Some Thought’s on Religion

Just some Fri­day after­noon rumi­na­tions on reli­gion.

Just some Fri­day after­noon rumi­na­tions on reli­gion.

Eastern Hardliners?

You real­ly nev­er hear or read any­thing about Bud­dhist fun­da­men­tal­ists. I’m sure they exist, giv­en that fas­cism seems to know no geo­graph­ic, eth­nic, or reli­gious bound­aries. How­ev­er, I sup­pose the rare cas­es are the excep­tions prov­ing the rule. I sup­pose it’s just hard to get that worked up about non-exis­tence, as opposed to that whole heav­en vs. hell thing.

Water At Communion?

I find many of the traits of South­ern Bap­tists odd. One is the notion that alco­hol is wrong. I’m not debat­ing drunk­en­ness here, just alco­hol in gen­er­al. Of all the world’s major reli­gions, east and west, the Judeo-Chris­t­ian sec­tion is the only one that does not out-and-out for­bid alco­hol. Fur­ther, for Chris­tians, they have the only deity who not only drank it open­ly, but is renowned for His abil­i­ty to turn water into it! Don’t tell the South­ern Bap­tists (among some oth­ers) though, as they have all pen­ciled into their bibles that Jesus turned the wine into water.

No Cell Phone For You!

There is a lot of dis­cus­sion in this coun­try going on (again) about the teach­ing of evo­lu­tion vs. cre­ation­ism in pub­lic schools. This time, cre­ation­ism has been brand­ed Intel­li­gent Design®. How­ev­er, there are also school sys­tems which have added dis­claimers to class­es and text­books inform­ing stu­dents that evo­lu­tion is only a the­o­ry and, there­fore, should be tak­en with a grain of salt. This is using legal-ese and plain speech to mis-con­strue the lan­guage of sci­ence. Vast sec­tions of sci­en­tif­ic fields are noth­ing more than work­ing the­o­ries: it’s hard to prove every­thing. When you stack these up against faith (reli­gion, spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, etc.), which is by def­i­n­i­tion, with­out proof, it is of course going to fall short. How­ev­er, I think we’re going to have to make a choice as a coun­try:

  1. Use sci­ence and the sci­en­tif­ic method to con­tin­ue to improve the human con­di­tion through med­i­cine, engi­neer­ing, and tech­nol­o­gy, or
  2. Allow the fun­da­men­tal­ist influ­enced poli­cies to push us all back into the stone ages.

I’d argue there is a direct link between the fun­da­men­tal­ist nature of a country/region and it’s rank­ing on the world­wide scale of civ­i­liza­tions. When you don’t allow peo­ple to pur­sue where dis­cov­ery and imag­i­na­tion take them, you don’t move for­ward as a peo­ple. So, here’s my new rule: future ben­e­fits of sci­ence that have stemmed from bio­log­i­cal (evo­lu­tion) and phys­i­cal (big-bang, quan­tum physics) stud­ies should not be allowed to be used by those who can­not at least agree that these ideas mer­it teach­ing. The free­dom of reli­gion in this coun­try guar­an­tees the right to pass on reli­gious views. What will guar­an­ty our right to ensure that we are also well versed in the sci­ences?

Long Haired Hippie Savior?

Jesus of Nazareth said and did many things that have inspired mil­lions, and not all white Repub­li­cans. As I men­tioned, He was known for his abil­i­ty to pro­vide drinks for His friends. He also was a pro­po­nent of social care sys­tems, such as: defend­ing the meek (access to legal care), feed­ing the hun­gry (wel­fare sys­tems), heal­ing the sick (pro bono mir­a­cles, as in free health care), and so on. Fur­ther, every pic­ture I’ve ever seen of the Christ reminds me a lot of Duane All­man. He is also always wear­ing san­dals and loose clothes in these images. What does all this point to? Jesus was the epit­o­me of the social­ist, hip­pie move­ment. Iron­ic isn’t it, then, that the 50’s obsessed right-wing move­ment has adopt­ed Him as their mas­cot?

Force · Distance = Work, Except on Sundays

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, dif­fer­ent Jews and Chris­tians have vary­ing atti­tudes on work­ing on the Sab­bath. I always saw this as a sort of union/worker’s rights demand from up on high: you all should take a day of rest each week and thank God you’re able to (this falls under the pre­vi­ous sec­tion, as well). How­ev­er, my under­stand­ing is that many Jews and Chris­tians go well out of their way as to do no work on Sun­day and fur­ther use as lit­tle effort as pos­si­ble. Exam­ple, peo­ple who tape down the auto-off switch­es on their ovens so they aren’t tech­ni­cal­ly “bak­ing” on the sab­bath. How­ev­er, I’m an engi­neer, and I have two def­i­n­i­tions for work:

  1. Pro­fes­sion­al Work
    Phys­i­cal and men­tal effort for which an indi­vid­ual is paid a wage or oth­er­wise com­pen­sat­ed by anoth­er indi­vid­ual or orga­ni­za­tion.
  2. Mechan­i­cal Work
    The prod­uct of a force times the dis­tance through which it moves.

Now, if we define work for the pur­pos­es of what-to-avoid-on-Sun­days as Mechan­i­cal Work, you real­ly need to just stop breath­ing after mid­night on Sat­ur­day. Any­thing oth­er than that, and you’re doing work. Okay, that seems a lit­tle hard to for 24 whole hours each week, so let’s use the for­mer. That’s what I use, which is just a lay-per­sons def­i­n­i­tion of work. There­fore, I gar­den, I run, I bake, I do what­ev­er I feel like on Sun­day. I have even bro­ken that rule and worked for mon­ey on Sun­days, in order to try and keep my job so I would­n’t have to spend every­day of the week not doing work for mon­ey. How­ev­er, I don’t spend my time on Sun­day sneer­ing at oth­ers gar­den­ing, run­ning, bak­ing etc. while on my way to church. I think some of the res­i­dents of Rich­mond might do well to do the same.