You all know how I feel about certain words. Vulgar words don’t bother me; it’s words like SUBMIT, that have some kind of freaky connotation. To me, “submit” means giving up on life. It’s saying “uncle.” It means getting down on the ground and admitting you’re not the most important person in the world. I’m not, but I don’t like to admit it.

There’s a word that’s driving me crazy and I want to use my blog to get it off my chest. It’s many times worse than “submit” because it’s a word that can cause a traffic accident. People might have died because of this word. “Worship” can drive people crazy.

There’s about 50 churches here in Sarasota, Fl. I think just about every one of them has a marquee in front with pithy words of wisdom, right on the avenue. You can’t miss it. The marquees are rectangular with angels painted on the borders and a white church engraved on the top. The lettering is IMPACT.

So I’m riding down Beneva Road on my way to the supermarket or the bank and every day my eyes can’t help but gaze upon, “WORSHIP WITH US SUNDAY,” or “THOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD.” Sometimes I even get a Biblical reference, “WORSHIP GOD AND GO TO HEAVEN, JOHN 23:1-2.” The gospel reference is to confirm the statement, like it has to be true because John said so.

Here’s some of the stuff I have to put up with:

Beauty: an act of God

People ignore God and then blame him for the chaos that results

Food – a gift from God

Been misunderstood?
Imagine how God feels

Jesus Christ: the name on everybody’s lips

Famous last words: I’ll get right with God later

Jesus: beaten so that you could be unbeatable

Love – a gift from God

There’s more hope for murderers than the self-righteous

If God were an impersonal force we’d be superior to our Maker

You can fool yourself. You can never fool God

Society’s rejects have a special place in God’s heart

Lonely? No one understands like Jesus

Hell! I thought I’d gotten away with it!

Have you made God smile today?

Rainbows – a gift from God

There is more to Jesus than anyone has so far discovered

Okay, I’ve had enough. I decide to take ‘em up on it. Knock, knock, on the church door. “It’s Sunday, Reverend, I’m here to worship. What do I do?”

The tall gaunt cleric invites me into the foyer with an air of grace and paternity.

“Hey, wait a minute, before we start. Just why am I supposed to worship?”

The man of the cloth looks at me with the befuddled look of a kindergarten teacher asked an intelligent question. He looks down at me with the Mona Lisa half smile of limitless sagacity, “Because God created you in His image.”

That’s it. G’nuck, g’nuck, (enough, enough) as Abbie Hoffman used to say. I turn toward the door. “Sorry, Reverend, that shit don’t bounce,” I retort in my feistiest Brooklyn accent. “You’re tellin’ me, God created us to worship Him. That’s bullshit. What’s God a megalomaniac?

“Let’s say I’m all good, all knowing and all powerful—just for a minute, okay? I wouldn’t create somebody just to be worshipped. That’s nothin’ but a pretty sick ego trip. I’d say, ‘Hey, I created ya, have a good time. The universe is all yours. Enjoy it: the world, animals, art, sex, intelligence. Just don’t hurt anybody while you’re doin’ it, okay? You don’t even have to say thanks.’”

Like this stuff. Allow me to pitch Mirror Reversal. Same thing cover to cover.

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Comment by Shane Smith on January 11, 2010 at 9:10pm
~vein popping on my forehead~
Why did you have to bring up those words... ~shudder~
Comment by Rich Goss on January 11, 2010 at 1:16pm
Dawn, I think God has better things to do than follow you into the bathroom. But I’m not sure. We better consult a professional clergyperson on this important theological question. Perhaps we can all worship together.

Now that’s kinky
Comment by Rob van Senten on January 11, 2010 at 12:46pm
Rainbows – a gift from God

That God-Dude really needs to sort out his priorities if this were to be true. There are children dying from starvation, and that schmuck is busy making rainbows?!

Signs like these really proof that religion is usually only skin deep, if they thought about this for more then a second before floating up in the air on a cloud maybe they would have thought of the consequences if it were true:

"God Cares more about almost anything then about your sorry ass!"
Comment by Dawn K on January 11, 2010 at 11:22am
The eyes of God are everywhere. He even follows you into the bathroom.

It was stuff like this that made me paranoid for the first 30 odd years of my life. God = creepy.
Comment by Clarence Dember on January 11, 2010 at 8:26am
Religion is like an unregulated opiate. Glad the cure is using our brains!
Comment by Rich Goss on January 10, 2010 at 10:42pm
Michell, I'm glad somebody's reading these wise epigrams. They're so fucking smug and arrogant. I get mad every time I pass one. A lot of them deal with what Christopher Hitchens calls “divine invigilation.”

You can fool yourself. You can never fool God

Hell! I thought I’d gotten away with it!

Here’s my contribution for this week’s marquee:

The eyes of God are everywhere. He even follows you into the bathroom.
Comment by Rich Goss on January 10, 2010 at 10:27pm
Nerd, it certainly does mean "submission." I guess the lesson is, make sure before you submit that what you're submitting to is real.
Comment by Michelle on January 10, 2010 at 9:21pm
Jesus Christ: the name on everybody’s lips
I kind of have to give them this one, although when I say it additional words are added in the middle.
Comment by Rich Goss on January 10, 2010 at 7:50pm
getting his manifesto written a few thousand years ago, then suddenly nothing.

Lol. You can’t imagine how many times I thought the same thing. Absolutely nothing in my whole 65 years even appeared to be supernatural—not even the best tricks of Penn and Teller. Why should the apostles and others have the advantage of eyeballing such great miracles? God has to be fair.

When I was a kid, how come I never saw the Lord walking on the water at Coney Island Beach? Or changing all the water into wine at the Blarney Stone at closing time?

Just one little trick and I’d be the holiest Joe on the block. I’d practically live in the goddam church. I’d even put real dollars in the collection basket.

Prayer: Oh, Lordie, just blow that ant off that hard-waxed coffee table and I’ll be your most obedient, adoring and ass-kissing servant. That shouldn’t be too hard.

But noooooooo. God above won’t even cough in my direction.
Comment by Jo Jerome on January 10, 2010 at 3:51pm
--> carver:
Yeah, one of my primary issues with Xianity as a child was that, like with UFOs, God never seems to appear in front of a press corp, or a video camera, or a major city with millions of witnesses. In fact, seems like he was awfully busy revealing himself and getting his manifesto written a few thousand years ago, then suddenly nothing. Isn't it time for an update?

Yet every time someone claims to be the messenger of that update, they are discredited by everyone else around them. Which made little-girl-me think in simplistic, little-girl-terms: "If pretty much everyone today claiming to have a hotline to God is a loony with a personal or political agenda, what is my evidence that the original authors of the bible were any different?"

But what did I know. I was just a stupid little kid.



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