August 06, 2008
Filed Under (You are really pissing me off) by svana


Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back Date:13th century
(1) a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance 2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
(3): archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
(4) : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

I’m a fairly tolerant person, despite my intolerance for stupid people out there.

My tolerance stops when some well meaning soul decides that “I need to be saved.” Let me be perfectly clear here…I would die for someone, anyone, to be allowed to believe as works best for them, to preserve that freedom at all costs. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I seem to have an invisible brand on my forehead that declares “I am not religious, try to convert me today.” Try as I might, I can’t seem to wash it off and it only appears to the really devout and keen to bring more sheep into the flock and fold.

I am deeply spiritual. I believe that there is a guiding force that exists…I don’t say “GOD”…because that seems limiting to what is there. I simply say, the Universe, and that really makes the devout folks froth at the mouth.When I read an article in the Globe and Mail regarding the errors in translation that were found in the Ten Commandments, it just gave me more to work with.

Recently, I had a discussion with a co-worker about religion. This is not something I started because I despise having to defend what I believe to someone who assures me they know what is best for my soul. My co-worker is devoutly Baptist, despite that, she is quite lovely and I enjoy her a great deal. We got into the inconsistencies in the bible and how organized religions only pick and choose certain parts of the Bible, so it works out best for them.

“Thou Shall Not Kill”…pretty straight forward, don’t you think? Simple and to the point really. As I understand it, the Commandments were given to Moses and he needed to disseminate them to the masses awaiting him at the bottom of the mountain. So what kind of sick puppy is this “GOD” anyway? Seriously…if I follow the logic presented from all the religious camps, this is what I get:
1) GOD created us
2) You have to do what GOD tells you to do.

OK, fair enough…but what deity (aside from Loki that is), hands down rules to live by, and in so doing, sets their devotees up to fail in the first day? Looks like the answer would be GOD. You see, as humans, we have no choice but to kill in order to survive. Whether it is a plant or an animal, we have to kill in order to live. So what is the deal with that? Point this out to a really religious person, and the inevitable response is, “Well, God didn’t mean THAT!”. Then I guess now would be a bad time for me to point out that the sacrificial altar is missing from your living room too. The Old Testament indicates that ritual animal sacrifice is required. Again…the response of “Well, God didn’t mean THAT, and besides…THAT’S the OLD Testament.” So here comes the selective part of our programme. As far as I’m concerned, if you want to beat me over the head with the Bible, at least have the courtesy to use the whole damn thing…not just what you believe should apply.

There is a simpler explanation…the Commandment was was translated incorrectly. The Globe article indicates that Thou shall not kill is a loose translation. What was actually written is Thou shall not do murder. That is a HUGE distinction. More than that, a massive screw up of translation…somebody ought to be flogged for that one. Killing is necessary in some cases, but murder implies an intent to do permanent harm. The intent, the driving force behind the action is what really defines the action. Pointing this one out to my co-worker prompted an odd opening and closing fish-like movement of her mouth. Now, while I should not take the Globe and Mail as gospel…mind the pun…it hurts, it does present an interesting point. If the Ten Commandments are not translated correctly and therefore not related correctly, what else is wrong in the good book?

The bottom line in this lively and spirited debate was, I will not believe any differently than I currently do, despite her deep, personal connection with GOD. I truly value her connection, it works for her and that is what counts. However, I will not be joining any Bible study and prayer groups any time soon. Crucify me if you like, but it will never change my mind, but I would die for your right to have whatever beliefs you have…much like Christ.

Think about that one.

One Response to “You keep yours and I’ll keep mine….Stop trying to convert me!”

  1. Da Hubban Says:

    This reminds me of a girl I knew in high school. “Francine” (not her real name of course) was a Jehovah’s Witless…er, Witness. Oddly enough, she was in “Man In Society”, a class which explored, uh, Man, in society.

    We happened to touch on evolution in class at one point, which kind of put her off, believing in Creation and all that. So I asked her at the beginning of class one day, “So, we are all created in God’s image, right?”

    “Of course!” she replied, as if I was a dunce for not knowing the “right” answer to that question.

    “Ok, ” I continued, “so what if. *What if*…God is a member of a race of super-sentient beings, and among them, he is considered a lunatic?”

    Well, I thought Francine was going to have a stroke right then and there. Huffing and puffing and “Wha. Wha. Wha.” Finally she burst out, “You can’t *say* that!”

    I tried to calm her down, “I’m not saying it’s true, I’m just saying “what IF”, that’s all.”

    “Noooo, you can’t say that!” Poor girl was about to suffer a nervous breakdown.

    “Ok, Francine, nevermind.” She finally calmed down, but from that day on, seemed to develop a bit of a nervous tick whenever I walked by.

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