Wednesday, March 11, 2009

THE BEST INTENTIONS

The nature of God is a mystery to the finite human mind. However, something about humans makes them want to control and restrict others. Of course rules are necessary to coexist peacefully with others. Sanctions against killing another, stealing, or protecting the most innocent and vulnerable members of society are examples of this need.
The need to peer into the bedrooms of others, crush the creativity of artists, writers, musicians, subjugating the thoughts, and behavior of others is not part of necessity. It is never more insidious than when these regulations are born of ignorance, fear, or the simple desire to control.
Historically there has been a lack of understanding in general and failure to recognize that culture of origin figures prominently in how Christianity is practiced.
In U.S. culture, for example, breasts are considered private parts that need to be kept covered. I recognize that my culture has its basis in Judeo-Christian beliefs practiced and interpreted by Europeans, who are historically from colder climates.
If I was ignorant of this fact would it be prudent or rational to take this belief about breasts to a society of tropical residents who have no taboos about breasts? Breasts there are displayed in all their youthful height or aged droopiness with the natives of the area thinking nothing of it. It would be foreigners, with the admirable intention of spreading the Good News, who would be plagued with shame and embarrassment (or even excitement).
At that point we would try to justify our fear Biblically, Genesis where God himself clothed Adam and Eve after the fall. But did it say whose chest was covered or if a chest was covered at all? No it does not. That little fact would not really be a problem because we understand that these underdeveloped people would be OK if they were just more like us, the first world.
Something about religion in general makes people check their rational mind at the door. This leads to Fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is dangerous it doesn’t matter the religion. It leads to the oppression of other humans. It has lead to acid in the face of the powerless woman who caused her husband, father, brother to feel shamed or dishonored any offense real or imagined. It leads to suicide bombers. It leads to murders at abortion clinics. It leads to cults and cultish behavior. Bottom line Fundamentalism is mans attempt at improving the rules of God. It is guilt and fear that zaps you of your choice.
Anything that requires reason or even facts to be ignored is suspect. We are rational beings for a reason. God is big enough to handle our questions.

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