellow worshipper on the altar! (I really wish I was there to see that!)

17.   I MISSED OUT ON listening to a sermon being preached by a priest who, not only had an IPhone, but banged more chicks from his congregation than any of the guys in the pews. (Am I lying?) I don’t know who the women are, but “god” bless them!

***

18.   I MISS being shushed, because I dared utter a word during mass! (I never hear when the director yells quiet on the set!)

19.   I MISS having to wait for Jesus to return; he was taking forever! (It’s almost as if he forgot!)

20.   I MISS being able to say, “I’m probably going to Hell for this,” after one of my many “ungodly” acts!

21.   I MISS being confused about the whole “’god’ be with you” comments when people separate. I thought “god” was everywhere; I didn’t know he actually chose where he would be based on who said what. (I guess I’ll never understand how that whole thing works!)

22.   I MISS looking forward to walking through the valley of the shadow of death, aka the gangster’s paradise. That would have been cool! (I didn’t even know Coolio was a gangster-Christian!)

23.   I MISS the long procession before the Mother’s day mass. (I didn’t know it was the mini Walk-for-hunger!)

24.   I MISS the candle lighting countdown that led to Christmas! (That has to be a fire hazard!)

25.   I MISS being forced to say the entire rosary. (“Don’t worry, the beads won’t take long; we’ll be done in seven hours tops; plus it’s fun!”)

26.   I MISS walking around with a dirty forehead on Ash Wednesday and having to explain to rational people that I am not crazy! (Good times!)

27.   I MISS laughing at the crazy scientists and there stupid “Evolution!” (In the past, I had no idea what those scientists were talking about!)

28.   I MISS praying. “Oh good ‘god;’ good super-duper wonderful merciless merciful ‘god,’ please allow me to win the lottery so I don’t have to work hard anymore.”

29.   I MISS having to wait until someone said, “Grace,” before I was allowed to eat. (Simply eating food without thanking “the lord” leaves me feeling incomplete, yet still full!)

30.   I MISS watching the hungry-hungry-hypocrites look-down upon one another while they were guilty of the same “sins!”

31.   I MISS listening to my fellow worshippers, complain about how long each mass was. (I guess I can understand, “god” forbid, anyone force them to actually have to devote some time to “the almighty,” whom they speak so highly of.)

32.   I MISS not having to work hard and simply asking “god” to give me things. If I didn’t get it, I knew it wasn’t “god’s” will. (Life was much simpler back then!)

33.   I MISS doing unbelievably idiotic things, then saying, “Only ‘god’ can judge me!” (I love that!)

34.   I MISS being able to take holy days off from work. (Sorry boss, its Spiritual Tuesday and the tavern is serving up specials all day; see you tomorrow!)

35.   I MISS sitting in the pew and attempting to become a master at “Extreme Simon Says.” Simon says, “Sit.” Simon says, “Stand.” Simon says, “Kneel.” Sit. Fuck! (You got me this time, you tricky Houdini priest!)

36.   I MISS braiding the palms during mass on Palm Sunday. Each year the design was getting better! (I probably would have been able to create a small scale accurate depiction of Noah’s Ark by now!)

37.   I MISS coming up with excuses for having to leave whenever forced asked to partake in the fun that is the rosary! (The beads were cool, though!)

38.   I MISS listening to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey, and thinking about my never-ending belief in “god.” (I feel like I let the band down!)

39.   I MISS watching “god’s” good girls chase Satan’s bad boys! (If only their parents knew!)

40.   I MISS enjoying all of the presents on Christmas morning and completely forgetting about Jesus! (Sorry about that, dude!)

41.   I MISS looking forward to my death and attempting to sneak into Heaven’s backdoor. (You know I had the hook-up!)

42.   I MISS the shame of pre-marital sex! (Thankfully, the girl can carry the shame for the two of us!)

43.   I MISS the fear I had whenever it was time to take the Eucharist; we all know, I was never free from sin. (“Only say the words and I shall be healed.” That always seemed like a set-up to me!)

44.   I MISS being able to blame “god” whenever something went wrong in my life! (No excuses now!)

45.   I MISS giving all praise to “god,” when it was me who did everything on my own! (I guess from now on, I’ll have to take credit for my future success!)

