I totally am, but I'm just not fanatical.
I am a practicing Catholic, but I respect all religions. I don't feel an urge to convince others to join my beliefs, and I certainly don't damn others because they don't believe in Jesus.
Who the fuck am I to cast judgment?
I became tolerant of religions at a very early age thanks to my folks. Mom's a Catholic, Dad's a Protestant.
All the nasty arguments they've ever had through their marriage have all come down to one thing: religion.
Needless to say, I detest religious arguments. Why can't we all just be good people and get along? Why can't we attempt to be understanding of the differences, and dare I say... admire some of the differing practices? (I know I do, and I try to incorporate certain teachings from various religions, not just of the Christian faith, but also Judaism-- not too hard, seeing how Christianity builds on this-- Islam, and even some Buddhism. There's beauty in all of them, if you ask me)
In order to get respect, you give respect.
That's how it has always been at my house.
However, last night, Dad crossed the line.
We now own his parent's home in Mexico. Along with the home, we own everything his parents left behind.
His mother was staunchly Catholic. She lived to go to mass... she lived to pray.
Just like I draw, or play, or listen to music to pass the time and feel happy, my grandma would pray.
Over the years, she collected prayer books-- books that had been passed down through generations-- and saints.
That made her happy, that eased her fears... that was... her.
After she died, that was all she left behind.
Now, I don't pray often. I don't know many of the prayers known to many Catholics, I'll admit it. But, those books and Saints collected by my Grandma held a special place in my heart. I could close my eyes and imagine her sitting in her kitchen, holding her rosary, holding a prayer book, and having the sweetest smile on her face.
I talk about the prayer books and Saints as a thing of the past because that's what they are now.
Thanks to my IDIOT father.
Ever since his cancer scare of '07, he has become FAR more fanatical. He publicly criticizes Catholicism far more often.
He sits at home and watches some religious channel with a bunch of pastors screaming what they scream... he listens to pastors screaming what they scream (as opposed to music) as he drives... he's screaming what pastors scream when he wakes up, when he's out and about, and before he goes to bed.
I've had enough.
However, I have NEVER told him anything to his face. I have NEVER told him to shut the fuck up because I don't need to hear how GOD is SO great and WHY he is so great. I'm not a heathen. WE ALL KNOW WHY HE'S SO FANTASTIC, now let me eat my fucking pancake already... or LET ME WATCH THE JERSEY SHORE WITHOUT YOU TELLING ME WHY EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE CHARACTERS IS GOING TO GO TO HELL.
I.Don't. Need. To. Hear. It.
Instead of telling him all this mean stuff, I just grab my shit and walk away.
Yes, Dad, Jesus is awesome... can I please finish running this third mile before you preach to me?
I have ALWAYS respected his religion, his church, his "brothers and sisters." (Of course, once they start preaching to me, or attempting to convert me, I walk away... I don't need to hear it and it pisses me off that all they see when they meet me is a "lost soul" who needs saving)
Anyway, now that he's hardcore fanatical, he claims that God speaks to him in dreams. This and That are going to happen because God came to me in a dream and said This and That.
So far, NONE of it has been true. NONE of it. And he tells us his dreams with so much pride... but so far, the ones I've heard are all biggoted in nature.
"Faggots are the detriment of this society... Jesus is near... and he will slay all these faggots and take us to his glorious Father."
Really? Jesus' mission is to "slay faggots?" REALLY?! Considering there are mass murderers out there who kidnap and rape children, slaughter them and dump their bodies, limb by limb, in a ditch for other children to find... REALLY??
Anyway, yesterday he told my mom one of these GLORIOUS dreams he recently had while in Mexico.
"God spoke to me. I was restless and I could sleep. I felt this dark presence in the house (His parent's house in Mexico. It's haunted, I don't care what you say. People have seen and felt things. Supposedly a little girl was buried under the house sometime in the 1800s, and plenty of people have seen or heard her. I've only felt a sense of suffocation while in that house. My chest gets heavy and I feel deep sadness in that certain area of the house, it is inexplicable and eerie, but that's all). Then I heard Him. 'Behind every saint, there is a demon,' He said. And at that moment, I looked to my left and saw them... all of my mother's Saints... so I grabbed all of them... all that I could find, took them outside, and I BURNED THEM!"
"When I came back in the house, it felt lighter. I went to bed. I still couldn't sleep... and towards the headboard, I felt this sense of... darkness. When I looked inside it, I saw them... ALL THE PRAYER BOOKS! I immediately grabbed them, all of them! There were TONS of books... and I went back outside and BURNED THEM!"....
He told the story to Mom.
I don't know if he was expecting fanatical excitement... clapping... and award ??
Mom: Don't you DARE tell this to your family... any ONE of them. They will HATE you. You had NO right. MORE than ONE person in town would have taken those books from you. More than ONE.
Dad: But they had to be burned! They're evil... they control people... they are given too much religious importance!
Mom: Who are YOU to say that? And you're contradicting yourself here... how can you give SO much importance to something as simple as PAPER... to believe it can have SO much power?
Mom proceeded to tell my sister and I later that night. Sister was outraged... and I broke down and sobbed.
He did all this because of a dream?! A FUCKING DREAM?!
Want to hear what I think, DAD?? DREAMS ARE NOT CAUSED BY GOD! THEY'RE NEURONS AND DENDRITES FIRING IN YOUR FUCKING BRAIN AS YOU SLEEP! DON'T BLAME GOD FOR YOUR FANATICAL BULLSHIT!
That was the last thing we had to remember his mother by. It was her essence. Her soul.
Her own son burned it.
He killed what we had left of his mother.
And if those books and relics are so evil... does he think his own mother is in hell for believing in them?? That sweet, near saintly woman... in hell?
Not ONCE did I hear her cuss, I never heard her gossip, I never saw her angry, she never laid a hand on anyone... she fed the hungry even if she herself was in need. I always saw the most serene smile on her face... and she always gave people random, loving hugs throughout the course of the day.
With the burning of those relics his mother held so dear, Dad waged a war.