As fans and followers of Nobel Prize-winning writer and philosopher Albert Camus are celebrating the centennial of his birth today, people of many faiths and no faith at all do well to remember his legacy when it came to religion. Most importantly, as an unbeliever, Camus offers a powerful counter-example to the stridency and animus of the “new atheism” associated with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and others. Indeed Camus makes us long for the days of the “old atheism” when religious people weren’t mocked for their so-called irrational beliefs; bullied by the charge that “religion poisons everything”; and told to step aside while secularism sweeps clean the religious debris from public life.
The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday (Nov. 6) with a case that asks whether government bodies can open with prayers that some people find overly religious and excluding
A Muslim response to the previous video, which gets you to think or add to what one may believe or know.
I don’t really know what to say about that except that it happens more often than I care to. See, I have been without work for sometime now and though I am OK with that situation, not because I am lazy or withdrawn, but because I want to take my life in a new direction, re-purpose myself and do all that I have wanted to do ever since I can remember. I have always wanted to create and by writing, designing and programming, or learning how to program, I am heading towards owning my company and doing what I love.
The way my not having work ended up happening was actually a blessing in disguise and I am learning to work with it and around it. I had mentioned on my post, The point where…, that I have decided to go the way of LOVE(Living, Overcoming, Viral, Eternal) and how hard it is to do so in a world that thinks that LOVE is a weak emotion and lifestyle. Well, nonetheless, the main reason for this post is not about how LOVE may or may not be perceived but rather how this journey that I started on can be tumultuous. Tumultuous, may be a bit strong but it is what I feel nonetheless, and I want to share how I am navigating this arena, which is somewhat new for me.
As a child, I have always been spiritual but tradition and religion had, somewhat, made some impact on my life as well. Coming from a family of Catholics, and pagans. Part of my immediate family are truly religious and the other part “pagans”, at least from the point of view of the religious. As I grew up, maintaining the objective part of myself was eroding and eventually I ended up with a hybrid sense of view, which did not really help me as I analyzed it for what it really was, judgment. I hate judging others because I am no saint, even if I was a saint judgment is a deity’s job. I know that we are to have standards, morals, etiquette and the like, but does that mean that these things makes me better than others or worthy of judging someone else, I think not.
You may ask what does this have to do with being apathetic!? Well, I think that my lack of emotion, my unresponsiveness, has to do to with part of my past, present and future. My past points towards religiosity, my present towards inclusion, my future, so far, towards LOVE. Religiosity has made me hateful, vengeful, and pessimistic. Inclusion has made me doubt most of my upbringing, school of thought and the God I was brought up in. LOVE makes me see the real God, destroys my preconceive notions and brings in a lot of mystery with her. So, apathy seems to have been developed because so much change has happened, is happening and will continue to happen which leaves little room or time for processing. In essence, I have become numb, at this moment in time and life.
So, the question remains, how to I get out? I have come to understand that LOVE is the answer to my woe at this time. The very lady who has caused this is the very one to get me out. LOL!!! that is so ironic, I think! The bible, though used by some for ill purposes, does carry within it many pearls of wisdom and truths which lady LOVE has used to clean me up and use as a part of my re-education. In Corinthians 13:3-7, in the Message version of the bible, it says:
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
So, after reading this, again, I have been refueled and I am also looking at other great faiths, authors and teachers to see what they have written, said and/or done about or on lady LOVE. I call her she because to me that is how I see LOVE, as the greatest mother, sister, partner, friend, lover and the greatest woman ever. Though not a woman, myself, I have had great teachers in my life who have been women. I am not saying that there aren’t great men out there just that on the subject of LOVE, my exposure came from women. I am not talking about sex here, so don’t go there. Nonetheless, I just wanted to share with you that if you are one experiencing what I am going through, that I am with you and that you are not alone. Read on LOVE, for I believe that she will lift you up. LOVE is not just emotional, she is also a way of life.
Karen Armstrong, acclaimed author and religious scholar, speaks at St Paul’s Cathedral on the topic of her book The Case for God as part of the St Paul’s Forum autumn series of events.