Friday, May 20, 2011

Is It Rapture Time Already? (aka, "Beam Me Up, Jebus!")

Boy, time flies!  It seems like just yesterday we were saying goodbye to certain loved ones, preparing for them to be beamed up by the G-man himself because the world was clearly going to end in 2000.  

Actually, there have been a LOT of predicted Rapture experiences.  Check out this list on Wikipedia for all the previous supposed dates of Rapture.  Personally, I'm gonna go with Sir Isaac Newton on this one.  I'm thinking we've got a good 50 years at minimum before Jesus decides he wants to be saddled with the responsibilities sure to accompany (and follow) the Rapture.

In case you weren't aware, I'm not particularly religious.  Wait, that's an understatement.  I am NOT religious.  I'm what most people would probably categorize as 'agnostic.'  I'm pretty sure there's some kind of higher power out there, but I don't believe in any specific God-like figure.

Being a-religious was sort of hard on me growing up.  I remember being in 1st grade or so and a friend asked me if I prayed at night.  With sort of a sideways glance I told him that no, I didn't, to which he promptly replied, "Oh, well you're going to Hell then."  Lovely.  

6-year-old Erika kind of took this to heart (in other words, I was f*cking terrified) and tried this "praying" thing a few times.  Turns out it really just wasn't my thing.  I also completely missed the whole point of prayer, so it would go something like this:
"Dear God, I really want to get a good grade in Math.  And I REALLY wish I could fly.  I think I could, but I need some help, you know?  OK.  Amen."

In the following years, I started coming up with snarky responses to religion-based questions. 

"What church do you go to?"  "I attend the Church of Erika.  We meet Sunday mornings in my room and sleep."

"How come you celebrate Christmas?"  "Because my parents celebrate it."

"Why don't you believe in God?"  "Why don't you believe in dragons?"

Now, I've attended services at a few churches.  When I was a kid, I went to a Lutheran service with a friend and her family.  It was close to Christmastime, and I remember the music was beautiful, but the rest was so-so.  Later in life I sat outside of SEVERAL Catholic services between Girl Scout cookie booth sales.  Not my thing.  And when I was in high school, I went to a Presbyterian service with one of my best friends (the best of my church-going experiences).  It was pretty cool (they were a VERY accepting church, which was a new concept to me), but still just not my thing.

My parents once told me that they wish they would've raised me in a religion so I could choose what I wanted to do about it when I became an adult.  (I'm not sure how they would've accomplished this; Mom also grew up a-religious since my Grandpa is an atheist and Dad went to a Methodist church when he was quite young but also grew up mostly sans religion.)  

I'm actually thankful that they brought me up the way they did.  Sure, I miss out on some religious references now and then.  And for me, Christmas is about a fat guy with magic reindeer and Easter is about bunnies and chocolate.  But I'm not sorry for these things.  I take great joy in giving gifts every December and to this day I hunt Easter eggs at my parents' house!  And I don't need an antiquated book to tell me what's right or wrong; my parents' did that for me, and they did a wonderful job all on their own. 

So, all that being said, I wish all of you believers well in your journey to Heaven, however you may get there.  As for me?  I guess time will tell.  It'll be an adventure, that's for sure.     

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