Monday, January 21, 2013

Religion & Ray Lewis

I haven’t attended church in a really long time, but I am a member, and do remain loyal and respectful to the message and beliefs.  I spent my childhood years in Sunday School, and if all that stuff they say turns out to be true, you better believe I want a key to the front door of Heaven!  If it isn’t, well, no harm done.  Religion can be a touchy subject, I get that, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to share my thoughts on it.  It seems like everyone else is, so why can’t I? 

Everywhere you go nowadays you’re faced with over-bearing Bible-thumpers singing the praises of God.  Professional sporting events are becoming insanely religious.  Did anyone watch the Ray Lewis spectacle during the Ravens vs. Patriots game Sunday night?  How ridiculous was that?  Even God must have been rolling His eyes at times, muttering under His breath “Oh Me!” in disgust.  Laying it on a little thick there Mr. Lewis, don’t you think?  There’s a big difference in my mind between being a Christian, and the nonsense we’re forced to endure from those who have taken things a little too far.

I don’t attend weekly church services because I don’t feel it’s necessary to constantly remind myself of something I already believe in.  However, by no means do I hold anything against those that do.  I believe religion is an extremely personal thing, and that each person has the right to practice their faith in a manner in which they feel is appropriate.  If everybody did that, and just kept it to themselves, we’d all be fine.  It’s once people take their personal beliefs and try to force them onto others where I take issue.  This isn’t helping promote a positive image of religion, and in fact to the contrary, is exactly what is turning a lot of people off!  Do you really think there were millions of people watching Ray Lewis last night on his hands and knees weeping and screaming God’s name, thinking to themselves, “Now there’s a guy that’s got it all together, how do I join?”

I do not need people littering my front porch, or knocking at my door while I’m trying to eat dinner, wanting to hand me pamphlets and teach me about all the benefits I’ll get by joining their group.  If you have a passion for recruiting members and getting them to believe what you believe, join the armed forces or a cult.  I do not need musicians mindlessly thanking God every opportunity they get, just because it’s the “in” thing to do.  You won a Grammy Award?  Well isn't that special... I'm sure God's up there somewhere saying "You're welcome!".  I do not need to watch awkward football players huddled up and saying their prayers, surrounded by television cameras and microphones, with half the guys only there because they feel they have to be.  You could have just as easily done that in the privacy of the locker room, but no, you wanted to do it where everybody could see you, because I guess God hears your prayers better when you’re in front of a crowd.  Give me a break!  You can’t say the God’s Prayer in school anymore, but if you turn on the television nowadays, you’re faced with more expressions of religion than ever before!  Somewhere along the way, this whole religion thing seems to have developed a life of its own, and all the while poor Jesus is over there in the corner looking down at his sandals thinking “Hey everybody!  Remember Me?” 

I think I’m living a good life.  I’m doing it right.  I’m polite to others, respectful, and treat them the way I want to be treated.  I try to help those in need whenever there’s an opportunity.  I try to promote happiness, and generally try to have a positive influence on those around me.  I don’t need to bother anyone with public displays of my beliefs.  As strongly as you may believe in what you want to believe in, there’s someone else that believes just as strongly in something else.  We can’t all be right.  Or maybe we’re all wrong, and the aliens are just looking down at us shaking their heads, wondering how they'll ever fix this mess they’ve created.  I have my own beliefs, but I don’t know who’s right, and neither do you.  If you go to church 7 days a week, or carry a Bible with you at all times, does that make you a better person than me?  I don’t think so.

As with most things, it’s all about moderation.  So if you’re one of those Bible-thumping exhibitionists that are more about self-promotion than the promotion of God, just knock it off already!  If you’re going to do it, do it for the right reasons, or don’t do it at all.  If you really are that passionate about your beliefs, well then good for you, but keep it to yourself.  Yes Ray Lewis, I’m talking to you.

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