SMH -- Look it up

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Wow, 2018 is finally over.  What a year.  So much hate from so many people (myself, notwithstanding).  I think 2019 will be calmer as people continue to resign their hostility in favor of familiar faces.  Faces which were once familiar and non-threatening to us in 2015 became villains in 2016 -- and certainly 2017.  Some even within our own family and friends.  

 

Why all the hating?

 

Moral superiority is what is hated.  The vast majority (>95%) of people practice some form of religion . . . yes, even agnostics and atheists.  Not every religion is spiritual.   Not every spiritual religion is monotheistic.  These are some truths to consider.

 

"Religion" can be broadly summarized as a set of moral standards packaged with a set of beliefs and/or assumptions about our world.  These moral standards and assumptions are influenced by information which you are more subjected . . . family, popular culture, your 20-mile-circle of influence, national laws (in that approximate order).  

 

When you encounter people who do not share your same "religion", you search for evidence of a threat.  Religions (belief systems) are considered threatening if they require everyone else to believe the same.  Christianity is such (requires everyone to believe the same) as well as Islam and the current far-left ideology mistermed as "liberalism" -- when in fact should be labeled as "Cultural Determinism".  These are just some examples of "brittle" religions which have little tolerance for oppositional beliefs.  Moreover, these brittle religions are threatening to other people who do not share the same assumptions about society.  It is really this simple.

 

I am not saying that all threats are ill-percieved.  Certainly, many religions are threatening to society when they require everyone to live and believe in unity.  There are dangerous movements, currently, which would kill every last soul and every last idea which is not of the same stripe.

 

As the world gets flatter (more people exposed and influenced by a larger population through the world-wide-web), we are seeing a reduction of the ancestral religious types and an increase in their replacements (cultural determinism, atheism, etc).  I think this awareness if of vital importance if there is hope to move together in 2019 and beyond. 

Moving together does not (and I mean NOT) mean changing your religion.  It means that you come to the point you are willing to drop the moral charges against your opposition and accept that they are ok being different.  As well, if you are willing to do that, you might then be in a better position of convincing people, in a non-threatening manner, to revise their beliefs.

 

I do not propose to change your religion (whatever that may be) as that effort would be a fools-folly.  Only you can change your religion by broadening your perspective -- if that is your inclination.  This article, perhaps, might be that avenue.  If your religion has "tolerance" in your headline, then your religion is certainly making the proposition for an allowance -- to people who are non-threatening with beliefs which are contrary to your own.  

 

(SMH = So Much Hate)

Comments

Ryan Messano Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:08pm
 
Cultural Marxism, Atheism, and Islam are responsible for over 370 million deaths in world history.  Christianity isn't responsible for one, as taught and practiced by Christ and the apostles.  America was founded by Christians, and despite revisionist history, we were far more stable then.  Our schools and media leave the vast majority of Americans unaware of our history, and so the idea that there is absolute right and wrong, no matter what religion one may choose, is very foreign to many. This was a problem even before Christianity and Islam came on the scene.  This moral relativism is called Sophism, and it destroys societies. 
Dino Manalis Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:29pm
 Religions are peace-loving, people should be peace-loving as well.
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:48pm
Dino, "Religions are peace-loving"
 
What???  No. 
Where in God's blue earth did you get that?  How do "peace-lovers" enforce peace?  Oh ya, by a gun.  LOL
Dave Volek Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:50pm
William
 
My former religion was binge alcoholism.
 
Instead of going to church on Sunday morning, I was in the pub on Friday and Saturday nights.
 
Instead of saying "Glory Hallelujah", I was shouting "Buy another round".
 
I baptized myself once a month with my head in a toilet bowl the day after a binge. I proudly wore my hangover like a religious symbol.
 
And I was trying convert as many people as possible to my way! My world was divided into 2 groups of people: those who drank a lot and those who wanted to drink a lot.
 
Thank "God" I abandoned my former religion. Politics became the next set of beliefs. Hmmmmm
 
To me, religion is where we park our values to guide us in our daily activities and life planning. Everyone has a religion. 
 
Nice article.
 
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:51pm
Cultural Marxism, Atheism, and Islam are responsible for over 370 million deaths in world history.  Christianity isn't responsible for one, as taught and practiced by Christ and the apostles.
 
Ryan, theory and reality are, many times, completely different.  There have been plenty of Muslims killed with a "holy" sword.
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:52pm
To me, religion is where we park our values to guide us in our daily activities and life planning. Everyone has a religion. 
 
Nicely worded, Dave.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:25pm
Spartacus: Ryan, theory and reality are, many times, completely different.  There have been plenty of Muslims killed with a "holy" sword. 
 
The Quran, Spartacus, and Muhammad command death to the infidel.  Jesus and the New Testament never do.  Besides, the Crusades were a response to the Islamic Jihad that nearly decimated Europe.
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:26pm
By the way, Dave, I commend your abandoning the pint.  I too elected to remove all alcohol from my life.  It was not helping me.
 
