Monday, June 15, 2015

Religion in a Postmodern Multicultural World

Religion was mostly designed during a time of ego- and geocentricity. As a front against affronts by outside forces. As a buffer to live, a way to form cohesion among those of your own kind and, to help enforce reasonable laws of living for the benefit of all.

At some point it got out of hand, however. It always does.

UPDATE 4/26/20: Let me start here and you can come back to it. But you really want to know this information from C-SPAN:

The Power Worshippers

Journalist Katherine Stewart argued that religious nationalists are waging political war on American democracy and institutions. This was a virtual author program.

You can come back to it later. But if you're confused by Donald Trump and Republicans and what is going on, it snaps it all together pretty neatly.

Back to 2015:
Sure there are newer religions and the younger they are today the more ridiculous they seem to be.

From the older Indian religions, indigenous religions and the more notorious desert regions, the religions of Judaism, Catholicism, and Islam, to the babies of Mormonism and Scientology (a lie of a "religion" if ever there was one) and a "religion" who bullied US government officials into giving them tax-free and religious status. Something by the way, that needs to be addressed and rectified ASAP.

Religion was all fine and dandy thousands of years ago. Though not really. Constantine in Rome and the Christian leaders led to the Council of Nicaea, rebuilding things in that image so that an empire didn't fall. And of course, the religious leaders had their own agendas. Like eliminating anything making Jesus look merely and only human.

Well, it seemed reasonable at the time, to be sure. It did save the empire, for a while, anyway.

But nowadays it has become dysfunctional in this multi-cultural world where religions and cultures rub up against one another. Where ego- and geocentrisms hold very little weight in the overall scheme of things. Where transportation of people and information have lost the barriers once paramount in maintaining the stranglehold of religion.

Knowledge is the bane of religion and it is now everywhere, we are thankfully awash in it. We are also sadly awash in the ignorance of incorrect information that people believe to be knowledge and is one of the greatest dangers we face today. The individuals and the grouping of individuals with selective ignorance and low information.

 Low information in that it is shallow. We are the most information available and yet by ratio perhaps, the least knowledgeable humans in history. We scan on our cell phones all day long but only to a shallow degree.

So we know little about much, one might say.

That and thinking emotional beliefs circumvent or replace actual knowledge have crippled us at a time when we should be brilliant and doing amazing things. Far beyond still, what we are actually doing.

Knowledge is not power, wisdom is.
Knowledge can be wrong.
Wisdom by its definition, cannot be.
It is your choice which you wish to strive for.

Of course, the comeback from the modern theist to that statement is:

"Well, it's a personal thing and so, of course, it still works."

The problem with that is that, no, it's not and if you really look, it doesn't. Work, that is.

It has become more than a personal thing and in some as in the American evangelical Christian movement, it has become politicized, polarized and even exported to Africa. As it has in Uganda where rather slimy US evangelicals have talked locals into a mindset that has led to the killing of gay males and the open raping of gay women.

Why? How is that "Christian"? And yet as we know, it also very well is.

So it is still dysfunctional.

The religious (mostly Christians and Muslims, and no not all of them but those involved) need to pull it back, to make it merely personal once again where it belongs, so that all may live in peace.

Then, we're good again.

Christians too frequently confuse old and new testaments of the bible. Some Muslims today are confusing fundamentalism with literalism. Or political delusions with fundamentalism.

People really need to come first.

Any religion who is offended by Humankind, who inspires even some of their followers to act in such ways, merely because of who we truly are as humans with all our failings, frailties and difficulties, perhaps what they really need is to find a different race of beings, some other species to disdain and abuse. And just leave us all alone.

Any religion that teaches murder of another human, is not a good religion and is fundamentally flawed.

May I suggest, mosquitoes as an alternate species to abuse? And yet, they are also needed as food for other creatures.

Something that Jesus was pointing out and that so many of his modern followers now forget when they go back to the old testament... whenever oddly enough, it makes them feel good and more secure. When Jesus clearly came to close the book on the Old Testament.

But Jesus didn't teach secure. He taught to love thy neighbor.

He hung with the outcasts. How is that security?

It's standing up against the authorities to take care of others and yet, what do we see nowadays? Much turning of backs on the needy in Christianity down to the point even of murder, or dismemberment in Islam.

Look. If you are going to become belligerent and political, you also have to stand up for what is wrong in your religion. Or in what others are doing in your religion. You don't get a free ride for spouting ignorance, hate, and stupidity. The world is becoming too small for that anymore. The religious now need to grow a little, to grow up as a whole.

Politicizing your religion doesn't just mean you get to speak out for your beliefs. It also means you have to speak out when it makes you uncomfortable, to stand against injustices both outside and IN side of your religion.

Especially, INside your religion. Because that my friend is YOUR responsibility. Not mine, not ours. Yours and yours alone...your group's responsibility.

Why is it, why should it be that so often those outside of religion are the ones who have to fight the good fight for religion?

If you want your religion, fight for it. But fight sanely. Police yourselves and allow others to help. But don't put the burden on them when it's your arena. Your desire. Your need. Why do so many assume their need is that of others? Even when they do not know it. Or want it? And so some murder them because if they don't feel it, death.

It occurs to me that up until recent times, "God" was such a part of people's lives that it wasn't necessary to do things like put it on money, or write it into laws, something our Founding Fathers didn't want to begin with.

They didn't want it because they were wise, educated, and knew how badly legislating things like religion can be (please see Middle East, or American conservatives today). "God" used to be so inherent in daily life it was a nuance to conservation. But also people died over those considerations, something we generally believe today is ridiculous, if not criminal.

We've been hearing about this topic more and more over the years since "In God, We Trust" was first put on money back in 1952 sadly replacing "E Pluribus Unum", One out of many. Which had summed up our nation's orientation to be inclusive of all (if not in practice, surely, in theory, intent, and desire)?

As the concern and consideration of "God" has decreased over time those who are so close to it have felt a need to bring it more and more into our attention by doing things like putting it on money. Or more recently and insanely, trying to alter our politics, our citizen's rights hard fought for and legislate it into laws (not seeing the irony in their also hating and legislating against things like Islamic Sharia law).

People can have their religion, but forcing it into the national attention over and over is only in the long term going to cause a societal irritation that will eventually backfire. Throwing in another religion (Islam) which has literally been killing masses of people (as opposed to the self-proclaimed typically racist and unbalanced Christians who are killing ones-at-a-time), just makes it all the worse overall.

Think about it. That means that the concept of "God" has been decreasing overall for a very long time.

Legislating it will only speed that process.

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