Funyuns, Community, and Religion

Paul Bunyan’s Funyuns! Wouldn’t that be a great name for a company? I just looked up how to spell Funyun and Google describes a Funyun as “an onion flavored corn snack.” What a thing to be. Only in America. “Hey John, you know that thing we have a lot of that kinda tastes like shit by itself? And you know that other thing that also kind of tastes like shit by itself? What if… bare with me here. What if… we fused those two things together, put them in a bag, and pretended they were chips?”

Okay I think I remember saying I was going to talk more about something, but I don’t know what it was. Hold on. Okay, yeah. Wanting to fight an enemy. “It’s fun to bond over things we despise.” That was my last sentence. Where was I going with this? Help! OH GOD PLEASE HELP! Wait no I’ve got this. Go away. I don’t need your help. What do you think I am, a pussy?

So last post I established that it appears we have an innate desire to fight an enemy. And not only that, but a desire to fight an enemy together. That way we feel like we’re doing good and we get some sense of community. Ah, community. That’s where I was going. I think we are lacking a sense of community in modern American society. We’re becoming less religious and less family oriented. There’s a modern assault on religion and we encourage people to move out from their family homes and buy their own houses. Man, I could take this a lot of directions, I’m not sure what to do here… Okay I’ll start with the religion thing because that’s the most controversial/interesting and then I’ll try to weave my way around to making a semi-coherent point about community.

I used to be one of those people who thought religion was dumb. I thought it made me smart to point out only the negative aspects of religion and say things like “Of course there’s no God, why would there be a God when people are dying for no reason!?” Well, turns out I was stupid. I mean I’m still stupid but now I’m less stupid. So I have that going for me. Anyways, I was stupid to think religion provided no value to society. I was ignoring a couple of major aspects: meaning and community.

I remember going to church as a kid. My family wasn’t religious, but we went to church. Why? Why would we do this, you ask? As far as I can tell, the answer lies in community. Coming together once a week to mingle with people from around town in a positive environment. People get too focused on the specifics of religion, but I think the value lies elsewhere. I think the value lies in the structure. Essentially, you’re coming together once a week with people from your town in order to achieve the common goal of being an upright citizen. This feels good and worthwhile.

The timing and the size of religious sermon are important, too. Usually, if you’re religious you’ll meet once a week on Sundays. It’s the perfect amount of time for enough things to happen in between meetings and enough of a break for people not to get sick of each other and to have something to look forward to. It’s also on the weekend, so people are more cordial and relaxed than they would be during the work week.

Then there’s the size. Oh the size! Lemme get a piece of that size! Sorry. Focus Jason. Focus. A religious sermon is a nice size because the group is small enough where every individual feels significant within the group, but large enough where there’s enough variety within the group. The problem… the problem I see with many non-religious young adults in modern society, is the group they choose to join is too large to lack intimacy and also too large for them to feel meaningful and recognized as an individual without being obnoxious or insane.

Okay I’m going to continue this next time. I wrote this next paragraph and then re-wrote it fifteen times and then erased and then realized it’s just not going to happen today. I need food.

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