I’ve used Facebook too much. There, I’ve said it now, out of the closet, loud and proud. I am what I am. Someone who thinks Facebook if it isn’t bona fide actually evil, certainly is something that allows people to wallow in stupid, spread it around and smear it up the walls. Especially when it comes to religion.
For the Chosen People, obviously the Church of England (and if you disagree then I’m sorry, but we’ll have to invade your country, burn your huts, put whatever of yours we like in a museum in London and work as slaves those of you who don’t get smallpox from us, same as we always used to), the thing about our sacred faith is that apart from weddings and funerals and Midnight Mass at Christmas if you stay sober that late, you don’t really have to do much about it.
As our Prime Minister told us, you can tax the poor and cut services for the sick and God, apparently, is pretty much ok with that, even if vicars and bishops aren’t, in the same way you can decide you’re (well, ok, other people are) going to have a war and still pitch up at the Cenotaph doing your solemn Brave Soldier face using the same expression you wore when you first read about the Princess of Blandings getting swine vesicular disease.
An article of faith
As you may possibly have gathered by now, I’m not very religious. But even so, I think I’m more religious than the person who posted a thing about not denying Jesus on Facebook yesterday. It pretty much cemented my view about stupid and Facebook and how the symbiosis between the two isn’t just flourishing but essential.
The American (think Gahd, guns and too many grits) Facebook post ran like this:
A drunk man came home from a bar and shot his wife and the neighbours in front of his little girl until the police shot him. The girl was taken to a care centre where she pointed up at a picture of Jesus at Calvary and asked “how did that man get down from the Cross?’ The doctor told her, “He didn’t.” The little girl said yes he did, that was the man behind the sofa with me who told me everything would be ok. 66% of you won’t share this. So remember Jesus said if you deny me I will deny you to your father.
I don’t know which part of this I find the most loathsome, apart from all of it. The sanctimony, the made-up statistic used to assert the fact of it all, the blackmail, the threat, the nonsensicalself-contradictory plain stupid of the idea that if you don’t repost some trite bullshit on Facebook your God, the one you’ve just been pretending is a God of compassion not even fifteen seconds ago will consign you to eternal damnation, the total acceptance that hey, people do come home from bars and shoot up the neighbourhood, or the total lie that there was anyone behind the sofa with the equally non-existent girl.
But most of all, I despise the fake Christianity of the thing, fake in the most fundamental way, bullying masquerading as religion, the same way it always was in my family.
Church of England Archbishops don’t really have to be on much more than nodding terms with God when they believe in him at all, but even my dim recollection of Sunday school at St Thomas’s – and no, I didn’t make that up, that’s what my boyhood church actually was, Thomas the Doubter’s – told me one fundamental thing that seems to have escaped the gun-totin’ blackmailing bullying misogynists who go for that kind of post and that kind of religion: the whole point was that He actually WAS supposed to have got down from the Cross and risen again.
There isn’t anything more fundamental about the entire religion than that. That’s the central thing. Born in a stable. Ox and ass. Carpentry. Easter. Cross. Tomb. Walking. Ascension. Ever and ever. Amen.
And if you like as an optional extra where I’m from, his uncle Joseph of Arimethea took the Holy Grail to Glastonbury and planted a thorn tree that sprang out of his staff and almost certainly lent it to King Arthur. And yes he did exist because I’ve seen that tree with my own eyes, so ner!
We know that much. In the West Country, anyway. Which is more worth knowing than trying to blackmail people into doing what you want citing a religion you can’t even remember the basic details of.