Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Keep in mind that I am jaded and hate most things/ideas/people but I really hate Lent. I don't have anything against the religious dogma. I can't stand the people who are so boisterously participating in their modern day fast.
No amount of fish is going to erase your tramp stamp tattoo or make you a better person. Yelling about your fasting over social media only draws more attention to said tramp stamp. No one is praising your fast. As a matter of fact, the attention to your flaws becomes magnified. For instance, you're fat, therefore you fast from food or fatty foods/sweets. Are you doing this to become closer to God in order to obtain spiritual enlightenment or for your ass and sexual enlightenment? I'm all for T and A but I call it what it is: sex drive. Nothing wrong with that.
You are fasting from shopping. Fine, but we all know that you are also saving for that vacation to Puerta Vallarta this summer. "The Lord provided!" you will shout. Did He or did you? Your vacation to Mexico doesn't seem like it would be very high on God's To-Do List.
You are fasting from social media. Why? This one I just don't understand at all. This fast just seems to be a sounding board for your minions to praise you publicly. I'm no theologian but I don't recal Jesus and Moses shouting to the masses that they were going to fast and devote those days to prayer. Pretty sure it was a mostly private affair.
I say all this because when I was in college I saw a good friend go through an actual religious fast. It was both the dumbest thing I had ever witnessed and the most beautiful. This man only consumed liquids such as broth or juice, no solid foods and he read the Bible or accompaniment religious texts at every free moment of his day. He did this for 40 days and 40 nights. He didn't shout out from a mountain top about his piety. He was quiet and pensive. He wasn't fat so he became quite frail and weak. After the fast, solid foods caused him extreme gastric problems for the next few weeks. What this person did was totally selfless. It benefited him in no way other than the traditional spiritual sense. There was no alternative motive here.
Becoming weirdly religious for a couple of weeks a year looks inconsistent and insincere to the outside world of us heathens. This kind of behavior is what pushes people away from organized religion. Of all the wonderful social practices that are found in the Bible you have chosen to eat fish? Instead of giving to those in need, you are fasting from Facebook? Instead of feeding a stranger, you gave up chocolate? Instead of caring for an orphan, you quit unnecessary shopping for a few weeks?
Who am I to judge? We all pick and choose and tonight I'm choosing a Filet-O-Fish and not because of any religious fervor but because this fried treat appeals to my white trash sensibilities and I'm on a diet not a fast.