Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The basis of religion is sacrifice, the object is to be a better person.

People have forgotten that, whatever your god may be, it's about black and white. Rules. Modern religion has forgotten this.
Modern religion, as practiced in America, has become about feeling good. People go to church to feel the love of god. The acceptance of who they are, warts and all. They, as Catholics will attest (at least if Chris Mathews' is to be believed), violate the Church's tenants when they don't agree, but go on playing the good church goer.
Catholics use birth control, Jews reform and eat pork, Muslims participate in the Olympics during Ramadan. All think that their religion's adaption to the modern world's ideas is natural and acceptable. They hunt through their religious texts on their own to find the ideas that support their view of truth, and neglect the things that do not.
It's human nature. We find reasons not to sacrifice, or, we sacrifice for the benefit of others. How many people donate to their church to the limit of their tax benefits, and no further.
Even the government knows that, sans a few reprobate throw backs, people do not donate without the direct benefit to themselves. It understands that taking away tax credits for donations would kill church run hospitals and programs for the poor.
Sacrifice. A movie star who drops one hundred thousand dollars on church project gets coo-does and feels warm in his or her pants, but if their last film netted them 35 million ... it's not really a sacrifice. I give the same percentage dropping my pocket change in a Salvation Army bucket at Christmas. That isn't to say it's not welcome and appreciated, but it is not a sacrifice.
It boils down to this: if you think the your religion's rules and tenants should adapt to what you believe, and you do what you want when it doesn't, then you are not (insert your religion's name for its followers here). You might be a Unitarian. You might even be a person of faith. But you are making it up as you go along.
If you religion teaches truth, it in effect teaches 1+1=2. That you, or billions of you decide that this is not so, that 1+1=3, or 4, or 7, because you believe that truth is inconvenient to your world view, then you do not believe in your religion's god.
Modern religion is about confirming your goodness, and, generally, that god loves you as you are. But most religion is about being better than you are, with rules god supposedly gave for living a better life. A good life. What does it say that modern society expects one plus one to equal three.

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