I have approached a place in my life where organized religion is the stuff of nightmares. When I think back to my childhood, I remember older woman at church talking about evil in the informal way generally reserved for discussion over the carrot to potato ratio in that Sunday’s roast, not for what drives humanity to things like greed and genocide. I remember them crowding around and saying that I would be evil. According to them, I would do all sorts of terrible things like wear short skirts and vote Democratic if I was allowed to run rampant. They made the evils of men so commonplace that I was already ruined. I now find it impossible to believe that evil is so ordinary and that all mankind does is damnable.
When thinking of evil, I think of Christ and of the idea that so many associate with Christ – that we must first and last love with everything we have inside of us and everything we own; through this love, we should find respect and acceptance despite difference and in spite of ourselves. I must wonder what became of that beautiful idea of compassion. I still believe in it.
Do theologians simply disregard that principle or have they butchered it and amended it till it no longer resembles what it once did; till the last glimmer of artistry and fairness is sucked out?
It seems to me, that the religions of my childhood have taken a good concept of tenderness for one’s fellow man and ruined it. Early religious figures corrupted the idea that all can find favor in the eyes of the gods by being themselves with their own feelings of bigotry. Would mankind have been so diversely made if we were all to fit into a mold of what we should or shouldn’t be? What we all want is understanding and respect and it baffles me why others can only ask for it but never grant it.
However I got to this place of contempt for organized religion, I am glad I am here. I no longer worry about trifle rules but instead worry about what I can do and what I can be for the betterment of man. I believe it is more poignant and powerful to believe in the goodness of man than to live in the constant question of a god whose messengers are so corrupt with their own dogmatism that they do not pause to look at the whole picture. The picture of humanity as just that; human. They see humanity as an entity that is constantly propelling towards sin. This “sin” is not black or white but instead many shades of grey and although those shades may be unpleasant sometimes they give us diversity and allow us to live as we should; free of trivial rules but a greater understanding of circumstantial right and wrong. This is what I believe.
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