So I’m now firmly into my second week of living according to the Bible for Lent.
I haven’t started walking around in sandals, speaking Aramaic and parting my bath water just yet, but I have been trying to adhere to certain biblical tenets in the hopes that it makes me a better Catholic, brings me closer to God and teaches me how to get in touch with my spiritual side without the use of psilocybin.
The last week has been a bit strange as I’ve adjusted to the lifestyle of a pre-Roman shepherd – albeit one with a Facebook and Twitter account.
For instance, I’ve had to try not to masturbate or engage in sexual activity, lest I violate Corinthians 7:2 and engage in sexual immorality – which hasn’t pleased me, or my girlfriend, especially around Valentine’s Day.
So, not only are my balls blue but I’ll have to keep a close eye on my pissed off girlfriend – if I see her swiping right on her phone, I’m blaming God.
While avoiding sexual immorality is sort of one of the main themes of the Bible, another one is not worshipping any other gods besides God – he’s the jealous type, you see.
And not the ‘I’m just pretending I’m jealous in front of my girlfriend to add a bit of passion to the relationship even though I couldn’t give two shites’ sort of jealous.
I’m talking about God raining down hell fire and screaming ‘if you ever, EVER, look at another God again I’ll make sure you literally burn for all eternity’ for just glancing admiringly at another God’s place of worship on the street.
So my main concern this week has been to stop myself worshipping other idols and put God front and centre in my life.
Starting off I thought this would be a piece of piss. I mean, I’m an atheist, I worship fuck all and think most religions are just bastardisations of the same pre-Enlightenment myths told to the death-scared masses by power-hungry demagogues for power and money.
But, I was shocked to discover that, disbelieving atheist though I thought I was, I do actually worship quite a few idols and, if I’m to give this thing a proper go, I’m going to have to kick them to the curb (at least until the end of Lent).
Before undertaking this quest/experiment/pilgrimage, I wouldn’t have thought that I worshipped anything but, after some reflection, it turns out I do. A lot. And if there is a God, then he’s pissed!
Being a confessed irreligious atheist I pretty much worship everything but God – peanut butter sandwiches, Led Zeppelin and Guinness all figure higher on my list of idols than God, and two of them aren’t even sentient.
I can’t very well start cutting out every single thing that I worship more than God, especially food. I mean, even God would have to let you away with worshipping Burger King’s chili-cheese bites, otherwise he really is a world-flooding vengeful prick!
Upon reflection, God is actually a bit of needy and jealous – ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’.
I feel like I’m unwittingly taking part in a sort of cosmic Jeremy Kyle Show in which God is tearfully recounting how I’ve been secretly seeing Buddha behind his back.
Relax God, it meant nothing to me, it was just yoga. I didn’t even reach enlightenment.
So I’ve decided if I want to truly follow God’s word then I have to stop having other idols in place of God, which means I actually can’t do a lot of shit.
It means no more following the stupid but hilarious things Kanye West says on Twitter, I can’t cheer on Leo to win an Oscar because that probably counts, and I’ll have to burn all my Bowie CDs.
I’ve even had to take down the poster of Eric Cantona on my wall that reads ‘Cantona Is God’, which I imagine God must be especially pissed off about. That’s probably why City beat United to Pep Guardiola. Thanks for that one, God!
Now, with no idols to worship before God I’m kind of bored. Closer to God probably, but definitely bored.
I tried reading the Bible but you couldn’t get an app for it so it got old quick.
Maybe if God wants us not to have any idols in place of him then he needs to up his game and actually win us over. Nobody wants to ready a fusty old book from the olden times about a load of people getting regularly smited.
He should be setting up a Twitter page where he converts Bible verse into easier to understand gangsta-rap speech and post memes taking the piss out of Satan. Maybe then he’d have more followers and people wouldn’t have to alter their entire lives just to try get closer to him. Now that’d be godlike…