It has been 40 years since I left my religious faith laying in rubble on the floor of family violence, including the imperative to yield, pray, obey, turn-the-other-cheek, forgive, love him to the lord, crucify myself daily in imitation of the crucified christ and rejoice in my crucifixion. I called this the "Passive Gospel" in my master's thesis, "Toward a Theory of Domestic Violence, its antecedents, treatment and prevention". In my doctoral dissertation, "A Splendid Heresy", I wrote of the role of religion in maintaining and perpetuating family violence.
Those 40 years have been a splendid journey of discovery, of closing doors behind me and burning bridges to a life that acted like tornados, pulling the air and life out of me. I walked out of the storms generated by out-of-balance living into the fresh air, different principles, new friends, creating a profound awareness of living in balance and flourishing.
I like to work hard, producing an environment of beauty and equanimity. I love learning new things with the old blinders removed. I appreciate the necessity of setting limits preventing engulfment. I enjoy building a new community without boundaries of space and time. Reading, thinking and acting in ways formerly forbidden by doctrine opens up vast panoramas of options. It is like seeing the Earth and the universe in a different perspective, a four dimensional way of seeing. I value pacing myself to the abilities of my present 78 year old body and facing, head on, the realities of being a cancer survivor with other challenges of ageing.
Gee! This is what growing older feels like! Interesting, the changes that occur, some happening slowly, others arrive with a big bang requiring a new set of skills learning how to manage, always looking for ways to mine the experience for the good that emerges.
Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist, nails the rising irreligion with his hammer! He is right on with the causes that are bringing on this tidal wave of chang that is occurring in our lives and the consequences of a growing secularity in U.S. The old doctrines of religion and beliefs in delusions and faith based on ancient myths creates living out of balance. The underlying lie is the hierarchy of man over woman. That fundamental fallacy torments flourishing as it destroys the natural order of things. Another fallacy is thinking that man has dominion over all that flies, crawls and flies and the water, soils, air and elements.
Freed of these two fallacies will create a very different life on Earth. Let us work to correct the 6,000 years of lies, distortion, exploitation and manipulation of Homo sapiens and get us back into the web of life as a natural part of the universe.