By Mike Dishnow, April 4, 2008
Religion is a tool, a means to an end. Mankind uses this tool in the same manner that it uses a hammer and nails; to build a supporting structure.
Thoughts come first, then actions. The justification is often shrouded in the legitimacy given to religious belief. This is particularly true in proscribing the behavior of others. It is interesting that we, in the United States, are afraid to criticize religious beliefs and allow bigots and other malcontents to hide behind the veil of religious freedom. As soon as someone claims religious belief, the critics run for cover. There are exceptions, albeit rare: polygamy, drug use as insight producing for most ethnic groups; female circumcision (may be more a social custom).
By shrouding our desire to control the actions of our fellow men in religious terms we legitimize our biases and beliefs. We cover our fears and ignorance in the cloth of a transcendent being; one who has revealed “the truth.”
It is time to shred this shroud. Our religious beliefs must change or they will wilt and die. Thomas Jefferson penned Jefferson’s Bible. He literally “cut and pasted” the parts he found meaningful into a new volume. He cast off the chaff.