Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Search of Wisdom

I did not intend on writing another piece about religion, but those Graham siblings just got me going again.

The more alleged ‘men of the cloth’ talk, the more religion seems like the spiritual version of the hospital in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  The latest into the foray is Franklin Graham, who recently supported Vladimir Putin’s stance against LGBT rights.  'In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,' Graham wrote. 'Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation's children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.’  Yes, because LGBT = sexual predator.  What an ignorant jack ass.  But wait, there’s more.  'Our president,' he continued, 'and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration's lead. This is shameful.'

But then again, it does run in the family.  Graham’s sister Anne Graham Lotz said “I would not vote for a man who was an atheist because I believe you need to have an acknowledgement or a reverence or a fear for almighty God. And I believe that’s where wisdom comes from.”  Wisdom comes from reverence and fear for deity?  Wisdom comes from free thinking and challenging conventional wisdom, popular opinion, doctrine, and the status quo.  It comes from seeking knowledge, not from being afraid.

Why do organized religions fear science?  Because science and the enlightenment it brings challenges the same doctrines.  When science proved the earth was not the center of the universe 400 years ago, these early opponents of the status quo were mocked, persecuted, and killed. When the foundation of your organization is built on exclusion, fear, and suppression it is the furthest thing from wisdom.  Perhaps that is why the socially conservatively dominating faction of the Republican Party promotes ignorance over enlightenment and programming over free thinking.  After all, Georgia Congressman and Senate contender Paul Broun told an audience that evolution and the Big Bang Theory were “lies straight from the pit of hell”.  Not surprisingly, Broun sits on the House Science Committee.

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.”  -- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama


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