Friday, December 28, 2007

My Final question of the Year

To close out the year, I want to restate a post from a few months back (Does Religion Make People Better or Worse?). This question fuels the reactor that drives my brain and my behavior. It's very simple - ask yourself, "Does this belief make me less rationale and less kind, or more rational and more kind?"

Last year Islamists kidnapped a young lady who was a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. Remember? For weeks her family did not know what happened to her. Kidnapping is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable because kidnappers treat their victims as less than human. And yet, before taking her picture, these men covered her head and her hands so that no female skin would be exposed. In the perverse thinking of these men, God is more concerned with men being titillated by female skin than He is with kidnapping (not to mention beheadings and bombings).

This is why fundamentalism is twisted. It doesn't matter what kind of fundamentalism - religious, social, political - it's all twisted. This is why Jesus clashed with the Pharisees. They deified insignificant details. It's why I clash with modern Pharisees. The legalism that fundamentalism produces is, in my opinion, the worst sin - it causes people to act unkind and even commit evil in the name of God. When you think about it, Islamo-facism and the most conservative elements within Christianity are ideological twins. It is tyranny over the mind, and sometimes actual tyranny over people.

So, if a belief causes you to be less rational and less kind, please change that belief.

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