to know what is not known
Yesterday evening I found comments on an older post here from someone engaging me after reading comments I made on the Belief Blog on CNN. Greetings, John.
I thought perhaps to move the conversation to a new post, since the subject of the conversation is not entirely to do with the subject of the post we’ve been talking on.
At issue is belief, religion. The comments that brought John to seek me out were with regard to a piece on Gay Marriage, in which I replied to a commenter who was basing his denial of equal rights to same gender couples on a piece of biblical wording. My comment was to request that if he was going to uphold one ancient (and might I add mostly misunderstood) law, that he begin upholding them all. It was said largely tongue in cheek, as the article we were both commenting on was pointing out that very hypocrisy, of choosing which rules and laws would be rallying cries against sin and which would be conveniently ignored.
Now, I’ve enjoyed the somewhat rambling nature of our conversation, over the concept of monotheism and the veracity of experienced based decision making with regard to faith, and the ability to judge another’s faith or experience based solely on your own. There’s also the exploration of the concept of when religious discussion should happen with children and who should lead that discussion, as well as the differentiation between a sect and a denomination (which I haven’t delved into) and other fun stuff.
I’m not sure how much I’ve delved into here about what I actually do believe with regard to religion and Divinity. I know I’ve told you that I’m Pagan, but I don’t think I’ve really expounded upon that. So, let me….and this might upset a few folks, on many sides. Know that this only goes for me. I’m happy for you to believe whatever you like.
Religion and the gods of those religions are, in my opinion, all man made. Everyone of them, from the very first sky god who man believed made the thunder to the god of the Abrahamic faiths to the gods we Pagans call on. All of them. The gods area reflection of the people who claim them. They are imbued with the belief of those who claim them.
The religions likewise reflect the society in which they are born and thrive. They are a means of understanding the things we can not understand, they are a method of controlling that which is out of our control.
However, this does not, in my opinion, preclude a larger Divinity, an unfathomable other that all of these gods and all of these religions at times tap into and reflect back to us.
My practice is highly personal and highly subjective and based completely on how I perceive that Divinity, both on it’s own and as it is reflected to me through the personage of the gods I work with, as well as those around me. It’s complicated to explain, but in practice it is no more complicated than a mirror.
I welcome the conversation to continue, John (and anyone else that cares to join in), by all means. Perhaps, somewhere in the courteous discourse we might both learn something.