I was stopped on my way home by a pair of stylishly dressed individuals who asked for a couple minutes of my time. I knew it was God stuff, and so I stopped as I always do. Not out of disapproval, or looking for an opportunity to make a joke, but out of pure curiosity. I find religion to be fascinating, and it’s continued evolution to be even more interesting. I think it stems from my love of History and understanding of the level of importance religion has played.
This particular pair of prophets had a damn interesting take on the whole shebang. Their position was that God’s second coming, as hinted in the Book of Revelation and their careful highlighting of passages, was going to come in the form of a woman. That the Holy Trinity of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus was actually a family of sorts, with God the Mother joining it. Pretty interesting little spin-off of the Mary as co-redemptrix of mankind. It got a bit more cultish, for lack of a better word, when they declared the second coming in the form of this God the Mother was already alive and living in South Korea, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful there and can understand that.
I make jokes, but am in no way being condescending. I think all takes on religion deserve scrutiny and humor thrown their way just like anything else. I believe in God, but I also believe that central to religion and being a religious person are a small set of key values. Belief in God (or any other version of God/Gods) being the backbone, followed by a desire to do right morally, help others, live your life to the fullest in a manner that does not infringe on others’ ability to do so and finally (and probably most important and tragically overlooked) to have a respect for all differing points of view on the subject of God and religion. Jesus, in my belief, may not be the Son of God, but he was a philosopher and a theologian and an all around good person who would probably cry in outrage over our bickering about religion and who is right. I don’t think that God would be happy with the arguments either.
So when my friends on Main St pleaded with me to join their bible study and went so far as to hint that I was on the wrong path, I politely gave them a version of what I just typed above, told them to pack a jacket since I hear South Korea can get deceivingly cold in winter, and wished them a good day.
People who use religion as their reasoning for acting morally right are not on the same level of morality as those who act morally right in the name of being good people for the sake of themselves and others. To do something because someone told you, rather than do something because you believe it is intrinsically good is a lower rung of morality. I know I’m just spitting out Kohlberg right now, but this is something I find very important.
The desire to act morally good to avoid punishment, as many people within religious circles do, is the lowest rung of morality. It is a selfish approach, even when one is acting correctly. I strive to act morally in the name of some higher, universal authority. Not God, necessarily, but rather the idea that I can achieve a moral conscience that runs in the background and always inspire me to do the right thing. To me, having faith in true justice and true morality trumps the faith that people have in God.
Oh, and I do believe in God. Adamantly. I just don’t think of God as a moral authority, but rather as power that started us down this path and guided our creation. It’s now up to us to do right by what he has given us, not for him, but for each other.
(via weallfruit)Source: thirdworldd3mocracy
I love religion.
You heard me, I love it. As a historical topic, as a point of conversation, as a part of our society and history. To me, nothing is more fascinating, frightening and thought provoking.
“We do not know if there is a God.” That statement right there should be the first thing we are told when we are born and it should be hammered into us throughout life. If you start with that baseline, your justification for why you believe in a higher power or not will always stem from one logical certainty, and you’re therefore off to a good start.
Recently, I’ve given a lot of thought to the ways in which the public view of Christianity has distorted over time. I have come to the conclusion that since religion is a construct of society and is run by men and women, it has been prone, like anything else, to corruption, distortion and misrepresentation. I have learned that the most useful thing in life is to take everything with a grain of salt and strip things down to the bare bones. In this case, look at what the fundamental ideals behind a religion are rather than judging the religion based on those currently active in it.
Organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church, extremist Muslims, militant Christians and others give religion a biased image as something from yesterday that just won’t go away. Religion has provided patronage for the arts, inspiration for countless individuals, hope during crises and has spearheaded pushes for education.
We need to remember religion, like anything else, is a complex phenomenon that we cannot afford to discredit and push to the back burner. I am not in any way recommending that we all jump back into a religion dominated society or start worshiping, just give religious history the careful consideration and respect it deserves. Rant over.