Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur



Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 5:49 am

Since you said that you’re an atheist, I brought you this.

Faisal handed me a small figurine.

“What is it? Oh, look! It’s a little Jesus. Thank you! “

I got it in the mail.

We look at the box it came in. I realize I was wrong.

“It’s not Jesus. It’s Saint Jude. He’s the patron saint of lost causes. If you have something that you’ve given up hope on, you’re supposed to pray to him and then you’re supposed to give money to this hospital.”

I know more of the story, but I didn’t tell him. Faisal is from Pakistan. He doesn’t care about Danny Thomas and his tear jerking story about trying to make it in the acting world. He just saw a Christian thing in his mail and thought that it would bother me because I told him I was an atheist.

“Thank you, I’ll put St. Jude right here next to my Buddha.”

There is the flame of the Holy Ghost above his head and he’s holding a gold disk. I have no lost causes right now. Sure, I’ve given up on that peace on earth thing, but I never really believed in it in the first place. For peace on earth to be complete, I would have to vanquish the violence within myself. I wouldn’t really call peace on earth a cause, just a hope.

I find it strange that the Catholic Church has so many saints. I understand how they came about. Many of the saints have a one-to-one correspondence to the Pagan gods that they replaced. It made Christianity easier for the Pagans to swallow. Well, that and the fact that the Roman Empire was breathing down their necks. I understand how they came about, I just don’t understand how modern day Catholics can pray to saints.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Isn’t that what the commandment says? What are the saints but another set of gods to worship? How can a person follow the ten commandments and pray to saints without feeling like a hypocrite? How does that logic warp in the mind of the faithful?

If only. If only I could believe in God, then I could be guaranteed a route to salvation. It’s such a pretty story. I just wish it were true. Instead, I look at my Buddha and St. Jude next to each other under my monitor. I can kiss my fingers and touch his hand. I can rub his belly. Neither one makes me feel any closer to God or Enlightenment, yet I see the faithful perform these rituals. They seem comforting to them. I guess if I want comfort, I need to give it to myself and quit trying to find an outside source.


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