It was an interesting Easter weekend for me. Firstly, because I went to church TWICE for the first time in years and no one died or got married. Secondly, it reaffirmed my faith in agnosticism by leaps and bounds. There is no doubt in my mind that religion is offensive to God whoever he or she or it is.
I suppose I'll start with church #1. It had a very general name, non-denominational, in the suburbs of San Antonio. I sort of new what to expect when I got there: lame "contemporary" music, altar call, a pastor that had either had too much coffee or something illegal in his system. And I got that...and a whole lot more. It was terrifying.
When we were walking in of course, I found the Easter eggs scattered everywhere hilarious since they represented an ancient Greek fertility ceremony that included orgies, psychedelic drugs, and drunkenness in worship of the god Dionysus. What a wonderful activity for young children to participate in. There is no Easter bunny in the Bible. The bunny is a fertility symbol because, what do rabbits do best? That's right. Nothing to do with chocolate eggs. Unless you're into that.
So, we sat down. I tried not to cringe as the music started to play. Then the service started, or so I thought. They talked about tithing. Common of course in Christianity and mentioned in the Bible. However, I'm pretty sure Jesus would not have talked about it for 30 minutes because the disciples wanted a $20,000 playground for the kids. Also, having read the Bible twice in her life, I knew that Jesus never said that giving money to the Church would make you rich in return. In fact, there was that whole eye of the needle/rich man getting in to heaven quote.
Needless to say I was offended. Having been brought up an Episcopalian, I looked back on Sunday School as an annoying part of growing up but also where I learned a lot about right and wrong. I don't think a $20,000 playground is going to teach those poor kids anything. But it must be great having the kids occupied while the pastor and his wife brain wash you into their money scheme.
Yeah, I said it: money scheme. These people put on their fancy flat screens that lined the sections of the church fake scriptures that said God wanted you to be prosperous, if you gave to the church he'd make you rich, and the words profit, money and promotion were used like they were going out of style. As if you could get "promoted" in to a better place in heaven if you gave more money. When the pastor asked "How many of you gave money this week?" I wanted to raise my hand and tell him I put some money in my savings account and my boyfriend but some in his IRA. And I wanted to ask him which car was his in the parking lot, the Audi convertible or the Benz?
I mention fake scriptures because nothing they posted was in quotations - it was all paraphrased to support the point that the pastor was trying to make: the almighty dollar not the almighty God. The pastor then went on for an hour about what he called the "Blood Covenant". When we walked in, we were handed a flyer about this covenant. On the page their were two people's wrists that were slit open and a paragraph about how people used to bind contracts by cutting their wrists open and sharing blood. Somehow he related it to Jesus.
He didn't really talk about the miracle of resurrection, the sacrifice of Jesus, or anything relating to this Christian holiday really. The whole thing gave me the creeps and when it came time for communion I just told them "I'm Episcopal" as in I'm not participating in this ritual with you people.