Perhaps alcohol was a form of self-medication from life's troubles.  We all have them.  The more sensitive folks (not a bad thing) do use some form of nerve tonic when nothing else abates.  I commend you even more that you are past that vulnerable condition.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:31pm
Alcohol wasn't my temptation, never used it, but we all have temptations.  Video games was my escape in my youth.  Glad you got away from alcohol, Dave. 
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:46pm
The Quran, Spartacus, and Muhammad command death to the infidel.  Jesus and the New Testament never do.  Besides, the Crusades were a response to the Islamic Jihad that nearly decimated Europe.
 
Ryan, that is where the subjective interpretation comes in.  You cant merely separate the new and old testament from each other at the convenience of your arguments.  
Now, I do agree that Islam has about 1000 more years of cultural change to claim they are a religion of peace.  Today, far from it.
 
Christianity has come a long way.  Although if culturally unrestrained, I believe would become every bit as ideologically tyrannical as Islam.  The Catholic Church, only a few hundred years ago, was every bit as tyrannical and violent against non-Christians.  It was the Protestant revolution that changed the course as the Christians branched into a hundred different religions and warred even amongst its own kind.  All this warring has abated of late but you cannot deny a villainous past.  
 
Not to get into a history lesson here, but you can't deny your religious history and make claims that history would never support.  Both Christianity and Islam are rooted in the same ideological ground, the same geographical area, and the same era.  These two religions have been warring against each other for centuries.
 
Hey, I'm pro-Christian and I do not practice that religion -- merely because it is now, I believe, a religion that supports the family and decency.  These values are dramatically needed today in our hedonistic cultures.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 2, 2019 - 4:08pm


Ryan, that is where the subjective interpretation comes in.  You cant merely separate the new and old testament from each other at the convenience of your arguments.  
Now, I do agree that Islam has about 1000 more years of cultural change to claim they are a religion of peace.  Today, far from it.
 
The OT was nailed to the Cross by Christ, and he specifically did away with the command to kill your enemy.  Christ specifically, on many occasions, commanded not to kill.  Self defense is permissible.  Islam has been violent, Spartacus, from the start.  Islam is about power, money, and lust.  Cultural Marxism has taken the average American and weaponized them against the very Christianity which gave them their rights.  
 
Christianity has come a long way.  Although if culturally unrestrained, I believe would become every bit as ideologically tyrannical as Islam.  The Catholic Church, only a few hundred years ago, was every bit as tyrannical and violent against non-Christians.  It was the Protestant revolution that changed the course as the Christians branched into a hundred different religions and warred even amongst its own kind.  All this warring has abated of late but you cannot deny a villainous past.  
 
Christianity has always been peaceful.  Christ died peacefully.  Muhammad conquered violently.  The Catholic Church does not represent the Bible, and we agree on Protestantism.  
 
Not to get into a history lesson here, but you can't deny your religious history and make claims that history would never support.  Both Christianity and Islam are rooted in the same ideological ground, the same geographical area, and the same era.  These two religions have been warring against each other for centuries.
 
Muhammad was a bloody pedophile.  The same cannot be said of Christ.  
 
Hey, I'm pro-Christian and I do not practice that religion -- merely because it is now, I believe, a religion that supports the family and decency.  These values are dramatically needed today in our hedonistic cultures.


 
There is a great book, Spartacus, I think you'll enjoy.    We agree on your last 2 sentences.
 
Dave Volek Added Jan 2, 2019 - 4:20pm
William
 
Looking back, alcohol was indeed self-medicating my troubled ego. That's a long story.
 
But there are many other people out there doing the same and in different ways than alcohol. And addictions are not "useful GDP" in any sense. If we could somehow deal with addictions, we could actually be more prosperous with a decrease in GDP.
 
Whenever there is someone with an addiction problem, I understand where they are coming from. It took me about 19 years to truly get over my issue. Not sure I have completely conquered it, but life is a lot better than living all those lies, which cause some bad judgement calls. 
 
And hey, nice bit of history on Christianity's past.
Cullen Writes Added Jan 2, 2019 - 6:15pm
I'd argue Protestant Christianity has always been tolerant of other faiths. In England and the U.S., Protestants have tolerated each other since the Reformation / Renaissance. 
 
Protestant attitudes toward Mormons, Catholics, and/or atheists, maybe a little less open-minded. 
Cullen Writes Added Jan 2, 2019 - 6:15pm
...historically speaking.
Cullen Writes Added Jan 2, 2019 - 6:24pm
I'll further add that Christianity has no concept of forced conversions. This sort of thing did happen in the Dark Ages (in the days of Charlemagne and the early Holy Roman Empire). But Christianity celebrates the Saint Patrick's (a guy who convinced people to become Christians), not the Charlemagne's. 
 
