Asking Why

A lot of why’s have been on my mind lately. When I was a kid, growing up in the somewhat conservative Church of Christ, there were plenty of adults in my life life willing to tell me what I should believe. I didn’t ask a whole lot of why’s where church matters were concerned.

That was always pretty black and white.

My left-brained, orderly sequential self just needed the list of rules to follow. The only why’s that were necessary were the answers that we were taught to use when attempting to convert someone.

Fast forward twenty years.

My why’s have changed significantly.

Why do we accept the Bible as the inerrant divinely inspired word of God when it was written by men, translated by men, and compiled by men?

Why do we say the Bible is perfect for all times when we pick and choose what we will apply to our lives today and what we assign as “having passed away”?

Why do we tolerate and explain away the glaring inconsistencies of a supposed divinely created library?

Why do we accept as perfect for all times a collection of writings that promote slavery, oppression of women, racial bias, and discrimination?

Why do we ignore those teachings that make us uncomfortable or no longer fit our culture, yet we embrace those teachings that endorse our remaining prejudices?

Why are we okay with a God who gives ten commandments, one of which says “Thou shalt not kill,” then turns around and tells the recipients of that commandment to slaughter  every human being in the land of Canaan?

Why do we feel compelled to justify that slaughter by saying it was because those people were evil?

Why do we accept as our loving father a God who required a human sacrifice to be able to forgive us when we have stupid moments?

Why do we demand that the ten commandments be posted in front of our publicly funded facilities, when Christianity was about releasing that old law?

Why do we accept as literally truth the notion that the earth is only about 6,000 years old when there is significant evidence to the contrary?

Why will we believe that a virgin birth happened in Christianity, but deny that it actually occurred in other religions and mythology?

Why do we accept as logical an all powerful God who supposedly wants us to love him, gave us a free will so we can choose whether we will love him or not, but threatens to banish us forever to a fiery place call hell if we do not choose to love him?

Why do we call ourselves Christians, yet pay more attention to the teachings of people other than Jesus Christ?

Why do we believe that there is a magical age of accountability when a child is instantaneously transported from not responsible for his/her actions to responsible and subject to the fires of  hell?

Why do we participate in organizations that promote exclusivity and “I’m right, you’re wrong” ideology when we don’t truly agree with their extreme views?

Why do we believe the writings of authors who were not even eye-witnesses to events 2000 years ago, but doubt the testimony of those who claim to have been abducted by aliens or visited by a ghost?

Why can we accept as gospel, legends of miracles from two millennia ago, yet dismiss as coincidence the spontaneous healing of an organ previously labeled as diseased?

Why can we easily detect when modern day evangelists are playing us (or others) for our money and loyalty by using promises of prosperity, fear of infirmity, and the threat of eternal torment, yet we cannot see that an organization did this very same thing 1800 years ago by proclaiming their work divine, destroying documents that would cast doubt, and killing anyone who disagreed with them?

And finally,

Why do I feel so much anger and resentment toward religion? Why am I unable to simply let it be and release any emotion associated with it? With whom am I angry?

My answer to all of these is quite simple.

I do not know.

4 Responses to “Asking Why”

  • And when you figure out the answer to the last question the
    others won’t matter quite so much anymore. ;-)

    It takes a long time, maybe a lifetime, to get to a more
    dispassionate place, and it’s a spiral journey, not a linear
    one. I think I’m there, and then I circle back again.

    Love the questions and you may eventually live into the answers.

    • It’s encouraging to know that the passionate feelings are a part of the process and not necessarily a dysfunction. The spiral really makes me dizzy, though!

  • Umm, quite a list there. And a very good one no doubt. As to the last one: I think most of us who have begun to question feel that resentment at one time or another or ALL the time. IMO, it will eventually pass. And as for your questions; I hope you don’t think I have good answers for all of them. Hey, I’m just shuffling along this road with you, and I’m having the time of my life.

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