Every time the church pictures God as having a special love for Americans or for Western civilization we are justifying and therefore participating in centuries of murder, robbery and exploitation…
Religions grow out of particular cultures. They start with the frailties of their birthplace. The question is whether they will outgrow their origins or just consecrate the prejudices of wherever they were born. Religion that will not learn and grow is an ulcer on the human psyche.
I’m not saying religious imagery is completely wrong, I’m saying the difference between religious idolatry and reverence is that idolatry believes its imagery for God IS God whereas reverence knows to put the weight on the felt qualities evoked by the images- like “loving,” “creating, and “nurturing.”
Religion risks going mad when it reduces God to an actual being within space-time who looks more like some of us than others. The word “God” is only helpful when it points beyond itself and refers to whatever mystery lies within, between and beyond us.
— Jim Rigby
I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas.
Charles Bukowski, Sunlight Here I Am
The task of a liberated person is not to scold the world and preach to it, but to delight the world back to its senses.
— Alan Watts
Religion as control, religion as fear, religion even as an attempt to explain existence and correct behavior all manages to miss the point. Frankly, I think artists get closer to the crux of things because they pursue delight to its lair and dance with it. I’m using the word artist in the broadest sense here, which includes gardeners and chefs and orchestra conductors. Religion as we know it is a dreary thing that encourages judgment, fear and shallow identity. If it’s not going to promote aliveness and delight I’m not sure why we insist on doing it.