Friday, August 06, 2010

Why did God remove the bike lane?

I saw this incredible older doctor on the Upper East Side.  He spoke "a few" languages (then listed off about 6).  He saw on my passport that I was born in China (my parents were missionaries) and said that's about as bizarre as him.  He's also white, and told me he was Belgian-Congolese.  I'm like, When the hell did Belgium get out of Congo? 

He says his family was chased out when the rebels took it over in 1960.  Then he told me a story about a doctor in Congo who had treated all the locals.  When the rebels took over, they let his family go but killed the doctor and ate his muscles for strength, and ate his brain for intelligence.  Why save him so he can save you - when you can eat his brains and hope you will turn into him?  Oh Africa, to this day still humming on seriously low frequencies.

His parents got the hell out!  I said they were pretty courageous to be in the Congo in the first place, and he said they went because they fled Italy.  During World War 2 not many countries allowed Jews to immigrate (the USA notoriously had teeny tiny quotas for jewish immigrants during this time) so his family was forced to choose between the Nazis or the Congo!  What a story!  I asked if he was still Jewish, and he said yes: "But I'm not religious".

Is Jewish a culture?  Jews swear it is.  Now if it's around September and you're hard at work and there's those fifteen Jewish holidays in a row, then honey even I'm Jewish.  But to say you're Jewish when in fact you don't believe the religion?  Even those who quit the Mormon church refer to themselves as "Jack Mormons".  Is it like AA where you've been sober for 52 years but you're still an alcoholic? 

I come from a perilously long line of Christians.  Today I may put a tree up at Christmas and give out presents...but I would never say I'm a Christian.  Why hang on to the name?  Why not just wash your hands and emancipate? I struggle to find even one redeemable thing about religion.

Growing up, I went to Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist churches and surely there's a difference but I can't tell you what that is; they pretty much all ask for money.  And the righteousness! But there is something redeemable in religion.  It breeds division, but it also breeds delusion and that's where the fun comes in: Such imagination!

I put a lot of creative thought into my screenplay Violet Tendencies, about a woman who hangs out with gay men.  But I can't hold a candle to this post on CHRIST WIRE, to tell you what will happen to your daughter if she makes gay friends.  Wowza!  And what would you expect from someone who believes that Noah got every last breed of cockroach and Kangaroo on that ark?  Or Jonah shimmied between baleen to live inside a whale!

The sad thing is that the men who wrote the bible took their highly developed imagination (as genius as the cave men who found lions and tigers and bears in the stars!) and used it as the cruel weapon of a jealous god who killed off all the other life on earth except what lived on the ark, who locked a man inside a whale (imagine the stench!) until he went and preached his praises.  And the fag hag on Christwire?  "Hope gives way to highballs" and she is ruined!

Ann Rice gave up Christianity last week "In the name of Christ".  How will her creativity suffer, along with her ability to terrify her readership, if she no longer fears the gnashing of teeth?  How many lives in the Congo would have been saved if a doctor weren't killed by superstition?  Religion lives on and even when they don't believe, people still align themselves culturally with (ironically) anti-life belief.

Prop 8 was overturned this week, props to Judge Walker for doing what the majority of Californians could not -- which is wrap their heads around equal protection and the 14th Amendment. Moral objections cannot (indeed should not) infringe on the rights of others and yet they continue to do so.

The Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn somehow has enough political power to remove the bicycle lanes that run through their neighborhood.  Why?  Because women were riding by scantily clad.  Now women can still ride bikes through Anatevka scantily clad, but without a bike lane they're just more likely to die.  Where is their equal protection?

Why do religious rights supercede individual rights in this country?  These are not cultures I will claim. 



Carms said...

I love your writing. This post was excellent.

Bob Frank said...

As you know, I am Buddhist. I tried hard to believe in Christianity, but it just didn't make sense to me. It's so sad that we cannot have equal rights because somewhere in the Bible a couple of passages say that sodomy is against God's law. In Buddhism, there is nothing against homosexuality. If a Buddhist thinks it is wrong, he got that from his culture, not his religion.
At this point in my life, I'm tired of one group of people dumping on another, especially in the name of God. You were right when you said that religion can breed delusion. That's exactly what this anti-gay bias is.
I hope you're enjoying your summer, Jesse.

Anonymous said...

I thought your post was incredibly relevant especially in light of the articles earlier this week about the ayatollah decreeing music is against their religion essentially THEN to add to that the Prop 8 overturn with all this traditional religious bs being at the core of it, just your looking at different religions and cultures and how back ass wards they are sometimes really strikes a nerve.


Jesse Archer said...

Thanks for your comments! Bob, is buddhism a religion, or "truth-seeking"?

Bob Frank said...

Buddhism is considered a religion, but then a Buddhist would say that it is just a label, and we should try to avoid labeling things.

I like the idea of calling Buddhism "Truth Seeking". We wish to become enlightened to the Ultimate Truth, as opposed to the "relative truth" that we experience now.