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Sinners Go to Church, Saints Go to the Beach

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My mom's mother – my grandmother, that is, but when she gets on my nerves she becomes my mom's mom – called me the other day and as usual asked me about my plans for the weekend.

I told her that I planned on going swimming with Mom, Dad, and my family, and she said, "On Sunday?"

"Yes, on Sunday… why do you ask?"

"Sunday is the day God gave us to go worship Him in church."

"Grandma, do not even get me started on that subject, please," I replied, but did she listen? Of course not, because, church fanatic and saint that she is, she adores torturing me by insisting on talking about a subject that she too well knows irritates me.

"And you should take the twins, your goddaughters, to church as well because they must learn these things early on."

"Yeah, yeah, right. Grandma, gotta go now, talk to you later, okay?"

"I'm going to church; at least someone in our family carries on with tradition and faith," she said in that sweet, annoying, and frustrating voice of hers.

"You do that, Grandma, go have fun."

"We pray there, we do not have fun," she cared to explain.

"Bye, Grandma!"

"Bye, dear!" she said and hung up.

Thank God and Jesus and Mary and all the saints that I got away with only five minutes of conversation with Grandma this time. My God, she gets on my nerves big time. And she does it on purpose. Wants to save my soul or something. My soul is fine, thank you very much. I'm not going to hell, because there is no hell. Just like there is no Santa Claus.

Ever since Jessika and Timea, my goddaughters, were christened by me last year in August, Grandma has been watching me like a hawk to see if I intend to take them to church. Yes, we are all Catholics and so are the girls; however as every family has to have a black sheep, ours has one too. Me.

I'm the one who doesn't buy the crap, and also has the guts to say it out loud. No one except me tells Grandma that she is exaggerating just a little bit. Well, that is an understatement. I know she cannot be changed, she was raised this way and will pass away believing in the same stupidities. I do not want to change her, it would take too much energy and time and I'd rather do something else. Some things in life you can change, others you cannot. Period.

However, I will put an end to it all right now, starting with my goddaughters. Yes, I will take them to our lovely Catholic church; after all I love its architecture, its paintings, its statues and all. But that's it. The girls will also visit Orthodox churches and temples and they will learn and experience all the religions and beliefs, and then they will choose which one they want to follow. It will be their decision, based on knowledge, not mine. That's the fair thing to do.

I was raised Catholic, dragged to church, kept still and quiet and forced to listen to what the priest said or read, and let me tell you, if you hear it once, you've heard it enough. I mean, come on, it's the same thing every day, except for Christmas and Easter and other important events when they read other excerpts from the Bible.

One thing I hate about church is the fact that the people there, mostly old people who spent their lives God-knows-how morally and ethically, now suddenly have found God and church and go there every day to "prey," as I like to call it, since they gossip and judge and… well, pretty much that's it. No, my bad: they also act like the most brainwashed creatures here on Earth.

The priest mumbles a few words, then it's their turn, and so on, for an hour or so. Then the saints shake hands with each other and say "May God`s peace be with you." Right, that makes me laugh every time. Peace lasts for two hours or so, because once they are back at home they yell at each other and stab each other in the back – quite literally sometimes, unfortunately.

They also give money to the church or as they call it, "for the education of our future priests." Ha. Educate them so they can become priests and run a church and brainwash other sad individuals in the name of God. Ha. So they can build nice homes, have cars and lots of money. Ha.

The last time I went to church, at the very end of the sermon the priest spoke and the saints listened. He told them to oppose gay rights.

Okay, that is where I draw the line. Was I shocked? Hardly, considering that the Catholic church made people become Catholic in past centuries by force and fear. What about "free will?" Never heard of it, I guess. But no, they know; they are just hypocrites, that's all. All the blood that's been shed in the name of religion, church, faith, and God. Shame on you.

Then they turned to women. Made them stay at home and obey their husbands, gave them no right to education and health. Made women die in childbirth because they opposed contraception and abortion. Hate to break it to you but God doesn't like that, seeing women die. Shame on you.

More recently, they turned to stem cell research. No, no, noooo! So they say. Ha. Why is it bad? It helps find cures for diseases, it is a good thing, and if it is possible then God approves of it, I am sure. He does not want us ill and dead. The Catholic church does. Shame on you.

Now they say ban gay marriages. Hypocrites yet again. First it was racism, then taking women down, then banning science, now banning individuality and human rights. Shame on you.

The only real Pope humanity has had recently was Pope John Paul II. He was destined to become what he became. He helped take down Communism, loved young people, was modern and open-minded in every way possible, loved by the entire world, respected by all of us, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and so on. He was human. Period. The Pope we have now is just a spooky wannabe, if you ask me. However, he cannot be the same as John Paul II. He is merely a toy in the hands of the people who really run the Church. Sad.

So this Sunday I'm going swimming with my family. Love, family, nature – that is what God is all about. That is my personal legacy to my goddaughters. They will respect humans, human rights, and all religions. Actually I should read to them about Scientology. I like the way they think, just like me in so many ways.

The twins have the right to choose. I am pro-choice in every aspect of my life, especially religion. And I think God likes that.

