Words by Matthew Spence
Faith. Gotta have it right? It’s a like a circus net underneath us to catch us in case this tightrope, called “Life”, craps out on us. Cause that landing could suck ass. It’s a securing feeling like knowing you backed up your contacts or getting a Blue shell in Mario Kart while your friend is in first place. Life can throw a bunch of shit at you but at the denouement, you know there’s a higher power/entity guiding us through the trials to find peace and others. When shit goes wrong, there’s a higher power ensuring to fight through the pain and learn. The Purpose? The reason? Why? That’s what we’re constantly trying to figure out in one way or another.
Once life reaches the end of the rainbow (or storm, however, you look at it), we get to reside in paradise and finally get the answers to questions we always wanted to know, like if the pope actually shits in the woods (well, does he?).
That’s if you’re a devoted believer. If you’re on the verge of stepping away from the faith, you feel caught between a guilt trip and a hard place. The spotlight is on you like you’re on trial at Madison Square Garden, the moment you have doubts and earnest questions in life.
Getting older, we’ll come across equations outside of school: new faces + new places x new experiences = new and different values (AU O2). That’s the beauty of it. Moving through the weeks, months, and years, we’ll start to realize “Wait a minute, I don’t know as much shit as I thought”. Operation Ivy poetically said: “All I know is that I don’t know nothing”.
Curiosity is bound to happen, like puberty. It’s normal to ask questions, however, there’s this internal vice grip of: If you don’t believe you’ll burn in hell. Now sure Biggie once said:
“When I die, fuck it, I wanna go to hell
‘Cause I’m a piece of shit, it ain’t hard to fuckin’ tell (What you talkin’ ’bout, man?)
It don’t make sense, goin’ to heaven with the goodie-goodies
Dressed in white, I like black Timbs and black hoodies (Aw, man)“
Sure, that’s a classic opening line but motherfucker, that’s him. Not me, burning my spiritual dick off doesn’t sound quite flattering. Now as a paranoid nerd with an android (that sounds like a nice sticker slogan) who grew up in a Christian household with Jamaican parents, I can attest the pressure and commitment are real (kinda). Constantly going to church every Sunday up until I was 9 (my mom got lazy, low-key, so we stopped). Constantly praying before bed. (Ironically) Went to a catholic school for middle and high school, learning another religion on top of the main one. Religion class, Sunday School in my childhood, mass in high school, I really did that religion shit yo.
For a good chunk of this rash that I call existence (I’m kidding). Now, what changed? Well, to save the hour-and-a-half documentary: curiosity got the best of me, exploring other beliefs and walking away with the general key of life is being the best person you can be to yourself and others. Do what you feel is right. Don’t be a dick in laymans’ terms.
Now, sure this may be such a zoomer thing to say, but Gen Z is the least religious generation for a reason. Of course, variables are involved and individuals have their own reason of why they’re not attached to a religion. To bring, generally speaking, the new generations become more and more tolerating and open-minded (mostly), and conformity because less appealing. But slowly stepping away from the Christian faith felt very criminal, like I was doing something immoral. Burning down a hospital would get me less flack from my mom than telling her I’m agnostic, damn near atheist on a good day. That’s scarier than any court hearing.
It feels like you’re part of a neighborhood if you will, except usually when you move out, your neighbors won’t give a fuck and are worried about if they still got charged for Disney+ after they canceled it a day before charging. It’s bad enough you get that “post-movie” feeling of: “What to do now?”. You’re already trying to find yourself in this clean slate, starting from scratch. So the feeling of being penalized shouldn’t be thrown at your face. It’s ok to ask questions, find other practices that suit how you feel, and see the world from the right view for you. Torture for eternity shouldn’t be the wave (yes, that’s a sentence).
At the end of the day, so many regions and practices around the world, we don’t truly know who’s right until after. Sure, we have secondhand accounts of stories of people who’ve died and saw God or went to hell and came back or etc. Even with that, we still don’t know and that’s fine. It’s okay that way, cause the less you know, the more you try to figure yourself out. Other religions exist for a reason, there are guides for one’s world but you decide if it’s your world. More focused on Christianity but it can apply to really who may feel slighted in their beliefs. Nor a slight against religions of any kind. If it makes you wanna be a good person and spread joy and feel purposeful, then religion it up yo.
In this life, there shouldn’t be a wrong way to live by. Honestly, I’m not sure if this article is coherent and my point is existent. I’ll end it with this statement from Gerald Broflovski.