In the wake of the horrific terror attacks yesterday in Paris, there is a lot of talk on religion. Growing up in communist Hungary in a Presbyterian aristocratic family, my experience of religion was minimal. My grandfather who was a presbyter read the story of little Jesus being born at Christmas, and he told me that Jesus was a teacher who taught people about love. That’s all, nice and gentle memories. And there was the other ‘religion’ forced upon us by the communist government. We had to sing the songs about the greatness of our ‘leaders’, we had to recite lies in history classes, we had to gather and celebrate Lenin, Stalin etc. We knew that it is all lies and tried to rebel as much as we could. Naturally I developed a sense of dislike or more of disgust about gathering together, singing, admiring (like praying) some entity or person, because I had no choice about who was being celebrated. I had sadness about this.
I like watching people going to church on Sunday mornings with their families, love watching them gather at the nearby synagogue for Sabbath on Friday evenings, I love visiting mosques and see people connect with each other and something bigger themselves. I envy them. I think religion serves a purpose for people to connect, to have community, to make them think about other things than the shopping lists.
My religion became Rock &Roll. Going to live gigs, singing, dancing crying and laughing together with often thousands or sometimes just twenty of us. It always gives me a spiritual experience, feeling the connection with all, something bigger then myself.
I love the Eagles of Death Metal! I have lovely memories of boogieing with my daughter and thousands of others in a gig, while Juliette Lewis came on stage to sing a couple of songs with them. We often listen to them in the car and doing silly family sing-alongs. They are one of the most fun, sexiest bands I saw in my life. Yesterday’s attacks were an attack on humanity and also on my ‘religion’; Rock and Roll. This is a religion that I wont stop practicing because of some brainwashed cowards. My hope for all of us is to be able to do safely what we like with respect to others and their safety.