Topic: Religion. Subject: God. Orientation: Fear of one's Faith being disproved.
You know what annoys the crap out of me? Cowardly modern Christians. I think since the beginning, when Christians had to hide or die, their religion grew into a place that required it be shrouded in secrecy, to protect it, but also to keep it from being enlightened, or proved false.
Now let me say here, the opposite of that, perhaps, rabid fundamentalist Muslim terrorists, have a similar level of my disdain (but yes, relax Christian types, I do hold those terrorists in lower (far lower) esteem for obvious reasons).
My reasoning is thus: If you have what you call "Faith" in your beliefs ore religion, then why in God's name are you so afraid of everything? Isn't it your belief that Jesus is up there on high watching over you? Or, God. Or, Angels, or something? I get confused on what they believe at this point, sometimes.
This obviously also goes to any religion or belief system. But the point is, and seems to surface the most on Christians. I've really run into this in relationships. Being male (and heterosexual) I'm interesting in women. I seem to run into a lot of Christian woman. And you know what? I don't really have a problem with that. You see, that isn't the issue. The ISSUE is in their ability to accept and relate to, or to accept someone for being themselves. Now here is what has always confused me.
Jesus, as you know him (being that this was not his name, I mean, if you lived when he did and yelled, "Hey, Jesus", he probably wouldn't turn around, unless it was because he was just a nice guy and if you yelled "Hey, You" at him, he might also have turned around). Anyway, for your (that is, the Christian's benefit (and consider here that I don't think Christians should be labeled "Christian" but rather "Jesuits" (not to be confused with Catholic "Jesuit" Priests)), I'll use the name, Jesus.
So, didn't Jesus hang out with prostitutes and low-lifes? Probably to prove a point but also probably because they are far more interesting and accepting. Jesus was in a position that he probably wasn't greatly accepted in his seeing things differently and if you go to the lowlifes, well, because of who they are and what their lifestyles are, they have to be more accepting. They probably dealt better with the crazy street people back then too, except that there were probably a lost more street people (Urban Campers?) back then and so it wasn't so weird.
Anyway, my point is that if you are Christian, you probably are of the type that tends to shy away from anything that questions your beliefs, or you probably seek out that which soothes and strokes your beliefs, unlike Jesus, who hung with all kinds of people (though even that thought is screwy as you probably didn't see him hanging with the rich, which throws a bit of a monkey wrench in that whole, hang out with all types things (which again, Christians seem to run afoul of rather frequently).
I was talking to a therapist a few years ago who was telling me that her son, their both being Buddhists, was frustrated and said he wanted to go to a monastery. He found living in the real world hard to be a good Buddhist. She told him that living in an artificial environment, away from the world is no way to learn to be in the world. I'm not sure this is true, however, I believe her point to be valid. It has to do with, are you hiding away from reality, or are you taking a time out so that you can get down the mechanics of your belief system, then re-enter the world to practice the form you have burned into your mind.
Still, if you are going to live in the world, you need to face it down, live your beliefs and give them a chance to be real. Hiding away, especially in the real world, does no one justice, not the world, in viewing how you live your life (the best advertisement for your beliefs), not your; not your beliefs, as they are not getting experienced and examined by the world; and not yourself, as you are not living them for real, you are living a kind of pseudo belief system. This helps to continue it where it is defective, rather than hone it to a realistic useful system. But then, that is the thing about "revealed" (by God) religions: God revealed it to someone, so it has to be right, correct and perfect from the beginning. Right? But honestly, we all know that not to be true. Don't we. If you don't know you pick and choose your religion (especially if its from a book), then you are being delusional.
Seriously, whatever your religion, read your book. Then try to truly live it. You can't. It's impossible. You would be quickly arrested in many cases, possibly in some, you would be tried, convicted and put to death.
Getting back to my point, I find it interesting how, in my considering myself a Buddhist (having once been Catholic and yes, that explains a lot), when I considering going out with a Christian woman, sure, I feel sorry for her (mostly because most Christians I know have studied the Bible, which is rather limited), but I will accept her for her beliefs (no matter how foolish); but in return, I typically find that I do not get the same respect and consideration. Then again, I have also found that to be true in my own experience in dealing with women in general.
What I mean by that, is that I tend to accept people for who they are and leave it at that. I don't try to change them, though I will have discussions or even debates with them. But in the end, I can always agree to disagree. But I get in return, from most people, from most relationships with women that I've been in, a lack of respect, understanding and patience, although, I give that to them. They, are to be considered correct in whatever nonsense they have either been raised in or come to believe; regardless of how little they are educated in their beliefs.
What I get from them if it comes up, is that the bible says this or that, but they NEVER seem to know where the bible came from. How or why it was put together, just that it is to be accepted as the world of God, handed down to Man (yeah, I don't remember a lot of women being mentioned in history about this) from God himself (Yes, not herself, but Him Self).
I'm not sexist. History is. Religion has traditionally been. I don't personally see how any God could have or need sex. If God created God, or if God always existed, then tell me, "what's sex got to do with it?" as Tina Turner once asked. Maybe she was on to something there?
Anyway, my point in all this is, why are Christians so afraid as a whole, to experience life, but still hang on to their Faith? When I was a kid, the Catholic Newspaper used to tell us what movies we could see. Really? What is it we are so afraid of as believers?
So explain to me why a Christian cannot date or even marry someone not of their Faith. Sure it would be easier but I would actually think that being married to someone not of your Faith would tend to strengthen it on a daily basis. That is, if it were any kind of realistic belief, and not a Faith that falls apart as soon as you start looking at it. You would be praising your spouse every day for reinforcing your own beliefs as you would have a sounding board to bounce your beliefs off of, and proving your beliefs every day you are together. But instead, people hide from any kind of question of their Faith. I don't understand that. Isn't that what you do when you KNOW you are believing something fragile and probably false?
It would seem to me, that any true Christian would eventually because a tough and educated individual; one who would seek out the Truth because anyone would know that this is what God wants. To be justified, proven, carried forward and lived out in the open without fear of his teachings falling apart. These individuals would be fearing nothing and ready to take on any and all comers. But this is not what we see, is it? And even those who are like that, when called into debate at some point, always seem to run away. Because, if you think about it, if your Faith can be shaken, it's not that strong, or it's not that real, is it?
In the end it's not a matter of questioning one's Faith, but allowing one's Faith to be proved True. Because if you have the True Faith, handed down by God on High, how could you have any problems in the end?
See what I mean?
So consider that if you were to date someone who was different, if you were accepting, loving, considerate, patient, wouldn't you be giving your beliefs and religion the best bet for growing and proving itself as the right way to think? Pull your beliefs out of the darkness and show them in the light. Discuss them, update them, see the faults, see the strengths so you can truly believe. Because, we all know there are religions and beliefs out there that are total nonsense and the sooner we expose those and we all see what is closest to the Truth in the world, won't the world because a better place for it?
I think it would.