Thursday, April 28, 2016

Like a Religion

I have mused before about the adulation and deep collective grief expressed after the death of cultural figures. Many of us witnessed it after the untimely death of Princess Diana, and it virtually eclipsed the death of Mother Teresa, a person the Roman Catholic church will canonize.

This past week the musician known as Prince joined the communion of secular saints, with endless tributes and tearful vigils at his home. He was a multi-talented individual and a killer guitar player, but ironically his death pushed him back into the spotlight.

I keep wondering if this is what we humans are compelled to do, to create new religions and saints even as insist that we have no use for either in a modern society.

I noticed two "like a religion" articles yesterday. The Walrus magazine looks at the temptation for almost blind faith in the state of Israel by some North American Jews.  It perplexes me, because many are secular and non-observant, yet they demonstrate a religious zeal akin to the fundamentalists (both Jewish and Christian) who are convinced that this is the land God gave them thousands of years ago. This conviction justifies all manner of human rights violations which have been condemned by the United Nations and other bodies.

Photograph by Deaf RED Bear

The other addressed the dangerous commitment to naturopathic remedies to the exclusion of common sense and a duty of care. This was related to the conviction of a couple who allowed their child to die of treatable meningitis. Rather than following the encouragement of a nurse friend to take the 19-month-old-boy to a doctor who could provide medicinal care they "treated" him with strange concoctions with no basis in scientific fact. As tragic as this was, these parents deserved to be convicted of a crime.

I've come to the conclusion that I must reject religious tenets which result in the exclusion and rejection and harm of others, whatever they may be. As a Christian I hold to the love of Christ which will not make room for the hatred of any group. Bye the way, this doesn't mean that I don't believe in sin or choosing the moral good. But it is unethical to follow a path which is destructive of individuals and groups, whether it an actual historical religion or "like a religion."

Well, how's that for a rambling screed? What do you think, good readers?

1 comment:

Judy McKnight said...

You have come to the same conclusions as I have , David - but you are so much better at putting them into words !