I am not a religious person. Nor am I an Atheist. We sent Erin to Catholic school because we felt that it offered her the best opportunity to get the best education possible without becoming completely overwhelmed in a school as large as the ones found in the school district in which we reside. The financial cost has not always been easy to carry, and there is always a doubt on whether it was the correct decision to make – there always should be doubt in decisions like this. So far, it seems like it turned out to be the right decision, especially in light of the issue Erin had, but only time will tell if we really did do the best thing for our child. Unfortunately, the financial burden of continuing a Catholic education for Erin, and starting Abby on her own are simply going to be more than we can reasonably offset. It’s another decision that comes with self-doubt and second guessing, but one that we must be made when weighed with the greater good of our family – like our plans to move to the Lancaster area.
Anyway, the point that I am getting to is that I neither believe nor disbelieve in the concept of God as he is written and described not only in the Catholicism, but many other religions as well. If we take the concept of God and break it down to its most basic form – God as the Creator of Life, then yes, I do believe in God since Life obviously exists. Beyond that, however, the form or function that this God takes is most certainly up for debate.
Many years ago, when I was building my website and fighting the good fight against the bad maths of the world during the supposed, and then actual, turn of the century and millennium, I had a conversation with a gentleman who was, as I recall, a Christian. I don’t remember the exact details of the discussions we had, but at one point, I was asked about my thoughts on the Bible, and the stories contained therein. My response was that I look upon the Bible the same way I look upon Myths, Fables, Fairy Tales and the like – interesting stories that speak of morality, always something that should be looked at in the grander context of when it was written. The Bible, and every other text that is the basis for the world’s currently practiced religions were not written by the ethereal hand of some all-powerful deity, but written by the hand of Man. As we all know, Man is fallible and prone to many faults, not the least of which is selfishness and self-interests.
All through history, mankind has believed in any number of supernatural beings ruling over the fate of Humanity. On numerous occasions, these deities have interacted with humans in some form or fashion through the years: transforming them into hideous monsters; impregnating them; saving their lives; communing through burning bushes; providing moral codes; etc. One can look back at history and see that the life of a Human is not an easy one. Sure, we have advanced as a society in terms of technology and intelligence, but the threat of violence, disasters, and death are still as prevalent today as they were thousands of years ago. Why then have not any single one of the deities seen fit to interfere with or aid the human condition since these ancient times? Hell, at the very least, with today’s technology we are capable of burning this planet to a cinder in a blink of an eye. To me, if I were a Creator of a world, I would most certainly be doing something about that! In the grand scheme of things, we as a race are still infants and our respective Deities have left us to fend for ourselves. That really doesn’t make much sense to me. So, with that in mind, I simple look at these religious texts as nothing more than a code of laws that our ancestors felt they needed to maintain some form of civilized society, just like the laws and constitutions we live by today.
Somehow though, we have warped these ideals into the belief that no one should ever be offended by something around them or that they should never get their feelings hurt. The only moral code, past and present, that I can think of that would remotely cover this topic is treat others as you would like to be treated. Seems like we are actually pretty good at following that code as it pertains to the intolerance of someone else’s beliefs and way of life.
Those attacks on the Christmas holiday are as rife with intolerance as they claim every light on a Christmas tree is intolerant to those who do not celebrate the holiday or believe in the faith that leads to its significance in the world. To attack the phrase “In God We Trust” is in itself an intolerant act. America was founded upon the notion of being able to practice one’s religion without fear of persecution. However, most major religions have a history of persecuting those who do not believe in that religion, even if said religion is based upon a moral code of acceptance and tolerance. The Puritans murdered people in the name of faith during the Salem Witch Trials. The Spanish Inquisition oversaw the deaths of thousands of people. The early followers of Christ were persecuted by both Judaism and Roman beliefs. Obviously in the modern world we have radical Muslims murdering anyone under the sun in the name of Allah. This world has seen has seen the deaths of millions brought about in the name of some deity or ethnicity. Wars have been fought and continue to be fought over the belief that some random patch of dirt is more special than any other on this planet. It is patently ridiculous to think that any superior being capable of creating a planet would consider any part of that planet more special than any other, and allow his Creations to kill each other for possession of it on top of that.
We are an extremely selfish and intolerant race. That intolerance is bred from fear of those that are different from us. Therefore we must form collectives of like-minded others to protect ourselves from that fear. However, that fear never goes away, and hatred of that which is different breeds from it. Each collective convinces itself that it must turn the way of thought in each of the other collectives towards its own, or it must be destroyed. Examples abound in history of this – either wars of extermination or missionaries attempting to convert “savages” to the “True” way of life. We have had another recent example in this of a Christian Missionary traveling to a remote island near India with the express intent of converting their way of life to that of a follower of Christ. He was killed by the tribespeople for his intrusion. Some people have said he loved helping those in need and had a love for other people, including those on the island. Others have called him a martyr for the Christian cause. What a crock of shit. He is just another perfect example of intolerance hiding beneath the skin of love and inclusiveness.
First of all, apparently he did not tell anyone in authority of his intention to travel to the island. Secondly, if he truly did have a love for these people, then he would have left them to live as they have lived for centuries. They have no needs other than to live their lives as they have always lived. Did he even consider the thought of disease? History with the American Indian should have given anyone pause enough not to risk exposure to any illnesses that these people would not have any natural immunity against. He could have wiped out an entire group of people out of the false notion of love and tolerance. But he was selfish in his thinking. He wanted to prove himself to God and to others that he was a good Christian. Maybe he should have thought more about being a good human being and understanding the fact that they have as much right to live the way they see fit, within reason, as anyone else does. Every religion and every country was built upon the blood of those who believed differently.
It continues to this very day, with this New Age religion called Political Correctness. This hive-mind is the most insidious of all because it follows no deity, nor religious-like text. But the cults that have sprung out from this religion are as bad as those cults lead by those who fell into the basest of human nature, and are equally intolerant of anyone or anything that does not conform to their beliefs. If we, as a society expect to be able to continue to grow and thrive, then it’s long past time for us to wake up and start doing something about it.