03 May 2009

Reading The Polls

According to two of you (those who checked off the 'thumbs down' option) my last post was lousy.

Was it my cheeky attitude, smarmy tone, rank self promotion?

I think one of the worst parts of religion is its tendency toward sanctimony. Whether it is a 'holier-than-thou' sense of superiority, a constant ethereal tone that reeks of spirituality, or a relentless smiling optimism, the result is a cardboard flatness that I find essentially dishonest.

People are venal, petty, insecure, frightened, immature, and other 'unpleasant' things. Pretending those things aren't there, or that they are not welcome in religious things is what makes religion so two dimensional.

And it's not authentic either. One of the things I like about the books of psalms, for example, is that the writer can be whiny and angry as well as wise and hopeful. But modern religion has turned into a human improvement project, and its rhetoric into a cheerleading operation.

Much as modern education now considers building self esteem as necessary as learning arithmetic and grammar, so modern success driven religion believes cultivating peace of mind and positive personal thoughts to be as important as knowing true from false and right from wrong.

I think religion should be about reality, all of it, light and dark and nice and nasty, and how we can live rightly in this messy world. Maybe I am unduly crass or in some bizarre way wildly optimistic, but such attitudes are associated with religious people over the years. See Ecclesiastes for a truly cynical book. And Isaiah alternately scourges and sanctifies Israel.

I'll let you know when I do my next radio show. The host promises it will be soon. This may be my medium, I think. My face would crack a lens on TV and my readership here is hardly growing by leaps and bounds.

Of course, if you have any advice you know how to reach me. Do let me know.


Revwilly said...

Fred, you are right on in your remarks about "success driven religion". Jesus knew nothing of that crap. And if religion is not about reality, then it is of no value at all. I didn't hear your radio show and it really is too bad more don't read your posting here. As you know, I don't always agree with you, but I love your passion and honest.

Elisa Winter said...

What's the problem with cheeky attitude, smarmy tone, and rank self-promotiom in a blog, for God's sake? Isn't that what a blog is for? It's not church. It's a blog. Go ahead Reverend dear. Crack that lens, with cheek and smarm!