Columbia, MO – One of my regular readers, Hugh, sent me a short note concerning my last commentary on Ink and Voice. After his kind words, and they were kind, he had an interesting thought.
“I absolutely agree that ‘Even true heretics and atheists have beliefs and can be ‘spiritual’ without western gods.’ But I’m still confused as to why you would juxtapose that statement with the statement that “There is no ‘right religion’.”
Among everything else in my life, I am a minister in the Universal Life Church, or Rabbi depending on what I doing for the day. I was Bar Mitzvahed in New York, baptized in the Ohio River (it did not take), and went to a Jesuit university in St. Louis.
My personal library includes the holy books of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Mormons. Not to forget the Jefferson Bible (a must read). I have the Sagas of the Nords, the Epic of Gilgamesh, complete reviews of the Roman, Greek and Egyptian gods and goddess, and books by renowned atheists as Hitchens, Dawkins and others. I have read the writings of Buddha, and practice Aikido meditation. To top it all off, I read about Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, evolution and politics for fun.
Now, with all of that, can you tell me which the “right religion” is? What is right for you is correct. What is right for me, which is different, is also correct. I do not understand why the concept of different avenues to reach that level of spirituality cannot be accepted. Even Humanists, whether believers or not, and Atheists find this concept difficult to understand.
Maybe Douglas Adams was right in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, and the answer really is “42” and that the last words of God were, “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
A bumper stick I saw decades ago read, “Maybe God did it Darwin’s way.” Now there’s a thought. My own concept of God changed when I read the “Great Heretic” Robert Ingersoll’s (1833 – 1899), speech concerning the creation story: “Can you imagine God holding the bloody rib of man in his hand and trying to decide if woman is to be… a blond or a brunette.” It all makes perfect sense to me.
It is not that I am on a higher intellectual level than anyone else is. I am not. However, my mind remains open to different thoughts; analyzing them and accepting them for what they are, philosophical opinions on the creation story, the justification for our existence and what happens after we die.
That is my short answer. I am, after all, a college instructor and lecture for either 75 or 90 minutes at a time.