Friday, June 5, 2009

Thank "Good" I Know It Is Friday

This post is another one that has been percolating for a while.

What I am going to share is nothing new, earth-shattering or innovative.

Given the ongoing hatred and violence all perpetrated in the name of "god" I have been thinking about it a lot-- "god" that is. Which is unusual for me since I consider myself a full-on agnostic.

I would never presume to know something as personal and as completely unprovable as "god" much less push that "knowing" on another person or do harm to them because they don't subscribe to my version of why we are here.

I can tell you one thing-- anything that is in the business of creation is not in the business of destroying, killing, or maiming. That's simple logic.

I am trying to keep this on a general level and not slip into binary comparisons of good and evil, because what I know is that I don't know what, if anything, is "out there."

All I know is what is "in here." Inside me.

I don't look at the world and people and see evil or enemies or "satan."

I do see people who make choices, some that are not entirely of their own volition due to chemical imbalances, but who isn't a little chemically imbalanced these days? Have you ever looked at all of the ingredients in packaged food we eat? Also at the companies making that "food"? Or turn on the boob-tube; you will find a smörgåsbord of blood, suffering, and violence on which to feast your eyes.

I suppose my point is that so many people have *no* idea what goes into their bodies and who manufactures it for them. Is religion any different for some?

It can feed a person's need to feel superior. To feel that somehow they are better suited to decide what you and I get to see, think, hear-- even who we are allowed to love (or told we should hate).

I know all religious people are not nuts in a clinical sense.

Why do people who commit such atrocities in the name of "god" think "god" wants them to do such things?

What does "god" mean to them?

I was raised Catholic and I can recall as a young child sitting in the pews every Sunday not only wondering why I had to be there in my little dress, white socks and patent leather Mary Janes, but why did I have to look at that dead, bloody guy hanging over the altar? That guy was going to *save* me? No thanks. He looks like he's been through enough already.

I never got it, even with a primary and secondary education in the Catholic school system.

But really, seeing images of death and violence is what some people are programmed with from a very young age.

If the world doesn't suit it, then perhaps some people feel the need to make it that way.

If "god" is as I would assume most people would like to think "he" is, then "god" is not against us-- "he" is our greatest fan. "He" wants good things, heck "he" even *makes* good things.

Unless I suppose you think people are generally wrong, dirty, or perverse then your "god" is like *you*, not the other way around.

I don't know if there is any kind of superior being (or beings), but I am pretty sure that if someone believes in "god" that "god" is not interested in being like those who bomb medical clinics, buildings, or kill other people in "his" name.

Basically, I think most people are intelligent enough to dress and bathe themselves. They are perfectly capable of tying their own shoes. That people can, in the main, obey the speed limit, smile every once in a while and share a laugh with friends and family.

Across the world there are *billions* of people with these basic abilities.

I for one am not ready to write humanity off because of a few disturbed people.

If I were to "have" a "god" I would know that I don't *own* the sole rights to proclaim to everyone else what that "god" is.

"God" isn't something external that we possess like our cars or homes.

If anything, "god" is in us, made by us. Some people just choose to make "god" an excuse or reason for why they hate others. Kind of funny and sad, huh?

I don't know about you, but I am glad it's Friday. And no, I won't be going to church this Sunday. But if you do, put in a good word for me... my mind isn't closed, I just don't think an organized hierarchy of humans, created by humans, should tell me what to think.

I believe in "good" and I know that's one 'o' too many, but I'll stick with that for now.

PS: Thank you all for the comments to Tuesday's post. It's so great to come home from scoring really poor exams about bacteria and genetics to nice comments from you.

9 comments:

James June 5, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

Well put, Skyewriter.

Riot Kitty June 5, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

Great post! I think I'd also consider myself agnostic, or thereabouts - my family has (among other ethnicities) Swiss Jewish roots, but somewhere along the line converted to become Lutherans, which is like being Catholic in denial. I don't believe in hellfire and brimstone and angry gods, or angry evangelists, for that matter. I've never understood how anyone can think they have a monopoly on knowledge.

Seeing Eye Chick June 5, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

You know you have created God in your own image when he or she hates all the same people you do.

ZIRGAR June 5, 2009 at 5:31 PM  

Amen. I was raised Protestant and went to a fudamentalist Christian high school, and I never quite fit in with any of the people who were all too willing to swallow wholesale what they were told.

PS--Lately every time I go to someone's Blogger page I get 50 cascading Explorer screens all of a sudden, freezing up the works. So I apologize for not commenting recently.

Dr. Jay SW June 5, 2009 at 9:48 PM  

Dammit, I just wrote a really great (long) comment on your post, only to lose my internet connection just as I was trying to send it...yeah, I know, sounds like the classic fishing story...maybe I'll try to recreate it later....

mikeb302000 June 6, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

Beautiful meditation on the "good." I like that. I was raised Catholic too and got away from it as soon as I reached the age of reason, as George Carlin said. A few years ago I decided to raise my kids Catholic, in spite of my own experience and many of the things about the Church that I can't accept. Partly it was because we live in Italy and I wanted them to fit in with their little classmates. Another part is that I thought having no religion is worse than having one, as long as it isn't forced down your throat like mine was in the 50s and 60s. These days it's different, at least here.

What's happened is that I've ended up enjoying it myself. I take my girls each Sunday and it forces me to sit still for an entire hour during which I have time to think about serious stuff in a way that I just don't make time for during the week.

My big girl is 12 and just made her Confirmation. I told her some months ago that at that point she'd no longer be constrained to go, it would be up to her. The first week after she decided not to go; I kept my part of the bargain. Today she said she wants to go with us tomorrow. We'll see.

Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

pashamin June 6, 2009 at 11:39 PM  

I saw this yesterday and didn't get to say great post. I sense a developing theme here maybe?

Oh and thanks for the embedded links. Those were awesome posts too. You have been doing this for a while now, huh? I know I have said it before, you are a great writer.

Cosa Nostradamus June 7, 2009 at 6:18 AM  

.
I think that, among people who believe in God, there are those for whom God is a sword, and those for whom God is a shield.
.

Sidhe June 15, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

This is a great post. I just came off of a weekend where god was responsible for every freaking thing. Seriously, my uncle said that it was "God's will" that he found a dress at Salvation Army for $3 for my cousin to wear at a wedding. He was bragging about his own thriftiness while blaming it on god. I love my family but they do not even see how insensitive their comments are. For example, my lovely, sweet grandmother tells me about how my great-grandfather always said that god would look out for me (I was separated from the family for 18 years) and I bite my tongue instead of telling her that if god was taking care of me he was doing a piss-poor job.

Okay, rant over....

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