Life Will Answer … Religion & Politics: Any Excuse Will Do

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Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence.  

 

PERSECUTION? RIGHT….

 

part of the religious right’s new definition of ‘religious freedom’ is the belief that conservative Christianity is special and that its followers are entitled to foist their religion on people in ways no other religious believers get to do.
That’s what the religious right means by religious freedom: The removal of your right to have your own beliefs, free from interference by people who have power over you. The right dearly wants religious freedom to mean the right of conservative Christians and only conservative Christians to foist their beliefs on you through your job and through the government and squelch any cultural attempts to be inclusive of all the diverse belief systems in America. The only way to fight back is for liberals to reclaim the term ‘religious freedom’ for what it really means: The right to choose for yourself what you believe without having the law or your boss trying to tip the scales.

 

It’s not persecution to tell someone to stop being a jerk or to demand that they respect the Constitution.  It’s not persecution to tell one group of believers that they must extend to other groups the same rights they themselves demand and even take for granted.   It’s not persecution to remind a band of religious extremists who are convinced that they and they alone possess religious truth that, while they have the right to believe such a thing,  their zeal confers upon them no power to tell others what to do.

A fundamental point of my book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).

I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.

If this Christian Deity is so insecure and powerless that it requires all manner of intellectual contortions to both insist and justify that Its curiously backward needs and demands are mandates for all of mankind to honor and obey, some of us ought to think about trading It in for a better and wiser model.

 

NO ROOM FOR INTEGRITY

 

And Christians are hardly under attack here. No one is taking away their rights. No one is seeking to force them to be gay themselves, or to force birth control upon them. No. They are perfectly free to hold their own religious beliefs and live their lives accordingly.
For religious liberty to work, of course, it must be a two-way street and apply to everyone equally. If Christians are permitted to freely hold their beliefs, then Christians must reciprocate and allow non-Christians to freely hold their own beliefs. 

What if others’ beliefs based on their religious creeds—which, it should be noted, they believe just as fervently as do those of the far-Right Christians here—mandate their own edicts are to be followed by others? How does this get sorted out in the God Clubhouse?

Who is the final arbiter for which Source is the correct One and Only with the correct ideas, correct rules, correct laws, and correct expectations? Who among us has the final say over which Source is indeed The One and Only Super Bowl Champ of Deities? How can any of us know Which One is THE One? Until we do, shouldn’t everyone call a collective timeout until they get all of these celestial marching orders squared away?

“Well obviously, it’s my own … [God/Allah/Whatever]” doesn’t make for much of an Answer, especially when countless numbers of other supplicants are making the same claim about their One and Only. Gets a bit crowded on the Deity Highway….

 

~ My Photo: The Boston Garden & The Zakim Bridge © 08.25.16

 

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In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers. 

I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.

A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).

I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.

Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.

Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship one Supreme Being [among many]? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!

Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.   

Re-establishing this blog is my own contribution to wiser problem-solving than what seems to be the norm. Too many are in position where their delusions carry heavy and needless consequences to all of us.

 

* I invite you to enjoy my two books [here and here], and to view my other blogs—at this website [see the My Blogs link above], and also at Peak Oil Matters