11/04/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
No one at my wife's church asks me what I think of their pastor. They probably don't want to know anymore than they would want to know what I have to say about the beliefs pushed there. My answer is ready anyway; "I don't trust him."
Science I trust, as the method to decipher what is true or not. As I told my wife, contrary to what she believed, the truth is very hard to find. But, I respect science to a great extent because science respects humans. Science respects your mind, your intelligence, freedom of thought, and very much encourages them. Science does NOT tell you to believe without proof, but encourages you to find out for yourself; to doubt, question, test, refute or even overturn, what you have been told. Your curiosity is VERY important to scientists.
All of these respects are absent in religions, as they demand you subject yourself to their authority. Your very humanness is considered "sinful." There is a different rule in science, a rule of respect, and giving credit where credit is due. Though differences of opinion may arise from time to time - naturally there will be arguments and controversies - those who make discoveries and bring forth new theories are credited for them, along with those who influenced or assisted them. I sometimes find it difficult to read scientific articles, for example, because they meticulously credit their sources in the text (scientists, doctors, lab technicians, along with their schools, labs, etc.) in detail. It's what's called fairness, integrity, and providing sources for confirmation of what is claimed. Respect, honesty, giving credit - these are all good reasons to respect science.
Science and religion are diametrically opposed. One demands evidence, while the other rejects all calls for it. One earnestly searches for provable facts while the other is indifferent to them. By not giving due credit, religion lies by omission. When have you ever heard a Christian spokesman thank Zoroaster for the origins of dualism, angels, the last judgment, or the wars between the forces of good and evil? All of these things originated from that Persian prophet (although they may be even older, in pre-literate history). Do the Imams of Allah likewise give credit to Zoroaster? Have any of them thanked the ancient Egyptians for inventing an afterlife? Is there one single clergy member honest enough to say that the words in his NT text can only be "attributed" to Jesus, or that all the scriptures are only word-of-mouth based, and no one knows who actually wrote them?
Yet, thousands of these people ask for your respect and call themselves "reverend." What's to revere? They don't have respect for your mind, or your differences of opinion, or your freedom to make your own moral decisions. It's a one way street. And, disgustingly, they see you as being morally bad just in being born. How can anyone respect someone who tells you not to even ask, "What if what you're telling us is just not so?" With "credentials" like that, without openness to scrutiny and verification against reality, and denying your RIGHT of evidence, what justifies their “authority?”
Then we have the churches. Some people are content with non-reality and these preaching "experts" with all the answers, many of which are, ironically, bald-faced admissions of ignorance, such as, "We’ll know some day," or "God works in mysterious ways." Their belief- placebos, seldom examined, are like household gods reduced to the size of raggedy teddy bears and as familiar as comfortable old shoes with personalities. One dares not suggest cold scientific (albeit fascinating) reality in their House of Delusion, as an alternative to blind faith. Sadly, offering any alternatives in that environment would be taken as an attack, and repelled like an invasion.
I have a six year old great-nephew who went with his dad today to have his dad's blood drawn. He watched, and afterward held the vial in his hand, telling his father, "It's warm." His parents encourage his curiosity in everything he's interested in, and he’s interested in EVERYTHING. No "Jesus Camp" indoctrination here. He’s what you were born with, what you have a right to be, and he’s loving and caring and gets angry at injustice and unfairness - just like you, isn’t he?
Strike three on religions: they don't respect childhood capabilities or the right to respect that children are entitled to. Kids are accused of being the "carriers of original sin," and, oh, the terrible things religions do to their minds with such an attitude. Such gutless harm has been done in the name of holiness, and the demand for respect for ”unquestionable" authority!
Trust in religious leaders or churches is seriously misplaced trust. Aren’t you glad that you don’t respect those who so egregiously disrespect you?