There’s a blog I like to read but almost never comment on by a fellow apostate from religion in general that I find as endlessly fascinating as I do disturbing. Yesterday, after having been too busy to read during the holidays, I went back to her blog to catch up, eagerly reading one blog after another and finding each one both fascinating and disturbing as usual. I couldn’t account for it, so I went back over the blogs just to take note of what exactly was bothering me.
We have a lot in common she and I: our disaffection with religion in general, our feeling that it’s being used as a tool to brainwash the masses into the control of those who enjoy power tripping, that it blocks people from their full spirituality by dictating what their thoughts and feelings are supposed to be as opposed to what they actually are, that reincarnation is real, as are the lines of power between all things that some of us refer to as magic. She doesn’t call it “magic,” but she refers to it all the same. But none of this bothered me. Why should it? No, it was something else.
You know those little chapbooks the Seventh Day Adventists like to pass out? Well, I was never a member of their church; never even admired it really, but their chapbooks were nonetheless entertaining to me for many years. The stories and pictures in them were… I don’t know. It felt a little like reading short, bright, fantasy tales. So yeah, I read a lot of those cover to cover and was even friendly to the Seventh Day Adventist evangelists even though I tend to be unfriendly to evangelists in general, the former being friendly and full of entertaining ideas and the latter just insulting and borish. Even so, I eventually stopped finding them entertaining as I grew older because I started seeing them as simply silly and you have to have some suspension of disbelief in order to enjoy a story, you know? Okay, maybe not, but I thought of that when I was trying to think why my fellow apostate’s blog was bugging me. It was because on the surface it campaigned against religion while all the while campaigning for what sounded a lot like Seven Day Adventism, even to the terms being used like “Old Testament prophecy,” “The Daughter of Zion,” “The Children of God….” It also sounded as though she were setting herself up to be a prophetess based on an OT prophesy with the aim of starting a religion of her own.
My first reaction to that was to wonder if there was some sort of psychological condition resulting in the non-religious exhibiting religious behaviors. I actually Googled this and came up with nothing. Even so, I suspect it may amount to nothing more than looking for or wanting some sort of special status like being a “Chosen One,” “Charmed Ones,” or “The Select;” somehow being the One who’s “right” when everyone else is “wrong.”
I can understand the comfort of trying to convince oneself of that when so much in life is flat out overwhelming and more for some than others. I’m sure it has more to do with personality type than any religion or lack of one. Not something to blame anyone for really. You’re either totally comfortable with who and what you are or, like the rest of us, you mostly are or mostly aren’t.
My second reaction was one of self-examination. If I’m seeing this in her, could it be a reflection of something that’s in me? I really would NOT want to start a religion as I think there are more than enough in the world already, but I realize I talk about religion a lot. I can’t ignore its effects on those around me, myself, or the world in general. It’s an ignore-at-your-peril kind of thing. It really is.
My third reaction, was to look up that Daughter of Zion thing, which is what I should have done in the first place since it was so obviously a religious term more than any other she’d used. Turns out it’s a favorite for the Seventh Day Adventists; hence my funny feeling about it.
Having found that, I read some of their current stuff about that and this Daughter(s) of Zion thing is kind of a new wave trend among them. I think it’s new anyway. It’s prophesied in the Old Testament as a path away from traditional religion to a more loving personal relationship, through these chosen women, between god and man…
I am soooooo going to try and leave that one alone.
Okay. Try over.
…one not blocked by power mongering religious leaders dictating thoughts.
We are not dictating your thoughts. Just think what we tell you to.
This is where my thoughts go all choppy little death and seeing again a religious sentiment expressed to what are apparently non-religious demands.
Are they in me? Hmmmmm. I don’t think so. But I like the idea. I think it’s progress of a sort; not for me, but for the world as a whole.
Okay, I realize there is one other thing that’s bothering me about this: the sense of elitist separatism embedded in the terms “Daughter(s) of Zion” and “Children of God.” But even so: little steps, little steps….
Things I count progress for the world:
1. Equal rights for Americans regardless of race or creed or gender or sexual proclivities.
2. The military finally saying “We’re pulling out of Iraq and we’re not going back. Let them fix their own problems. This is between Iraqis; not us and them.
3. Syrian’s finally saying “ENOUGH!” to Al Qaeda. Telling them to stop fomenting religious friction and put down their arms or they will be eradicated there.
4. People sharing ideas on the Internet that religions, politics, nationality, and distance can no longer curtail. People that never would have talked to each other, even met, are talking to each other now. They are acknowledging one another in ways previously unthought of.
5. The Afghan women and girls beginning to “No” to forced marriage and suicide martyr belts being foisted on them.
6. A religion that claims to be non-religious saying, okay enough with the BS. Time to examine our own hearts and minds and pursue our own spirituality without being told what to think and do and say… what’s okay; what’s not.
7. Growing respect for ecological, an accepting of our responsibility to the earth itself. This is a slow process, but if you look at how it was in the 1950s compared to now, you can see we’ve come a long way. Back then, it was no big deal, for instance, for people to toss their garbage on the side of the road or just anywhere in public parks. There was no fine for it and few considered there to be anything wrong with doing so.
8. Growing health consciousness. The progress here with the last century has been immense.
I don’t know. A lot can go wrong between religion and spirituality and the world, but there’s also a lot that can go right. I think the people of the world are probably better off thinking independently but standing up together for the things that really count.
Oh. Side thought here: that religious guy that’s hunger fasting against gay marriage is pretty silly. He’s protesting against the same civil rights for others as for himself? Idiot. I just hope he doesn’t starve himself to death. What a dumb way that would be to go. Sorry. It just would be. It’s so crazy!
Gotta find the way to keep loving this crazy world though; wackos and all. Right?
Something else just occurred to me. If Seven Day Adventists, or members of ANY religion are indeed going through some sort of apostasy movement that does not involve actually leaving their organized belief structures behind, there’s a reason for that. The same reason that caused Buddhism to splinter out of Hinduism, Christianity to splinter out of Judaism, Protestantism to splinter out of Catholicism, Satanism to splinter out of Baptist, Catholic, and Pentecostal churches in the American Bible Belt, Ba’Haism to to splinter out of Shia Islamism, cults to splinter out of innumerable sects and religions, and apostates to leave any and all. Can anyone else here guess what I’m getting at?