“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)?