Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Things I don't understand #1: Religion

While I respect anyone's right to believe in whatever they want to believe in, and in a way I imagine it's probably quite nice to have such beliefs, it simply doesn't work for me. The crimes commited in the name of religion and the problems it can cause seem to outweigh the benefits, to me. Personally I'm a lover of Darwin, I believe in evolution and a scientific explanation for things, rather than a spiritual one. I'm no expert in either field, I know what I know and that's a lot less than what I don't know, but the whole theory that God created the earth and life and space and time and Dappy from N-Dubz just doesn't hold any water with me. I could skim through the bible and point out the bits I think are rubbish all day long, but to be honest I've not got a bible, or all day long. What I do have is a list of the ten commandments, which I gather are quite popular in Christianity and Judaism, so I'm just gonna pick holes in those instead.

Please be aware that I don't intend to offend anyone (I might anyway, but these things happen, people are soft these days). Apart from the Westboro Baptist Church, they can go fuck themselves with crucifixes.

"Listen up, bitches"

The Ten Commandments (paraphrased, otherwise they can get a bit wordy)

1) You shall have no other Gods but me.
Really? I dunno, seems a bit needy to me. I know women who have the same outlook, and it's just not practical. Not saying you should have more than one woman on the go, but it doesn't hurt to at least be aware that there are others out there. It's natural, in fact. Nobody likes an attention seeker.

2) You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
Will if I want. Personally I don't really worship anything, but if people want to bow down to Lady Gaga or Martin Luther King or the actor Timothy Spall, I don't think we should condemn them to hell for it. It's nice to have somebody to look up to, for whatever reason, and personally I'd rather look up to somebody I can see than some intangible fella in the sky. Otherwise I might end up staring directly at the sun and burning my retinas, or getting pigeon poo in my eye.

3) You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
God almighty. Really? For God's sake, you can't say anything these days, it's political correctness gone mad I tell you. God.

4) You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
If by 'holy' you mean having a nice lie-in, drinking some nice coffee, reading the papers and going up to Mum's for a nice roast dinner, then count me in. Although I'm pretty sure that's not what they're getting at here.

5) Respect your father and mother.
Ok then. Personally I will, because my father and mother are brilliant human beings. But if your father is a convicted serial rapist who's serving twenty years in Belmarsh and your mother likes to dress like a slapper and go clubbing until 3am on a saturday and habitually wakes up with several strange men in her bed, feel free to not respect them at all. In fact I suggest you get the hell out of there as soon as you can. Ring social services or childline if necessary.

6) You must not kill.
But what if a masked man breaks into your home and tries to kidnap your baby, and he's got a knife and you've got a gun (this is probably more applicable to my American fanbase - I like to think I have a fanbase)? I know what I'd do, and it isn't 'try and talk him down, remain calm and if all else fails phone the police'. I'd blow his fucking brains out without even thinking about it. All over the wall. Bam! Splat.

7) You must not commit adultery.
But what if you're a woman trapped in an unhealthy relationship? Maybe your partner is abusive or something. I mean, most of the time if you feel the need to cheat on your spouse you should probably just get the hell out of there, but maybe you're scared to leave or something. It happens. Maybe one day the friendly postman knocks on the door and he's got that twinkle in his eye, you get chatting and he pops in for a quick cuppa (too many 70s adult films? maybe), your prick of a husband is taking a break from using your head as a football to go to work and flirt with his teenaged secretary. Fuck it, hop on postman Pat, who gives a shit? But definitely get rid of the husband at some point.

8) You must not steal.
Alright, there aren't many situations where it's considered ok to steal. I can't really do much with this one. Stealing is generally a mug's game. Although if your kids are in danger of starving to death and your last hope is to pinch some beans from Tescos, I personally will turn a blind eye.

9) You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
This one's fair enough too really, nobody likes a grass anyway, but if you're just plain telling lies you need to stop and have a word with yourself. You big fibber. Especially if you're accusing him of something to get him out of the way because you've been coveting his wife, which brings me to....

10) You must not covet your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.
This one is bullshit. from start to finish. If you're Joe Bloggs and you live next door to Brad Pitt, of course you're gonna covet the living shit out of his wife and car and house. It's fine to covet things, that's what gives us ambition. Just don't go as far as stealing/shagging them. You must earn things. Or win or inherit them if you're lucky. Stealing your neighbour's house or shagging his car is frowned upon by almost everyone.


Now I don't want to just tear apart the commandments millions of people live by without offering some alternatives. So BEHOLD:

The Alternative, Modernised and Much More Reasonable Commandments (the title might need some work)

1) Don't be a prick.
That's it. No hard and fast rules, just be a fucking decent person.
Don't shag somebody else's girlfriend/boyfriend, don't steal, don't tell lies and if your bag is taking up a seat on the train when people are having to stand, fucking move it to the luggage rack. I mean Jesus Christ, what the hell is wrong with you people? Do whatever makes you happy, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. If you're young, free and single and free of HIV, sleep with as many people as you like, as long as they know where they stand and don't get hurt. Drink, smoke and do drugs if you want, but if you're stealing to fund a habit, grow up and stop being a dickhead. Covet your neighbour's wife, it might even make her feel good about herself, but don't be a homewrecker and don't covet their kids. Try not to kill anybody unless you really really have to, and if possible just aim to maim. Be nice to the people who care about you. If you're a massive scary looking fella and you find yourself walking behind a little old lady, maybe cross over the road so as not to intimidate her. And hold doors open for people, even if they're not old. Smile at a stranger occasionally, but not in a creepy way. Say please and thank you. If you're driving a car and somebody is waiting to cross a road, maybe slow down a bit and let them cross, especially if it's raining. Bake me a cake for no reason and without me asking. I like chocolate.

Basically if you've got half an ounce of common sense, you don't need a set of rules inscribed on a stone to tell you how to live your life.

Just. Don't. Be. A. Twat. 

Note: colourful language doesn't make you a bad person either. 

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