On Jesus & I in Poland and in South Africa.
I was never too much of a church goer. I tried when I was little but even then many things simply didn’t make sense and Church people I asked about them didn’t have either any or logical (or both at the same time) answers to my questions. Another factor that contributed to my divorce from the Church were Sunday masses for children at 5 o‘clock which is at the same time as episodes of Beverly Hills 90210. Last but not least, Poland was throttling me with religion: I was baptised without my permission, in schools there were classes of Catholicism (which I attended till high school as my parents thought it was “a safe choice”) and crosses, later on I noticed priests present in political debates. I was also annoyed with the hypocrisy of Church goers and priests and the way in which what they do disagree with what they preach or are preached. I’ve always believed that it’s important in life to be a decent person and that’s pretty much it. People know what’s right or wrong even if religion tries to convince them that they don’t (or to convince them that what’s wrong is right and the other way round). The counter gutter feelings devotion, however, is undertandable to certain extent as it’s rewarded with a sense of superiority towards non believers or infidels that one can mistake for self-esteem, sense of belonging to a community which claims to love you for who you truly are (meaning for being trully a follower of their rules) and my personal favorite – intellectual oblivion. I saw people not thinking for themselves in Poland and I thought it was so bad because of the strong Catholic Church and its significance in my native culture. In South Africa, I understood that a) religion is not to be blamed for everything and people naturally like to avoid to thinking, re-thinking and questioning and b) the religious thing gets even worse when the faith is fuelled by the sense of being a minority. In a similar mechanism that me and my best friend are friends for life because we weren’t too popular on a camp once, a religion (or anything else for that matter) is never thriving more than when it is being “prosecuted”. It’s not that people in South Africa openly laugh at Christians, but most of whom I know don’t belong to any religion in particular and if they do they would pray before the meal and that’s about it. Some, however, do go to Church and these who do, oh well, let’s say they are ardent in what they believe in. They will send you Jesus messages, post Jesus statuses on Facebook and TELL you about what they believe in (they won’t discuss it with you because there’s nothing to discuss; it’s the world of God and doesn’t have to make sense). The more you’re trying to discuss, the more they’re keep repeating what they’ve been telling you till you lose your temper and here we are, precisely where masterminds behind all that wanted us to be. Your lack of understanding comes from their superiority which is actually not theirs but Lord’s and is your impatience when listening to the Lord’s word not a self-evident sign of your pact with the Devil? Living here made me realize that using force doesn’t lead anywhere. Show them love and they’re more likely to come to their own conclusions (just don’t show too much love, especially if you’re gay*) and if their conclusion is that what they believe in is right then I’m truly fine with that. As they, we should as well question everything and everyone and only accept what we’ve decided is truly ours without being scared to change our mind even if it means questioning those with whom we used to question others. Think, citizen, think!
This post was inspired by an evangelic-Christian-miracles-provider Angus Buchan, the author of “Faith like potatoes”, “The Butler” the movie and “The Book” by Allan Watts. I recommend all three of them for various reasons.
*This is a joke (funny because the love of Jesus people only embrace straight people) and I don’t mean to offend gay people. But I don’t think they would get offended, after all they’re gay (funny because there are two meanings of the word gay).