A Kiss for Judas

This is a post I made for a class assignment about the Lacanian Real and the point-de capiton (stitching point) that I thought was kind of interesting, and I would like to one day truly follow up on by creating something more powerful and a better read in general. Anyway, read on if you must.

In the last few years, a part of me has changed. Well, many parts of me have changed, but more particularly my Christian beliefs. As I was growing up I was always told, “the Bible means this” or “the Bible means that,” and I was to never question what I was told. Actually, I was never told I could question religion, or better yet, analyze the text as I would try to do now as an English major. It was something that was absolute. And that’s my problem. I consider myself a Christian, but I follow no religion now. To me, organized religion is part of the problem. Many teach certain doctrines that their members must follow, and every letter must be followed. There is no way around that. Now, don’t get me wrong, organized religion can be a very good thing. The Bible (or insert holy book here) is not something every one can drudge through and analyze their selves. People need organized religion to “help” teach them and give them guidelines to follow.

My small anecdote here will not portray the point where I turned away from organized religion or church as most of us would call it. However, I consider it one of those “stitching points” where we can see past the screen and view a part of Reality.

I recently came across an article in Time magazine titled “A Kiss for Judas” by David Van Biema. Basically, what has happened is the uncovering (and soon to be released in late April to the public, I believe) is “The Gospel of Judas.” I also remember Mckelly mentioning in class reading “The Gnostic Gospels,” which I would like to read some day. Anyway, back to where I was going with this story. After Epiphanius, fourth century bishop, argued against “The Gospel of Judas,” it disappeared. I thought that was somewhat odd. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know that kind of thing went on. “Important people” or some other higher-ups decided what we read in the collections of books that we call the Holy Bible.

This is the point where my mind wandered into the past, which is dangerous territory (especially down here in the Deep South, a place where you don’t question southern religion). I start thinking about what books were not included and which books some committee or some bishop included, what religious practices that were deemed necessary to belong to a church and when they were decided upon, and how and why someone gets to decide what “religion” is. For one reason, why do we have different denominations in the Christian world? Simply put, someone decided that they did not like certain teachings of another denomination and formed their own. Is this what religion is, rules and guidelines that people put together for other people to follow because they didn’t like what someone else said?

Moreover, what books were left out of the Bible? Should we not read those also? What about the books that we do have, are we truly reading those? Or are we letting others tell us what they mean, and blindly follow their “analysis” that was passed down from their preacher and the preacher before them and so on?

This is the point where I can see past the southern dogma that I have been taught all my life. I don’t have to read the “Gospel of Judas” to understand or to even look at Judas from another point of view. But to say, “Judas wasn’t guilty. He was necessary. Somebody had to betray Jesus. Judas was the victim of a design bigger than himself,” as Vittori Messori said would be to betray the religion that I was taught.

I want to get past, or to come to an understanding, the works of Christian religion (and a few other religions). However, religion itself has always been the screen that blinds me from the truth.