Why are we here?

November 30, 2009

I bet it has been said somewhere at some point by a profound thinker that to know “where you are” you must first know “who you are”. If not, consider me the first. I am but a simple college student with nothing to my name but, potentially, a sweet quote about “knowing where you are is knowing who you are”, or something like that. I am twenty years old and I have recently started reading the Bible. I have intended this blog to be the chronology of my exploits in the world of religion. I don’t know who you are, but I can only hope that in being here you will find some amusement in the absurdities that will come to pass as I delve deeper into the sacred text.

I am not religious. In my youth I was ordered to church on a regular basis, but somewhere along the way I wandered from the path. Now, I kind of wish I hadn’t….ah, who am I fooling? The freedom that came with releasing my religious ties was cool as a kid, but I never got the opportunity to discover what made so many people give up their Sunday morning and part of their lives. Nowadays, with friends and relations still subscribing to one faith or another, I have a desire to see for myself what makes religion so attractive. And that is how I came to the Bible…

The church I was lead to as a kid was a Catholic one. Today I have friends who are Catholic, or at least some branch of Catholicism (I can’t keep them all straight). If there is one thing that ties all religions it is its ubiquitous and commanding presence amongst the lives of its followers. As a result I am fascinated with not just Catholicism, but with all religion. I have chosen to start with the Bible only because it is noticeably relevant in my community and country.

I have found in my experience debating with religious folk that the conversation ends up with a bible being pulled out of thin air (miracle?) and pages being turned in a fury to find scripture to prove a point. I have never been satisfied with what the living room prophets give me, but I willingly give them the benefit of the doubt. I too find it difficult to supply evidence to support my opinions in the heat of argument. To save them time and energy, and to bolster my own argumentative capabilities, I will be searching for their evidence and several other things as I read:

In my reading I aim to find the answers so many accept to the world’s most difficult and debated questions such as those regarding abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment and evolution to name a few. I want to discover all of the things that make me the outcast and damned person I am. I want to see what it is about God that people like so much, and why Jesus is such a cool guy that strangers in the grocery store feel compelled to tell me so. I want to see if the Bible is persuasive to the point that its followers will consider it history while denouncing history books. I want to find the confidence to be able to point to written words as fact and stand tall while reason and evidence batter my position. I want to find a way to convey cynicism and sarcasm in text better than I can already.

With all of these goals in mind I hope that the religious community can withhold my eternal damnation but temporarily while I pursue the answers they assure me will promise an eternity of happiness. Despite what others may think of the coming documents, I hope that you can find some entertainment in the misinterpretations and cynical bastardizing that comes with a frustrated, young adult’s hopeless attempt at finding the meaning of it all.