Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Religion

I was going through a website I once posted over on geocities and have long since left neglected. Among the contents of that site I found this photo I'd taken of the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico in Treasure Island, FL (just west of St. Petersburg) back in March of 2000. That was one of the last vacations I went on with my parents. I remember we'd gone to a JFK exhibit that was passing through St. Petersburg at the time earlier in the day. On that same trip we'd also checked out the Salvador Dali exhibit in St. Petersburg.

When I see sunsets like that I can't help but believe there's a God. Something so beautiful, so breathtaking can't just be an accident of science. I realize there is a scientific explanation as to why the sky reddens as the sun descends beneath the horizon. But the circumstances that must exist for that science to work to me are far more than mere coincidence... Just as the miracle of life on our planet. There had to be a specific set of circumstances in place for life to have evolved on our planet, for life to have taken hold. There had to be just the right chemical ingredients present in the biological soup that eventually evolved into what we are today... And while I do respect the science beyond the explanations for life (human and otherwise) on our planet, one still has to concede that those scientific conditions necessary for us to get from where we were to where we are now are far too specific, far too special for life to be a mere accident of science.

But this brings me to another tangent, believing in God, I also believe that God granted us free will. Our God is not an interventionist any more than that God is a He or a She. Assigning God a gender is a human construct to try to make something beyond our comprehension understandable. The fact that he was assigned the XY rather than the XX gender has more to do with the patriarchal nature of the civilizations which have deemed to organize religion... religion that was initially organized for reasons of survival, an organization that ended up growing increasingly political over the years. Whether it's the elders of the Sanhedrin who ordered Christ be put to death for instilling in people the idea that we're still ALL Gods children, that God is not and has never been one to exclude people based on where they were born or whom their parents are/were or the modern day leaders of the Catholic, Protestant, Shiite, and Sunni faiths who rather than follow God or Allah's word instead twist it to justify their policies of discrimination and hate.

So today we have a bastardization of God/Allah's message being perpetuated by political zealots. The hate and discrimination which is legislated and perpetuated by religion isn't the fault of God or Allah's message. God/Allah is not fallible, man is... the hate/fear/discrimnation is from man's flawed and twisted interpretation of a beautiful message of loving, trusting, and caring for one another.

4 comments:

Susan as herself said...

I have long believed that God is genderless. God just IS---a force. Not a man, a woman, or a creature.

And the troubles in the world today that seem to be born of religious intolerance and misunderstanding make me think that religion can be dangerous and hurtful and exclusive.

So I choose to embrace spirituality, and believe that there is a reason and purpose to all, and that we are all bound together by this force. For me this force is life, and at it's source is the drive to create.

So that's what I try to do, in whatever way seems to fit my life.

And now onto lighter topics like jam and see-saws.

Bar said...

I never know what to expect when I visit here - but I have never once been disappointed.

Thanks for sharing your views and beliefs on God, Darrin. I also believe that God is the Creator and that His message for us is one of love. He did give us a free will to accept or reject Him as well as to live however we choose. It's very sad indeed to see how man has created all these horrific wars and acts of violence. The God I believe in is a God of peace - but also one of Justice.

God help us.

Dantallion said...

Extremely well said. Ironic that we've taken such a powerful universal concept that could propel us so much further, and turned it into a tool to tear each other apart.

Perplexio said...

dantallion: Religion was never intended to do what it's ended up doing. It's really sad. When I read God and Jesus original message and then look at how badly man has twisted and abused that message to His own ends it really makes me sad.

I especially call into question the Old Testament. There are parts of it that... well the way they're written, it seems they were written by men to perpetuate the mythical concept of man's superiority over women. Original sin, the demoness Lilith, Samson & Delilah, all that seems to be material designed with the specific intent of keeping women "in their place" and I think much of it is responsible for the "gender" issues we've had over the years. Then of course there are the bits about homosexuality and what not... and today the holier-than-thou Bible-thumping Christians who pick and choose to follow only the parts of the Bible which are convenient to them. If homosexuality is a sin (and I don't believe it is-- I figure God created all of us-- and I don't believe God makes mistakes), so is eating meat on Fridays... I'm just as much a sinner as you are, as are most "Christians" which are so quick to condemn you and your lifestyle.

I guess what I'm trying to get at, is no matter what twisted and diluted logic Bible-Thumping Christians use to justify their persecution of others... That logic is so paper thin it can be seen through or ripped to shreds with ease.

Sadly it seems that logic borne of hate is much harder to dispel than logic borne of sound judgement and of love. And maybe that's why so many "Christians" today are still missing the point.