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Reconciling God and Reality

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Reconciling God and Reality

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reconciling God and Reality


Unfortunately, I'll likely lose a number of you as readers due to the following post, but I must be true to my personal philosophy:

For years and years I'd been, at best, an Agnostic. I'd left the option open for a Supreme Being. I'd never moved into the hard and fast Atheist lane.

But I always asked in my youth: if there really were a Supreme Being, a God, why did He allow so much killing and death and hate and oppression in His name?

Stemming from that, I was a hater of any Organized Religion. Today, even, I hold Organized Religions at arms' length. I am not an attendant of any particular church nor do I hold to any specific level other than that of "Christian." As opposed to Buddhist or Muslim or Hindi or Jew.

I believe that any religion is best held close by the individual. I believe that, when Man becomes involved at an overarching level, there can be amounts of corruption, immorality, misunderstanding. Specifically because Man is involved.

I also have to examine the base tenets of religions. What does the religion SAY and ESPOUSE vs its actual practice?

That question led me to more completely focus on, say, Islam. Due, obviously, to events occurring in the past 20 years. And Islam, I realized, has been corrupted and hijacked and twisted to the point that anything done or completed in its name is likely false and dangerous.

And I finally realized -- as with most any other issue in Humanity -- it doesn't much matter what you say or write; it matters what you DO.

I distilled this down to: DEEDS, not WORDS.

How many people have been killed and injured at the behest of Islam recently vs the number of persons killed and injured by Christianity?

There is no comparison.

However, further, if I were suffering at the point of a disease that could be cured by certain specific-type stem cells I would not differentiate. I would want that cure. I would want my wife, my father, my mother, my brothers to have that cure.

And here I will leave a number of you behind.

I believe in a benevolent God. Not a strictly linear God.

I've gotten to this point because I, myself, have had to deal with my own mortality quite a number of times. In my job, off duty, with my health.

I believe in Goodness, to a degree.

I also believe in Evil. True Evil. True, unexpurgated, raw, filthy, unchecked, naked Evil. I've had it shoot at me and I've shot back at it. I've literally had to fight it, arrest it, see the results of its actions laying in pools of blood and shredded tissue. Time and again.

And I do NOT believe that Man is innately "good," on most any level. Man is constantly challenged. Man has to fight. Man has to struggle against the base animalistic elements of his past.

Evil exists for any number of reasons, not the least of which include 1) It is easy; 2) It is fun; 3) It carries psychological weight and 4) It is mostly unopposed due to the naivete of Man.

There are base tenets by which Man should live. I would include The Ten Commandments.

They are a logical and fundamental way by which every individual should conduct their lives, whether they are adherents to religion or not.

Religion?

I hold my religion closely within my own breast. In my own head. I don't share it with anyone. I don't attend congregations or churches because I don't trust Man. I don't make mention of it publicly. I wear a metal cross over my own chest, around my neck, on a chain, presented to me by a man the likes of which I won't question his duty or diligence because I know from whence he originates. He presented me, in passing one day, with a metal cross blessed by Pope John Paul II in 2004. You know who you are.

I wear it every day. Under every shirt. Few know it's there. But I know. That's all that matters.

It was probably one of the greatest gifts that could have been given to me in a quarter century.

Because I believe in the ultimate posture:

The individual semblance of Man, yes. . .

And the belief in a greater system, a greater power, a greater design.

God.

Because, without God, everything else is just transitory and meaningless.

And there are simply too many wonders, too many glories, too much in the Universe, too many coincidences, too many points of grace to otherwise explain.

BZ

15 Comments:

Anonymous Ranando said...

Great post BZ.....

I believe that a relationship with God and the Born-Again movement are NOT one in the same. I think the Born-Again movement is one of the Devils greatest accomplishments, deception.

I was raised in church schools (not Catholic thank God) my entire life. My parents taught me and my sisters and brothers to question everything, question everything they tell you.

I believe that everything man touched, he destroys including the Bible. I do not believe the Bible is the word of God, I believe the Bible is the word of man about God. I don’t think God ever wrote a book.

I’m with God when I’m in the ocean surfing, standing in a stream fly-fishing (catch and release of course), on a mountain trail with my wife and dogs, with our horses or visiting the people of the world in many different countries.

I don’t believe that God loves Americans more than other people; I believe he loves everyone equally no matter whom they are or where they come from or where they live.

I don’t need any man to be between me and God, I talk to him directly. I don’t need to confess my sins to any man, I confess them directly.

I know for a fact that God does not want me wasting much of my time setting in front of Fox or any other news or spending my days concerned about World affairs, he will see to that.

It is mentioned throughout the Old and the New Testament not to interpret the Bible, so I don’t, I take it literally.

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”I don’t add or take away anything; I take the Bible for what it is. Today’s Christians, Born-Agains and Catholics add what they want and take away what they don’t like; I will not be part of that.

I don’t need any human being involved in my relationship with God, he and I are doing just fine.

