|Matty Jacobson edits and contributes to|
The Skewed Review
I just want to know what makes Moses, Mohammed and Joseph Smith Jr. so special.
And I’m not questioning faith all willy-nilly here. I was once upon a time a very active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I still consider myself to be a member in all technical aspects. But when Jo Jr. questioned his faith, the heavens supposedly opened up, and he was greeted by none other than the creator himself.
But when I, and myriad others, have questions, we’re left to interpret our feelings after prayer or take the word of some member of our religion’s hierarchy.
I can't speak for any one other than myself, and since I've only officially practiced Mormonism, there's only one religion I can be truly critical of. But, from what I read in the news, I'd wager most religions are similar to mine: They teach that only a select few of us get our prayers answered in a literal way, and we're supposed to believe everything we're told whether it defies all logic or not.
I was born and bred to serve an LDS mission. I was taught from Sunday school age that it was my destiny to spread the word. I spent my entire teenage years spiraling into a deep pit of self-loathing because, after all, I’m as queer as a Wall Street executive at a reggae music festival.
But when I prayed to God to have my homosexuality abolished so I could be pure and clean for my mission, I was only left with a couple of suitcases full of sinful thoughts and a one-way ticket on the biggest guilt trip of my life.
Suffice to say, neither God nor Jesus, or even John the Baptist for that matter, appeared to me to get me through those rough times.
Trust me, I really want to give God a review right now. But I’ll just keep it to myself.
Instead I’ll give a review to the authors of all our religious texts.
So you say miracles happen? So you tell me angels literally appear to the sounds of what I can only assume are the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” or "Come Together" by The Beatles?
OK, I’ll accept it, but how come I’ve never seen anything like that before? How come just a fraction of the billions of people on our planet are apparently worthy of God’s presence? The very insinuation that I’m less than garbage to God because my prayers elicit silence is pretty, well, un-Christlike.
My review is 10 out of 10 one-star ratings on Amazon.com for the whole collective religious works. If most of the texts weren't free, I'd say that would equate to a drop in sales.
The other day I finished reading a book about vampires. No, it wasn’t “Twilight,” but that’s beside the point. I set the book down and started wondering what the difference was between this work of fiction and the so-called historical rules laid out for us in our sacred books.
For example, I’m to believe there’s no such thing as a group of people who combust in the sunlight, live for thousands of years, and go around ripping people’s throats out just for sustenance. But I’m supposed to believe, without question, that a dude with a stick stretched out his arms and opened a catwalk through a lake, a Muslim guy split the moon just to prove a point to some pagans, and a group of Jewish people found a magical ball that pointed the way to America.
The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to consider our religious texts to be nothing more than fairy tales.
Religions do good things for the world, and I love what the people in the LDS church do. This statement is sarcasm-free. They provide jobs, they fuel the economy, they’re incredibly giving, and most of them are pretty darn nice. However, I am a little surprised more of them aren’t just a little put off by being considered the bottom most rung on the Latter-day ladder.
That can be the only explanation as to why God would reveal himself to the man who wrote the church’s scripture, right?
Have any of you had a sacred grove moment? I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @TheSkewedReview. Let’s get this faith thing sorted out once and for all.