Monday, August 6, 2007


We should all be unsettled every once in a while. We should read something that throws us for a loop. If not, why bother? Why assault the world?
And I quote:
The most that religion can accomplish is to provide a crutch for the weak or lazy-minded to absolve guilt or to negate inquiry, and to serve as justification for the exercise of baser instincts like aggression, territoriality, ethnic cleansing, bigotry, or sociopathic perversions.
I think that of the many flaws here, the one that jumps out most is the complete misunderstanding of a) absolution and b) Christ. Has our author (about whose anonymity I should be angrier, I think), ever read a gospel? Any gospel, I don't care which. I do not find my Christian walk a justification for the exercise of ANY of those things - in fact, I find in the words of the Savior condemnation for them all.
And further:

Christians absolve themselves of guilt by proclaiming that their God was a man in mortal form who died for the "sins of humanity." This is all well and good, but what exactly are the sins of humanity?

Christianity does not examine what the sins are, choosing to ignore them. But having had Christ die to have these vaguely defined sins forgiven, Christians have continued to wage war on both humanity and nature for two thousand years. Christianity brilliantly fabricated a belief system to forgive all transgressions thereby absolving the human conscience of blame for tribalistic expansion. The genocide of the American Indian was justified and rationalized because these were unbelievers who had sinned by not believing in a Middle Eastern thunder god.

Our author has clearly never met a Catholic. Yes. Absolutely. I find myself examining (and confessing) my own sins on a daily basis, including and especially my sins against my planet, and my fellow Earthlings. I bring me to mind an episode of South Park when everyone claims responsibility for the actions of a few.
My real problem: I am a Christian humanist. I believe in the positive power of mankind. I believe that we can make a difference, to one another and to the world. We can only do that, however, when we recognize our hunger for the infinite. The author accuses religion of failure, because we try to describe the infinite in terms of the finite. Yet, she/he/it hopes that we will tap into that very same infinite for a religion of peace and harmony with life. We cannot escape the infinite - it will hunt us down. Better to claim the infinite as what it truly is - a Creator and giver of love, as unlike a man as can be while still being the font of love, than think of life, the tiniest mass of the tiniest mass of a single planet, as the be-all and end-all of the universe.
So, dear readers; love your planet - love your God. Love each other. The hour is coming when we will need each other as we need to breathe.

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