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F. P. Dorchak

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Church and Steak
9/1/2007 8:35:36 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

I read an interesting article this morning, about the “narrow views” Americans have regarding religion. We like our hamburgers as hamburgers, and not to be messed around with too much. Pass the beer.

The article basically said that we like our religions as long as they aren’t too...“out there” (my words and quotes). And that we aren’t too into researching stuff with which we aren’t familiar. In my ever so humble opinion, it seems another case of Being Human: we love our comfort zones and we love being part of a group. Simply stated, there aren’t many who like to venture into new, uncomfortable realms, and anything [really] different from us, well, SCARES us.

The article also talked about how we should read up on other religions. Learn about them. Well, I studied the philosophy of religion in college (one course shy of an additional minor in philosophy, as I remember it), as well as on my own for a number of years, and what I learned is that all religion have basic commonality, including beliefs in SOME higher power, our submissiveness to said Higher Power, rules and regulations that MUST be adhered to, and usually codicils of some kind targeting a guilt-ridden doctrine of Being Human. Not to lessen their impacts or beliefs, but once you get past those, it’s just a matter of chocolate versus vanilla.

So I stopped studying religion.

That’s not to say that I’m close minded nor don’t care about people nor that I feel I know it all...it’s just that I’m not huge fan of anything that has “religion” tied to it and preaches inherent Human frailty and guilt. I am a highly spiritual individual, but I don’t follow anything that declares I HAVE to do one thing or the other, other than honor my life and everyone else’s lives. I do my best to not mess with other people and allow them their opinions and beliefs whatever they are--but I just do not feel the need to have to read and learn about every single religion or train of thought that exists out there, just like I don’t feel the need to watch every TV channel or movie or read every book in existence. Religious trains of thought are all about finding our way in life, and that’s fine--but what we all need to realize is that it does not mater one bit WHAT that belief is, there will ALWAYS be someone out there to take one period or comma to an extreme, wherever it rests. That’s also part of being Human, and I feel--in a Zen way--that there’s a reason for why that happens. I feel that this shows the rest of us a sense of perspective. That the larger the issues become...the larger is the needed perspective.

To wit, Church and Steak, uh, State: how do you keep out of government that which you’re supposed to take to heart in your everyday life?

A very touchy question to most. Again, in my humblest of opinions, it’s not so much a case of bringing religion in or out of government, the more I think about it, it’s about trying to coexist with everyone else on this ball of dirt, rock, and water. Since everyone has their own beliefs, how do we run governments that are composed of all these different beliefs?, I think that might be the better poser. There are tenets in some religions that specifically decry tenets in other religions. How do we deal with that? We have to learn to deal with people in a way that allows other beliefs as long as they do not infringe upon others’ rights to THEIR beliefs. That means quit all the religious lobbying and posturing and grandstanding. Believe what you believe...and move on.

It’s so easy to do.

We do it every day when we meet someone, say a pleasant “Hello,” shake their hands...and SMILE.


Peace.

Frank


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