Catherine Fahringer was an American activist born in 1922 who campaigned for the separation of church and state in the United States. She once observed that: “We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake.”
“Good news indeed, it was well worth the wait to have science confirmed by faith.”
Arguably the most famous example of the Christian church’s ignorance in regards to science is the story of Galileo. More than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo, it has now admitted that it was in error and after a thirteen year investigation, accepted that Galileo was correct in his assertion that the earth revolves around the sun.
Good news indeed, it was well worth the wait to have science confirmed by faith. Of course, it’s a bit late for all those brilliant minds that didn’t have the foresight to keep quiet about their discoveries.
Religions the world over cling to ancient beliefs that are becoming ever more redundant in a world that demands basic proof such as that which can be provided by science. The generations to come will no doubt be ‘dragged back by their coattails’ but technology will surely demand that those doing the dragging be held accountable for their conduct.
Science is now close to proving that the concept of God as we teach it is obsolete. Yet, even now, the churches of the world are denying what will no doubt be confirmed by scientists in the years to come—that God needs a makeover. While burning at the stake is no longer available, the intent is still present in the church in the form of intellectual persecution.
It’s time for future generations to take the lead, and use the science and technology readily available to bring church leaders to accountability. If churches are half empty as one reader discovered over Christmas, that may well be a good sign. It does not mean God is dead, as she notes, but perhaps we have decided to look elsewhere to fill the god gap.
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)
Why attack God? He may be as miserable as we are.
-Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?
Priest: No, not if you did not know.
Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
– Annie Dillard
While not politically correct, and with apologies to the Inuit, this quote sums up very well how we become manipulated my religions of all kinds. The power of suggestion is a very potent tool used indiscriminately by the religious community to get into the heads of vast populations.
“A majority view does not make it normal, it simply makes it average.”
The real power of religion is the use of vague, unsubstantiated statements presented as fact. For many this culminates in a series of unfortunate beliefs, because it’s judged safer to accept unproven nonsense rather risk decent into the equally unproven lower regions offered by most religions.
We are perfectly capable of being at peace without religion. We only question ourselves because those who have quasi authority over their flocks feel obliged to remind us that we are flawed.
If we live in a cave on the moon and do not know about God, we’re free and clear. However if we somehow learn about God and choose to dismiss the concept, then according to some we’re in deep trouble. It takes a certain amount of strength to dismiss dogma of any kind. A majority view does not make it normal, it simply makes it average.
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
– Napoleon (1769-1821)
God Seeker Guy has been asked to attend a church carol celebration over the Christmas period. What to do?
While churches are not his favorite place in which to gather, God Seeker Guy respects the traditions of others and will not be “making a point” at the expense of family and friends who look forward to a traditional Christmas church celebration that really has little to do with religion.
“We can respect the convictions of others without embracing them. We can participate as guests …”
Relationships with real people take priority over relationships with vague , esoteric , unseen entities. We can respect the convictions of others without embracing them. We can participate as guests without signing up.
If there is a contradiction here, no apologies are offered, the inconsistency signifies the struggle in searching for faith. Attending a church carol service will not corrupt or do serious mental damage, adamant refusal to attend would be childish and immature.
The cost to God Seeker Guy is zero, the pageantry can be fun and the religious nonsense can be dismissed. Participation in religious rights can be politely declined. While being among the congregation may at times be uncomfortable, it’s doubtful it will cause any real or imagined harm. Any search involves looking far and wide, not just in comfortable places.
Participating in a colorful Christmas church service will make family members happy, God Seeker Guy will just have to put aside his issues with the Almighty for one evening.
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)
What if there had been room at the inn?
-Linda Festa on the origins of Christianity
Finding a place in the religious realm is not impossible, however to resolve the issues inherent in searching for faith, surely we must keep an open mind. God Seeker Guy has been accused many times of being godless, however there are some diehards who claim he is spiritual under the sarcastic façade. We shall see.
If we have the rare option of choosing our faith rather than having one thrust upon us at birth, we have a daunting task ahead. All of the world religions demand attention and thoughtful inquiry.
“Blind faith is embraced when logic is abandoned…”
It has been said extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. While some of us claim to make a great soufflé – an extraordinary claim indeed- the proof can be found in the oven, proof of God must be found elsewhere. While there are many recipes for the Divine, how we collect and combine the ingredients will determine whether we create a useful product.
Faith is a strange thing, we’re often reminded that we must believe that our children love us, we must have faith. However this is a love that can be confirmed when we see the smile on their faces when we give them money. God also needs huge amounts of money, but it never seems to be enough and smiles from God are difficult to elicit, wrath is more common.
Blind faith is embraced when logic is abandoned so there must be better arguments for belief than those offered by most religions.
As W.C.Fields once put it: “Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)
In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
– George Bernard Shaw
New! New! New! Buy! Buy! Buy! If there is such a thing as an antichrist, surely he sits on a board of directors of some consumer oriented conglomerate. God Seeker Guy has come to the conclusion that we’re lost in a wilderness of blatant consumerism and need to find our way to a more frugal lifestyle. Perhaps we simply need to learn the meaning of contentment.
The real evil of consumerism, is the manner in which it keeps us dissatisfied with what we already have. The Christmas season is particularly wrought with danger as we’re often forced into buying indiscriminately or even in panic mode, every corporations idea of heaven.
Even though we are buying for others at this time of year, and of course our hearts are in the right place, we might consider if the expenditures on items willingly provided by well-lit malls is necessary to celebrate Christmas? Far more of us attend the malls than attend church. What does that tell you?
Shopping has become a new religion, it seems to fill the needs of shoppers that cannot be met anywhere else. Even buyer’s remorse is not a strong enough motivation to stop a process that many need to find quasi contentment.
Genuine contentment is hard to find when we’re constantly reminded that our stuff is out of date. The latest toy is a must have as is the latest gadget, our clothes are out of style and Fred next door makes more money . (There is always a Fred around, but quite often he is on the threshold of bankruptcy and his BMW is on the verge of repossession.) Be careful who you try to measure up to, you may wind up living another person’s lie, a lesson learned by many congregations after their church leaders were arrested for fraud or other nasty crimes.
A lack of contentment appears to have gripped our relationships, companions and mates are replaced with the same regularity as our latest gizmo. The quality of just about everything is determined by short time spans, new is the god of modern times.
Most of us have what we need to be content, but it’s difficult to recognize it through the fog of relentless advertising and peer pressure. What’s the point of owning a high definition TV when your life is so low definition you can’t see clearly?
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)
To Jesus Christ! A splendid chap!
-Toast by Sir Ralph Richardson (1902-1983)