Religion vs. Faith: Why Christianity Isn't About Jesus
Anne Rice has changed her religious beliefs over the years, but in 2010 she made an official statement about her point of view on Christianity. She believes one can follow Jesus without the label of "Christian" because the religion goes beyond the personality and teachings of Jesus. Its politics have ruined its reputation for many long term followers. Many long term Rice fans were hostile about her opinion and decided not to be her fans, anymore. Still, others continue to support her difference of opinion.
"Today I quit being a Christian....I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."
Do you follow an organized religion?
Religion vs. Faith
What is always interesting in events such as this one is the reasoning behind a group of followers wanting to punish someone who still follows the main deity of the group, but chooses a different way to do it. Furthermore, there is much debate about the fact there isn't a passage in the bible in which Jesus asks to be worshipped; instead, he asks his followers to worship God. Meanwhile, people such as Anne Rice have so much faith they don't need to belong to a particular group, yet they are seen as evil.
Bill Maher talks about politics and religion, frequently. In a memorable stand up, he uses humor to dissect the minds of followers, and the way they think. His critics don't understand why he "picks on religion" because they believe, pun intended, it does no harm. Bill Maher proves them wrong by listing countless historical events of destruction and ones that continue to happen all through the inspiration of religion. His main point is that religion changes people's ability to think for themselves, and make sense of everything, including their own religious beliefs.
When someone else is in charge of your beliefs and you allow them to continue to dictate what is acceptable for you to believe you are putting yourself in danger. One's own thoughts are essential to their identity. Once you take away a section of that person's thoughts, in this case beliefs, it prevents them from truly finding themselves because their prospective is no longer their own. When people follow others to an extreme extent it leads to chaos. When people are afraid to question others' beliefs or opinions it leads to destruction. For all society knows, the leader may not actually have their society's best interest in mind. If that's the case, what becomes of a society controlled by a selfish leader?
As with witch hunts, many wonder how Hitler gained so much power if what he promoted was so inhumane. Hitler used Germany's economic state of hopelessness to convince the people their problems were all caused by specific groups. He told them that once those groups were eliminated they would find themselves in a repaired society. Most people look back on that time as impossible to believe because we want to think people really have good intentions, but many people would rather not think for themselves. In desperate times, like during Nazi Germany, society will buy into explanations by their leaders because they cannot find any other answer.
Similarly, Christianity uses the mythological character of Satan to scare people into following their religion and even donating money all in hope they will be rewarded after death. At the same time, many churches also support a lot of harmful causes that are anti-gay, anti-women, etc. If people are more concerned with a myth that they might end up in this place called "Hell" more than they are with the rights of people being taken away, by the same leaders who claim to be helping to heal them, one must wonder if they have their priorities mixed up.
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