Song of the day: Losing My Religion
Album: Out Of Time
I am not what anyone would call religious but I do have a strange fascination with religion in general and Christianity in particular, so I found this article an interesting read. It has been my observation over the years that many Christian ideas and beliefs and much of its dogma have little if any basis in scripture. Much of it seems to have come from reformed sinners turned saintly philosophers, sequestered monks with overactive imaginations, artists (poets, novelists, essayists, painters and sculptors) and a few well-meaning infallible popes.
Most Christian holidays have little basis in scripture either. Most are old pagan rites and celebrations given a Christian twist. Easter commemorates Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection but the day on which it falls is more related to pagan fertility festivals and phases of the moon than it does with the Jewish Passover which, in my opinion, is inseperable from the observed events.
The 40 days of Lent relate to the time Jesus spent in the desert and faced temptations. That is a Christian observance but, it’s closely tied to Easter. Christmas, or Christ’s Mass Day, is actually the Roman Saturnalia and the Teutonic winter solstices celebrations. An infallible pope decreed that December 25th would be Christ’s birthday despite the Gospels indicating he was most likely born in the spring. There aren’t any truly Christian holidays.
Over the last two thousand years, Christian evangelism has taken what is sacred and holy to others and twisted it to their own belief structure in order to subjugate those who believed differently. While it is no longer official Church doctrine to kill non-believers, many denominations still have ways to make their influence felt. Some are less subtle than others.
I don’t follow any particular faith but I have my own ideas, drawn from various sources, about spirituality, the Divine, devotion and faith. I find ideas are much easier to work with than beliefs and as new knowledge is accumulated, ideas can be adapted. Although I don’t believe in an anthropomorphic deity or a personal savior with get-out-of-jail-free salvation, I am not spiritually or morally lacking. Nor am I lacking in righteousness or faith. I have found myself on a path to find peace and union with the Divine. I’m seeking the same thing that Jesus envisioned for all of mankind. I’m just following a different path to the same destination.
To paraphrase Mark Twain’s remarks about education and schooling, “I’ve never let religion interfere with my relationship with the Divine.”