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the believers

I find that many religious people irritate me.

No I am not against religion per se but the kind of religion that I grew up with seems to have transformed itself into one based on intransigence and intolerance.

The foundation of all religion is spirituality and the idea that we transcend the earthly and the physical world; that there is more to this life than what we can touch and feel and that humankind has not been graced with the full capacity of being able to comprehend the divine.

The small-mindedness of so-called “religious people” is what I find most disturbing and I see how they view their limited black and white world that won’t be soiled with any type of ambiguity; that is until they themselves touched by it somehow.

I now look at the unquestioning disciple with a healthy dose of skepticism because I cannot comprehend how one can live without some degree of doubt. The things we have been asked to accept verbatim almost demand that we correct our thinking as we move along in this life. Your faith as a child must morph into something more profound and mature otherwise you risk not progressing.

I fear that many people become stunted in an infantile faith that has them mired in the Garden of Good and Evil and not much further. It colors them with an incredulity and lack of acceptance of anything that does not pass through their filter for fear they will find their faith does not conform with the reality they face. We are all challenged to grow and our acceptance of other people and their differences is a prerequisite.

But my faith is not so much founded on the irascible and unpredictable character of the human species but instead on the belief that our origins lie beyond our understanding and yet we sometimes catch glimpses of the divine in our everyday existence before it disappears again into the ether.


Comments

  1. Yes, the church(s) and their followers seem to be so often steadfast in their repressive views on so many things. I was happy to come across Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who is not only a PhD in psychology but also a devout Christian who presents to church leadership on sexuality and gender. Suggest you take a look at this page http://sexualidentityinstitute.org/resources/videos/ and particularly the video "Understanding Gender Dysphoria." It was here I learned his phrase that I love so much, that to be transgender is simply an example of normal human diversity.

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    Replies
    1. I am going to check it out Emma thanks...

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    2. I do hope you like it, Joanna. He won't solve everything, certainly. But people like him may well gradually, slowly, help add to the discourse. I remember all too well how my grandfather in Indiana was unashamedly prejudiced against blacks except for Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs). I suspect that Indiana's prejudiced population - at least toward blacks - is much fewer then what I witnessed in the 1960s. I have come out to my cousins (one woman, one man) there and both have been very supportive. Even in the Land of Pence!

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  2. In my estimation, the sentence, "I don't know," is one is the most emotionally difficult for the human mind fully adopt as a belief. It's a shame, really. "I" cannot "find out" anything without fully accepting that "I don't know." As such, fully realizing "I don't know" should be exhilarating, thrilling, not merely anxiety-inducing.

    Alas, she who does not know, might discover something awful. Devastating, even. Some, it would seem, cannot handle "I don't know." They need to know. Or at least to keep feeling like they know. Beliefs become dogmas, clung to like the beliefs themselves are required for survival. Or salvation.

    Im matters more mundane admitting lack knowledge can cripple our pride. . A supermarket clerk was once unable to tell me where I would find a particular item on a shelf. So, she improvised an answer and sent me off in the wrong direction. Easier, apparently than admitting she didn't know.

    I am prone to this myself. We all are. But I hope it's a bug, not a feature. Pretending I know things I do not, convincing myself I know them, simply has not served me well. Admitting it is the only thing that has allows me to learn and improve.

    I'll never know everything. Not in his life. Which is awesome. And amazing. I get to keep revising and improving. I can continue to find out.

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    1. It is part of being human and strips you of the pride of needing to know everything. It is fine to be limited but to still be able to glimpse into the abyss and marvel at its vastness of this universe and how little space we occupy within it. This is what faith is and it invites self correction..

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