Do you believe in God? The Almighty? Do you consider yourself a Christian? Perhaps Catholic? Do you lie? Cheat? Steal? Sleep with whomever catches your eye in your favorite tavern? Do you look upon others who are of different color, race, ethnicity, sexuality, or religion with disdain?
I ask these things because after an email conversation with a friend, I began to seriously consider my belief system. The one that gets me through the day, lets say. As odd as it seems, I believe in a higher power. I’m pretty sure that my belief differs from yours. I believe this especially if you’re one of those people who believe that your religion, whatever the flavor, is the only “true” religion. Such ideas are the building blocks for the various forms of hate. Don’t believe me?
Ask yourself about the single most divisive power in history? Is it economics? Nope. Is it race? Not even close. Is it gender? Wrong again. Is it geography? No. It is religion.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that religion is bad. I am saying, though, that men (and by extension, women) are fallible. They make mistakes and the biggest mistake they have ever made was believing that their vision of god was the only version of god.
I’m not trying to say that there is more than one God. I am saying that God is known by many names and if God ever decides to come and see the world we have created in all his various names, he’ll (or she’ll if you’re one for randomly generated pronouns to promote gender equality) be pissed.
I have a set of beliefs that are based in rational thought tempered with faith. Some Christians might argue that they believe the same things, but the faith I promote isn’t the same flavor most “christians” subscribe to. My faith is one that is based on love, understanding and honesty. I don’t really follow organized religions because most of them are about separation, elitism and bald-face hate for those who are different from them. I’m pretty sure that whatever God’s plan is, it doesn’t include any form of hate or persecution…
I don’t think God really gives a rats ass if you’re gay, straight, sideways, angular, buxom, promiscuous or straight-edged. What I do think God cares about is whether you live your life without hurting others in your quest to succeed in this world. I think he cares a great deal if he looks down from the heavens and watches you firebomb a planned parenthood or a synagogue. I think he cares mightily if he sees you trying to prevent a gay couple from making a commitment to each other in the name of love. Above all else, I think he really wants you to stop killing others and using his name to justify your moral corruption!
I think the age of hate has lasted long enough don’t you?
7 thoughts on “The One Where I Speak of God”
well, you know how i feel. 🙂 great post!
I hate to draw on movie quotes, but you know in Jerry Mcguire (god I hate that movie), when Tom Cruise says something along the lines of that chick making him want to be a better person? Well, you make me want to be a better writer. I wish I could express myself the way you’re able to.
Nicely put. I also have a faith “based on love, understanding, and honesty,” but it doesn’t involve any god at all. Fancy that! Wouldn’t it be crazy if it all came down to semantics in the end?
It would be comforting for you if your view of God’s regard for human kind were right, but u might wantto prepare yourself for the evnetuality that He actually does give a “rat’s ass” about the issues you mentioned. We’re made in His image and likeness to do right, but He won’t override our wills (which He gave us), not while we’re on Earth. This life is merely an interruption in eternity and when u stand before Him, as will I and all of us, ther will be an impartial but accurate accounting. I hope you’ll reconsider an be ready.
You know Mike, the great thing about personal belief is that I don’t have to answer to anyone else OTHER than what ever higher power I do believe in. That’s what my post was about and if you were even half as “good” as 99.9% of all christians claim to be, you would let whichever God you believe in to make the final judgement on how i live my life.
I’ve read the bible… I don’t think there is any passages that say, “Mike Edwards will be my representative on Earth.”
I find it funny that Anglo-Europeans, and their decendants (that being Candians, Americans and others who ventured far from the motherland) still base their “religion” on a 2000 year old Jewish rabbi.
Not to “dis” Mr. Christ (who, BTW, wasn’t the first Jewish messiah to be called Christ), but when one reads the events of history, one must wonder what all the fuss is about. Had it not been for Constantine’s adoption of, what was then called “a new Roman faith”, hence the Roman Cahtolic Church…..none of this conversation would be happening at all. Constantine, who was brain damaged from a staff blow to the head as well as years of syphillis, should really be at the top of the Christian Church.
Being a born and bred Texan, I’m all too familiar with the religious right….Baptist vs. Church of Christ…Pentacostal vs. 7th day Adventist…Methodist vs. Episcopalian….Muslims, Hindis, Taoists….JEWS…forget about it! Lions, tigers, bears….whew, can’t we all just get along?
I agree that religion and a strong religious belief CAN be a good thing, if it drives one to be a better person to himself and the people he comes in contact with. However, it is more often a tool to divide the “good and bad” folks in society based on the address of the church you attend. They all read the same book and find a different interpretation, which compared to other world religions (which are just as viable and credible as Christianity in the West), is just down right stupid. Stop trying to either recruit or condemn everyone you see and you’ll begin to feel the real value of being “religious”. Remember…”what would Jesus do?”
Old Man in the Clouds with his Son…Buddha in the belly of the elephant..Vishnu in the river…Allah and Muhammed in divine Mecca…who’s to say which is right? I think the point should be that one is just as right as the others.
Sorry for the rant…..end of speech.
Thanks for your comments DC. I think you’re definitely more enlightened than a good percentage of the religious right claims to be.
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