Religion for me has been a bewildering and reluctant adversary. For the longest time religion meant belief in some strangers prescription for salvation. As one matures and questions their life and the role of religion in it, certain sticking points become clear. Why so many different perceptions of religion? Why so many different versions of religion? Why so much mutual exclusivity of the various religion doctrines? Belief in one religion shouldn’t automatically exclude an individual from believing or practicing in another. That’s ridiculous. The different and varying threads in the spirituality of religion have far more in common then their proponents would care to admit to. It’s almost as if their saying that you must believe in everything that I say. No picking and choosing, just believe in all, or else your out. And it’s not just the zealots, it seems to be a persuasive thread among most religions.
Unbelievably Fragile Beliefs
Tolerance and acceptance should not just be facades painted on by the practitioners of every dogmatic religious power. They are principals and values that need to be shared and instilled as the cornerstone of any religion. We all have our little quirks, just as each religion has bizarre little rules, taboos, and rituals. How can one religion insist that their leaders practice celibacy, while another promotes marriage for it’s leaders, and yet another is perfectly fine with polygamy? They can’t all be wrong, surely one of these wise old sages is right. Or, maybe their all right. They’re definitely all wrong in suggesting their way is the only proper way. No wonder their is so much confusion amongst people in this day and age of enlightenment. Sometimes, it feels like if one tiny tenant of their dogmatic domicile fails then the whole thing fails. I don’t believe that a religion or it’s people can really be that fragile.
Your Way Is The Right Way
For a period, atheism or agnosticism seemed to be the way to go. All the other competing dogmas wanted my entire mind, heart, and soul. Well, if that’s the case, then no one gets anything. Seemed like the safe way to go. Not very satisfying, and certainly not very enlightening, but definitely safe. Just another brick in the wall, close them all out. Maturity and time have a way of changing religious views and beliefs. Sometimes old age does as well, but that can be just a convenient hope to the inevitable fear of what comes after the whole mortal coil shrug. Not a real belief I think. Some where along the line it occurred to me that it just rang hollow to believe in nothing. Even the religion of little green men seemed to have a lot more going for it, then believing in nothing. So it occurred to me that there simply has to be more to life then just what we can see and understand on the third planet from the sun. There certainly is a lot more to be understood yet, then there currently is understood today. Current notions of religion try to help there, but it’s painfully old technology. I mean hey, 200 years ago they didn’t even have black and white TV. What made those guys smart enough to start a religion that answers today’s questions.
I do believe that there is something bigger, grander, smarter, more tolerant, more enlightened and compassionate then any religion we on Terra firma have come up so far. Someone, something, is waiting and watching and guiding. We just need a little more time to figure it out. In the mean time, can’t we all just get along?