No article about religion should begin without a reference to a generic 1990’s one-hit wonder band, so there you go. That makes no sense at all, but who cares? Not you I’m sure, so let’s move on!
Not so fast, Ghosties. Dishwalla, for those of you who haven’t heard of Van Halen, was one of like a hundred thousand bands to break in the 90’s that had ONE hit. One big song to rule the charts and then, POOF. Gone, like it never happened. I know these guys are doing the nostalgia-tour thing kinda like the Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground have been doing for a while but let’s keep it real- nobody is sitting around today discussing the finer points of Dishwalla’s catalog. What the fuck is a Dishwalla anyway? I always pictured puppets with dish rags on their heads for some reason, and then it made me think about doing dishes, so I always hated that fucking band.
If you’re asking yourself “why is he like this?” you’re not alone. And, I have no fucking idea.
Their big hit “Counting Blue Cars”, to me, was little more than some shaggy-haired dipshits trying to A) cash in on the 90’s alternative explosion and B) fuck intellectually-inclined college girls who wore Dr. Marten’s, babydoll dresses, and had Sarah McLachlan posters on their wall but KINDA dug Bikini Kill too. “Tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I’d really like to meet her”? Go fuck yourself, Todd- Willow isn’t interested in your shallow attempt at feminism and she’s certainly not lifting that Hypercolor shirt for YOU, buddy. Not today, not tomorrow, fucking never. Go home, jerk off, and find some god damn GOOD shit to listen to. Dishwalla? DishWHATEVER.
So, since the dude from Dishwalla asked some college girl in 1995 what her thoughts on God were, I thought I’d share mine. That’s a stupid reason, but how the hell else was I gonna work a Dishwalla reference into a fucking post title?
Boom. That’s how.
For starters, I don’t have a problem with the notion of faith. Not at all in fact, I just choose to channel MINE into tangible, living, breathing things. You know, like MYSELF, or MY WIFE, or MY KIDS, or Greta Thunberg. Those are real things I can believe in. Cher? She believed in life after love. R. Kelly? Motherfucker believed his ass could FLY. We’re gonna leave him here and not go any further down THAT rabbit hole.
Me? I choose to believe in real things. I wouldn’t even really have an issue with believing in “not real” things, but the problem is the way us humans have chosen to manifest that faith, THAT’S what I have the problem with. I’d rather full-on believe in aliens, which I guess I already do, than believe in a supreme being who lovingly created us to ultimately abandon us, watch us die, and do it under the guise of “his plan”. “God’s plan”, that’s all we fucking hear about when someone dies, or a kid gets cancer, or some horrible catastrophe befalls a small country. “It’s all part of God’s plan”, or “It’s God’s will”, ad nauseam, over and over and over again. You know what? FUCK God’s plan. If there happens to BE a God, like just the ONE- he’s really a colossal asshole, amirite? I mean, to get millions of people to write off atrocities as “your plan” is pretty fucking ballsy don’t you think?
Why would you spend the time creating us, plopping us down on Earth with a shitload of animals, only to then abandon us to figure this shit out ourselves? Look at what we’ve DONE with this fucking place, we didn’t exactly bring our A-game. Not by a long shot. Besides that, would the all-knowing, all-seeing creator of the entire universe be so weird as to only make one batch? In the vastness of infinity, the “eat, shit, sleep” motherfuckers are the ONLY show in town? Come on, it’s just fucking absurd when you use your noggin a bit.
Even if that IS what happened, how can you call yourself a loving God when you sit up in the ether and watch us rape, plunder, murder, destroy, exploit, rob, beat, and traffic each other day in and day out and do NOTHING to intervene. Help? Assist? I don’t know, what’s the right word? Whatever, you get my point. All I know is, when I love something I take care of it. I don’t wake my kids up in the morning and walk out of the room telling them “Do whatever, it’s all a part of my plan” and then go make my fucking coffee. I love them, so I get them dressed, feed them, take them to the place our money goes to die (daycare), and miss them while they’re fucking gone. Trust me, you don’t spend the kind of money a decent day care charges on ANYONE unless you love the fucking fuck out of them.
How long does the plan last? Is anything NOT part of the plan? What’s the criteria to be a part of the plan? If EVERYTHING is part of the plan, then what’s the deal with all the hateful shit in the Bible?
Which brings me to my next point:
The fucking Bible. What a fucking joke this thing is, it’s thousands of years old and we have people walking around clinging to every word like it’s fucking FACTS. Love your neighbor? Seriously? It should really be “Love your neighbor, unless they’re gay, black, a different religion than you, and/or the opposite sex.” Dig in, read a few pages- pretty much every shitty thing about humanity is spelled out right there in the fucking book. Now, it’s certainly true that humans weren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the chain back then, but what the fuck is our excuse nowadays? We carry around little devices that enable us to have ALL OF THE INFORMATION in our hands at any given time, but we still have people walking around believing this shit?
