Watching: "Angels In America" — very much worth the 6 hours. Rent the DVD.
Reading: "Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord: Encountering the Sacred in the Great Outdoors" by "Father Joe" Classen, an early birthday gift from my sister Ellen.
Reading: "The New Atheism" in the November '06 Wired.
Tuned into: Joanne's work — energy healing.
So I'm thinking about: God
A confession: I don't really see God's hand in the world. If there is a God, he isn't paying attention. I could say I come from a religiously observant family, but in fact "God" did not weigh heavily upon us. My grandmother's influence, I think. I don't remember being told to pray to God for things, but I remember very clearly being told "God helps those who help themselves." Taking care of your family was important. Priests and nuns, while scary, were not necessarily nice and often wrong.
There's the modern "or whatever you call God," such as the "universal life force." Well, that leaves me a little cold. The "universal life force" doesn't answer prayers either. Human beings are pretty much left to solve our own problems and, as a species, we're doing a heckuva job, eh?
I agree with the atheists that religions are responsible for a lot of misery in this world. But I'm certainly not ready to say that there is no reality unless it can be proved through scientific logic. The universe is more than math and chemistry. I have my father's house key on my keyring. Every time I handle it, I feel his energy, I sense him walking though the front door of the house on Juniata. He is not "up there." He is "here" — sort of. A sweet mystery.
If the New Atheists succeeded in doing away with organized religion (hey, didn't the Communists try that?), we'd find that Scientism was the new religion (just like Communism became). We need belief systems. We need some ethical and moral guidelines. We need rituals and sacred places. We need stories.
We need an excuse to argue and make war. I don't believe for a minute that the ruling class goes to war for religious reasons. War is about gaining wealth, power, and territory. Religion is only a recruitment tool for armies and insurgencies. Religion is an approved outlet for our passions.
10.30.06 (rev 12.3.06)