Ass-U-Me

I told myself when I started blogging, that I should stay away from politics and religion.  Politics isn’t too bad; folks in Australia or Indonesia don’t give much of a damn about Canadian Provincial government, but, as soon as I mention religion, everybody’s got a dog in the fight.

There are good things and bad things about all religions, including Christianity, the majority Canadian belief.  The good parts are the social support net for like-minded worshippers.  It’s always nice to know that you’re part of a group.  Churches visit shut-ins, send flowers and cards to people in the hospital, and have programs to feed the poor and homeless.

The bad parts are when the corporate/politically-styled upper management demand the sheep-like surrender of all individuality and cessation of any and all critical thinking by accepting mindless dogma to ensure their increased secular power, lavish lifestyle and job security.

Actually, I don’t even want to rant about any of that.  What truly irks me, are the unthinking assumptions that all or most of their beliefs are valid, and anyone with a contrary opinion is simply wrong.  What is important to the faithful is not important because it’s important.  It’s only important to them because they believe it’s important to them.

What set my teeth on edge was the fact that I heard two particular songs within an hour.  The first was Alannah Myles’, Black Velvet, with its line about “a new religion that’ll bring you to your knees.”  Why does any religion need to drive us to our knees??!  Why couldn’t we have a kind religion that will lift us up and support us and inspire us to soar into the sky?  It’s a nice goal to aspire to.  Not all of us would make it, but the few who did would make a better life for all those who didn’t.

The other song that set me off was Joan Osborne’s, One Of Us.  I’ll probably have the Copyright Police banging on my door tomorrow, but I’ve included the lyrics below.  Have a look at them, and I’ll jump back in at the bottom to resume my bitching.

One Of Us

If God had a name, what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on a bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?
If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see if, seeing meant
That you would have to believe in things like heaven
And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?
Just tryin’ to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just tryin’ to make his way home
Nobody callin’ on the phone
“Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Okay, I’m back!  What a stupid-ass piece of shit this song is.  Just how chemically-enhanced do you have to be to write all those Yeah, yeah, yeahs?  And the God is great, God is good, comes straight from the Islamic, Allehu Akbar.  It’s really nice that you feel all warm and cuddly with the opinions that God exists, and is great, and good, but they’re just opinions, and a lot of other people have greatly differing opinions which may be as valid as yours.

The grammar-Nazi in me insists that the line should be, What if God were one of us, to indicate possibility, not assumption again.  I suppose that she was trying to personalize God, and bring him closer to the masses.  They could relate better to a bum, or a blue-collar bus-rider, but the whole concept is ridiculous.  Nobody phones God, and if nobody but the Pope were phoning God, there’d be no Pope and no Pope-job, so he wouldn’t be phoning either.

What if God had a name?  Would you call it to his face, in all his glory?  You just said he’s a slob, a stranger on a bus, what glory?  What if God had a face?  It’s that slob on the bus thing again.  I’m pretty sure he’d have a face, and why would merely seeing his face force you to believe in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?  They can all be mutually exclusive.  And the question!?  If God really showed up in person, why would we be limited to one question?  Is this like a genie thing, but we didn’t rub the lamp hard enough?  The Weird Al Yankovic satire version, What If God Smoked Cannabis?, makes more sense than this.

I have a God’s face, God’s name, one question scenario that could blow hyper-Christians’ minds.  What if God had a face, and it was olive-skinned, hook-nosed, and half-covered with a scraggly beard and cheesy mustache, topped with a keffiyah?  What if your one question was, “Are you really God, and what is your name?”  What if the reply was, “Yes, yes, I am truly your one and only God.  You may call me Allah!  Look, I gave all this to a nice boy named Mohammed a little while ago.  He was supposed to write it all down so that the rest of you could study it.  Have you not been paying attention?”

I would assume that no *good Christian* would take my hypothetical situation seriously but, between U and Me, one of us may be an Ass.

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Ass-U-Me

  1. I think that if there is a God, he/she/it must have smoked cannabis. How else do you explain the backwards knees on flamingos, aardvarks and the duck bill platypus?

    Like

  2. Sightsnbytes says:

    No if’s, and’s or but’s, there is a God, and he does have a sense of humor, how else do you describe Archon?…..just kidding, couldn’t resist this one

    Like

  3. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Rant on Archon!

    Like

  4. Nicole says:

    What kind of Mickey Mouse radio stations do you have up there that even keep those 2 songs in rotation?!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Hits of the 80s, 90s, and today. Apparently there were no hits in the first decade of this century. Black Velvet I’ll agree with. I don’t ever remember One Of Us being a *Hit*.

      Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        You got it! Somebody else wrote it, and the album producer needed another cut, so on it went. Apparently ABBA also did a cover of it. The wife owns four ABBA albums, but I’ve never heard their version.

        Like

      • Nicole says:

        LOL -well, it was a one hit wonder. I remember it being popular in the late 90’s. Have not heard it in ages, which is okay by me. Lyrics aside, her singing seemed so unenthusiastic, as if someone handed her the song and just told her “here sing this and then you can go home”.

