BATANG MINDANAW: On religion, faith and God

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 21 April) – I will never fully get the hang of it. As I sit inside our toilet, staring at the copy of Desiderata my mother hung on the wall, pooping, I sometimes think about the paradox that is religion and wonder how much better it would be if there was none.

What is the purpose of religion and God anyway? Do we need one for morality? All my life I’ve been told that God is merciful, forgiving, compassionate, loving and all other adjectives you could possibly use to praise a supreme being. However, where was our compassionate God during the three hundred and thirty-three years of Spanish oppression that our ancestors had to endure? Or during the Crusades where millions died? God doesn’t sound so merciful if it was really “His will” not to help put a stop to all those cruelties. Also, what’s the point of giving us free will if in the end we get damned for the choices we make? It’s like God gave us free will so that we can either worship him or go to hell.

It’s absurd how almost all things that don’t involve praising and worshipping God are supposedly bad. During my earlier years in grade school I was apparently a Satanist because I listened to rock music and according to my classmate and her elders, rock music was for the devil. (And my breasts ache with rage). Once, my Christian Living teacher told us that when we fail to attend the Holy Eucharist on a Sunday we aren’t supposed to attend the next one until we confess our “sin” of not attending the previous one. Also, I read an article a few years ago about a woman who claimed that Jesus showed her Heaven and Hell. One of the people who were in Hell, according to her, was a child who watched Ben 10 all the time. That was the reason why the young boy went to Hell after he died, because he watched Ben 10 a lot.

I, for one, found it completely outrageous. I watch a lot of anime and cartoons too but I don’t see how doing it is a sin since I’m not hurting anybody, except maybe my body when I stay up too late watching episode after episode. But how is enjoying and appreciating an animation with a great storyline and character development a sin? Because I’m not worshipping God? It’s hard to put my full trust on a God who wants to be praised all the time.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says … ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ 1 Samuel 15:3” If God is as loving as we make him up to be, then why is he promoting murder in this passage? Dude, I thought the sixth commandment was not to kill.

Of course let us not forget the most famous passage in the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” We were taught that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are just one; “Holy Trinity, One God.” So basically, the way I see it, God came down to earth in the form of his alter ego, Jesus, who was tortured in the most painful ways and died, so that God can save us from himself. WHAAAAAAAAT? If God is really all-knowing, all-hearing and all-seeing then why couldn’t he think of a better and less violent way of saving us from our sins? Meh.

Despite all this confusion and doubt in a supreme being’s existence though, I still believe in goodness, love, happiness, hope, inner peace and second chances. People can have those things with or without religion and God.

(Alexandria M. Mordeno, 14, is an incoming senior at Bukidnon National High School in Malaybalay City.)