Fundamental Christianity, one of the driving forces behind Western civilization, is founded upon myth. Now before you tie yourself in a knot over that statement look at the definition of myth and you find that it is “a story that a particular culture believes to be true and that uses the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity.”
This defines the core of most holy books around the world. They are all unproven chronicles of history and belief intertwined.
Despite the ambiguous nature of the world’s holy books, they carry incredible weight and bearing upon society as a whole. They play perfectly upon our fear of death and our need to feel that we will survive physical death in some form. The ambiguity of the holy books ensures that they will appeal to large numbers of people since the possible interpretations are limitless.
Politicians are masters of ambiguity, constantly using it to their advantage in their carefully crafted speeches and responses to questions. It seems fitting that politics in the 21st century have become intimately connected with religion in many countries. The most glaring example of course lies with the political system in the USA. The Republican right has come to embody fundamentalist Christian values. The way that they vote on issues shows this clearly. The staunch Christian card is played over and over to woo voters by paying more attention to moral issues. Always anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-military, etc. It’s ironic how the most religious are usually the most militaristic and will defend their right to bear arms ferociously. Canada too has swung politically to the religious right with Harper at the helm. His closed-mindedness has been an embarassment to all Canadians.
When religion infiltrates politics as it has today and becomes too powerful, it seems that ignorance , fear, and hate multiply and flourish. This poisonous fire is stoked by the extremists who lie at the core of the problem.
Another interesting phenomenon is how the Christian faith aims to indoctrinate children with the Bible from a very early age. Starting the kids early often ensures a lifelong membership, thereby promoting the continuity of the church. Generation to generation the beliefs are passed on with little or no critical thought or debate as to what actually founded the entire religion. Absolute faith is stressed over thought and evolution of the system.
The early push of children into the church is increasingly having the effect of making young people recoil from the system and turn away from religion for good. The new generation has become very divided by religion more so than we have seen in the last 50 years. This is being driven by the internet and the explosion of new ideas. Subsequently, Christianity is in decline as it constantly loses ground to reason, science , and the spread of other religions.
Yet there remain many who prefer to bury their heads in the sand and rely solely upon faith. I contend that this is dangerous for society in general. Personal accountability is greatly diminished when responsiblity is dumped on God’s shoulders.
Learning and critical thinking take a back seat when you can accept the “Good Book” or your priest for the answer to life’s mysteries. Innovation and new ideas suffer when old concepts are accepted without question.
One of the biggest issues floating around religious circles these days is the idea that we are in the end times. Millions of Christians wholeheartedly contend events are unfolding as told in the Book of Revelations. There is the belief that Christ will come to Earth as calamities befall mankind and then scores of true believers will be magically transported to heaven in a miraculous event known as the Rapture. Fail to believe and you are headed for an eternity of torment or simply the failure of your soul to exist. This belief is a threat to us all since it stifles long-term planning for those who are convinced we’re headed for doom. Why plan for future generations if it’s all going to end soon? True Christians are smart enough to realize that future generations do count and are not so selfish as to be sure that we are all doomed.
Many branches of faith have humanized God in their interpretations which only serves to confuse people more. Judgement and retribution have been attributed to God when common sense would dictate that a loving God would not be so petty.
There are plenty of good Christians out there in the world today doing great things in the name of God. Ultimately though, I find a lot of closed-mindedness among devout Christians. Many times they simply don’t want to hear anything that could challenge their beliefs so they block it out. This also happens a lot in Islamic circles as well as other faiths.
The fracture of Christianity into many different denominations has served to undermine and weaken the very core of the faith itself. The internal division that exists today is greater today than it has ever been and this is dangerous for the West and the world as a whole. The Islamic world is similarly divided but they are tending to unite more based on hostile Anglo-American foreign policy directed their way. When a common enemy is created (the US as the evil empire) and perpetuated for long enough then the masses usually end up dismantling the system piece by piece.
In an era where mainstream media and religious institutions hold so much power, we must be careful not to be led like sheep to the slaughter which many of the power hungry elites would love to see.
The one thing that people with money and power fear the most is not death but the loss of their money and power. To this end they will perform heinous acts and turn their backs on humanistic principles. They will tend to be ruled by ego and selfish logic as opposed to heart and soul.
Popes and evangelists, rabbis,ministers,and priests ; these are the people that many of us turn to for comfort and guidance but do any of us even know the absolute truth of it all ? In fact we know so little that it’s frightening and yet within us all lies the infinite potential to promote positivity, growth, and goodness. It’s time for people to stand up for personal freedoms in a major way. It’s the demand for the material things that really weakens our spirit and keeps us distracted.
The misguided War on Terror is a crime against humanity that has increased terror worldwide. Stats prove this. Furthermore it is so poorly managed that the Islamic world by and large sees the situation as East vs. West, Christianity vs. Islam. The ramifications of this immense divide in the world landscape are staggering.
Looking at the geopolitical situation in the world today, it seems as though a war has begun it’s first phases in a Christian-Islamic showdown of epic proportions. In the face of such happenings one wonders how much our collective consciousness is running the show.
The world as we know it is about to change and humanity needs unity more than ever. We need faith in ourselves more than anything to adapt to the fast changes happening around us more than anything.
Spirituality is critical to moving beyond the material but we must ask ourselves collectively if religion is dividing the world more than uniting it.