This was originally going to be a poem modeled after I Know why the Caged Bird Sings. But I couldn’t get passed the first line, and I wouldn’t want to kill a good idea to a time when few will see it. So instead I will talk about what I know.
Yesterday I talked about what the “mainstream” really is. On one side we have the extreme right: Westboro. Al Qaeda. Bodu Bala Sena. But we have another, less violent, forgotten, extreme: Jesus Seminar Philosophers, the NOI, the secularists. In the spectrum of religion, the outward and inward ones, we have a massive middle ground that is lost. Some of them take on secular liberal worldviews. Some of them take on nationalist terrorist worldviews. Most of them a mix of the two. A stupid, incoherent mix that doesn’t make sense. This is the view of everyone I know. Honestly, everyone I know has a stupid, incoherent world view so mashed between a dividing line they think exists between reason and faith: “I don’t take it too far!” “I am modern!” To them, I say: on the contrary.
We are told today in the Modern West, reason and faith collide! Religion shall not publicized! Just be good, be moral, be happy! We are bombarded with secularist dogma: religion should be practiced lightly. Stop believing in hell. Ancient texts are no longer relevant. To them, I say: on the contrary.
The other day I was discussing religion to a far-right friend, and I asked him: should America be a Christian Nation? He said no. That would mean other religions would be oppressed. I talked to another liberal friend. He said no. Church and state should not mix. He probably doesn’t even know what that means. I asked another, about the applicability of the Old Testament. Old Jewish guys from back then were crazy, apparently. This is coming from Jesus loving Americans. As if Jesus would respond that way. To them, all of them, I say: on the contrary.
I am not saying the church and state should be one. I am not saying we should revive Biblical criminal justice. But we must ask ourselves why we refuse to even consider things because we are told not to. We must ask ourselves the relevancy of religion in the public sphere, earnestly, honestly. We must ask ourselves what church and state really are and what they mean, and how they build on each other, and how they compete against one another. We must ask ourselves how ancient texts play a role in the modern world, or how they should play a role, or if they should play a role. To claim the instantaneous answers most of is to say the very things we all spout from what we are indoctrinated to believe. We are told from day 1 in the west that they have no relevance, that religion should be private, that secularism is the way to go.
I ask you to question this, to go beyond our childish preconceptions and really question what should and should not be done about these issues. You may arrive at the same conclusions – but the journey of thinking must be taken.My questions must be toiled, by all of us, lest we fall into the trap of backwardness in following secularist dogma and refusing progress because we are told that is what is best. Should we not question, or should we take answers prematurely, we hit an extreme view on the spectrum without realizing even why. This is what the terrorists do, and that is why the terrorists terrorize.
TO BE CONTINUED.