Are we really that thankful (or there is a religion among our midst)

villagepeople.jpgThe thanksgiving holiday is arriving next week. For most of us, it is mainly eating turkey and more turkey. Then, we sit down in front of the TV to watch the football games. Gosh, if we call soccer the football games in other parts of the world, what do they call our games?

Anyway, it made me think about the roots of the holiday. That is, the original pilgrims being thankful for having a place to practice their views of Christianity. As someone who grew up amidst the stark plain Wesleyan symbol of the cross (as compared with the ritual rich predominant Catholic church), I kind of I relate to their situation.

But that was then, this is now. Christianity, like all religions that believe in a single creator, attracts fanatical groupies. That is, their view is either you are with us or you are against us. Sam Harris, in his book titled “The End of Faith,” criticizes most of us (that is, those with moderate religious beliefs) for allowing the extremist to take over. He is also critical of Islam, claiming that we are apologist for tolerating a religion that is quite unitary on its belief. Hence, he said, you don’t see Buddhist believers blowing themselves up. For more info, you can check Sam Harris’ website.

Being a gay man who grew up in a fundamentalist environment, I have been quite timid in criticizing the religious belief of others. Maybe I fear that if I rock the boat, I may be pushed overboard and drown in a sea of intolerance. But that is something I should be mindful of. I should speak my mind and not allow someone who carries intolerant belief get away with it. Because in the end, they may win and we become their slaves. Witness the recent events in Denmark. If we, as members of a western civilization that believes in secular forms of government, don’t stand up to defend the pillars of our democracies, then the religious extremists have won the day.

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3 thoughts on “Are we really that thankful (or there is a religion among our midst)

  1. I too, grew up in a fundamentalist church. I know what they say about people like me, gay men. It’s one of the reasons it took so long for me to come out. I couldn’t be gay because I’m not what they described.
    I have learned to speak up though. You are right, we need to do that. We can not abandon our churches, nor our country to the religious extremists. I also think it is possible to disagree without being rude or intolerant. Fortunately, it is often easy to discredit the Fundies’ arguments with sound research, critical thinking, and appeal to reason. The fundies may not agree, but others witnessing the exchange certainly see them for the fools they are.

  2. Keltic, thanks for your kind response. Once upon a time, I felt like the apostle Paul, asking God “why me.” Thankfully, I realize that it was not me, but those who felt threatened by me. Sounds like you and I had some common experiences.

  3. visitador, I am sure that we have had some common experiences. All of that emotional baggage was heaped upon me and I was unable to crawl out from beneath it until just 4 years ago. I started by ridding myself of fundamentalist faith, then a period of losing faith, and finally coming to some sense of balance in my journey. Then I had to do the emotional work of coming out to myself, and everyone else. That was tough, but worth it. If you care to read about it, look at my post entitled “I Know” on my blog.

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