Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Look Harder

"Let me tell ya something. You're suspect! Yeah you. I don't know what your reputation is in this town, but after the shit you tried to pull today you can bet I'll be looking into you."

The luxury of living in Perth is the pace of life is slower here topped with sunny dry weather, so it affords a lot of time to read under the sun. Recently, the topic of choice has been religion (Christopher Hitchen's "god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything") with its associated deception, irrationality, foundings etc. After you take a hard look at the evidence (something monotheistic religions lack a lot of), it gets harder to ever justify faith based arguments for religions which point its followers in multiple directions and contradict its own dogmas.

Examples such as Marjoe Gortner, who made an Academy Award winning documentary of how he fooled millions of Americans for money posing as a revivalist, which were tactics his parents raised him to learn, ultimately taking $3 million from hard working people. He's no different from Joel Osteen or other members of the clergy. Why do churches get tax breaks for teaching people how to judge others and implant a conscience which fights innate human instincts like sex?

Monotheistic religions were ultimately founded by us mammals as a means to cope with our fear of the unknown. Even remote islands such as Tanna, with little influence from other cultures, still praise an American WWII GI named John Frum and hold annual celebrations awaiting his return. People will say it's different from other religions, but it's really just a modern day account of what humans naturally default to in the face of unanswered questions. Eventually with a new era of techtonic plate collisions, John Frum could very well become geographically placed as a cometitor to Jesus. When a religious belief is something you grow up learning and it's ingrained in your culture, everything else looks suspect, which is why Judaism, Islam and Catholicism (to name a few), alienate one another. The fear of potentially beliving what so much of your money, effort, youth and trust has gone into as FUBAR is what keeps the engine running.

So I challenge you just to take a step back and face that fear head-on and see what you conclude on your own - not according to what the church, society and childhood roots expect you to take verbatim. If god is just and your faith real, you won't forego any forgiveness from him after some real soul searching.