Christians have this tendency to scathingly reduce paganism to a false religion that worships idols. First, paganism is an old religion that was around before monotheism became an idea. The monotheistic concept came from a cult that worshiped one God over the others and it then became popular and acceptable. How do we figure this? Well there are two examples from two pagan religions at the time that showed an attempt at solely worshiping one God over the others. With the Greeks, there was a small cult devoted to Zeus as being the only God and the others being archetypes and not true Gods. The Egyptian religion was almost extinguished by Akhenaten who tried to forced his monotheism on the Egyptian people. However, he failed and a lot of his imagery in hieroglyphs were vandalized because of his heresy. So if these two examples, that happened after the advent of monotheism, and the archaeological evidence piling up showing there was some type of polytheism where the monotheistic God Yahweh was a part of then it only shows that monotheism is nothing more than an offshoot of polytheism where one God was revered above all others.
Second, the idea of idols has an empty, hollow overtone to it and I’m sure it’s meant that way, but our pagan religions are filled with life and vibrancy. It’s far from being empty or hollow, it has content. We worship real, living Gods where the idols we worship are imbibed with their spiritual essence. In other words, it’s a way to invite the Gods into our homes and lives. They don’t simply step through the threshold like an intruder. We invite them. It’s not a hard concept to follow and stays in tune with the idea of free will given to us by the Gods.
In conclusion, the idea of idol worship being seen as empty is nonsense. There’s more to it than what monotheists believe. Our religion is as valid as theirs and that’s something they can not take away from us ever again unless we allow it. So, educate them on their ‘idol worship’ epithet they try to use against us. Tell them that it means more than what they believe.
I’ve refrained from entering this fray just to see how things pan out and of course it panned out with the Left shaming the Right as callous animal haters and the Right shaming the Left into being anti-Human folks. I’m going to delve into a little bit of honesty, brutal honesty in fact and it’s not going to be pretty.
First, lets tackle the Rights lament for the Left not having a heart for the down trodden in Africa (or anyone who tries shaming those who support Cecil into feeling guilty), if you truly, TRULY cared about the plight of the downtrodden in Africa and Zimbabwe, you would be there right now sacrificing your cushy First World lifestyle and comfortable leisure time to help those less fortunate than you. Fact is, you really don’t give a damn at all about those who are suffering in Africa or elsewhere. You’re simply trying to make those who support Cecil feel like crap for what they hold dear to their hearts. I feel that you are worse than those you are trying to shame because it’s simply fake. So for the sake of actual, true humanity, just stop it unless you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is and lead by example instead of strong words.
Second, the issue of Cecil is disturbing and I truly believe that lions should be placed on the endangered species list and that Cecil should serve as the figurehead of this much needed change. However, this has been ongoing for years now, illegal poaching/trophy hunting, and NOW people are realizing the problem? This is sickening and should have been addressed years ago, but because of the complacency of our apex species (yes apex because with our ability to innovate and our technology we have spread worldwide which makes us the dominant species) we’ve only begun to raise awareness for a travesty that may be too late. We’ve also become quite callous to all life including our own. My fear is that once the Cecil Furor dies down so will our faux compassion for animals. We have become a sensation driven society that we have collective ADD where one issue trumps another issue until the next issue comes along to knock the previous one off the mantel. We either need to stick to our guns or just simply be lulled back into our complacency for good. There’s no sense in jumping from one issue to another without ever fully fixing the problem. Yeah, it’s great that airlines won’t be shipping trophy heads of animals, but that’s one small solution for a relatively big problem and that’s to a) get endangered species onto the endangered species list and b) prosecute these folks to the fullest extent of the law with NO exceptions.
All life should be considered sacred and the death and plight of a living being should be met with sadness because we’re all related whether you believe a deity created us all or that we emerged from a common ancestor millions of years ago.
a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
People these days are to knee jerk reactionary to understand anymore. Lets take the case of Matt Walsh who posted on his blog about suicide being a choice in the wake of Robin Williams death (Gods be with him). A good deal of people have responded with absolute vitriol towards the man for his opinion, which usually means it’s an idea based around ones personal feelings on the matter and not facts. However, despite being cognizant of this people still posted vile things such as he should kill himself. Seriously, that really does nothing but create more negativity than is really needed. Whatever happened to constructive criticism where you counter someones point with facts rather than a slew of “fuck you’s” and “hope you die”. Wouldn’t it be prudent to the person countering another persons opinion with facts rather than vile insults? I mean, I get how heated one can get when reading a post from an opposing view. I can’t count the number of times when I’ve read Christian blogs calling us pagans Satan worshippers, but never have I felt the need to viciously attack them on their views. I try my best to counter their argument and when that doesn’t work I let it go. No point in beating a dead, rotting horse.
Matt did post a follow up to his post, but still some people won’t take it for what it’s worth. I can’t say that I agree entirely with his views, but he has that right to express his views. It’s like with any blog posting that is usually biased upon that bloggers own views I take it with a grain of salt, ponder it and if I don’t agree with it oh well. No harm, no foul, but some people can’t deal with opposing views and that to me is sad, because, like I touched on earlier about constructive criticism, it seems to be that arguing against an opinion with facts seems to be dwindling in our culture. Any kind of thinking outside our comfort zone seems to be dwindling and that’s where we, as a society, begin to decline because we want everything to be on the level. We don’t want differing views because it makes us think outside the boundaries that we are used to and I believe that’s why Matt has received the backlash he is currently witnessing. Once we become narrow-minded, unthinking citizens, we cease to be human at all. Once we can only yell at the top of our proverbial lungs at someone without any rebuttal to an opinion we become slaves to knee-jerk emotions rather than higher, rational thinking.
Like I’ve stated, I understand peoples emotions on certain issues and I’m with them right there, but I also understand the importance of maintaining a balance between being offended and making a logical point on an issue. We can’t simply reply to something we consider vile with more vile negativity. It just doesn’t work out that way. We need civility in the face of horrible ideas and opinions no matter how much we want to rage.