“I refuse to join any organization that would have me as a member…”

Saturday I had a visit from two lovely ladies from the Jehovah Witnesses.  These to incredible patient women took an hour with me to discuss a few concepts from their religious view.  This gave me the opportunity to share my view as well…  But I admire that they are living their believes.  Are we?

My view: 

Organized religion completely misses the point of The Great Spirit and that role in our lives.  This misrepresentation of everything written for religious purposes is strictly for control of the membership or congregation or financial return, or both.  I have yet to sample an organized western religion that takes the documents as all or nothing.  I have heard this describes as “Cafeteria Christianity” where the leadership takes the pertinent parts and discards the remainder as inappropriate.

Eastern religions deal with the philosophy of the beliefs rather than the absolutes of written doctrine.   This allows for interpretation and personal subjectivity to enter the process as well as some ‘divine’ inspiration.  Along with the philosophy come responsibility for ones actions rather than magic formulae for forgiveness of transgressions.  “To err is human, to forgive is divine…”  I now have license to make mistakes and god will forgive.  And oh by the way, only god can forgive.  So, if I should forgive a transgression, does that make me god; or is it the exclusive purview of god to forgive, releasing me from all responsibilities to accept an apology or forgive a transgression?

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing but it presupposes that transgressions will occur and they will require forgiveness.  Responsibility requires that we are aware of our actions and their consequences.  Without responsibility we are free to do as we please with the promise of forgiveness for our actions at a later time.  How convenient for us to have license to act without thought of repercussion rather than taking the time to consider our choices first.

Our societal approach to religion is fractured.  It deals in absolutes and not in philosophies.  It mandates that there is no room for interpretation.  There are some that believe in the literal translation and interpretation of the book, and there are those that accept the verbal interpretations of ‘leaders’ that espouse an interpretation for the masses that either play to the organizational or personal doctrines without ever challenging that interpretation or view. 

Consider the current conflict between radical Islam and the infidels.  Someone stepped up to create this radical and absolutist view of Islam for their own purposes are now calling out the Islamic Jihadists en mass to rid the world of infidels (non-believers) and to make the world right for Mohammad.  Is it acceptable to commit murder to make the world right?  I guess it is now…  These fundamentalists’ condone lying, and deceit to the infidel to further the cause of Islam.  So it is a sin against god to lie, but when god is involved it’s OK to lie to further the religious cause.  I’m sorry that logic eludes me…   

The “Christian” faiths also use an Old Testament quote to justify their own actions: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth…”This justifies all manner of transgressions against the TEN COMMANDMENTS.  Yet the intent I believe was to placate the wandering Jews with a set of rules so tightly integrated that violation of one constitutes a violation of them all.  In this book the messiah told them that he had come to fulfill the Old Testament law not to abolish it, yet the Christians still cling to the Old Testament and try to live these laws, too. 

My point:

There is nothing wrong with belief in the Great Spirit, or whatever you call it as long as you are true to what you believe.  As I said earlier, I take issue with the licentious behavior of people that would waive the “I’m a Christian” banner and live as though they had no responsibility for their actions because all they need do is ask for forgiveness at some later date.  Personally I view the Eastern philosophies as a path to a good life on planet Earth and in the afterlife over the convoluted and confused doctrine of the more popular western versions.