Had a chat with Mom today, which lead further and further into cultural influences on religion, versus the pure religion itself, a theme in both books about Roman Catholocism and Islam.
Or to an even greater degree, my feelings on people using the KJV as the ONLY valid edition of the Bible.
It's kind of like this to me. Back at Cassano's Otha and I discussed whether it's best for a church to be a bastion of art or whether it should remain like a warehouse. (Like say Notre Dame vs. any Vineyard Church.) I persoanlly feel that the architechture, music, etc. are reflections of the faith of the congregants. To me, a warehouse church or worse, a storefront church represents a "one size fits all" approach to faith, handing out pre-fabricated, pre-shrunk, stonewashed ideas to the sheep who buy it for the label.
Yeah, I read the critisisms of Roman and Orthodox practice, and how they're more about the show than about the faith. But how is that different from "Sacred Dancers" and "Special Soloists"? I realize this is a worldwide phenomena now, but the whole homogonized "condemn everyone who doesn't worship/believe like our particular congregation does" seems to be an American contruct, a reflection of our society. We can say other societies value virtue over freedom, but it strikes me that we too try to enforce our virtue and values (which not all of us believe in the same ones) on everyone else. I saw a cartoon a while back involving someone complaining that we need to tone down all the vice, and then claiming oppression when it didn't happen. If something offends you, turn away. It's why I mostly ignore fundies these days, as much as I can. Because eventually, I will be forced to shake one and say "When we hate the sin, but love the sinner, that doesn't mean hate the sinner and condemn him to hell.") As Salt-n-Pepa once rapped "There ain't no judge but G-d, so just chill!".
Wow, I got off-topic.
Anyway, One of my pet theroies when
arguing discussing creation ideas with folks is to point out that according to Genesis, G-d created us in his own image. Does that mean we look like G-d? Uh, no. To me, it would suggest more than G-d gave it to us to create just as he created us. Yes, we lack the ability to breathe life into our creations, but ultimately, it is the art, the music, the writing, the architecture we create that is ultimately our gift from G-d. As MC Hammer rapped "Makes me say oh my Lord, thank you for my talent." (Mind you, he got punished by G-d for that second album, but....)
And yeah, I'm not an Xtian, so most of this is my reaction to reading up on the practices, making sure I didn't throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. Just because I don't agree with all the dogma and theology doesn't mean I can't find wisdom or thoughts that I can appreciate within it. Like reading the Bhagavad Gita, The Rubayyat, or the KJV...I don't have to follow the religion to appreciate the expression of faith, the poetry of the words, or the ideas expressed.
Ok, now I know I'm menatlly masterbating.
Ok, signing off.