we need any more evidence of what's wrong with religion,
today's news headlines provide us with plenty.
* Michael Schiavo spoke on the Today Show about his
decision to allow his brain-damaged wife, Terri, to
die, according to her own wishes. Good Christian people
were so outraged at this violation of the sixth commandment
that some of them threatened to kill his children.
Abdul Rahman, the Afghan man who converted from Islam
to Christianity, was sentenced to death by an Islamic
court for his beliefs. Muslims state that anyone who
abandons his Islamic faith is a traitor and should be
Pope Benedict XVI recently created a new group of cardinals.
These men were referred to repeatedly as "princes
of the church." Compare this image with that of
Jesus kneeling before his disciples, a towel around
his waist, to wash their feet.
Michael Baigent, co-author of "Holy Blood, Holy
Grail," has just released a new book entitled "The
Jesus Papers." It expands on his theory that Christianity
is an historical distortion of the facts about the life
of Jesus. It shares the same line of thought as "The
DaVinci Code." When you ask the good Christians
who condemn these books whether they have read them
or not, they will freely admit that they have not. When
pressed for a reason, they will tell you that the books
are inspired by the devil.
family and I were in Washington DC some years ago when
"The Last Temptation of Christ" premiered.
As we stood in line waiting to get into the theater,
we were hounded by religious zealots who handed us literature
and shouted that we were under the influence of evil
if we persisted in seeing the movie. When I asked if
they had seen it, they recoiled in shock and said, "Of
examples indicate the combination of politics and ignorance
which influences so much of religious behavior today.
The fact that there are still people who are willing
to kill others because they do not share their religious
beliefs makes us realize that we have not moved very
far beyond the mentality of the crusades and the Inquisition.
The idea of hierarchy in the church, with ordinary lay
people at the bottom of the pecking order, shows a far
greater interest in power and status than in humbly
sharing the love of Christ.
When we fear ideas that challenge our faith, we clearly
indicate that our belief system is not based on truth
but on tradition. That is, our view of God is encapsulated
in an ancient theological bubble, and if that bubble
is pricked at any point, the whole thing will explode.
This is not faith; it is superstition. Any faith that
cannot be examined by logic cannot be defended rationally.
still seems to be responsible for many of the difficulties
between people and nations. It has become so closely
identified with politics and tradition that the essential
elements of love, unity and humility before God have
become lost. It's time for a spiritual revolution.
John W. Sloat 2006