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Insecure God wants love or he’ll kill us

 

“I hope that we don’t forget spirituality just to spite the religious fanaticism that resides in our country.

Bible

The world has been pummeled by natural disasters and many regions have been devastated by terrorism and war in the past few years, a pattern that only seems to escalate with each passing week. It is frightening, this power of the earth, the horror of war and the inhumanity.

A recent letter to the editor published locally attributed everything from the regional drought in Tennessee to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the earthquakes and tsunamis in the region of Sumatra to the wrath of a God seeking our attention.

The author of that letter stated definitively that God:

“…created us with absolute free will. Consequently we can choose to live out our lives in reverential awe of him as our Creator or we can ignore him completely with no concern to obey his ways…

“Similarly, the Old Testament prophet Amos (circa 770 B.C.) declared to the nation Israel God’s efforts to reclaim the devotion and love of his people by the use of natural events: famine, scorching desert winds, plagues, war and drought.”

— Charles C. Currie, Leaf Chronicle, 8/8/07

The letter concluded with a statement that the Old Testament provides the answers; if we fail to “discern [God’s] ways” he may need to pressure us until we do.

I wouldn’t want to take this interpretation of God’s word as the way all religious people view it. When I hear stuff like this I know that it is chasing people away from religion and spirituality. The people who want God to be as insecure and punishing as they impose religion with stone cold walls that reason cannot penetrate.

I can understand why there has been a great battle between science and religion. If science says, shows, proves that we humans have created global warming, and that’s what is causing these hurricanes and natural disasters, then where’s the all-punishing God that we need to have on our side punishing those who would oppose him (and us)?

God, in the Old Testament, says it is okay to attack and kill your neighbors if they don’t believe in your God. Kill them all, wipe them out, and leave none alive; he says it over and over again like someone (a man) who’s trying to justify to himself all the atrocities that he’s committed. Oh, and it’s okay to take their daughters as your sex slaves.

In the Old Testament, the public stoning of adulterers is normal and expected.

Those are just two examples of things that do not fly in this day and age, unless we get rid of government, science, decency and freethinkers.

Jesus came along and set us straight; told us that God has to do with love, that it was wrong to use the house of worship to make money or scandalize. All people deserve love and are loved by God. Jesus had a problem with, actually got furious with, people who say one thing (like they represent God), and do another (like lie, cheat, and take advantage of “lesser” people, including their wives and families). Jesus didn’t feel as if he had to beat people at their own game (hate/fighting), and he would turn the other cheek. He wasn’t so insecure that he had to demand love from others.

Hanging witchesReligion, as in the Old Testament, led the Dark Ages. Rules made by priests were stringently followed. The world was flat, the sun went around the earth, and anyone not agreeing with such beliefs could be killed. People accused of being witches were tortured and killed, their properties confiscated by the Church. Many thousands of innocent people were killed during those times, 80% of them women. And killing was a public spectacle. Besides “witches”, pagans, converts, the crusades, heretics, religious wars, Jews, and native peoples are people and movements on the “resisted religion/therefore killed” lists. Twentieth century extermination camps (besides the ones in Germany and Poland) also took too many lives in the name of religion. It’s enough to make us want to hate religion forever.

I found a synopsis on this at: http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

Holy CrusadesWhen people do not want to be continually controlled and punished, and they eventually find out that they no longer admire the people who are doing the punishing, they will revolt, at least in their minds. In the Dark Ages there were people who mouthed the words of religion while they were becoming atheists. Religious people find that they cannot live by the strict guidelines required of them, so they say one thing and do another. We’ve learned, as a people, to hide our true feelings and demand that others judge us by what we say we are, not by how we live our lives.

People cannot live by punishment alone. They need to have relief. They need to make their life worthwhile and creative, and find the spirit of love and laughter inside them. Saying that religion is about love and then using it to punish everyone who is not choosing it is insincere and unbelievable. The Renaissance was the period where people learned to read, and they read the Bible themselves. They discovered that it did not say what religious leaders were telling them. They discovered that they did not have to live their lives in punishment. Art and culture flourished. Punishment and death in the hands of the Church rescinded.

