I have issues about religion. Have I ever told you that?
When I was a kid, I was like, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, etc.” I could recite Psalms 23, 2nd Corinthians 13 and a whole slew of other biblical passages from memory. (Nowadays, I can do equally cool stuff like reciting whole php class and object definitions from memory, but of course, that’s completely different …) I knew it by heart, and the funny thing was, I didn’t have to be forced to know it all by heart. I just kinda enjoyed it.
I’m not sure what happened since then but I think it’s safe to say I’ve lapsed in my faith … well, completely.
This afternoon I had a conversation with nyx about why Christians wear crosses; I said I thought it was vastly inappropriate to be commemorating the deceased by using the thing that killed him as the logo. Kinda like honoring JFK by wearing sniper rifle badges on your chest, or remembering Aaliyah by setting small paper airplanes on fire. (This isn’t an original idea by the way: I got it from Bill Hicks, the rudest stand-up comic/political satirist ever, God rest his soul.)
nyx said it was because the cross is a reminder of how JC died for our sins; it’s not how he died that the cross commemorates, rather it’s why he died. And then she said something that really got me thinking: you can’t compare JC to JFK (or I suppose, Aaliyah). For awhile, I was like, “Why? They’re both dudes that died tragically for their beliefs: JC stood for being righteous, and JFK stood for being democratic.”
“You just can’t.”
It took me a while to get it, but I think I finally do now: Religion isn’t something you can measure with conventional means. Arguing about it by using analogies and parallels misses the point completely. People are always debunking creationism by showing carbon-dated fossils and tectonic plate movement patterns; and they think that the fact that creationism is wrong means religion is wrong. The thing is, religion isn’t explainable. It’s not about the facts, or what you can prove. It’s about being a good guy and not stepping on other people and believing that some Person made this whole mess and wants you to enjoy it.
I still don’t believe I have the dedication, discipline or patience to be a willing, active participant again, but I think I can understand it all better now.
My new Principles in Life are now as follows:
1. Be a good dude
2. Enjoy life
3. Try everything
4. Never, ever code with a Microsoft product
With the exception of #3, I think this list is applicable to everyone.