Thursday, May 12, 2005

My Thoughts on Religion

I was excited to see that someone intelligent actually read my previous post and provided some counter points to my "Top 10 Reasons Conservatives Push Religion". I wanted to clarify some of the points that I made, since it was really late when I wrote the previous post and I think it was a little blunter that it should have been.

Before I take on his points, I want to clarify my position on religion, and Christianity specifically.

History - I was baptized Catholic, and have attended Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Catholic, Revivalist, and many other churches. Starting at the age of 8 and proceeding until the age of 16, I attended church every Sunday and was heavily involved in after church activities. I also attended a Christian boy’s year-round boarding school, where we said prayer at every meal, and twice a day at assembly. I have been "born again" three times, repented my sins, given my life to Jesus, and sung in the choir.

My views on religion in general - Most religions spring from very lofty and wholesome ideas such as love thy neighbor, treat others as you would be treated, feed the poor, etc. The idea behind them is a good and loving one; however as with everything humans do, most organized religion has become co-opted and corrupted by power hungry, greedy, hateful people.

My views on Christianity specifically - Christianity is religion based on the teachings of Jesus (Christ) of Nazareth, yet very few Christian leaders, permitted by Christians to represent them in the media and to the world, are anything like Christ. People like James Dobsen, Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps draw no visible rebuke from the Christian community when they twist and bend the teaching on Christ to suit their needs and reinforce their points.

Finally, Counterpoint to the comment of my previous post.

>>2. Faith - I'm sure you have faith in some things or people. Does that make you ignorant? <<

I have faith in people because I can see their actions, I have faith in things because they follow a defined set of rules. I have faith in these items because I can see, hear, feel, smell and taste them. Yet faith is not a good description for this, knowledge is better. I have knowledge of a person or item. I know what it will do (or likely do); I know what it is because I have experienced it using one of my senses. If God exists and created us, providing us with these gifts of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste, do you not also think that he gave us thought to decide for ourselves about religion, the world and God?

>>3. Hate - I know you're probably referring to Christianity when you say religion. Actually, Christianity teaches just the exact opposite. <<

What Christianity teaches and what its students do are two very separate things (See Hypocrisy below). Think about the evil and vile things that have happened in our past and you can almost always link the majority of them back to religion and a lot back to Christians. (Iraq, Mathew Shepard, Salem Witch Trials, Crusades, etc.)

>>7. The Bible - I guess since you weren't there you kind of have to have faith to believe that it wasn't written by God through these people. Can you prove that it wasn't? <<

Can you prove that it was? (See Faith Above)

>>8. Hypocrisy - A lot of Christians are hypocritical. They just go with the flow. But, not all Christians. <<

Do you consider yourself a hypocrite? Do you adhere strictly to everything in the bible? Do you eat pork? Wear polyester or nylon? Burn offering to God? Masturbate? It seems strange to me that Christians will adhere to the parts of the bible and the teaching of Christ that are convenient for them while condemning non-believers to death or worse for not adhering strictly to every teaching or scripture.

>>10. Blind Faith Followers - Again, if you're referring to Christianity you're wrong! Christianity commands just the opposite again. We are told to not blindly follow religious leaders. <<

Again what Christianity teaches and what its students do are two very separate things (See Hypocrisy above). Also most American's are to lazy to do anything other than follow blindly, why do you think that Fox News is popular and viewers believe that it is actually real news?

>>I don't understand why it's ok for you to hate a group of people (Christians) but then accuse them of the same thing. Weird. <<

You misunderstand me, I do not hate anyone (except Tom Delay). I do not hate Christians, I just feel frustrated at their hypocrisy and ignorance. I am also sad that such a beautiful religion has become so corrupt and twisted.

>>The problem is not Christians. The problem is people that call themselves Christians so they can try to use it to justify their own hate. Unfortunately, those are the people that you see on TV or read about in the paper. Not the real Christians that are following Christ and don't hate. <<

This is an honest statement and I am glad that at least one Christian can see this. The problem is this, where are the Christian protesters, or real Christian leaders that stand up and challenge these charlatans?