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About Melinda Zerkula

  • We have very different views on what religion is, you and I. But if religion was to me what you describe it being to you, you would not find me bothering at all. It wouldn’t be worth it.

    When I was your age, over a quarter century ago, I viewed Judaism in much the same light you do Catholicism – something you do only in a house of worship. And I couldn’t be bothered with the hypocrisy.

    But bit by bit, I began to learn that being a Jew did not really have a whole lot to do with a few hours a week in synagogue at all – it was what I did every day with my life that mattered. And so, my views began to change and I actually began to learn. It’s easier to understand when you learn as an adult, but it is harder to internalize. That is the gift of youth to the young. The ability to easily internalize things.

    If all there is to Catholicism is spending a few hours in church trying to rack up brownie points for G-d, don’t waste your time. But ignore your grandma – honor her, but ignore her – and look harder on your own. You might find something worth teaching your god-daughters – something from the heart that is a gift from G-d to you- and then from you to them.

    Blessings from Samaria,

  • Ruvy, thank you very much for commenting on my article and for sharing your story, I agree with you that was the whole point of my article, that it`s been quite a while since I`ve cared what my family thinks of my way of thinking.

    For me, God and faith are very different. Actually, I have written some articles (actually posts) on the same sublect, on my blog, they are called “Blink 3x“ and “The invisible Bridge“. You can read those on my blog. Take care and thanks again for commenting!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Melinda Zerkula
    Cluj, Romania

  • I have recently been criticized for having written this article and though I do respect other people`s freedom of speech, thought and their own opinions I do have to say that I have the right to write what I consider fit and no matter how much certain people try to make me shut up and stop writing I will not do that, I have the right to express myself through my work.

    So to all my haters and people who are upset because I express my opinions…your loss not mine, you`re missing out but what can I say….controversy makes people think.

    Oh yeah, and truth hurts. They can say all they want to say about me I`m going to keep on writing and if they have a problem with that then maybe it is time they left me alone and pay more attention to their lives.Frustration creates little monsters who are so obsessed with other people`s lives that they just cannot help it, they must criticize what others say otherwise their boring lives take a toll on them.

    Get a life, people, and leave my life, my family, my work, my opinions, alone. Maybe if certain people had real lives they would not have the time to take me down. Kids, friends, a loving family, hobbies and passions those things should keep one busy. However when one does not have kids, hobbies, dreams, something to do better than criticizing then….well they just sit and babble about me all day. GET A LIFE.

    TO MY GRANDMOTHER, my mother`s mother I APOLOGIZE for unwillingly hurting her feelings and image though that was not my intention. I love her and respect her and although sometimes my grandmother and I have different views on life we both know we care .

    Melinda Zerkula

  • The god delusion is clearly the most successful long con in the history of humanity.

    It is both predictable and sad that as people like Ruvy and others get older they start to take this gobbledygook seriously; presumably the growing prospect of their final demise is too much for their fragile egos to take, so they persuade themselves that they are simply transitioning to some unexplained elsewhere.

    The hypocrisy is further revealed by the attitudes of Jews, Christians and Muslims towards death; if they all really believe that they and their loved ones are going to a better place, why grieve when someone dies? By the “logic” of these deceptive dogmas, it is only a temporary separation after all.

    People like me, who are free of this cruel creed, rightly mourn when loved ones die as we understand that it really is the end, that another absolutely unique expression of life has ended for ever.

    Apart from the continuing centuries of bloodshed caused by this cruel con trick, the real damage the Judeo-Christian-Islamic falsehood causes is how it gets in the way of an exploration of a more genuine spirituality founded in a reverence for all life.

  • You forgot to tell us what page to turn to for the next hymn in the Atheist’s Missal, Pastor Chris…. Or is it padre?

    Folks like you slamming religious belief like a salmon on a pickling table are just as distasteful and as disgusting as the dogmatists telling others to “go to church/synagogue/mosques to pray”.

    People like me, who are free of this cruel creed, rightly mourn when loved ones die as we understand that it really is the end, that another absolutely unique expression of life has ended for ever.

    Scientololgists would call you a “clear” – if you had forked over several thou in classes and donations, that is.

  • Ruvy, I can’t respond to the first part of your comment because you don’t really say anything, just make weak efforts at some kind of humour.

    I would like to point out just one of your misconceptions though; I am not slamming religious belief per se, simply stating that the tripartite cult you belong to is ill-founded and a major disservice to humankind.

    I don’t really know anything about Scientology. It appears to have a few interesting observations, just like your dogma does, but nothing more than that.

  • If there were a god I would never forgive him/her/it. If there were a god, it would have to be an insane lunatic god or have a conscience akin to a serial killer. It would likely be some cast off god in godland–some deranged psychopathic child god who was locked up and angry enough to create a place to unleash it’s vehemence. If there were a god, I would hope there would also be a hell to send it to.

  • A spoiled brat – one of the Star Trek episodes.

  • zingzing

    religion is just a reason to be an asshole. you can explain away so many personal flaws because of it. i believe what i believe, and you can’t change that.

