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- The Role of Religion in History & Society
A Rant about Religion
A Slight Rant
"Religious Freedom" does not give someone the right to tell others what to stop doing, or to start doing, who they can not serve or sell to, or love or marry, based on what they believe their religious book dictates. It is the freedom to do whatever reasonable thing you believe you should be doing with your time, or not doing, and not really worrying so much about what other people do with their time, or don't do. There should be one law only concerning "religious freedom", or any true freedom, and that's a law that states that any reasonable thing that anyone wants to do with their time, should be allowed, or any reasonable thing they want to abstain from, they should be allowed to abstain from, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.
And that is it, that's where it should begin, and end. If not, it's starts to unravel in madness, it quickly devolves into chaos. When it begins, it begins with unfair regulations and laws and bylaws. People are allowed to put up signs that say whatever they want, it's their "religious right". Signs such as "Italians Need Not Apply", "Whites Only", "Jews Keep Out!", and "We reserve the right to deny service to gays." Perfectly legal discrimination and persecution against anyone who is "the wrong kind of people". And, eventually, that leads to the destruction of property, while the government looks the other way. It gets worse, and worse. And left unchecked and uncontested, it will lead to the harming, maiming, imprisonment, or killing of "the wrong kind of people", usually in a systematic, organized way, by "the right kind of people". That is what happens when you mix religion and politics, we've already seen it. The Inquisition. Witch burning. Hitler and the Third Reich. Religion sucks.
Let's just get rid of religion all together!
Get rid of all of it. That would solve everything. I'm not saying burn down all the churches and synagogues and mosques and temples, and all their religious books, set them on fire and roast marshmallows over the embers. I'm not saying that. I'm saying be spiritual, not religious.
How do you know the difference? Well, it's actually quite simple. Religion is about tradition, and ceremony, and outward appearance, what you can see and touch, the material world, money. Religion is about groups of people who are more concerned about what other people are doing, or thinking, or being. Religion is about the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law. Religion is exceptions, not this person, not those people. Spirituality, on the other hand, is accepting, of everyone, including yourself. Spirituality is about looking inward, examining yourself, not others, whether or not you are being the best kind of person you were meant to be. It's about the intangible. Spirituality is about the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. Religion is restricting, it is fear based, a demon hiding in every corner. Is that breakfast cereal Satanic? What about that energy drink? Spirituality, on the other hand, is freeing, it is love based, miracles waiting around every corner to be discovered. Religion is fear of the future, and regrets of the past. Spirituality is about right now. Religion is about never ever being good enough. Being spiritual is being a vessel of divinity, you are perfect, you are lovely, you are whole and complete, just the way you are. Spirituality is about love for yourself, for the divine, and for your fellow man. Religion is about hate. And anyone who says differently, is just not paying attention.
So, if you think about it, if you've read the Bible, you've discovered that Jesus was very anti-tradition, very anti-ceremony, very anti-outward appearance, very anti-materialistic, very anti-fear, very anti-hate. Therefore, it's quite evident that Jesus was also very anti-religion. He had no patience for the religious, and didn't make it a secret about how he felt about them, not in what he said, or what he did to them. And at least one time, the religious felt the sting of his whip, as he overturned their change tables and threw them out of the temple. So it's odd that people built a religion around him, considering how he felt about religion.
I don't mind Christians who follow Jesus. Who would? Real Christians don't burn people at the stake, or round up people and gas them, or refuse to serve them in their establishments or refuse to process someone's marriage license... because Jesus wouldn't do that. The point of being a Christian is to be Christ-like. In the New Testament, there was the time that a group of religious people threw an adulteress down in front of him, asking him what they should do with her. Knowing full well that they put Jesus in a sticky situation, because the law said they should stone her. Jesus knelt down and started writing in the sand. What did he write down? The Bible doesn't say. But in my imagination, he wrote down their sins that they had done, also punishable by death. As they read what he wrote, they had nothing else to say, and they began to sneak away, one by one. How could they stone someone for breaking the law, when they were also guilty? He asked the woman, "Where are thine accusers?" She said that they are all gone. And he said, "Neither do I accuse thee. Go and sin no more."
Christian = Christ-like
I wish Christians were Christ-like nowadays. So much weirdness. So much strange interpretations of the scriptures. All this preaching about "the gospel" of "abundance" and "prosperity". You hear all this jargon that is so not spiritual. You'll hear someone talk about being "blessed", but they mean, materially. Well, that's just luck, not a blessing. The rain and the sunshine fall on sinner and saint alike. Your good job, your new car, your nice house, these are not blessings. If they were, why did Jesus tell the rich man to sell all his belongings and follow him? And that it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? And if you accept that God is passing out wealth and property, and material goodies, because you're a good Christian, then you also need to accept that God punishes people with floods and earthquakes, and tornadoes and car wrecks for not being one. No, that's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.
I remember when I used to go to church, and people would "witness". One person would say "Thank the Lord for the house offer going through, we're getting a two-story 4 bedroom beautiful house!" And I would cringe and wish I could sink into the floor and disappear, when someone else would stand up and say, "Please pray for me. I know my little girl is in a better place now, and not suffering, but I am struggling, day by day, just to get up in the morning." If the new house is "a blessing", then...? Did God take away their child to punish them? No? Then it also dictates that God does not give out new houses as "blessings".
Worrying about what other people do, all those "sinners sinning", that is not what the Bible says to worry about. In fact, it says, by doing this, you could be the guy with a beam in his eye worrying about the other guy with a speck in his eye. In other words, you have no idea what's more wrong, what you do or what someone else does! The sin is always... sinnier on the other side? I'm supposing that's because, from our point of view, we only have our point of view. How are you going to judge someone else from your perspective? It's like looking in someone's tiny window and then demanding them to clean their house. How do you know their house is dirtier than yours from that little window? How about you mind your own business and clean your own house and leave other people alone?
The Bible doesn't say not to judge people. Why? Because if you do judge, you will get that judgement directed at you. So, remember that, you will get the same judgment you dole out to others. The universe is like that. You get what you give out. Like attracts like. What goes around comes around.
I'm gonna turn off comments, because I can just imagine! Let me say, that if you have a problem with someone, the problem lies with you. Not them. If you have a problem with something being said about you, chances are high that those things that are being said are probably true. Otherwise, you'd just brush it off and walk away. Things said about you don't get under your skin if there isn't something there that's true.
I think the main problem with religion is that people without a spiritual bone in their body have populated the religions of the world. Ha! How do you have spiritual bones? Well, I hope you get what I mean.
Take care! I hope you get some real blessings, and not those fleeting crappy material things that pose as blessings, but the real deal.
Oh, and one more thing. If you pray in public, you're doing it wrong. Look it up, it's right there in the New Testament. Knock it off.
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Need to escape your church, I mean, cult? I mean, church? Read this.