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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Some suggestions please

--posted by Tony Garcia on 9/19/2006

I need some assistance and ideas on two things...

There is someone with whom I have frequent discussions on many topics. Recently a recurring theme is the study of religion. Now, those who know me understand better the truth about what I'm going to say. I do not subscribe to a particular religion but continue trying to learn about religions. For me the quest is two-fold. Personally I think that each of the religions has kernels of truth...and of falsehoods. Eventually the whole story will come together to me (either in a church or across many churches). The other reason for the pursuit of learning about religions is an intellectual pursuit. It is that latter one I think should be important to everyone.

So, this person believes that there is no reason to learn about any religion beyond their own. "Why?" "I have no reason. I'll never be a part of those so I have no need to learn anything about them."

How can I demonstrate the benefit of understanding that which you disagree?

Another person is deeply religious. His faith is being shaken right now. The path of his issue is the following. 1. Most Americans are Christian. 2. Morality in America is sliding at a breakneck pace. 3. Morality in the lands of the Islamo-fascists is not failing in as many areas as quickly. In other words, at least what they do is in the name of their religion (though erroneously) while America's depravity is in spite of religion, against religion. Thus, they are not knowing hypocrites and we are.

So, he is wondering if too much of the Christian leaders have failed so badly that religion is hurting Western civilization.

I understand his logic and am having problems helping him through his shaken faith.

While I am not religious I do want to help him either refind his faith or help him find a new faith...get him through his internal conflict.

So, ideas are requested. Keep in mind that the arguments against Isalmo-fascists will not help...he already believes them to be evil. That is not the question. The question to him really is about the failure of religious leaders here.

Thank you.

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Blogger Pete Arnold said...

For your friend, I believe it would be good to remember that many religions all lead to the same place:
1. Do good in your life
2. You are not going to be here forever
3. There is something better waiting for you if you do good, something bad if you do bad.
4. A Supreme being exists.

Now, the fact that most religions believe in some of the same points, despite their evolution through many different cultures, sometimes separated completely from each other can only lead me to positive speculation about what is waiting for me when I finally take “the big road trip.” Now I have Native American, and Jewish ancestry in my background, though I am a Catholic.

I’ve looked at several religions and come to the conclusion that so long as your religion isn’t trying to force itself upon others (Mormons) or trying to kill everyone that doesn’t believe in what you do (take a guess), then the religions are not so different as most would have you believe. Even radical ends differ by leaps and bounds (f-you Rosie O’Dumbass).

While I have a preference based on how I was raised, how the church acts, and what has helped this country since its inception (yes, Catholicism), my Jewish or native American assisters weren’t off, they just saw it through different lenses.

My view on the questions you asked:
1. Most Americans are Christian.

Yep. What’s wrong with that?

2. Morality in America is sliding at a breakneck pace.

This isn’t to be linked with “most Americans are Christian” I don’t believe, but it should be linked to the Anti-religion groups who are trying to strip Religion and Government, who have been intertwined throughout American History.

3. Morality in the lands of the Islamo-fascists is not failing in as many areas as quickly…

I can’t do anything for ya here, besides say that I think this is a great example of how dangerous it is to push a religion on others, whether it’s the Muslim religion with a gun and a bomb, or the ‘Lack of Religion’ through the cloak of the media and the claim of the 1st amendment. Activists and whiners will always have the loudest voice, despite their minority. Much like someone falsely yelling FIRE in a crowded theater: 1 out of 300 may be making the ruckus, but that doesn’t mean their right... Even if it makes you flinch for a moment.

September 19, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

For the first friend, the real hard part is they are more agnostic or atheist. There is actually no spiritual belief and they are completely resistant to learning anything about others' beliefs. I am hoping to make an appeal to the intellectual pursuit.

The other person...
1. & 2. Nothing wrong with most Americans being Christian. But then his issue is that with so many being Christian there should not be the moral decay. The battle with the anti-religion groups should not be resulting in the moral breakdown.

3. This is the part that makes his conflict hard. :(

One thing I wanted to mention...you said, "...as your religion isn’t trying to force itself upon others (Mormons)..."

In my experience it is Christians who have tried not just forcing their religion but shoving up my @$$ and down my throat. I have family who do the same to others (they started with me long ago and they got hung up on my religious exploration questions...they stopped forcing it). Of my few experiences with Mormons the "forcing" that occurred were invites to services from friends (and when I declined that was the end of it) and the kids walking around at the University. Those kids sometimes walk past me. When they do stop and talk to me I politely tell them that I am not converting, but they are welcome to sit and talk otherwise. Usually, they just sit and hold good conversation.

Just to clarify.

September 19, 2006  
Blogger Pete Arnold said...

"In my experience it is Christians who have tried not just forcing their religion but shoving up my @$$ and down my throat. I have family who do the same to others..."

And see, that is what I would consider wrong. one of my grandmother does that too. pisses me off. If we escaped religious prosecutions long ago, I’m not going to put up with it from my grandma, let alone a stranger. But as you say, having a conversation is different, and much more entertaining.

As far as the Number 3 goes, it is my “belief” (or you could also say “theory”) that the loss/reduction of morality in the US and the unrelenting push to strip religion from our government/ourselves are directly linked. So, don’t blame Religion for this. Blame those who want to take it from you. Saying Christianity is causing the moral degrade in the US is like saying Freedom was the cause of the 9/11 attack. Perhaps we need less Freedom, or I should give up my own.

Now, if only someone would give me a couple governments to test this theory out on… Oh wait… I don’t need to prove something in order for it to be a widely accepted “fact.” (Global Warming?)

September 19, 2006  

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