Where the religion becomes poisonous, I believe; is when a certain religious adherent insists that others be converted or saved by that religious adherents chosen doctrine. Then multiply this by numerous religious believers proclaiming their doctrine is superior; and belittling countless others who do not agree. The contagious and repetitious persistence of this ideological indoctrination has cross-fired and ricocheted throughout history.
Its perseverance and existence have the capability of tragically developing into widespread destruction, and genocide; irrespective of its original religious intent. When the benign practice of the utilization of symbolism dissolves, and is replaced by an antithetical fanaticism, the original intended cure transforms into the poison.
One can test my proclamation of this potential for poisonous development on the internet; merely enter any social site representing any specified religion, and state that you believe in a different religion or non-religion. Then observe the heated and hateful comments that begin to appear, and the escalation of the bigotry that results when the discussions are not moderated. Spirituality and tolerance disappear within minutes.
So what is the solution for the unification of mankind, to enable all of humanity to accept each others ideological convictions and get along?
I think the revolutionists who started this country had it right in 1776; do not allow government to make any law establishing any religion, or non religion. In spite of this, we can witness religious activists proclaiming in manipulative ways that their particular religion is the established religion of the USA. It is an unfortunate biased view, and it is continuing to grow - and it's also contained in the symbolism of many modern religious articles and posts.
This undermining of the constitutional intent of religious freedom and the innocence of simple diverse symbolism, prompts us to realize that the potential for that poisonous bigotry is still flowing. The virtue of true tolerance may very well be disguised as the capability to become invisible, deaf, dumb, and blind.
I fear that many people will end their religious prejudices only when the final curtain falls, but we'll never know if they advance their journey after this life into heaven, hell, or absolutely nowhere. Ironically, at that point it won't matter what their religious convictions are; the universe has no boundary in sight, and the deceased have never reported scientifically or conclusively to us what they have encountered after their earthly clock has stopped.
On a different note, "there is no such thing as a pagan-atheist-witch", I have been told. And that is the very reason I find comfort in being a pagan-atheist-witch. In my case - ambiguity is bliss.
Perhaps I really don't exist, and that supposition may be the the best solution to understanding why I don't fit into any categorized religious statistic. I always have checked the box that said "other".
And that "other" place is such a wonderful place to visit; and to escape to as well.
My conclusion to all: practice and/or believe in anything you wish, as long as it works for you -- and "harm ye none, do as thy wilt".
Whatever floats your symbolic boat.
But above all -- let everybody float their own boats; and hopefully intelligence and logic can thwart the shaky government from endorsing any particular boat.
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