03
Jul
08

Easily led automatons

The title of today’s post might seem pretty rude and disrespectful of a large chunk of people (once I get into the meat of my post this morning you’ll understand), but it’s how I feel today. And just for the record, this post relates indirectly to my post earlier this morning, That Evil Condom and the commentary that enused last night over a recent post on contraception.

One of my favorite comments from the movie Clerks (or was it Clerks 2) is the brush-off by the character Randal of some folks as “easily led automatons.”

This is a view that many have of Christians and others with belief in a conscious God. The notion is that they cannot think for themselves and have to be led around by someone else and force-fed spiritual hogwash to make themselves feel better.

For my part, I believe critical thinking has a very good place in religious discussions, but there are those who stubbornly insist on devouring the dogma handed down by spiritual leaders instead of focusing on the truth handed down by God. And those people contribute to the notion that Christians are merely automatons; puppets. Our source for understanding God is the Bible. Our pastors and preachers and evangelists and priests and all the rest can help us understand, they can teach from the Bible, they can help guide…but they aren’t the source of the truth.

I go on (often) about things I dislike about the Catholic Church, and for good reason. This is a huge Christian denomination that is riddled with man-made rules and with doctrine that is at times counter to the Bible instead of supporting it. It is a church that doesn’t encourage believers to read the Bible (nor does it dissuade them directly, but Protestant denominations are much more into expecting people to bring a Bible to church, read along, and go home and read some more). Of course, there are plenty of Protestants and other Christian types out there who would prefer to just be told what to believe by a pastor or something; it’s just that the Vatican is the one organization that has most institutionalized this mindset.

God did not give us our brains so that we could park them at the door and let someone think for us. God gave us His word and with the advent of the printing press it became widely available (even more so now with the Internet), and He expects us to learn from it. We are to follow Him and not pastors or other men when it comes to things spiritual. Christians who argue my points often try to counter me by pointing me to books and videos and lectures and the like, but too few of them actually are willing to refute me from God’s word.

Christians aren’t the only ones, by the way. In a post a while back, I was in a vigorous debate about the existence and divinity of Jesus and one commenter, Ben, was arguing that Jesus’ story was simply a rehash of Egyptian mythology. And he pointed me to this very nicely produced video explaining all the parallels. Problem is, those parallels don’t exist, and they reflect both a modern reinterpretation of an Egyptian god superimposed on an older revision in which that sect gave its god a makeover in response to Jesus and made their god more like Jesus.

OK, I know what’s coming. “But Jesus’ birthday and all sorts of other Christian celebrations were re-tooled to correspond to pagan holidays. So there!” Yes, yes, yes. And that was unfortunate. But it was marketing. Ill-advised marketing. It was a way to appeal to the pagans. Jesus himself was not rewritten to correspond to pagan gods; the church simply made up holy days to get Jesus introduced to people. I don’t agree with that choice, but it wasn’t a reinvention. No matter how many times people say Jesus was a copycat, he was in fact a really unique cat. But because this is what people want to believe when they dislike what the Bible has to say, they simply accept the arguments at face value instead of looking for a real breakdown about who Jesus was and he fails to correspond to supposed predecessor god, like this breakdown here.

So, “everyone” does it, Christian or not. Across the spectrum, people follow men instead of seeking God. Why? Because too many people don’t want to bother to think for themselves. The reason that religion, and the world in general, are such a mess is because we follow “leaders” instead of searching for truth, justice and revelation and then following God.

The world is full of automatons. And there are a relatively small number of people who want to (and succeed) in making those automatons move and think just the way they want them to. Please don’t fall into that trap.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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