Musings on Religious Faith

Religion is about how you relate to the Supreme Being or God. That relationship has to impact and be reflected in what you do in this world or it’s not real. So, those who have no faith will never understand that religious beliefs are inseparable from public actions.

It’s not about living in a secular society; it’s about limiting your own actions to only those allowed by your faith. For those whose faith requires them to avoid certain actions or to encourage others to engage in those actions, this is a bigger burden than the faithless can perceive.

This does not mean you can ignore the laws of the country in which you live. It does mean that, so far as those laws conflict with your faith, you can be expected to try to change them. And those with a different faith or no faith can be expected to oppose such changes.

In my case, coming from having been raised as a Southern Baptist, I understand where the push for so-called religious freedom laws originates. I just don’t accept the conservative Christian viewpoint these days, not after all the experiences I’ve had since I was old enough to question some of their dogma.

When I read the Bible, I see a collection of books ABOUT God by a varied group of writers with many obvious contradictions and many rules that humanity has mostly abandoned centuries ago due to their barbarity and ineffectiveness. I do not see the Inerrant, Inspired Word of God (IIWoG) that Baptists and other right-wing Christians see.

So, for me, the most important part of the Bible is the ethics that Jesus taught — those 2 Great Commandments and the teachings about money and helping the least of these.

Even if you start from the point of the IIWoG, you have to do some fancy footwork (dispensations are not in the Bible, for instance) to claim being gay is a sin while tattoos and wearing clothing made of mixed fabrics and eating pork are not. And to claim you follow Jesus while showing judgment and hatred toward any other sinner is just hugely hypocritical and wrong.



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