Okay, so you read some of these columns and now you think I'm anti-religious.
Fact is, I'm not anti-religious; I'm just against a good many of the self-proclaimed religious types.
Especially the ones who try to convince me I'm going to hell unless I believe exactly they way they do.
For example, I attended at Church of Christ service once near here...
... and was told, pure and simple, that any person that was not a member of the Church of Christ was destined for hell.
Didn't seem to be any doubt in their minds about that.
Trouble is that today there more than 10,000 different Christian church belief systems out there...
...each one sure that they have the right answer.
So whatever I believe there are probably 9,900 Christian views on why I'm wrong.
With these odds, heaven and hell end up being pretty much a crap shoot.
Fact is it's little wonder with all these different ideas about whose right and whose wrong we've ended up killing more people throughout history in the name of religion than for any other single cause...*
...not to mention the few thousand people we tortured into confessing they were "witches" or "werewolves." (In case you weren't around in the 1600s, we burned them alive to save their souls.)
Sorry, I'm sounding anti-religious again, so I'll get to my point.
Some weeks back I was reading Cherry Lee's stuff here at CyberCollege.** Okay, so it's called Young and Single and I'm pretty over-the-hill; but I am single, so I half qualify.
Most people read her stuff for the sexy parts...but, of course, not me...
...although I can still remember stuff like that.
Anyway, she was talking about a lot of people — young people I assume — warming up to a book called Love Without Conditions — Reflections of the Christ Mind by Paul Ferrini.
Even at my age I try to be hip, so I tried to get a copy.
Couldn't find it anywhere.
No book store in these parts ever heard of it.
Which, of course, made me want it all the more.
Someone finally discovered it did exist and so they ordered it for me. It cost me $12 from some obscure publisher called Heartways Press.
I read it — in very small doses. Pretty radical stuff.
Not for those who don't like to put their Christian values to a real test, or anyone who has a vested interest in "business as usual."
You can be sure it won't catch on with the "God, guns, and guts" crowd.
For those who don't reject the book wholesale after the first chapter or so in favor of the latest serial-killer paperback, the ideas can represent a real time bomb in the way you look at things.
Especially from my perspective of a life full of personal battle scars...
...not to mention a few decades of exposure to the kind of stuff you have to cover in the newspaper business.
After a few decades of that you sort of figure there's got to be a better way of going about this thing called life.
So even if you can't accept all this book has to say right off, it still gives you a lot to think about.
And, by comparison, religion as we now know it looks...
*This statement has been challenged by readers; some saying that this has to apply to religions other than Christianity. Fact is, Fog was being kind by not pointing specifically to Christianity.
A careful reading of history shows that more people have been murdered in the "cause of Christ" than the combined totals killed by Hitler and Stalin.
The Conquistadors, to cite the worst example, killed 50-million Maya—the greatest genocide the world has ever known—in the name of the man who told us to not only forgive our enemies, but to love them.
**This had to be moved to another site after some instructors and administrators complained that the material on birth control and the prevention of sexual disease was inappropriate for young people.
© 2005, Frederick Horne
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