46.   I MISS the pedophile priest jokes from anti-Catholic friends who enjoyed the scandals more than the priests enjoyed the boys. (We can talk about that freely, right?)

47.   I MISS hearing the priest say, “Fodemos irmaos,” then hearing the faithful reply, “Ovinu sinhor!” (I’m not sure I got that right, it’s been a while since I attended!)

48.   I MISS the Fanduka Fest. That is the name we gave to the Church’s annual Mother’s Day festival; it was named in honor of one of the nuns! (Church girls are hot; the laity, not the nuns!)

49.   I MISS being told I am going to Hell. Who am I kidding; the Catholics still remind me of their continued wishful thinking! (Thanks, believers!)

50.   I MISS feeling comfortable inside of a church. My last visit was in June for a family wedding and there was a definite sense of uneasiness. (You might call it, LOGIC!)

51.   I MISS being afraid of Exorcism. (Just kidding; those movies still scare the crap out of me!)

52.   I MISS lying to the priest during confession. “I only said a bad word, and I didn’t listen to my mother, one time!” (He bought it hook, line, and sinker!)

53.   I MISS “donating” money to the Church. (Really, are two collections during mass, necessary?)

54.   I MISS the great hymns. (I have a wonderful singing voice, if I do say so myself!)

55.   I MISS saying, “You’re going to Hell!” (And meaning it!)

56.   I MISS the wonderful flavor-challenged snack that the priest handed out during mass. (Sunday morning breakfast hasn’t been the same!)

57.   I MISS fearing that the Pope would excommunicate me from the church! (Now, I look forward to that occasion!)

58.   I MISS being accepted by the masses. (It’s so lonely out here in reality world!)

59.   I MISS the good old days, when Mary Magdalene was a whore. (Damn you, Dan Brown!)

60.   I MISS having my brain washed every Sunday; it’s so dirty now! I hope someone will be able to get me some of that wonderful shampoo. (I think it was called “holy water!”)

61.   I MISS being forced to wear a dress robe while helping mass. (Cross-dressing is not my thing!)

62.   I MISS blaming the Jews for killing Jesus! (How the Romans escaped blame, is amazing to me!)

63.   I MISS having no rational explanation for the religion, and answering people who questioned my undying loyalty with the old staple, “It’s a faith thing; you wouldn’t understand!”

64.   I MISS being forced to attend mass! (Those Sunday morning beatings sucked!)

65.   I MISS getting destroyed on Christmas Eve, then showing up to mass to catch the let-out! I can’t forget the time when my friend threw up on one of the bushes. (Talk about a burning bush!)

66.   I MISS being chosen as one of the Altar All Stars, who were selected to serve mass during special occasions! (Please pick me; I’m good!)

67.   I MISS arguing about sports on the back steps of the church and being told to keep it down by one of the adult males who hung-out in the back! (Leave us alone!)

68.   I MISS arriving to the Church just for the let-out. (Better than any club I ever went to!)

69.   I MISS arriving five minutes before the conclusion of mass and sneaking to my seat! (“Yes, the talk about Jesus being good was awesome; I loved today’s magic trick!”)

70.   I MISS the squeaky door at the back of the church, which had to be opened carefully to avoid announcing my late arrival! (What are you people looking at; I’m trying my best, goddamnit?)

71.   I MISS knowing that Jesus loved me, simply because the bible told me so. (Great song!)

72.   I MISS saying, “My ‘god’ is better than your ‘god’.” (I always won!)

73.   I MISS fearing “god.” He was always firm, but fair! (Great guy!)

74.   I MISS feeling guilty about lying after swearing to “god” when appealing a traffic violation! (Good morning, your honor; black is becoming on you!)

75.   I MISS being able to use the Church as an excuse for my “abstinence.” (by choice, of course!)

76.   I MISS being manipulated into doing bad deeds by the devil; that guy was nothing but trouble! (Who do I blame now?)

77.   I MISS saying really hurtful things about people, but thinking it was alright because I prefaced each statement with, “’god’ forgive me.” (I love when others do that!)

78.   I MISS the period in my youth when I was confused and I started to treat women like shit because I truly believed that “All dogs go to heaven.” (That’s all you’re getting from this pimpin’!)

