I may live in the Bible Belt, but with me it may as well be the SansaBelt (with apologies to the late Ed McMahon for that one.) It’s not that I haven’t tried religion. When we moved to Texas I did join a church, got baptized and the whole nine cubits. But I don’t think it “took,” since I always feel like a fish out of water. I think this cartoon by, once again, Roz Chast, illustrates my dilemma.
One of my favorite people here in Texas is Kinky Friedman, formerly of the band Kinky and The Texas Jewboys, who is also the author of a series of best-selling mystery novels. Kinky ran for governor a few years ago under the slogans of “How hard can it be?” and “I’ll keep us out of war with Oklahoma!”
What I like about Kinky, among many things, is his take on religion. He lives in the Bible Belt but that doesn’t stop him from telling it like it is—at least from his perspective:
“Well, I just said that Jesus and I were both Jewish and that neither of us ever had a job, we never had a home, we never married and we traveled around the countryside irritating people.”
“I even went so far as to become a Southern Baptist for a while, until I realized that they didn’t hold ’em under long enough.”
The last couple of years we’ve been bludgeoned with the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” blunt weapon, where people actually threatened to boycott stores that didn’t proclaim the former rather than the latter. Can’t we all just get along? Kinky has it right with his own holiday greeting:
“May the God of your choice bless and keep you this holiday season.”
As for religion’s place in politics, he said:
“Yes, I’m a Judeo-Christian. Jesus and Moses are in my heart, and… both of them were independents, by the way.”
In the same vein, here’s a tongue-in-cheek ATC I did awhile back—
Kinky once said that he considers himself an “Orthodox Atheist.” As for me, I think I’m more of an Orthodox Agnostic.
Besides, it’s wise to be kind to everyone, no matter who or what they are.
You never know.
God could be a cat.