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Meditation 371
Either, both, or neither

by Andrew

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A bunch of my friends are Christians… well, they go to church that is.  On the other hand, a lot of my friends are Jewish and feel like they have this private club apart from others.  I grew up as one of those special “both” kids.  You know the type.  In school when you would talk about holidays, you’d feel all special because when fellow classmates would ask if you’re Christian or Jewish (because of course when you’re at that young age of 10 or so, there are only two choices for religion that exist), you would get to push out that chest and proudly spit out that solemn word that meant two sets of presents: both. 

But what exactly does that mean?  Both means that one parent is of one faith, and the other parent is of another (in other words, it’s a mix and match game of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc…).  But as some people realize, it’s a rare occurrence to find an adult, with a family, who is in fact himself a “both” person.  As one grows older, that both slowly starts to lean to one side or another, as if the different religious beliefs are stretching for one more member of the team.  And that’s what religious organizations do, too.  Sometimes they don’t realize that there are people who will never find one or the other, but will always remain a both (although rarely) and may even, in my case, be a neither.

Now the neither is an interesting subject.  Neither, as I have been told, is to follow the belief of agnosticism, in which no faith is believed in, yet there is some possible belief (or skepticism) of some form of higher being. 

It’s an interesting idea to think about.  There are those who have strongly believed in following the role of a good Jew every day as presented in the Torah.  And then there are those who have been popping on their Sunday’s best every week to sit in a church and hear of how some figure, who they have never met, has died for them specifically. 

What I don’t understand, is how this whole system works.  I know I’m switching gears from being agnostic right into a blatant criticism of the Christian (or Catholic, I don’t even know the difference) faith, but bear with me.  So there are these people who sit in a church, and spend nights with teenagers in things called Youth Groups, and spend hours reading this book called the Bible.  Now not being Christian (which is my underlying point here, as I’ve found myself believing the views of agnosticism), I’m biased towards the side that’s not Christian.  But I have had the pleasure of being involved in a non-denominational Christian organization where I sought to understand the rhetoric behind this God and that guy that exists, but doesn’t really, called Jesus. 

So where is the proof?  And don’t go pointing at that solemn black book that sits inside every hotel nightstand, because then you’re just throwing yourself in loops and not making any sense from any of it.  I need scientific evidence that someone existed (which is probably why I’m not Christian nor do I believe in any faith because I just see it as a form of intelligent and heartwarming fiction to make those in the world feel like they have nothing to fear). 

But you know what, there is nothing to fear, I just don’t need Jesus to tell me that.  True, I do sometimes believe that there may be some God-like figure sitting high upon a throne (yet invisible, of course) looking down on all of us, but I don’t need religion to tell me how to live my life.  I’m a human being that has developed enough to make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes.  And true, everyone dies at some point, and once we die, I assume our souls go somewhere.  Heaven?  Hell?  Does it matter?  Maybe we all just end up in the same place together.  Maybe in 100 years I’ll be enjoying tea and crumpets with Gandhi and George Washington at 2:00 pm outside the cafeteria, followed by croquet with Michael Jackson and some friends (little boys will be kept at bay of course).