I got a text the other day from one of my finest friends, my best man at my first wedding so far, no less. I feel it’s only fair to protect his identity (not for his sake but for that of his wife and children who are all very amazing, almost teasingly great, human beings) so I will just refer to him as Abigail Frottagepot and be done with it. Anyway, Abigail Frottagepot asked me if there was anything on religion on my blog. Well Abigail Frottagepot, you lazy, illiterate spunk monkey, if you’d read it all you’d see that there are lots of jabs at religion, subtle, clever ones of course, that not everyone would necessarily spot because they’re written in English, in black and white, right in front of you. Having said that, religion is a great topic because it’s so easy to kick and perhaps a piece dedicated to it is a great idea and after all I do love you Abigail Frottagepot. In a hairy, muscular, man-love kind of way. I’ve actually made that sound worse than if I’d just said I love you in a homosexual way, sorry. I’m very confused now. Does that make me metaphorically transgender? Anyway sir, this is for you and the other person who claims to read all this. Feel free to comment and follow you work-shy, whiskey sodden arserag.
Religion has been in the news A LOT recently. Some people are saying that one day a certain religion will rule the world and then we’ll all be sorry etc. Of course there is lots of evidence to suggest that religion is a big old bulging bag of bollocks. And I must say I’m inclined to agree with this intellectual assertion. It’s not all bad, I’m happy to do that thing where you say you agree with various bits of the Bible or the Torah or whatever because it’s just common sense and it lends itself to us all having some kind of moral compass, which will lead us through life in a normal manner. Having said that it seems to me that the very same books also suggest a few things which really rather a lot of people have interpreted in a different way and in doing so have rendered their moral compasses a bit, er, what’s the word? Oh yes, fucked. Properly, really, irreversibly fucked. Totally twatted. Thrown against a wall then stamped on until they don’t work anymore. These people are very, very dangerous and there are quite a lot of them out there, seething with rage and confusion and bile. All of it totally misguided and massively crap.
So I don’t believe all religion is bad, definitely not. I just believe that lots of aspects of religion are a bit silly and empty and full of such strange invention it’s not really surprising that people who get into it too much end up having their brains tinkered with a bit. That’s right, who would have thought that God, the most right person in the universe would be a brain tinkerer? To expand on this point I would like to make 10 cases for religion being totally cuckoo and see what you think. Just before I start I should add that if you want, none of what I say is right.
- The feeding of the 5,000. And lo, Jesus did say, ‘share this out amongst the ungrateful, hirsute rabble and it should be enough to go round’. Bread. And fish. That’s it. It doesn’t even sound right. Mmmm, that bread looks nice and fresh, I think it’s still warm, what shall we have with it? Butter and marmite? Yay. Blackcurrant jam? Yay. Nutella? Yay. Maybe some oil and balsamic vinegar? Yay. Er, you haven’t got any fish lying around have you? How do you mean – fish? You know just some fish, any fish really, don’t open a new one or anything, just some fish, to go with the bread. Ludicrous!! I’m amazed there wasn’t a riot. You might turn your nose up at those burger vans at festivals but just remember they wouldn’t be there at all if JC hadn’t come up with the worst excuse for brunch in the history of humankind. Maybe Nigel Slater could do his own version, just before he looks at the camera to tell you how amazing his is.
- Modern churches. Sorry Christianity, in fact this goes for pretty much any modern place of worship. I really like going round old churches and cathedrals and so on. Look at a lot of them and you get a good idea how totally absorbed people were in showing their dedication to the man upstairs. Frankly if I were a peasant toiling in some 14th century field and looked up to see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral shimmering in the distance I’d be pretty inclined towards believing in God too. It seems a shame, and frankly a bit of an insult, that religious types have pretty much given up on such gestures. I can’t imagine God would be particularly chuffed to have his name associated with a new church that looked suspiciously similar to a YMCA in Dunstable. Mind you, what do I know? I’ll tell you what I know. Fuck all.
