Diary of Stuff (Volume I)
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2001-11-19 04:24:13 (UTC)

New entry.....

Pretty quiet today, as is the norm I guess. Went to church
again at the urging of my wife this morning. I didn't
really want to go at first, because I felt like I was up to
my eyeballs with her professed faith, me coming from an
agnostic point of view. All this past week, she had me
wearing medallions to protect me from evil and to guarantee
my safe journey (wherever I go). According to her duty,
she has the boys learning the benign ways. So anyways,
like I said, I was up to my eyeballs with the hoo-ha and
mysticism. But, while at mass today, I realized that I had
an earlier connection with the religion, and that this was
nothing really new.......

I grew up in the Philippines, because, mainly, my father
was in the military. We had a housemaid living with us 5
days a week, and she taught us when we were all kids (my
brother and sister) about Jesus, and God, and the devil.
From the way she preached it, I am almost certain that it
was Catholicism (and nothing else). Some years had passed,
and then I joined a boyscout troop that belonged to the
base that we were at. I don't remember the exact reason
which led me to join, but camping out in the Philippines is
as exciting as being stranded on a tropical island without
anyone bugging you for miles around! (Remember '7 days, 7
nights' or 'Castaway'). But back to the religious stuff,
as a scout, you were required to memorize and adhere to the

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

On top of that, the scout law is:

A Scout is LOYAL.
A Scout is HELPFUL.
A Scout is FRIENDLY.
A Scout is KIND.
A Scout is OBEDIENT.
A Scout is CHEERFUL.
A Scout is THRIFTY.
A Scout is BRAVE.
A Scout is CLEAN.
A Scout is REVERENT.

Our scoutmasters were really good at disciplining us (after
all, they were in the military), and making sure that we
lived up to the oath. So there you have first
early connection with religion, without actually being part
of any professed faith.

I might also add that I lived and breathed the scouts back
then. My most memorable experience was our 're-enactment'
of the Bataan Death March. We drove over to the Bataan
peninsula as the first leg of our 'March'. We camped out
on the beach for a couple of nights, and to really describe
it, read 'Old Man and the Sea' from Hemmingway, it comes
closest to describing what it _feels_ like. We then
marched almost ten miles through the hot tropical sun and
boring roadway. We sang songs, wandered around a bit, made
sure not to step on any farmers rice patty that he was
drying in the sun. It was rough I tell ya, as a matter of
fact (laughing to myself), read 'Long Walk' from Richard
Bachman, aka Stephen King. The similarities are
hilarious! To end our march that afternoon, we walked up
our final miles up some huge mountain, and there, lo and
behold, was the most HUMONGOUS CROSS that I had ever seen.
It was a building that you could go into and climb some
stairs to the top. It was simply AWESOME! But anyways, it
was cool to see something that large jutting out in the
sky, saying "Fuck you other religions! I OWN this land!"
Truly remarkable, I must say...kinda like seeing God had
revealed himself to you for the first time,
has almost the same feeling, since it was completely
unexpected, and after a long and grueling day.