Back from Colorado

Last week’s radio silence was brought to you by dial-up Internet. I was at my folks’ home in Colorado and dial-up just wasn’t agreeing with WordPress. Oh, well, I have returned and I’m all ready to chit-chat.

First up: I’ve been thinking a lot about the zealots who tried to disrupt the opening prayer in the Senate chamber last week. (They did so because a Hindu cleric was offering the prayer.) Actually, I’ve been thinking more about all the blog posts I’ve read since. We can set aside the religious freedom question. I’ve finally accepted that while I think religious freedom means the freedom of anyone to practice any religion, to many it means “the freedom of everyone to practice only one religion, which just happens to be mine.”

But this leads to a question, which I hope others are willing to grapple with. As an agnostic, this just doesn’t make sense to me. Why does one religion have to be the only one that’s right?

I know that The Truth should be all Universal and such, but the fact is that there’s not much that’s universal about human beings. The Japanese have a totally different outlook on the world because their culture, their history, and their geography are all radically different from, say, a Bedouin in the desert or a smalltown girl in Colorado. I’m not saying there are no commonalities, I’m saying that the differences are equally important. Why would people see God in the same way when they see so much else differently?

Watch this video and see if you see what I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS2GY8C_2sY

This makes no sense to me, and it weirds me out, because a totally different cultural sensibility came up with it. But that doesn’t make it wrong; for all I know, this teaches language to Japanese folk better than anything else does.

So tell me. Why does one person’s interpretation of the Eternal Reality have to be the same as another’s? Isn’t it just possible that God reveals that reality to different people in different ways? Isn’t it possible that no religion needs to conquer another, either physically or spiritually? If someone needs an enemy (even, or especially, in spiritual matters) to know who they are, who are they really?

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5 Responses to “Back from Colorado”


  1. 1 Phil July 24, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Why does one religion have to be the only one that’s right?

    I believe that there doesn’t have to be only one right religion. But what if there was only one God and that one God wanted his creation to know the truth about himself. What if He so desperately wanted his creation to know him, by knowing I mean intimate union with Him, that he actually came down to earth? What if by doing this, this showed that this wasn’t a man made religion where there can be multiple paths, but a God made religion where there can only be one right because there is only one God and this one religion was the fullest expression of what this one God wanted to reveal about himself. What if this was true? Sounds pretty cool to me!!!

  2. 2 hdolezalek July 24, 2007 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for commenting, Phil! I understand what you’re saying, but I think that idea limits God too much. Why should God be limited to one way when his (or her? 🙂 ) own creation is so varied and radically diverse? Why would a God-made religion be so limited? Nah. But I support those who feel differently. Don’t agree with ’em; support ’em. 🙂

  3. 3 Phil July 24, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Could you clarify something’s for me? Yu believe that if what I said was true, it wouldn’t be a cool or freeing idea, but a very limiting idea? What does that mean? Analogies always help me, understand things: If I wanted to believe you were a drug abuser from Texas, who beats her kids and weighs 395 pounds, would you be limiting me if you told me that is not who you are? Or would you be almost freeing me by setting the record straight on somethings about yourself?

  4. 4 hdolezalek July 25, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    I suppose, but you’re talking about observable facts about ordinary humans. I’m talking about the nature of the Almighty, which I suspect transcends our ordinary definitions of “this but not that.” In other words, what if God were one thing to certain people, and another thing to other people? In fact, I’ll be getting at this in an upcoming post, prompted by this discussion and an earlier comment by another reader. This is why I heart blogging!

  5. 5 Phil July 29, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Very interesting thoughts. cant wait to read your upcoming post. Just some thoughts from what you have already written… I am going to assume from you comment “I suppose”, you agree that it would not be limiting to you or me, if I knew the truth about you. It would not be limiting to know that you do not beat your children, you don’t abuse drugs.

    So just for clarification, we both agree that it would not be limiting to know the truth about someone. Yes? No?

    With that established, your comment was my above statement would only hold true if we could observe facts about the person. I am assuming you believe there are no “observable facts” (could you define what that means) about God, thus we can not know anything about the Almighty, if there was an Almighty. Yes? No?

    My question for you is, if I assumed your position correctly, if we can know nothing about God, how can we know God so well that we can know that he cannot be known? How can we know that God cannot and did not reveal himself? What right do we have to limit God in this way? Maybe I am not putting the limits on God, you are? Yes? No?

    I would like to address your comment, “what if God were one thing to certain people, and another thing to other people?” after your reply. thanks


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