Assassination Press

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sunday Editorial: Will The Real Slim Shady, Please Stand Up?

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By James Knight (Assassination Press)

“May I have your attention please?"
"May I have your attention please?"
"Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?"
"I repeat, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?"
"We're gonna have a problem here..” (Eminem)

This past week, I’ve been meditating on God, politics, sex, and the amazing phenomenon of bumper sticker-itis. If you have read my Blog, or listened to a podcast, you know some of these things. I’m not feeling particularly political today and I’m definitely no sex expert (although I have had my moments……okay, a few seconds, but they still count). So, that leaves God.

Am I qualified to talk about God? Well, a little history…

My mother was born into a family of Southern Baptists, but married into a family of Methodists. After consulting her Pastor (and my father losing five jobs in five years, a small fortune in a failed dog food company, and filing a bankruptcy), she eventually divorced my father. She briefly dated a Muslim Doctor visiting in the States, had an affair with a married man (who was atheist), and finally married a Jew (who doesn’t practice Judaism but loves Kosher food). My father, not a religious man, although quite incredibly gifted at saying the evening prayer, eventually became a born again Christian after my mother divorced him (until backsliding and finally becoming Agnostic). My sister married a Mormon (and then quickly divorced a Mormon). My brother flirted with Satanic worship until finally worshiping only drugs and alcohol. I almost married a Catholic (who briefly flirted with Seventh Day Adventism), but I eventually married into an Episcopalian family. I worked for a Jehovah’s Witness (and have met even more at my front door). After my divorce, I became a Buddhist.

Besides having divorces, a litany of crimes, misdemeanors, and a very dysfunctional family, I can say I have had some personal experience with religion and have been witness to Gods in all forms (and one misfortunate experience with a transgender post-operative transsexual). I think I’m qualified to talk a little about religion, and if not, fuck it.

As a Buddhist (okay, pseudo-buddhist, with my history I will never be dedicated to one thing) and an admirer of eastern thought, I understand one thing cannot exist without the opposite. Hence, good cannot exist without evil. Still, I just don’t think the “Supreme Being”, or “Beings” (depending on your particular flavor of religion), is doing such a great job.

In fact, I think it is time we look for some replacements. His (or Her) resume is not looking good at this point. We have one thing to judge the “Holiest of Holies” on and that is good versus evil. He has one job and that is to win the war of good versus evil. This just in from the newsroom, Evil is winning folks! In fact, I’m struggling to think of what has ever been good about religion in the first place.

Religion has been the cause of war, destruction, and killing. There has never been, in the entire history of mankind, more heinous atrocities performed for any other reason than religion.

Don’t believe me? Lets see, to mention just a few, we have…

The Biblical Wars, The European Wars (First, Second, Third, St. Bartholomew Massacre, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, The War of the Three Henries, and The Wars of The League), The Crusades (First, Second, Third, Fourth, Albigensian, Children’s, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Baltic/Central European Crusades), the Reconquista Periods, Hitler, an assortment of Jihad’s, and some would say the war that takes place every Sunday morning for the last parking space at the local IHOP or Waffle House (I always wager on the Southern Baptist denomination winning that war. But, only through trickery and diversion: “Look over there, Fire and Brimstone”, as they snake their way into that last parking space).

As for the good in religion, the litmus test must be a miracle of some sort. Something that is directly attributable to a Supreme Being. People are capable of being good and I don’t think that takes the Holy Spirit. So, in a nutshell, we are looking for miracles, amazing events in the history of humankind, and/or undeniable acts of God. Hmmmm, Well, ah………there was that image of Virgin Mary on toast, Jesus on a potato chip, and thousands of Chicagoans praying to a stain under a bridge. Way to go big guy!

It would seem that whatever God’s may exist, they just aren’t making the cut. Billions of years of pre-planning, a million years of evolution, and a few thousand years of trial and error and she, he, or they, still can’t find an answer for poverty, murder, disease, crime, corruption, the evil force that eats at least one sock in the dryer, or a way to prevent George Bush from winning the U.S. presidential election (not once, but twice).

In this situation, there is only one thing left for us to do. That is to create our own God. All throughout history, thousands of God’s later, and we still haven’t found the right one. Perhaps, it is up to you and I to manifest the “One True Being”. But, instead of just “One True Being”, I’m going to be generous and allow “Many True Beings”. There is just too much to do and too little time. If you need a God for making your kids eat their broccoli, you got it. Need a God to tell your significant other the right thing to say at the right time (like you are NOT fat in that new dress or you ARE ENTITLED to buy that shiny new gadget at Best Buy), you got it. Need a God to get laid, a God to get the girl, a God to get the guy, it’s all good. The more, the better. They can all work together. Esprit De Corps, ya know?

