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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Commentariat Speaks (2)

Here’s an interesting idea: a religion that fits the people. An anonymous commenter says:

“Christendom is cancer. Pure and evil cancer. It is not a religion of white people. It is an Arabian religion which was imported. There was a fantastic interview with a Swedish woman on Red Ice Radio talking about the old gods and how they fit Sweden better because they gave role models to the people: a mother goddess, a warrior god and so forth. Christianity gives us a father figure and nothing else.”

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Into the Bin with Truth and Transcendence

Truth? Transcendence? Nah, they’re old school.

Pick your religion to suit the current disposition of your nation. Pick your god because he/she makes a good role model. Adopt a religious viewpoint even if you don’t really believe it just so long as it serves a useful social purpose. (After all, how could you really believe when all you’ve done is simply scan the available options to find the god or gods most like you?)

A bit cynical, a bit pragmatic … and increasingly common.

I Am Who I Am

I suppose you can go that way. But oddly enough, I believe the Bible for precisely the opposite reason. I believe it because it tells me what I do not want to hear and what doesn’t suit me at all. It tells me of a God who is eternally self-existent, a God who doesn’t need me in the slightest. It tells me of a God who is Ultimate Reality and Objective Truth. He doesn’t have to accommodate himself to my biases or preferences. He is who he is, so to speak.

Or, to put it as the writer of the book of Job did:
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements — surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
That’s our Christian God. He doesn’t answer to you or to me. He doesn’t define himself by our desires.

Not a Religion of White People

Is Christianity a bad fit for white people? Maybe. It pushes us to the periphery, doesn’t it? It doesn’t massage our self esteem and assure us we’re the centre of the universe. If there is a focal point of God’s dealings with man, it’s not in Europe or Canada or the good ol’ US of A. It’s some microscopic dot of a nation in the Middle East that hasn’t even been a nation for most of the last two thousand years.

Bit of a boot in the collective ego, that.

But does the fact that an idea has been imported from elsewhere make it less likely to be true? The notion refutes itself. I’m Canadian: ALL our ideas are imported, as are most of the ideas of everyone in every nation on earth.

The question we ought to ask is not “Where did it originate?” but “Is it true?” If Christianity accurately reflects reality, it is idle to complain about where it came from.

Utilitarian Faith

But our friend from the comment section is not the only one who thinks religions are primarily to be valued for their utility in producing human happiness. Pickup artist, men’s rights activist and budding philosopher Daryush (Roosh) Valizadeh agrees:
“In spite of the faults of organized religion, believers pursue a moral code that has been tested and refined for hundreds of years, giving it far more weight and value than Western consumerism and hedonism, a relatively modern invention. While the scientific conclusions of atheism can provide some answers of our reality, such a purely logical set of beliefs will lack the traditional and heuristic components that aid man with living well today, leaving them with a value system of Swiss cheese that allows skilled profiteers and propagandists to fill the holes.”
Get that? Religion is to be valued because it aids man in “living well today”. It fills the holes in our value system that would otherwise leave us open to being exploited.

You see the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Roosh is reading the Bible. He’s got no hope of finding real answers otherwise. But he’s not there yet and will never be so long as he sees God primarily as a means to a human end. ANY human end.

You Will Find Me When …

Jeremiah, speaking for God, says:
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
That’s pretty much how it works. As long as we’re looking for personal satisfaction, a better society, a good role model, a great teacher or an improved ethical framework, we’re not really looking for him, are we?

Now of course in the process of searching for God out of less-than-ideal motives, we may still stumble across life-saving truth. If we couldn’t, none of us would be saved.

But I cannot really KNOW God in any deep, personal way until I accept that he exists first and foremost for his own sake, not for mine.

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