And the crazies that followed. I want to ask/say some things that I knew would be about as unfootball as most of that thread. I choose here, for better or worse.
As I see/read/deal with people in a similar boat to Meuma (non-orthodox Christianity, erratic behavior, ect), I have to ask, what's the deal? Where is the balance? What is their motivation? I am speaking mainly of Christianity, but the issues with crazy religious teachings aren't exclusive to Christians.
Now I ask this as a born and raised Episcopalian(though I am moving quickly towards an ambivalent, universal agnosticism), college graduate, having read the Bible (finally), and someone who interprets literature for a living. I'm also a big believer in science, in observation, and internal motivation. So when I see someone like Meuma who follows a youtube God (is that an accurate description?), I ask, what is going on in his head?
I think back to someone I know, who used to be a very open minded, free thinker, inquisitive explorer. He meet someone in a mega church (which is a complete other topic...), who got him involved in the band, then he joined up after the death of his father, and radically changed who he is. He's happy, so I do not begrudge him his happiness. That's one thing I'd like to express here. I do not begrudge anyone who has a belief system that makes them happy. I do not believe anyone is wrong per say, but I also find some religious behavior to be unacceptable (Westboro Baptist Church).
When you look at the ancient mythology of bygone civilizations, do many people understand the role of the myths? Like the ancient Greeks? Their myths taught lessons of history, behavior, and faith to the people. Modern folks dismiss them as pure myths/fantasies. But to those Greeks 2500 years ago, they were as true to them as a holy text is to someone of faith today. It looks like to me that people do not understand the role of allegory, or history, and context. Which is extremely dangerous because that leads to some of the crazy stuff we see out of folks like the Westboro Baptist Church. To me, this is the line where people are getting the faith stuff wrong. This is where I feel like people miss the point of the old testament in the Bible.
I have been taught in church (Christ Church, Charlotte NC in the mid 90s) that the old testament was the history of Christians before Christ. That there are some things we do, a lot of things we don't do from there. It allows us to place a context on the words of Jesus so that we understand his importance, aside from being the son of God. I don't get why people jump into the old testament so often in order to prove their superiority to others, quoting things like Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Those are very interesting books of the Bible, but from a historical perspective. Are we expected to live the loving life of a Christian (in my understanding) using the extremely ugly books of the Bible? Or should we understand that Jesus and the New Covenant were leading down a different path than what came before?
Of course this leads also into the science deniers. The "Young Earth" believers, like from the Bill Nye "debate." Why are folks so adamant about the factual nature of a book that naturally contradicts itself? Talk about a real head scratcher! If God created us in his image, aren't we doing "his will" by exploring, by discovering, by asking questions to learn more about the beauty of creation? The Young Earth people read seven days, and assume that it's seven of our days. What if God's time scale is completely different from ours? I mean, an Earth year and a Jovian (Jupiter) year are two completely different things. Time scales different depending on where you are in the solar system. Then again, many Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth (sorry Copernicus and Galileo!)...
I could go on, but I imagine that there will be enough "TL:DR - Ur goin' to H311!" kind of stuff. I look forward to it.
This is kind of a limited medium for expressing ideas. I am trying to be intellectual in my process of understanding. Why do I want to understand? Because I work with human beings of diverse background daily. I want to be able to understand where they come from so that I can work with them most effectively. The extreme religiosity of some people confounds the heck out of me. I'd appreciate intelligent responses instead of outright attacks. Then again, this is the Tinderbox, and I just brought a lit blow torch into a matches and gasoline factory...