Sunday, October 19, 2008

Raising Caine

Bill Maher has recently made a movie entitled Religulous...a contraction I suspect of religion and ridiculous...which in short his summary perspective on those who are of religious faith, or more pointedly believe in what he finds to be myths that are a little too incredulous.

maybe its the combination of religion and incredulous that led to the concoction of his title. Maher himself talks about the fact that he is merely doubtful ...not agnostic, not atheistic just doubts that there is merit in the teachings of a great many of the major religions that have captivated the American population. He does not explore the eastern religions but he does include islam.

The effort to question the rationality of believers amidst a seemingly irrational world in which so many violent /destructive behaviors are fueled by religion or religious philosophy is a worthy question. Are those of faith really exercising their logical faculties or have they merely put them aside for reasons of faith? The less surety or confidence in our own resourcefulness the more likely it appears we are to follow even the most absurd of stories that are the basic teachings of many of the world's religions. Adam and Eve created simultaneously with animals that existed in another era, or the story of immaculate conception or the story of Sodom and Gomorroh and Lot's righteousness in giving his daughters to save the angels...not exactly the most moral or defensible of tales.

But what he fails to offer is an alternative. It's one thing to point out the absurdity and another to strike out to create an alternative. Does he support a leaderless model for mankind...a ouiji board without any gimmicks way of moving forward in the world?

If there is a leadership model Bold enough to step us forward into the unknown, lead in the face of uncertainty is it collective wisdom? Whether you believe that collective to be a majority, plurality or system based on unanimity is an expression of our willingness to be like reeds, flexible or strong and fast like the cedars. Hey not my comparison, but one found in the book of ecclisastes. The poetryin this book of verse remains far more powerful than the provocations Maher has attempted, besides Pete Seeger and the Byrds made it more tuneful and easy to keep ever mindful.
To everything, turn, turn turn.......

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