Thinking Woman’s Weblog

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Religion and Spirituality December 10, 2008

Filed under: spirituality — Thinking Woman @ 11:28 pm
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Warning: This post is meant to be read by people who have an open mind. It is not my intention to offend or incite, only enlighten. If you wish to comment, please read the whole post, especially the note at the end.

Religion is a very touchy topic. I usually steer completely clear of this whole area so as not to offend anyone. But the other day, while listening to a radio program, I was brought to a place where I realized that I was being forced to ignore the fact that I am deeply offended by most organized religions.

Backing up a little, I consider myself deeply spiritual. When I came to accept that having an unassisted birth was the best decision for my family, I gave deep thought to the what-if scenarios. I did not allow my thinking to go to anything horrible, because I am strongly convinced of the validity of the Law of Attraction, but I did deeply consider the fact that there are risks and addressed how I felt about that. I was very clear that what I was choosing was the safest option for me and my baby. That knowing is a spiritual thing. I knew, without knowing quite how, that all would be perfect.

For many years of my life, I experienced rapid personal growth and overcame a seriously miserable childhood. How did I do this? I found internal wisdom. You could even say that I heard voices. It wasn’t really distinct voices, but I was able to ask questions, sit with them, and feel an answer and a clarity come to me. I haven’t done this recently and I am feeling distinctly not as wise as I used to, so there’s something I need to get back to.

I believe that all religions are trying to get to the same place. If I want to get to the other side of the world, I can go in any direction and still get there. If I want to get clear across a continent, I can take one of many paths and learn many things along the way. A non-direct route might be the most beautiful and peaceful. Because of that thinking, I’ve generally not felt judgmental of people who consider themselves to be religous.

So why so offended all of the sudden?

The radio program was about an evangelical preacher who had been affiliated with Oral Roberts University. He’d been hugely successful and everything was going his way. And then, one day, he realized something was wrong with what he was preaching. He realized that a lot of it was just plain wrong. (His God spoke to him and made him realize he was not representing God as he really was.) His church fixated on Hell and eternal damnation and gnashing of teeth. It was very fear-based. Now, as someone who loves the Law of Attraction, I am definitely not a fan of fear-based proselytizing. But he went further. He dug very deep and looked at the documents on which the King James Bible had been based and realized that they’d gotten much of the message wrong!

I am not and have never been a Christian. So it’s always been really clear to me that it’s a little strange to worship a person; as far as I can figure it, Jesus was this really wise dude who really knew what he was talking about and was there to preach great things. And yet, somehow, some very strange things got put out about what his purpose really was. Something about he died for your sins. What, so the deal is if you accept Jesus as your savior and also as part of the package deal, agree to condemn everyone who doesn’t to this fire and brimstone and eternal damnation, then your sins are all absolved and the rest of us poor slobs are just not gonna make it? Now I know I’ve just offended a whole lot of Christians, but bear with me because I’ve been taking it from those who preach Christianity and not saying anything for far too long. Now I get to say what’s been bugging me. This preacher read the original texts and he found out that that is just plain wrong! He found out that everyone is moving on! Basically, some guys got together and decided what to put in the bible and what to leave out and they twisted the message.
Well, you can imagine his congregation wasn’t too pleased to hear it and he was soon denounced as a heretic. But why?

Why are people so married to the idea that most of us are going to suffer eternal damnation? That is just not very nice. In fact, it’s egotistical and superior and highly offensive.  And I really resent it. I have some very, very dear friends who are Christian and it is bubbling up and annoying me now that I can’t share this with them. I am still going to sit there and nod and smile while they go on about their hypocritical beliefs; while they look me in the eye, knowing I am damned (in their eyes).

And not just Christians; any religion that is exclusionary. If you consider yourself a kind and loving human, why would you not realize that being kind and loving is all we need to do to live right? Just do the best you can and strive to do better!  Start with yourself, your family, your neighborhood, and then move to a greater circle. That’s all there is to spirituality. I know there are plenty of organized religions that feel the same way. I just have never found one that quite fits in with my views so I’ve given up the search for sharing my spirituality with others. And really, why is that necessary if the answers can be found within?

I just learned of a new religion that sounded interesting at first; they love and encourage interracial marriage. How cool is that?  But then they lost me. They do not accept gays. Well, they do, sort of. You can be one of them if you’re gay so long as you don’t act on the urge. Give me a freaking break. That’s just as bad as Catholic priests. Those poor men supposedly give up sex but for a man to give up sex, 99% of the time it’s got to be because he has some issues around it. At least Jewish rabbis and many other types of faith ministers are allowed to marry and have families. We are only human.

Now, before you go write up some nasty comment, consider this carefully. You read this far. There must be some reason you chose to read this if it went against what you thought you believed. Perhaps I have not convinced you of anything new. Perhaps you are enraged. That is not quite what I am hoping, but I can’t see any way around this upsetting some. I’d like you to take a few days to cool down and then see if you have anything constructive to say. Any comments that are even slightly upsetting will be deleted before I even finish reading them so don’t waste your time. I am far too sensitive to get into debates or allow myself to be exposed to anything that looks upsetting. I have tried to be as positive and constructive as I could so please do the same. And the same goes for those who agree; I see no reason to bash anyone because of their spiritual beliefs and I hope it doesn’t come across that I have done any bashing. So if you agree and want to say so, please be kind!