Still, once you create your God, you need to give it a name for other’s to worship. (Don’t be selfish, we all need some fucking help, Okay?) The name needs to be interesting, memorable, and it might help for your God’s name to be humorous so you can laugh at them a little bit (they are sure to disappoint you, get something out of it). We need a formula for naming our Gods. A formula that is Universal. Hmmmm, why reinvent the wheel? The perfect formula already exists! Let’s use this one:

Take your very first pet’s name and combine it with the name of the street you first lived on (does that sound familiar? I’ll conjure up some cheesy disco beats in case you need some help). In my case, my God is “Sergeant Longleaf”. I’ve been praying to Him since puberty. He doesn’t always deliver (some guidance on how to unhook a bra with one hand would have been helpful), but I’m sure I fucked a few things up too. When "Sergeant Longleaf" ultimately gets his pink slip (and there isn’t any 401K on this benefit plan), he’ll have a second chance at porn stardom (can you imagine how well endowed a God must be?). I’m sure it would inspire new meaning to the “Oh Gods” of His sexual partners.

So, after your initial God ultimately disappoints you, you’ll need to be prepared. You need a backup plan, a default, something or someone that you can actually see, touch, and occasionally feel touched by (vicariously or otherwise).

My default is Angelina Jolie. I can’t think of a better default God. She fits the bill perfectly. Bizarre, Beautiful, Mysterious, Charitable, and a little fucking Crazy.

Still, let’s get precise, according to the conceptions of God from the “Big Three” (no, not Chrysler, Ford, and GM: I’m talking Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), God is usually held to have the properties of Holiness, Justness, Sovereignty, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnibenevolence, and Omnipresence. Has Angelina got what it takes?

Okay, okay. She may not be Holy, Just, Sovereign, or have Omniscience, but she damn sure is Omnipotent (with the help of a few gifted plastic surgeons). She qualifies for being Omnibenevolent (she loves both men and women - in and out of bed), and I think she is definitely Omnipresent (I’ve seen her in the movies, on TV, on radio, in the magazine rack at the grocery store, and tacked up to the wall of my friend’s seventeen year old son’s room, that is pretty damn close to everywhere).

As a default God, I’m not going to be picky. Three out of seven ain’t bad. Besides. What man or woman wouldn’t think they had heard the voice of God if Angelina was whispering sweet nothings in their ear?

“I pray to God before I sleep, Angelina Jolie is mine to keep”

Amen.

Footnote: There have been many Gods in the history of the World ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gods ). Having trouble finding a God that is right for you? Not feeling original? Got a sin to repent for? Look here ( http://www.godchecker.com ).


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22 Comments:

Blogger Enigma America said...

just commenting to show that i read that...

7:46 PM  
Blogger Gindy said...

"Religion has been the cause of war, destruction, and killing. There has never been, in the entire history of mankind, more heinous atrocities performed for any other reason than religion."

What about Stalin and Hitler? Stalin was a hardcore secularists. True Hitler wanted to kill all of the Jews. But, he also wanted to kill the the gypsies, gays and mentally disabled.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Johnny Wadd said...

As evil as those two were i doubt if you tallied all the dead throughout the ages that died due to religion it would be alot more than what those two accomplished.

11:44 AM  
Blogger el said...

It's true that many wars have been over differences in faith and that there are many crazies out there that will worship to a stain in the image of their diety or something of the like, but I still find religion useful in other ways. For instance, there is nothing better to use to instill morals than the church. Religion puts limitations on people and also emphasize the well being of the community rather than the emphasis on the self.

I still like the post... This post reminds me of my athiest father.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Interesting post...

1:55 PM  
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10:24 PM  
Blogger andin said...

hi, nice writing!
.. and interesting history of you :)

11:20 PM  
Blogger volterwd said...

Religion has been the cause of war, destruction, and killing. There has never been, in the entire history of mankind, more heinous atrocities performed for any other reason than religion.


You made the mistake many others have... religion was not the reason... its the excuse... most wars were fought over land or resources... not religion

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Myles said...

Just wanted to let you know that I read it too.

I also think religion has been a cause for most historical skirmishes, not just major wars.

12:11 AM  
Blogger A Knight Without Shining Armor said...

volterwd,

You have an interesting point, however, it was an "excuse" only for those who were in power. There are usually many reasons for war, I'm not trying to simplify it. But, for most all the people who fought, and died, it was about religion more so than anything else (of the wars I specifically mention). Those in power used religion, as it is often used to this day, to control others.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Stuff

8:53 AM  
Blogger Marguerite Jasmin said...

Funny, as I read on without paying attention to your name or you profile I first thought you were a woman...

9:56 AM  
Blogger Emperor Joe said...

Sorry about the transsexual.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Sudiegirl said...

Very insightful, and I guess my god would be Chelmsford Lost Knife Circle, correct?

Come visit me!

Sudiegirl
http://musingsofachick.blogspot.com

1:58 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

Totally irreverent! Love it. From now on I will be worshipping Cedar Noche. And if that fails (since Angelina doesn't do anything for me as a female), I will just go ahead and worship Johnny Depp.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Blah Blah Blah said...

If you took all the religion out of the world you would have...

...uh...um...oooh....

A BETTER WORLD.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with learning some "religious" morals. It's strict blind adhesion to a set of religious principles that bothers me...In the name of Cedar Noche or Johnny Depp, Amen.

2:48 AM  
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