From National_757 on another thread:
Heavymetal, honestly why do you have to bash religion time after time? I mean, every other post I read that you posted has something to do with bashing religion. I'm not one of those "brainwashed nuts" but I do believe in God. I mean, if I ever made constant remarks about those "poor, sad fags" you wouldn't like that very much. Can't you respect a person's right to believe in religion without bashing it time after time just like I respect your sexual preferences?
Seriously, gimmie a break
What I "bash", National, is hypocrisy. Or, since we're all infected with a touch of that now and then, how about "unremorseful, highly polished" hypocrisy. I'll bash till my last breath any tyranny over the mind of man (thanks Tom Jefferson for that one). And it just so happens that these days I find the most abhorent tyranny and polished, effective hypocrisy lurking under the eaves of religion....not FAITH mind you, but religion.
I'll be the first to admit I generalize. But lately it's getting tough not to. Suicide hijackers. Molesting priests. Swarmy televangelists who hold sway over US laws the AFFECT ME. I don't doubt there's millions upon millions of good decent centered religious people packing the churches, temples, mosques, shrines....whatever...of the world every day. But they aren't the loudest ones, alas. (Probably what makes em so decent). The loudest ones are the demagogues and the hypocrites. The ones who get rich. Get powerful. Wield that power in un-Godly ways. Replace God's true law...which I believe is quite possibly the simplest, easiest to live by guideline in existence... with themselves and their concrete, complicated, self-serving beliefs.
This may floor you, my friend, but I believe in God too. I even believe Jesus Christ was a divinely inspired and guided soul walking the Earth. That's FAITH. It may even be FAITH when I go looking for someone who believes what I believe. But when the two of us go looking for people who DON'T believe what we believe.....that's RELIGION, in my opinion. At least the brand that seems so visible in this new century.
Someone called me "bitter" on another thread. Guilty as charged. I am bitter. I'm living in the dawn of a new millenium...we have the technology, the know-how, the motivation to reach out beyond this rock in space, to explore not only the universe, but our own existence....new medicines, new energy sources, new modes of transport, New York to Tokyo in three hours, new ways to go out and see the world we live on......all that SHOULD be happening......
....but it isn't. Instead I've got to wonder what the next "Breaking News" horror will be. Instead I've got to wake up and watch people plunge 100 stories on fire, read about teenagers getting blown apart in pizza parlors, 12 year olds getting machine gunned next to their fathers, gay kids getting kicked out of their houses, babies getting "lost" or murdered in a state foster care system that doesn't allow non-Leviticus approved parents to care for them, public schools getting milked out of their funds, billionaires getting atrocious tax breaks just because they call their for-profit business a "church"...on and on and on. And what do all of these things have in common?
A good chunk of my country honestly believes there's gonna be some apocalyptic battle before Jesus 'comes back'. I think it's pure , unadulturated Grade A , chef's select bunk. Yet now, they seem hell bent on triggering the events that will make it happen. So now does that mean I have to go along on their ride? To echo those swingin' Sixties, Hell no, I wont go.
I guess I just happen to think the foulest things in this bassackwards century so far are being done in God's name. And religious passion combined with secular technology is just way too breathtakingly ominous, I mean honest-to-God end of the world ominous. So we invade Iraq tommorow? Find ten bombs. Twenty. Ace, the genie is out of the bottle....someday, somewhere, that fissionable material sitting in the heart of a nuclear device is GOING to find its' way into the hands of people who are convinced God told them to use it. So as I see it, we as a species have a choice. Either we get a grip on the technology, and THAT doesnt look real do-able. Or we get a grip on the passion. Drill past all the scriptural fiction to find some reason and logic. Remind ourselves that God's most holy gift is simplicity. And above all work together to recognize and deal with our cancers, be they hidden away in a Bagdad bunker or in a Lynchburg Virginia tv studio caked in makeup on CNN.
I hear SO MANY people invoking God's name and screaming "this is right!" When I hear a few more of them saying "I was wrong." Then I'll lay off.