All the rules, all the puritanical rhetoric, all the fucking ways the Bible tells you you’re “supposed” to live- I beg you this question, do you REALLY think God gives a fuck? You can apply this to any religion, dealer’s choice! Does the creator of the entire universe REALLY care if you eat pork on Sunday? Does the creator of the entire universe REALLY care is you love someone of the same sex? Does God REALLY care if you listen to Slayer?
No. No he doesn’t. Because he CREATED THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. He’s got bigger shit to do, and much larger concerns than what we’re eating, who we’re fucking, and how many of us are folding our hands to tell him how awesome he is every morning, noon, and night. That’s another one- praying. Why the FUCK does the all-knowing creator of the entire universe need SO MUCH praise? This is supposed to be the same being that invented black holes, the laws of physics, Matt Skiba’s voice, and all manner of awesome shit. Does he REALLY need us to be down here wasting our time patting him on the fucking back?
That’s another big fat NOPE.
Another thing you can apply to pretty much any organized religion is this gem- think about how much war, death, and hatred has been perpetuated in the name of God. So much death, destruction, and despair and so many D words in a row- you know how much of that shit I’VE caused? Not much, outside of a little teenage vandalism and SELF destruction I haven’t caused altogether too much harm in this life at all. No crusades, no fire, no brimstone. Take a quick scan back into Christianity’s history though, and holy SHIT does it get bleak. Or, let’s get recent- ISIS, that’s a hardline terrorist organization hell bent on brutally murdering anyone who doesn’t believe in their interpretation of an ancient religion. You couldn’t fucking TURN ON a television a couple years ago without seeing somebody about to get beheaded, or a mass grave, or a line of people being shot in the head. All in the name of religion. Christians do the same shit, we just haven’t had one in a LONG time. You could almost look at all of our dumb-ass wars in that way too. All the “God, Guns, and Government” shit, all the senseless and directionless “sticking our noses where they shouldn’t be” in the Middle-East, all of the wars we have fought in the name of protecting our American ideals which all boil down to the same Christian, right-wing, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” bullshit that’s been festering away in America since 1776. It’s all the same, it comes from the same place, and it’s straight up ignorant.
Look, like I said earlier, I don’t have a problem with ideas like faith and belief. I just can’t wrap my head around why so many of us choose to put that faith into something that doesn’t seem to put much of it back in US. I choose to believe in the good things around me, in the capability we ALL have to be a light in this world, and the untold beauty that is possible if we all stop all this god damn lying, cheating, and killing in the name of “God”.
Where is God when a baby dies? Where was God in Harvey fucking Weinstein’s office? Where was God when ISIS slaughtered thousands of the Yazidi people? Where was God when we STOLE THIS COUNTRY from the native people who had been here for THOUSANDS of years? Where was God during the Armenian Genocide? Where was God in Auschwitz? Where was God as Australia burned? Where was God when somebody thought Vanilla Ice was a good idea?
He could have stopped it, and we wouldn’t have to forever associate “Under Pressure” with fucking “Ice Ice Baby”
I could literally spend the next three days on THAT tangent, the “where was God when…” examples are infinite- but you catch my drift by now. You know what I like to believe? I like to believe that everything started from SOMETHING. I don’t know what the fuck that IS, because I’m human. Here’s an example- do you ever look up at the night sky, full of stars, and start thinking about how MASSIVE it all is? I do, and if I do it long enough I can feel my brain reaching a stopping point. Almost as if it is SO vast, my little human mind just can’t process it, like I’m just not able to compute. THAT’S how I look at whatever created “everything”. There’s no way for me to know, or understand, so I leave it there. I like the idea that there is SOMETHING, but maybe it’s not what everyone thinks. Maybe it’s all energy, or a spirit, or something even grander than anything we’ve ever dreamed of. I like to think that maybe it’s some beautiful force of nature, and that maybe one day we’ll get to see it. It’s not vengeful, it’s not boastful, it’s just an energy that happened and it made us and it’s beyond our small ideas of what a God would be like. I also like to think that maybe, when we die, we got to some next phase of existence where we are one with this “force of nature” and we can be with the people we truly love. Not your ex Tina from freshman year English Lit, the person(s) that you’re TRULY meant to be with. I like that idea, because I love the people in my life so much that a million lifetimes on this Earth will never be enough, so I welcome any idea of the afterlife that keeps this party going.
