Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apples and Snakes

I am not religious.  Not anymore.  I had a good long three decade run at it with most of it being a willing and consenting participant (i.e. as an infant/small child I had no choice).  My certificate of annulment from my brief mid-twenties marriage attests to the purity of faith I once had as well as to the success of the brainwashing efforts.  As does the certificate of baptism that my daughter has.  As a teenager I used to go to Saturday evening masses with my best friend when neither of my parents had darkened the church doorstep for months.  My relationship with the church fizzled out before my daughter's recollected memory starts so she has bypassed the brainwashing track and for that I am truly grateful....as is she.

However, I do miss the comfort of the ritual.  I was part of many church choirs and I miss the music.  I went to a catholic funeral a year ago and belting out the hymns was marvelous.  I didn't participate fully in this mass due to knowing that the partaking of the sacraments is a personal witnessing for christ ritual that holds no meaning to me anymore. But I was fascinated to see friends participate even though I knew they hadn't partaken of any sacrament in years and according to the 'rules' as I know them the body of christ portion of the ceremony should have been off limits to them.  All of these friends were in their second or third marriages without annulments and I'm pretty sure their new relationships weren't chaste.  So they are 'living in sin' and not regularly obtaining the sacrament of reconciliation to clear that blemish in order to partake of communion.  In fact, I'm not sure when the last time any of them had been to church (probably a first communion or confirmation service).  Their participation made it clear to me that in today's secular world most people regard church ceremony as more pomp and less - or no - circumstance.

Setting aside the pomp versus circumstances debate, I don't regret for a single minute the time I spent with mother church.  It gave me early insights into the history of humanity that I don't think I would have obtained since I was pigeon holed at an early age into the mathematics/science fields.  My knowledge of humanities subject matter remains an autodidactic journey which is enormously pleasurable albeit a bit frustrating when the next gap is forged open, yet again.

That knowledge of humanities' history becomes handy when seeing clear affronts to morality. Like this kind of shyte.  Knowing that the core of humanity can be boiled down to the Adam and Eve Garden of Eden parable delivered concisely in the first book of the bible helps to frame these affronts.  Let's recap that shall we?  Snakes are tricky. Apples are tasty. Some humans can't resist.  Consequences can be profound and innocent bystanders are affected also. But at least we can blame someone (the starting line of most christ centred religions). 

When I look at that repulsive soft drink ad campaign, or in fact at much of our modern culture,  I see lots and lots of snakes. And just because I can blame someone (or something) doesn't mean that anything will change. And even if I ignore them,  the consequences will affect me and my daughter and her generation and the generations to come.   So basically nothing can be done except to try and ignore the tasty apples cleverly profferred by the snakes and concentrate on the bounty elsewhere. Because, despite being extremely tricky, those snakes haven't figured out how to obliterate the bounty overflowing in each and every human being's mind.

P.S.  Try to imagine what our world would now look like if the starting line of the Adam and Eve religions had been placed at recognition of the abundance of our planet and our need to sustain this for all time despite the appearance of tricky snakes with their tasty apples.


  1. "those snakes haven't figured out how to obliterate the bounty overflowing in each and every human being's mind."

    Oh I think the toxic sludge pouring out of Da Box does a fair job, don't you?

    Or as one wiser than me said: If you want the news, turn off the news.


  2. I don't intend to argue with you in an effort to change your mind, but I'm curious if an atheist has ever considered the consequences of their belief in no God or the division of good vs evil (Heaven and Hell) being wrong once they die. If athiesm is correct of course (and I don't believe it is), then the non-belief will be of no consequence. If they are wrong however.. that is of a major consequence to your soul and what happens to it. I'm wondering if you've ever thought about that.

    (I don't consider myself brainwashed, by the way).

  3. WWW: Yes, Da Box is sure tricky. I often forget how few of us don't partake of it.

    ST: "I'm curious if an atheist has ever considered..." Well, um, this atheist has. You'd have to ask other atheists if they have. Your comments brought to mind this fascinating philosophical discussion heard first in one of my high school religion classes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma...I hope you also enjoy this in the kindred human spirit of which it is intended.

  4. On abundance of Creation: The Bible's starting point is the abundance of creation (Genesis 1). For that matter, it is the end point as well with what amounts to the recreation of the earth. In fact, I'd argue that the failure to sustain the abundance of creation rests neither with God nor with the serpent, but our continued failure to do our work in helping to sustain it... and ourselves in the context of God's Creation.

    Just a thought.

  5. Phil: I made an editorial change...I should have said book...thx for that. I'm not sure what you mean by the rest other than perhaps we both agree that humanity is destroying the abundance we have on this planet. Cheers!

  6. I think what I was trying to say is that my faith tells me both that humanity has been and is continuing to destroy the abundance we have this planet and that impulse will not win out because God's abundance is greater than we are. That, I think, infuses hope into the process without letting us off the hook. In my understanding, this means that we are called to stop abusing creation and start taking care of what we have in front of us.

    I hope this makes sense as I'm still very sleep deprived and may not be making a lot of sense.


These comments are basically unmoderated. Please do not contribute to the need for me to change that setting.