I am not untouchable – are you?


“I think there are more of us than you realize.”

How true that statement always is. And for a few moments … apply that statement to every category of being you can imagine.

There are more suicidal people than … There are more content people than … There are more atheists than … There are more spiritual people than … There are more homeless people than … There are more of anything and everything than any of us “realize.”

So why do we like to tell each other “that’s how it is” so often? That “I know” what’s best for you and the world? That religion pissed me off and I have learned since it pisses off a lot of others. That others have been damaged by religion. That religion has allowed abuses in the name of “God” (or whatever your name for a supreme being). That the bible (or whatever sacred text) is fiction because the evidence says so.  And that means God (or whoever) is fiction. And that means Christians (or whoever) are dangerous because they indoctrinate a dangerous fiction in others (who are a different “whoever”). So the whole thing must be shut-down and removed.

I have seen major celebrities, politicians, ordinary folk, religious leaders and (ordinary religious folk) put in prison for child abuse. Kiddie porn. People who had no connection with religion. No obvious connection to God. The only thing is common? Inhumanity to others.

I have seen wars start and countless killed over many things. Power, territory, oil, resources, politics, stupidity, misunderstanding and religion. The only thing in common? Inhumanity to others.

I have seen “natural disasters” and “man-made disasters”. I have seen “man” blamed and I have seen “God” blamed. I have seen many things. More than even I realize. And the only thing in common? We need someone or something to blame.

Yet I rarely see blame attributed to the “good stuff”.

The smell of a great meal cooking. The sound of a baby’s laughter. The loving touch of one soulmate to another. The removal of apartheid (at least publicly). The removal of slavery (ditto). The sun coming up each morning. The moon rising each evening. The certainty of tomorrow (even if for some that never happens).

We like to blame someone or something for the “bad stuff” (whatever we deem that to be). But we never blame the same someone or something for the good stuff (whatever we deem that to be).

Light or dark. Good or bad. God or no God. Religion or no religion. Proof or no proof. Right kind of belief and wrong kind of belief. Blame and who to blame.  We have created a black and white society.  And we demand that each lives with one side or the other.  Straddling the labels is simply “dancing” – not giving a straight answer – being wishy-washy – unhelpful.

There is a saying: “Every cloud has a silver lining.”

Which is why I can go along with the statement that “religion poisons everything.” I can go along with the statement that “every cloud has a silver lining”. I can go along with the statement that the bible is a work of fiction. I can go along with virtually every statement anyone can ever make. Because at the point they make it – THAT is what THEY believe.

And if I wish to be allowed to believe what I believe – than why should I prevent others from doing the same?

But if my beliefs damage others – if my actions as a result of my beliefs damage others … then I have no right to impose those on you. But neither do you on me.  So when we use statements that are global and universal – statements that annul my right to believe (if not act) – then I would ask why.

Because I read that “paedophiles” have no socially acceptable forum for discussing a leaning towards paedophilia. Imagine that.  Imagine having that leaning and knowing the harm it can do to others – but having nowhere and no one to figure out how to live with the leaning.  And if there was … would society’s knee-jerk response be a medical intervention to cauterize this aberration?

Because to a lesser extent I see those who are suicidal having no outlet for their “leaning” towards suicide. In some countries a leaning of the wrong (adult) sexual attraction cannot be discussed. And even in other enlightened countries there remains an ingrained stigma.

Because in most countries the “country” is named as a “faith country”. The UK is still a Christian country. The Queen (or King) remains the head of the armed forces – and the church – and the government.

65,111,143 was the official UK count in 2016.

And yet I keep hearing what a melting pot the UK is. How we have percentages of those of this or that, who think this or that, who come from this or that, who are not this or that but that. And I believe every category of “that” or “this” could say the same thing:

“I think there are more of us than you realize.”

And I also believe this. If “religions poisons everything” – just where is the forum for loving conversation?

Because in a Christian Country of 65.1 million we should need to build far more churches (than are currently closing). We should see more clergy being called than are needed (instead of less). But if indeed we are a Christian Country of reality rather than label –

Shouldn’t we be allowing those who see religion as poison (“I think there are more of us than you realize”) a voice that is heard?  Because I am finding that there are more than I ever realized.

And if “constitutional religion” sees itself as immune from inspection – as better than those who don’t have “faith” – as “necessary” to this country’s societal well-being … is “it” acting on its core beliefs – or imposing its institutional beliefs?

And that is why I love the bible.  It is a mirror of all that is good and all that is bad. And if a work of fiction – then still of great value.

Because what I do with that “whole” dictates my actions towards you.  And some of us (“I think there are more of us than you realize”) have found a love that neither needs nor demands.

And that – for me – is the beginning of a forum without fear.  A forum of kindness.

