Monday, April 27, 2009
Cultural Christian Sensibility
I see in the New York Times an article about how atheists and agnostics are networking via E-mail and the Internet to feel more comfortable and defend themselves against the aggressive religious types who like to have a monopoly on the concept of God – and who like to harass anybody outside the local God Club. This, in what some are now calling post-Christian America.
More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops
My choosing the “Cultural Christian” label was to have something. I am not an atheist, not quite an agnostic and am perhaps Christian, whatever that truly is, in my heart. I do not like religion and or religions and this is based on their dismal past performance.
Part of the social contract of humanity since the beginning of time is the “yeah okay” response to shamans, wish craft, superstitions and the bully chief in charge of the tribe.
In exchange for “yeah okay” you get to stay on this side of the fence or stay inside the cave – and are protected from the great unknown of “them” whoever and whatever “them” is – fear (?) – and or the forces of nature.
Over the centuries, God and or Religion got stuck in the social fabric thing as an entitlement for some and as a permanent tool of the state. Why?
Messengers of God! Messengers of messengers of God keep trying to polish the message from God if there is a true message or a true God.
Even Mohammed had to renegotiate the prayer thing with a supposedly perfect God through the middleman messenger of Gabriel. The number of times required per day for prayers to God got cut down from fifty times a day to five. Is that a bargain or what?
That prayer five times a day seems an awful lot to pray to a deity that is in all likelihood not listening. That the deity perhaps has better things to do and is perhaps distracted with another dinosaur experiment on another planet in another galaxy at the moment? Whatever.
The message of Jesus is in the Sermon on the Mount – and to love one’s neighbor and to love one’s self in balance and in concert with others. Life is or should be a group effort thing.
The Golden Rule by any other name is still the Golden Rule.
That Jesus if he had succeeded in his social revolution, he may have been forgotten in time like Simon Bar Kochba.
As such and in my local corner of the western hemisphere I look at and measure all things through an ancient Christian prism as well as modern secular bifocal lenses. (Always read the fine print!)
As the earth’s common culture continues to shrink into a singular global stage, I pray. I pray because I think it a useful and right thing to do. It is part of my makeup and upbringing. I pray for myself and I pray for the overthrow of any kind of “tyranny over the mind of man”.
Organized religion seems to be obsolete in western culture. Schools, hospitals and government are mostly secular and here in the USA the separation of church and state has been the cornerstone law of this land for over two centuries.
It is not that God is dead in so much as ancient myths and logics are misunderstood and or incompatible with this modern age. In any case – God is God; man is religion.
I pray that all of Islam wakes up one day soon. I pray that it is able to think independently of the state and the evil fascist rulers controlling the local mosque. That awakening will be Islam’s Reformation and gift to the world.
The harder the extremists of Islam and Christianity fight for a place at the table of a fascist rulers’ feast – the greater the awakening to moderates who do not want to be told what God wants.
Who knows what God wants ? Only madmen!
The secular sunshine of tomorrow will shine on all cultures on all continents.
Other than that, my Cultural Christian Sensibility knows that in fifty years time – all of humanity will look at all things including God and religion as either “B.D” or “A.D.” – either “Before Darwin” or “After Darwin”.
God and religion will not totally disappear but man and man’s grasp of science will be accepted as the newest and latest revelation or message of Creation.
Humankind is both the messenger and the message. Man is the arbitrator of life itself, the quality of life and the goal of life. Man is the primary key for the survival of the species.
A true close and or distant God might agree with the thought that “Man is (and should be) the measure of all things” on earth.