What does religion mean?

Arguing your religion

Cathedral in Spain

While I’ve been pretty busy lately, I’ve not been so busy to avoid getting embroiled in religious arguments – online and off.

And I’ve gotten into no less than three just in the past 24 hours – mainly due to Pope Francis supporting evolution, which the Church as done since at least 1950.

Oddly, all three arguments have been with atheists. The thing is that they don’t understand the basic definition of the word, “religion.”

Is religion a belief in god?

No, because that would mean that religions like Taoism and Buddhism, which have no god, are not religions. Yet they are.

Religion is “an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.”

It’s how we organize the world for ourselves.

The reason why you get so annoyed with all those gun enthusiasts, staunch vegetarians, rabid animals righters, virulent Liberals/Conservatives, etc. is because you’re tired of having their religion shoved down your throat.

It’s how they see the world and they want – badly for some reason – for you to see it the same way.

In any case, atheists see the world and our role in it sans god. And that is absolutely fine with me.

But just like you probably don’t want to be harangued at the airport by (American) Christian fundamentalists, I don’t want want to asked to explain how I see the world as it relates to me while eating a late-night gyro.

Logically, there’s zero difference in those that utilize peer pressure and shame to put down a religion as there is to build one up. The core point is the same: see the world as I see it, or you are dammed/wrong/stupid, descended from apes, etc.

It’s this weird militant atheism that people seem to have that I find the most peculiar – like furiously sleeping. As if how I see the world affects them.

Some people just wanna eat a gyro in peace and I say, let them.

Him: You don’t really believe in god do you?
Me: Why does what I do in my head matter so much to you?

Location: work
Mood: wishing for a breakfast gyro
Music: can’t stop can’t stop, I’m still looking now
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But that’s the actual nomenclature

Cold Ass Beer – Chug it

Cold Ass Beer - NYC Sign

Student: Did you just curse in class?
Me: I don’t consider “damn” and “ass” cursing. It’s more the hard K sounds I think…

In both the wrasslin gym I go to and my own fencing class, cursing is verboten. However, what constitutes cursing is different for different people.

There’s this move that is called by the creator of it S____y Rubber Guard. I mentioned that to someone in my class the other day and ended up doing pushups.

Coach: 40 pushups
Me: But that’s the actual nomenclature!
Coach: Do you want 50 pushups?
Me: I didn’t even want the first 40.

Still, I try not to curse casually, as you know.

Which reminds me that I’ve had a number of people read The Men Made of Stone recently that are surprised at just how much cursing there is in it.

I tell them that it’s the characters and not so me but I can see why they might be surprised.

Speaking of the book, I’ve gotten some more positive feedback that I’ll tell you about in the next few weeks or so.

On another note entirely, it’s getting hot as hell here. I could go for some cold ass beer.

Or rum. Either/or. Damn, it’s hot.

Location: behind a gate with a busted handle
Mood: hot
Music: Big kosher pickle and a cold draught beer
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Someone’s going to have to Rosseta Stone us in a 1,000 years

The way things are going, I worry about us as a species

Been cleaning up my room and I came across a small stack of MiniDV tapes. The problem is that I don’t have a MiniDV player.

Thought of this recently as I read the news.

As I said earlier, it’s depressing. Between the Kenyan mall shooting, the church bombing in Pakistan, and shootings here in the states, I wonder about our future as a species.

Historically speaking, when violent uprisings happen, there’s not just a wiping out of people, there’s a wiping out of that people’s civilization. After the burning(s) of the library of Alexandria, the western world saw 600 years of dark ages where knowledge was lost and only slowly rediscovered over centuries.

In Mali, the Islamists aren’t just killing people, they’re destroying ancient manuscripts, temples, and art in Timbuktu.

And if any one of these people nutjobs get a hold of a nuke, well then all those sci-fi films like Planet of the Apes – where major cities like NYC are little more than ruins – become very real.

Perhaps then these harddrives and computer will just have a wealth of knowledge on them that no one can read. After all, for about 1,400 years, no one could read Egyptian hieroglyphs until the Rosetta Stone was translated in 1822.

All that knowledge gone for 1,400 years.

Of course, I could just go to ebay now and pick up a MiniDV player and a computer with a Firewire in port to record the info on these tapes of mine. I’m geeky that way.

Then again, maybe some information is best lost and left undisturbed.

Case-in-point, this photo below of me right before my MRI in some fetching blue slippers. No one needs that.

I mean, I’m showing it to you, but, really, no one needs to see it.

Location: trying to get to the gym
Mood: concerned
Music: make the change, it’s up to you to break the chain
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Art is…

The One where Logan rants about ranting

Almost Tribeca, NY

Her: If I left, I’d just take my stuff and walk out the door. You’re not a jerk so I don’t need one.
Me: Ok then, so I won’t write up a prenup if we ever get hitched.
Her: (laughing) It’s funny, we’re planning out the divorce before we’re planning out the marriage.

Immediately prior to Lincoln’s Getteysburg’s Address – which was only ten minutes long – a fella gave a two-hour, 13,607-word speech. You know who that was? Me neither. Cause no one remembers or cares.

Have you ever read just crap poetry? Or seen crap art in general? You thought, in some fashion, How the hell is this art?

When you’re a kid, you think that art is all about unfettered freedom and novelty. But real art comes from limiting yourself. It’s about conveying the maximum depth of meaning with as little possible – words, time, paint, whatever.

Art’s efficient.

Look, my drivel’s not art, but I still try. Whenever I’m done writing, pour a cup of joe, sigh, and then start whittling down.

Almost all of Shakespeare’s stuff’s in iambic pentameter, which is freaking hard enough without a delete key. Oscar Wilde wrote the shortest telegram in history to ask his publisher how his book was doing.

Oscar: ?
Publisher: !

Art only happens with restraint; and if you’re writing and not getting a dime for it, it should be art somehow, yeah?

Otherwise it’s just ranting and ranting is worse than a waste. It’s a bore.

Location: waiting to wrassle
Mood: melting
Music: You’re not here but it’s ok I assure you babe