Can you imagine a major news network anchor saying the following in response to a guest describing the huge amount of garbage and plastic in the ocean?: “Well, obviously then, the answer is we need to stop dumping stuff in the ocean if we can avoid it.” IF WE CAN AVOID IT? I shook my head and had to ask myself if he really just said that. Do we really have to make a concerted effort? Is it really inconvenient for us to avoid “dumping stuff” in our ocean? Believe it or not, Don Lemon actually said this on his CNN news broadcast this evening, in response to a guest describing the mind blowing amount of plastic garbage polluting our seas.
This kind of ignorant disconnect from the inconvenient truth is bad enough, but even this isn’t even as harmful and damaging to the world as the “learned mental illness” of organized religion’s books of hate, the content of which is largely ignored in the interest of “tradition”. The problem in a nutshell is, like the mind blowing amount of pollution in our seas, religion (embraced largely because of tradition) throughout mankind’s history has consistently brought us even more of a mind blowing amount of war, hate and bigotry…while the popular false narrative its followers try to sell you is that it is about love.
Lest one make the mistake of thinking that is because people “misinterpret” the Bible or the Koran, let me say that is just more of the false narrative religion’s liars constantly push. The truth is, the Bible and the Koran are replete, that is to say jammed full of clear, unequivocal hate and bigotry, genocide, racism and angry vengeance, all clearly “ordained” by God in scripture. Yet its followers just choose to ignore the massive amounts of these passages in the interest of safeguarding their “family tradition” at the very least.
We have an obligation to begin an uncomfortable national if not universal conversation about this reality if we believe in world peace, and more specifically if we believe our nation can be the leader toward bringing about world peace. Why? Because religion continues to this day to be the one thing standing in the way of world peace. Like I asked at the beginning of this editorial about imagining a news anchor being so ignorant as to make such a statement about the ocean garbage, let me ask you this: Can you imagine a Jewish person accepting a book as “Holy” that frequently promotes genocide, and the massacre of entire cities and nations including men, women and children in the name of God?
I can’t imagine such insanity. But it is true. The Old Testament – the part of the Bible that Jews hold sacred to this day – is replete with such monstrous stories of God commanding the Jews do the SAME THING to countries and cities they conquered as Hitler did to the Jews in World War II. (Read Joshua Chapter 6 for but one of many such genocide stories, supposedly ordered by God, that go on and on in the Old Testament)
It is inexcusable, and beyond irresponsible, that so many people continue to this day to hold such a hateful book sacred, and teach it to their children as “the word of God”. Let me take this moment to bring clarity to something important: God didn’t “ordain” the genocide described in those scriptures. Those stories are often historical to some extent, and the genocide described was committed by hate-filled men who sought to rationalize and deflect the evil of their actions by writing those scriptures claiming that God commanded it of them.
These same individuals wrote scriptures claiming that THEY were God’s “CHOSEN PEOPLE”. They crafted a book completely at odds with a God of love and forgiveness, full of stories that allowed them to get away with their vengeful genocidal hate toward other races and philosophies they came across, while claiming that God saw them as “superior”.
It is obvious to a 5 year old that these teachings are sick, and in direct conflict with love and forgiveness. Yet, Jews and Christians alike refuse to face this truth, usually in interest of their “family tradition”. That is more important to them than healing mankind on this planet with a proper understanding of what real, true spirituality is.
These religious beliefs are what I often call a “learned mental illness”. It is a mental illness created by a “brain washing” process of driving into your mind from childhood the message that you must believe these “holy scriptures” or you will burn in Hell for eternity. After all, as a child the “gospel” is anything your mother or father tells you. So therefore, the Bible must be the “Holy Gospel” if they tell you that it is under penalty of eternal damnation.
The problem for Christianity and Islam (and the good news for those few of us who are promoting this critical conversation today)…is that deep down in the recesses of a child’s mind, they can never totally reconcile this “penalty of damnation” and this “genocidal God” with the constant contradictory narrative that God is LOVE and Christianity is about FORGIVENESS. Deep down, we innately know that forgiveness and unconditional love can NEVER condemn. The two are polar opposites. And deep down we know that true spirituality is unconditional love and forgiveness that does not condemn anyone.
I was recently talking with some friends, and I used a metaphor I like to use to explain the difference between religion and true spirituality. If religion could be seen by everyone as being like a “favorite color”, it would not be harmful.
In other words, let’s say I was a Christian, and you were a Muslim. If both of us had no condemnation in mind toward the other based on our “faiths”, and we just agreed that our religions were like my favorite color being red and yours being blue, then peace on earth for mankind would finally be achievable. You see, true spirituality understands that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all connected. We are all a part of what “God” is. We may have a favorite “color” for how we like to imagine a “path” to the Divine, but true spirituality understands that all the “colors” are part of the SAME COLOR SPECTRUM.
What happened is this: Just prior to the time the Old Testament covers, influential members of the Jewish community did what many other founders of religions have done throughout mankind’s history…they decided to create their own image of God that they could use to control their society through fear. The truth is, instead of us being created in “God’s image”, they created a sick, vengeful, bigoted God completely in their image.
And sadly it was accepted by their rank and file because it was just too easy to want to think of themselves as God’s elite “chosen race” as the Bible’s early “leaders” were telling them. The Old Testament is full of such references that God proclaimed them the “chosen race” of mankind and actually ordained their committing genocide of all that they conquered…men, women and children. This is one of the many huge red flags exposing the rampant false teachings and lies in the Bible, yet it is routinely ignored while being the “island of plastic the size of Texas” in the middle of the ocean, so to speak.
(Connie Bryan is the host of “The Connie Bryan Show” on Access Sacramento in Sacramento, CA http://www.conniebryan.com)