Or my view thereof, sort of. Spoilers ensue.
I have long been an atheist ... my mother is sometimes fond of recounting the tale of when, at age seven, I walked out of my Baptist Sunday School class and announced to the entire fellowship hall that Sunday School sucked because the subject matter was limited.
Of course, I was seven, and I didn't phrase my complaint in that way. It came out as a "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! That's all they ever talk about, is Jesus!!!" I can certainly see why she recalls that event to this day ... if I had a child who did that in the middle of a church, then I'd have trouble forgetting that moment too.
Over the years (few though they are), I've never really wavered much. I've questioned different forms of religion ... and at times, I have considered myself agnostic, but still I never identified with any religion that I knew of. When I was with shoten, I tried to find something in Christianity that I could believe in. Shoten and I wrote many letters about my questions and that subject ... but I never found that "something." I have no problem with religion ... indeed, I will attend any ceremony for any religion if a friend asks me to ... but I do not have one of my own, save my strong belief in the power of people to change and organize their lives (and subsequently, the lives of others).
Xenogears seems to mirror that belief of mine. It also confirms to me that religion can be used by anyone to confirm and conform their universe and those who work within it. In Xenogears, the Ethos organization has used religion as a means for propelling and comforting those they control. They have found religion to be especially appealing to those who do not have all the facts that they themselves are privy to.
Verlaine to Billy:
"The 'Ethos' used the two sweet fruits of 'faith' and 'technology' well to skillfully manipulate global affairs and people's zeal. Thus, the manipulated the ignorant masses to repeatedly continue their pointless wars. [...] These intentionally perpetuated wars caused much phsychological discord.
But faith in 'god' ...
was used as a cushion to soften the blow. It was a well thought-out system."
I particularly agree with a comment made by Bishop Stone (I don't wanna KNOW where his skin went) to Billy, as Billy confronted the fact that his faith was in a system that was not as honest as he believed it to be. Stone tells us that, "[...] There are certain things in this world you're happier not knowing. Even lies and deceptions can become the truth for some people of the earth. ... Particularly those not knowing the true nature of things, or how these systems of things works."
"To be born into a false reality ... to grow up in it, and to die in it ... without ever approaching the truth," mourns an Aphel Aura townsperson. How true this is in many respects! We all create our own versions of reality, and all are warped by our own perspectives. "Reality" as we know it seems distorted by our own eyes and by the actions of others. It is not as solid as we may think it to be.
And finally, a couple random notes:
"You betrayed your 'mother,' your 'creator,' just to sustain your own egos. You have no right to speak so ..."
DAMN STRAIGHT KRELIAN! No right, you helmet-people! None whatsoever!
There's a note of arrogance in the game that really bugs me ... those in power have lost contact with what they truly are (and seem to have gained the distorted concept that they are the sole supreme factor making decisions which control all reality). I suppose those guys don't technically have bodies anymore, but they certainly have something shoved up way too high. Ugh. The ugly results of it all make me want to slap/delete their computerized beings and empires. Also, if they are as almighty as they think themselves to be, you'd think they would have realized by now that deterrence diplomacy is not very successful. If you don't want someone to do something, you certainly don't try to beat them out of doing it! Your purges and attacks are bloody failures on all sides, so would you try a different tactic already?
Chuchu makes really annoying sounds during battles. I knew I should've sent Maria with Bart ... but it's ok, I lived through it all anyway, despite having to fight the darn Elements two times over! Mwhaha, take that, you Elements!