I have decided to change the title of my series of ebooks from “Against Religions“. The new title for the series will be “About Religions“.
My original title for the series was deliberately provocative, based on the idea that my Christian faith is not a religion as I understand it, a word derived etymologically from the Latin ligare, to bind, namely a belief system that binds the believer into the suspension of the scepticism which is essential to human thought.
It is a relationship. I believe religion compares to the realities of human life in a similar way to how the rules of divorce relate to the ups and downs of marriage. Just as the rules of marriage are a social definition of the meaning of the devotion of this man or this woman to another man or woman, religious rules are also a social construct, relating the individual life scenario to a wider community who share the same (or similar) belief system.
If I am, as I believe, a bride of Christ, then the 39 Articles of the Church of England (to which I subscribe) do not describe my relationship with Jesus; they outline how we, as a faith community, conduct our affairs together.
But some of my brothers and sisters have been confused by the “Against Religion” rubric. Am I attacking the faith that we have in common? It is written (Matthew 18: 6) that anyone who sows confusion among Christ’s “little ones” (that is, those who have been born again and become like little children), “it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.
I don’t fancy that fate! So I am retitling the series, and redesigning my ebook cover designs accordingly.
I still believe that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with the Creator of all things. Though I also believe that religious and similar belief systems are the enemy of coherent thought (especially among those who call themselves atheists), they also appear to be intrinsic to our very way of being at this stage in our history.
To struggle against religions, and at the same time to accept that such belief systems are an essential aspect of the way we think, may seem like a contradiction, and so it is. To quote Walt Whitman:
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, Part 51 — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/t/lit/leaves-of-grass/ch03s51.html#ixzz2JxHXsZLN
As does God’s universe.
- Heartening debate about atheism in the New York Times (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)