I was brought up as a ‘Catholic’. I was never much for the whole thing, it all seemed very dictatorial and excessive. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love some of the traditions. Sending a loved one off through a story of their life as we bury them or release their ashes in a special spot, you know, the whole funeral procession, it really is moving. And I think marriage is also an incredibly beautiful thing. Two people who have dedicated their life to or until they realise they clash ideologically and cannot share the bedroom, let alone their whole existence together. But these are traditions that are not limited to Christianity and Catholicism. Hindus, Muslims and Jews of all different orientations share the same experiences as Christians, it’s just I will focus on Christianity as it is dominant religious discourse of Australia and thus the most relevant to me.
Religion to me, or more correctly put, the belief in a God, has just become an irrelevance. I don’t feel the need to pray to the Saints or head over to Church on a Sunday to eat bread, drink wine and smite the bad guys. I do, as a human being, feel the need to respect the views of others unless they are completely ridiculous and actually harmful to society. In a way you could argue that religion has been incredibly harmful to society but then again if you look back in history there are so many examples of how we have fucked up disastrously and use them to my argument’s advantage. That is human fault, possibly inspired by a doctrine be it the American constitution, the Torah, the bible and even fucking Nietzsche, but the fault of humans that has caused harm to our planet. Now, I could detail the arguments of the birth of the planet and even go into an extensive critique of each major religion and their claim to be the ‘chosen one’ or ‘a member of the ‘it’ team’, or some sort of special cult that will own heaven. Or I could simply write about morality and the contradictions we face on a daily basis.
Some people claim to be the servants of God and Jesus, others are the followers of Allah and Mohammad, I am my own person. I follow laws that make sense. Don’t kill, don’t fuck your best mate’s girlfriend (and give it a month after they break up) and don’t just always think about yourself. I find the last one pretty difficult as I am a 21 year old male who thinks he is funniest bloke on the planet. However, I fully recognise this and attempt to take into account the views of a plethora of people, as previously mentioned. I sat in on a dinner with two buddies from my football team and another dear friend of mine, Tiger. Now, the two buddies on the other side of the table were Christians, and they detailed how their lives have been affected by the choice and why they came to such a conclusion. In all seriousness, it was pretty compelling stuff and I was taken aback as I presumed most Christians were brought up that way and only believed it because they were influenced by their family. We had civil arguments about the origin of the planet, God, the bible and finally, the most divisive, homosexual partnerships and (blood curdling scream) gay marriage.
Now, I am not going to demean the arguments they made in reference to gay marriage but suffice to say I did not agree with them. As I have mentioned, if it doesn’t harm other people then it shouldn’t bother us. As a terribly insufficient debater (I take into account all arguments and occasionally drop a disclaimer), I did say that I understand that Christians may believe that gay marriage will do irreparable harm to their religion but in the back of my mind I thought, fuck the church if they actually think this. So Leviticus listed a bunch of forbidden shit that apparently have allowed modern day Christians to pick and choose what should and shouldn’t be referred to as a sin, does it really hold any relevance these days? No. Supposedly, Jesus spoke of love and commitment and being a good person, he didn’t speak about Old Testament bullshit about how eating shell fish is an abomination and killing the first-born sons of the Egyptians. If there is anything to take from the old toilet paper, I mean the Bible, it is that we should not be selective in our love. It is moral to love someone (or in a more existential reality, a lot of women or men at the same time, in the same room with a pile of whipped cream and a shit load of lubriacant) but it immoral to dispose of the idea of a certain orientation because you don’t agree with it (with or without the aid of the bible).
There have been a series of morality questions that have arisen due to the internet’s obsession with extending its humour to new heights. You can become particularly immoral by spending too much time on the internet. You could be watching hardcore porn one moment, then chuckling at a joke about something very un-PC the next. This leads to outrage and the slow and steady news sites catching up and reporting about something that has been viral for a couple of weeks. This namely came in the form of the Aboriginal memes page or the facebook groups that showed pictures of girls nearby and ask people to rate them… exactly how facebook did start. People unaccustomed to the internet seem to get caught up in all the hullabaloo. They don’t want people expressing things that are offensive and influential to kids. Fair enough, some of it is disgusting and offensive but you can’t regulate it, it’s the internet. There are things on here that require a sense of discretion and a moral compass to decide whether they are actually ‘right’… This also involves the work of teachers, parents and guardians to educate kids on their use of the internet without censoring it to the point that we become another China. You can’t hide kids from these things forever but you can encourage them to think about what they are looking at and attempt to analyse exactly what they are reading or doing or following. It’s not easy but it sure beats going to church every Sunday.
And personally, just because they are not ‘right’ doesn’t mean I won’t lurk in the darkest corners of the net. I mean, it’s my choice isn’t it?