A MEDITATION ON EASTER AND RELIGION IN GENERAL
There should be no spiritual and religious titles like agnostic, atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew. We are all human beings. We live from birth to death and during that arc of life we are experiencing what it is to be human. All those titles and labels separate and divide us and diminish us in each other’s eyes.
I have been brought up as a Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church has many traditions, tenets of faith, beliefs and practices, many that are shared with other religions and are medieval metaphors and symbolism. The Assumption, The Immaculate Conception, The Virgin Birth, miracles, heaven, hell, three persons in one God, revelations, consubstantiation, the Resurrection and the Ascension. All of these are wrong and didn’t happen and they don’t exist. They were messages and meanings to the medieval mind.
What has become difficult and impossible for the Catholic Church today, and this can be reflected in other religions, is that a long time ago it pronounced that all those things were points of faith and to be a christian you had to believe them. It also decided that certain pronouncements should be infallible. The Catholic Church is unable to change. It can’t go anywhere. Religious intransigence has brought about pain and all sorts of evils, including wars, the denunciation of whole groups of people, the deaths of individuals, abuse, moral doubts and personal anguish; it has diminished the role of women, encouraged misogyny, and lead to groups of women and those with different sexual orientations being made to suffer.
What we should focus on during the span of a life is, love. If our societies could be organised to promote the development of love in the community and in our personal lives that would completely fulfill us as human beings.
Religions have gathered too much unhealthy baggage. What is apparent though is that they really do know what the essence of living should be. Different holy books, The Koran, The Tora ,The Bible, whether its Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity , all say,love, is the cornerstone of their religion. John The Evangelist wrote,”God is love,” and, “ "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Mark the Apostle stated, “ Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Love is an abstract concept. At first we think we know what it means. We can all think of examples. However we also realise how little we know about love, its scope, its power and what it can do. If we really think about it in our lives we might even come up with things we didn’t realise were love at the time but later we became aware of them.
So from birth to death, all we are really trying to find, experience and give, is love. That is all that we need to be a full and complete human. We can’t ask or want for any more.
Organised religions can be good for social cohesion and it is the social bonding side of religion that many really mean when they say they are a Catholic or a Hindu or a Muslim. Organised religion can also cause social division.
I don’t think any of us should be a member of a religious group or believe in a so called God. What we should do is explore what love is in our lives.
The Beatles released, “All You Need Is Love,” in 1967 on Their Magical Mystery Tour album.
The lyrics were written by John Winston Lennon.
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need.