Thursday, December 10, 2009

Because I'm an American, that's Why!

A title like that could be applied to any number of topics, and some of them could be really fun.

But for now I'm talking about religion. Have you noticed I'm a Christian, but the things I believe would have gotten me burned as a heretic in the age of the grimoires I cherish so much?  I mean honestly, my ass would be on the stake faster than a witch's because I believe my Christianity is the real deal, and it happens to clash somewhat with popular hermeneutics, theology, and doctrine from any of the Renaissance (and modern) self-proclaimed keepers of the faith.

I figured it was because I'm smarter than most people, but shockingly, I was wrong. Come to find out, it's popular to be like me, looking at God first, then picking and choosing aspects of how God manifests himself in different cultures that resonate most with my own experiences. According to this article, nearly a third of us Americans are hip enough to mix and match from the belief buffet to come up with something that aligns with what we actually experience.

There's a danger of only picking the things you want to be true, and ignoring the things that are inconvenient. Americans aren't well known for taking on uncomfortable realities, after all. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement's popularity here is a good example. They teach all happiness and bliss if you chant their mantra, but they don't teach that the path to the happiness and bliss goes through the stages of pain many of the people in the Supernatural Assistance class are going through as I type. When the troubles that arise with initiation come, many people drop TM like a hot potato. A few even SUED TM for failing to deliver the promised benefits of mantra-chanting.

Whatever. TANSTAAFL.

But anyway, I'm NORMAL. I believe a lot of freaky stuff from different cultures, but so do a lot of other people. America's a melting pot for religions, and we're pretty famous for taking things and making something individual out of it. It's kind of weird that I consider myself a traditionalist, since most of what I do is adapted. But I suppose there's room for cognitive dissonance too.

2 comments:

  1. I just got done reading Philip Yancey's popular book "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and he was talking about religious freedom in America as a culmination of the Christian concepts of freedom such as Paul talks about in his letters. After hundreds of years of religious warfare and the government legislating faith, people came to this country, repeated the cycle, and then finally gave up and took the chance of leaving it in God's hands and trusting Grace to sort things out. Now we are the most religious country on earth precisely BECAUSE we don't legislate on such things.

    Its sad that Americans have come to take such things for granted, and that so many of one persuasion or another want to legislate their take on things. Obviously we as a culture have forgotten what it was like to live in a civilization where people regularly died for their religions. The kind of people who want a theocratic government have obviously never had to live through a bombing in Ireland or the Middle East, or a hundred years war in Europe, or a witch hunt in Spain or Salem.

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  2. “picking and choosing aspects of how God manifests himself that resonate most with my own experiences” Isn’t that what religion and their churches have really done anyway? Did not the first Christian church outside of Catholicism happen when one person said, no I believe this way, and started a new church? Each one subsequently breaking into new branches initiated by another’s viewpoint? I think we have only become more in tune with our spiritual confidence and freer to express our individuality in this day and age. Personally, I know I have always much enjoyed finding the similarities of each, and looking at the core essence of all.

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