I grew up the son of minister. From a very young boy I understood what right and wrong were in the context of my church and religion. As I grew older I became a very active member learning and listening so that one day I could tell every man and woman, boy and girl that the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life.
I was still very young when I began to notice the worms in the apple of my faith. I remember, among other things, family members telling telemarketers that no one was home and wondering why that wasn’t breaking the Ten Commandments. I remember the secrets that the church held. I remember that Jon and Mary weren’t having a good marriage because Jon likes Abby better. How is it then, with all of our faults, can we cast such strict judgment to those who don’t adhere to the gospel of Christ when we yet falter ourselves?
We know that there has been hypocrisy in the church stretching far back to the Roman Catholic and even after the church reform. We know that Catholic officials centuries ago, exploited people and that it took them centuries to throw out the made-up thought of purgatory. How is it then can we come down on homosexuality and gay marriage with the “vengeance of God” while we pay for the silence of individuals molested by priests?
Our black churches want to fight for black civil rights and stand against gay civil rights not keeping in mind that civil rights are indeed civil rights nonetheless. Our black churches give their reason using the Bible to say that homosexuality is wrong. That same Bible that said that slavery is right. My heart says that we’ve lost our way.
The problem with organized religion is that no one can be pleased. Rather you practice Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or any others; someone is going to be left out. I’ve read the Holy Bible, The Koran, and The Bhagavad-Gita and the one idea that reigns supreme between the texts is the idea of love and happiness. Organized religion with its superiority complexes cannot practice that idea only. We’re stricken with the belief that someone has to be wrong and someone else has to be right.
If there ever was a promise from God, we lost that when we used his name for anything other than what his son, Jesus Christ promised, love. Jesus preached, “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Love ye one another.” We use the Bible to justify our hate and use our own government to enforce it, this government that uses the Constitution of the United States as its handbook to law and leadership, and this same Constitution written by our forefathers who didn’t want religion anywhere near our government.
Religion is given to us as proof that there is something better in some respect, a better past, a better present, and hopefully a better future. Our religion is here as a celebration of the better in all of us, and the history behind our lives. Our religion is a celebration of our freedom, our freedom to worship and to sacrifice our lives to the better. So we need to adhere to the doctrine of our faith and do better. We need to live better, respect each other better, and, most of all, love ye one another.