Excuse the title of this post. There is a point to it, I promise.
What I am about to say may ruffle some feathers. I don’t usually delve into controversial subjects like religion or politics on here, but I have had a lot on my mind, and truth be told, it is my blog. I hope you stick with me and finish this post to its end because I feel its message is an important one.
I had a really rotten day today. Actually, I’ve had a really rotten week. And one of the things on my mind lately has been the subject of religion (or lack thereof) and hypocrisy.
I am going to state here and now that I am a Christian. I believe in the concept of a Heavenly Father and a Savior. I feel, in some ways, I’m a bit of an agnostic Christian in that I believe that a higher power exists, but I refuse to shove it down someone’s throat because I acknowledge that I cannot prove they are real, and I could easily be wrong. I am not currently attending my church, but I still believe in many tenets of its gospel and doctrine.
There have been a few instances in my life lately where I have struggled with an individual’s or a group’s actions that are made under the guise of “Christianity” and “religion,” and the actions are so incredibly wrong, or cruel, or simply insensitive, that I struggle to buy that these persons are, in any way, acting in a Christlike manner. How can you espouse to be walking in the way of Christ and doing his will when you are inflicting harm or suffering upon someone else? How is being hateful, or breaking the law, or disregarding another’s feelings in any way Christlike?
There is a complete lack of accountability for actions–when something goes wrong, it is either the fault of someone else with differing beliefs or “Satan trying to bring me/us down.” No, if you do something wrong, there is a consequence because YOU chose to take that course of action. Satan is not there to put every single negative thing that happens to you into your path. Often, bad things happen to us because of a choice WE have made. It wasn’t Satan who put me into debt. It was as a result of MY actions. It wasn’t “the evil world’s” fault. It is totally mine. We can be influenced by others, sure. But ultimately, we make our own choices.
Before you think I am hateful toward organized religion, let me stir the pot with atheists a little bit. I tire of religion being referred to as “stupid,” or “belonging to the uneducated.” Sure, a lot of hateful things are done in the name of religion, but an atheist slamming someone online because they believe in the Bible or Jesus is just as cruel. I wholeheartedly support gay rights, but if a Christian has issues with gay marriage, that doesn’t automatically make them a bigot. If they use hateful language, sure, you’re a heinous, bigoted, troll. But many out there believe quietly, and don’t deserve the hatred directed toward them, any more than a gay couple deserves to be discriminated against or reprimanded. You’re an atheist because you don’t believe in God, and that is actually fine by me. To each their own. I often feel I am somewhat agnostic in my own leanings. But you’re NOT an atheist because you’re so much more enlightened and educated than everyone else. You simply don’t believe in God. Others do. The world still goes around.
At the end of the day, I think we focus so much on this notion of deity and whether he/she/it exists or not. We spend so much time fixated on Jesus, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever, that we lose sight of the fact that we have more in common than we realize. If we stopped labeling ourselves, stopped obsessing over what someone is or isn’t, whether they lean left or right, we would probably realize that, underneath it all, we are all probably, and hopefully, governed by one defining rule in society:
Don’t be an a**hole.
Often, when I am asked my religious or political views, I answer in those words because it is the truth. My actions aren’t due to God, or a lack of one. I live by my inner heart and spirit, and that tells me to treat others as I want to be treated, to show love, do good, to be charitable, to live and let live, to not judge. I try not to be an a**hole.
At the end of the day, when you have screwed up, and you start blaming “the world,” Satan, other people, “sin” or “sinners,” religion, politics, and everything else for your own actions, you have violated that sacred policy–don’t be a crappy human being. Being a hypocrite has nothing to do with anyone else or some supernatural adversary with horns and a pitchfork, and it has nothing to do with religion or education or being so much more above everyone else. Nope, it’s because you’ve decided for a time to act like an a**hole.
Before we do anything, we need to ask ourselves–is this how I would want to be treated? Have I shown respect? Have I shown compassion or love? Have I done all I can to change the result of MY actions? Am I wrongly blaming someone else for my mistakes?
It’s all about accountability. And trying to be a fairly decent human being. Show love, do good. Defend your honor and your loved ones. If you’re blaming everyone else for what is wrong in your life and society, how is that being self reliant or self sufficient? You’re depending upon someone else, and that is the total opposite of self reliance.