Let’s face it, if you were born in Saudi Arabia, you would be telling me what a great religion Islam is and how Mohammad is the greatest God of them all. Thankfully you weren’t.

My faith in a higher power doesn’t all come from my up-bringing or the Bible. Some comes from my days in Medical School, Gray’s anatomy actually. When dissecting the human body I would think to myself, there is no way this just happened? Someone designed this, it is to perfect to just happen, IMO. I still believe that to this day and I know that someday I will sit down and talk to him about it.

He gave me the Earth so I will respect him and take care of it, no questions asked. He gave me my body and that to I will respect and take care of.

So as you can see I’m not a religious freak, in fact I can’t stand religion, I don’t need it.

I love God, it’s his followers I can’t stand or let me re-phase that, understand.

I’ve said this before and let me say it again. When you’re lying on your death bed and it’s all over I guarantee that you won’t be thinking about politics, the right or the left or any World affairs. You won’t be thinking about what you did, you’ll be thinking about what you DIDN’T do. I will be smiling and thanking God for such a great ride, one I truly enjoyed, each and everyday.

Sun Apr 26, 07:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger USA_Admiral said...

You did not lose me as a reader.

Sun Apr 26, 07:36:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Violence Worker said...

BZ,

I've never questioned the existence of a God because of the very reasons you gave in closing. I've wrestled with the concept of organized religion on more than one occasion.

So many people refuse to believe that evil exists - some even after they've been confronted with it face to face. Evil exists as much as goodness exists. We are given the choice and we often make that choice daily.

Great post, my friend. It's sometimes hard to bare one's soul, but it's sometimes necessary.

VW

Sun Apr 26, 07:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Maggie M. Thornton said...

You certainly didn't lose me as a reader. :-)

Sun Apr 26, 09:22:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

I too have had that struggle with a supreme being. I tend to think in terms of God, fate, luck, destiny as being that supreme being. I have long thought that our lives are kind of a grid mesh that have certain "nodes" or events that we are destined to encounter. It is at theose nodes that we can change the direction of our lives. It takes work because of the momentum of the road we took into that node.
I have a BIG problem with organized religion. Organized religion is what all those poeple have deid from not "in the name of God".

Sun Apr 26, 09:29:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Carlisleboy said...

Hey Ranando!! What you got against Catholics? Thought you were supposed to be all tollerant and whatnot? My old Principal Sister Laura Valmont would Liek to introduce you to her "Special" Ruler.............LOL
(Joking)
As my profile says, Gay, Catholic and Republican here. There have been a few times in my life where the ONLY person who was there to help was the Big Guy. He does not always answer our prayers the way we would like, (Although He came through on Dutch Harbor For me exactly) but I can not say I have really ever doubted his existance.

Ok, I am a Little Prejudiced about one specific subset of people. Athiests Creep me the Fuck Out!!! I have NEVER had a reasonable conversation with one, due to their vain feelings of self importance and total reliance on Science. When they can not believe in anything other than what they can see, tastes, hear and feel then they lose an essential part of what makes them human, and they are no more than the "animal" they profess us all to be.

Great, now the Athiests are going to be after me AGAIN...........Thank GOD I got Saint Michael the Archangel on my side!!

Sun Apr 26, 10:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Any you lose over this, you NEED to lose...

Those that feel they have to scream their perceived good deeds at the tops of their lungs for ALL to hear, and you KNOW who you are, you post about how you helped this one and that one and all the time YOU give to the *church*, if you don't like this post, BZ hasn't lost much at all...

It's in your hearts and deeds, NOT in your words...

And in Ranando's defense, I was raised Catholic, that *church* is responsible for more 'hang-ups', queers, whores, molested children and lost innocence than any out there.. Kudos Ranando!!

It is the radicals and hypocrites of Christianity, much like those of Islam, that give it ALL a bad name...

Sun Apr 26, 11:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Leslie said...

BZ, it takes a lot of courage to express your personal beliefs. That is what freedom is all about. A person who will hate you for presenting your belief system is not a friend of yours.

This is the problem we are facing in society today: anger as a result of one person expressing their beliefs. If anyone shows you anger for expressing your beliefs, they need to leave your blog anyway.

I am a Christian. I don't jam it down anyone's throat. It is my job to live a life that is closest to Christ.

Man fails because man is prideful and gets in the way of many things. Organized religion gets fouled up, oftentimes, by man's interference. When we take the control away from God and try to do things our own way, we, as mankind, can really ruin a good thing.

I am glad you shared your beliefs. Our relationship with God is a personal journey: between God and ourselves. When we seek God, he will surely meet us where we are.

Still calling you friend, still keeping you on my blog roll :D
~Leslie

Sun Apr 26, 12:22:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous jo said...

