Before a committee of well-intentioned religionists come to my front door with blazing torches and wood to stoke the fires around my stake, let me take the above statement to the next level.
I also love the comfort of scriptures whether they be writings of Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism. I celebrate the holy days of Christianity because that is my tradition. I pray earnestly to the God of my understanding for guidance and instruction. There is no need to incinerate me with your holier-than-thou rhetoric. I get it. If you are one of the torch bearers, then you are obviously incensed by a challenge to your belief system.
And that is a good thing. THINK! Your God (mine too) gave you at birth an essence which is intended as a spiritual guidance system, logic and reason. Ok, call it the Holy Spirit if you must. I’m fine with that. However, everything we have accumulated in religious baggage since that moment is man-made and fallible. Again, before you stick that torch to the wood, recognize that I am not calling that accumulation wrong or unreal.
Religion, when it upholds the value of all peoples everywhere in peaceful coexistence, is a wonderful thing. Theology, when it guides adherents to tolerance and acceptance of other beliefs, is a desirable undertaking. But, mankind somehow takes religion and theology into another universe with ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots’, with dogma, with creeds and opinions.
I know y’all hate it when a person who is heretical and faithless quotes your scriptures, but, I’ll do it anyway:
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Maybe Jesus was referring to the innocence of babes in their spirituality before religion and theology had an opportunity to corrupt them. Oh, what do I know? I’m just an old, uneducated codger who believes the world could be a spectacular place for everyone if religionists would focus on compassion and “peace on earth”.