If I Weren’t A Christian…

May 29, 2009

Christians think they have all the answers.

Well, real Christians think that. Some of us go shopping for other gods, which is nothing new. As kids at Boy Scout camp, we used to sing this song, ‘If I Weren’t A Boy Scout…’ It’s all about these other jobs in the world. So the second half of the line would be something like ‘a trucker I would be.’ And it would go on from there. We never sang it at church camp. I wonder what it would be like if we did sing, ‘If I Weren’t a Christian…?’

As a lifelong Christian, I’ve sometimes wondered what it’s like to be a part of another faith group.

I’ve often wished I had a second life, an alternate lifetime that I could waste, a life where I could squander the most precious moments by saying something hilariously inappropriate while taking my ‘real’ life seriously. This is one of those instances where a second life would be ideal. I’m not really in the market for a new God, because I picked right the first time, of course.

But if I did have an alternate life, I can tell you, there would be plenty of religions I’d briefly dabble in and eagerly try to recruit my friends to, before realizing that they did not meet my immediate needs and made me no happier or wealthier after 2 weeks.

If I Weren’t a Christian…

An Atheist I Would Be!
Atheists like to paint Christians with a broad brush as being a bunch of gullible mush heads who can’t deal with reality. They need a teddy-bear God to cuddle them because they can’t deal with the often high levels of suckitude in life. Religion is the opiate of the masses, to quote some guy.

But I think atheism is the ultimate comfy armchair religion. Just sit back, take everything at face value, and be accountable to no one! An atheist gets to be his own boss…well, at least in his mind, which is everyone’s dream. Plus you get to criticize and persecute everyone else’s religion, while vehemently insisting that you are one of those ‘friendly’ atheists. You don’t get that being an agnostic. You already know I am quite talented at being cynical and critical while seeming as friendly as a lost puppy. Seems like a natural fit.

A Muslim I Would Be!
Some people need rules, structure and discipline. That’s why boot camp and juvenile hall exists. Islam also offers a true life of discipline, while Christians throw around this stuff about, ‘It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.’ Christians are skipping down the yellow brick road, holding hands with Jesus while Islam offers a manly, self-reliant religion. You want to get saved, you gotta do it yourself with your own bare hands, like a real man, like MacGyver. The women know their place too, and they never forget it either…mostly because the ones who did forget aren’t around anymore…

An American I Would Be!
I love Americanism. It’s kind of like Christianity, but there’s no church attendance required, no money being ‘embezzled’ from the members, and really, no rules at all! Just a lot of, “God bless America!” Watching your choice of televangelist twice a year is encouraged to help keep the appearance of peity while speaking with church-going friends, but is not required. And it comes with the same assurance that those radical Baptists have that “Jesus” will solve all your petty, insignificant problems. Plus, you get a boat when you become a member, I think.

A Scientologist I Would Be!
I just think that would get a laugh at a party. “Hey you know what would be hilarious? If we became Scientologists.” It would be like that time I told everyone I had joined a bowling league.

A Cultist I Would Be!
Cults are a great way to make history. We live in an increasing anonymous, homogenized world, and dang it, I want my 15 minutes. If you want to join me, bring your blue windbreaker, a whistle, your copy of Super Mario Bros. 3, some snacks and orange pop and meet me in my parents’ basement.

A Unitarian I Would Be!
Seems like being a Unitarian would be a good way to network, which is paramount to doing business. In my alternate life, I’d be running a Bed and Breakfast / dojo with my wife. She’d be running the B&B, of course.

A Mormon I Would Be!
Momons seem like a cheerful bunch, but I think I’d last about 30 seconds as a Mormon. I’d show up to the first meeting and I’d be trying to be really really nice. It would go something like this:

Me: (really toothy smile): “Brother Tobias, it’s so good to meet a new brother in our Mormon Lord and Savior.”

Tobias: (even toothier smile): “Well Brother Matt, I’m so glad that…”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do this…I can’t go the rest of my life without being critical of something. I think you should call security to escort me off the premesis.”

I think Mormonism rests on one’s ability to never criticize anything. If my aptitude for niceness didn’t crack, they’d find me out anyway.

Yeah, there’s a bunch of religions I wouldn’t try. They’re fine, they just wouldn’t be for a me. What about you? What religion might be fun if you weren’t so concerned with truth and salvation and free donuts and all that stuff? Was anyone out there a part of a different faith before becoming a Christian? What was that like?

Have a great weekend being Christians, everyone!