Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dear Mr. Christ

Heya Jesus,

It’s been a while. Last time I “spoke” with you, I worshipped you. That was a long time ago, yes? I write this now because, after all these years, I still wonder.

It shouldn’t matter now, really. I’ve long accepted that I couldn’t believe in you, at least in the version of you that was documented in that book, and in some interpretations today. Now I know some friends and loved ones still believe in you, and I won’t begrudge them that. But worshipping you, or your dad... it’s just not for me.

I haven’t thought about you in a while, but when certain people take their beliefs too far, I think of you, the deified symbol. Some people make a big deal when the possibility that you’d been married or had kids gets raised. Why is consensual sex between adults so wrong? Why do people feel that it diminishes you in particular, or what you’re supposed to represent, if you had mortal urges that you succumbed to back then? You were half-mortal, weren’t you? And the debates don’t stop there, no?

Some say you died on the cross; others say you didn’t. Some say you’re black, others white. Some believe that you’ll be coming back soon with fiery judgment in tow. I find it hard to believe that you existed at all. Did you really rise from the dead and fly to some heavenly realm, or is your body still buried somewhere on the planet? People still make a fuss.

You were written as someone selfless, someone who hung out with the outcasts. But you were depicted as a butt-kicking, peddler-hating guy whose patience was tested outside that house of worship, too. You had nice things to say, and cryptic ones, as well. As you’re the Son in the Holy Trinity, I used to believe that you were a vital component to the Father’s plans. Ah, God the Father. Now, he’s not as well-written as you, sadly.

According to those old stories, he started out as an all-powerful, ever-living God who's somewhat vain, who wanted to be worshipped above all. He created humans to have devotees, and tested their EQ by forbidding them to partake of the fruit of that one special tree. He gave his experiments free will but mercilessly punishes them with floods or plagues anyway, when they stray or pursue their own destinies. He supposedly changed, matured and sent you to teach people compassion and selflessness. But, wait, the book says repeatedly that he’s all-knowing and perfect. Why does he have his occasional hissy-fits when his creations decide to live their own way? Oh, God.

I don’t get it. It still makes me cringe when certain fanatics use religions devoted to you--and consequently, your name and your father’s--to justify division and repression. From time to time, there are homophobic idiots or religious extremists that feel justified every time they use their faith to condemn and persecute others. You probably know that, if you are indeed all-seeing now. There are horrible turf wars and lives made more miserable by old arguments. It’s hard to believe that these things happen, that those people who claim superiority through religion still exist in a supposed civilized age.

But, well, if you existed today in this troubled world, you’d know and understand firsthand that some people are actually making others’ lives hell. What would you do, Jesus?

Did you or your dad foresee the changes, the existence of fighting factions that claim to represent the one indisputable truth? It’s a more complicated world, now.

But despite all that, the experiences, the individuality of people are more felt than ever. Many people experience God and goodness in different ways, through different people, and not necessarily through you. Spirituality isn’t just achieved through strict religious codes, anymore.

I lost faith in you, also, because I couldn’t believe in that other divine aspect--God the punisher, God the jealous guy--anymore. Nor do I believe that to achieve some form of salvation, faith in you is the only way to be spared some celestial penalties. But, you know, I still have faith in the goodness of some people. I’m far from perfect, but I don’t believe I’m bound for eternal punishment because I didn’t believe in you or God’s other established incarnations.

I’m not missing you, Jesus.

And I feel happier and more fulfilled, now.

Your erstwhile worshipper,


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