I’ve come to the conclusion that if you really want to understand the way people truly are, all you have to do is gauge the reactions of children, both good and bad.
I’ve written in this space before about the unwillingness of some people to move beyond childish views and attitudes on the world and try to grow up a bit. I make no claims to be completely adult in my views on everything, nor are my cultural tastes completely adult as it were (I like video games, I can be irrational sometimes), but I’d like to think I’m moving beyond obsessing over things that don’t matter, such as Yankee scores dating back to 1930 or if Brad Pitt’s ideas on architecture in Germany mean much to me and my opinions. Maybe a passing glance at the Sports page is cool, or maybe talking about digital gadgetry is fun too, but they’re hardly the dominant themes of my life.
Last night, The Big Picture with Avi Lewis courageously and rightfully broadcast a documentary called The Root of All Evil: The God Delusion. Incendiary with a touch of self-righteous, pent-up rage, Richard Dawkins (also referred to as Darwin’s Rotweiller), the writer and host of the documentary, finally spoke up about something that’s been howling for years in this irrational, faith-based world of ours: the idea that blind faith and the behaviours that come with are threatening to tear apart our world, especially in a time of al-Qaeda, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, et al.
It was the kind of documentary that you wish someone had the courage to say but so rarely comes on major network television; a vicious indictment of lazy, passive-thinking that lends itself to the capitalist church movement in the America, the extremism that breeds itself generation after generation in the Middle East, the mind-blowing rejection of proven facts established through the scientific method of our world’s history and how humanity came to be.
What does this have to do with a child-like mindset? There are so many people in this world who are so quick to judge, so quick to come up with amazingly rigid views on the world, shaded in tones of black and white, that religion offers up a small-minded, childish way of interpreting the world. Children generally have a hard time making nuanced judgments on the world (they are, after all, children) but what excuses do adults have? How can someone actually believe that evolution isn’t an established fact? Are you blind? Can’t you even try to look beyond your mundane, daily lives and see the bigger picture?
Truth be told, finding a spiritual side may be healthy, but only if you’re prepared to admit that you don’t have all the answers, your spiritual life is merely a gateway into something larger than yourself and your congregation and that you’re prepared to admit that your view cannot superscede certain realities of the world.
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been very much opposed to Christianity. I’ve found aspects of Christianity interesting, theology a fascinating realm of study and even contemplated studying it. I’ve been fascinated by the Catholic Church, the Vatican, the sheer vastness of historical record the Church holds onto and rarely exposes to the public. That doesn’t change the fact that religion really doesn’t hold much of a place in my life, nor will it ever do that. I can’t be part of a religion that assumes their way is the Only Way.
This being said, people do need a spiritual side to their lives. In a world that’s become more connected via technology, we really do need to find places in ourselves that allow us to feel connections to something broader. Perhaps a spiritual life that doesn’t have all the answers is better for us, anyway. Keeps up with the challenge.
Also, Big Picture with Avi Lewis is a great show. Good to have him back on major network television.