What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Contraversial Conundrum February 27, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Sorry, guys, this one is about to get a tiny bit controversial.

I was raised in a Christian-ish household. Not that it was ever something that really needed to be declared or memorized (like my address and phone number in kindergarten), but I was sent to Sunday school and to church camp. I went to a Methodist university and made it through a whole semester of liturgical dancing before I had to run away from the flowy white costumes.

But here’s the thing…

I just don’t get it. I don’t get why Christians need to fight over denominations. I don’t get why Protestants need to fight with Catholics. That would be like One Direction saying that Michael Jackson wasn’t a pop singer. He was there first. Why try and take a word away from him?

I don’t understand why symbolism that was taken from cultures far older than western religions needs to be argued about. Does it matter if it’s the crown of the sun god or if a halo is an absolutely original creation? Winter solstice and Christmas were made to line up together, so why hate solstice?

Condemning what someone else believes doesn’t actually make your beliefs any stronger. You pray the rosary, your neighbor prays to Mecca. And? Where does the problem come in here? Where is the part where we have to condemn what others believe in order to feel stronger?

Is it because we should not suffer a witch to live or because we should kill the infidels?

When I was growing up, my father insisted that I be good at math. And so I was. I was really, really good. So good that it made him mad. Not because he was jealous, but because I could see a solution that he didn’t see. We would fight because he would be trying to teach me a formula, but I would come up with the right answer on my own. Because there can be more than one way to the right answer. And in some cases more than one right answer.

Why condemn someone else’s path? Why fight over words that someone invented?

We make new words all the time: wi-fi, muggle, emoji. Why worry about the formula to solve the equation? Why worry about terminology. A car trunk and boot are the same thing. There is no right. There is no one answer. So why try and force it?

Why do we need to argue about names when there are hungry children? Who cares about the formula as long as the answer leads to less war and more hope? Call me a transient hippy, but perhaps, just maybe, the meaning is more important than the words.


3 Responses to “A Contraversial Conundrum”

  1. For Christians, and I probably don’t really need to tell you this, it’s that we believe there really is one true God and one way to that one true God. Essentially, any other way is wrong. I grew up the same way you did, went to church and church camp, even went to a Bible college and tried being a pastor for a while.

    I’m 54. I have had to learn to worry less about what others believe, concentrate on my own relationship with God. My generation seems to have put aside condemnation, no longer has to race the Methodists or Baptists or Lutherans to the after church buffet, is pretty sincere with its worship. Our God is a jealous God, but that’s his responsibility and the insecurities that go with jealousy are not to be ours.

  2. adequatedad Says:

    I’m SO on board with this line of thinking. I was raised a Catholic, but no longer practice. That osnt to say that I’ve abandoned faith, but rather have come to recognize that that denominational differences are nothing more than man made divergences made for political or some other reason. Not only that, but since at the core, all three of the major religions – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are practically the same thing, I couldn’t bring myself to believe that one way was better or more likely to be true than another. As a result, I’ve kept faith, but it’s my own. I don’t begrudge anyone who chooses to follow an organized religious sect, but I can’t. Not when my studies have shown me that religious schism and interpretations can be created on a whim by humans. And Christianity isn’t the only place this happens either. Study the teachings of Islam or Judaism for ten minutes and see that they too are fractured in their beliefs.

  3. I don’t see anything controversial in the thoughts you shared, I totally agree.

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