Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Drawing Lines in the Sand…

My post on religion yesterday elicited an interesting response. I got quite a plethora of nasty hate mail over that one. What is disturbing to me is these were all self proclaimed Christians. I also got quite a bit of emails from people who agreed with me. People were divided down a pretty thin line. As they say, there is a fine line between love and hate.

Many emails wanted me to clarify my views on religion. I appreciated the comments and emails that disagreed with me and that weren’t vitriolic ad hominem attacks on my mental illness and character. I will attempt to clarify my views. Keep in mind that my own experiences with mental illness and extreme religiosity when ill have biased me and colored my opinion of this subject.

I believe religion is an entirely manmade construct and phenomenon. For over a million years, we evolved with more tribal notions of spirituality and religion. Often, the environment and nature played a major and significant role in these early religions if you can call them that. Our gods were manifestations of various natural forms around us such as what is exemplified in most Native American religions to this day. Christianity and other modern monotheistic religions are a relatively new occurrence in the timeline and history of mankind. I have no doubt that Jesus was a great man, but seriously doubt he was the son of some mythical, omnipotent being after being born to a virgin.

The society you are born into also plays a major role in what religion you will adhere to as an adult. Your parent’s religion will be a hugely determining factor into what religion you grow up believing in. Yes, if you are born in the states, the odds are that you will be Christian which is the dominant and majority holding religion. It is not unlikely that you will migrate to a different sect such as from Baptist to Catholicism. It would be extremely rare for you to migrate to a completely unrelated religion such as Islam though. On this same frame of thought, a person born in the Middle East will, in all likelihood, be a Muslim. The same goes for Hindus, Buddhists, and others.

I broke one of my golden blogging rules when writing about this subject yesterday. One is to never write about religion and the other is to refrain from talking about politics. I find them too divisive and polarizing as far as a readership goes. People take these subjects entirely too seriously and will often project their own feelings and emotions upon what you write many times taking the meaning out of context which was shown by a few comments and several emails about yesterday’s post.

Life, like writing, is a learning experience. I learned another valuable lesson yesterday with what I had written. It certainly makes for an interesting blog, but a harrowing mental experience for me. I think I will stick to writing about my daily, simple life in dialogue. Writing is such an enjoyable form of expression for me and I would hate that experience to turn this blog into a constant flame war over subjects that quite frankly, don’t interest me at all, I find inconsequential to my daily immediate life, and that bore me to tears. I hope you all have a great day!


Amanda said...

It's a shame that people find it so hard to just live and let live.

Claudia said...

Seriously! Oh well, Politics and religion bore me to tears too. I guess that is why I didn't become the Pope. =)

Annabel said...

I hate that you expressing your opinions caused others to sit in judgment. That is a shame. I would call myself somewhat religious but I don't begrudge you for not agreeing with my own viewpoints. It doesn't stop me from praying for you (which I often do) or from reading your blog or think of you in any way other than the kind person that you are. It's called tolerance. We don't have to agree to be friends. You have a fine gift of words and don't let a few mean-spirited comments or emails force you to alter what you feel like writing about.

grooveadam said...

I always find it relieving to hear someone living in incredibly backwords places, in terms of religious views, with views such as yours. However, it's funny how the Midwest so easily dismisses Southern religiosity when it's prety prevasive here albeit less invasive. Or at least that's what people think. I think the entire country needs to realize that the US is one of the most religious countries in the world, which is extremely unsusual compared to all other developed nations. When will we realize how ridiculous we look and how much credibility we lose among other nations when we permit elected officials to invoke the name of a god. It is no different than a person who invokes the name of Zeus or talks about aliens. To know that national security rests on someone's spiritual delusions is worriesome.