Provocative Take on Organized Religion
The chances are good that when someone moves back to Jamaica, they are coming to a country that is extremely religious, and also extremely violent.
It's no accident that most of the religions practiced claim to be correct, denounce others that they see as incorrect and speak in a way that induces fear in the minds of those who aren't "members" in order to get them to convert.
Unfortunately, this is not only a matter of atheists vs. "the rest of us believers", but it also includes:
- my religion vs. the other religions
- my denomination vs. the others
- my church vs. the others in the denomination
- the time of my service vs. the others in my church
- people in the church who share my beliefs vs. the rest
In other words, a returnee to Jamaica is likely to notice that here in Jamaica there are a lot of people being right about a lot of things, and spending a lot of energy making other people wrong. (Of course, this extends to politics as well.)
Against that back-drop, I read a post by Steve Pavlina this morning that is not for the faint of heart, or anyone who is not willing to think or is prone to react based on emotions only. His post is entitled "Ten Reasons You Should Never Have a Religion" and it reminded me of the dilemma I had when I left Jamaica at 18 only to discover that the kind of Baptist I happened to be, did not exist in the U.S.
In other words, a "Jamaica Baptist Union" kind of Baptist was not white, black, mixed, Southern or anything like the churches I found in the U.S. It was what it was, and its beliefs were just... local and specific to one sect in Jamaica.
I liked to think at one point that all Jamaican Christians were the same, only to realize that there were many who had already condemned me to hell because I wasn't baptized the right way, for example. I was amazed when a Christian friend of mine advised me of my peril, as a way to get me to come over to his church.
As I said, his post is provocative as it's MUCH easier to see where other religious people are making the errors in judgment he describes.
We however, are lucky, because we happen to be right, and we know that we are right. Right?
Being right and making others wrong does have a certain violent quality to it, even when its done "for their benefit."
Here is the link to the post. http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/05/10-reasons-you-should-never-have-a-religion/