I wasn't going to review the Bible. I wasn't ever going to review the Bible. For one thing, it's a very politically charged move to make. For another, I've probably only technically read maybe less than 10% of the whole thing. A few verses here and there and the entire book of Esther does not a comprehensive reading make.
But today, someone approached me to tell me the message of God the Mother, whose evidence of existence is in the fact that God refers to "us" in Genesis, creating God in "our" image, creating male and female from "our image." This, she says, shows evidence of God the Mother; it is a fallacy to believe that a female form might come from a male trinity.
Great. That sounds like a pretty decent idea, and is sufficiently counter-patriarchal tradition to keep me interested for a moment.
That's not the point I'm here to address, though.
She said something about how she can see why I might have become averse to religious institutions, given that there are XX denominations out there (I don't remember the exact number) and that each has their own dogmatic approach. She says something about how there is a definite truth, though, and that a lot of institutions make the mistake of introducing their opinions to the text - such as the idea of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit trinity being the "us" referred to.
It's this sort of fallacy that drives me away from organized religion. Even the group that seems a bit more liberal than others still persists in the "our idea is correct" idea. Sure, they don't frame it that way; they frame it in a "we're taking a formalist approach to this text, and are therefore free from bias" sort of way. She asked/explained the idea that there is one definite Truth, right, and the way you find it is through the text.
The problem is my cognition is fundamentally more post-modern than that. I explained my views on the fallacy of the idea of a definite truth, going so far as to illustrate my point by going into the background of the seeing is believing fallacy - our shift from primarily auditory processing to visual - and that even with photographic evidence, we fail to take into consideration the photographer's bias in taking the shot. I could see I'd left her confused, baffled by the concept that I might not think truth exists.
Religion itself is an interesting thing. In a further departure from the God the Mother concept, she now begins to try to introduce religion. At one point, she asked a rhetorical question about why people turn to religion. "So they have some sort of sense of self-comfort despite what logic or their senses might tell them," I say in my mind as she answers, "So they can have eternal life." It's not a bad idea. If the idea that there's some greater purpose out there is what you need, then go for it. But I'm sorry. I've grown too post-modern to work that simplistic sense of comfort into my existential psyche.
She reintroduces the God the Mother idea, does an awkward (for me, anyways) pedantic bit about how it's evidenced in nature, how everything is birthed through both a father and a mother. She asks if I'd ever go back to church, read the Bible, knowing this new "God the Mother" concept that I do now. I say no, probably not.
My issue with religion isn't really with the patriarchal emphasis of it. Sure, that contributes, but my inability to believe wholly in a God of any sort is more my inability to make that leap of faith. And I'm the sort who can't make myself pretend I believe in something I know I don't. I still say I'm agnostic because there obviously are forces beyond our comprehension, and maybe philosophically speaking, it's all right to refer to those forces collectively as "God." But whether or not there's a conscious will to these forces beyond our comprehension? Perhaps the will is beyond our comprehension, as Christians would say about the inscrutability of God. But then, is Nature being malevolent when it enacts an earthquake? Is it punishing us for something? Or is it just a force: action, reaction? This delves into realms on which I have not sufficient information, and thus, no opinion. And that's why I have such issues with the God concept. Sure, it's great to personify these collective forces, but as an artistic gesture. But then, if enough people believe one thing over another, does that then make it true? What if everyone on Earth only knew the concept of God as a conscious entity? Then that would be the truth, even if in a reality removed from comprehension, there is no will. And I've gotten away from myself a bit here, but I grow uncomfortable with dogma. I could never live in a world of cold logic, but the presumptuousness of Religion does give me pause. Perhaps I'm more suited to a measure of spirituality than actual religion, per se.
On a more flippant note, why is it I always end up getting roped in by the religious ppl for their religious 'splainin'? What is it about me that screams, "Preach to me!!!"? Jfc, maybe next time I should just tell them sorry, I'm a devout Satanist, and walk away.