Jesus Christ, that’s a pretty face. The kind you’d find on someone that could save. If they don’t put me away, it’ll be a miracle. Do you believe you’re missing out, that everything good is happening somewhere else? With nobody in your bed, the night’s hard to get through.
And I will die all alone and when I arrive I won’t know anyone.
Well Jesus Christ, I’m alone again, so what did you do those three days you were dead? Because this problem’s going to last more than the weekend. Jesus Christ I’m not scared to die, but I’m a little bit scared of what comes after. Do I get the gold chariot, do I float through the ceiling? Do I divide and pull apart? ‘Cause my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark. And the ship went down at the sight of land. And at the gates, does Thomas ask to see my hands?
I know you’re coming in the night like a theif, but I’ve had some time, o Lord, to hone my lying technique. I know you think that I’m someone you can trust but I’m scared I’ll get scared and I’ll try to nail you back up. So do you think that we could work out a sign so that I’ll know it’s you and that it’s over so I won’t even try. I know you’re coming for the people like me; we’ve all got wood nails and we turn out hate in factories.
We’ve all got wood and nails and we sleep inside of this machine.
I’ll always have to tip my hat to Jesse of Brand New and Dustin of Thrice for being able to write songs that have religious connotations that anyone can get down with. The same way anyone can find value in art, or should be able to, I don’t see why nonbelievers can’t still get down with songs that use religious themes as a vehicle for telling a story.
When it comes to matters of God, I tend to hold back a bit on my true feelings. This is because I believe decent people, regardless of faith, should be able to coexist peacefully. Faith, after all, is just an opinion on the unknown, and we all have our own way of searching for (and justifying) meaning in life. However, after an event like the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow Hobby Lobby to claim religious exemption from providing birth control to female employees, I can’t just bite my tongue without chewing it off.
To me, not much is as ridiculous as a person who believes in God. Any God. Pick one, and find a believer, and this is a person who—on the basis of no facts at all and in the face of actual scientific evidence—believes they have a firm grasp on not only the existence of the fucking universe but what happens after you die.1
Like, this is the mind boggling part. Believe that Jesus could turn water in to wine or that some bearded guy in the clouds inscribed some tablets two millennia ago all you want, but recognize that these are also psychological traits that, if you removed the predominance of the Christian church from existence, we would associate with complete fucking lunacy in modern society. Add in the fact that people get self-righteous about their views and in my mind I feel I can empathize with what it would have been like to live in a world where some people still believed it was flat.2
Jesus is not saving you: majority rule is. If so many people didn’t believe in God, the ones who did would be a laughing stock and not a voting bloc.
This isn’t to say Christians are bad people, or that finding meaning through old parables isn’t an appropriate way to live your life. It isn’t for me, but then again the way I live my life probably isn’t appropriate for most out there and I wouldn’t ever think it to be that way. But there does come a societal danger zone when the beliefs of someone begin to impact the wellness and livelihood of others.
We live in a free3 society. This means Christians have to deal with people like me ranting about them the same way I have to deal with churches existing everywhere. And we shouldn’t have it any other way; the framers of the Constitution set this shit up well. The one thing the framers fucked up on, though—and the one thing the Obama administration has actually been trying to fix—has been the fact that health care was never a guarantee under the law.4
Now, without getting too close to the debate on abortion5, let’s just say that to be so delusional as to assert your opinion over what the entire female population can and can’t do with their own bodies takes a seriously fucked up psychology. To believe that your faith should supersede a law enacted to help people takes a seriously fucked up psychology. A psychology that, perhaps without the status quo, we’d associate with complete fucking lunacy in this free society.
So what we’ve been left with is an ideological decision in the courts that has basically given corporations voting rights and now religious liberty in the face of citizens and their rights to democratic representation and health care. At this point, entities that exist only on paper and in bank accounts have more say in the democratic process than most African Americans had for the first 150 or so years of this nation.
I believe in art. I believe in the power of imagination and creativity. I believe that it’s a tragedy we’re cutting education funding in the arts across the board and our military budget is thousands of times larger that of the NEA.6 But I also recognize that my beliefs do not mirror that of everyone, and in order to exist in the closest thing to equality we can discern, my beliefs must be tempered and retained to my personal life in order to ensure my—and everyone’s, to the extent possible—objective freedom.
And in the end, I don’t completely discount the idea of (a) God. What I do believe, though, is if there’s some God out there, waiting for me after I die, I’ll say, “Maybe I got that shit about worshipping you wrong, but at least I stood up for the underserved and oppressed in the face of the self-righteous who believed church was a moral shield.”
And if that God says my efforts here aren’t enough, and that I should have gone to church or been less hostile to those who believed their values are worth more than the freedom of fellow human beings, then I’d rather burn for eternity than live in that heaven.
So while on this earth, I think it’s important to stand up and say that what is going on with the ideological entrenchment of Jesus Christ as a political figure needs to be fucking stopped. The church is another organized system of power based, ironically, not in the best ideas of the individual but rather retaining influence and cultural divides. Sure, Hobby Lobby does dictate their business practices by (some of the better) Christian ethics, but that does not shield them from laws that we all must abide by as Americans.
We’re getting too close to a lesser division of church and state, and at some point this fight needs to drop the pleasantries and come to blows.