Religion 102: She’s Gotta’ Have It—Christianity, that is…

IMG_0379…stuff, that is, the more the better, piles and piles of it highly derived and thoroughly contrived, mostly useless adornments and bows of worship to the gods and goddesses of fashion, reflecting the finely manicured thumbnail status of our culture, whatever is trending; that’s most important, much more so than whatever came before and whatever will come after, pesky details best left to historians and our paid apologists…

Yes, apparently Jesus died on the cross so that we could go shopping, among other things. Some of my favorite ‘other things’, by way of example, are the daredevil stunts that we Westerners have become famous for. How many people risk their lives each year climbing mountains that there are no reasons to climb, or reaching speeds that there are no reason to reach, or performing stunts just for the big screen, just for the sake of celebrity?

Apparently this is just what we do, as Europeans and other related Westerners. But maybe we forget that Jesus’s ‘passion’ was in fact suffering, the old definition, very Buddhist-like, not some silly stunt that he could just die for. I suspect that he had little choice on the matter. But shopping, on the other hand, is for everyone…

I always thought it was some strange coincidence or some abstract consideration that connected Christianity to consumerism, but now I realize it’s more than that: it’s that passion, the modern definition, that ‘crush’ of love that means you ‘just gotta have it’ whether it’s that doggie in the window or the cute kid in the short shorts who’s throwing you curves that you keep swinging at and missing…

Christian Mingle for the Consumer Single

img_0339I see the Christian cuties on the ads for the dating site ‘Christian Mingle’ and wonder what makes them so Christian. Of course they’re single—got that. But I don’t see any crosses or any other symbols of Christianity, just big ol’ smiles and solid middle-class backgrounds from solid democratic countries, and: jobs.

Yes, they’ve probably got good jobs and disposable income, or else they could be of almost any religion. Smiles are ubiquitous and so is fashion, ditto fun. That smile—you know, the big goofy one—is all-important, what with its close connection to sexual satisfaction. Why does an open mouth imply happiness? And why is lipstick considered attractive? I don’t know…

So Christianity these days has little to do with prayer and crosses, but is increasingly packaged with Democracy, Capitalism, and—especially—Consumerism. And ‘Christian Mingle’ has little to do with the Yazidis of Iraq or the Coptics of Ethiopia, but much to with Madison Avenue and Wall Street and the Garment District and the Fashion Mall…

Buddhism is all About Control

IMG_0542Both Buddhism and Islam prohibit music and dancing, at least among the higher orders and the more seasoned disciples of the religion, Christianity alone in adding music to the services, or even having ‘services’ for that matter, such pep rallies usually left to the inspirations of the adept, if initiated at all. Of course, these two also contribute frequently to the education of the populace, more so than Christian sects, with the possible exception of Catholicism, at least in America, at least in the past century…

Many Westerners think Buddhism is cool, because the monks wear funny hats or long flowing robes, or because the Dalai Lama is so likable, figuring these must be some pretty radical dudes. In fact just the opposite is true. It’s all about control—mind control. Now that may be a pet peeve for conspiracy theorists, but here it’s all voluntary, and all about oneself, or lack of self…

So don’t become attached to the transient moods and forgivable transgressions that constitute a personality, because it’s just a trap, all an illusion. And if to control emotions is the highest goal of life: just imagine the possibilities! No hate, no anger! What if this could be carried over on to the political stage? Could this be a business model for the coming dark era of mass chaos and confusion? Just may be, have to wait and see. It’s an exciting time to be alive…

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