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Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Religious Eclectic

It's hard being the one truth, the only right way, the least insane in the the field of faith; it is inherently a mad thing: a matter of suspension. That kind of corner in the market is made harder to maintain when everyone in the pew can actively cross reference and source check whatever you say, and in that process find the way to a wiki list of alternate religions full of the same tropes, teachings, mythology, and contradictions.

Common born deities that rise up to do great things; the ascension of body and soul into heaven; rising from the dead, having literally or figuratively beaten death; your actions in this life bear consequences  in the next; worldly attachment versus enlightened focus on the spiritual and otherworldly; the existence of heaven and hell; creation through the act of a deity, told through metaphor or simile.

Of this list, you will find traditions in all the Christian sects, Native American, Greek and Roman Mythology, Buddhism, Islam, and any number of religions around the world that I have forgotten to mention. Despite these similarities, and despite the fact that everybody knows it, too many modern religious groups spend so much of their time denying the similarities exist, and call those who point them out, pushing for a moderate religious environment mislead fools, unworthy to criticize their doctrine, or evil bent upon destroying said church.

To combat such movements in the world, the Catholic church has been doing a year of faith and in 2011 put superficial updates to their mass. Nothing major. They just changed a few words and responses enough that they had to supply everyone with a mass card to help them through what used to be second nature. Layers and layers of religion, but (if I can misquote an old lady) Where is the faith???

I think it is safe to say that Generation Y and the Millenials are not too concerned with religion. As Stephen Colbert once called it: "All that upin' an downin' and crissin' and crossin'." We live in a time where we have less time and more to do--life is micromanaging now, with email, work following you everywhere, phone calls anywhere, and more hours on the job than before to make end's meet. For good or bad, the system of religion is less relevant today with its heaping of busy work and extra micromanagement.

It is a time when most people can look around and appreciate the other faiths around them. The truth doesn't have to be in any single of them. It can be in bits in all of them. Faith--I think you find--is the operative word of these two most recent generations. A religious eclectic, they do not worry so much about the correctness of there own faith, or what the Pope thinks your children should or shouldn't read. Your personal relationship in your heart with your deity/deities is more important than financial obligation to keep big churches running, especially in a world where religious leaders have Mercedes to ride around in while their parishioners live in projects.
That's all from Elliott McCloud at the Kitchen Table.