Sunday, July 15, 2007

religious diatribe

Oy yoy, some born-agains are difficult to bear. I just had a conversation with an evangelical who, upon learning my religious background (Catholic), proceeded to tell me the ways in which it's wrong. (Good thing I didn't claim to be Wiccan or a practicing Jew.) Up till then I had been respectful of his views, telling him if that's what he believed, that was fine, and I was sure his God would do as he said.

I did not receive respect in kind. Religious intolerance is historically speaking a primary cause of strife of the worst sort.

My basic questions to someone of the Christian persuasion are:
- do you believe in God
- do you obey the commandments set down in the Pentateuch/Exodus
- do you follow the golden rule (treat your neighbor as you would yourself wish to be treated)

If a person does all the above (not thinks they do, but actually does), they're headed for Christian heaven. It doesn't matter if you're born-again, Catholic, Lutheran, or name your variety.

Dissing other forms of Christianity is an act of intolerance, complacency, and arrogance. It's merely wanting to be in some exclusive Heaven Club, above others: they are chosen and everyone else isn't, regardless of how good they are, because they are the wrong kind of Christian or not Christian at all. And they claim to feel sorry for those people, but with little sincerety: definitely a joyful schadenfreude.

All Christians believe in essentially the same god. Claiming that one specific sect has the sole rope to heaven is ridiculous. Creating rules beyond the basics up there is a human action, not divine. When humans think they know what God says and try to impose their thoughts on others, they are essentially trying to take the place of God. This contradicts the basic assumption that only God is divine.

We can't really know what God is thinking. We don't know if God puts on glasses and a fake beard, and goes by the name of Allah or Y-V- elsewhere.

Here's a good quote from Babylon 5, paraphrased: You know that classic contradiction about whether God can make a stone so heavy he can't lift it? He did: he made humans.

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