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This week we explore the end of the world and how we all feel about being dead and tortured in hell right now.
Enjoy my excessive ranting about religion, cults and alien invasions while Jon cringes in horror at the apocalypse we now both inhabit.
Also, check out this list of end of the world themed songs to go along with our pointless jabber.
Johnny Cash ‘When the Man Comes Around’
R.E.M. ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’
The Doors ‘The End’
Growing up I had a very traditional upbringing for a white American. I grew up to divorced parents who each had partial custody of my brother and I. Our parents both worked at General Motors and both got remarried while we were still young. We went to a pretty middle of the road school, to a rather standard church and lived rather typical middle-class lives. There was drama, as there always is in split families, though I would say our family was a model of a modern family.
As much as I hate to admit it, I am now an adult. I have a well defined personality and world view that is no doubt shaped by the events that
have occurred throughout my life. The strange thing to me has always been how different I see things than most people I know. I always keep an open mind, questioning everything. I don’t accept things at face value, even when those things come from my elders or people in power. I somehow have developed an inquisitive mind that is unlike that of most people around me. For the longest time I could not figure out why that was.
Recently I was re-watching a TV show I enjoyed as a child and I started to realize that this particular show may be responsible for it all. That show is Star Trek (The Next Generation, to be precise.) I watched the show when I was younger because my brother watched it, and everything he did was obviously the coolest thing in the world to me. So I watched the show a lot. I don’t know if I always understood what was going on in each episode but it certainly piqued my curiosity. Looking back I see how this show influenced my mind, getting me to think about things critically. Creating and interest in scientific reasoning.
When I was a teenager I began to become very interested in physics, I remembered all of these fantastic things that I had seen on Star Trek. I remember a book my brother had “The Physics of Star Trek” that tried to explain the science on the show using real world theories and knowledge. In High School I once asked my physics teacher about string theory and was thrown back a bit when he said he wasn’t allowed to discuss it because it was still too new. This made science seem forbidden and even more mysterious to me and just made me want to learn more. So I did, over the years I took it upon myself to stay up to date on any new advances in the fields of physics, reading books when I could and just reading the internet the rest of the time.
Star Trek taught me to be open to things that were different from me. It helped me learn how to think critically. It opened my mind to possibilities that I never would have thought of. I think I can safely say I would not be the person I am today without Star Trek in my life. I always thought that the things I saw on TV didn’t effect me that much, but I suppose in this case being brought up watching TV ended up being a good thing. Thank you Gene Roddenberry, you are a most awesome creator of tales.
…Or the problems with the millions of people that claim to be christian but have no inclination to follow Jesus at all.
I do not claim to be an expert on the teachings of Jesus, but from my very basic understanding of the things he taught I am able to derive some very basic opinions about his followers. I do understand that not every christian is the same and many do try to be good people. There are just so many that make no attempts at living good lives or being good to others that it is hard to NOT say something. Judge me if you will (though that would be epically un-christian of you do to so if you did.)
Of course, tell me if I am wrong with any of these core principles here.
There are other things that he believed in or taught, but these are the ones I am going to tackle for now.
Jesus did not value physicalpossessions
If Jesus did not want his people valuing possesions wouldn’t it be wrong to try to collect as much wealth as you can when there are people that are dying of starvation in the world. People that you could not only help but are probably starving so that you could be wealthy to begin with. Do people in America believe that their enormous wealth just magically appeared out of thin air?
In our country we make large profits by exploiting cheap labor in other parts of the world. Almost anything you buy in the store is produced in this manner. When you buy such an item you are depriving some poor family thousands of miles away of a decent life. You make them struggle so you can save a little bit of money on your shoes or your car.
You could send them money very easily, in fact if you lived like jesus you would send them everything you could until you had just enough to feed yourself and your own. How many people can say they do this? I can’t, and I don’t know any who can. I am pretty sure that is how Jesus would want it though.
In this respect there are places in the world where this ideal is practiced as official policy. China is a good example. Communism can be debated as being the most christian of all economic systems. The communisteconomicsystem stripped to its core ideals is the lack of money or wealth. All wealth isdistributedevenlyamongst all people. Obviously the system in place in China is most likely corrupt as it is controlled by man who is by nature greedy and evil.
It makes you think though doesn’t it. In a country like the United States where a great number of people believe that we are a blessed and just nation, a “christian” nation even. How can people not see that our nation is in complete opposition to the teachings of jesus at a core level?
Jesus was a pacifist
Jesus did not believe in violence as a tool to change the world. He did not teach this nor did he condone it. Yet many people who claim to be christians somehow think that violence is the way to resolve all problems, even if those problems are just wanting more money. I do not think I need to cite any examples of this, if you have ever taken a history course, watched TV or lived in America you know what I am talking about.
Jesus loved everyone whether they believed in him or not
If the people who were constantly trying to convert people into christianity understood this concept, they would be much moresuccessful. Talk toatheistsonce in a while and you will find that many of them have stories ofpersecutionfrom within the church even when they believed in Christ. It is this core hypocrisy that turns many people away from religion and keeps people without religion away. Jesus led by example and by doing good works people just wanted to follow him without being convinced to do so by pushy followers.
The most outspoken supposed “christians” are the ones at Westboro Baptist Church. Their message, god hates you. This one church makes all christians look bad and they are completely missing the point. They are not the only ones like this though, only the most extreme. Countless others will judge you without even trying to get know you or to understand your beliefs.
Am I wrong? I could go into much more detail about the issues that religion itself brings but I think I will keep this post short and just focus on onedeityand not the underlying problems with society in general. Let me know what you think!
Are there any Romans out there that would be interested in buying my friend Drew?
He is ripe for the crux and is going now for a measly 20 silver pieces!