79.   I MISS the period when I realized the true meaning of the phrase and roamed the streets, running into starving stray-dogs; I would rub them under the chin and say, “Don’t worry little fella. Things will get better; all dogs go to heaven!” (No, don’t worry; God doesn’t like Vick!)

80.   I MISS being afraid of the devil! (Satan was a worthy adversary, but “god” always kicked his ass!)

81.   I MISS being able to hate people who were different. (Things will never be the same!)

82.   I MISS being shocked and appalled when I heard someone mention that they were an atheist! (The good old days!)

83.   I MISS forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to eat meat on Friday’s during lent. (Oops! Was that today?)

84.   I MISS giving up Catholicism for 40 days during lent! (Religion was the one thing that I truly loved the most!)

85.   I MISS hating South Park because of the way the writers portrayed Jesus. (I wanted to laugh out loud, but I felt guilty so I laughed inside!)

86.   I MISS being able to say, “’god’ bless you.” (“Gesundheit,” is so difficult to pronounce properly!)

87.   I MISS hot chicks sitting on my lap in the small crowded Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classrooms, in the nun’s house. (I especially miss thinking to myself, “Please don’t get hard please don’t get hard!”)

88.   I MISS watching a childhood friend get expelled from Catholic school because he had the audacity to carry a condom in his book bag. (Thank “god” he wasn’t lynched!)

89.   I MISS being banned from using condoms because his royal majesty, the Pope, doesn’t allow the practice! (Hello AIDS!)

90.   I MISS being forced to be against abortions! (Now, I can kill at will!)

91.   I MISS having a brother and a dad, who were the same person, invisible, and a ghost, at the same time. (I was so confused!)

92.   I MISS the ability to drink myself into a coma, only to wake up with a monstrous hang-over which caused me to promise “god” that I would never drink again! (Stay thirsty my friends!)

93.   I MISS being forced into cannibalism. Why they wanted me to eat my “brother,” Jesus, I have no clue! (Hmm, this meet is mighty tender!)

94.   I MISS being forced to “volunteer” at church events by my god-fearing parents and relatives. (Thanks again guys; college football is the devil’s work, anyways!)

95.   I MISS watching the guilt and shame that appeared on the faces of the unwed-teen moms and their parents as they walked down the aisle before mass. (Talk about your “walk-of-shame!”)

96.   I MISS the closet gay guys who preached to the boys about brotherly love. Sorry buddy, this isn’t Philadelphia; take that shit somewhere else! (That situation is destined to end badly!)

97.   I MISS being hypnotized by the sweet symphonic chimes, coming from the bells held by the synchronized altar boys. (Those guys should start a band!)

98.   I MISS praying to “god,” wishing that he would help my team win the big game, and then cursing his good name when they fell short! (I will never forgive you for the 49ers Super Bowl win against the Broncos!)

99.   I MISS feeling guilty every time I said the word “FUCK.” (It’s just a word people!)

100.   I MISS being loved by “god!” *TEAR ROLLS DOWN CHEEK*

Thanks again, “Big Guy!”

*************************************************************************************

     I know this was a long post, but constructing a list of twenty five, or fifty didn’t seem appropriate! (I hope this was both, un-offensive and enjoyable!)

For those of you, who don’t have a blog on wordpress.com, I’ll share one of the little pleasures of the site. Once a post is completed and published, the number of the entry is revealed and the site always adds a congratulatory word of encouragement. Yesterday’s post was “Super!” (For today’s word, I’ll have to post then comeback and edit.)

The word for my one-hundredth post is: Fabulous (Thanks guys! I agree; it truly is Fabulous!)

@PeteTeix617

Close To Converting

My exodus from the Catholic Church was not one of those mythical “mutual” separations; the Church was hurt. I actually resulted to using the cliché explanation, “It’s not you, it’s me.” It was a difficult time for me; I was alone in the world, and faithless! On Sunday mornings, I often found myself wandering down the street to St. Patrick’s church just to see if I was missed. Eventually, I had to find the strength to move on; I didn’t have Catholicism but “god” was still in my corner. I was in search of a new faith, one which accepted me and my “god.” (My “god” was fun and he had a sense of humor.)

