Thursday, January 8, 2015

Faith




I am not a fan of religion. At its best it is nothing more than a social club for like minded people. At its worst you end up with fanatics killing people because somebody drew a funny picture of their prophet. Somewhere in between all of that are the people who were taught a religion as children and just can't pull themselves away from believing, from having that 'faith'. It makes them feel good about life, and if that's what it takes to get through things, fine. As for me, I have no faith.

Faith; noun
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Yes I know, it also has a second definition that says it's a blind belief in a god or the doctrines of a religion. I'll go with the first definition. When I was a little boy I had faith in my parents who sent me to a Catholic school to learn what they had learned as children. They wanted me to have faith in what they were telling me. The problem is that they also told me that there was a man named Santa Claus who somehow entered our house through the skinny chimney that was the exhaust system for our oil fired furnace, and left us a huge pile of gifts every 25th of December. They also once told us that they were taking us to the 'Free Fair' in Chicago to go on rides and have fun, when their real motive for taking us there was to get the free vaccines provided at the fair. Flying around on the Tilt-a-Whirl wasn't as much fun when your arm hurt from the polio shot you just got. It also didn't help my belief in what my parents were telling me when my mom assured me that the bus driver on the CTA Bus we were riding was also a policeman, and that he would arrest me if I didn't shut up and sit down. It actually took me a number of years before I figured out that wasn't true. Luckily for me, I figured out that most of what the nuns were trying to tell me was all bullshit early on. What seven years of pounding Catholic teachings into my head did for me that was good, was that it taught me to think things through as best I could. It taught me to ask myself, do the things people are telling me make sense? Is it possible that what that person is telling me is a lie? And best of all, the nuns taught me that just because somebody has on a uniform that says they are in charge, doesn't mean they know what the hell they are talking about. The one Catholic teaching that I will always hold on to though, is the one that says "Thou shalt not kill." I'm pretty sure that by 'thou', they mean me and you, and every other asshole out there with a gun.

4 comments:

  1. OK -- I have to say it. I don't think this mass killing in France was simply about religion or cartoons. I think there's something or someone behind it -- and they're trying to stir shit up. They don't give a hoot about offensive cartoons. They're probably not even religious. Juan Cole gives a pretty good analysis of the possible reasons behind that shooting. There are other reasons, possibly.

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    1. It seems to me that Juan Cole is saying that they are pissed that the vast majority of French Muslims aren't religious enough, and the extremists are trying to herd them over to their side by creating a divide between those who are only Muslim in name, and the non-Muslim French. Either way, religion is the tool being used.

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  2. I believe most of the worlds problems stem from the Middle East from the formation of a Jewish state in the middle of Arab land.

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    1. Well I'd say almost all of the problems we have with the Muslim world comes from the fact that European and American Jews moved into Palestine and shoved the people living there off the land, and we support them. Add to that the insane invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. We recruited more terrorists with that move than any imam could have stirred up. That, and the fact that there's a huge puddle of oil under the area.

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