Jul 26, 2010

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama 

I've been thinking about the term cafeteria Christian for the past couple of days.  You know, someone who believes what he or she believes, rather than just blindly swallowing the whole enchilada.  This is the most dangerous of ideas within organizations.

The power structure of any organization, secular, religious or governmental, has a vested interest in blind devotion.  Devotion enforced by fear and by ignorance.  Fear of being ostracized, from society or, gulp, from the promise of eternal bliss.

They must create enemies for us to hate as a way to distract us.

I overheard a conversation in the store the other day, between one of our store's serious-as-a-heart-attack Christian types and an equally zealous customer.  The crux of it was that while God teaches us to love "your gay folks", He also instructs that we hate their homosexuality.

Why they thought that the paint aisle of the hardware store was the proper forum for this discussion remains unclear.  What is clear is that these conversations are mostly intended to reassure the participants that they are okay.

Here's a tip for life from Merle.  When you hate someone's "sin", it is nearly impossible to really love them.  Pity them? Check. Find them disgusting, pathetic, less than you? Check, check and check. 

When you have bought the notion that you are by nature a sinner, you get used to measuring yourself out against all the other sinners and that often leads to trouble.

See, the thing is that most of us know the right things to do.  We are wired to live cooperatively and treat each other decently.  It insures the survival of our species. 

So, if we begin with the idea that we are now and always were okay, things look much different.  Remove the stress of getting to heaven or where ever or pleasing a god or some worldly leader and become free to just be human.  And that ain't bad.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


The Bug said...

Well, sure when you put it THAT way... I really wish it could be so. I'm still afraid that the Handmaid's Tale world will come to pass...

Coffee Messiah said...

Life before death, why wait?

What can you say? I'm surrounded at work by people who are so christian, but if you heard them speak about "obama, blacks, mexicans" you'd surely wonder.

Thanks goodness we can listen to an ipod (I'm one of 2) in order to shut them out.


Barbara said...

People who buy into anything hook, line, and sinker are scary to me. They often lose their ability to think logically because they are so driven by their beliefs.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why homosexuality scares so many people.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yep - that whole love the sinner, hate the sin shit is a big pile of well, shit!

Megan said...

People who have those kind of conversations in my hearing, I always want to just punch them out. Because they won't hear me if I try to argue.

Sigh. Yeah, there's a real Christlike reaction for ya. :)

Speaking of sinning, how's Mrs. Sneed? Mobile yet? Ready for Vegas sometime soon? I was talking to Ann tonight and we agreed that meeting you guys in Vegas would be even more fun than Disneyland...

Reya Mellicker said...

I agree with Barbara. Take everything, EVERYTHING, with a grain or two of salt.

We are taught not to think, but we should try anyway. I mean, YOU can think, so why not those people in the paint aisle?

Steve Reed said...

Merle, I love the way you think. Really.

I wish Jesus would come back and make clear to some of these so-called Christians how far off the mark they've wandered. I'm certain he would not recognize his own message in their lives and practices.