Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Religion and Soda Pop

(Originally Published April 18th, 2008

There are many ways to define religion. Many see religion as something that can not be defined in words but as something that is felt. The simplest and probably the most practical way to define religion is the dictionary. The basic definition of religion is a way of life that is governed by a specific set of beliefs. This unfortunately has led to many problems throughout history. It turns out that not everyone has the same taste in religion. Some like a formal rigid form of worship complete with uniforms, hats, and traditional ceremonies. Others are more comfortable worshipping God from their living room while watching football, shouting things like “Thank God Hallelujah!” and raising the ceremonial beer can to the God of touchdowns before burping the national anthem out of respect.
Through out history wars have been fought based on what is believed to be the correct way to worship God. God on the other hand didn’t really notice. He was busy watching the football game. The important thing to remember is there is no wrong way to practice religion. Any moral code or set of beliefs that motivates a person to do something good and treat others with respect is doing something right. For example, a man decides it is wrong to mug an old woman because God says it is wrong. The woman therefore does not get mugged. On the other hand, the woman not being mugged decides to give her money to charity because the Potato King that lives under her sink commanded her to. Two acts of kindness from two different religions. Is there a difference when viewed from the outside? No, not really. A difference that produces no difference is not really a difference. To put things in better perspective, look at this simple math equation: ten times two divided by six. The first way to solve this is to break out the trusty pencil and paper and start writing numbers down and solving the equation. The other way is to break out the trusty calculator and start punching at the keys. Think of each method as a form of religion. The same answer is achieved in both methods. The third method of course is to just read the answer at the end of this sentence “3.33333333”. Wasn’t that easy? The fourth option would be to just ignore the problem completely. Math is never used in any real life situations anyway. The math teachers are just false prophets with smart looking mustaches and wacky colored ties.
Religion comes in many different brands and flavors. This is a good thing because the human race is made up of a multitude of diverse and unique tastes. Imagine going to the grocery store and finding only one brand of ice cream. If it’s vanilla and that happens to be a favorite that is great. However, as luck would have it, the only brand of ice cream might be something like garlic and anchovies. Sure, there may be that one guy that likes garlic and anchovy ice cream. It’s just not for everyone. On the other hand religion is more like soda pop. There are those who follow Coke and the ones with slightly more damaged taste buds that prefer Pepsi. God of course prefers Gatorade, because it has electrolytes. In most cases when they are interchangeable. It is a lot like going to the drive through and ordering a Coke only to be informed that only Pepsi products are available. “That’s fine” the customer might say. Here is a typical scenario at a drive thru fast food joint.
  • Man: “Hi, I’d like a burger and fries, and a large coke please.”
  • Monkey with Speaker: “Uh, we only serve Pepsi products sir.”
  • Man: “Oh, ok then. I’ll have a medium Coke then.”
  • Monkey with Speaker: “That’s still a Coke product.”
  • Man: “Oh, fine just go ahead and give me the large one then.”
  • Monkey with Speaker: “Uh, ok please drive forward.”
The man pulls forward and receives his order and may not even notice any difference about his drink. Even though the employee thought it would be a good idea to fill it with left over French fry grease instead. The point is the public does not usually have a problem with alternative fizzy beverages. The case with religion however is treated a bit differently. The attitude is a bit different when dealing with faith. A church may not have the exact same brand of holy water one needs. It is possible to worship whatever God one happens to believe in from any church. God is everywhere, remember? That means that God is in every church in every city in every state in every country and not to mention all the Wal-Mart’s (God loves a good bargain). Following this logic it is safe to say that even if the church does not carry the exact same revised edition of the bible, God will still be there listening to any prayers that may be flying his way; unless he happens to be at a drive-thru ordering a burger.
As stated before there is no wrong way to worship God. God does not share the same prejudices against faiths that the human race seems to have. If God was truly angered by something another faith does, God would most likely take care of it. If God really wanted a group of people dead, there will most likely be some sort of giant sized meteor the size of Africa ready to crash into the Earth directly over the church of the offending faith. This may have already happened and no one noticed. Perhaps God saw the dinosaurs as a small threat and needed to get rid of them to make way for the people. If God saw fit, he might just decide that the dinosaurs were much easier to deal with and start over. It raises an important question. Why does God with infinite power need the human race to carry out his work? Maybe this was just an idea concocted by humans to support their own arrogance. Maybe God in his infinite wisdom already has everything solved. The human race just exists as another animal albeit a little bit smarter than a dolphin and with opposable thumbs. The human race is nothing more than smart sheep that have been trained to master simple tasks such as writing, thinking, and arithmetic. At least most of them are.
In the end, everyone will be in for a surprise. The afterlife may not be anything that has been written or dreamed of by man. It could be a cocktail party with a small band and maybe a trained monkey doing tricks. Whatever it is, Gods plan has already been set in motion and can not be changed by anything done on Earth. Blowing up a few buildings, hijacking some planes, or even telling the neighbor he is destined to go to hell if he doesn’t stop looking at pornography involving clowns and pineapples. Nothing man can do will ever change what God has planned. It is this arrogant thinking that leads to so many problems in the world. It is completely insane to think that this small insignificant flock of mortals can interfere with Gods plan in some way. If man was made in Gods image then God must share man’s passion for humor, joy, and love. God understands what it is like be human and will most likely laugh at any jokes he may tell. God also understands love and the activities used to express love (even if it involves pineapples and clowns). God is described as a huge positive force of all that is good and holy; to destroy and murder in his name only tarnishes his reputation. God would much rather look down on Earth and see killing and murdering in the name of greed. At least he doesn’t get stuck in the middle of it.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you use humor in your writing. You have a nack for being serious and yet still making the reader smile. The whole thing flows nicely too. Great job!


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