Made a mistake the other day and read some posts/comments around the Web regarding politics, etc. So bad for me, like wallowing in a cesspool. With the nation’s birthday right around the corner, of course nearly all the comments had something to do about how we are facing a moral collapse and only a return to being a Christian nation would avert same. Excuse me? A “Christian” nation? We’ve never been a Christian nation. This nation was not found on any particular religion and which flavor of Christianity would you pick, anyway? The earthy, fiery overtones of the Pentecostals? The subdued, sophisticated aroma of Episcopalaianism? Or something more moderate in between, say Methodism. Trying to pick just one “Christianity” is like being in Baskin Robbins forced to have only vanilla.
I think the thing that bothered me the most was that under all of it was this pervasive notion that one cannot be a good person without also being Christian and above all “God fearing”. That is something that has bugged me about organized religion since I was a kid. Only then, I didn’t have the vocabulary. I probably still don’t but I’m a little better.
I don’t NEED “god” to tell me that helping my fellow humans is “good” and that robbing them, beating them, cheating them or harming them in any way is “bad”. I don’t need to be told I’m “going to hell” as motivation to act right. I act right, obey laws, tell the truth, don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t cheat on my wife not because I’m being guilt-ed into doing those things but because those things are just the right things to do. Period. Common sense. I don’t need to go to church to learn how to do them. Yes, I went to church as a kid, but I already knew that stuff from my parents and from just living in a society and having behaviors reinforced positively and negatively.
I have a difficult time pinning down my own belief system. It’s much easier to say what I’m not. I’m not a Christian although I do believe that Christ (or Yeshua of Nazareth) lived and was probably a very charismatic teacher. I don’t believe he was divine–or rather I believe he was as divine as any of us are.
The thing about Christianity that has always bothered me is that it is completely a religion of separation and fear. As Christians, people are separate from god, “bad” from the beginning. I don’t agree. I deeply, truly, honestly believe that every single one of us is an extension of the God-energy that created this entire universe. We are part of that. We are “star-stuff”. Thing is, we forget it. We have bad things happen to us or we do bad things and so we believe we ARE bad. We’re not. We’re not bad and we don’t need to be “saved”.
Religion also gets caught up in us vs. them. And God, of course, is on “our side”. He/she/it’s not. God is on no one’s side. God/force/energy/magic whatever you want to call is just IS. And we’re all a part of it. We cant be separate from god any more than we can be separate from our own limbs (barring traumatic accident). Are our feet “bad” because they’re further away from our brains than our hands? Hardly.
WE can turn away from our God nature. We do it all the time. But it’s not because we’re inherently bad. It’s because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of how good we can be. We’re afraid of what people with think. We’re afraid people won’t love us if we don’t act the way, talk the way, think the way THEY want us to.
Thing is, if that’s what it takes for “them” to love us, then that’s not any kind of “love” I want. I never had so much love as I did when I finally decided to just be who I was and tell the rest of the world to go jump in the lake. And the biggest surge of love wasn’t from any of my friends (though they do love me, make no mistake), but from within myself. I began to really, honestly, truly, madly, deeply love ME. And I finally realized once that happened, how anyone else felt about me was a very dim second place. My God nature came out and welcomed my flawed human self, and guess what?
I was perfectly all right. Always was, always will be.
No fear, all love. And no more reading those damn religious/political posts!