Erasing Battle Lines

Posted: September 16, 2010 by Alexandria in Alexandria's Mind
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I was reading an opinion piece in USA Today by Columnist Chris Mooney.  See below.

We hear a lot these days about the “conflict” between science and religion — the atheists and the fundamentalists, it seems, are constantly blasting one another. But what’s rarely noted is that even as science-religion warriors clash by night, in the morning they’ll see the battlefield has shifted beneath them.

My Response to USA Today:

As a religious fundamentalist I was taught to deny science and fact.  Now that I have made my exodus from religion I am free to accept science and realize that it does not undermine my belief in God.  Religion is by no means an authority on spirituality, nor should we continue to allow it to be the sole arbiter on things sacred and moral.  Religions are man-made institutions; human perspectives of the divine, not divine perspectives of humanity.  A shift from religious fundamentalism to a focus on spirituality frees us to appreciate culture, history and science, moving us past the idea of tolerance, which most fundamentalists don’t practice anyway, to celebration and identification with all of humanity.

Gandhi said, “No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”  It has seemed impossible for religion to avoid exclusivity.  For when we seek to possess God, we create an atmosphere of ignorance, hatred and fear of anything that appears different, including other religions and science.  Religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world and draws arbitrary lines between science and truth; good and godly, so that the science is now in opposition to God and the good man is condemned to hell.  Not only does this support a narrow view of God, but it locks us into a narrow view of ourselves.  Spirituality is something everyone can have, and it seeks to erase the ancient battle lines between science and religion, promoting openness, appreciation, humility, and acceptance.

  1. David Warner says:

    There’s a lot to think about in this latest post “Erasing Battle Lines”. I believe that many of us have indeed been contaminated by religious thought. Part of the problem is that so many have not been taught to be self feeders, they just go in to a building, hear a message, and accept it as truth. No investigation, no searching out of Scriptures, just simply acceptance.
    But I’m also puzzled and unsure about something you mentioned. What do you mean by spirituality? Is it some consciousness we can possess of something beyond ourselves? Is this a term you use to steer clear of more “religious” terms that smack with meaning you don’t want to convey? What is spirituality?

    • Alexandria says:

      Hi David,

      First, I want to thank you for reading and commenting and giving me the chance to dig a little deeper into what I believe.

      For the most part spirituality is matters pertaining to the spirit and is based on the idea that there exists something, whether a being or state of mind, that is outside the experience of our five senses.  It involves the seeker having a personal connection with this being or state of mind.  For me, it is God.  God is in our hearts and in all of creation and cannot be confined to or completely defined by a religious text, nor can He be completely defined by scientific knowledge and advancement.

      Spirituality can be a part of a religion or independent of religion, in a self-directed and personal path.  What I would like to see is people having the freedom to engage in spiritual practice without having to abdicate their intellectual faculties like religious fundamentalism teaches.  For those who choose to not identify with a particular religion, spirituality may be adapted and modeled after the practices of a number of different religions, or none at all.  Either way spiritual matters are beyond the sensory world and usually involve an effort to transcend it.

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