Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wrong Religions Keep to the Left, Please

I hope you can read this cartoon; because it has a great punchline. In case you can't, it says: "Funny thing is, they never get the joke".

Religion is an interesting topic. Occasionally it includes God, but usually very seldom. Most discussions about religion usually center on the differences, instead of the similarities. You would think the Methodists and the Pentecostals worshiped different Gods, instead of merely having different ways of worshiping the same one.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. I have absolutely no trouble with the idea that you may have a different method of worship. Your tastes in music, libations and food are different than mine; why would I expect you to have the same tastes in religious rites as I do?

Do you really think it matters to God whether you worship him as a Baptist or an Episcopalian? Do you think he cares if you read the King James version or the New American Version of the Bible?

Then why do we?

The old schisms are fading, not because the religions are getting along, but because people are dropping religion. Fewer and fewer Lutherans care if you are Church of God or not; because there are fewer Lutherans, and the Church as a community means less to them as a whole.

I was born and raised (and still consider myself) Roman Catholic, although I am not a regular church goer anymore. I remember the old days of the transition from pre- to post-Vatican II. Most congregations still have a Ladies Altar Society, I assume. But what is the average age of the group? 60? Younger people are not as defined by their church as people were 30 or 40 years ago. They don't have the same need for the community as we did in the days before Television, Computer games and the Internet.

As usual I am drifting a little off topic. How much does religion still matter? Not a belief in God, or even a belief in a Christian God, mean to us in our daily interpersonal relationships? Do you personally shun non-fellow (FILL IN YOUR SECT HERE)? Non-Christians? Non-Believers?

I know there are still people- and sects- out there that are 'my way or the road to Hell'; do they still have any real validity in the modern world of non-sectarian believers in God?

I don't know for sure (the Lord and I haven't actually sat down and discussed it over a beer {What? The only reason they don't mention beer in The Bible is because they left the recipe in Egypt}), but I have always been taught God is merciful and forgiving. I believe he would be happier with me for keeping His laws than some random man-made regulation governing the type of worship I am allowed to do.

I could be wrong. God could be 100% behind the Presbyterian method of worship, and everybody else is scheduled to wail in Purgatory for most of eternity.

If He is, then the merciful and just God I was taught to worship doesn't exist, and I am scheduled to burn a little anyway.

Damn the bad luck.

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