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3/9/11

And on the 7th Day, Idaho Rested

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.
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35 witty retorts:

LigerLily said...

good luck! There are people like you out there, maybe they just live in CA.

mac-and-me said...

Lol, great post. Wish you also a great Wednesday!

Adsila said...

Enjoyed your post and have a great hump-day!

Rancher Mom said...

You got hate mail? No fair, I want hate mail too!!

Random Girl said...

I think tolerance goes a long way. And your perspective on respecting all views, even of those who refuse to do the same for you, is very tolerant. Good post!

Jesse Brooks said...

I agree with your final statement. People can have their beliefs, but I think they shouldn't define who they are.

I dislike in-your-face atheists just as much as in-your-face Christians for the same reason, their both trying to force their beliefs onto someone else.

Anyone that has ever dealt with a teenager should know that this approach never, ever, works.

Autumnforest said...

Seriously, for the Mormons alone, I'd surely shoot myself if I had to live there. I'd set booby traps in my front yard for when they come to knock on my door and nag me about my spiritual beliefs. I don't know how you do it and I can't believe a place like this still exists. Egads! After living in CA, that's gotta be tough. I was contemplating if I could fit in back east again after living out west the majority of my life. I worried I wouldn't fit in with the tobacco/God people and the conservative lifestyle of wearing navy blue suits and dressing up for everything when I'm a real casual shorts wearing Sheryl Crow kinda gal. I can't imagine what Idaho would feel like to me, probably as uncomfortable as I'd be in the Middle East. I feel that way when I visit relatives in West Virginia up in the mountains. The people in the restaurant in town literally stop with their folks still poised in the air and everything goes silent when I enter and they remain still until I leave the lobby. It's not like I'm wearing gauges or all freaked out. I'm a regular woman. Nothing unusual. But, they know I don't belong there. Creepy, huh? The man at the gas station looked at my red rental car and said, "Ya take a wrong turn?"

PvtCarlin said...

I am not giving up anything for lent because I believe it has nothing to do with spirituality.

Chuck said...

I think you should acquire a pair of red devil horns and a tail from a fancy-dress shop, then walk about town on a Sunday while church is in session. Maybe spray a garden fork with red paint and carry it with you.

Random Fan said...

The South Park episode about Mormons is exactly right about everything.

Chris said...

I wish Im popular enough to receive hate mail.

allison said...

Save that hate mail and post it later so we can all share in the delights! I live in the Bible Belt but was raised Catholic (just barely...) and honestly participate in Lent for the fun of it... to see if I can stick with something for 40 days. But I'm with you and your edit - religion doesn't bother me at all until it's shoved down my throat.

That being said, it is TOO easy to mock Baptists.

squatlo said...

Great one!
I gave up Lent for Lent, and decided I could live without it altogether... and have since I was about sixteen and finally outweighed my mom. I was forced to serve as an accolyte and altar boy until the, consider myself a Recovering Catholic today... almost over that shit!
When asked what church I attend I always tell people I'm a Seventh Day Adventist Nazi Quaker. We declare war on Poland every Saturday and then refuse to go.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Apparently hate mail is a cool thing? Anyways, if there is one thing I've learned, we all share the same sky overhead. There is more truth in the awesome principals and epic details of the Universe then in any religion humans can come up with. You have the right to believe it, sure, but I feel that you are selling yourself so much short on the true beauty and nature of the Universe in which you live.

becca said...

well said and i to believe in God i just don't think you have to sit in a church to prove it

Shutterbug said...

LOL @ those pictures! :P

Jack said...

I cannot stand how the mormon's in this town control the way business is conducted. There are too many restaurants that do not even open on Sunday because of mormon owners. I believe people sometimes use religion to have some sort of fraternal entity in an organization. Maybe they weren't popular in high school or college but by golly are they awesome being a clergic assistant for their church.

Niko said...

Very Interesting.

Malkavian said...