I cannot express how much I appreciate this post BZ. I share the same sentiments, and I know evil exists...like you, I have seen it up close and personal.
I also agree with your reader that said atheists "creep me the F out".
Thank you for expressing how so many feel.
God Bless,
j

Sun Apr 26, 02:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Or as said by others:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Or as Emmerich de Vattel put down some time before that:

"§ 3. Right of making war.(136)

In treating of the right to security (Book II. Chap. IV.), we have shown that nature gives men a right to employ force, when it is necessary for their defence, and for the preservation of their rights. This principle is generally acknowledged: reason demonstrates it; and nature herself has engraved it on the heart of man. Some fanatics indeed, taking in a literal sense the moderation recommended in the gospel, have adopted the strange fancy of suffering themselves to be massacred or plundered, rather than oppose force to violence. But we need not fear that this error will make any great progress. The generality of mankind will, of themselves, guard against its contagion — happy, if they as well knew how to keep within the just bounds which nature has set to a right that is granted only through necessity! To mark those just bounds, — and, by the rules of justice, equity, and humanity, to moderate the exercise of that harsh, though too often necessary right — is the intention of this third book."

Which is why terrorists are man returned to the Law of Nature and Nature's God and have taken back all liberty and rights to themselves and give none to society nor to create government or State or Nation. We do, indeed, have the stamp of Nature upon us, and it is only by reason and using judgment that we can rise above that and create the laws of earth and man to ensure we have exercise of liberty without fear of Nature.

It is, as Jefferson wrote and Franklin edited: self-evident.

We are beings of Nature.

Nature is neither good nor evil, it *is*. In using our negative liberties we can become evil, which is why we vest them in government so that we do not prey upon each other. Government, thusly, as Paine put it, is the punisher as those are the negative liberties we vest in government to protect society. Only with reason can we separate our natures so as to recognize positive and negative liberties and rights. Thus we have the awsome power of everything save those few things necessary for government as OURS to use as we see fit.

Government is a necessary evil, holding these negative liberties. It becomes a divider, classifier and creates distinctions so as to recognize what to punish and how much and hold itself subject to society and its servant. When we are served BY government with things rightly ours, then our positive liberties also disappear and we become enslaved to government.

Both returning to the Law of Nature and having despotic government are abhorrent to us all. Terrorists are at one end, those wanting 'good things' from government at the other: both are horrific. Government can protect, not create. Government is our servant, not our benefactor. Without government we become like terrorists, red of tooth and claw at war against each other and all humanity.

We have the ability to work evil, and so it must be restrained.

Giving good to our necessary evil to do is the worst evil possible.

Returning to the state of Nature abhorrent to all that reason.

This simple truths are self-evident.

Until you meet a terrorist or leftist...they want the impossible. And will kill you to get it. And find that what they sought is no good at all.

Sun Apr 26, 02:27:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Cowgirl said...

That last bit:

Because, without God, everything else is just transitory and meaningless.

And there are simply too many wonders, too many glories, too much in the Universe, too many coincidences, too many points of grace to otherwise explain.
BZ, that last bit shows me that you "get it" and you've "got it".

Sun Apr 26, 03:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Law and Order Teacher said...

BZ,
I think in our line of work we see so much evil, some doubt about God is natural. I'm Catholic, have been my whole life. 16 years of Catholic education.

I agree with you that religion is private. It must involve a personal relationship with God. As for organized religion I think there is a place for it for some who feel compelled to share fellowship with their fellow believers.

I can't begrudge anyone their personal feelings about organized religion. I have enjoyed mine and I credit it for forming the basis of my beliefs about everything.

Having said that, I am not foolish enough to believe that anything involving humans can in any way be perfect. Churches have their flaws because of their dependence on humans.

But I also believe there many good people in the world who don't destroy everything they touch and it is these good people that give us hope. These along with the things you mentioned are God's gift to us.

Personally, I believe everyday above ground is a good day. I believe we can choose our attitude. I believe God is watching over us and if we seek to please Him we will be rewarded. When I cease to believe this it is over.

BZ, good post and I would never tell people how to relate to God. I agree, that's personal.

Sun Apr 26, 05:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Greywolfe said...

I understand why you don't belong to an organized denomination. My dad was Methodist, my mom was Penticostal. In both sides, I saw vanity, jealosy, corruption, lust, and nearly every other sin man has ever committed against his fellow man.

Christianity has come a long way off track from what our Lord laid out through the apostles. I currently go to a Baptist church. Not so much because I'm baptist, but because I knew the pastor out in the world and respect him. I don't always agree with him, but I do respect him.

As for your other statements, Absolute evil, mankind's debased nature, and your belief in Deeds not words. All fall in line with what our Lord had in mind for us to know, understand, and put into use. You fit the term "Christian" more than most that sit in pews.

You are a member of my "church" whether you like it or not. We just don't have a building over us.

Sun Apr 26, 08:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Greywolfe said...

Also, I'll ad this little gem.

I'm glad that you mentioned your faith. "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another" Proverbs 27:17.

whether we sit in a church, sit and study with each other, or quietly act out our faith without fanfare, it's nice to know we aren't alone.

Sun Apr 26, 08:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

While I've no doubt of God or our Savior, I'm with you on most organized religion.

Mon Apr 27, 10:29:00 AM PDT  

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