Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sunday Sermon - Of A Sort

Bad religious poetry! That is a fertile field. Here is a taste of it:

There is but one righteous God and that is mine.
I know, I know his gaze.
He speaks through me and his words do shine.
I run, I run in a maze.

There is but one righteous God and he is mine.
I own, I own his rage.
He is hungry and thirsty and I am his shrine.
His war, his war I wage.

There is but one true truth that I have written.
In me, in me put your trust.
And all who doubt it are righteously smitten
by God, by God in my lust.

There is but one true God and I am his servant.
He has spoken to me but he speaks no more.
His silence is fervent. I am his token.
Mine is his holy war.

Edited to add:

I wrote this about ten years ago, so it has matured nicely. Seems a lot more relevant today, in fact. What made me dig it up was hearing something on the radio which started me thinking about the meaning of religion in violent warfare, the way the certainty that god is on your side can cause human beings to become monsters, can make human beings into their self-created god's mouthpiece, and can cause such acts that would make any god or goddess weep for centuries. Religion gives people great comfort in its reassurances. But it can also give people something else that is not positive and life-affirming but of the tribe of death: the leave to relinquish conscience and personal responsibility, the leave to relinquish our god-given abilities to think and the leave to let our dark sides out while all the time pretending that they're not the dark sides.

It's the desperate search for answers, of course, that causes both the good and the bad in religion. It's human to seek for the reasons for life, to ask if there is anything after death, and it's human to grab a religious explanation which provides hope. Then it's also human to exploit this explanation to ones own benefit.

That's why I trust people who seek for answers but distrust those who think they have found the only answers.