God Help Us All

March 19, 2009

Recently I was taken to a Hindu temple. I use the word “taken” because I was a passenger in a car that arrived at this temple before I was given any knowledge of the car’s planned destination.

This is the exact temple I was taken to:

I know. It’s breath-taking. The entire structure is hand carved marble with gold on top of the spires. Whoopty shit.

When I walked up the stairs of the structure with no shoes, a much more reverent way to walk on marble, I was handed a garment to cover my irreverent pants. It looked like this:

I felt much more peaceful and respectful with my gold skirt on as I entered the most intricately crafted and expensive porch I have ever sat on.

Here’s what I don’t get. If people are dumb enough to think that there is some sort of magical being in some magic realm that made the one that we live in, why do they want to go to some building to think about it? Why don’t they just go take a walk in the woods, or a canyon, or the beach if they want to communicate with their magic guy? And why do they think that some man made porch is more sacred than the naturally occurring beauty that is torn to shreds to afford them some stupid edifice?

This is what a marble quarry looks like:
Isn’t it so beautiful they way the forest is mowed down, and the side of that mountain is gouged out? From quarry to temple you only have like, five more really simple steps… one of them involves putting all of those columns, and arches, and sculptures, and stairs on a boat and sending them accross the world.

And here is one of the largest gold mines in the world:
In this particular gold mine “Extracting a single ounce of gold there—the amount in a typical wedding ring—requires the removal of more than 250 tons of rock and ore,” according to National Geographic, and there used to be a volcano there, but now there’s only a pit that is currently about 345 feet below sea level, and will eventually reach 1,500 feet. Gold mining and and the techniques used to separate gold from other “less precious” metals uses the worst kinds of chemicals and processes imaginable, ensuring the highest possible damage to land and oceans. Not to mention the human rights struggle it causes.

All that aside, why so gawdy and intricate? Why don’t people know where to draw the line between tasteful and tacky?

I noticed while I was sitting on that porch that there was some sort of intricately carved wooden trunk with gold on it. Front and center of that trunk there was a really lovely piece of plexiglass delicately encasing a piece of white paper that had the word “donations” intricately laser-jet printed in courier font. That’s interesting to me. It seems like if you needed some money you could start by selling the gold on the box, then all the gold on the roof… maybe see where that gets you. I’m told that it is the lifestyle of monks to only live on donations. If you are so dumb that you believe in all this stupid magic so much that you want to devote your whole life to it, it becomes somebody else’s problem to feed you and buy your gold lacy sheets. It’s called collective poverty, and it’s what monks do in all religions. But it’s bullshit. You are not allowed to “collectively” have large amounts of valuables and say that you live in poverty.

Why do all these people in the western world think that they’re on some serious shit because they took the time to learn about some stupid religion from the other side of the world? It’s the same shit. It doesn’t make you any more “enlightened” or “spiritual” than some born again Christian moron. India, as a direct result of Hindus, has the worst caste system in the world. Not classes, castes. Imagine a little kid whose job it is to live in filth and move human shit around, and it’s socially acceptable to spit on him, but it’s not socially acceptable to touch him or interact with him, all because of something “he did in a previous life to deserve it.” Well, if you’re dumb enough to think that some part of you stays on Earth, inhabiting different bodies until you understand magic enough to graduate to the sky where you can sit indian-style on a cloud wearing all of your gold, then I hope you’re smart enough to consider the possibility of that child graduating to the body of a tiger that happens to have a taste for humans.

Religion is at the heart of most major conflicts in history in one way or another. People take all these stories, and symbols, and images, and places, and relics so seriously that they will kill for them. But they’re not willing to actually defend the things that are part of the natural world. Nope, they’re much more concerned with your behavior and appearance while you’re in their buildings; some of them want you to wear a special hat, or skirt, or tie, or some other prescribed clothing, and kiss things, or make gestures at things, or kneel at certain times, or sit a certain way, AND they all want your money.

It’s all the same thing whether it’s some blue guy who plays flute that was conceived without a sexual union, or some bearded guy who was conceived without a sexual union, or some elephant lady, or some fat guy, it’s all the same shit. It’s all superstition and it’s all stupid.


One Response to “God Help Us All”

  1. Sterling Says:

    Ugh- bummer.But that is a super cute skirt.

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