My investigation led me to many different religions, but I was never able to find the right one. (Religions are different from fish, there aren’t plenty in the sea!) I learned about Rastafari and almost joined, but eventual I couldn’t bring myself to become a believer.

I know what you’re thinking. “I know a few Rastas and they say Rastafarianism is a movement and not a religion!” That’s great; people say a lot of things, but I am applying anthropologist Anthony Wallace’s criteria for a religion.

The word Babylon is an extremely important term in the Rastafarian vocabulary. Babylon is not a place, and it doesn’t refer to the Ancient city conquered by Alexander the Great. (Nor does it refer to the Babylon club in the greatest movie of all-time Scarface!) In From Garvey To Marley, Noel Erskine writes,“Babylon represented the powers that were arranged against and sought to destroy poor people.” To the Rastas, Babylon includes the religions of the world, most notably, Christianity.

It is clear that the Rastafari movement is indeed a religion. The Rastas believe in an all-powerful “god,” and they also use the bible as the main scripture for the movement. Wallace’s anthropological definition of religion, clearly identifies Rastafari as a religion.

Wallace’s 13 Behaviors:

  1. Prayer – Addressing the Supernatural.
  2. Music – Dancing, singing, and playing instruments.
  3. Physiology Exercise – The physical manipulation of the psychological state.
  4. Exhortation – The existence of a middleman between people and supernatural beings.
  5. Reciting the Code – Mythology, morality and other aspects of the belief system.
  6. Simulation – Initiating things. Having power over objects, i.e. Voodoo dolls.
  7. Mana – Touching things. For example, the “holy” water in church.
  8. Taboo – Not touching things. Certain restrictions are followed.
  9. Feasts – Eating and drinking.
  10. Sacrifice – Offerings and fees.
  11. Congregation – Processions, meetings and congregation.
  12. Inspiration – Divine intervention.
  13. Symbolism – Manufacturing and use of sacred objects.

Anthony Wallace asserts, “It is the premise of every religion…that souls, supernatural beings, and supernatural forces exist.” Wallace considers his thirteen behaviors as the “substance of religion.” He acknowledges that his categories are not the only ones that can be used to define a religion. (Feel free to enlighten us with your own criteria!)

The word religion presents a problem for Rastas because it is associated with Babylon. Rastafarians view Christianity, the major religion in Jamaica, as counterproductive in the sense of dealing with the economic and social problems which plague the people. Rastas believe Christianity is designed by Babylon to keep the Blacks from improving their situation. Christianity teaches people to accept their position in life, in order to be rewarded in the after-life. Great concept, but Christianity cannot help to improve the lives of the oppressed people; their economic and social position will remain the same. The Rastas desired to establish a new way of thinking in hopes of improving the hardships they were faced with. (At this point I was so excited to become a Rasta!)

The Rastas began to read the bible and interpret it for themselves. The most problematic aspect of Christianity for Rastas is the role of the priest. Rastas believe in the concept of I-and-I, which is a personal relationship with “god” that every Rastafarian controls. Wallace states, “In every religious system, there are occasions on which one person addresses another as a representative of divinity.” Wallace refers to this person as the “exhorter.” Rastafarians do not have an exhorter who serves as a mediator between the individual and “god.” The Rastas believe in the constant connection between an individual and “god,” therefore the exhorter isn’t necessary.

The elders are usually consulted when a newcomer has trouble understanding the bible or some of the Rastafari beliefs, but the elder is not interpreting the bible for the person; he is merely being an assistant on their path to uncovering “god’s” word. Most importantly, the person seeking help is not obligated to agree with the interpretation of the elder. People can connect with “god” however they see fit.

Ennis Edmonds, who wrote Caribbean Religious History, views the Rastafari religion as “Reticulate,” but the fact that there is no leader or hierarchical structure doesn’t mean the movement is disjointed. Edmonds believes there is a unifying element to the religion based on “a fairly uniform system of beliefs.” There are different informal organizational structures in the religion, according to Edmonds. (I found this lack of structure to be freeing. There was no mandatory church on Sundays. Don’t Catholics know that we party on Saturdays?)

