Greetings! As Xanga (my previous blog of choice) went to a paid design, I now have transferred to WordPress, and shall remain here until a similar situation happens. Thus begins posting much of the content from my former site, so some of this should look familiar. Feel free to reread and critique or comment as wanted/necessary.
from February 13, 2011
I took all of yesterday off from a normally hectic schedule to start catching up my scrapbook, and it accompanied the 5th season of Supernatural. Ok, the entire season minus the first disk which I actually watched on Friday evening. Regardless, for those who haven’t watched it, this season takes the characters through the apocalypse, retouching themes of faith, family, historical vs. ‘mystical’ bible, and takes on human culture. I also finished up Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol on Thursday, and the first article I noticed on CNN this morning was about a pastor’s journey through viral meningitis. All of this coupled with rare scattered comments here and there on the subject have led me to writing up a piece on religion.
For starters, I identify Lutheran, ’cause that’s how I was raised, and I haven’t done enough research to confidently say there’s another whose teachings and traditions I more often agree with. In truth, the Bible is highly metaphorical and should be treated wholly as such if you believe even one part to be a metaphor. Honestly? You’re accepting the fact that something can turn water to wine, yet the Lamb imagery is simply imagery? No go for me. It’s a great guide for living. Per Boondock Saints, no raping, murdering, or stealing are basic principles every person of any background can follow. My church announced a while back that ELCA is allowing homosexual pastors. We don’t take a stand one way or another on abortion. I can jive with these things.
But what I cannot do is assign human characteristics to God. Not gender, sex, emotion, thought, the whole kit and kaboodle. If you have the ability to monitor everything that happens on our planet, past present and future, not to mention all the sunsets and rivers and ecosystems, tacking on anger or jealousy or mercy won’t hold any truth–it’s just a way for people to conceptualize you. In my religion/psychology course on the Holocaust, we learned a lot of Jews lost faith in God because they thought it abandoned its people. In Supernatural, God just ‘sat by’ and watched the apocalypse happen. How could God allow this to happen?
Because God doesn’t care. It can’t, or at least not in the mortal version of ‘care.’ It just assigns souls to flesh and watches how we live our lives. There is a natural order to things and they will happen as they mean to. That doesn’t make tragedies any less tragic, and I’m in no way belittling the suffering of any victim. I’m not bitter at all. I’ve had a great life compared to others, chock-full of blessings and trials. None of this was born out of reaction from a single event, or multiple similar events. I’m just stating my beliefs.
I am much more prone to looking for answers down here among humans than I am from any supreme being, and it is sad the amount of people who do the opposite. My favorite quote about religion comes from–yes, that’s right–a comic book series called Starkweather. “This is God’s gift, the gift of choice. The will and the freedom to shape this world, and hopefully guidance to choose rightly…citing the work of misguided men as proof of God’s indifference and taking it as permission to shirk your responsibility is cowardly at best. We stand or fall on our own choices. No one…not even God can take that responsibility for us.” We are all flesh and blood, and I don’t care if we were born a thousand miles apart, or with different medical care, or introduced to a different set of holy books. We. Are. All. HUMAN. And we deserve a pledge of respect and service to each other to help each other through this existence when are in need. We were all born with brains and minds and souls. We would be a lot better off if we use them instead of ignoring them.
Yes, I am a believer of free will, and also of destiny. I believe the creator knows each end and result of where our choices will take us. “Wait, Becca, so if God knew when all these world travesties would happen, why couldn’t it just prevent those path choices?” No, that’s not the question you need to be asking. It’s not why God allowed these things to happen.
It’s why did HUMANS allow these things to happen.
My grand scheme of God is that we all have pieces of it in us–what I understand as a soul. And not different souls, but all part of the same, all part of one. Those who are responsible for great tragedy and suffering are unaware of this fact: that when they hurt another mortal, another living object, they’re in fact hurting themselves. Pursuing our own version of peace and fulfillment without impeding on that of others–if you can agree to this, then you and I will get along just fine.
Trust me, I’m much more mild mannered and accepting than I seem. The one thing I can’t stand is ignorance, and if I ever get riled up, it’s probably because of that. I’m always one for intelligent conversation if I don’t have to rush off somewhere. Sit me down and talk sometime. If there’s food or a fireplace, I’d be even more willing to do so 🙂