Monday, October 3, 2011

What Is Religion?

It seems people are confused about freedom of religion. They get that we need to allow people to worship in different ways and have different teachings about God. They will follow different leaders and have different holidays. But these things are the religious facade. Behind them there are very deep ways of thinking that are very different. But many don't seem to get that. They seem to assume that once you get past all the traditions and mumbo-jumbo then all religions boil down to the same thing. Except they don't. The assumption that they do is actually part of a secular world and life view. We can never know what people really believe in their most secret thoughts so the secularist just injects himself into that and assumes everyone must think pretty much like he does.

This thinking becomes more extreme when we get to sexual morality. Secularists are sure that religious people are always breaking their moral code when it comes to sex. That no matter what their faith teaches about sex that behind closed doors everyone is really a secularist. Well, maybe not everyone but most of them are. Secularists believe that sexual self control is just not possible. People will always cheat. To an extent they are right but they tend to assume sexual sin is much more serious and much more widespread than is warranted. You see that when you look at historical fiction. No matter what time period the story is set in and no matter what the religious or cultural reality existed the story will always involve characters jumping in and out of bed with each other freely and frequently. Like they can't take seriously the possibility that people might have lived chaste lives.

So now we get to the HHS mandates. Why don't they see an issue of religious freedom? First of all because people are being allowed to worship any way they want. Catholics can have their smells and bells. Evangelicals can have their mega-church bands. What is the problem? You don't want to deal with unplanned pregnancy and STD's because you expect people to live chaste lives? We all know that people don't REALLY do that now don't we? Can't we put aside that illusion when we are dealing with people's health?

The sad part is that for many Christians they are right. Many are really living like secularists when it comes to matters of sex. They have bought the lie that self control is impossible. We know the church will always be full of wheat and tares. But the Christian wants to treat everyone like wheat to maximize the fruit they bear while the secularist wants to treat everyone like weeds because the weeds are more like him.

So at the end of the day the secularist thinks he understands perfectly what is going on in the minds and the bedrooms of religious people. They are just secularists who do a few funny things on Sunday morning. Their leaders think they are living out their faith but we know better. They are really just like us. What it boils down to is a state religion. You can have different religious customs and festivals but to have a truly different religion is not allowed. We don't allow it because we take it as an article of faith that religions are not truly different. They just claim to be different. We know this is true based on the state religion that must be believed regardless of which visible religion you mix it with. It is a bit like the old emperor worship laws. Believe what you want except you must accept Caesar as divine. Only the Jews found that unacceptable.

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