I don’t want to be a part of any club I can’t swing at your head.

Posted: December 14, 2014 in Comedy Journal

I grew up in a really religious house. Not the good kind. I’m not sure there is a good kind.

My folks weren’t, and aren’t, hateful people. Religion was never a tool my folks used to think of themselves as better than other people. I think aside from the guilt maybe laid on their kids, my folks didn’t use religion for much, other than a means to keep themselves well behaved, and maybe provide some structure to their, and their kids’ lives.

It might have worked. None of us are serial killers or child rapists or anything really heinous. I think I’m the only one with much affinity for drugs and trouble. (A middle sister went through a shit-kicking, beer guzzling, hillbilly, mid-life crises, and one of my olders liked pills and “medicine” an awful lot, but neither are robbing pizza delivery boys or fucking dudes for crank.)

My dad turned to religion as some form of ego-check. As a main essentially devoid of conscience, it’s probably a good thing. (My dad will attempt to address the angel and devil on his shoulder, but once he realizes they’re tiny versions of him, they all just start bragging about women they slept with and how good they were at high school baseball.) Dad leans on too much now. I think he’s just learned that few people will really argue with an old man talking religion, and his learned to use it as a means to get his way, but it’s never hateful.

I got lucky. I think there was a lot of hateful in my church. Folks mad at change, life, death, anything. For people all about love, they sure seemed to delight in the idea of Fornicators and Taxmen burning in hell forever, and their tongue-talkings sure had a lot vitriol at the world once it was deciphered by that creepy old woman up in the front.

I do my best to not get mad at church. It is an okay institution. It’s helped a lot of people, and when used right, can save lives. I will not dismiss a group of folks as big as “Christians,” because that’s an enormous group, and I know enough of them to know that most of them are just fine. And they’re less fun to talk about. I love the angry, “better than you,” hypocrite Christians as much as anybody, and, as with most groups, the ones who self-identify are always the worst examples.

Quick, who’s your least favorite American? Is he wearing a flag somewhere on his body? Is he telling you about America?

Quick, think of an obnoxious Texan. We’re all thinking of the same person. You can do it with any group of more than 10. I dislike soldiers who talk about soldiering, I dislike fratboys who talk about frats, and I dislike Christians who talk about Christianity. (we could extrapolate on this into some dark territory, like thuggish blackness or swooshy gays, but I think you get my point.) In short, groups that like the stereotype for the group they’re identifying with, lose themselves for it, they become a facade because they know how that face is supposed to react and behave, and that’s a little easier than really wrestling with the fact that you have no idea what you’re doing. The uptight proper Christian sure doesn’t appeal to me… but it might beat chaos. I don’t know.

Today two Mormon youth were talking to an old black man about faith near me. They refer to themselves as Elders, which is funny to me, but, they looked just like Mormons: trim, clean and friendly. Really Nice. I hope they do nice things. I wish it was easier to be nicer on your own.

This started as just a preface to a funny little piece I’m writing, but has turned into this. I hope it was worth reading.

  1. Josh says:

    It’s a bit rambly and doesn’t really go anywhere, but I agree completely with the idea. I’m loving the this new post frequency!

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