Who Would Jesus Bomb?
A post on Mia's blog has me thinking about religion. I have more negative feelings about religion than positive ones. Why? Well, for starters, The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Holocost, September 11th, preists molesting little boys, televangelists, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the British-Irish conflict, the Shiite-Sunni conflicts, countless other wars, "ethnic cleansing" events, bombings... I should probably stop now.
I realize that it's probably a logical fallacy to disparage all religion due to the actions of some, but in my mind, logic and religion needn't go together. I strive to think for myself and keep open mind, and (with the rare exception), religion tends to advocate deferring to authority and dogma - leave the thinking to somebody else.
While I don't hold most organized religions in high regard, I respect virtue. I know, I know, without religion, virtue becomes a mushy, maleable subject, but regardless of religion, I think most of us know real virtue when we see it.
To tell you the truth, I generally don't even like to discuss my religious beliefs with any but my closest friends. Especially since most people have never heard of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Religion is like politics - in many contexts, discussions are more likely to lead to conflict than to enlightenment. You're not going to change somebody else's beliefs, and they're not going to change yours.
Since we've been busy doing all these crazy, weird things like canning tomatoes, buying scythes, and milking goats, a friend jokingly asked me how long before I "go Amish". I said I couldn't do it because it involved too much religion.
But in the aftermath of the dreadful shootings at an Amish schoolhouse, I was touched by something I read in a blog Lori directed me to:
...[The Amish community] had invited the widow of the murderer to attend the funeral of one of the little girls that he had slaughtered, and that, at their insistence, a fund had been set up for her and her family.
Further reading on the subject revealed that dozens of Amish people attended the funeral of the gunman who murdered their friends.
I can only aspire to be that virtuous. Maybe I should consider going Amish after all.