Define Religion

Brandon Hawkins
As a sentient being of this planet whose fundamental values, beliefs, morals, and various approaches spring from the roots of reason, scientific discovery, and logical rationale religion represents nothing more than a duality of pragmatic consequence and exacted dominance in the face of fear, namely that of the unknown. When considering religion, one must immediately disconnect spirituality, morality, and ritual from the singularity of the lexicographical “religion” as each are fused commonly in varying efforts (merely in degree of extremism) to distort or protect the validity of the others; one can surely be a moral person in the absence of personal religion. The same can be said of spirituality and socio-ritualistic participation. Religion, in its most primitive consideration, is the humanoid construct of assigned meaning by way of philosophical consideration, abstraction of fact, and pure farce that purposes our very existence and dulls the finality of death. The fact that most Abrahamic religions both espouse and advertise the lure of everlasting life is the most unsettling tenant; if life on Earth isn’t finite then why live? What is the loss in sacrificing oneself to a larger cause if the after-party is the real celebration, or still worse, reward? No, as a sentient being in pursuit of biological discovery I must denounce such ammunition and ludicracy. Religion has also been, unfortunately, harnessed for other considerations as well.
Religion, doctrine, creed, and belief are the labels applied to any number of warring factions throughout the course of history. These appellations and justifications are but outcroppings of larger undergrowth: the use of religion as a proselytizing, fear-mongering, opiate of the masses; the harbinger of core dominion. What better way to govern or otherwise influence another liberated individual than direct appeals to emotion instead of logic? What better way to increase revenue and ultimate branding value than instilling a self-perpetuating, unobtainable, fear-inducing prophecy blindly adhered to by many millions of unwitting sheep and, ultimately, investors in the destruction of science, humanism, and reason? The word ‘religion’ disgusts me.

A Look Back on the Last Decade in Rock

It’s difficult to overstate how badly rock sucked 10 years ago. Does the name Crazy Town mean anything to you? Vertical Horizon? Mudvayne? Do you still gag at the words “I did it all for the nookie”? Radio and MTV were swamped with major-label rap-metal dipshits in baggy shorts. But savage young bands came to crash the party, from Detroit’s White Stripes to Sweden’s Hives, plus New York’s Strokes, Interpol, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Radio wouldn’t touch them with Fred Durst’s 10-foot pole, but they kicked in the door with sex, sweat, and guitar noise. Now these were unabashed rock stars. Our long national Durst-mare was over.