www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Religion

Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, Hindu Aumkar, Islamic Star and crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Shinto Torii, Sikh Khanda, Bahá'í star, Jain Ahimsa Symbol "I am respectful of those that practice religion. I think that religion is not the sole source of morality in this world. I'm respectful of it, if that's how you get your center and your bearing, I think that's great. I also think like anything that powerful there's a dark side to it that also needs to be addressed and often times isn't because of how delicate a subject matter it can be."

- Jon stewart in an interview by Terry Gross that was aired October 2010

 

 

Clarification:

I want to make it clear that my pages aren't here to mock, make fun of, or demean religion, spirituality, or people of faith. Although I am an atheist, I recognize that most religions and sects have organized themselves in an effort to better their lives (and future prsopects!) and our world in general. However, I take a very dim view (and work against) any religion that wants to entangle itself with government or anyone who wants to force their belief system on others. I also cast a wary eye towards proselytizing (including those who tout secular ideals as well!) but recognize shouting out our beliefs is a right, albeit an obnoxious one at times...

Anyway, I'll admit here that I have found comfort, at times, in spiritual practices and religious gatherings - in the same way I find time alone in Nature or a beautiful concert inspiring - a religious or spiritual gathering can be calming and comforting. My experiences in this regard have included numerous (clockwise) prayer walks around Stupas, intense study and lecture sessions with the Seventh Day Adventists, a full weekend of meditation at a Zen center, years of study as a young boy in the Catholic church, praying with Shinto nuns in Japan, and lighting candles and spinning prayer wheels in Tibet.

Again, the idea here being that it is important that we all remain respectful of other people's beliefs and recognize that there is good in everyone. Nevertheless, religions (and seculaists, too...) have done a lot of damage throughout history so it's equally important to remain vigilant and to speak out against the parts of other systems that are damaging, controlling of others, or destructive to our precious little planet and the other life that shares it with us. None of us are here very long so let's do what's right while we can...

- Roger J. Wendell, Golden, Colorado

 

There are no religious children, only children of religious parents...

 

Penn Jillette "I'm a libertarian and an atheist, so I'm kind of fighting myself on this. I don't like the government involved in telling people what to do and I certainly want people to have religious freedom because the only way people who don't have religion are going to have freedom is if people who do have religion have freedom."
 
- Penn Jillette during a CNN panel discussion concerning Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (04-01-2015)

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on spirituality...

 

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated
philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for more on the missing god...

 

Think about it: There are a few billion people who don't agree with your religion and who know, in their hearts, that they are right. You, and those who practice your religion, feel similarly - that you have all the answers and the others are wrong. Ultimately who really is right and who is wrong here? Also, what benefits have any of these religions (yours and theirs) brought us and, more importantly, what harm have they done? Obviously anybody taking a look at history can see there's been a lot of death and destruction brought on by religion, not to mention the abuse of women, ruin of the natural world, and the decimation of other living creatures. I recognize that my little web page isn't going to change anyone's mind. However, what I do hope is that you, gentle reader, stop and reflect for a moment about your own religion. Don't only ask what it's done for you but take a broader look - what really does your religion mean for others, our planet, and our home? Because despite your wildest claims this really is the only home we know for sure - speculating about heaven(s), an afterlife, and a God that's "on our side" is just that - speculation. All any of us know for sure is what we have right here and now on this beautiful little planet adrift off in a small, insignificant corner of the universe. Sacrificing our quality of life and wellbeing for some vague promises and speculation simply isn't worth it. Think about it...
- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado, Fall 2002

 

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... "

- John Lennon

 

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
- Denis Diderot (1713- 1784)

 

"So certain people may find Judaism, the Christian tradition, or the Islamic tradition to be most effective for them. Therefore, we must respect and appreciate the value of all the different major world religious traditions."
- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in his book,
The Art of Happiness (A Handbook for Living), p. 295

 

Corrupt Religious Leaders:
   In Need of Honest Work!

Warren Jeffs 2011 In 2011 Warren Jeffs was in the news most of the year for his pedophilia. Jeffs, the polygamist sect leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was sentenced to prison on his conviction of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old who were his "spiritual wives."

