- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
SO WE ELIMINATED THE BAD GUY
WE CAN STOP CHASING EVIL AND BLOOM LIKE FLOWERS
WAS OSAMA REALLY A BAD GUY?
Recently, I have become very connected to a twelve step program in my
recovery from alcoholism, and to my surprise, the "program" is profoundly
spiritual in its foundation and in its invitation to live a sober
lifestyle. However, NOT religious. The difference between the spiritual and the religious has become increasingly clear to me as I enthusiastically attend AA meetings daily at 6:30 in the morning. What an awesome way to start out my day. Better than any gym workout and far more meaningful to me than any morning prayer service. Well the morning meeting is a prayer service in the broadest sense of the term.
So when I received one of those solicitation emails to join examiner.com to write on the topic of religion and spirituality, I became instantly "jazzed." So I submitted the following blog as a sample of my writing on the topic. To my surprise, I was turned down by examiner.com stating that I lacked knowledge on the topic. Found that to be very interesting. You can tell me what you think in the comments below. I would appreciate that!
MY SUBMISSION TO EXAMINER.COM
Have most people forgotten that Bin Laden was an United States’ ally whom we supported in the Afghanistan people’s struggle against Russia?
How does it happen that. throughout current American history, little unknown rebel allies go from being white knight heros whom we support, to being dark evil forces whom we seek out and eliminate? How is it that good and evil are so relative when it comes to politics?
Perhaps the missing piece in this puzzle is parallel to the difference between religion and spirituality. Most, perhaps all, religions point fingers at anyone whom they consider to be the evil forces, and the "church" works diligently to eliminate the "them," either through shunning, excommunication, or death.
Isn’t it interesting the use of words like “eliminate.” In the Viet Nam war, the bad guys were “liquidated” and many of them were women and children, and many a Viet Nam Vet continue to live with these ghosts haunting them twenty four hours a day.
In contrast, participants in Twelve Step programs discover, from the beginning, that the Twelve Step groups can exclude no one. There is no authority structure within the democratic organization of a Twelve Step program, and yet Twelve Step programs function quite well with little or no chaos or anarchy. Isn’t that amazing? The twelve step program has no religious affiliation but is deeply spiritual in its foundation and depends exclusively on a Higher Power, although no one is excluded from the group because of their disbelief in a Higher Power. Isn’t that amazing?
There are no evil forces against which the program fights and seeks to eliminate. All members are accepted as good people who take life one day at a time lest they slip back into their addictive lifestyles. Every day, members pray for and commit to serve those who continue to be “controlled” by their addiction. Those who continue to live with their addiction are not considered evil. There is no difference between “them” and “us.” Participants recognize that everyone is on his or her life journey. Some are fortunate enough to have embraced sobriety, but there is a clear awareness just how delicate or fragile that embrace can be. Sobriety and addiction are each a choice away.
So whenever you align yourself with a political or religious group who takes it upon themselves to label some folks evil and some folks good, beware. You never know the day you may end up, for no good reason, in one camp or the other. Perhaps it has to do with the size of your contribution.
Such religious and political groups are spiritually bankrupt and out of such bankruptcy comes the quest to destroy the evil forces which are a projection of the organization’s own incapacity to live up to its religious standards which often lack spiritual foundation.
For example, most religious denominations reserve some right of “infallibility.” Some even claim their infallibility to be a gift from the Holy Spirit. Folks who do not accept the church’s infallibility are excommunicated or thought to be NOT IN GOOD STANDING.
Yet the Gospel says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” M-m-m-m. Spiritually, there is no mandate to excommunicate your neighbor. The only mandate is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. It is not in anyone’s purview to determine who is good or evil. Only to love your neighbor. A tough one isn’t it? Yet to assume the authority to determine who is good and who is evil is the beginning of the end for each of us. Life becomes a never ending serial like the cowboy movies of the past. The bad guy shoots the good guy and now another good guy goes after the bad guy and shoots him, and soon a whole slew of bad guys come together to go afer all the good guys and so it goes on and on. There is no peace as long as someone holds the power to determine some of us are good and some of us are evil.
THANKS FOR READING AND COMMENTING