My mother often talks about how much I loved the word “WHY”. Even as a toddler I realized it was a gateway word. When you ask “why”, you get a response…after that you ask “why” and you get more info…it seemed endless! I grew up in the A.M.E. Church and had many questions about certain scriptures and religious traditions but because some things seemed to be “off limits” I just dealt with them and accepted most of it.
When I hit my teen years, I became somewhat of a contrarian. I challenged conventional ideas often, not because I believed they were necessarily wrong but I wanted to know WHY people believed them. The answer usually amounted to “that’s just how it is”. That’s never been good enough for me. When I got to college, I had the opportunity to speak with people from various religious/spiritual and non-religious backgrounds. I had even more questions. Is religion about crowd control? Is it historically accurate? Is it logical? Tell me more about this “Devil” dude.
I love comedy and I see many of my favorite comedians as philosophers. Richard Pryor, Mel Brooks, George Carlin, Paul Mooney and many more comedians were able to make me laugh and think. George Carlin always challenged religious beliefs in a humorous way. Here he is editing the 10 Commandments (warning: profane language). He makes some valid points. 😉
After listening to comedians and artists who challenged some of these ideas and approaches to life, and interacting with folks from various backgrounds, I realized how much these traditions and beliefs separate us instead of bringing us together. Even within most religions there are sects and denominations because of different ideologies amongst humans. Why are women treated like “the problem” in Christianity? The Adam & Eve story set things up for women to take the blame in my opinion. The misogyny and sexism within the scriptures is wild. “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. … Thy husband … shall rule over thee.” God punishes Eve, and all women after her, with the pains of childbirth and subjection to men (Genesis 3:16). Sarai is the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children. (In the Bible, it is the women who are barren, never the men.) She sends Abram into her handmaid, Hagar, so that she can “obtain children by her.” Abram gladly complies (Genesis 16:1-4). BRUH.
Check out how I got uninvited/kicked out of a Bible study during my college years…
There are lots of great nuggets in various religions and they provide strength and motivation for millions of people, I just get tired of people calling what they don’t understand “evil” because they haven’t taken the time to grasp someone else’s beliefs or non-beliefs. Let’s dig deeper. I know it’s easier to just accept what you’ve been told but that shouldn’t be enough.