April 23rd, 2011

Christianity and religion have been on the decline inside the human mind since the mid eighteenth century. The reason for the decline of belief in God and the Bible and Jesus has to do with the rise of reason and knowledge. And while those concepts can be soulless explanations of the great cosmic bathtub we’re splashing around in, they are based on fact not belief.

The origins of the word belief come from the root words “to wish”. ” I wish” in God. “I wish in the Bible, “i wish in the resurrection of Christ”. There’s a decree that says your humanity is not enough, that to be truly in sync, you need to worship and “wish” in a far greater power than yourself. A cosmic taskmaster. A powerful Lord to whom you must pay respect or burn in the fires of eternal damnation.

Human beings have been coerced, by force, by torture, by war, to believe in and worship something greater than themselves.This something is invisible and lives in the sky somewhere. Its truly silly and coercive when you think about it. Imagine going through life with some dark shadow hovering above you, keeping track of your soul, your mind, your feelings, emotions, and desires. Keeping track of all that you do so a final judgement can be rendered when your heart stops beating and you brain shuts down

Thats horrible. Why put up with it? Why view life as a ditch through which you must drag a dead ox? Why? Because some feudal priest employed by the Lord of the Kingdom told you that was your way to salvation? To suffer, to whimper before a being greater than yourself, to cower in fear of an invisible sky judge?

My friend Big John in Atlanta was raised under traditional Christian values. There was good and there was bad and nothing in-between. Yet John saw there were grey areas where neither good nor bad measured up. He saw hypocrisy all around him though the people portended piety. So he read books about religion, something few Christians do. In fact, Christians know less about other world religions than any other religious group.

John concluded that despite his religious upbringing, he was, of himself, a good, thoughtful individual that lived successfully by principle and not superstition. He didn’t need a higher power keeping track of his intentions because he didn’t feel the need to bow before something in order to live life. He didn’t need devotion to anything other than living life well and treating other people respectfully. John’s reading also gave him the rigorous intellectual acuity to assess his existential worth without viewing it through the complex and confusing moral prism of religious ambiguity.

The idea that we have to subject ourselves to the code of conduct ordered by an unseen being in the sky contradicts everything freedom means to me. And by reading about religion, I tried to grab that feeling so many people claimed they felt from religious devotion. Relief because of the belief in a being greater than themselves. Someone they could bow before and be granted grace from the misery of life. Someone to whom they prayed to change what cannot, according to their religious imperatives, be changed because of pre-determined destiny. I never got the feeling, never felt that supposedly explosive Christian holey moley. All I understood was that Aunt Ethyl is on her way to the boneyard. Pray all you want. She’s shutting down. And isn’t that supposed to be a joyous time? A time when we get to bury the bullshit and hang with the Creator for all eternity?

Theres only so much matter in an expanding universe which Im sorry to say seems to indicate that we will be incarnated millions of times before we reach the finish line. When the universe decides to stop expanding. So hanging out with the Almighty seems unlikely if we apply the science of proven physics. Matter reforms whether we want it to or not.

Think about the origins of believing or wishing in a greater power than yourself. Its a tradition among the powerful to create order among those they have conquered with myth and superstitious baloney. These traditions settle in as history progresses from one prosperous money making victory over others to the next. And if keeping them afraid of an invisible old man in the sky keeps them from being free, then the powerful will continue to refine the definition of what it means to bow and to scrape before an imagined super something greater than your insignificant self.

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