As much as I usually fail to be impressed with modern religion (although there have been a couple rare exceptions where I was impressed), and as horrible as institutionalized religion has been sometimes historically, considering stuff like the selling of indulgences and the Inquisition and, if you go even deeper into it, much worse things, when it was used as a tool of demagogues and madmen and Conquistadors, and as much as they got all this other stuff going against 'em, stifling the arts and sciences and whatever, there actually hasn't been another institution that did more to advance science and preserve the arts and history of the world than religious institutions.
Heck, they had like half of the greatest artists and scientists and historians on their payrolls.
And I'm not just talking about the Catholic Church, or Churches, either, I'm including Temples and Synagogues and Everything Else, going all the way back as far as it goes to the oral traditions of the bards and the Sumerian Irrigation Sytem.
And I'm not just saying that because I'm a monk with ink-stained fingers and arms full of books who was chased through the streets by the illiterate barbarians who burned down the great library of Alexandria.
There were guys who climbed mountains bare-foot with paintings strapped to their backs and their hometown going up in smoke behind them.
I think its not very accurate to take the way that the more vocal "squeaky-wheel" half-assed modern religious enthusiasts make you sick to your stomach because they're so goddam ignorant and full of fear and hate and apply that to the ancient guys that shaped our world who, for all their faults, especially when "summed up" and generalized about as a group, were actually the least ignorant and most appreciative and understanding people of their day.
I'm not saying even the best of us are perfect, but shit, man, I'll take whatever little good there is when I can find it, I mean, show me somewhere else where I can get some heh.
There's a part of me that says "ah, religion is finally losing its grip on the world, yay!" but its actually a dumb part of me, 'cause I know deep down that we can't just blame it for everything bad we ever did in its name and then erase it and keep the good stuff.
I think the present freaking sucks some serious ass sometimes, and I'm all for changing it, but the past couldn't have happened any other way than it did, and amidst all the horror and cruelty and nastiness and ignorance, there's a few bright lights that shine out, and they're still being carried around and burning inside us to this day.
And if you have read this goddam thing this far, then I have no doubt that you come from that stock, those good (and sometimes bad) people of the House of Cups.
'Cause the Houses of Swords and Shields and Staves sure ain't never been much fer reading and thinking about shit.
And I'm not saying that everybody in the House of Cups ought to be in agreement or anything, I'm all for diversity, actually, I mean, fuck, that's why I talk like a punk and swear so much, but we are all brothers and sisters and the descendants of the dudes who climbed over the mountains barefoot with paintings strapped to their backs, maybe not even just in spirit, although an appreciation for it is actually all it takes for that to be true.
Now that I got that off my chest, I'm going to go back to my regularly scheduled program of pretending that I belong to the House of Swords and Shields and Staves, 'cause they aren't as mopey and woe-is-me crying-in-yer-beer and shit as all you whiny Cup bastards.
Plus, they get all the chicks, right?