I hate religioius fanatics, i seriously do, just now i was mowing the lawn and 2 mormons came up to me wanting to spread the word of god, so i said "NO IM NOT INTERESTED IN THAT, IM MORE OR LESS CATHOLIC AND DONT HAVE THE INTENTION OF CHANGING RELIGIONS" the guy FLIPPED OUT that i was going to hell and stuff.

THUNDERCAT832 said...

I am currently witting in a library and got shooshed to death from laughing my guts out at the ymca pic lol

Im not religious, but I'm spiritual. I don't claim a certain religion...I just try to be "good" and not kill people. That is all ;)

Eric P said...

I hate when places close early on Sunday. It's just ridiculous for those of us who will never go to church. What if I want to get something to eat at 9:00pm? Or fill a prescription? It's ludicrous!

Trev said...

This was a great story. have you ever asked what god did on the 3rd day? and if so did you ask them what % of the stuff he did on that day was good?

G said...

for me there is a big difference between faith in god and the doctrine of organised religion.
As for lent it's no chocolate for me :)
..but apparently you can indulge on a sunday....or so I was told

The Reckmonster said...

I am SOOO jealous that you got hate e-mail!! I aspire to be like you, L.I.I.! I've got your back on all of the haters! We'll kick all of their intolerant asses and drink beers on the seventh day! LOL

synoptixs said...

I completely agree with you, people can believe whatever they want as long as they aren't all up in my face trying to convert me.

lovebloggin said...

YMCA hahahaha

kitkat said...

omg..u got hate mail?! thats freakin cool :p
some people twist the words of the bible snd mould into whatever they're comfortable with. Too many weird types of christianity around these days, its hard to choose the right one :(
i dont go to church these days, i stay at home with my bible and preach to me :)

J J Constantine said...

catholicism has too many rules. I dont want to stop eating meat just because the day begins with the letter F. I don't want to get ashes rubbed on my head to celebrate a story in a book. I dont want to give up something because that is just pointless.

Mormons... seriously? How can they believe that some random dude decided that he was a prophet and now there are these mystical discs that they need to collect?

religion in general is bogus. people get in your face about it. people try to convert you, people try to tell you you're wrong. people need to stop! I have a post on my blog about how atheists and religious people are both wrong. Gnostic: believing that you are privileged to secret or mystical knowledge. Agnostic: Without belief that you are privileged to secret or mystical knowledge. The Gnostic Religiotards and Gnostic Atheotards anger me. The Angostic Religious fold and the Agnostic Atheist folks, now they i can respect.

Any human who claims to know everything is a fool.

On My Soapbox said...

What a freakin' awesome post! There's a similar post in my future, but it will be in regards to my blinders-wearing closed-minded mission-going relatives. BTW, I love that you mentioned Pastafarians. FSM! Hee hee....

hed said...

omg I live RIGHT NEXT DOOR to Loma Linda! That's where all my doctors are.

The grocery stores in town don't sell alcohol, and the fast food places have vegan choices. It's all so weird.

And Australia closed down almost completely on Sundays. Coming from California that's just insane.

hed hed above water

Christophe said...

Excellent post. I find it hard to criticize people of faith when I actually know them, unless they're assholes. I do disapprove of organized religion though, and the idea that people need a God to tell them how to be good people saddens me.

Lendo Khar said...

Oh wow, you got hate mails? Dude, that means you are famous.

Nia Langley said...

Hmm wow.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've been playing the violin for nine years, almost ten now.

nialangleyspeaks.blogspot.com

LilPixi said...

This is a really great post.
I'm agnostic, but I have respect & tolerance for all. Nobody wants somebody trying to jump down their throat forcing their beliefs on em'. Why can't those types understand that or their own ignorance.
Man, that pic was funny.

Anonymous said...

I just can not imagine with strong your blog greatly that saved me. Thank you “The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction.” - Jawaharlal Nehru

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