I can't think of religion as anything other than blind arrogance. Look at all the miracles, events etc. written and presented as facts that would be hard to take in an animated kids flick. If you don't just take it on face value and suspend disbelief, you are a sinner. What a cop out. We don't have to prove anything, as it is an article of our faith that doubt is a sin, therefore proof would simply be providing an outlet for doubters.
I was brought up an atheist, but have evolved into an agnostic. I really want to believe that there is something more, but the old man with the beard, the no women allowed, the virgin birth, the killing in the name of, etc etc. is all so exclusive. Religion and faith should be INCLUSIVE at its core, not exclusive.
Ive read the bible, bits of the Koran, Buddhist texts, Hindu, etc, and the common element is a sense of community, of loving your brothers and sisters, forget about the heaven stuff.
The common people have to reclaim what has been hijacked by the powerful to control the masses and serve their own ends. The Roman Empire dictated the structure and content of the majority of Christian churches in existence today. The modern Churches are simply puppets reacting to strings that were pulled two thousand years ago.
Ever heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Gnostic texts? Most people have. But do we know what they contain? Titles such as the Gospel according to Mary & Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Theres also what appears to be original or at least very very old New Testament texts and Torah writings.
I have a few questions about all of this:
**why hasn't every person of faith run out and bought a copy of the texts (the fact is that most havent)?
**why were the other gospels and letters written by apostles left out of the book we see today, even though they appear to be from the assumed time of the new testament?
There are so many similarities between the story of Jesus and the other religions, gods and demi-gods from the region of the time, and most of the dates 25th December, Easter and others, that were already celebrated by Pagans and Jews in the region for various ceremonies.
The more we think about it, and the more evidence amassed such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the more it looks like Christianity is a construct, created by those in power along the lines of other organised religions in the area at the time.
Unfortunately it takes a doubting mind, and one unclouded by a life of Church bred guilt, mysticism and idolatry, to think enough about it to get anywhere.