LINCOLN, Neb. — Religion is a touchy subject.
People are very sensitive about their beliefs. Some will try to convert others to their point of view with the fervor of a used-car salesman on a losing streak.
Heck, some even come to your door, selling salvation like a vacuum cleaner or the “A” volume from a set of encyclopedias.
But when it comes to choosing a religion, it’s all about what you feel deep down inside. The religion must match an individual’s beliefs about morality, life and death.
So when I took a good hard look into the spot some call the soul, I asked myself the hard questions: What do I believe? How do I define right and wrong? Where do I come from, and where am I going?
I tried Christianity — too depressing. Buddhism — too pacifist. Judaism — too kosher (I love bacon). Atheism — too spiritless.
But as I wandered the desert of spirituality, thirsty for an oasis of faith, I found the drink I was looking for.
I discovered the religion of my forefathers. The god of my heritage as a Swede.
I found Odin the All-Father and more.
While others are stuck worshipping a single god, I have several choices to pray to. So, when the All-Father isn’t feeling particularly generous in his prayer-answering I can go ask Frigga — who, as Odin’s wife, could be considered the All-Mother, I suppose — because she tends to spoil her proverbial children.
Or I can just ask Thor. He’s the inebriated uncle of the family whom all the nephews love because he tells the best stories. (Ask him about the time he drank the ocean because he thought it was booze.)
And while other religions have one holy day a week, I have five, Wednesday (named for Wodan, eventually changed to Odin) and Thursday (Thor’s day) being the holiest.
On Wednesday, I spend my time contemplating Odin’s sacrifice of his left eye to gain the wisdom of the ages — its not just Jesus who self-sacrificed. Plus, I don’t have to eat his body or drink his blood. I’m a person, not a zombie or a vampire, for Odin’s sake. Thor’s day is the day for the big religious ritual. It is a well known fact that Thor was a sucker for the sauce. So the only reasonable way to honor him is by drinking. Heavily.
And while Jesus could turn water into wine, Thor was a beer man — well, mead, but close enough. No Pinot Grigio for him. Thor steps up to the bar and orders a golden, frothy mug, a man’s drink. And even though traditions change through the ages, I have a strong feeling Thor would heartily approve of beer pong.
Also, looking back on the many religious conflicts throughout the middle ages, there are some in denial about the true purpose of all that conquering and crusading. And I’m not just talking about the Pope and his boys. They were all out for money and power.
You don’t spread a faith of brotherly love by killing thy neighbor. Wasn’t there a commandment that said kind of the opposite?
At least the Vikings were honest about it. They were out to pillage and plunder, and they didn’t try to hide it. And, lets face it, honesty is a major tenant in most religions.
The only problem with following my religion is discrimination from the government. Sure, Saturday and Sunday are holidays, but what about Wednesday and Thorsday? And for that matter, how about Friday, for Freyja, the goddess of love and fertility? Or Tuesday for Tyr, who bravely sacrificed his hand for the greater good? Or Monday, for the god of the Moon?
Despite this discrimination from the heathen government, I will carry on in my beliefs. And I invite you to join the church of the All-Father. Together, we can spread the one true religion.
I’ll see you for worship on Thorsday.