Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rant on Religion

I heard a saying a while back that someone used to describe their relationship with organized religion and it really struck me.  

I try to eat the fish without choking on the bones.  

I do believe there is a God, and I do believe that something happened 2000 or so years ago concerning a man named Jesus.  After that, my beliefs get kind of fuzzy.  The reasons I'm a little fuzzy on things are the typical reasons people like me use.  I feel the bible is a manipulation by man of the word of God and deeds of Jesus.  I'm put off by the amount of violence and war in the name of religion.  I'm especially put off by the amount of hate and prejudice brought by those who are doing so in the name of God.  Having been an active member in a Catholic school and church, I'm nauseated by those who use their positions in the church for power or influence.  From a small rural town, I shake my head at the social groups that form around each different denomination and especially so at how these social groups carry over into who their children play or associate with in our public school.  I wish these things didn't bother me, but they really do.  I wish I could be that faithful soul who would only say and do good and overlook the serious flaws in organized religion.  I wish I didn't roll my eyes at every "defend CHRISTmas" post on Facebook.  For the record, I'm defending to keep the holy in Happy Holidays, thank you very much.  

Do Christians really feel that threatened that they need to become militant about their faith?  Our original founding religious principals as a nation are being slowly molded from having the freedom to worship in how we chose to being only free to worship as a Christian.  Our country was founded on freedom of religion but it seems we're coming closer to being "free to be any type of Christian you prefer".  Until we as a nation recognizes that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, we are no better than any other backward, repressed regime.  

Sometimes I think that God's plan all along was to have a bible that had conflicting statements, to have the world evolve and challenge some of the more staunchly held beliefs of religion, to have denominations splinter over the most arcane doctrine.  But then somewhere inside the book that holds some kernel of truth of the word of God, to offer one clear direction to those who consider themselves believers.  I really see that direction in John 13:34-35.  Paraphrased to it's simplicity here as:  Love one another.  And thru this love for one another, that is how all will know you are a disciple.  

I do wish I were one of the faithful who could eat the fish without choking on the bones.  But I believe that God has a plan for people like me, just like he has a plan for the most faithful.  If I am one where I am forced to look behind the curtain of dogma, then in my very small way I will carry with me the message of, love one another.  Peace to you all in this blessed holiday season.