Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Softening Our Religion

It has been a while since I really wrote anything on here.  I am back in school so most of my creative energy gets sucked into other endeavors.  I am sure many will be happy to not have to hear from me so often.  But, I will try to get on from time to time just so the world knows that I am still alive and still questioning.

I am deeply troubled today.  Seeing the news about Americans being killed in Libya in response to a movie about Islam sickens me.  I cannot help but wonder how many people will need to die in the name of God and religion before we as humans wake up and see that something is terribly wrong.  What is the point of religion?  What is religion truly achieveing for humanity?  Is the world any better off for having religion? 

In theory, I guess relgion could be fine.  I have no problem with people believing there is some sort of divine force.  I have no problem with people worshipping said force.  It seems though that most times people have to take their seeking of a god to a very sick and unhealthy place.  If we could all just simply let our views on god be our views on god, and let others be free to believe and think differently, then religion would be no problem for me.  Sadly, the ability to let others think differently than us is not very common among many religious people.  Why must so many humans become so fanatical about their spiritual beliefs?

I think a lot of it has to do with with how inconsistent and scary life on this planet can be.  Life is unpredictable and just when we feel like things are making a little bit of sense we get thrown another curve ball.  Our brains have a natural tendency to want to make sense of all the chaos we see around us.  Our brains, in an effort to keep us alive and whole, tries to find patterns to make life safer and more manageable (this has been scientifically proven).  We naturally seek out order.  In our desires for order relgion can make a lot of sense to people.  Religion gives us an answer to the tough questions, and that answer is God (in whatever form).

The problem is for there to really be order in the chaos your religion (order) must be the right one.  If not, then it is all still just chaos, and chaos is scary.  So, it is no wonder people get so freaky when it comes to religion. To threaten someone's religion is to threaten the very thing which makes life make sense to them.  Threatening religion threatens to push the mind of the religious back into chaos, and chaos is just flat scary. 

I understand fully the desire for life to "make sense".  This desire is why I stayed in religion as long as I did.   If you need God and religion to get you through, fine.  If you need to think that you are right, that's okay as well.  Just know that others are having the very same struggle as you; they are trying to make sense of all the chaos they see around them.  If they find a different order in the universe than you do, just take a deep breath and remind yourself of what makes the world make sense for you.  Don't freak out.  Don't judge.  Don't fight over whose answers are the best.  Just enjoy your anwers and let them have theirs.  Who knows maybe both of your answers are somehow right.  Maybe you are both wrong.  No matter what, our answers are not worth hurting, fighting with, and killing each other.  In the end, for me I am uncomfortable with answers.  I think I will stick with questioning and just ride the wave of the chaos around me, but I do understand the desire for religion and order.  Let's just try to remember that we are all in the same boat; we are all looking for comfort and security.  I do not begrudge you your answers.  Please do not begrudge others theirs.  In doing so maybe we can bring a little bit of our own order into the chaos.

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