20120109

Holy Roller

You used to be religious. It's true. You used to worship in some sort of house of God, but really it's fallen by the wayside.

I know what happened, and I'd like to enlighten you, as apparently you like forget how you came to be the person you are and instead focus on the flaws of others. It wasn't moving to D.C. or your job or your coworkers that twisted you. It was you.

The religion you were raised in taught you that God is punishment incarnate. God will punish the wicked, you were told.

And then. You broke your first rule. Nothing big. Nothing major. Just a little one. Perhaps you broke one of the big Ten by killing a fly or a frog or something that you don't really regard as worth preserving. Or perhaps you coveted. Maybe you made you made graven image. Perhaps you ate pork.

But after about a day of living in terror you realized, no punishment was coming. Unlike most sensible people you, being smart but still being naive, came to the following conclusion: God will not punish you.

This is what separates you from everyone else. Where most people concluded something like "God is not watching," to "God will punish in the next life" or perhaps even "There is no God," you came to another, far less reasonable conclusion: You are blessed above all.

This would have been fine, but for some reason that no one would call rational based on the criteria for your religion, you thought God was still going to punish everyone else for infractions from which you believed yourself to be exempt.

It was a few years before you realized that such silliness wasn't the case.

This wounded you deeply. You were special weren't you? God loved you so much that he'd let everything go, right? Everyone else has so much suffering coming that God should be heaping on them daily, right now, you would think. Why isn't God punishing everyone? Everyone is terrible awful and wrong, unlike you, the pristine, angelic person, that they should be screaming in agony at all times.

No. That didn't happen. You realized as everyone else more or less has, that you are no different from anyone else, and no one is being punished. Everyone is treated equally, and God is taking care of his own business. That business does not involve punishing all these people that you feel have broken your absurd moral code. Yes, you realized, God doesn't care about your petty bullshit.

And yet you still refuse to come to the rational conclusion. There is a still a God, but he's a big jerk and you don't need him anyway, you're going to see people suffer, somehow.

Now you profess hollow faith in some sort of false morality, some prophet from long ago said something and now your pretending that you care about it. What you're really doing is what those ancient prophets did: making up rules and making up punishment. You're looking for reasons to wound people because they haven't followed some strange standard that, while slightly informed by the teachings of long dead holy men, is mostly just you looking for reasons to be cruel.

You are what's wrong. You are the problem. You only care about yourself, and yet you claim it has something to do with God's will.

The worst part is realize that, like those ancient prophets, no one really takes you seriously and you've lashed out at everyone close to you for not following your obtuse rules. And well, you'll be completely alone soon enough. If God made you this way, then you are being punished for you sins, and if there is no God, you will sleep in this bed you made.

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