I've been chatting with one of my besties about just tearing apart the traditions of religion, the bible, the church and even the basic premises of christianity, but not putting forward a positive alternative.
It's something that I often worry about, and I must confess there is a lot of satisfaction in attacking that which has caused myself, and countless others, far more damage than we realised.
I'm still a recovering fundamentalist with a lot of deep hurts and a lifetime of cognitive dissonance to work through. I have had to face issues of faith head on, and be (hopefully) honest and open enough to go wherever that leads.
I can only speak out of my own paradigm, and share what has been involved with becoming aware of that paradigm and all its implications. It's a long journey, and I've been encouraged to share that journey by many who have been inspired or can relate in some way to it.
So these days I get asked if I'm a christian... what are my beliefs... why don't you spell out what you are trying to say...
But I can't answer these questions, because trying to define who I am in these terms is a major part of the problem. We are so hooked on certainty, to the point that we will kill to maintain it; the idea of not having a clear label to categorise and assess everyone with is completely untenable.
I just can't offer another religious platform to replace what I'm tearing down. Unless you can call my bottom line of love a religion - which I guess it is in a way!
So here it is - you can label me with this if you want, if you can put a name to it, its the best I've got so far. Are you ready for it? Its really complicated and full of profound depth! OK? Deep breath...
Love everyone, no matter what.
Now if you can fit your own religious constructs and paradigms around that and maintain that bottom line, then we are doing well. Believe what you want! But if that's not the bottom line then your beliefs are detrimental to humanity. After 58 years, its all I'm left with. And you know what? It feels good! It's awesome actually, to be able to let go and let love be the ONLY "rule".
Some say its too idealistic and simplistic and doesn't relate to reality - that we need complex moralities, belief systems, legal systems... we can't be trusted, we are corrupt at the core, we are incapable of anything good, we always resort to our ego driven selfishness, and on and on with why love just isn't enough.
I call bullshit! Yeah, it means we have to stop, use some self control and take responsibility for our actions and thoughts. Sure its a process, its a journey. We can make it simple or complicated. Most importantly we can BE love to everyone else. And when we can't, we can receive love until we CAN give it.
Have we ever thought that instead of judging and condemning, demanding justice, rights, taking offense and wanting retribution, we should simply encourage each other to see love in everything? Seriously - if we simply challenged each other to live with empathy - if we helped each other to find a solution based in love - if we assessed every situation in life with "is it love?", "will it produce love?"...
Remember, its a process, we aren't looking for perfection - just a willingness to live loved.
Its friggin simple!! I care naught for religious constructs any more. If you think the bible can help you to live loved, and can be bothered spending years sorting through it all, then go for it, and I'll respect that. If you think the Koran, or any holy writings will help you live loved, then awesome - do it! But I'll keep challenging anything that crosses that bottom line of love. I care not for sacred cows and taboos. If any doctrine (no matter what "scriptural" support it may have) requires endless mental gymnastics to make it "love", then you can stick it where the sun don't shine.
Once we have that fundamentally rooted and grounded as the only basis for life, then we can ponder "greater" issues - not the other way round.
Yes, for me at least, there is a better way, a way that is so simple that we keep missing it, because we keep wanting the fruit from that old "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Yep, we have been duped by that tree for sure. The "Eden" life isn't some stupid ideal - it's already in us if we can be bothered to look for it.
Like I keep saying over and over, and will continue to say...