I started writing, originally, about college, and how I've been trying to finish for what seems like forever. Then, what's really been bugging me started coming out, and I realized it was terribly off-topic. So, instead of writing about something so generic as my search for a four year university, I'm going to write about something that has really been bothering me lately:
While riding with Significant Other a few days ago, we saw a bumper sticker that proclaimed "RAPTURE READY". My response: "Me too. I'm ready for you people to get the fuck out."
I've never had a problem with any religion until I moved here, and people were soooo eager to shove Jesus down my throat. I like Jesus, genuinely- he was a political and spiritual revolutionary, a truly good man who told folks they needed to get it together and start loving one another, be compassionate, truthful, and have a real community. I love how the first Christian mystic communities lived, and I admire the people who truly follow the tenets of their faith (and that stands true for anyone of any religion). My beloved Gandhi did his best to emulate Jesus, and while he certainly had his shortcomings, he was indeed a great man who did a great deal of good for the world.
What I can't stand are the majority of these "followers" I find around here. These are the people who are in church every time the doors are unlocked, who think it's their civic duty to browbeat anyone who isn't like them into being just like them. They're cruel, unforgiving, judgemental, and war-like, and I despise them and pity them. They don't take to heart the words of Jesus at all, but those of Paul, whom I found to be dispicable from the get-go. I've read the Bible twice (and a half, but who's counting if it's not a whole?) and I find that the majority of this group of people haven't even read it once, but just followed along the passages that their preacher chose to highlight.
I've had a old man accuse me of thinking that he's homophobic (because I'm not a Christian), which I totally didn't understand since I didn't know him from Adam. I had another man tell me he was going to pray for my soul while it was writhing in hellfire. I had a lady tell me that if I wasn't a Christian, then I was a follower of Satan (which is laughable), and there have been other disparaging remarks along the way that are too numerous to count. Mind you, I'm never the one to bring any of this up because quite frankly, I don't give two hoots in hell what anyone believes as long as they believe in something (Huzzah for the pastafarians!), but they're quick to go for the jugular. And then, the other day, my manager dropped some remark about how I think all Christians are terrible people- in front of people. She smiled when she did it, which let me know quickly that she meant to cause some shit. And I didn't appreciate it at all, especially since it isn't true. I just hate the ones that try to shove Jesus down my throat when they're just mimics for their preachers. All this made me feel a stir of deep dislike- and I realized she's just like them: someone to avoid if at all possible.
It's true, I'm a fish out of water here. I don't fit, and there are no places for people like me in this godforsaken area. But, they make it that way because their hold on their faith is so fragile that anything different poses a threat. So, I just continue to pity these poor foolish souls, and I pray for the day that I can leave this place. If ever there was a place that I'd never want to come to again, it is the South. The loveliness that I knew as a child is gone from here, and it has been replaced with the refuse of the world. But as in any garbage dump, there are sometimes treasures to be found, and I search desperately for those everyday. It gets harder and harder to hold my determination to find the good here.