February 12, 2012

How I stopped talking about god…

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:16 pm by changisme

Jeremy Lin has recently come under the spotlight in the NBA. I have listened to an interview of him. He’s quite laid back in the most part, and he talks about God in every other sentence, really reminds me of the Chinese church I used to go to. It really made me realize, I don’t really talk about God with anyone anymore.

First, to be clear, I am one who love talking about God and gods. Talking under a certain religious framework is like talking about math: if we abide by such and such axioms, what would be a logical and beautiful theory. What of currently held true is actually inconsistent, and what symmetry or parallel can we see from theory A with theory B. What symbolism or pattern is most representative of what concept. It goes on and on. There is so much fun in talking about god!

I had three friends who used to engage in these kind of conversations with me. We don’t really discuss whether the axioms were true, because if they were axioms, they cannot be proven. Having said that, it’s not that we always held onto one set of axioms, we did experiment with others, but I was not very knowledgeable, then and now, so we did mostly adhere to Christianity, occasionally making observations about others.

Then when did I stop? Why did I stop? Those friends I mostly interacted when I was in undergraduate, and then I moved away, and the only two kinds of people around me who were enthusiastic about talking god, either (a) use cliches by the bucket load, like Jeremy Lin in his interview, or (b) talk about stupid Christians are.

First let’s talk about type A. These people I have always been quite familiar with. They are not usually fundamentalists or even political enthusiasts. Their discussions or answers just all seem to have come out of either a cookbook or a FAQ. Phrases lose their meaning when we use them too much, or rather, we stop contemplating their meaning. For example, what does it mean when they say, all they want is to serve God? I don’t really mean a discussion like that from a youth group or a self help book. These things just focus on finding out what I should do in my daily life in order to be a good girl. Rather, I would want to talk about, how do humans understand serving a higher being throughout history; how is it that we humans can still entertain the idea of servitude when supposedly non-ritualistic religious system. There are many words and phrases people just throw around so much, I am bored, so very bored, of hearing them from anybody by this point. So, I stopped talking about god with type A.

Type B people were those who are more socially progressive, and have seen a lot of the injustices political religious groups have done to the world. I understand and support a lot of what they believe. On the other hand, their speech get old quite quickly. Also quite ironically, they are the same people who rightfully advocate against islamaphobia based on minority fundamentalism. I don’t actively fight against these people’s behavior, because afterall Christians in this country are not so much of a minority and are not victims of racism, as are the Muslims. Yet still, sometimes what they do is contrary to their own logic. Ultimately, Repeating the same point become tiresome.

I am certainly not the only person with some religious interest around, but many, like me, are silenced because we no longer have a community. I have also lost the will and habit to read about the matter, because there is just something special about seeing someone face to face and talk about interesting things like this. It is different and complimentary to reading on my own, and so much better than arguing with faceless people on internet forums.

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