god is not Great?
I love the respite of rainy days. I’m puttering indoors, paying bills, catching up on laundry, preparing for my first day of teaching tomorrow afternoon, and READING. I usually only read in bed, but now that I’m in two book groups, day-reading is validated. Normally it feels too much like decadence or avoidance. Book group deadlines give day-reading the lovely illusion of virtue. I MUST read all day.
I’d like to spend some time writing about books.
Christopher Hitchens’ book, pictured, was not a book group assignment, but it would be a good one. I expected something inflammatory but found this book far more replete with truth than with preposterousness.
Some highlights that resonate:
Does this shock people? Kindness towards other living beings is innate in most humans. Rules only exclude, at best, or incite violence at worst. Rules shame more than they love. Certainly organized religion has been good for many, but it has destroyed far more. Shouldn’t we abandon the destroyer and find good elsewhere?
The thing Hitchens misses is the need for shared community in seeking our best nature. That is no small thing. Neither is the need for individual reflection. I support dis-organized religion, without rules. If your religion makes you the best person you can be, if it opens you to love and eschews judgmental righteousness, then I support it. Once there are power structures, there is only trouble.
I feel the stirrings of mystery, even accepting scientific evidence. I sense a life force that I am willing to think of as divine. It inspires me to reflection, to recognize both wonder and humility, to try to be better. I even feel as though something outside of myself, bigger than I can understand, communicates something important that I should try to grasp. If that is God, then God is pretty great. If it is not, that’s okay too.
Day 6: 362 words, TOTAL = 1139 words; 58,861 remaining
9/2/2019 03:08:53 pm
I love Hitchens early writing, although he became quite the neo-con curmudgeon. I too feel that religion in todays' world does way more harm than good. It exists though because it gives people some things they need. I just find those things in other parts of my life--like family, hiking, and teaching
9/2/2019 04:34:55 pm
I have a feeling that many people find those things they need in other places, without any of the baggage of power structures.
9/7/2019 11:18:29 pm
Religion is a human construct developed as an attempt to understand, explain, and/or contain spirituality. We can’t really wrap our head around it. So we developed religion as a way to make a bit of sense out of that which is just beyond our understanding.
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Robin Clifford Wood is an award-winning author, poet, and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her children, grandchildren, and granddogs.