Fuck your fire and brimstone, fuck Hell, and FUCK YOU for dreaming that shit up too. Not YOU, I’m directing this at people who are definitely not reading this anymore, don’t worry. I’m also not directing this at the people who are religious but also not terrible- there’s definitely some of you out there and I acknowledge and respect you. You know, the people that choose to love the idea of God without ascribing to outdated and intellectually bankrupt ideologies. Yeah, they’re out there, I promise. Look, it just makes me mad, to think that there are people out there thinking that “God is love” when in fact “God is ALL ABOUT fucking killing shit”, where’s THAT bumper sticker?
Here’s the thing, I don’t need a Bible to tell me not to hurt people. I don’t need a God to tell me who I am allowed to love. I don’t need a Mormon kid knocking on my door telling me that I might go to hell if I listen to a little too much Dillinger Four on a Thursday night. I’m a decent human being, THE END. My choice, I choose to be good because my heart feels squishy if I do something bad. Are we so incapable of trusting ourselves that we need to be led around like dogs by an invisible master? I don’t, and you shouldn’t either.
It can get complicated, cause I DO know people that are Christians that are pretty rad people. I’ll be posting my interview with Cory Brandan from Norma Jean soon, and he’s the singer for a band I love and respect-and also a Christian. Hopefully that’s still happening after this article, I’ll assume this wouldn’t be taken as a personal attack but who knows? We’ll see. Hell, my beef is probably a LOT less with God than it is the fucking shitheads that follow him and have “Your Mom Chose Life” bummer stickers on the backs of their Silverados. I don’t know, all I have is what I feel and what I’ve learned in my life. You want to know how I’ve come to sum the shit up?
I’ve always wanted to make my own bumper sticker that says “Bummer about YOUR mom though!”
“Hello, Halo” is probably the best song I’ve ever written all things considered. Oh yeah, backstory- I joined a band back in 2007 that had LONG been established, they were friends of mine and open to the idea of a second guitarist. Thing was, their singer was fucking AMAZING. Dude was like some vocal bastard child of Raine Maida, Maynard James Keenan, and Greg Graffin all rolled into one. He and I shared a mutual love for pretty much everything and we saw things going in a different direction than the other guys did. At the end of the day, our grandiose ideas (and my assertion to fire the original guitarist so we could pursue this bold new direction) caused the whole thing to backfire spectacularly and it all went to shit. Whatever, YOU broke up the band. Before our demise though, we recorded an album and while half the songs were written before my tenure, some of them were mine. One in particular, “Hello, Halo” is the prime evidence of where we COULD have gone, cause it’s a fucking barnburner- to this day. It also contains a lyric that PERFECTLY sums up my stance on Christianity and organized religion as a whole:
“In my weakest moments, I turn to you for guidance and you lead me astray.
A brilliant performance, as fear and doubt swagger on and take the stage”
Fuck yeah, shit STILL gives me goosebumps. Don’t believe me? Check it out here, it’s still on Spotify for some reason and I’m glad it is cause it fucking rips. Yes, I AM biased cause I wrote it but fuck off- it’s a good god damn song.
I’m reaching the point where I’m feeling a little delirious from the mania of my own thoughts, and I feel like I could go on and on forever about this shit. I don’t know what the fuck my point is, per se, I just know that I have a series of thoughts about God, religion, and Christianity and none of them are particularly nice. Nobody’s come along in my 39 years of life and convinced me otherwise either, and while I DO acknowledge that there are perfectly fantastic people who are also Christian (or insert religion here) but at the end of the day it’s just not for me. I reach a point where I just can’t do it, so I default to pretty much not talking about it with most people cause it always ends up the same, in an argument. I don’t have time for that shit, and I don’t have the spare energy either.
I’d be willing to bet that somebody will have something to say about this one, and I fully knew that going into my “ranting exposition on why I hate religion”, so come what may. I made a promise by starting The Ghost Generation, that I would be open, raw, and honest and if I don’t AT LEAST do that I might as well hang it the fuck up. My opinions won’t always be popular, I might ruffle feathers, and I might fall on deaf ears but one thing I will NOT be is silent- or silenced. And like always, maybe somebody will relate because they feel the same way and I’ll have done my job.
Either way, Dishwalla asked, and since it’s been SO LONG I figured I’d give them what they asked for- my thoughts on God.
“Poisoned by the religions, so we drink to drain our hearts. False prophets of failure lie in the distance, awaiting the day when they’ll tear you apart”- Strike Anywhere/”How to Pray”
PS- I didn’t get a chance to go into Jesus, but let’s just assume I believe it was marginally possible he was a real person, but he was probably just a super-nice guy who people thought was crazy cause he was always shuffling around in Birkenstocks going on about fish and wine.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration