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Religious write, or wrong?

I’ve been going through a job change lately, and it has given me a chance to listen to NPR during the day… So here I am, driving home from the gym today listening to an interview with a few christian ministers (yes it isn’t capitalized AND I specify, as there are LOTS of ministers that aren’t christian).

The topic today seems to be revolving around the idea that we (thinking humans) must accept the religious right because they freed the slaves! THEY WHAT??? In fact, their argument seems to be that they forced the idea of abolitionism onto the slaveholders and therefore, it is OK to force their ideas upon us… Where do I start. I really shouldn’t drive and listen to the radio. Even stations that I like and agree with…

1) The concept of slavery itself involves forcing others (in this case of a different skin color) to do and think as you want them to; in effect giving up all rights, including that of life.

2) Religious leaders of the day landed squarely on BOTH sides of the argument.

3) What they were doing at the time, at least the way I see it, was to force slaveholders to accept other’s viewpoints and let their slaves begin to excercise their freedom (I say begin, because in many ways it wasn’t until the 60’s that freed slaves in the South began to get ahead).

4) Who claims (and can back up that claim) that the religious right of today is even remotely connected to the abolitionists of pre-civil war usa.

This argument is ridiculous. It is like saying that christians are good and muslims are bad. There are good christians. I even know some. If a particular good person is a christian, it tells you nothing about christians, except that one of them is good. The reverse is also true. If a bad person is a christian, that tells you nothing about christians, except that one of them is bad. Other christians may claim that the bad person isn’t a real christian, but that is really up to the christian to decide. (Are mormons really christians? I’m sure the pope feels differently about that than your local LDS leadership team.)

Why are people so keen to relinquish their responsibility to think before acting. I have some good friends (a couple) who are so anti-abortion that they are happy to let thousands die in Iraq (basically they agree with this sentence) as long as they are voting against abortion. Neither of them are at all worried about the growing polarization of society (worldwide in my opinion), as long as they are voting against abortion. She freely admits that she isn’t a fan of democracy, but favors a benevolent dictatorship. She does give me the point that we haven’t found a benevolent dictator yet though. It is all she can do to get through the hectic day that we’ve thrown in front of her, and she is so disaffected with the current society that she really could care less if the country ended. Abortion is the only issue that she really cares about. (Once again, basically her words.)

On the complete other end of the spectrum, enter my mother. Harvard educated. Retired. VERY liberal. And so disaffected that I’m not even sure she votes on national election day. (Well, actually she did vote for Nader I believe, but that is another story unto itself) Her conclusion is that society as we know it is basically coming to an end. She therefore has spent the last 8 years studying plants; medicinal herbs specifically. It is her belief that this is her best way of fitting in to the world that is coming, and coming fast.

In the middle, is another friend, once again well educated (masters) and well read. He has spent the last 10 years writing a post-apocalyptic novel about surviving after society crumbles. This is a book which is based upon his feelings about our direction and where it will lead us.

I guess what I’m saying is that listening to people arguing (with a straight face) that the religious right should be allowed to control my life because they earlier freed the slaves, makes me want to focus my energies on what happens when the postman arrives (welcome Kevin Costner). This was a movie that bombed at the box office in the 90’s but maybe more because it is a future that we can easily get to, but don’t want to.

I have no problem with people being religious or even following a religious leader. BUT. Morality comes from within. You can’t be a moral being by following. Morality is about leading for yourself. It is about truly thinking issues through. It is about lots of gray areas. It is about taking ideas all the way to their logical conclusions, BEFORE jumping in.

Enough of a rant? I hope so!

Posted in Personal, Politics, Rant.

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