31 Mar 2015

WE need a NEW RELIGION!

Sunset of Mount Makiling


You know what? I believe in GOD. He (or She, as women prefer to refer to her) talks to me all the time. He guides me, He enlightens me, He teaches me, He shares all my joys and my sorrows.

I can feel the presence of God in every sunrise, in every sunset, in every gust of wind, in every child that is conceived, in every leaf on every tree, and every leaf carried by the wind.

I have no doubt that God exists.

And science does not shake my faith; on the contrary, it strengthens it. From the big bang theory, to the primordial wave, to the theory of evolution, all points to the fact that there is a greater power at work (creation and evolution are not mutually exclusive).

I do have issues, however, with religion. I was born and raised a catholic. And this is where the problems originate. Dogma, doctrine, scriptures … believing something that puts into question my intellect and common sense.

In fairness, God gave me my intelligence, and a brain capable of independent thinking. I am sure He does not expect me to believe that (as the old scriptures would say) he would ask some general to bring him 1000 foreskins (what would He want to do with them?), or that He would say women are dirty because they have their period (he made them like that, why would he punish them for that?), or that He would want to dictate what we eat, when, and how … that defies my sensibility (which He gave me!)

And this is but a short, non-comprehensive list!

For example, I was reading an article recently about ISIS, which gave a powerful perspective on Muslim religion, and I can only sympathise with the emotional, mental, and spiritual struggle that Muslims all over the world must be going through. Please read this article, it is enlightening

There is also the added fact that Jesus' life has been replicated through time. Read this article as a summary, but please feel free to do your own research.

I do not want to bore anyone with further articles and research, but will be very happy to do so for those who ask.

However, following up on the article on the multiple Jesuses, I feel rather reassured.

It would appear that God has been giving a consistent message through time and geography. All these people have given the same message. Love each other, and love God. Be kind. Be generous. Think of your soul as much as you think about your body.

People like me will interpret this as clear evidence that we cannot be stuck into a single religion. Each religion gives a standardised and biased message based on what we human beings like so much: rules and regulations. Furthermore, these will be usually prejudiced by local culture, history, philosophy, and beliefs.

But that is not what faith is. Faith is a journey. Faith is uncertainty. Faith is discovery. The only certainty is that God (a greater power, whose name we do not even know with certainty!) exists. Everything else is just speculation.

Scriptures, books, and prophecies are simply the interpretation of simple and often ignorant people like us of what He tells us.

We need a new Religion. A Religion that transcends all other religions, while encompassing all the commonalities. A Religion that emphasises how little we know. No certainties. No Dogmas. No Saints. No infallibility. No blind belief that the words of some people are to be taken at face value and are more valuable than the words of others.

A Religion that does not insult our intellect, our sensitivity, and our sensibility.

A Religion that lets us explore, study, share with other faiths, worship, and live what is the reality of God.

Possibly such a Religion exists, but that is for another post.

24 Mar 2015

Leviticus 18:22 confusing rape with sexuality ...


Lovers - By Lois Ruiz
Lovers - By Lois Ruiz
I accept that some people find homosexuality difficult to deal with! However, God gave us intellect for a reason. So here is a brief rant about this subject.

Just as an introduction, this is not going to be a theological debate, nor am I going to discuss, or judge, or comment on religion here. I will leave those issues for some other posts, or for others to discuss. This post is about common sense!

Whether one is gay, or otherwise, we all have brains, and we are all blessed with a greater or lesser degree of intellect. So, let us get in to the subject.

English Standard Version
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

My question to the reader is very simple: why would a man would “lie with another man as with a woman”?

I am sure it does not take much pondering, or cogitating, or debating, to understand that if a man wanted to have sex with a woman, he would do just that. There is no reason for a man to make love to another man and treat him like a woman in the real world.

The only situation that comes to mind where a man would “lie with a man as with a woman” is the kind of prison setting, where some men force other men to behave like women to overcome the absence of the opposite sex! (or something similar...). This is generally called MALE RAPE!

Leviticus 18:22A gay man makes love to another man without any confusion, and unquestionably aware that he is making love to a man; and with no wish whatsoever to be with a woman. There is no woman in GAY! (Unless we talk about gay women of course…)

It is a huge misconception, which I think is brought about by a mixture of stupidity, ignorance, and prejudice to think that gay relationships actually are sexually the same as straight relationships.

The reality of it is that when we talk about "gay" in real life we do not talk about sex. We talk about LOVE!

A relationship (i.e. what follows when we LOVE) is about a mental, emotional, and spiritual connection, as well as a sexual one (and please note that the sexual part comes at the end of the list of mental, emotional, and spiritual).

Being gay simply means that a man is able to achieve that level and depth of connection only with someone of the same sex, instead of with someone of the opposite sex.

I will not discuss the intricacies and complexities of being bisexual, transgendered, transvestite, etc. here. That is again for another post, or for others to discuss. The simple fact that gay activist groups have Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender as separately identifiable initials in LGBT should indicate that there are considerable differences.

If one enquires with gay men, they will find that not any of them has ever fallen in love with someone of the opposite sex. Overall, gay men have no interest in having sex with women. Most are even disgusted just at thought of handling the genitalia of a person of the opposite sex.

If this is the case, that gay men do not have interest in copulating with the gentle sex, the obvious question that follows is: how could a gay man possibly imitate the straight sex paradigm with another man?

Hopefully, by now, the point is made: only a straight man would “lie with a man as with a woman”.

Therefore, at the risk of repeating myself, it is my somewhat "inspired" opinion that Leviticus is talking about rape, specifically male rape. The kind of rape that happens in prisons, or places where there are no options for straight men to find women, or some kind of similar situation.

Once we put the whole argument into perspective, RAPE is wrong! I doubt that anybody would or could disagree with such concept.

We must therefore conclude that this is the one and only intelligible interpretation of this verse: acts like prison rape (and this should most certainly be extended to understand that a straight man having sex with another man and expecting them to behave like a woman just to satisfy some primordial need) are abominable. And I would hope that most readers would tend to agree with such statement.

I can see no indication here that God is giving anybody any instructions not to LOVE someone. There is no evidence at all that God forbids a man to love another man, and to make love to him as two men would. Nothing against gay relationships!