Sunday, August 30, 2015

How do I feel about Christianity?

What do I actually think of Christians?

Answering a question like that is very difficult, because not only are my feeling on the issue complex, so is the issue itself. 

The most basic answer is that my feelings about Christians and my feelings about Christianity are different subjects. After all, I can love and befriend anyone, from any religion, philosophical school, culture, language, political views, etc., without necessarily having to agree with any particulars of any of those. 

So, about Christians, as people, I have no different feeling than I have for any other person. I do, however, have very complex, and sometimes negative feelings toward monotheism as a religious concept, and to the religions that subscribe to it. This means Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are religions I have huge issues with. 

For one thing, Monotheism is, in my opinion, false. Even the monotheistic religions themselves contradict themselves on the idea of a singular all encompassing divine being. And my own belief, that divinity is not singular, contradicts this. As a matter of faith, however, I have nothing against people coming to a conclusion different from my own, even if it makes no sense to me.

Another thing that bothers me is the tendency of monotheistic religions to proselytize. It isn't enough to believe, you have to make other people believe too, and it bugs me how arrogant and self righteous this leads some people to become. 

And then there is the zealotry. Oh, I know, this can often go hand in hand with proselytizing, but what I mean by Zealotry is the almost insane fixation on their religion and the need to impose that religion not just on people around them, but on everything. TV, Movies, Music, Clothing, all of it has to conform to their religion, and they don't just feel a need to preach their religion, which is proselytizing, but to force that religion on others, sometimes violently. This is basically the same, though not exactly, as fanaticism. 

Any religion that encourages zealotry and proselytizing is one I am vehemently opposed to. 

But most religions are not monolithic. There are sects in Christianity that are very non-violent, very non-zealous, and exist for the benefit of their adherents, not to spread like a virus. I have no problem with these. There are Islamic traditions that are non-violent, non-zealous, and whose main focus has always been the inner self. Meditating on their concept of god and seeking to understand the inner being, the soul, through rites of purification, I have no problem with these. There are Jewish sects that seek only to be left alone to follow their own traditions unmolested, choosing to not bother others in exchange. No problem there. 

Unfortunately, human beings tend to gravitate to the more flashy, violent, arrogant forms of these religions more than to the peaceful ones. Perhaps because they give people an ability to feel superior to others, or because it grants them a feeling of power, either towards others or to themselves, and some people are just sheep, following along rather than thinking for themselves, and these people I have huge issues with because they do not really seek to aid others, only to further their own selfish needs and wants, and so long as this remains true of so many monotheistic religions (and some of the Eastern Religions as well) I will remain opposed to the idea of organized religion. 

Because nothing is the world is more dangerous than mobs of zealots.


Helen Allen said...

You are very courageous to approach such a disputable and controversial topic! I’m not a rigid Christian, but still I believe in the Big Force, but I don’t believe in the Church as a human institution. All churches were, are and will be rich, while people who believe in them are poor. All churches about making money and supporting power.

More thoughts on this topic are here

Hector Lugo said...

Agreed, and my problem is not now, nor has it ever been, faith. I have my own faith, others can be free to have theirs, only the wanton destruction, self righteousness, and soul crushing bigotry that comes of the zealot mind.

Helen Allen said...

Wow, your words have a shade of depression! Hope I’m wrong. Still your point of view is unusual and that is why interesting for me!

Hector Lugo said...

While you wouldn't be wrong about the depression, my words about how I feel about Christianity are not about that, but about a dark feeling I get about the way the religion (all of the Abrahamic religions, in fact) treats people. One might argue that my depression isn't coloring my experiences, but my experiences are coloring my depression.