Saturday, August 19, 2006

Finding Religion

I've decided, finally, on a religion. Most people take religion very seriously, and rightly so. After all, it could be the difference between Heaven and Hell...or Purgatory...or the Bardo...or Toorookal...or nothingness...or your choice here: _________ .

To me, however, it's a lot like shoe shopping. You want to find one that fits, one you're comfortable with. One that people won't laugh it. One that will hold up in all kinds of weather. Unlike shoes, however, it's not like you can have several pairs to choose from, depending on the weather, the season, and your mood. Or maybe not....

To make a long blog short, I've decided to be Catholic. It was a process of elimination.

I really like the Eastern religions. Buddhism, Taoism, Confucism, Hinduism, and any other ism I may have left out. However, they require a lot of meditation, and quite often a funky hair cut. And if you go with Hinduism, there is just a guano-load of deities to remember. Quite frankly, that's a lot of work. And besides, they all believe in reincarnation. Even if I'm wrong and they're right, I get to come back and try again, which is more than I get out of the Western religions.

I briefly considered Zoroastrianism. They worship fire, which would go perfectly with barbecuing. And it would be great to say you believe in Ahura Mazda when the Jehovah Witnesses knock on your door. But like Hinduism, there's just a whole lot to learn, and it's a lot of work. I want an easy religion. I want the religion that requires the minimal amount of effort to get me to Heaven. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

There is a lot I like about Islam. Mainly, the virgins when I get to Heaven. Although, I can't help but wonder what they might have done wrong to be condemned to having sex with me for all eternity. Though I'm sure if I were in Heaven, part of the deal is that I wouldn't worry about it. In the end, Islam was just a lot of work. I mean, praying five times a day is a bit much. That's not to say that it wouldn't be a good idea, but I have a hard time coming up with one good prayer a day, much less five.

Judaism. Where do I begin? I like the hat. I mean, who doesn't? But there's just a whole lot of history there. And I'm not sure I could ever learn to say, "Oy!" with a whole lot of conviction.

So that led me to Christianity. Quite frankly, all of your protestant religions are all pretty much the same. You got that forgiveness thing going on, which means you can still do whatever it is that you want and get forgiven for it, unless, of course, a safe drops on you out of the blue. That could create some problems. And all of their weddings are really lame. There's no polka band. There's no meal. There's no open bar. Just an overly frosted cake and those chewy mints that get stuck in your teeth. And then, most protestant religions require more effort than I really want to put forth. All day Sunday's one thing, but then they throw in Wednesday night, too. And they're always having revivals. And Bible study. And choir practice. And Lord knows what. When would you ever find time to drink?

Which led me to the Catholics. They drink. That's good. They have great weddings. That's good. Mass is a thing to get around. I mean, if you go to church on Saturday night, then you don't have to go on Sunday. So much the better if you go to a Saturday night wedding that has a full mass with it. There's no Wednesday night service. They like to dance. Sex is a good thing. In fact, you're encouraged to hump like bunnies. But only if you agree to raise your little bunnies to be good Catholic rabbits. Which isn't too hard.

But the thing that sold me on Catholicism was Purgatory. What a great idea. My goal is to do the bare minimum. All I need to do is make the final cut for Purgatory. It's kind of like passing high school with a 69.5% average, and they round up. After all, does it really matter if I'm in Purgatory for one day or a million years? Once I get out, I'm in Heaven. And then I'm in Heaven for Ever. For all eternity. After all, there's no such thing as half of eternity, now, is there?

And finally, if it weren't for Catholics, would we ever have cool movies like The Exorcist?

So pass the beads and wine,
C'mon Father, let's all have a good time.
And if I look up Sister Margaret's dress,
that's one more sin I get to confess.
What's one more Hail Mary, give or take,
to save me from the fiery lake?
Everything they say about Catholic girls is true,
But you can be a Catholic too.
All we need are beads and wine.
C'mon everybody, we're having a good time!

Wow. Did I just hear some thunder?