Comments are closed for this entry
View All
Favorites
Recency  | 
Popularity
Page:  « First  ‹ Previous  3 4 5 6 7 (7 total)
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Barbara Graham
Comin at u from Area 5150
09:37 AM on 04/15/2011
One has to separate 'religion' from 'spirituality.' I think of religion as that organized social body that follows a specific set of doctrines.

Spirituality has long been the domain of con artists and hucksters. James Arthur Ray, the 'death lodge' guy, charged tens of thousands of dollars for his cobbled together version of a spirit quest. Scientology offers salvation with a huge price tag. There are many perils and pitfalls lying in wait for the spiritually independent seekers.

A structured religion can protect its followers from snake oil salesmen offering expensive salvation, but what happens when that religion starts rolling in an intolerable direction as you've described? You don't dump your faith, you fire your church. And that's what I see happening, churches, like many of our politicians, have forgotten their purpose is to serve the community. Not direct it, or control it, or foster hate and intolerance, but nurture and counsel parishioners.

I wouldn't be sorry to see a lot of these hate mongering Christian churches vanish into obscurity. It might make our communities nicer places once all these people busy obsessing over other peoples' perceived "sins" are shunted away from the podium and moved to the peanut gallery where they belong.
photo
HUFFPOST BLOGGER
Steve McSwain
Author: The Enoch Factor:Sacred Art of Knowing God
10:43 AM on 04/15/2011
Good insights.
photo
clarlynn
when government fears the people, there is liberty
09:35 AM on 04/15/2011
"every denomination show steep and perhaps even irreversible declines. Could this be the beginning of the end of religion?"

God, I hope so.
photo
HUFFPOST BLOGGER
Steve McSwain
Author: The Enoch Factor:Sacred Art of Knowing God
10:43 AM on 04/15/2011
LOL!
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
MyNameIsJames
What should a person say in their micro-bio
09:24 AM on 04/15/2011
Religion like every other human endeavor is an attempt to meet a need.
photo
groland
socially left, fiscally right
09:16 AM on 04/15/2011
We have already compared the benefits of theology and science. When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few. To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts. The poor were clad in rags and skins -- they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones. The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of to-day. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of to-day -- of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago.
These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars -- neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience -- and for them all, man is indebted to man.

Robert Green Ingersoll, 1833-1899
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
way2sunny
10:09 AM on 04/15/2011
That was an amazing quote, thank you for posting it f/f
photo
groland
socially left, fiscally right
10:34 AM on 04/16/2011
If you like this, there is much more by Ingersoll. What amazes me is that in the 19th century people drove for miles in horse and buggies to hear him speak on atheism and progressive issues. He routinely filled stage and lecture halls around the midwest. There was a liberal awakening in America that had greatly benefitted this nation and has been mostly forgotten in these reactionary times in which we live today.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
10:42 AM on 04/15/2011
How could he have lived through the American Civil War and not noticed the scientific technologies of weaponry killed people in larger numbers than ever before in history? I guess we find what we are looking for rather than what stands plainly before us. Had he been around for WWI and WWII would Ingersoll still be uncritical of the industrial revolution?
photo
groland
socially left, fiscally right
12:03 PM on 04/15/2011
Actually, Ingersoll was an Illinois Colonel in the war and saw much action.

Sure, technology can be used for good or evil and does not fundamentally change the nature of man. The point being that faith and religion have not provided man with any tangible knowledge or benefits and in fact have been used to keep us in the dark and also to stir up hatred (my take).
09:09 AM on 04/15/2011
Very beautiful piece. The Egyptian religion survived longer than Christianity or Islam. Then it vanished completely. Others too will come and go. But spirituality will always be there, while beliefs come and go.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
MyNameIsJames
What should a person say in their micro-bio
09:23 AM on 04/15/2011
Funny that you would mention the Egyptian religion because many scholars have asserted that Egyptian religion provided a strong base for Judaism, and later Catholicism especially in terms of iconography
09:40 AM on 04/15/2011
Maybe in terms of iconography, but Egyptian religion was polytheistic, with the pharaos beleived to be descended from the Gods and acting as intermediaries.

The Abrahamic religions are more or less monotheistic. Catholism might have Mary and the saints and a few other branches of Christianity may be a bit different , but they are monotheistic. That said, the Jewish religion must have picked up a lot from the Egyptians as they lived together for quite a while or at least close by.

Now in terms of images, Satan seems very similar to the ancient God Pan. It makes you wonder if the early Christians simply took the old God and made him the devil to outshine the competetion? Also by many accounts, some Chrisitans believed in reincarnation-at least until the 4th century-then I guess they decided it wouldn't be good for business if you let your folks believe you can fix your "sins" in the next life and not pay the church this one or some such.

I believe the kabbalah speaks about reincarnation, but many forms of contemporary Judaism do not?
09:04 AM on 04/15/2011
Religion is an excuse for people to be hypocrites. Every religion says that "killing is wrong" - yet they define people as "others" - so they can be rightfully killed.

Smaller, non-violent religions, like Jainism, are too steeped in ritual.

All in all religion is a ball and chain on humanity.
photo
HUFFPOST BLOGGER
Steve McSwain
Author: The Enoch Factor:Sacred Art of Knowing God
10:45 AM on 04/15/2011
Not all, but much.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
MyNameIsJames
What should a person say in their micro-bio
11:07 AM on 04/15/2011
Are you in contact with Bishop Carlton Pearson & his "heretical" journey out of the Pentecostal movement?