The lines have been drawn. Symptomatic of our worldwide effort to be one up on any being or credo, we see the groundswell of secularism rising up against those that perpetuate a fools theory of religion. Doesn’t matter if you are Christian or Jew,Muslim or Hindu, you are by your actions an idiot. Creationism vs evolutionary theory is not even a contest in the Super Bowl of thought. They may be right and then again they might be wrong.
Religion has been a part of our collective society for millenia. Whether it was golden calves, the God of Abraham or Allah we have been soothed and sometimes chastened by the thought of a Superior Being. It has been debated and studied by the likes of Socrates, Plato, Thomas Acquinas, Karl Marx et alia. There is not enough space nor talent for this writer to engage in deep discussion other than my observation of current events and an attempt to find meaning.
Pew Research is hot on the trail of polling and finding what seems to be a lessening of the desire of the populace to flock to cathedrals and chapels of any sort. “Nones” are those that ascribe to no particular affiliation but still believe. The atheists and agnostics seem to be increasing at a steady pace. I have often wondered if their “coming out” is the result of a new way of thinking or something they have really thought all along but were afraid to speak about? Anti establishment thinking has taken hold in so many venues that traditional thinking is becoming passe everywhere.
I personally believe in God although I don’t quite have that Trinity down pat so I am willing to engage in a totally frivolous exercise called faith. I like going to mass not because I have to but it is really quite enjoyable to spend an hour or so singing and praying with a bunch of like minded people. We happened to have a vibrant community and some pretty neat clergy who give you something to think about. The fire and brimstone gig has left the building if you haven’t been there in awhile. At least at our house of worship. I can’t speak for the others.
The thought of a God and a Judgement Day does keep me in line.But to be honest on the surface hedonism and materialism sounds great. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. You mean as long as I do this stuff and don’t get caught I can put my head on the pillow at night without any guilt? Not exactly. You can dull your conscience but it is always there lurking in the background. But what is that thing?
If you look at the legal system worldwide most laws have seven of the Ten Commandments as their basis. Pondering as I do does this mean the world was profligate before Moses went up on the mountain to get his first lesson in religion and got a couple of tablets to boot? Was that the beginning of morality or is it ingrained in us? Now we get into the dicey part about Adam and Eve and original sin and I have probably lost most of you in my delving. But I do think ethics is part of our makeup no matter how hard we try to deny it.
I was on a long drive yesterday and I listened to a program on transplants. Not the immigrants wending their way to pot friendly Colorado but the organ type. We have graduated from hearts to lungs to hands to penises. Praise Jesus, there is still hope. As I listened there seems to be no boundaries and the fervor of the surgeon was dare I say religious. Now one can ask if he was truly out to help his fellow man or if perhaps his ego was so driven that he now approached being godlike? Interesting question.
This was right alongside another broadcast where a highly successful Hollywood producer was expounding on the value of money. He blithely stated that a bunch of shekels made it possible for him to not have to do anything distasteful for the rest of his life. He didn’t have to talk to anyone, go anywhere or participate in society in any way unless it was in his best interest to do so. He was set or so he thought.
Getting back to God thing, Karl Marx considered religion to be “the opiate of the masses”. That may have validity as we wander through life as the more we have the less we worship. We are too busy and things are going so well what the hell would I ask for in my prayers? A family tragedy or a 9/11 might spark my interest but I can wait until that happens. People in Damascus or in a refugee camp in Turkey? Now they have a reason to pray. I don’t want to jam up the communication portal to God with my trivial pleadings. Let the others do that.
By my own admission I am a lousy prayer. I do not study the Bible at length even though it is the best selling book throughout the world year after year. I have this ridiculously simple view of “Do Unto Others.” My Faith is in God. My Hope is that I can make the world a better place. My Charity is that I am going to help you if you are down. I am not trying to convert anyone to religion per se but maybe a thing called spirituality. Go somewhere out of the ordinary for an hour once a week and think about something other than ourselves. Get really whacko and bring the ones you love with you. Come on in the water is fine.
Artificial Intelligence and breakthroughs in medicine and whiz bang theory may refute all I believe in. That’s fine. I have a pluralist rather than homogenous mentality. You do your thing and I will do mine. Is God irrelevant? What would our world be like without order and morality? Whether God is a being or just a concept I think we would be in trouble without. As a matter of fact I think we are getting our first glimpses and I can’t say I like what I see.
Ted The Great
In Catholicism there are patron saints for nearly everything including beekeepers (Saint Ambrose), headaches (Saint Bibiana), coffee (Saint Drogo) and hopeless cases(Saint Jude).That last one is mine.
About 50 Bibles are sold every minute. It is the world’s best-selling book. Some 1 billion copies of Bibles have been sold.It is also the most shoplifted book. Go figure.
We meditate, do Yoga, consult Gurus and seek Nirvana. I wonder if there is simpler way to accomplish that?