Monthly Archives: April 2013
The last gasp of a person who finds themselves on the losing side of a debate is usually an awkward, pathetic attempt to salvage some sense of respectability. It almost always fails, miserably.
Such is the case whenever a Christian fundamentalist attempts to engage someone whose world view is based on scientific facts, and peer reviewed evidence, and who tries to interject fairy tales as if they were written as a reliable first person account of history rather than a series of metaphors. In any rational venue, a person who tries to introduce magic as credible subject matter and speak of it as if it’s proven fact would get laughed out of the discussion. That is, unless the magic was performed by an omnipotent deity who only performed miracles before there was YouTube. Yet when their counterpoint inevitably crumbles in the face of truth derived from perky facts, their final reply is sadly predictable:
“I’ll pray for you”.
Well, that’s just terrific. Thanks a diaper load for the passive aggressive flip off. And while you’re having a chat with your invisible deity, and asking him to take time out of his busy day so that he can have yet another excuse to allow fifty thousand people per day to starve to death, and to see if he can’t force me to lose my sense of reason and capitulate to believing in unsubstantiated nonsense… I’ll try to make the world a better place. While you are on your knees muttering like a homeless person, asking god to deviate from his plan because it’s not quite meeting up to your expectations, I’ll support scientists who cure diseases, engineers who build things, and academics who impart knowledge.
But I’m not so naive to believe that when a frustrated fundamentalist offers prayers, that they are truly concerned with my immortal soul. I know they are not actually “praying” for me. What they really mean to say –but won’t because it is unbecoming to their alleged faith– is that they are going to tell on me. It’s as if we’re both six years old and I’ve said a bad word. “Just wait until daddy gets home, you’re gonna be in trouble!” It’s a futile, last attempt to sign off with a “zinger”… an ethereal raspberry blown as a parting shot.
Here is what the words “I’ll pray for you” truly mean: “Hey, maybe my all powerful, omnipotent super wonderful god hasn’t noticed yet that you don’t believe in him, so I’ll just point that out so that he’ll be sure to put you on the goin’ straight to hell list”. Oh how I would squeal with delight if any such condescending, indignant, imbecile would fall face first into a deep fryer.
It’s not that I give a damn if you talk to yourself like some Prozac laden mental patient, or waste as much of your own time as you want. By all means, clasp your hands and ask the almighty for a better job, for your spouse to not be such a loser, or even for my soul. While you’re at it, deny the hypocrisy of doing this from the comfort of your suburban middle class home with all the comforts that your local Walmart can provide. Just understand that while you’re doing so, nine year old girls are getting raped all over the Sub Sahara.
The vitriol it takes to offer such a cavalier disregard for human suffering all over the world as retribution for me speaking reason to you is the exact opposite of what the Christian faith pretends to convey. It does little more than exposes these cross-wearing, murmuring dolts –who are silly enough to believe that there is a celestial being in the sky who is listening to their vapid complaints– for the self centered, narcissistic, intellectually attenuated, hateful asshats that they are. Sure, people have cancer, and live in horrible poverty, but surely god will listen to *YOU* as you rat on non-believers because you and he have such a wonderful, personal relationship. Shoot, god just helped you get new curtains.
The reality is, prayer does nothing. Only what can happen, does happen. When prayers coincide with a lost limb growing back, then maybe I’ll consider their validity. But god apparently doesn’t know that trick… but you know who does? SCIENCE.
If you want to help someone, then help them. Talking to an imaginary friend is psychotic. “Dear God, do you know that Cancer that you allowed little Billy to have?… well, could you change your mind about that?… He’s a nice boy.” All Prayer accomplishes is feigning that you care, when you really don’t. “Oh, I’ll Pray for you… as soon as there is a commercial, just please don’t ask me to actually do anything.”
So the next time some dunce who believes that the world is six thousand years old despite the myriad of scientific evidence to the contrary –and in a frustrated, demeaning reply offers a conciliatory prayer on your behalf– rather than thank them, you should respond as you would any other time anyone purposefully insults you…
“You’ll pray for me? Good. I’ll not be an idiot for you.”
It seems that any time I log onto Facebook and read the engagement announcements in the right hand column of my news feed, I feel a cynical, albeit amusing sense of dread for the would-be newlyweds.
While the nation justifiably inches towards marriage equality, they have neglected to realize that while we are doing so, we should also be collectively vying for marital sanity. Especially where it concerns our wedding day. Because regardless of the amount of X or Y chromosomes that any two people taking the plunge together have, from soup to nuts, the institution requires a complete abandoning of one’s senses. I can only hope that when it comes to the “big day”, that same sex couples have more brains than their heterosexual counterparts.
