reply to post by impaired
Greetings! I am so glad that you brought these concerns up. I was raised in a fundamentalist environment and was force-fed religious stuff all my
childhood. They never had any decent answers to my probing questions, and furthermore, they just didn't want to take the time to think about it. Even
now, there is a part of me that is furious for the way I was treated. But on a certain level, I have really come to understand that my tormentors were
just re-enacting the teaching method of their parents and grandparents....it was the way tradition has been passed down in Western society for
thousands of years. So I am willing to forgive.
Needless to say, the indoctrinating method they used drove me away from Christianity rather than to it. I began to seek answers in multitudinous
other philosophies and types of thinking. First, Buddhist philosophy attracted me because it claimed to answer the problem of suffering. That is very
relevant because American culture, of all cultures I have had close acquaintance with, is a culture of pain. There are cultures that are painful by
the nature of circumstances, such as in poorer countries. But the US is a culture of pain by choice, by design, by indoctrination. For me as well as
for many other children, it was the torture chamber from which we emerged many years later emotionally and spiritually mangled and beaten. The natural
choice for me was to turn against everything my indoctrinators stood for. Of course, Buddhism was not the only step I went through, I also had an
atheistic period. But I was really trying to find an answer. Nothing really satisfied me.
Science answers many questions. It gives us a window into the natural world with which we can open up more and more exciting venues for the
advancement of humankind. But no matter how I have tried to make it fit, science has not been able to give me a permanent solution to my own
existential angst. Ultimately, I finally came full circle, and now believe in a form of Christianity. It was a long, hard path though.
Some may never believe in what they say is an imaginary God. Very well then, but I believe they are missing out on something more satisfying,
something more enduring. The human mind is such a fickle thing. The mature must have a foundation for their lives. They are sick of childish whims,
following their feeling of the day. They need something to strive for that is higher than them. To me, science is an interesting field of endeavor,
but it is no substitute for a foundation. Science is always changing, anyway. Every once in a while, our minds are rocked by a new paradigm-changing
discovery. Exciting, but even if science could soothe our pain, I wouldn't want to build my life on shifting sands.
There are very good reasons for the violence in the Old Testament. One of them is that the people whom the Israelites were told to exterminate
(which they didn't, by the way), had been offering their newborn children as sacrifices on the alter of Molech, and burning then in the fire for
thousands of years. It gave God great pain to see this happening, innocent little chidren murdered to appease falsehood. Read the Bible, you'll see
why. Israel was chosen to inhabit the land of Palestine in order to be an example for all the nations. They were supposed to be righteous and loving,
through obedience to God's instruction. They failed miserably because they were led away into idolatry by the very people they were supposed to have
gotten rid of.
The greatest commandments in the Old Testament goes like this: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Regardless of what other people have failed to do, I am going to do my best to fulfill those instructions. That includes loving atheists and those
who hate me.
May you have a wonderful day.