        Like

  5. Jim Wheeler says:

    I believe I recognize in the Osborn song’s lyrics Jesus’ theme expressed in Matthew 25:40,

    “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

    Either that, or the Golden Rule. Either way, it’s a theme that fits almost all religions and likely, as you say, does a lot of good. But I share your frustration that organized religion defies all rational analysis and invariably attracts corruption in collecting alms.

    The arguments have been going on for a long time:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus circa 300 BCE

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I copied your Epicurus quote off the side of your main page a while ago, and put it in a blog-notes folder. I had to retype it because it deposits as barely visible micro-printing. A malfunction erased the folder, and I’m working on replacing it all. Here I go retyping it again.

      Like

      • Jim Wheeler says:

        My iMac’s browser, Safari, has a feature I don’t see in FireFox, under “edit”. It’s called “paste and match style”, meaning it matches the font and style features of the page into which you are pasting it. You might check to see if yours has it

        Like

  6. As a Christian (but probably not a “good Christian” in the eyes of some people), I debate with myself on how much of my religious life and view to share on my blog. On the one hand, I do want to share what I believe to be true. Basically, if you think you’ve found the one and only way to eternal life, you want to let other people in on that. Because, you know, eternal life. It would just be mean not to tell people about that.

    On the other hand, I do respect the fact that others can feel as strongly about completely opposite religious beliefs. I want to share, but I don’t want to offend anyone else or make them feel uncomfortable. And you are correct in saying that I may be wrong; I may have chosen to follow a completely wrong path. I don’t believe that’s true or I wouldn’t be on it, but I acknowledge the difference between belief and fact. It’s faith that bridges that gap. (Of course, I have faith that my belief is fact, so it’s kind of a big circle, isn’t it?)

    Sometimes I wonder if just saying that makes me a bad Christian. But it’s in my nature to question, to see many possibilities, and I need to understand, to have things explained in a satisfactory manner, before I believe. It’s not in my nature to be blinded by my belief. These factors have made my religious growth a slow process.

    In the end, I have to just do my best, and trust. And I don’t have to shove what I believe down other people’s throats. I will post about my faith now and then, and if I lose a follower, then so be it. My relationship with God is more important than my stats.

    I thought your evaluation of that song was terrific. It had a catchy tune, but I always thought the words were kind of stupid. Although I get the idea of “the least of these”, it could have been done better.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      No, you’re not a *Good Christian* in the eyes of those who consider themselves to be one. It’s one thing to offer a viewpoint, and quite another to be willing to be like the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and take Christianity to the heathens with fire and sword. The Olympic-quality mental gymnastics necessary to justify some of the more outrageous positions would be entertaining, if it weren’t so dangerous.

      I had an online conversation with a man who claimed that Islam was bad but Christianity had always been a kind and pacifist religion. When I reminded him of the Crusades and the Inquisition, his immediate response was, “They’re not REAL Christians.” Those *real Christians* would have been lighting a bonfire under his feet for such blasphemy.

      I recently read a post by an American preacher who claimed that God was a white male. It says so in the Bible! There was no comment section, so I could not request chapter and verse. I find it sad, but not unusual, that even a trained and ordained pastor would make such a declaration, but it’s not what they *know*, it’s what they *believe*.

      Like

      • I don’t know where in the bible it says God is a white male! People believe what they want to believe, what’s convenient, what suits them best. Unfortunately, lots of people like that are also the most vocal. One reason I don’t talk about religion much is because I am just not sure about so many things.

        Like

  7. I was raised in a very religious household, and can tell you from experience each and every person puts their own spin on what parts of the Roman Catholic dogma they will go along with. One sister took birth control pills, after having 4 children in 5 years. Her priest had counselled her that she could not do this as it was against their religion. So she was supposed to kill herself having children. She still remained within the church, but she took communion every Sunday, although she was committing a sin every day she took “THE PILL”. After confession of your sins, you are given penance, and it is understood that you will not repeat your sin……….hmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Like

  8. Archon's Den says:

    It’s the difference between “Religious” and “Spiritual”. I feel, the louder they rant, the less likely they are to be correct. Sadly, too much of any religion is controlled by these I-dotting, T-crossing, Holy Contract-signing, moral accountants, too busy adding up other people’s sins to provide them with ethical support and guidance. Dire Straits song says, “Two men claim they’re Jesus. One of them must be wrong.” You lead a good life with the framework of your religion. I lead a good life based on my own ethical framework, which is influenced, but not controlled by, religion. I think we can both be right, but if I’m right, they could be wrong, and they can’t stand that thought, so, drag out the stake and the firewood.

    Like

  9. I actually have the Joan Osborne album (“Relish”) that includes this single, and based on the other tracks, my take on the song is considerably different. But that just feeds into your theme that we all interpret things differently. Good post, and your comments are even better…

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am not irked that others hold opinions different from mine. I am irked when ‘others’ (Good Christians, ISIS, etc.) insist that I accept their unproven stance.
      Thanx again for the historical reading. When I’m gone, you’ll be qualified to write my biography – or put me in a Past Imperfect. 😆

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s