"If there is no God,
Not everything is permitted to man,
He is still his brother's keeper
And he is not permitted to sadden his brother,
By saying that there is no God."
- Czeslaw Milosz
Readers of this blog include members of several of the world's major faiths and many others of no faith at all. I am not a member of any religious group, though I was brought up in the Christian tradition. I now consider most religion to be myth, but I say that in no way to belittle the faith of anyone - I consider most mythology to be full of very real lessons and values which have had great import to people down through the ages, and continue to be important today.
At a time of year when many of us are observing holidays, Holy Days, and perhaps idly wishing peace to our fellow humans, let me reflect for a minute on the so-called followers of Christ. First off, how can they possibly advocate going to war, no matter what the justification? What purported teaching of Christ allows revenge? And when, exactly, did God become the property of the right-wing?
"Blessed are the peacemakers", Jesus is supposed to have said. "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."... "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good for them that hate you."... "forgive men their trespasses"..."Be wise as serpents," he is supposed to have said,"and harmless as doves." Is anybody picking up on a theme here?
I, frankly, don't know if the Christian religion has any more merit than the Santa Claus myth, but Virginia, if you choose to believe in Christ, hadn't you better listen to his words?
Peace be with you, all of you - believers, unbelievers, seekers and suckers - if you think there's a God, I think there are a bunch of 'em.
- Ralph Murre