Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO CHARLIE HEBDO

The United Church of Canada published a prayer in response to the murders at Charlie Hebdo in 2015. 

A Prayer for All Affected by Paris Shooting

Gracious God, By the light of faith, lead us to seek comfort, compassion, and peace, in the face of escalating violence around the world.

As we read news reports describing the horrifying situations in Paris, we offer our heartfelt prayers for those who were injured in today’s shooting; for the emergency response crews and police officers who are working toward providing security and safety for all; for the people of Paris who are mourning the death of loved ones.

God of Epiphany, We humbly offer you our pain, our bafflement, and our cries for peace, seeking your gift of transformation and your promise of hope.
Amen.

Gretta Vosper responded,

The prayer posted to the United Church’s web portal is one of the myriad responses and I appreciate that we chose to offer it in a timely manner. I question, however, the merit of such a response because it underscores one of the foundational beliefs that led to the horrific killing in Paris: the existence of a supernatural being whose purposes can be divined and which, once interpreted and without mercy, must be brought about within the human community in the name of that being. This belief has led to innumerable tragedies throughout the timeline of human history and will continue to do so until it fades from our ravaged memory. If we maintain that our moral framework is dependent upon that supernatural being, we allow others to make the same claim and must defend their right to do so even if their choices and acts are radically different from our own; we do not hold the right to parcel out divine authority only to those with whom we agree.

...

Where it may once have seemed justifiable, ours is not a time in which personal religious beliefs can be welcomed into the public sphere; we can no longer claim that the impact of religion on political and social structures is purely beneficial. This truth is obvious in the shadow of Paris, Ottawa, and countless other tragedies. We must boldly stand with those who would clear the public sphere from the prejudices of religious belief even as we defend the rights of individuals to hold whatever beliefs allow them to sleep at night.

COMMENT: THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DOING AWAY WITH AND OPPOSING FAITH IN A GOD WHO INSPIRES PEOPLE FOR THAT IMPLIES YOU CAN DIVINE OR DISCERN HIS WILL AND PLAN.  IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE CLEAR OR STRONG IN ORDER TO HAVE A TERRIBLE EFFECT.  IT NEVER IS ANYWAY EXCEPT IN SOMEBODY WHO IS CLEARLY MENTALLY ILL.  NOT ALL RELIGIOUS KILLERS FEEL STRONGLY CERTAIN ABOUT WHAT THEY FEEL INSPIRED TO DO.  BUT THEY STILL HAVE THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK.  THE THOUGHT/FEELING THAT THE SUPREME BEING AND THE MAKER OF ALL IS LIGHTLY PROMPTING IS ENOUGH TO GET YOU TO ACT ON A WEAK SENSE OF BEING INSPIRED.  YOU WILL FEEL THAT YOUR LACK OF COURAGE IS A REASON TO TAKE THE LEAP FOR GOD IS STRONGER THAN ANY DOUBTS YOU HAVE AND HAS MADE YOU FEEL THAT WAY.

THE IDEA OF A DIVINE PLAN DOES NOT NECESSARILY NEED ANY DIVINING AND YOU DON'T NEED TO FEEL THAT GOD IS COMMUNICATING WITH YOU.  THE DIVINE PLAN IDEA GOES WITH THE NOTION OF GOD. SO THAT IS A DANGEROUS ISSUE TOO.  IT CAN BE BAD ON ITS OWN OR CAN ENCOURAGE THE NOTION THAT GOD IS HELPING YOU DO SOMETHING. THAT WOULD BE AN INDIRECT WAY OF TELLING YOU TO DO IT.

THE REALITY IS WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE GOOD AND BAD ARE MIXED IN EVERYTHING SO ALL PRESUME THAT GOD IS INSPIRING THEM TO WORK WITH EVIL.  THAT IS WHY YOU CANNOT SAY, "BUT USUALLY PEOPLE FEEL INSPIRED TO HELP" AND USE THAT AS AN EXCUSE FOR TOLERATING THE RISK OF VIOLENCE. 

NOBODY WANTS A SYMBOL STATIC NON-INTERVENTIONIST GOD.  THEY WANT TO FEEL THEY HAVE ONE WHO IS RELATING TO THEM - IE INSPIRING THOUGHTS IN THEM OR COMMUNICATING BY ACTING IN THEIR LIVES.  THAT IS THE TEMPTATION THEN THAT ARISES IF YOU ARE IN ANY WAY ATTACHED TO RELIGION OR WORSHIP OR THE IDEA OF GOD. IT NEEDS A LOT OF HARD WORK AND DISCERNMENT AND VIGILANCE TO GET RID OF IT.  PARENTS AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS ARE MAINLY TO BLAME.