No Interest in Zero Sum

I am very interested in this idea that I have been seeing on Christian Bloggers that a person’s religion is a separate thing than their personal relationship with Jesus/God.

I would like to understand how a Christian or rather a believer within a religion sees that “religion” as separate from the central figure of said religion.

If I am understanding correctly – they are saying that God and you are the real one thing and organized religion is how people in olden days to current day have collectively expressed their personal relationship through an social structure

Which, over time, has become flawed, being operated by imperfect and often self serving people. That god is about you and him – not humans as a collective whole – but god to each individual.

Sort of like the Futurama movie, Beast with a Billion Backs.

if that is right – then why belong to churches when you can access god directly?

because religion is the frontier that sits between god and people – and the religious hierarchy from shamans to nuns – are the proxies through which god and the people interact

organized religion, in a way, is the middleman –

so if that’s the case – why bother going to or belonging to a church at all?

why not live your life fully and express your relationship through your daily interactions with other people and what community service interests you?

if what you have to be concerned about is your particular relationship

then why does it matter to you what other people’s relationship to the same or other gods or none at all, matter?

it’s not like old days when you traveled, people hadn’t heard the word – the word is heard around the world everyday people are killing each other over religious differences

and I think that if people really took the attitude that I am seeing – but I don’t know if I am overstating them – if what matters is you and your relationship with god

then you don’t have any business being concerned with other people’s relationships with god or anyone they chose to love – we have to accept that each of us are the expert of our experiences and we know what’s best and works for ourselves.

I can’t say this enough – in America freedom is the ability to take liberties with whatever makes you happy. Freedom of choice, to chose for your life, for everyone.

That means gays and lesbians get to chose partners who will make them happy – being married and a couple is hard enough without adding the unnecessary layer that one is homosexual and trying to be heterosexual.

Maybe instead of Christians condemning and demanding conformity at any cost, it’s time that Christians took a hard look at the world and what they are bringing about in it – and see yourselves as we see you – because to be honest, we’re a little tired of the picture that you keep painting of us as immoral perpetual teenagers.

I’m 43 and well beyond my grassroots activist days of kiss-ins to upset the status quo – I’m middle aged and tired of the constant fighting over who’s right.

Can’t we just say that each of us knows what’s right for ourselves and everyone else gets to know what’s right for them? Then we can talk about what works for each of us and totally shift the conversation – and you’d be surprised how much baggage falls away or roadblocks to conversation evaporates, because we open up new avenues of dialog.

It’s not my place to change what you believe or vice versa. It’s just not.

So wouldn’t it be more interesting instead of a zero sum you’re right or wrong – we instead got to talk about why it works for you and how you express it – so I could get to know you

and I talked about what works for me and why and how

and we both get to be not doubted about our life experience and understanding and instead, we get to exchange information and share what’s good and valuable.

Because quite frankly, I am tired of the unresolvable historic debates

I think we should toss that whole conversation and start over – not zero sum but interest driven – and we both have an interest to participate in the world and better understand each other and we can’t do that when we are undermining and de-stablizing the other’s sense of worth and security in a zero-sum going in circles contest.

Because we have serious problems that are global to solve and we can’t solve anything when we are arguing over what shape table and who gets to bring what and who’s right and who’s wrong.

We can’t work that way anymore – we have to deal with what are the facts on the ground that we all agree on and build more consensus and understanding. But we have to proceed from a shared understanding of facts and reality.

We can’t solve environmental problems through religious belief – because that means waiting for a deity to reset the earth to original factory eden settings. And even if we waited, most of us won’t get in anyway.

So we need to focus on identifying the problems, what the human portion of the problem causing factor is – and what can we do to mitigate and prevent?

The same basis of why we get insurance, city planning and the normal coordination of the infrastructure of life. What is the natural reality of the situation and proceed from there.

Because if there a Creator of the universe, then shouldn’t we trust what we learn by studying that creation instead of what people have written down and claimed as the word of god?

Once Adam and Eve left the garden, god didn’t abandon them – he sent them forth to multiply – and we have – we have dominion over the planet.

Look what we’ve done to it –  stressed habitats to the point of species extinction, populated all liveable land and basically poo’ed on everything.

Seriously, I’da kicked us out of the garden too. Campfire rule people – leave things in as good or better condition than when you encounter them.