Lately I have been thinking about religion and wondering why so many people shut off their rational thinking and join up? One of the Marx brothers either Karl or Groucho said. “religion is the opium of the people”. Actually I know it wasn’t Groucho who said this but his sense of humor would appreciate the folly of religious beliefs.
Are you like me, closely acquainted with a number of true believers and do you wonder what happened to their questioning mind when it comes their church going and the beliefs that go with those activities? Most of what religions teach us to believe makes little or no sense. These nonsensical beliefs go all the way out to the belief in a literal translation of the Bible.
Are you kidding me that the Earth and all of life were created in a week, the Adam and Eve story, the Animals on the Ark, and on and on of stories which are metaphorical at best. These are stories not the news accounting for what happened. I can see how people get that confused if you watch Fox News which is often just stories made up in the ego mind of this opinion for entertainment network, which calls itself news. Maybe it is that those in Religions are encouraged to watch Fox to keep them confused and out of their mind? Oops! I got a little off track there.
As an addiction counselor I know a little about opiates and their ability to drive people into rationalizing all kinds of behavior. If you have every watched an addict destroy his/her life over drugs or alcohol, you know the power of mind to make sense out of what makes no sense at all. This is very similar to religion and what they expect its followers to believe. Believing the minister, priest, rabbi, or mullah’s interpretation of a book of stories and then you are to live according to what he tells you, is the basis for almost religion.
Yes there are some religions who encourage thinking and they are more of a spiritual community. If however any church uses the Bible as their primary source, they are not based on using the mind. Instead the Bible (seems true of Qur’an also) based churches are run by the interpretation of people who seem to totally lack any spiritual qualities and are more like social control agents herding the masses that follow them down some made up path. Those who are part of the herded masses are what are referred to as Sheeple.
Spirituality and Religion seem to rarely cross paths. Spirituality is an individual investigation into the higher aspects within us and a search for a greater understanding of whatever higher knowing is beyond us. Religion is a set of beliefs given too the followers from questionable sources and people are too believe and act as others tell them to do. Does this definition fit your understanding?
This is not met to offend anyone but instead an invitation to explore questions about the way we think and what we believe.
Note later on Saturday: I finally had an opportunity to read the local paper (The Daily Camera) and here was an editoral that seemed directly in line with what I had wrote this morning. The article is titled: The United Stated of Idiocy.