I have lived in some interesting places before, but I haven't lived anywhere so deeply rooted in their faith as Idaho.
Granted, there are different faiths up here, but one thing is common for most of them. Sunday is holy, therefore it's time to close up shop.
Happy Ash Wednesday, btw, to my Catholic friends. What did you give up for Lent? Not blogging I hope...
To all the non-biscuit eaters, happy Wednesday. More specifically, happy hangover day to the Fat Tuesday crowd.
The majority of this area is deeply religious. Whether LDS, Christian, or any branchoff from there, almost everything gets closed down on Sunday while people go to church.
Genesis 2:2 says "On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work." Therefore we must as well, apparently.
Now, I have a faith, in a way, but I'm not a church goer. I have been to churches in the past, and bounced from catholicism to christianity, to Jehovah's witnesses, and dabbled a bit. They're all basically the same, just each branchoff focuses on certain tenets of the bible while ignoring other parts.
I look at it all from a logical standpoint, see the contradictions and the absurdities, read the bible as a reference and not the black-and-white end all be all, and therefore I am "an evil free thinker" in the eyes of many.
I use Sunday to get things done. Yardwork, chores, shopping, etc. I catch up on Sundays. In this town, it's severely frowned-upon. If I'm mowing the lawn, I get glared at. If I'm about town and not dressed in my Sunday finest, people keep their distance. It's actually a little funny.
The closest thing to compare is when I lived in Loma Linda, California. It was primarily a '7th Day Adventist' town, so it was like this, only Saturday. Yes, the mail was even delivered on Sunday, not Saturday. WTF??
A lot of people in this town have the mentality of "This is what I believe, therefore most everyone should believe the same." Unless you're on one side or the other on the mormon-fence, than it's slightly different. But still, if people ask me "Are you LDS?" and I say no, they sometimes follow it up with "Ok, what church do you go to in town?" Um... I have yet to come up with a snappy response for this, so help me out people.
I try not to live a closed minded life. I want to look at everything from all angles; religion, politics, culture, and make my own decision from there. Is that so bad? When I see something that amuses me, I'll crack a joke about it, but at the same time I'll respect your right to practice your own belief system.
In other words, my Mormon friends, just because I don't believe the things you do, and just because some of the things mentioned in your book make me really confused, it doesn't mean that I don't respect your family-centric values, and the good upright life you're trying to lead.
I just have one rule. Don't press your beliefs on me, and don't belittle me because my practices don't align with yours. I won't pressure you, and you don't pressure me. Mutual respect...
"Oh he doesn't believe what I do, therefore I MUST EDUCATE HIM!" doesn't work for me. Especially when you're a naive girl in your low 20's who "felt soooo sorry for me" once she learned I was divorced. Um, it was by choice sister... and it's a good thing. I promise....
Or else I'll post something like this, just for the pleasure of getting under your skin.
By the way, none of this 'mutual respect' I am talking about applies to the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. You people are just plain crazy.... Have a great Wednesday everyone!
Edit: Ok, within the course of an hour I have received a LOT of angry emails from people. Apparently I'm allowed to poke fun of mormons all I want, but if I pick on some of the larger 'mainstream' religions I'm evil?
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. About as much sense as someone who has read ANY of the New Testament using any sentence that starts with "God hates...."
I do not abhor religion. I abhor the people that use religion as a shield, as a crutch, as an answer to all questions they don't know or refuse to learn about.
If you are praying that you get the job, I have news for you. About half of the other applicants are probably doing the same thing. This isn't 'Prayer Idol' with Ryan Seacrest tallying up the prayer-votes to see who wins. If a higher power does indeed exist, he isn't making sure you brush your teeth every morning. He didn't make you stub your toe on the chair. He didn't make your car stall this morning.
Your goldfish didn't die because God willed it, Timmy. He died because you didn't feed him...
I admire a few things about religion. It helped control society by giving people a set of rules to guide their life. It teaches us to be good people. It helped progress human culture in a lot of positive ways. But there are a lot of bad things about religion too. Wars, for example. God is always on your side, yet, the other side believes the same thing. Does God really want you to slaughter your fellow man? And for what? Oil? Land? Political power? Really?
Substitute the word "God" for any higher deity. No matter what you call Him, the principles stay the same.
Followers, I like you all. But I don't like you because you are XYZ religion. I like you for who you are as a person. Does your belief system influence who you are? Absolutely. But your belief system isn't the definition of who you are. In my eyes, you are not a Christian. You are not a Muslim. You are not an Atheist. You are not a pastafarian. You are a man. You are a woman. You are a friend. If that is too much for you to fathom, I am sorry.