Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Forget the Ketchup, What is God?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

By Bob Gaydos

This was supposed to be the week I talked to Ketchup Bob about his use of ketchup as a salad dressing. Never mind the health issues, it’s downright gauche. Didn’t happen.

When I got to Dunkin’ Donuts, he was finishing his toasted coconut donut. He seemed happy. “But,” he said, sensing my look of concern, “I had cereal for breakfast.” Genetically modified flakes of corn loaded with sugar. A kids’ cereal.

Before I could go all high and mighty about that (I‘m working on it), Guru Bob walked in and joined us. He opted for a bagon, egg and cheese sandwich. A Big Toastie, I think.

Sensing a theme and being outnumbered, I switched gears.

“Let’s talk about religion,” I said, looking for a less-controversial subject.

Well, I can’t really tell you much detail about what we talked about because I’m certain that something that was said, however innocently or non-judgmentally, would surely offend someone and I don’t want to lose any Facebook friends. I have made my political views well-known in this blog (Republicans have lost their minds and the Tea Party is brain dead), but I find most people can still act friendly towards me even if they think I’m an idiot, politically speaking.

Religion, though, hits people differently, I think. It goes to the core of a person, whether he believes in something or not, and why. Actually, non-believers I have found to be among the most avid, umm, believers, if you will. Atheists even have annual conventions to get together and reaffirm the fact that they don’t believe in anything but themselves. And now I’m certain I’ve offended some atheists, even though they don’t believe in organized religion. See what I mean?

I won’t speak for the other Bobs on this. They have their own beliefs and are perfectly capable of explaining them, if they so choose. What was interesting and encouraging about the discussion, though, was that it was honest and lively, included humor, went on for a while, included differences of opinion and the words “stupid“ and “hypocritical,” touched on Christianity in general, Catholicism in specific, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Islam, Unitarian Universalism, spirituality, the collective consciousness and The Course in Miracles.

That’s some heavy stuff on oatmeal and a veggie egg white sandwich.

The upshot was that we agreed if everyone just practiced what they preached in their personal faith and left others to do the same, the world we know would be a far more peaceful place. This is nothing new, of course, but somehow we humans can’t seem to get it right yet. For some people, it seems to me, not believing what they believe is a judgment of them, a negative one. It also seems to me that even people who don’t follow their proclaimed faith, or know much about it for that matter, can feel threatened when someone questions it.

Why should that be? It’s only a question. If one truly believes (again, only me), what’s the harm in listening and discussing. After all, none of us has the definitive answer on God, Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, etc. Not even the atheists, god bless them.

Anyway, the three of us Bobs managed to have an honest and challenging conversation about all this without getting insulted, angry, or frustrated, and we do not share identical views. We are friends, however, and we respect each other’s opinions. That means we can disagree without holding a resentment. There will be no smack down in the parking lot at DD.

In fact, we even talked about starting our own religion. (Hey, why not? I saw “The Master.”) Guru Bob would be Number One Bob, of course. Unless Ketchup Bob or I wanted to be boss for the day. We haven’t figured out the specifics yet, but it promises to be another interesting breakfast when we try. (I may get back to the ketchup, too.) Stay tuned.

For now, the only bit of inside information I’ll leave you on our discussion of religion is that I wouldn’t want to be part of any heaven that would have me as a member.

bob@zestoforange.com