“Own Built,” describes Rastas who do not belong to any group. These Rastafarians follow the same beliefs, but practice on an individual level. The next level is called “houses” and “yards,” which are small groups led by an elder. The elder’s position is not to teach others what the bible says, but to inspire others to create their own understanding of the text and the fundamentals of the religion. The larger groups referred to as “mansions” have two separate categories: “churchical” ”statical.” The churchical emphasizes the religious aspect of the Rastafari movement, while the statical focuses on political and social problems. (I can already tell. Many of you are considering a conversion!)

Rastafarian rituals are called “grounding.” Grounding is defined by Edmonds as “informal instruction in Rasta precepts and ideology; the ritual process [reasoning] by which circles of like minded brethren are formed and maintained.” The gatherings in which grounding takes place are called “Nyabinghi I-ssembly” or “groundation.” The Nyabinghi contains some different aspects which fit into Wallace’s criteria for religion. Wallace’s behavior for touching things is called “Mana.” The Rastas believe in the concept of “ital levity,” which is a commitment to using things in their natural organic state. Rastafarians view drugs, alcohol, and processed foods as Babylon’s way of destroying the minds of black people. Rastas do use marijuana, called “Ganja,” and do not consider it a drug. Ganja is a natural herb and helps the Rastas to free their minds in order to clearly understand the oppressive nature of Babylon. (No, I did not consider marijuana use as a reason for my conversion to Rastafarianism. I listened to Nancy Reagan and said no to drugs! I do not smoke, except for an occasional cigar!)

Wallace uses not touching things, which he calls “Taboo,” as another criterion for identifying a religion. The Rastas do not permit the use of drugs or alcohol, and they do not eat processed foods. They look at unnatural things as taboos. Ganja is always smoked during the Nyabinghi because, according to Edmonds, Rastas say it “dispels gloom and fear, induces visions, and heightens the feelings, creating a sensation of fellow love and peace.” (Interesting! Maybe I’ll give this marijuana thing a try!)

Feasts, is another of Wallace’s behaviors which applies to the Rastafari Religion. The Nyabinghi always includes a meal that is shared by all the Rastas who participate in the ritual. The Nyabinghi is held during Rastafari holy days. One of the holiest days is April 21, which celebrates Ethiopian king Haile Selassie’s visit to Jamaica in 1968. (More on Selassie later!) Congregation is another behavior of Wallace’s which can be associated with Rastafari. The Nyabinghi, which are large gatherings, bring many people together so they can “reason.” The Rastas also have small reasoning sessions which can consist of only two people. The reasoning sessions fit in with Wallace’s behavior of Congregation, because the Rastas are discussing the religion.

Physiological Exercise is yet another of Wallace’s behaviors which fits in with the Rastafarian Religion. Wallace believes this behavior is done to alter the mind state. The use of ganja fits in with Physiological Exercise. Marijuana does not bring the person closer to “god” because Rastas believe each person has a constant connection with “god.” This connection with “god” is what the Rastafari concept of I-and-I is all about. The Ganja does bring the person’s mind into a different state in which he or she can better understand the way Babylon works. There are individuals who are assigned the duty of supplying the ganja for reasoning. (Something tells me all this ganja talk is going to make a profitable day for the pot dealers who sell to the readers of this blog!)

The bible is a major influence on the Rastafarian Religion. Reciting the Code is arguably the behavior of Wallace’s which best fits in with Rastafari. Rastas have a great understanding of the bible and study the text often.  The bible is the main book of the Christian tradition but most of the followers of Christ rely on the exhorter to interpret the bible for them. The Rastafari Reasoning sessions are based on the individual’s own interpretation of the bible and most Rastas can usually agree on what is written. Rastafarians will point out versus in the bible in order to justify the use of ganja. They are constantly talking to “god” and always aware of his presence, which fits in with Wallace’s behavior of “Prayer.” Wallace states that all religions involve prayer which usually consists of thanking the supernatural or asking for something.

