Chocolate eggs, hold the Jesus
Last year, I read part of the Bible. One of the really Jesus-y bits. To vast swathes of the world, this is probably nothing too interesting. To the many people whose morning commute reading was the Bible and/or one of the little church guides about a daily verse, this is probably an admission of my own status of needing to be saved.
Hold onto your Bibles, then. After reading part of the Bible, it reaffirmed for me that I am not now, nor will I ever be a Christian. Honestly, I came out of it thinking that Jesus was a bit of a douche, and couldn’t see why any real deity would choose such a person to be their earthly envoy.
Most of my lack of religion is down to that sort of issue. I don’t see any validity in any of it. I haven’t come across any religion that I didn’t question on a very basic level. I think my lack of religion is, put simply, a lack of faith.
It’s not something I feel that is a void in my life. My lack of faith isn’t a problem, and it isn’t something I want to fix, or that I think even needs to be fixed.
That said, there are some things I like about religion. I do wish there was some sort of non-religious thing that had the ceremony. I’ve been to Mass a few times and wanted to take part. My preferred ones have been old school Catholicism; none of this feel good, guitars and cheery songs type of Catholicism. I want the type that scares children, with prayers in a dead language.
I love the imagery of religion. The religious art and artefacts amaze me and are some of the world’s best iconography. I have a set of saint cards, and have favourite saints, not because of their devotion but because of their imagery. (I don’t like the commercialization of that imagery, though. The garden centre Buddha heads and similar are tacky, and there’s no possible way of arguing that they aren’t.)
I don’t want the whole God and Jesus part, though. No matter how much I like the ceremony and holiday calendar of your religion, I don’t like the fundamental religious part. As much as religion is one of the defining social identifications, it’s one that I don’t have.
As I’ve written about before, I do have a deep level of superstition and get very fatalist at times. But religion always wants more than that. It wants me to accept the supremacy of something or somebody else, and I can’t do that. I can’t accept that any religious person is better than anyone else. I can give credit to brilliant writers, artists, scientists, and other real manifestations of quality. I can’t do the same for those whose only accomplishment is a declaration of divinity.
So this Easter, like every other, is a day of ovoid chocolates and bunnies, and little else (other than annoying bank holidays and short business hours). It’s a day with great imagery, but little else for me.