Additionally, during the August 2011 sentencing hearings both a nephew and niece of Jeffs accused him of sexually assaulting them at ages 5 and 7, respectively. During the sentencing phase Jeffs, a self-proclaimed prophet, was quoted as saying, "I am God. Cease. Do not present my holy ways as a thing of naught," "Hear my warning as a full awakening. Let my holy way be of freedom."

According to CNN at the time, Jeffs' breakaway sect was believed to have about 10,000 followers. Their practice of polygamy, which the mainstream Mormon Church renounced more than a century ago, is part of the sect's doctrine...

Ted Haggard Eddie Long Religious "leaders" remained in the news for much of 2010. Bishop Eddie Long, known for his public crusades against homosexuality, faced serious allegations of coercing young males into sexual relationships. Reverend Ted Haggard, another anti-homosexual activist, went through a sex and drug scandal involving a former male prostitute about three years prior - In 2010 he began building another church here in my home state of Colorado.
Pope Benedict And, finally (for 2010 at least), the Pope was in the news again for his involvement in protecting pedophile priests. Here's what CNN had to say about the matter in September of that year; "Matt McCormick was in the seventh grade when Father Alvin Campbell gave him a ride home from a baseball game. As they were driving along country roads, Campbell put his hand on McCormick's thigh and 'just left it there.' It was the first time the priest had touched him. During the next three years, McCormick says, the abuse would go much further. That was 25 years ago. Just three months ago, he learned that Pope Benedict XVI played a role in keeping his abuser in the church when CNN told him about a letter signed by the pontiff - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - refusing to defrock the pedophile priest."
What's the one common theme running through all the problems these religious "leaders" and organizations have been having for the past two or three decades? It's obvious: many churches, religions, preachers, priests, and ministers are corrupt, immoral, and consider themselves above the law. As obvious as they continue to make this for us "we" still flock to their sermons, religious services, and other contrived celebrations. What's worse, "we" continue tithing to support their lavish lifestyles while we, ourselves, have to perform honest work to make a living. When will "we" ever learn? When will "we" put a stop to religious corruption?

 

Sarah Palin Flag Cross Fascism Sinclair Lewis

 

Anicent Religion

"As for the antiquity of Ju/wa culture, I think of their religion. They had two gods, both of whom lived on the horizon, one in the east and one in the west. I found this very interesting, as the horizons are areas of transition, day to night, night to day, when the diurnal and nocturnal populations of the savannah change places. The god is the west was involved with the /gauasi, the spirts of the dead. His name was /Gaua (gauasi is the plural of /Gaua) and he had to do with death. Evidently he had been around longer than the other god, probably from a time when our ancestral hunter-gatherers had only one language and one culture. Over the centuries the Bushmen divided into five groups, each with a different language and with varying views of the supernatural. But all of them knew /Gaua, which means he was with them before they separated, and may have been the first god in the world. Clearly, he is the oldest god now known."

"I admired the Ju/wa religion. The two gods were not moral policemen, and took little interest in people except to send them good or bad luck for no better reason than that they felt like it. For instance, a god might take the form of a gembok, and if a hunter in all innocence shot him, the god would wait for him to eat the meat and then, once inside him, would kill him. Frankly, I thought that was a more realistic view of how life works than the views offered by the more modern worldwide religions.

- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas in her book,
Dreaming of Lions (My Life in the Wild Places), p. 65

 

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Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for info on proselytizing...

 

Links:

  1. Alan Watts
  2. Buddhist chants and songs
  3. Bible
  4. Boulder Shambhala Meditation Center
  5. Circle Sanctuary
  6. Clergy Project
  7. Creation Theories
  8. Death
  9. Deep Ecology
  10. FFRF - Freedom From Religion Foundation
  11. Fundamental Buddhism
  12. Great Stupa of Dharmakaya
  13. KTTG Stupa
  1. Life
  2. Memorials
  3. Proselytizing
  4. Religous Tolerance
  5. Riin's Rants - Organized religion isn't the only religion!
  6. Roger's Rules of Order
  7. Sanctuary House Crestone, Colorado
  8. Sarlo's Guru Rating Service
  9. SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
  10. Spirituality
  11. There is no God
  12. Why Won't God Heal Amputees?
  13. Writing by me...

 

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