A group for those without religion, as well as those who oppose it. Atheism and Agnosticism and Anti-theism.
Fantastic Speech and very well said.
As a Christian, I think you'd be surprised at how many believers there are out there that wholeheartedly agree with what the speaker says here. The Bible is a compilation of books, biographies, and commentaries that were written over thousands of years, and likewise reflect thousands of years of social change and expanding consciousness.
When people refer to the 'Bible', what part exactly are they referring to? Are the referring to the days of the Torah, where tribes ravaged and plundered, where terrible atrocities where committed in a bitter battle for survival, and where gods were given credit for all victories achieved? Or are they referring to the days of Solomon, where Israel was a mighty kingdom with a wise leader, and where the claim of God's support is so frequently invoked? Or are you referring to the books of Jeremiah of Ezekiel, where a more anarchist way of life is encouraged?
The simple fact is, the Bible is anything but a book about saints. It's not a book about perfect people who made perfect decisions with a perfect understanding of God. It's a book about desperate, deeply flawed people who were often in desperate situations without a selection of good choices to make. Yet throughout all the carnage, bloodshed, and terror, we read about a higher power engaging in deep, disturbing, and thought-provoking mental conversations with the people of the ages.
And as time goes on, those conversations evolve, and so do people's perception of God. If you read the Bible, you'll often see deeply conflicting presentations and views of God. In one segment you'll read about a God of vengeance, wrath, and judgement, while in another you'll read about a God who promises redemption and second chances.
What makes all the difference in the world is the context in which you read these passages, and the order in which you read these passages. If you read it like a flat line about the God how orders babies killed and the God who apparently loves everyone, it will make absolutely no sense. Whereas, if you read it as evolution of people's perception of the divine, taking into account cultural and historical context, a masterpiece begins to unfold. You begin to see a story of people gradually coming to an understanding of what God is, and what God always was. If you read the Bible as a 2-dimensional rulebook, then yes, it will have a lot of conflicting and greatly disturbing segments. But if you read it as an evolution of what people thought about God and the world they lived in, you end up with a very different type of story.
And you don't just find this kind of evolution in the Bible; on the contrary, I argue that in just about every religion prior to the modern era, you will find that people's ideas about God and the universe have changed, and that is perfectly natural and healthy. Times change, and so do our perceptions.
In the odd chance that you are actually interested in what I have to say, take a look at the links below. But if not...then I will part with this. Christians today are often bad representations of what God is. Presidents will say "in God we trust" while profiting off the of the death of innocents, and ruthlessly eliminating rivals. Fathers tell their that children "God loves you", and then beat them if they do not share their beliefs. Considering the bad history many of you have probably had with Christian households and communities, I can understand why it can be so very easy to reject the notion of God altogether. But God, my friends, has no religion. And if God truly is real, than no matter what belief system one belongs to you will find traces of the divine. Perhaps the internal monologues you have are not monologues at all, but rather dialogues with a part of you that is all so often silenced in the world of competition and conflict we live in. Perhaps humanity's greatest assumption, that thoughts and ideas come from us, not to us, is wrong. Perhaps when we ask ourselves where the hell God is, we are capable of receiving replies in surprising ways.
Skepticism and disbelief is often a better alternative to the chains of fundamentalist belief, but is it truly the only alternative? Or can it in turn become a chain of its own?
One of many reasons the West Wing is worth a watch. #Bartlet2016
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