“…removing Christian privilege so that our government complies with the Constitution is not persecution. Eliminating religious privilege is not the same as eliminating religious freedom. If ‘ministers of the gospel’ get a tax break that is not available to anyone else, the government is correct to end that break. This is simply ending unconstitutional favoritism the government is showing towards religion, as FFRF’s successful lawsuit against the parsonage housing allowance has shown. This is not hostility, it is equality.” -Andrew Seidel
Tag Archives: Religion
What we appear to want most seems to be a hope that lies beyond death. Therein lies the possibility for a successful hoax. We want more than this life to which most religions will comply with a story that confounds logic.
Can you dispute the facts/opinions of these two short presentations by Christopher Hitchens?
Most people assume that what they were taught as children is true, particularly religion. After all, it was taught them by parent figures, and who could one trust more than Mom and Dad? What one learned as a child, assuming authority figures have told the truth, is accepted as true. It is difficult to question ideas of parent figures and people we trust who taught us the basics of living, loving and learning since by doing so we are questioning whether or not we really believe what they taught us is truth.
Religious ideas come primarily from the culture and geography we have been born into. We do not generally seek out the truth in other faiths or religious expressions, no matter how “true” they may appear. Most rely on “authorities.” Many of us trust without so much as checking sources or credibility. This is supposed to explain the common questions that inevitably come up over a lifetime. And, most of us have never checked the potential veracity of foreign faith expressions. After all, they are foreign and are not of our culture, how wrong can one be, we conclude in superior tones.
Assuming there is waning interest in religion, especially Christianity, conservative types are feeling threatened and appear to be plotting to take away the freedom of speech and expression we have enjoyed in this country. This is due, in part, to the fact that much of what is being accepted by the general public is contrary to a Christian worldview. Many Christians give the impression they are threatened by the many changes to law, lifestyle and religion. Many of the general public have accepted the ways of Christianity while not having much investment in it and expecting the Christian core to capably defend their position.
But, have you noticed? Many Christians are feeling they need to go underground. They sense they are not wanted nor believed. And so, to protect themselves, their families and friends, they have disappeared, away from the prying words of people like myself who question the very foundations of their faith. Can’t be questioning one’s faith. After all, the proof is with them. Or, is it? I call this cowardice. Believe but will not defend. Make statements that presuppose one has the truth but when pushed to defend those statements become defensive or disappear altogether. I call that cowardice. I see nowhere in Scripture where the Christian is to cut and run. Doesn’t that cut across the grain? If it is truth and the Bible says to defend it then where are the stalwarts of the Christian faith? Hiding under ground?
Where, in any of the Scriptures cited above does it say to cut and run? Is there a citation I missed? Could you fill me in and put me right with a Scripture or two? If you have chosen to go underground with your faith, how is that defending the faith? If not, I call it what it is, cowardice! You can run from cowardice. You can be a defender of the faith. Why aren’t you? Isn’t that your job as a Christian?
“Insufficient evidence is that concept that you accept as crystal clear, precise and objective when addressing the claims of other religions, and suddenly it becomes a vague, unclear and ill defined idea when you have to think about the claims of your own.” -Luiz Fernando Zadra
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
—Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winning physicist, in an address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C., April 1999
A few days ago I received a rather desperate message claiming my posts were contaminating Facebook and the Internet. Given their perspective, perhaps they were right. I am not able to determine what is right for them, as I am unable to fully declare what is right and truth for me.
There is an assumption made that appears to be consistent across the spectrum of thought we have been exposed to on many social media sites. That is, since I don’t believe as many others do I must not be a Christian and I certainly do not believe in God. The thinking that fosters this kind of attitude is sadly out of tune with, not only who I am, but also what I am thinking these days.
I make no apologies for what I write as contained within them are the basic questions I am struggling with about my life-long faith. Please note that fb poses a question to all of us each time we open our fb page and that is, “What’s on your mind?” I have taken that question seriously and often post what really is on my mind. These days, my faith is on my mind. I make no apologies for what I write even though to some what I write is troubling. If you are one of those who are worried about my soul I take that concern very seriously. I do not ridicule or ignore it as I take it as a genuine concern for my spiritual welfare and me as person. Your prayers on my behalf are welcome. Yet, I cannot ignore the questions that I ask of God and the questions that propel me to look in many directions for truth.
It is interesting to me that, because of what I think and believe, that I am drummed out of existence as if I were some kind of threat to someone’s very soul. Perhaps I do represent an alternative to the usual approach to faith, I can’t answer for you what might be your best approach, but dismissing me, as so many have done, will not change the facts and faith at stake for me.
I do appreciate your concern for me, I really do, and I hope to sustain family and friend relationships for many years to come. If being true to myself and my questions poses serious difficulties for you and you find yourself unable to tolerate what I write, then I would move on. My hope is that by clarifying my position that you would stop and consider what it means for you and me by choosing to abandon this relationship. After all, friendships are neither mandatory nor obligatory. If one chooses to sever a relationship I would hope it would be in the best interest of all, including this one. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider my point of view.
“I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion […]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”
– Ruth Hurmence Green, writer and freethinker in “The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible” (1979)
All things dull and ugly
All creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty
The Lord God made the lot.
Each little snake that poisons
Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings.
All things sick and cancerous
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous
The Lord God made them all.
Each nasty little hornet
Each beastly little squid
Who made the spiky urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!
All things scabbed and ulcerous
All pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous
The Lord God made them all.
—Composed by Eric Idle