Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My god, your god, under god, Charles Darwin, evolution, and why we need to just get along

There are five major religions in the world today: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Budhism, plus countless other smaller ones, all of which preach some very different ideologies. They can't all be right, and that is why I am not an advocate of any particular organized religion. I consider myself spiritual, meaning I look at the world around me and believe that there is a lot more to it than just what we see in front of us. Basically, at the core, all the religions basically believe that too. I once read a good book about religion when I was in High School. It explored all the differences about the major religions, but at the end described them as being "different paths leading up the same mountain". That's what religion should be all about, unfortunately, all we seem to do is argue, attack, and even kill just to defend our religious beliefs. Atheists and antitheists aren't innocent either. Sure, you could point to the Crusades and terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and say that religion is bad, but what about Mao Zedong, the Communist leader of China? He wanted to eradicate religion and sanctioned the deaths of tens of millions of people. The same goes for Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, the biggest mass murderers in history. Then there's the evolution argument. Today we have schools, scientists, politicians, and religious leaders arguing over what we should be teaching in our schools. The whole thing is a mess, really, and the easy thing is to say we should agree to disagree. Unforunately, everyone wants to believe that either their god or their anti-god belief is the only correct one, and don't want to explore other possibilities. The key here is acceptance. I can use myelf as an example. As I said earlier, I consider myself to be spiritual and I believe that the world was created for a reason. I read about all the different religions regularly and believe they all make good points. I've been to Church several times and find it to be a moving experience. Do I believe evolution happened? Yes, but am I absolutely sure? No. With all those things I believe, many religious groups would be shocked. But by learning more about all the theories and possibilities to why we're here, maybe we can help to understand it better. However, we're stilll pretty far from that. With so many hateful movements out there, both religious and atheist, we still have a lot of work to do. Just last week, a group of students in Colorado walked out of school to protest the pledge of allegiance. Apparently, they joined up with the growing movement to remove the words "Under God" from the Pledge. They even went so far as to create their own lyrics, scrapping many of the orignal words and replacing them with things like diversity, equality, and constitutional rights. One student said that the Pledge is "almost religious oppression". Religious oppression? That is just stupid. If you want to see religious oppression, go to southern Sudan and protest the persecution of Christians. In Israel, Islamic Jihadists have carried out hundreds of attacks against the state's Jewish citiznes, simply because they see them as "infidels". Here in the US, we give more religious freedom to our citizens than anywhere else in the world. This movement to remove "Under God" from the pledge is like calling a Christmas tree a Holiday tree, its just idiotic. Just the same, we have religious groups calling for boycotts of movies and products that mention things they disagree with, when there are much, much more important things we should be worrying about right now.

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