There will never be another day when you are as financially taken advantage of –with the possible exception of your funeral– than your wedding day. If you’re really lucky, they will both happen on the same day. From the moment you decide to have one of these vapid, typically American “traditional” fiascoes with an obscenely self indulgent, can-you-top-this party immediately thereafter, you begin hemorrhaging money that you probably can’t afford like British Petroleum during the Gulf crisis.
It truly takes a psychosis to do what most Americans do leading up to, and including walking down the aisle. We all know that roughly half of everyone who endeavors matrimony, fails miserably. But subjectivity being what it is, people unknowingly suffer from a hormone induced dementia called “wedding fever”, and as they do so, they make complete fools out of themselves to everyone they know. Then, when it’s our turn, we do the same. It’s a complete cycle of lunacy. Almost without fail, young American future newlyweds fall under the mistaken impression that somehow their love is the stuff written about in story books, and which every chick flick is based.
Here’s a helpful hint to all of my younger readers…. It’s not.
The wedding dress itself is a monument to unreason. In a Walt Disney engendered psychosis which causes otherwise rational women to spend thousands of dollars (that she might want to put towards starting her family) so that she can play a one night performance as a fairy princess. Brides still dress in traditional white, as if we all aren’t painfully aware that even before she met the sap she’s marrying, she’d been legs up more times than a gymnast. I won’t even get into the stupidity of a grown woman who is not royalty wearing a tiara.
These aren’t clothes we wear on our wedding day… they’re costumes. If not for tradition, we might as well be dressed as a Cowboy and a French Maid. And while we’re on the subject of ridiculous nuptial-wear, do you know what no woman in the history of weddings has ever said? “Oh I just loved my bridesmaid dress, it was soooo pretty.” Brides maids dresses are a punishment for all the petty backstabbing that women perpetrate on one another, and they only tolerate it because they hope to return the favor one day.
The penguin-wear that grooms have been conditioned to display is slightly less vacuous, but for only the fact that they are usually only rented, albeit as at obscene expense. While it may be nice to pretend to be James Bond in Monte Carlo –when insipidly tooling around with your band of dim-witted, testosterone rich band of groomsmen– while becoming inebriated in the back of your limousine — one look at the painted snow beast waddling up the aisle — praying that her spaghetti straps don’t burst since she was hoping to be ten pounds lighter before she crammed herself into this ridiculous expenditure — should snap you back into reality.
This all became a foregone conclusion once the stolid suitor made his futile attempt to impress the friends of his betrothed with an engagement ring that might as well have been purchased at a yard sale. No one who looks at it knows it’s value. They only “ooh and ah” because they pretend to. Americans spend thousands on diamonds, when they are truly worthless bits of indulgence, and which, for the average person is indistinguishable from any other piece of glass. We only engage in this idiocy because it’s expect of us, and because if we don’t, we’re afraid that people might think less of us. So we bribe our bride and hope that somehow this farce will translate into a lifetime of oral sex.
It almost never does. And when it happens, it has nothing to do with the ring.
But eventually the wedding is over, and the party begins. We pay big money to feed and entertain our friends and family so that they can hokey-pokey around a disco-ball lit dance floor and work off the eight roving appetizers and choice of prime rib or chicken cordon bleu. Thankfully the fog machine spares most young newlyweds from the horrors of what marriage has done to their glutinous, anxiety ridden wedding guests, and how their children have robbed them of their once youthful exuberance, and their sanity.
All of this is choreographed according to your caterer. Like Pavlov’s poodles, the newly-partnered soul mates marvel at the succession of unoriginal productions performed in their honor. From the tedium of watching your serving staff walk in a circle for the “champagne march” … to the less than fascinating self indulgence of the “Hi-Ho the Cherry-O” version of watching a grown woman cut a cake, and then mash it in the face of her new husband… to backwards flower tossing … it’s all nuts.
… And then we wake up the day after “Happily Ever After”… and we’re married. Walt Disney never mentioned what happens in the sixty years that follow. So maybe it might be a good idea to begin our marriages on a sane note. If you’re considering taking this step in your life, also consider that hopping in line with the other cliff-bound lemmings might not be in your best interest. The white dress, cake, and needless expenditure have NOTHING to do with a lifetime of love, respect, and interdependence.
This is not about money. It’s about sanity.
Love cannot be expressed through needless expenditure. It’s time we forego the pomp, and come to this simple understanding… that we stop playing at love, and learn the difference between Hollywood romance, and what it really takes to be in a marriage that both loves, and endures.
Here’s a good start; http://www.BuyMyFuckingBook.com