Thursday, 22 September 2011

The fool has said ...

The opening line of Psalm 14 and the rest of the psalm about sums up the current state of affairs vis a vis faith and non-faith. All religions suffer from the same problem, as long as they are in the "folk" stage of growth they remain true to their origins, but then the rich and powerful recognise the advantage of having control of it and then the problems start. There are many examples of this "changing horses" in the Old Testament and nearly all of them end in pain and tears for the real believers while the rich and famous move swiftly on, embracing and espousing whatever is "new" and "popular" for their advantage.

I believe it is so with populist atheism today. A generation ago all the captains of industry, commerce and politics would have made sure you saw them in church Sunday by Sunday, now their descendants make sure you don't. Now it is fashionable to proclaim oneself an "atheist" and to declare one "believes" in a "religion free environment." As I wrote yesterday, it is now fashionable, if not de riguer to make a point of sneering at those who hold to the faith of their forebears. I do believe that this will, in due season, come back to bite with a vengeance.

Pure unadulterated atheism does not admit to there being anything special about humanity. We are, in that view, nothing more than intelligent animals who have a life span of around 70 - 80 years, assuming you don't get hit by a bus crossing the road, and we are all "free" to make a success or failure of our lives. In this line of thought a person only becomes a person when they are born and able to exist externally to the mother, at any time before that point, abortion can and should be carried out to eradicate defects, perhaps because the child threatens the mother's health or any one of several dozen excuses - most of which are predicated on the "child" not having any "right" to life until it is born.

This is a worrying state of mind, because it does not take a great leap of intellect to extend that thinking into a "final solution" for the vulnerable, the disabled, the helpless or the aged and infirm. If the test of having achieved a "right" to life is to be able to exist "independently of the mother" for infants, then how long will it take before some follower of this reasoning begins to ask the question "when should life be ended for those dependent on others?" Who then, will control the choice? The subject of the "care" or the "carer" who has grown tired of caring?

Much is made these days of the claim that atheism is more "moral" than any religion, and this is supported by the claim that there are laws in place that "protect" the "rights" of individuals to be, well, individual. It is argued that the Christian Faith "hates" those who are homosexual, a horrendous term coined early in the 20th Century to describe men who love men. Much is made of some of the more ludicrous and ill-informed utterances on this subject by fringe sects and a great deal is made -usually by the same people who accuse the Roman Catholic Church of sexual abuse - of their recent attempts to clean up their act by, among other things, excluding homosexuals from their clergy selections. There is a scream of indignation against this, yet the evidence does suggest that a "Gay" priest, living in seclusion and supposedly celibate, is more likely to abuse his position. Yes, that is a rather general statement, but it is supported by the evidence of the many cases of abuse reported.

The churches do need to reform and adapt a great deal of their thinking and teaching. Mainstream Christianity has always encouraged and fostered the sciences despite the much vaunted accusation around Galileo, whose offence was to insult the Pope rather publicly and had little to do with his theories and discoveries. It was the Church that founded all the great universities and it was Christian scholars that made the first tentative steps in modern scientific discovery. Darwin was a clergyman and held back publishing his results because he hadn't completed piecing his "theory" together (His correspondence with a bishop, when not quoted out of context or selectively, is enlightening) and there are scientists even now who claim it is not a theory but a hypothesis for which there is, as yet, only incomplete proof.

I find the current atheist drive of concern for a number of reasons and I do believe that it is, in part, fueled by a misrepresentation of the Biblical "ask and it shall be given ..." and by the present generations expectation of "instant gratification." It is said that many children now cannot understand why something they see happen instantly on television, can't happen in the same time frame in reality. Perhaps this is where we have a problem with understanding God and His method of working. Evolution being a case in point. It took millennia and generations to get the humans we are now. It has taken as long to develop the intelligence we have and one sometimes has to wonder about that! God doesn't do "quick fix" and most of His work in our lives is through people.

Therein lies my next concern, He does not force people or coerce them, those are human traits, so where there is no will among the people for a solution, one will not be found. If Atheism becomes the norm (and in recent correspondence with an atheist she suggested that the "world faith" picture" was Christianity, Islam, No Faith, Buddist, Hindu ...") then it will not be long before some of what I was asking earlier concerning the disposal of infants, non-viable adults and those dependent on others becomes a reality...

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