People came to America to escape religious persecution. They wanted to worship in their own way. That is what this country was founded on. It was not founded on Christianity as I have heard claimed in this part of the country. History is worth studying. Facts are worth looking at. Science is a worthy study. And life does not have to be an either/or. Science and religion can co-exist. We could all do with a little lesson from Jesus.

Nowadays I am taken aback by Christians who are not ashamed of the wrongful invasion into Iraq, the torture, rape and continued killing. Though many Christian ideals have saved us from slavery and war in the past, I have yet to see that now. I see Christians today who worship the almighty dollar, who believe that God chooses those who step on others to reach their goals.

I hope that we don’t forget spirituality just to spite the religious fanaticism that resides in our country. Education is desperately needed to bring us out of these Dark Ages.


About Debbie Boen

    Debbie Boen

    Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter’s choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.

    Email: buginthefire@bellsouth.net

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5 Responses to “Insecure God wants love or he’ll kill us”

  1. Christine Anne Piesyk Says:
    September 10th, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Debbie’s letter isn’t hated filled; it reflects her frustration (and my own frequent discontent) with those who mask prejudice, bigotry, cruelty, insensitivity and other negatives in the guise of Christian thinking via the Bible.

    Jesus, whether you believe he is the son of God or just a phenomenal man and teacher who changed the world in many ways with his beliefs and actions, would shudder at so many of the things being done by so many in his name and the name of God these days. As my grandchildren would say, Jesus “walked the walk.” He taught by example.

    There are many good, kind, loving, tolerant Christians out there. They do what they do in their lives, and for others, unheralded, not seeking recognition, only offering multiple levels of service to their God and to humanity.

    The noisemakers of Christianity are usually big on talk and fanfare, but don’t live the good life as espoused by Jesus. Instead, they criticize, condemn, shun, and wage war on anyone whose opinion and belief system is different than their own. That’s distinctly un-Christian. Somehow, I don’t think Jesus would approve.

  2. Debbie Boen Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 6:23 pm
    Debbie Boen

    Jeff,
    If God gave me free will then he has patience enough to let me find my road to him. Just try to force any human to do anything and they will rebel. God knows this, ya think?

    If God is not insecure, he is not threatened by whether I worship him or not. To need my worship means that he needs me and why would he need me and my praise of him? An insecure man would. And so I say that God has been portrayed (in the Old Testament) as a resentful, hateful, bigoted, killing, raping, and needy man. I do not accept that about him.

    You say that Jesus will get vengence. If that’s what he’s really about, I can’t really learn from him.

    But, luckily for me, I don’t think God or Jesus are as described. I cannot and will not see God as someone who will send me to the fiery pit. That is a fear based lie to me. Can you live with that about me? It really is about a difference of belief and you’re not going to change me and I’m not going to change you.

    You’ve been trying to make me say I’m on one side of the line or the other, either I accept religion your way or not. Maybe you’d like me to be less religious than I am in fact so that you can put me on that other side. But our belief differs so much that you may as well because I do not believe that a Supreme Being would be tied into destructive emotions. Now the Gods of the Romans and Greece were very emotional. Fun reading.

    I am. Can you let me be? I think you can’t because you don’t believe in it. You have to punish me because your God is about punishment. I don’t accept it and that’s going to make you angry, even if you’re not allowed.

    You say you know God isn’t insecure and he is punishing. The word of God says unrepentant sinners will be sent to the fiery pit yet you say God is not mean or hate filled. Jesus will have vengence. I have to be forgiving or God will not forgive me. Your idea of God is full of contradictions.

    Let me repeat myself again: “I hope that we don’t forget spirituality just to spite the religious fanaticism that resides in our country. Education is desperately needed to bring us out of these Dark Ages.”

    I would be extremely uncomfortable if science ruled the world, but as of this date, religion has the high statistic on the most killing. It is a horribly discusting statistic that we can face up to, stop denying, and learn from. It will make us all better Christians.


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