To me there is a clear division between Religion and God.
I grew up in a Catholic household. The first thing I knew about Jesus is that he was dead on a cross. Then I found out that he was a bearded white man with blue eyes and no matter where you walked around in a room, he had his eyes on you. I knew about his mother Mary and that he had 12 friends that followed him until 1 of them betrayed him and he ended up on that cross. After that, the rest ran and hid and his closest friend denied knowing him. So that is what I knew. I didn’t get it. Why did he come down here for all that? No one ever explained that to me. I grew up being drug to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and I knew when to kneel and when to stand up. Even though I didn’t go that often, I still knew the routine.
As I got older, the local non-denom church would send a bus to my neighborhood on Sunday mornings to take us to Sunday School. I don’t know how I ended up on their bus route but I didn’t mind it. We were dirt poor and the church would feed me. Sometimes it was the best meal I got outside of school lunches because we ate beans and tortillas… A LOT! I honestly do not remember much about those Sunday mornings other than the people were nice to me there. I think they felt sorry for me. I remember there was a couple that taught the classes and they were really nice there. I remember going to Kmart one time with my mom and saw that couple. I was a poor looking kid to say the least and they were not poor looking at all, to say the least. I was excited to see them outside the church and I went up to them to say hi. They acted like they did not know me. They were so ugly and mean. They were not the same people from Sunday on the other days of the week. I was heartbroken. I never went back. I would get up and get ready for the bus to come by because my mom expected me to be gone until 1 every Sunday. I would leave the house a couple minutes before the bus got there to pick up all the kids and I would go to the Junior High across the street to hide until 1, when the bus came back through to drop the kids back off. I would then go home. My mom would get mad when I would ask her for food because she thought I had already eaten at the church. But the whole time I was hiding out across the street. I did not want to go back there to see those mean people.
Later in life I hung out with my best friends who were church youth group goers. I started going to the Catholic youth meetings that ultimately ended in us ditching and going out and drinking. That was a fun time. Those people were always the same. The parents, the kids. Inside or outside the church. They just liked to have a good time. Trust me, go to a Fall Festival at a Catholic Church and hit up the Adult tent. Beer and wine… nuff said.
Later on I hung out with friends of a more Southern religion. I started going to church there and experiencing that religion. Sadly it seemed to take me back to my youthful Sundays. People were one way there and totally different away from there. 1 day a week of being nice is always good enough right. The think I found was that I could never understand it. I read the bible. I found God and really tried to live a good lifestyle but it was never enough. I could not fall into that church mold where I needed to be a prick 6 days a week then an angel on Sundays. I couldn’t do it. I only say that because it is what I saw on a regular basis. It is my entitled opinion, by the way.
Now here is my view on religion. Religion or “being religious” is can be a joke. You can follow a religion or you can be religious but ask yourself one simple question, is God really a part of it? I know some amazing Godly people who do everything they can for their family, friends and community. They spend their existence trying to be better, do better and help those in need. They are amazing human beings in general. They don’t shove their religion down anyone’s throat. They work hard at being who they are, good people. They let their deeds show who they are and they let their lives show who their God is.
Then I know some people who do not believe in anything supernatural at all. They believe when you die, you just die. There is nothing beyond that. Most of these people I know are actually good, caring and loving people. Some have been there for me when others turned their back.
Then there are those “others”. Those like those Sunday School teachers. These people love to show out. They wear crosses and have religious materials available at a beckon call for you to take. They post about how amazing God is and how amazing their church is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. But the people I have known in my life that are like this have been some of the most evil in spirit people. They speak with a forked tongue out of both sides of their faces. They hurt people and run people down to make themselves “better”. The most wicked and plain mean and horrible people I have met, worked with, friended have been devout “religious” people. They say “God Bless you” one minute then run you down the next.
I am no saint. This has been proven often, if not daily. I have done things I have not or ever will be proud of. I have gossiped, I have lied, I have stolen, I have completed sin after sin. I have had people do all those things to me in return and that is the fitting thing. Do unto others and be prepared to have it done back to you. Good or bad.
What I will say is I died back in 2007. (see my prior blog for that story) and I know there is something beyond this world. I know there is a God. I know there was a man named Jesus who claimed to be His son and he was crucified and died. That is historical truth. Believing he was the savior of the world is a step of faith everyone needs to decide to take on their own. There is no part of that that is “Religion”. That is personal.
Being catholic, Baptist, non-denom, Jedi… will not get you in… Having your own “relationship” will. So that is my view. Not that anyone is reading this anyway…