Symbolism is another behavior which applies to the Rastafarian Religion. According to Erskine, Leonard Howell “was selling pictures of Haile Selassie as passports Ethiopia.” (The significance will be made clear further in the entry.) Howell was one of the founding members of Rastafari. Repatriation was one of Marcus Garvey’s biggest contributions to the movement. The original Rastas were Garveyites. Marcus Garvey wanted all Africans to return to the motherland, in order to undo the injustices of slavery. The term repatriation has changed over the years. Now Rastas say they will repatriate after they find justice for the oppression they suffered caused by Babylon; there is no longer a desire to move back to Africa. Repatriation also refers to a symbolic return to being Ethiopians and out from under the oppressive rule of Babylon.

The Curchical chants of the Nyabinghi is a CD recording of a grounding ceremony which was held on the occasion of United States President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Jamaica in 1982. The Rastas wanted to protest Reagan’s visit and held a Nyabinghi to do so. Reagan was regarded as the face of Babylon, because he led the most powerful and oppressive country in the world. The Nyabinghi was held for seven days in the mountains away from where Reagan was staying. The Rastas do not feel the need to hold a protest at the site of the event they are objecting. Rastafarians believe the vibrations and spirituality of the music will travel and have an effect on the undesired event. (What’s not to love. I am considering leaving atheism and becoming a Rasta!)

The Rastafari religion does not fit into every one of Anthony Wallace’s thirteen behaviors, but it does meet a majority of the criteria. The Rastafarian movement also fits in with Wallace’s definition for cult institutions. Rastafarians are hesitant to use the term religion because of its association with Babylon. Regardless of the contradiction in meaning, Rastas have created a religion which does not aim to oppress its people, but Rastafarians generally will call the movement a religion when they are in a situation were it is favorable to do so. A few years ago, there was an article in the Boston Herald about a Rastafarian who was caught with a large amount of marijuana, and he was charged with distribution as well as possession. The judge removed the distribution charge because the Rastafarian argued that the large amount of marijuana was for his personal religious use.

An anthropological view of the Rastafari culture clearly places it within the framework of Wallace’s criteria for a religion. These facts about the religion fascinated me, and I was almost hooked. Until I learned the one fact which turned me off! (There’s always at least one!)

Nyabinghi is a word with origins in Ethiopia. The one unifying aspect for all Rastafarians is the belief that Haile Selassie is “god.” Selassie was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Rastas identify with Ethiopia because it is the word which is used historically for identifying the continent of Africa. Rastas do not use the word Africa when talking about the continent because it is a word created by the slave traders.

In the 1920’s, Marcus Garvey was misquoted as saying, “a Messiah would come to earth in the person of an African King.” Most of the Rastas were followers of Garvey, who was the leader of the Repatriation movement. Selassie’s Coronation in 1930 led the Rastas to believe he was “god,” and the leader of a secret society called Nyabinghi. Today, more moderate Rastas believe Selassie is simply the king placed on earth, chosen by “god.” The founders believed Selassie would lead the Africans to Zion, which is a perfect world. When Selassie died in 1975, Rastas believed it was a ruse, because “‘god’ cannot die.” Supposedly Selassie is living in a monastery and preparing to return and remove evil from the world. (I can’t wait!)

It is easy to understand the affect of Selassie on the Rastas by reading one of his quotes; “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

Selassie had many names and the term Rastafari originates from one of his titles. Ras, in the Ethiopian language, is a royal title and Tafari is one of Selassie’s family names. The Nyabinghi includes Music, which is another behavior identified by Wallace. Rastas have their own music which eventually inspired Reggae. The Rastafarian music has its origins in Africa and the main instruments are drums. Reggae was very instrumental in spreading the ideology of the Rastafari. Bob Marley was a famous artist who used the guidance of Rastafarian elders to spread the movement’s message, but Reggae is not the music played during the Nyabinghi. The Rasta Music has a very African feel to it and has a sense of dread, because the Rastas feel they have nothing to be happy about as long as Babylon continues to be oppressive.

Could Selassie be “god?” NO! He became aware of the Rastas’ belief in the 1950’s and denied the rumors. “Was that good enough for the Rastas?” No! They said, “Selassie was being humble.” At first, Selassie was a great leader who helped many Ethiopians, but eventually he became a dictator. (I hate when “god” does that!) Asked about some of the atrocities committed by Selassie, Rastas reply, “No one can question ‘god’s’ actions.” (Yikes!)

If not for the belief in Selassie, I would have become a Rasta!

@PeteTeix617