As it gets colder and colder I notice increasingly less people out and about on my way to my mandala. The air is crisp and clouds of hot air erupt from my mouth as I walk down the road. I have to keep my hands tucked into my pockets to protect them from the cold. My cheeks are rosy red and my nose is running. I am definitely not a fan of this weather. I reach the entrance back to the waterfall and there is a truck parked there, but no one is inside. On the back there is the typical fish with the word “Jesus” inscribed inside of it and on the other side of the bumper is a sticker that reads “follow him for there is salvation”. Then on a tree near the beginning of the path is a large oak with a fresh cross carved into its bark.
When I was young I attended church with my family, I was born into Christianity. My parents would attend the sermon and I would go to youth group with my peers. We would read passages from the text, eat, and converse about what we read. And as my intellect grew I started to debate what I was being told more every Sunday. I never said anything, maybe because I was intimidated or even unsure if it was true or not. It was all I really knew, I hadn’t explored other religions and we hadn’t been taught about those kinds of things in school so I believed what I was told to be true. At 12 I decided that I was too mature for those types of childish things and that I wanted to attend the normal sermon with my parents.
The pastor was a well off middle aged white man with several children. Everything about him screamed conservative. The sermon began and almost immediately the topic of lecture turned to climate change. He preached for the entire hour and fifteen minutes (I counted every second of it) about how global warming was a lie fabricated by the government and we shouldn’t believe it and trust in “Gods plan”. After that sermon I decided I didn’t want to attend church anymore. I came to the realization that (in my opinion) religion is something that has to be self-taught and not preached. I read the entire bible and did a lot of research over the next two years before I decided that Christianity isn’t for me. I still don’t identify with any certain religion but I do consider myself agnostic.
I identified very well with Martin Kaplans excerpt in moral ground: “Will religion guide us on our dangerous journey?”. He poses a series of questions about how religious leaders around the world. We rely far too much on the power of religion and fail to wake up and see what is actually happening around us to this strong but fragile planet.
“Religions are the most ancient formulators of culture and values in the world. They are the primary source of ethics for humans around the planet.”
Much mainstream religion serves to give humans a reason to follow what is ethical. There needs to be some sort of reward for everything that we do. Whether it be a promise of reincarnation or a form of heavan. This world will never survive if that is the way we keep living.
In my ideal world religion and science are one and the world is observant of our planet and respectful towards what their deity has granted them. As Kaplan words it: We hope that our religious faiths will provide the needed leadership so that societies and nations will respond with willpower and vision to reduce the suffering…”