I'm taking a world religions course. This isn't in an attempt to see if I can detach my retinas via eye-rolling but in a sincere effort to know the opposition. When someone asks how I can say no religion works for me I want to be able to give an answer.

I still live in Texas though, so every single religion touched upon is compared to Xtianity. The class is 90% Xtian, there are 3 atheists and a Buddhist, but the rest all smugly remark on the folly of n religion to their own. It's irritating.

Day 2 of the class was the worst though. After insisting that atheism was a religion the professor proceeded to attack the tendency for the non-religious to defend our faithlessness. Then that girl (Let's call her Virginia) said she thought it was stupid that we announce we do not believe in gods. Virginia said we should keep it to ourselves, after all, as adults we don't believe in Santa, but we don't go about declaring it constantly.

Except... that isn't really true at all. Do you remember when you stopped believing in Santa? You told your friends, or maybe one of your friends told you, and suddenly the truth swept over the playground. Some kids would argue that their parents insist that Santa was real, while the whistle-blowers would be chastised for revealing the truth before the other kids were ready to know it. Sometimes there was the threat of disbelief equaling a gift-less winter. Parents would try for another holiday of innocence with movies and stories that reinforce the obvious existence of the Jolly Watcher. Yes Virginia...

Fast-forward a year later and the fact was that lack of Santa-faith didn't end the songs gifts or family gatherings eased the reality. No Santa, but the holidays were still good.

The playground is a bigger place for us now, but the reaction is still the same. Anger, denial, accusations, threats of gift denial. No Virginia... 

Why are we compelled to tell others that we don't believe? What are we hoping to gain by wearing our faithlessness where others can see it?

For me, it's a throwback to those playground days. No, someone isn't watching every thing we do, but there is still good, there are still songs and happiness but those should be enjoyed without fear. The rewards and punishments come from real things, either our parents or civil authority or ourselves...but not the imaginary.

I share because I believe that the truth is good, it is freedom, it is a gift without a judge.

Views: 1351

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 11:25am

Word of warning, Warren, the CBN piece, as its network's name would imply, could have come straight off of Pat Robertson's 700 Club!

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 11:34am

"Jung saw the human psyche as "by nature religious"[5] and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations.[6] Jung is one of the best known contemporary contributors to dream analysis and symbolization."

Wikipedia ~

Comment by Warren on September 30, 2013 at 12:14pm

The movie that I am referring to, if you don't already know is a fantasy movie done in 2005 by actor  Keanu Reeves and plays a detective named John Constantine in it.

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 6:18pm

 @Pope Beanie (who just broke Jessica/Sarah/Belle Rose's record for the most aliases), RE: "Different people come up with different truths"

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he:
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Comment by Strega on September 30, 2013 at 6:22pm

Fabulous!  I didn't know the story was recorded as a poem!  *snagged*

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 6:28pm

Where Gabriel loses his/her wings! I remember!

I thought you meant the Emperor Constantine, who legitimized this whole Christian fiasco!

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 6:49pm

It's V-day - I do my best work on V-Day!

The original story was five men, but apparently Mr. Saxe decided to add a plus one.

Comment by Simon Paynton on September 30, 2013 at 6:49pm

@Warren - I took the movie Constantine to be a metaphor for severe depression.  As I remember it, he falls through the floor and suddenly everything's "demon-land".  Then there's an epic fight between good and evil, but admittedly, many movies have this in them. 

Comment by Ward Cressin on September 30, 2013 at 6:51pm

I only have a couple minutes right now but I have to ask something based on this:

@Angela - Humans have dragged this religious system around for over 3000 years. That's telling us something. It won't budge because humans want it.

By "this religious system" the date you give of "over 3000 years" signifies Judaism (in the western world) - So we should all become Jews and encourage everyone to convert to Judaism? (Or were you advocating an eastern religion?)

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 30, 2013 at 7:59pm

Forget it, Ward! I ain't gettin' circumcised for NObody!

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