Jesus and Burritos

     A couple of weeks ago I was coming home from work on a Saturday night (I don’t work often lately because of school but they called me in) and decided it’d be easier to pick something up than to cook a meal at 3am.  For late-night food I like this place called “Taco Cabana”.  They have a brisket burrito and it is…divine.

     Anyhow, the drive-thru was closed so I went in to order.  While I was waiting for my order I noticed one of the employees that was wiping down the tables.  He looked like he was in his late twenties and was not happy about wiping up tables after drunk people at 3am.  In fact he looked really depressed.  I guess I wasn’t the only guy who was observing him because I noticed another guy watching him too.

     This other guy was wearing a shirt that said “preacher” on it and was all Jesused out with necklaces. (Seriously, what’s with all the huge crosses people?  I thought Jesus already bore it for you…isn’t that how the story goes?).  Anyhow…actually, no.  I have one more side rant. 
     What’s with all these Christians getting tattoos of the cross and scripture?  As with most Christians they obviously either  have never even read the bible or don’t follow it (yet will profess its truth).  God’s pretty clear on these issues.  Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”   Notice he adds “I am the Lord”.  That’s so you don’t get it confused with all the other voices in your headAnd as for all the icons of Mary, and manditory Jesus gear of crosses as earrings or pendants, “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth Deuteronomy 5:8.  For Heaven’s sake people, it’s the fucking 2nd commandment.  How am I supposed to take you seriously if you can’t even keep/don’t even know your second commandment?

     Ok, so listen my Christian friends.  You go ahead and believe whatever you like that’s fine; but don’t try and tell me the bible’s true or Christianity is the one true religion when you don’t even know what is written in the bible.  It just makes you look like an idiot.  Would you say of  any other book you hadn’t read or ideology you hadn’t studied that you KNOW it’s true?  No, you wouldn’t.  And if anyone ever told you they believed in something they’d never read or knew nothing about, you’d think they were ridiculous at best.  So why don’t you take at least a tenth of the time most atheists have devoted to studying religion and at least learn what you believe; and if you really want to impress me, go learn some history of early Christianity.  At least then you won’t be such easy targets;  and more likely, you’ll find that you actually don’t agree with a lot of what’s written–and that no sane modern person could without doing Olympic-level mental gymnastics.  

    Enough with the ranting.  This was actually supposed to be a post that is somewhat sympathetic to Christianity.  Where were we?  Oh yeah, the preacher guy… Anyhow, the preacher guy gets up, walks over to depressed Taco Cabana guy, puts his hand on his shoulder, looks into his eyes and says something like,  “whatever you are going through right now just know that there is someone who loves you with all his heart.  He has infinite love for you and will always be there for you.”  There was so much sincerity in his voice.  He really really believed it.

     You could see immediately Taco Cabana guy’s body language change.  His eyes smiled.  He had spring in his step.  Where previously he had avoided eye contact with the customers, as he cleaned tables he asked me how I was doing, and how my night was.  This is some pretty cool stuff.

     Watching that transformation was a major epiphany for me.  Up until that point in my life trying to understand why anyone could possibly believe in any religion was beyond my imagination.  I just could never understand.  But here was my mistake.   I always looked at religion from a more intellectual point of view.  Even as a youth, I could not wrap my mind around the idea of a personal God.  Too many things just did not make sense.  But in that one fateful moment at Taco Cabana I understood why Christianity has such appeal.  In my analysis I was missing the human element of religion.  Who doesn’t want to have some super power friend that loves them (sort of) unconditionally, looks out for them (even when he’s “testing their strength”), and even (somehow) died for the mistakes they hadn’t even made yet?  And Love and Hope.  What human being doesn’t want those two things? 

     So anyway, I’m sure for most people this is the most obvious thing in the world, but for me this was a major revelation (but nothing to do with rapture).  At least now I understand why people believe.  Obviously it doesn’t sway my own position one bit but I feel like I have gained a valuable insight into some of my fellow humans’ belief systems.

    I’ll leave it at that.

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