Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Repent or....Or What?
Sooooo, yeah, this is what the new project chose as this week's topic. I know it might be pretty ballsy to talk about religion as it is one of those things that I try not to do (obviously, I'm still going to here..). I usually believe that your beliefs are a very personal thing and you shouldn't have to explain yourself or them to anyone. religion has been a tough area for me as of late because talking or writing about it forces me to reconcile what I learned in my youth with what I see happening in the present. I'm sure like me, many of you who were raised in the South have the same issues: Why do I believe what I do? Do I still really believe it? Is it ok for me to pick and choose what aspects of it I agree with?
The last question is where I have been for awhile now. There is no part of the above picture that I agree with. I find it silly to subscribe to what is basically fear mongering in order to make someone buy into what you're selling as religion. I also feel like it is tough to reconcile my small town upbringing with a larger world view that I've developed since moving away from there. Unfortunately, I still notice that there is a contingent of America who lives in a sort of bubble that allows and to some extent promotes group-think that propagates hatred toward others for their "lifestyles". Sure, if you take the billboard at face value, you can assume that drunkards, fornicators, adulterers, philanderers are able to repent from their evil ways, but that assumes that they see something wrong with what they're doing. Some may, most won't at that is where the disconnect happens. Most people assume that anyone gives a flying f*&k what anyone thinks about how they live their lives and thusly billboards like this are quickly pushed aside to exist in the realm of crazy people who pay money to erect billboards where there's a picture of Jesus (Sidenote: I seriously doubt this is what Jesus actually looked like. They've also elected a picture where he seems to either a) be experiencing some sort of severe pain or b) severe pleasure. (I am aware that it is wrong to make fun or harbor the idea that this looks like Jesus whilst in the throws of passion, but I can't be the only one who had this thought upon seeing this for the first time...))
My main issue is that what I believe and know to be true cannot be reconciled with anything on this billboard. Especially the homosexual comment. Anyone who has a friend or family member that is gay can attest to the same feeling. If you grow up in a small town where everyone knows everyone and can be assured that there are no people who are gay and any who are weren't actually born that way, but instead opted to live a "lifestyle". This makes no sense to me, but alas we have folks in our country that do. I also don't know that we should still use the word swindler, but given the recent happenings on Wall Street, that may actually still be an appropriate term for some people.
Since, I can't go on without pointing out the obvious flaws in this billboard, and I'm already tired of ranting about how silly most of this seems in a world view, here are the 5 things that I find weird about this image:
1. Philandering, adultering, and fornicating seems repetitive. In fact, upon double checking the definitions of each. Philandering and Adultering are the exact same thing. So, yeah we get it, you don't want people putting their genitalia near other's genitalia unless they're married. I can get on board with this as too many stupid people are reproducing at an alarming rate as it is, but ease up a bit. The fact that you used 2 words that mean the same thing already tells me you have no REAL understanding of the words you just paid money to put on a large billboard. They might have been better served to put one up saying "I'm ignorant and Stupid"... That's the conclusion we've likely drawn anyways...
2. Is that an ellipsis at the end of that Bible quote? So we can assume that this was taken out of the context of a larger passage? How does someone that has never really known Christianity not supposed to think that the next sentence isn't something like, "you also shouldn't call people mean names like homosexuals or drunkards..."
3. You know when you had people teaching you things when you were little and then when you were older, you realize that they may not have been that smart? This is that. 5 year old me would accept what the said as absolute truth having no basis for a counter-argument. 31 year old me knows that a good portion of the people who agree 100% with this billboard also think that Nickelback is a quality rock band who makes great music. They've also never actually read the majority of the book that they use to tell people they're living their life wrong.
4. The quote from the Bible uses the word homosexuals. Pretty sure that the apostles weren't throwing that word around 2000 years ago. This is one of my pet peeves as of late with religion. Old words are clung to (you know, because I've used the word philanderer more in this post than in my entire adult life) and then some newer words are just thrown in for good measure. Which means its okay to quote something in any way you see fit as long as your end goal of scaring people into living their lives the way you think they should is achieved.
5. Lastly, I assume the intelligence of an individual who would spend money on erecting a sign like this cannot be that great. I understand that they likely feel they are just passing on the truth as they know it to be, but would also venture that an actual debate of whats right and wrong would last roughly as long as it's taken me to write this post about it. In fact, a part of me is sad that I can't have said debate, but the bigger part of me is glad to know that this billboard likely rests in a small part of the country where few will have to see it and think that there are those out there who strive to rid the world of its problems by any means necessary. Apparently, what was necessary here was to call people names, post a weird (and likely incorrect picture) of Jesus, and to let you know that you are wrong...
If you wish to see the other responses to this week's topic feel free to head on over to the following blogs and see what we have to say...or don't. As always, I don't necessarily give a crap about someone reading this, but I kind of do....