My Life is under construction

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The attempt to silence a man is 
the greatest honor you can bestow on him. 
It means that you recognize 
his superiority to yourself.

óJoseph Sobran

answering an email from a friend
...better than anything i could really write up here.

12-14-98: losing my religion

What do you think about religion? i think it works for a lot more people than it doesn't. organized religion is for the most part detrimental to society, because it's basic premise is the hating of others whom are not like you. i mean christ was one man so how the hell can there be 100 different versions of christianity that are all preaching the gospel truth according to the words of jesus christ. i mean. baptists, southern baptist, fundamental baptist, methodist, african-methodist, presbyterian, presbyterian usa, luthern, catholic, roman catholic, orthodox, church of christ... whatever. i believe religion is more of a spirituality, but i don't want that to sound like some new-age/wave cop out. i do believe that there is a higher power. no, i don't really believe that jesus is the lord and savior of all. he MAY have been a brilliant and peaceful man, but the conflict issues and statements in the bible get my goat, he cannot be god and sitteth on the right hand of god at the same time. i have to believe that there is something greater than man out there otherwise human existence is relegated to some sort of cosmic fluke. i mean the earth was created because of this freak explosions and sentient human beings came to life because of star dust mixing with some primordial ooze...i mean what kind of crap is that? where is the hope? what makes us want to explore? why do we question our existence if there is nothing outside of us for which we should aspire? does any of this make sense? > I grew up without religion. It always *interested* me, in the same > way that biology or literature did, but the spiritual side eluded me. i don't think the spiritual side alluded you. it's there, it's in everyone. your recognition of it may have been cloudy. > Growing up, I would go to church or temple with friends- one oh-so- > kindly tried to "save" me when I was 10 or so, > another forbid us to associate with followers of other religions. > Others were just interesting (for lack of a better word). argh. and this is the point that i was making in my first statement. this is ridiculous. what are you being saved from? yourself? a true connection to the higher power? what? no MAN is able to tell me exactly how my life should be lead in a spiritual manner. we cannot know that, no matter how hard, pure, good, right, godlike we think we are or the person that we are following are. i mean take for example that fact that there were MANY civilizations that were in place and thriving and sentient and all of those niceties that come with being a nation. i've always wondered that in the teaching of christianity, before the onset of global communication, do people really believe that all of those people who did not know "of christ" are burning in hell today. because obviously if christ hadn't been around at that time, how could they have been saved? I know that was a tangent, but you did said that you expected an interesting response. > But I always felt almost embarrassed to be there. i still feel uncomfortable when i go to my "home church" for lack of a better word or ones that are part of the UNITY circuit because of the stance on homosexuality there. but that is a whole nother kettle of fish. > My parents, for the most part, were neutral in regards to > religion. My father grew up catholic and once in college, abandoned > it. My mother was jewish until she married my dad, and she too > abandoned her religion. We celebrate Christmas, but not the > religious aspects. My parents always felt that my brother and I could > choose a religion concurrent with whatever beliefs we formed once > we were adults. wow, you were very lucky in that regard. though i have the utmost respect and fascination with those of the jewish faith. > So I'm wondering...what effect, aside from a "spiritual" connection, > does lack of religion have on everyday life, in your opinion? > Some people would say lack of morals- yet I think I turned out ok. i addressed some of this previously, but i will try to expound on what i mean. i do think that a lack of religion takes away hope. who knows what really happens to someone once they've died. but without a connection to religion, i think we lose the future perspective and are grounded too much in the materialistic today. if there is nothing to look forward to in the afterlife, then we must live each day as if it's the last. i think you could lose a lack of consequence and responsibility for one's actions with religion. it's not really a sense of morals, but more often a common decency, which is the basis of what we derive from religion. is that clear? > And, do you think religion is something that can be acquired later in > life, or does it lose its absoluteness without being ingrained at an > early age? okay, why do i feel like i'm taking my religion 24 exam? i absolutely think that religion is something that can be acquired in a later frame of life. and more often than not that is when it becomes all the more relevant and prevalent. as we get older and begin to understand our mortality better, then i think religion is that hope and solace that i've talked about before. you realize that there is something more important than being alive (wait that doesn't sound right, but i don't know how else to phrase it.). i believe in the cosmic unconscious: that we are all ONE-- read richard bach, one--that we are all connected and all the same person basically. i believe that in death, we are reconnected to this consciousness. that is truly a gift. there is no such thing as an absolute. religion most definitely is not absolute. > I guess that last question shows my > prejudice. But I am really interested in what other people think. you were given negative insights to religion, which is unfortunate. i don't consider myself a spiritual beacon or anything like that...but i have witnessed where it's done a world of good...but unfortunately all good ends up tainted by man/woman. and that's the problem that we have here. weekend was fun. that's for later. Should i go to the insync concert? yes or no?

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