Ah yes, the differnce between Christianity, and what is becoming known as the Christianic cult...
Nod. There've been several people starting to take up that tack... noticing the difference between Christianity as stolen by the Republican Party as a marketing tool, and Christianity as it really is.
> What is it about religion that's separating this country?
I think it is not religion that has caused a separation of peoples but instead it is exclusionary religions; those are usually the fundamentalist sects, for they explicitly set forth a division of the anointed, chosen, saved against the heathens, damned, unhuman, treating 'other' as worthy of attack.
I recall going to my mother's church in Florida to watch a play presented by the children and young adults in which they wielded automatic weapons (hopefully replicas) and combat clothing, and presented the christian war, saving the lost ones held prisoners by the heathen tribes. Mock killings of the unsaved took place. I listened to the preacher praising them of their deep understanding that this is a war, an all out war, that every christian must attack the heathens, separate themselves from them, etc. Why do you think almost all home schooling is done by fundamentalist christians?
Does this sound familiar? It should, as this refrain is happening throughout most of the united states and in the middle east.
Now compare that with any of the religions (including christianity) that follow the spiritual track. There you will find tolerance and a desire to find common ground in the myriad spiritual paths. The Parliament of World's Religions (http://www.cpwr.org/2004Parliament/
) is a fine example of reaching common ground.
I recall going to my mother's church in Florida to watch a play presented by the children and young adults in which they wielded automatic weapons (hopefully replicas) and combat clothing, and presented the christian war, saving the lost ones held prisoners by the heathen tribes. Mock killings of the unsaved took place. I listened to the preacher praising them of their deep understanding that this is a war, an all out war, that every christian must attack the heathens, separate themselves from them, etc.
That is deeply disturbing. I've heard of the "hell houses" at Halloween, but this is just... I have no words.
Nod. If they saw it somewhere else, they'd be aghast... but for them, it's okay, because they're *right*.
Nod. One of the things that's hit me recently, and really bothered me in the election.
People talked about how good Bush looked when talking about religion in the third debate. He didn't look good at all to me, and not just because I didn't expect him to. I don't think he's very religious at all. He didn't seem to be speaking from the heart at all. Kerry, *he* seemed to be speaking from the heart. Okay, yes, I'm biased... but, damn it all, this is one of those times when my instincts tell me I'm right, that it's not just a dislike of Bush.
I think that many people using religion are using it as a convenient weapon.
But I don't want to put it that way in my book... not at first. I promise the reader straight talk many times, and I will say that I see it being used as a weapon, but only after I've laid the groundwork. If you make too strong a statement at first, people keep looking for ways to counter it, rather than listening to what you're saying.
I do think anyone who seeks the truth will find it, and that's why there will be huge amounts of common ground in the world's religions.
It has been my sad belief for some time now, that many (though not all) of the people who call themselves Christians, mostly those who are the "fundamentalist Christians", are more interested in spreading hatred and dividing people, that in messages of love. They search the Bible, and other religious texts, for passages, that they believe, support their hateful ideas. They build websites, movements, political campaigns, television stations... devoted to promoting hate.
I can't reconcile this with a religion that is supposed to be about love, and salvation of the immortal soul through love, good works, and living without sin. "Do onto others as you would have others do onto you"? They would have homosexuals protest them in the street and build hate-sites on the Net about them? (just as one example) *shakes head* I don't get it.
I know there are good Christians out there, I know some personally. People who really are in it for the love, and the path of peace and redemption. People who really are trying to do right.
But, by and large, I think if Christ did return, in the manner described by their belief, he wouldn't recognize most of these people as followers of what he began.
Nod. It hurts me like blazes, and it's one of the things that energizing me towards getting this blasted book done.
I really think that the truth will set most of them free. I really think most of them truly want the truth, and the love... but it makes me nervous, and yeah... seeing the difference between what Jesus called for, and what some people who claim to follow him do, well... *ow*.
By the way, you (and this post) were one of the people I had in mind when I made this post
. I very much enjoyed reading the article it links to, and I think I will find it food for thought for quite some time. It stikes me as something you might find interesting as well.
Feh... Or, if I manage to break my own link, you could just look in my journal for the post on 12/06/04 (managing to be one of the few posts I've ever made that doesn't have a subject line... extra cool).
Sorry about that, I tried to make it easy. Must be past my bedtime...
Yes, I did read it, and it was good. It helped stir some of the thoughts that are going into my book, and it even gives me hope I might find a market. (And then I come back down to earth, reminding myself "complete unknown, questionable narrative tone, complex subject matter... are you sure you don't just want to buy a lottery ticket instead?" But the alternative to writing it is, well, *not* writing it... and I just can't' handle that.
*nods* The thing with not writing is... you'll never know. I, for one, will certainly read it.