NOTE: The author wishes to make a few things clear—
- That he has wanted to talk about this subject for a while, but hadn’t figured out exactly how to do it until just now;
- That this is his blog, and he should feel comfortable in his own environment;
- That he is not bitter, nor does he hate the world. He’s actually quite a happy person, and mostly satisfied with life.
- That he would never push his beliefs on you, and would hope that you’d return the favor;
- That, taking the previous statement into account, he is open-minded, and would disagree with you without demonizing you in the process (about both religion and tofu).
In my experience, religion is a lot like tofu. What, you don’t get it? Fine, backstory (as if I could go without it).
The first time I had tofu, I was not a fan. It had a weird smell, a weird texture, and a weird taste. I was trying to give it a chance, and ate my entire serving. Not a good plan, the taste stayed with me until I downed a bottle of Dr. Pepper. I left that meal with a not-so-good opinion of tofu.
A few days later, a friend was talking about tofu, and I mentioned that I’d had it and wasn’t it’s biggest fan. My friend’s instant reply was interesting:
“Well, you probably haven’t had good tofu.”
“You know what, maybe that last person didn’t cook the tofu in a way I would like it…perhaps I should give tofu another shot.” And off I went, down the adventurous trail of tofu tasting. This cook used different methods, different flavorings, different everything…and I still didn’t like it. It was not good…a different kind of not good, but still not good. It was at this point that I was beginning to think I really didn’t like tofu, no matter how it was cooked.
Sure enough, a few weeks later, another tofu-loving friend asked me to try their tofu—you know, because I probably hadn’t had good tofu. Different twists, different method of delivery…and it still didn’t please or satisfy me.
This story sums up my experiences with religion fairly well. There have been a couple of times in my life when I thought that a belief in a higher power was desired—or perhaps, essential—to fully enjoy my time here. But, I can’t blindly believe anything. To steal a line from this past election season: you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can spice up and present tofu any way you want, but under all the seasoning and garnish, you’ve got a brick of something artificial that easily crumbles when put under the slightest bit of pressure.
I can have faith in mankind—for all the things we’ve fucked up, we’ve also done some good. I cannot, however, have faith in something like God. I can be open-minded, and accept that God is real if you show me proof, but I won’t believe in something that won’t show itself. Nature is about the closest thing I could have any sort of “faith” in, but you can see it and make scientific observations about it. All religions state that they are the one truth, but I’m not buying. I need facts. We say that seeing is believing, but when it comes to religion/God/higher beings, we seem to shirk away from this.
That isn’t to say that I would make fun of or poke fun at anyone who believes in such a thing. If it makes you feel better, fine. I won’t argue against the idea that, for many, believing in a supreme power is very comforting. Doesn’t make it the truth—and the truth is more important to me.
Religion, like tofu, smells funny to me.