August 07, 2005

Impervious to sects ?

Because I've been avoiding these topics for so long, I feel I have no choice but to tackle them once and for all : so now that we've talked a bit about politics, let's talk religion ! (But in an appetizing sort of way !)

Appetizers :
I was walking home after a nice evening with friends (I'm trying to end my dependancy to my car), when I overheard a fascinating conversation in the street.

A small crowd of 3 people is having an animated conversation about religion in the middle of the street. Amused (curious?) I linger around, listen in, and eventually join the conversation.

As it turns out, they're all born again christians, some more than others.

So far, so good. I mean, I don't buy in the group worship thing, but I beleive in freedom of religion, so why not ?

The Cold Entree :
I was amazed at the guy's persistence. No matter what argumentation I would present him, he would just persist in his sales pitch without addressing any of the issues I was raising. The "conversation", which I would prefer to call a conversion attempt resolved in me telling him that his frequent interruptions meant that he was disrepecting him, at which point he lost all coherence and told me that Jesus was disrespected when he was telling the truth. I took this as it flew by and said that then I must be telling the truth and left.

What truth was I saying ? A very relative one, I guess...

The Warm Soup :
Raised a Roman Catholic, I turned my back at age 15 on a religious practice that I felt was old, disconnected from the world and inappropriate to my spiritual needs. Though I gave up the practice, I kept the principles and values, and still define myself as an agnostic of catholic influence. I keep my roots, leave the dogma behind and stay open to mystery.

The Plat de Resistance:
When I was a child, I thought that God was like a father who had different children, with whom he had a different way of communicating. To me, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Bouddists, Hindouists etc. all relate to the same divine entity, but in a different way which is fit to the individual, the culture, etc. Because my point of view promotes diversity, tolerance and moderation, the direct conclusion to it is that ANY FUNDAMENTALIST practices (be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever) has got something wrong with it.

The Cheese :
Fundamentalism promotes a one-way attitude when looking at things. It promotes the existence of a sole truth, that can in no way be relative - only the fundamentalist is right, and everyone else will go to Hell (litterally!). A fundamentalist can do no wrong, because he is governed by God in all his actions. A fundamentalist will go to heaven no matter how bad he behaves, because he was "born again" in God. Basically, they take all the teachings of Jesus and keep only one, which is to beleive. The others don't matter as much. Non-violence, charity, generosity, love, hope all are much less important than the imperative to "beleive". In a way, in this system, the Lord is a banker. He invests in you, and if you pay up by buying in the faith, you go to Heaven. If you're a sceptic like me and you live a life of charity, love, and tolerance, you'll go to Hell. Isn't there something wrong with this picture ?

The Dessert:
I'll leave you guys with a quote from an iconic made-in Hollywood movie from my teenage years :
Little Girl : "Why are you black ?"
Azeem : "Because Allah loves diversity"
(Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves)


The Beaver


Salt Water said...

Hi. I do not preach, but the Hell part is totally wrong. In the Vatican II document "DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH" chapter II "THE PEOPLE OF GOD" section 16, salvation is extended to those who "...have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God, and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life." Please forgive me. I never have preached on the web before, but you are to great a soul to leave un-advised on this one. If you read the eleven pages of "THE PEOPLE OF GOD" section you will find you are very catholic, possibly even Catholic.

the flyin fox said...

hey..your blog is really good..uv probably seen my comments on Kates (red handed jill) blog. keep posting!

Victoria said...

Wow... that's almost exactly the way that I feel about religion, only expressed about a million times better than I ever could.

Beaver said...

Salt water : Thanks for providing the exact reference and confirming my gut instinct...

Fox : Thanks for visiting :) See you soon on RHJ's !

Vick : Happy to see you back. Didn't you have any Yehova Witness experience in MTL ? They crawl the place on saturday morning... Glad to be supported in my opinions, thanks !

Liquidplastic said...

Beaver you sure know how to serve a full course meal. I ate the meal, because I love diversity and I truly enjoyed the Warm Soup. I dare say I can relate to where you are coming from.

Beaver said...

I'm sure glad you did, LP. Sincerely, we need to promote tolerance and open-mindedness more in this world of extreme positionnings...

princessinamillion said...

Beaves, u know wat, i'm catholic too born and raised by very strict catholic parents, i believe in diversity too and at the end of the day, isn't it about being judged by our actions instead of our thoughts????