Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Hate, Alive and Well In 2021

I … well, I was going to say ‘hate’, but my grandmother used to get on me for  saying it, and began using loathe with every fiber of my being—See? That sounds better; so, I loathe, with every fiber of my being, organized religion.

I have always thought its main purpose was to ‘us’ and ‘them’ the world; set ‘us’ apart, and supposedly above, ‘them’.

I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating: when we first moved to Camden and began meeting people, we got all sorts of questions: Where are you from? Where will you work? Where do you worship?

Screeching halt. Worship? I wasn’t expecting that, and because I tend to speak my mind, shoot from the hip, talk first and think later, I’d say I wasn’t much of an organized worshipper.

Well then, they’d invariably ask, how do you talk to God? And, again, not thinking, perhaps, I’d say that, if you believed in that sort of thing, isn’t God everywhere, and if He, and sometimes I’d say She just to mess with folks, is everywhere, why do I need to sit in a church and worship? I could talk to Him or Her anywhere at any time.

That was almost always met with silence, followed by, ‘Well, have a nice day.’

So why talk about his, again, today? It seems the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee voted this week to expel two churches for being LGBTQ-inclusive.

Yes, both the Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia, and St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky have “been removed from the convention [because they] affirm homosexual behavior. 

Those two churches; they like The Gays; they think God likes The Gays. And so, they’re out.

In 2021.

You know, I don’t know much about organized religion, but even as a child, going to church with my parents, we learned that God loves everybody.

And then I learned that it’s just the bigots that run the churches that hate.


Helen Lashbrook said...

At 14 I decided I could not believe in a god who allowed 6 million Jews to be murdered. My mother told me that I took that attitude because I was lazy. My brother, sister and Dad were atheists like me but my mother was a believer all her life. I cannot believe in a god who hates anyone for whatever reason.

anne marie in philly said...

organized religion is a mental illness and a cult. I think for myself.

Dave R said...

Organized religion uses a deity(ies) to dictate and control making it more about power then anything else.

the dogs' mother said...

Saw the picture in my feed and
thought what the heck!
Read thru. Okay. In this day
and age the time for those
actions is long past.
xoxo :-)

whkattk said...

Organized religion - especially the ones like Osteen "believes" - are for the sole purpose of $$$. In the early days, it was ALL about control - ruling and controlling the heathens. Now, it's all about $$$.

Steve Reed said...

I think people are inherently tribal, and organized religion is a way to organize ourselves into tribes. But I also think we need to resist our tribal impulses, so I'm not much of a fan, either! I read that story about the SBC -- I was impressed by how unapologetic the pastor of one of those churches was. He lost 30 percent of his congregation but he's still certain he's doing the right thing -- and he is.

Frank said...

I could write a book on the topic but I will just say in a rough draft that in my opinion most/all organized religion including non-christian religions and cults are attempts to explain and codify a dimension of human experience that some great or not so great teachers have tried to convey to the masses.

There is/was likely a kernel of truth in most religions. Also, I think that the term "GOD" means very different things to different people. The "GOD" you don't believe in may be very different than the "GOD" I don't believe in (and our disbelief itself, may be quite absurd at that).

Anyhow, if an LGBTQ person feels it necessary to join a community of believers, it only makes sense to join a community that is affirming and accepting.

jaime said...

When I was a child I had some very strange ideas.

1. I could not understand why armies made *gorillas* fight!
2. I was convinced that G-d and the Jolly Green Giant were one and the same.
3. If I needed, or even wanted, to talk to G-d, I could do it better outdoors than indoors.
4. I was an equal opportunity lover -- I believed everyone had an equal right to be loved.

Pretty deep thinking for a straight 7 year old kid! I’m now 71 and those ideas haven’t changed! I now know it’s guerrilla, but I still don’t think they should be fighting.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Well, they are absolutely on brand.
Organized religion is all about bigotry and greed and they'll do anything to live up to their standards.


Michael said...

I am not a big fan of organized religion either. And I agree with what Steve said, that it stems from our tribal instincts to "band together."

Bob said...

I agree with you and your father!!

Very much so.

It is about control, very much like rape or sexual abuse.

2021 and people still hate.

Very much about the coins.

I agree with your tribal thoughts, and I'm glad there are some, no matter how few, who are taking a stand against hate in any church!

I think of it like a self-help program, though some churches ad faiths are more about helping themselves than their parishioners.

Profound thoughts for a seven-year-old.
Bigotry and greed; that's it.

Too band people can't band together to be good to one another and love one another and be kind to one another.

uptonking said...

Well, I despise organized religion in general... but sometimes it offers folks a sense of community or family they cannot seem to create elsewhere in their lives. So I see its purpose in that way only... For that reason, and that reason only, I hope those expelled church's have congregations that recognize what they have built and will carry on without the larger organization. Sad.

NW MAN said...

At five years old I asked my parents if I could go to vacation bible school. They both sat down, concerned, and asked why. I told them, "because my friends are going." They said sure. I came home after the first day. My folks asked me what they talked about and I told them about a guy who died but came back to life, etc. They laughed and said, "it's just a fairytale like Paul Bunyan and the blue ox." I never went again, never developed any of the guilt instilled by religion, and never missed it when I saw what it did to my friends. It remains one of the best lessons of my childhood.