  • Scientology–I studied that in depth. It is the invention of terrible science fiction writer L.Ron Hubbard, who wanted to amass a great fortune and thought starting his own religion would be the best way. He is quoted as saying this. It uses a series of brainwashing techniques and manipulations. You would be incredulous on hearing what the ‘religion’ purports to believe. Even a Scientologist would be incredulous getting all the ‘teachings’ in advance. They feature Xenu a space alien, the collection of souls that have been blown up after being stored in a volcano. Body Thetans, which are souls that attach themselves to you and cause all your problems. Don’t worry though! You can get rid of them by paying the church, a small fee, which ends up being pretty much anything and everything you’ve got. They’ll help you get grandma to take out a loan on her home if you don’t have any assets of your own.

    Since the internet became commonplace, people have posted the Scientology ‘teachings’. The law states that once you have been injured in a certain manner, like by having your secret teachings revealed…you can no longer suffer from the injury again. So, people have kept putting up Scientology documents. People with nothing to lose.

    The Cult of Scientology uses its wealth to destroy those it sees as a threat. They don’t need to win law suits. They know they won’t win. They just sue until they bankrupt their victim. That’s why you’ll never hear Nicole Kidman discuss her relationship with Scientology through Tom Cruise. Being a high profile personality, if she were to do that, she would no longer have a life she’d recognize.

    Cazares [the Mayor of Clearwater, FL] was quickly labeled a “Suppressive Person” — an enemy of Scientology — and operations to discredit him were quickly begun. On January 30, 1976, the church provided a “fact sheet” to the media which alleged dishonest and illegal conduct on the part of Cazares and his wife; eight days later, the church filed a lawsuit alleging libel, slander and violation of civil rights, asking for one million dollars in damages. Later, they staged a hit-and-run accident in an attempt to implicate him in scandal.

    These actions were completely consistent with the church’s written policies. L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer who founded Scientology, wrote in 1967 that enemies “may be deprived of property or injured by any means … may be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed,” a policy often referred to as “Fair Game.” Or as a favorite Scientology verb to ‘Fair Game’ someone, which means to destroy them by any means possible, if they are deemed an enemy of the ‘church’.

    The ‘church’ took over what was once called the Cult Awareness Network–a help network site for cult victims. The ‘church’ used this network once it obtained it, to vindicate itself, and promote itself as a religion, not a cult.

    In December 1997, 60 Minutes profiled the controversy regarding the history of the “Old CAN” and the “

    Cindy, thanks for your comment on Scientology, I honestly did not know all of that.

    I guess faith in God, or a Universal energy, power, whatever people choose to believe in is more important than the way one`s faith is represented, meaning I would much rather have a personal view on life, faith, God than let others tell me what to do, when to pray, when to celebrate this or that, just like my Catholic fellows have done for so long.

    Catholics did what you said in your comment on Scientology, over the centuries made people believe in Hell and sin so they can take away their money and the poor souls thought they were saved. Even the Santa Clause story is easier to believe than the fact that we go to Hell-if we do not tell the priests our sins and secrets and latest family gossip cause boy, they really enjoy hearing about people`s lives don`t they?

    The priests are the main brainwashers and now I am only reffering to the catholic one, SOME of them not ALL of them of course however I am so sick and tired of Catholicism that if they would excommunicate me I would be thrilled.

    I am not like them, I speak my mind, love art, science, freedom of speech and expression and will not let myself be fooled by their spooky hell stories.

    I had “my first communion“ in 1995 and they made me dress up like a little bride and made me tell all my sins. Well guess what? It was the first and last time. Haha. I could do that now if anyone had 30 days to listen to my sins,lol.

    I only answer to God for what I do with my life, mind, body and soul. I enjoy the pleasures of my body, the complexity of my own mind which I am discovering every single day and the hurts, joys of my soul.

    I am a human being and that my friends is what faith is all about, being human, loving, forgiving, never giving up on your dreams, trusting your intuition.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Melinda Zerkula

  • zingzing

    “I only answer to God for what I do with my life, mind, body and soul. I enjoy the pleasures of my body, the complexity of my own mind which I am discovering every single day and the hurts, joys of my soul.”

    if there is a god, that’s the way he would want it, i’m sure. i hope that there is a wonderful god, and that there is an afterlife. i’d rather that than nothing but rotting.

    i just don’t think any such thing makes itself known to us. just lead a good life and do good unto others and you’re set, i’d hope. no one needs to get down on their knees or give money to this or that. giving time/charity for those in need is a worthy enterprise, however.

    religion is just a man-made method of control. the teachings of the major religions, selectively selected, of course, can be beneficial. there’s nothing wrong with jesus’ words. in fact, most of them are great. however he was created, he’s got a good moral code and core. (there are, of course a few little zingers that it’s best to ignore.)

    the general idea of what it is to be a good person has been shaped by religion. it’s also been perverted, misinterpreted and grossly exploited by religion. i think all of us have the ability within us to decide which bits to ignore and which to embrace. unfortunately, some of us, especially those in the religious right, are incredibly stupid. fuckin’ dumb. like bricks made out of poop.

  • Thanks zingzing for your comment, it seems you and I have very similar view on life, faith, God and religion.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Melinda Zerkula