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Sunday, June 03, 2007

A question of faith

Religion scares me. In fact maybe its more accurate to say that the religious scare me. There is no superior morality to be engaged from believing in God. A mostly fundamentally religious Caribbean has no problem screwing, drinking and killing its way to the top of all the worlds 'bad' statistics. And neither is it restricted to us. Most fundamentally religious countries show a huge contradiction between what is supposedly believed and practised. The example as I have mentioned elsewhere of JAmaica having the most per capita churches and the third highest per capita murder rate in the world fits into this.

Incidentally, mostly secular states, like the Scandinavians, have much less violent, more egalitarian societies. Of course they will all burn in hell so all that is pretty pointless on their part.

The result though for the Caribbean and a small place like Dominica is a resigned fatalism 'quitter pour Bondieu' (leave it for God), to deal with problems that require thought and decisive action. Its an intellectual laziness. And it leaves our society open to crooks and charlatans (ok... politicians) whose only redeeming feature is their protestations about how much they believe in God. people throw their hands up and assume the creator will sort it out in the next round.

I am not an atheist. I am still learning about my own belief system. But it is an odd situation which is actually crippling the mindsets of people who least need it.


pinnea said...

faith, belief, religion and morality are all different things, but've always been a "nice & easy, right on surface" instrument for politics..

Jen said...

So much damage in the world can be laid at the feet of religions. We would live in a very different world if people were spiritual, not religious.

La Gringa said...

I've thought about this issue a lot since I've moved to Honduras. Some of the worst use religion as a business tool, even to the point of printing the fact that they are a "Christian" on their business cards.

And you are so right about the fatalism ("si Dios quiere" here). I wrote a little about it:

God Willing

I really, really enjoy your writing, Caribbean Man!

Tom said...

We all have the need to be "right".

When others disagree with us, they must be "wrong".

So then it comes down to how strongly we defend being "right".

This of course, has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with the Human condition.

On the face of it we are really pathetic.

Aaron Ortiz said...

I agree with Jenn. The vast majority of "Christians" are nothing of the sort, because their religion is just an uneasy and guilt-inducing part of their cultural background. They don't really believe or practice it at heart but just externally. In other words, they're nice hypocrites.

"Faith without works is dead" is a biblical can I say I have faith if I have no works to show my faith is real?

I think the solution is for everyone to know God, not religion.

yojoamama said...

A person's religion too often becomes the excuse to perform acts a truly religious person would never carry out. That is a proven fact through out the history of all religions in our world. The promised forgiveness of one's god allows people to do the unthinkable.

Fundamentalism, I do not care what the brand, is dangerous.

I have lived in Scandinavia, and I would not consider it "secular" so much as they practice a more relaxed form of Christianity. But as to practicing what Jesus actually preaches, the Scandinavians are much more on target than any right wing fundie church in the US will ever be. I am an American citizen, I suffer it every day, and shamefully, the world does too.

There are times I believe the religious leaders are pushing the masses into the dark ages. Keep the people poor, uneducated, and scare the hell out of them with religion. It worked before, why not again.