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A Preacher, A Rabbi, and a Minister Go Into a Bank At The Same Time....

By Tom ďHeathenĒ Waters
August 1, 2002

Organized religion is the biggest shakedown of a sham of a snake oil show in recorded history. I donít understand how so many people get rooked into throwing away one day out of the week for their entire lives and pissing away money on institutions that misappropriate it, plant guilt into the masses, and psychologically scar their children. It sickens me. As far as non profit organizations go, they should be shot. Thereís a tiny, molecular good that churches accomplish for their communities, but the negative far outweighs the positive. I fell from grace a long, long time ago. And you know something? I prefer it down here in the palace of earthly delights. The brimstone is good for my corns. If thereís a god in heaven, heíll understand that weíve all got more important things to do on a sunday.

Theyíve conducted studies that prove that the farther you rise on the IQ scale, the lower the odds are that you attend church or subscribe to some bankrupt theological fairy tail. Stay with me here! Focus! In older versions of the bible they had chapters dealing with dragons. Dragons! But they were taken out and revised to make the rest of the book a little less ridiculous. Iím not just picking on the Catholics or the Christians or the Baptists or the Methodists, either. Iím ripping on all of them. The world doesnít need a crutch to get past hard times. And please donít misunderstand. My beef is with churches, not spirituality. Thereís nothing wrong with looking to a higher power for help or guidance, or to be a better person. I just wouldnít go looking for him/her/it under the roof of some Presbyterian or Anabaptist shyster, is all.

I spent a lot of my teenage years shopping around for God. I spent the first ten years of my life as a Catholic, another seven as a Mennonite, and after that, I drifted and experimented. Mormonism, Buddhism, Baptists; you name it, and I looked into it. Mormon beliefs are completely insane. They believe that once the Rapture approaches that X amount of people will just levitate up into the heavens, leaving the rest of us to suffer the plagues and the fires and the horribly nasty things that go along with an Apocolypse. Well my question is this: Mormons have been around for a very long time, and I would assume that they already have X amount of people in their flock, so why the hell do they keep going door to door and bothering us with their incessant joy-babbling scripture pitches? Leave us alone! Leave us heathens to our sinning (which we take very seriously) and go off and sit on your own doorsteps and wait for the Jesus whirlwind to take you away from us! Good riddance, you lunatics!

Buddhism, in my opinion, is completely bankrupt. Two of my friends are Buddhists and I just donít get it. They chant, sure, but whatís chanting other than positive reinforcement? If you wish for something enough, you can repeat the lyrics to ďOops I did it againĒ a thousand times and get what you want. Does that make Britney Spears a deity? She may have a heavenly body, but I donít think so. According to Sara, (one of the wacky Buddhist twins), Buddhism is being at peace with who you are. Okay, then that makes everybody a Buddhist. I donít buy it. I read Kerouac and it didnít take. Put the sponge away, you moonies, cause youíre not brainwashing me with that Ďpeace; best offer or freeí shit.

I even went to a meeting recently and put it to Ďem straight; Iím an angry person. I enjoy being angry and will ALWAYS enjoy being angry. Happiness can go off and find some puppy dogs or star-crossed couples and work itís magic on them. Anger is more important to me than inner tranquility, so slap Buddha in his big man tits and tell him to shill his dogmas elsewhere. Most of the people who say theyíre Buddhists really mean that they mixed and matched certain tenants to suit their own needs. Spirituality is not a salad bar; you either take all of it or none of it. There are a lot of concepts that I agree with, but donít count me into the chanting circle anytime soon. So put that karma in your hash pipe and smoke it.

The big issue I have with most Christian establishments and the myriad of mutations and off shoots they have (anything with an ďistĒ or an ďianĒ at the end of it) is their completely irrational belief that in order to be a good devotee or crony of the lord you have to sequester yourself away from popular culture. So if I signed up for their buffets and offerings and all the other frequent perks that come with being part of the Holier than You club, I would a)never be able to watch an R movie again, b)have to stay away from popular rock, rap, and death metal, and c)have to tell every stripper within a three hour drive that I wouldnít be coming in any more, which would seriously cleft my frigging heart in twain.

