Two news items today form an envelope around the many, many reasons why religion should be scoffed at, run from, and seen for the parasitic phenomenon that is:
Priests brawl at Bethlehem. Read it; Armenian and Greek Orthodox were swinging mop handles and fists at each other yesterday, over whose ladder was resting on whose part of the Bethlehem stable floor.
When my brother and I were kids, in the back seat of Dad’s ’53 Chevy, we would fight over exactly the same thing: Space. We’d draw imaginary lines down the middle of the seat then we’d each push on that imaginary line by leaning toward it, edging comic books to the edge of it, or intentionally putting a knuckle’s-worth of finger on the other side of it.
“Mommy, Denny’s not staying on his side!”
“Daddy, make Dave stop!”
Later on, at some point in the post-toddler, pre-pubescent years, we stopped that particular type of spatial competition. Apparently, there are priests who have never been out of the back seat. They like it there so much, in fact, that they won’t even give up their seats to Jesus.
Benizir Bhutto killed in attack. Even Allah is not allowed to be powerful enough to fight Islamic factionalism. Muhammed (blessed be his name, as I spit on the ego-driven doctrines of some of his so-called followers) unified the various warring tribes of Arabia. But then, just as happened with the Jesus movement, the institutionalists moved in and a religion developed to protect, preserve, and defend the rules and regulations that his early followers devised to protect, preserve, and defend their positions of power.
Now, one of the symbolic personages of Muhammed’s original intentions of unification has been killed by one who was more comfortable following human egos in the name of his religion, than he was in following Allah or the prophet.
As a follower of Jesus, and as one who respects the genuine unifying motivations of Muhammed, the Buddha, and other spiritual leaders, I’m not left with much choice: I must do what I can to eradicate forever the imaginary lines drawn by self-centered children riding in the back seat of the Planet.
If we’re not successful doing that- you and me, and soon- then we are bound for a stupefying crash.