It’s a rainy, Nov. 1st and I haven’t put “pen to paper” in a while. I’ve also picked up a virus and I’m not feelin’ the love for any productivity involving the physical.
I love my family. They are a bunch of, wildly, eccentric and intelligent human beings. More diverse opinions in a collective bunch of skulls, you will be hard pressed to find.
There was a discussion regarding religion last night. The concept of a god being an actual presence as opposed to a myth. Someone has opined to a relative that children required religion in order to have a solid foundation. I will be honest, I had to bite the inside of my cheek because sometimes my mouth gets the better of me.
The individual who referred to the solid foundation acquired, chiefly, through religion, is a Catholic. A devout Catholic. Which is fine; if you need belief in a god, then, who am I to argue? However, the statement that religion provides a solid foundation is a false assumption. A very false assumption and I might even go so far as to say, a dangerous assumption.
I welcome, into my life, people of many faiths and people with no faith at all. Morals and ethics are not acquired through religion. My atheist friends will attest to that. A very moral and ethical bunch.
My kids were raised in a Neo-Pagan household; they were NOT taught that the gods used in ritual were actual omnipresent or omnipotent beings. They were taught that the gods we employed were archetypes. Archetypes that, through MYTHOLOGY, were assigned particular traits to which one may aspire.
Religion, to my mind, teaches blind adherence to fairy tales. In some faiths, it demands blind obedience and a “Do what I say, not what I do!” mentality. Good behaviour is not taught as a matter of course. According to religion, good behaviour is a reward/punishment scenario. Do good (obey the religious doctrines/dogmas) and you’ll gain some god’s favour; do bad and you’ll be punished by said god. You’ll end up in hell or some reasonable facsimile. It’s a rather nasty form of brainwashing.
I deeply resent the implication that because my husband and I chose to not indoctrinate our kids with religion, that they, somehow, do not have a solid (ethical/moral) foundation. They do.
Religion robs or attempts to rob the adherents of their free will, their common sense. How many people have died as the result of religion and keep dying? Putting the wars in the Middle East aside for a moment; Africa – people are dying for lack of food and clean water, yet the Catholic Church tells them that they must breed because their god says so. Their god said a lot of things but apparently, cherry picking is the rule of thumb for the religious folks.
I am familiar with the bible and I have noted, over the years, the blind eye of faith-strangled:
Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Exodus 21:20-21 If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men.
2:18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
Leviticus 25:44-45 Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
And some, blatantly, obvious contradictions:
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.
Matthew 6:1 Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
Matthew 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Genesis 32:30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and my life was preserved.”
Exodus 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God.
John 5:31 If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.
John 8:14 Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid.
So, no – I do not believe, for a second, that religion offers some sort of mythical foundation. I believe religion complicates and deceives. I believe that religion removes free will and common sense.
Consider this; you can be a degenerate low life – you can rape, murder and steal. You can molest and destroy but as long as you say “I repent and accept god/Jesus/Yahweh/Allah!”, you are off to heaven…however, your neighbour, who has lived an ethical life, volunteered, gave to charity and lived a good life, will be going to hell because he/she is an atheist.
I think I will stick to my “lack of foundation” in light of the above. I’d rather be hell bound than share eternity with a child molesting priest/reverend or serial killer. My lack of foundation makes me funny, like that…