Funny enough, in the wake of the Patrick, new Irish monks came over to England and converted the invading Anglo-Saxons (something the mythical King Arthur wasn't able to do on the battlefield, defeat the invading pagan barbarians--Irish monks did peacefully by converting them to Christianity and Western culture). 
Flying Junior Added Jan 2, 2019 - 8:46pm
SMH was originally Shaking My Head.  Good luck spreading the Gospel of Peace, William.  I wish you every success.
Jim Stoner Added Jan 3, 2019 - 1:27am
Christianity gets no points for religious tolerance, and that includes Protestants.  There are a couple of Protestant sects that are exceptions (Unitarians a good example), and the Baha'i faith.  Very few of the rest accept the obvious fact that no one has a monopoly on truth, and it is arrogance to argue otherwise. 
 
I hope all who read this can find spiritual fulfillment in 2019. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 3, 2019 - 6:33am
William - an understanding of the history of religion with its violence, cruelty and torture moved me to reject it all. Throughout history Christianity has vied with Islam as the most vicious. From the burning of witches, the pogroms against Jews, through the Crusades and Inquisition, Christianity has been an abomination.
If Jesus saw a fraction of the atrocities carried out in his name he'd have slit his own throat.
The worst crime of all, carried out by all religions, is the systematic brainwashing of children.
Religion is typified by its hypocrisy. Organised religion is all about power - nothing more.
As for God - well show me a shred of evidence.
I recommend Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell as a historical book that illustrates the evils of a theocracy with its horrendous torture and murder.
For me I am tolerant of all beliefs. I think that a person should be free to believe what they like as long as they do not inflict it on others - particularly children.
The same with politics. People have their own views on what system works best. They make their own cases. 
My views on politics are simple. I believe that all people are important and deserving of equal respect. I believe in fairness and equality. I do not want a system where all are equal though. I think people should receive in line with their skills and efforts - but that should have limits. Gross inequality is obscene. Nobody should be made to live in poverty. I look for the best, most cost effective way, of delivering things such as infrastructure, education, health and policing. I believe everybody deserves quality education, healthcare, safety, power, infrastructure and water and that is best done by government whose prime function is to look after the interests of its citizens.
I accept that there are other views on this and have always been willing to discuss and argue.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 3, 2019 - 11:24am
William, I wish we were able to overcome differences in religious beliefs by a laissez faire approach, but I fear that humanity finds that extremely difficult. I had always perceived Buddhism as the ultimate of a religion that celebrates non-violence. Then the whole issue of the genocide in Burma against the Rohynga  shows that even the so-called religions of peace cannot withstand the siren call of destroying those different from you.
 
I look at the troubles in Northern Ireland, where the differences between Protestant and Catholics perpetuated conflicts for generations, and even now I think that the hostilities are simmering just below the surface.
 
For Christians, I wish we could divorce the Gospels from the books authored by Paul. Though Paul did a yeoman job in spreading the Christian faith, he also seems to be the source of much of the misogynistic and hateful attitudes that are professed by Evangelical Christians. As Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." 
The Owl Added Jan 3, 2019 - 12:15pm
Your point may be valid, Ryan, but even in the most religious of circles, the ideal seems destined never to be achieved.  This is the real world, after all, and the real world is full of failure.
 
Even you have been less than charitable at times.
 
Given the proclivity for the ideal to be the fabrication of minds that need such order and structure, countless people have had their lives disrupted extinguished in the defense of "Christianity", often for no better reason than they were there.  (The Crusades were a fine example of this sort of unreasoned slaughter.)
 
Religion by litmus test, unfortunately, still is the dominant thesis, even for you.
Cullen Writes Added Jan 3, 2019 - 2:26pm
For the record, Christianity doesn't advocate the burning of "witches".
 
When the Dark Ages hit (with the Fall of Rome]) many areas in France and England were the outskirts of the empire. Hickville. The were Christian but they still had many elements of paganism which persisted, weird druid rituals in the forest, worshipping sacred trees, dancing around the Maypole, believing elves and fairies lived in the forest. These superstitions persisted for another 1000 years. And these were not "Christian".
 
Monty Python lampooned much of this in 'The Holy Grail'. People at this time were so stupid they thought witches would float if dunked in water. So a good test for a witch is repeatedly dunking her in water.
 
Again, where does Christianity advocate this?
 
Pagans in these areas before the arrival of Rome practiced human sacrifice. But Christianity is terrible? 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:11am
Ideology and Orthodoxy makes a convenient screen to hide behind when one does not wish to encounter uncomfortable truths. 
Mustafa Kemal Added Jan 4, 2019 - 11:59am
I found this nice little doozie in  the new testament.  
 
Luke 19:27 King James Version (KJV)
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
 
Mustafa
Neil Lock Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:53pm
Nice article, William.
Spartacus Added Jan 7, 2019 - 7:00pm
Thank you Neil.   
 
To all others who have responded . . . I am sorry for not responding.  I am currently trying to become self-employed.  Very difficult.

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