I read up on the baby Jesus and he led a wild life. Jesus didnít go around pedaling purity. He just hung out with people. He didnít tell them they had to change or that they were going to roast in the eternal George Forman Grill that is hell. He loved them for who they were and eventually, they came around to his way of thinking and became better people on their own. Plus he knew some really great magic tricks. I wish I was around to see him work a few doves. So if he got to hang out with liars, thieves, and whores, why canít I? Why canít anybody for that matter? Itís ridiculous! Should we all go home and pore over the gospel six days a week and get our cultural fill from church one day out of the week? Piss on that. Nobodyís getting in the way of my porn fueled, alcohol swilling, cigarette smoking, glue sniffing, nc-17 rated existence, not even the big guy upstairs. Iím sure heís up there and heís just gonna have to live with it.

And whatís with the shakedown? Tithing? What is that? Ten percent my ass. What did you do to earn ten percent of my earnings and then make me feel guilty about rubbing one out to Gilliganís Island? I donít pay people to make me feel bad unless theyíre wearing leather and sporting a buggy whip. Churches are non profit organizations, yes, but theyíre not getting a hold of my money. Some people (like my mother and my late grandfather) gave more than ten percent, so my family is covered. They picked up the tab. What do churches really need other than a raised platform (for to look down at everyone else) and a podium (to separate the minister from the sinners). Itís a sham. Thatís what bingo and lawn fetes and bake sales are for. Work for my dollar.

And another thing about the Ďholier than youí club. Worshipping (fill in the deity) is not a race to see whoís shit stinks the least and rubbing everyone elseís nose in it. Thatís rude and itís elitist. When I went to Mennonite Church I saw a lot of people who looked down from what they thought was a great height at the rest of the world. Screw you. Youíre no better than anyone else, and you never will be. Weíre all flawed, pathetic, weak, greedy, gluttonous, lust-filled sacks of protoplasm. Itís called the human race, you pompous asses. Those who contribute to charity should do so quietly and those who commit good deeds should do them without expecting God to drop a gold star decal from the skies. Some of us perform good deeds all the time and leave them at that. Some of us treat the rest of the world equally, and not just the clowns who show up on sundays with their good Dockers on. Get off your enlightened ass and stop acting like morons. Go out and do some good in the world instead of just fixing yourself up. Do something! Organized religion has taken a nose dive into the toilet. In the Ď60s everybody hopped onto the Buddhist movement or the Transcendental Meditation trip. In the seventies it was rock and roll Christianity with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor embarrassment. When the eighties rolled around televangelists made a mint, misappropriated it, and out-heathened their own congregations with their own money. And in this, the 21st century, we have too many accounts of Catholic priests molesting young boys to sweep under the rug. It sickens me. I keep expecting to see Sam Kinison pop out of his grave screaming a blue streak. Religion has caused a lot more harm than it has good. Throughout history, there have been wars, crusades, taxes, more taxes, burnings, beheadings, molestations, stonings, and genocides all because one group believes that their opinion should be the only opinion. Itís too awful to dwell on. Iím raving but thereís some truth here and there in what Iíve experienced on my spiritual roller coaster ride. At the end of the loop de loop, itís dropped me off where I was in the first place. Right here. You can appreciate the idea of a Creator without someone elseís help. You can worship whoever you want to and better yourself without doing it in front of the rest of the community. Itís not necessary. Incessantly needling the unconverted is rude. I donít knock door to door and ask people if they want to attend my barn yard orgie club on tuesdays, do I? If they show up, wonderful, and if they donít, who cares.Let everybody do their own thing and accept people. Is that so hard? Iím not going to change and Iíd never ask you to, either.

One of my oldest friends is a minister. Heís a really nice guy but heís got a serious problem. Every couple of years weíll grab lunch and he canít have a pleasant conversation without dropping Jesus on me. Donít do that in public, you loon! Every time heíll whip out ďHow is your walk with the Lord?Ē Weíre doing just fine, thank you. Christ picked up some Nike cross trainers and heís keeping up with my strides a lot better than he was with those foul, stank sandals he had. Why do they always have to go googly eyed and say Lord every five seconds? If thereís a hell, Iím going there, and Iíll get to meet all the cool people. Iíll even get to hang out with all the boy raping popes, prostitute propositioning televangelists, and alcoholic archbishops. Then they can teach me how to really party. God bless.