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Religion, War and Bigotry in the Age of Globalization [View All]

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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 12:56 PM
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Religion, War and Bigotry in the Age of Globalization
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Religion, War and Bigotry in the Age of Globalization

The most misused word in the English language may be the one spelled G-O-D. It is a word used freely and frequently by hundreds of millions of English-speaking people who belong to the Christian churches, and even as a curse word by many people.

The hypocrisy of the Christian churches has led many to flee the usual denominations for alternative types of worship. This has included the formation of independent Christian congregations, reliance on the ethical standards inherent in secular humanism, or conversion to other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism.

Striking have been the emergence of movements such as the Nation of Islam among African-Americans, the spread of yoga as both a spiritual practice and way of life, and the widespread adoption of Buddhist forms of practice among the Western intelligentsia. Also notable are the growth of the Sufi movement, the revival of indigenous forms of spirituality, especially among Native Americans of the Western hemisphere, and the search among Christians for their authentic roots by study of the Essenes, the Gnostics, and early Jewish Christian teachings.

But what all these movements point to is that in spite of the rejection by many of the forms of religion historically practiced in the West, the search for spiritual meaning and experience has never been stronger. So the likelihood remains that whatever the truth may be that hides behind the word God, it is a truth that continually calls to humanity for its exploration, understanding, and expression. For many, this search for truth has become a living fire.

As an atheist for whom the search for spiritual truth in my own life has become "a living fire", I agree. I have long felt a pervasive sense of aridity during my 57 years following in my father's footsteps as a materialist, reductionist, strong atheist. I finally realized that I was missing a "sense of the sacred" in my life. Of course, deciding what that meant and how I could express it without violating my bedrock conviction of a godless universe, was a significant challenge.

Eventually I discovered that the philosophies of Zen, Taoism, Advaita and Deep Ecology filled the bill. They have given my life the spiritual core it was lacking without insisting that I adopt beliefs that seemed antithetical to reason. I suspect I'm not alone in this shift.
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