Saturday, July 30, 2005

The value of Religion

Do people embrace religion in order to cope with the issue of death and an afterlife? To rephrase, are those that embrace religion doing so to have a way of dealing with death?

I still am not asking it right...trying to be cute...does religion sooth fears about death? If so, I don't think it is working.... It seems to me that the ones that fear death the most, are those that practice religion.

Is a fear of death more prevelant among people that practice a religion than among those that do not?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fear of dying....

Just thinkin...

Do you have a fear of dying? I once heard, and I agree with, the idea that people threaten you with the thing THEY fear the most. If someone threatens you with disclosing something embarrassing, they fear embarrassment. So, someone that threatens you with death, they fear death. I have no fear of dying other than it might happen sooner than I might expect and there are some things I still want to accomplish - like my books....I am on chapter 12 of 27 of one, only outlined another and if I could just finish editing the other.... still...

I don't fear it....why should I? After all, I AM GOING TO DIE! So are YOU!

Isn't that what religion is all about? Dealing with the fear of one wants this to be all there is....people want the bad people to ultimately get what's coming to them....

Is religion about the fear of dying? Should we fear....breathing? Eating? How about sleeping? After all, sleeping is like dying....

Just thinkin...

ps...I believe in ghosts...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Just who's religion is it anyway?

Two events today:

First, I used to participate in an online discussion about Episcopalian issues, I left because....well, I'm not, and I got too busy to continue in arguments with people. However, Victoria continues to be part of that group and so I occasionally see what is going on there. There is one person there that seems to believe that most of the problems of the world start, grow and continue because of the existence of the United States....and she was born here. So be it. She was the one I had most arguments with, and she is on a tear recently about...welll, we are bad people, but primarily because of "fascist Christians".

Second, someone on the same group found a report that outlined serious issues of separation of church and state at the AirForce Academy. You must understand, that when I was in the Air Force, I had the opportunity to be at the Academy on several occasions and I hold that institution in very high esteem. The report seriously upset Victoria because of what it bodes for us. Our daughter has suggested that she would like to fly jets and would be willing to serve to get the opportunity. The Academy is obviously a first choice. I too am upset by some of the items brought up because first and foremost, my time in the service was about SERVICE TO MY COUNTRY. Not my god. We might have suggested that the civilians that gave us our orders were sometimes stupid, but you can believe that the vast majority (90+%) were absolutely committed to civilian, secular rule. For an honorable institution like the Academy to abandon SERVICE TO COUNTRY to embrace SERVICE TO GOD is to descreate everything it stands for. To those officers charged with leading the Academy, here is my pledge, I shall stand against you as long as you forget your oath.

So, my problem. I have suggested that Moslems need to stand up and out those that would destroy Islam and innocents. I am now calling on Christians to do the same with members of their own religion intent on destroying the United States.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS AND FANATICAL MOSLEMS. You seek to force society to bend to the strictures of your religion. Those Christians that proclaim the religious right is out of hand better understand that those people are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The writer of the article complained that "God and Country" are the most obscene words in our language, I would suggest that "In God's Name" are worse.

UPDATE - 7/19

I don't like to post information found elsewhere, but to make a point:

from a Christian adoption agency in Mississippi...

"It has been our understanding that Catholicism does not agree with our statement of faith," Bethany state director Karen Stewart wrote. "Our practice to not accept applications from Catholics was an effort to be good stewards of an adoptive applicant's time, money and emotional energy."

Can you say Sunni and Shi'ite?

I equated Evangelical Christians with Moslem fanatics, I want to be more precise:

Evangelical Christians are EXACTLY the same as Wahhabis in Islam.

Clear? Good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Am I a secularist?

Hmmm...let me ponder. I have a big problem with religion, but not spirituality. I have a problem with theocracy, but not a belief in higher powers. See a theme?

When religion or beliefs begin to guide and form structures in the laws of a society, I have a problem. If the only true expression of Islam is a theocracy, then I believe such an expression is at fundamental odds with freedom. If my normal every day activities (a job, driving a car, wearing shorts in the summer) are an affront to Moslem sensibilities, then those sensibilities infringe on my rights if they are enforced - IN ANY MANNER - upon me. The very freedoms that helped Western nations prosper would be the most in danger by a theocracy of any persuasion.

A journalist from the UK interviewed a 20 yr old Moslem intent on becoming a suicide bomber. One of the most telling comments was the 20 yr olds belief that the United States and the other 'western' nations had brought 'modernity' to the Moslem world thereby polluting it. People, such a mindset CAN NOT be reasoned with...there is no common ground to start from.

Moslems that believe as that 20 yr old are worse than Luddites.

I have picked on Islam but the Jews in Israel, the Catholics in Italy and Ireland, and the Born-Agains here are the same type of people, the ONLY difference is the level of damage they are causing. -- PLEASE --- not ALL Jews, Catholics, born-agains and Moslems are prone to such fixations but to think Moslems are unique it to ignore much of the history of the last 100 years.

So....I am opposed to all religion as part of the government - any government (because countries run by theocracy must export their beliefs in order to justify them). However, the study of religion would cause most rational people to run fleeing from religion for their very lives.

Is it possible for a person that holds religious beliefs to be rational in a discussion of the merits of religion in education and government? I don't think so...but I could be wrong....anyone?

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Age of the Koran

In the name of God

A dangerous position. How many times must the world hear this? The Jews did it. The Christians did it. The Moslems are doing it. What you say? Mainstream Islam has nothing to do with the fanatics that are killing innocents you say? Maybe so. But what are you doing to stop it?

The secular community is getting tired of hearing that the fanatics are just that, they do not represent 'true' Islam. Oh? I see lots of marches throughout the Middle East in protest against the terrorists....I see lots of marches in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia condemning the violence..

No, what I hear is "Israel....."
What I hear is "Iraq....."

What I hear is excuses. If the Moslem community wants to have the advantages of democratic freedoms, they better start living up to the responsibilities of secular society.

Imans that stand in the safety of mosques and proclaim the dangers of the West SUPPORT TERRORISTS. And until that stops, people that seek freedom and democracy for all the peoples of the world will continue to wonder if Islam has reached a level a maturity that warrants inclusion in the secular world of adults.