- Books. Religious books sell an awful lot of copies and that means an awful lot of paper which means an awful lot of trees cut down which means an awful lot of carbon dioxide which means an awful lot of global warming which means an early end to God’s sweet, green paradise on earth. Gideon should take a good kick to the goolies for some of this, sticking a copy of his bible in every hotel drawer is an absurd idea. If it’s so significant then why does the hair-dryer not have a more prominent place in modern Christianity? They (no idea who they are) reckon the Bible is the best-selling of all books with the Koran and Chairman Mao’s guide to being a homicidal maniac close behind. Let’s also bear in mind some other best sellers: Lord of the Rings (big pile of waffly cobblers), Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (waffly cobblers in excelsis), The Da Vinci Code (good fun but for people who normally hate reading), Lolita (a book you’re not allowed to like in case you get picked up by Operation Yewtree) and Charlotte’s Web (a book about a talking spider). In short the Bible sells well but so do books about paedophiles, precious rings and wizard’s nobbly wands so just being a best seller means a grand total of nothing.
- ‘Thought for the day’. Why does ‘thought for the day’ on the radio always have to be from a religious figure and why do they always bang on about how religion and having faith is just like taking the dog for a walk, or making some soup for lunch, of buying a satsuma, or playing with yourself while your wife sleeps next to you etc, etc. They never mention that religion is also about gun massacres and enforced mass child kidnapping, or life shattering torture or being a child molester and a well-respected member of the local community at the same time. Here’s a thought for the day – shut your pie hole and play the rest of that song you so rudely cut short. Unless it’s ‘Stay With Me’ by Sam Smith. I’d convert to Sikhism in a flash if it meant never hearing that song again.
- Turning water into wine. Surely the best evidence for JC not quite fully appreciating what a lucky chap he was. If the Bible was remotely true he would have turned water into Chateau Neuf Du Pape and put his feet up with a good movie and a cigar. Maybe Cross of Iron and a Montecristo Petit Edmundo. Or maybe he would have modified his technique to produce gallons of Smirnoff vodka, Stella Artois and Jagermeister and turned the disciples into obnoxious, violent twats.
- Silly clothes. Turn on the TV during a major religious ceremony or event and you’ll see what I mean. These clothes are meant to be symbolic. That’s right, they symbolise the need to dress like a bit of a cock who is utterly out of touch with the real world. They look even more out of touch if they’re being worn in a building that resembles a Scout hut built in 1973.
- Not being able to work. Pick those shoes up Jebadiah. Sorry, I can’t mum, it’s a day of rest. Renew the TV license Ishmael. Not going to happen love, it’s the Lord’s day. Wreak global havoc by indoctrinating vulnerable children into aggressive acts of violence, Kenneth. No can do sweetheart, if I lift a finger that bloody great thunder bolts going to melt me to fuckery again, I’ll get round to it tomorrow.
- What religion is good for. Manipulation and bottomless hypocrisy and constant lies and supporting known paedophiles and between them all causing the deaths of millions and millions of people over thousands of years and standing there telling us how special God is and that he loves us all and that all our sins will be forgiven IF we decide that he’s the best God to choose from the catalogue.
- Daft rules. Only a religion like Mormonism could have been invented in America, by a randy stoat who just wanted to get laid as often as possible while someone else emptied the dishwasher. Religion is essentially a group of people coming together to write up a set of rules which gives them the right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want. If you spend enough time thinking about all this it seems quite amazing that we’ve got so far under the cumulonimbus that is global religion.
- Wasting my formative years. I took GCSE Religious Studies and got an A. Because of this I decided to drop English at A level and do Religious Studies as this was clearly a strength. I got a D and these days am an atheist who believes there must be something good out there beyond this self-destructive planet we’ve pillaged, but also believes it’s unlikely to be called God. Ironically enough the last time I can remember praying was in my bedroom as a 13/14 year old, as Children in Need with Sue Cook blared out in the background. I suspect I was praying for help in my exams. As you’re reading this it must be very evident that I didn’t take A level English because if I had then most of this would have stuck slightly closer to proper, accepted, written English guidelines.
That’s it for now. I’ve realised as I’ve pumped this out that there are not enough words to comfortably explain the flaws in religion. Having said that, the same could apply to covering the flaws in each and every one of us. Especially you Abigail Frottagepot. Perhaps that’s why religion is still so popular. We’re all buggered anyway so why not cling to the nearest hand for comfort. Mine is my wife’s and that’s good enough for me. Oh and the bloody cat, of course.
G B Hewitt. 21.11.2015.
Sorry if I’ve not mentioned all the religions in great detail, one in particular. I think you know why. Be not praised.
Abigail, we must catch up for a pint and an arm-wrestle.