And my hope is that the religious core (of any name) which is a sacred and unconditional love (rather than salvation / sinner / conversion / de-conversion / I believe / I don’t believe) becomes the universal actions for faith/religion (of whatever name) in both individual and institutional “belief”.

I was born into a “Christian country” to “Christian parents”.

So just what might I be writing today had I not?  And how does that make one “faith” better than another – or no faith at all?

Because just how is this either or – must or must not – this “align with one side or be damned forever”

Just how is that anything to do with sacred and unconditional love  … in either belief or action … of any of us (religious or not)?

.

 

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13 thoughts on “I am not untouchable – are you?

  1. The problem you seem to miss …. or unintentionally gloss over is the foundation of all religion is based upon supernatural hogwash and it comes with baggage.

    Having a non religious world will not suddenly make the world an entirely better place to live in … but it will likely be a better one if only marginally at first.

    Religion is not a ”bringer together of people/family/communities” without someone somewhere giving up something. And where they refuse to give up they are often shunned or vilified.
    It is the religious way and history is my solemn witness.

    I consider that, this quote from a piece written by a deconvert just about says all you need to know about Christianity.

    It always seemed unconscionable to me that someone could be denied salvation not because of a moral failing, but because they simply disagreed about the evidence for God.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-29/god-and-the-problem-of-sincere-disbelief/8378108

    Removing religion won’t solve humanity’s problems, but it sure as hell(sic) will go a ways along the road and it will help us see we are all simply human.

    If there are gods, so what?

    Ark.

    • No intentional glossing – we were discussing one book by Peter Enns and a perception from his words in a blog that made reference to Exodus – but not the words about Exodus in his book.

      So problem – what problem? Unless you need one 

      And I would love nothing better than a “non-religious word” – in fact I hope my writing helps that happen. Because as you say “Religion is not … It is the religious way.” As for the quote – yes again. And I would go further – what is a “moral failing” – and what is “salvation” – and what “evidence” of God?

      “If there are any gods, so what”. Exactly!

      With the greatest respect: what are we disagreeing over exactly?

            • And this is why I despair of such conversations.
              When the meat hits the metal you ( and others) balk.

              If you avoid answering, then you still consider yourself Christian … even if on closer inspection it turns out to be a faux version.
              So maybe the real question should be: Who are you trying to fool … other Christians or me … And you aren’t fooling me.

            • You are assuming. And then layering over accusations on that assumption. Smacks of how you say “religion” does the things you say it does. I am not looking for a fight. But if you are not prepared to be curious about more than your question (plus the insults here) it smacks of being put on the rack again. And that is not kind. So tell me this: why should I give my time to you when you are not prepared to give yours (in this)?

              You call this my dancing. I call your approach confrontational. And that takes all the kindness out again.

            • Because you sound like Enns in that you are attempting to dress up something and sell it for something that it isn’t which strikes me as ”Unintentionally dishonest.”
              if you are a Christian then ”own it” as the saying goes if not… be honest enough to say so.
              There really is a no need to be ambiguous.

            • Ark … “sounds like” … “strikes me” … “sell” … “need”? You not only speculate (Ark based belief), you attempt to put your words in my mouth.

              How is that different to “faith based belief”, please?

            • If you are not prepared to give straight answers then one can hardly be blamed for drawing the conclusion you are either hiding something or trying to pay both sides of the field.

              If I ask : Are you a Christian? and you say It depends and dither about for days on end then as far as I am concerned … you believe you still are.
              And at some point this WILL include a supernatural element.

              If I am wrong, I apologise.
              But I am not going to know if this is the case unless you tell me the truth, now am I?

            • Back at the computer! Wahoo!!

              Dear Ark, if I answer your question I do not answer. I answer your agenda, your definition, your understanding, your experience and your presuppositions. That is what call an “agenda”.

              Years ago they used to determine a witch by dunking in the village pond. The witch was held underwater for a length longer than thought usual for surviving. If she survived she had [roved she was a witch so was burned at the stake. If she drowned she had proven herself to be innocent of all charges. I spot one flaw in that logic. Which I why I think you make great witchhunter in this witchunt question.

              Let me ask you this. Can you prove love to me?

            • Prove? Proofs are usually the preserve of math I was led to understand.
              Demonstrate as an evolutionary chemical by product of what goes on in the brain etc Yes, of course.
              Or at the very least I can direct you to a specialist in neurology that wioll be able to explain it for.
              They might even include candy floss and fairies and walking on cloud nine and, Supercalafragalisticexpealadocious.

              Why is asking if you believe in the resurrection of the biblical character a witch hunt question?
              Is not this, along with the resurrection, THE defining criteria of whether you are truly Christian or not?

              Why are you afraid to make answer?
              The bible tells you so, does it not.
              Peter, yes? Make answer.

              What are you afraid of?

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