Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mine is better. No it's not. Yes it is. No it's not. Etc.

If your parents never had any children, chances are that you will not have any children; it's in your DNA. But then you knew that, didn't you?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA, is the main constituent of chromosomes that is present in the carrier of genetic information in all living organisms, the chain of which we are at the top. Now, don't take any ego satisfaction from that, for, as we will see, this does and does not mean that we, being smarter than the average bear on the street, know Jack about genetics.

One thing we do know is that there is not a religious gene.

Religion is a learned thing. If i were born in Yemen, i would probably grow up being a Muslim. Had i been born in Israel, chances are good i would have been a Jew; in Rome, a Catholic; in Burma, a Buddhist; in Salt Lake City, who knows? In the United States, the probability would be that i would grow up a Christian, taught the religion of my family before me, eager to accept, as it was part of being a "good boy" and the benefits thereof. And so it was.

A few weeks ago the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, Robert Jeffress, stated that Mormonism is a cult, not just a regular cult but a "theological cult" as opposed to a "sociological cult." The difference between a cult and a mainstream religion is sometimes defined by the number of members. According to the Mormon Church, "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in America has the fourth-largest number of followers. Other sources differ, but who decides when a church is mainstream vs. cultish? Most of us have people we care about who are Mormons; the same goes for the Baptists, Catholics and Jews, as well as many other religions. Even atheists or agnostics. Maybe even a Muslim or two, at least i do.

i am jusssmartunuf to know that one human being is not superior or better than another because of what church they do or do not go to, and that includes Pastor Jeffress, the Pope, the President, every member of congress, every PhD, MD, and DD. Better educated maybe, more famous maybe, smarter maybe (but never ever in every category), more powerful even, but not superior or better.

I don't know Pastor Jeffress and suspect he meets and presents himself well as that is a keystone to success in his business. Pastor Jeffress is a highly educated person and, as a result, limited by the prison of his education, unable to think outside the fences created by the dogma of his religion. That is my personal opinion. Education does not necessarily make a person smarter, but it has a tendency to make them think they are smarter, and that is almost the same thing. Almost. Jeffress teaches what he has been taught. Just because we are taught something does not mean it is correct.

The Bible is a history, a dated history. The King James version was printed 400 years ago this year, and chapters of the Old Testament go back over 2000 years, long before genetics and long before people were encouraged to think outside the box. In fact, in those days thinking outside the box just might get your fingernails pulled out, or maybe even nailed to a cross. The Bible did not drop out of the sky, fact is the Bible was written by human beings who, i believe, all had their personal prejudices which influenced their scripture, just as Dr. Jeffress' personal prejudice and dogma influence his choices, as do ours.

This is the reason the Dr. Jeffresses of the world experience a learned, not inherited, ignorance. They are bound by the limits of what they have been taught.

Jeffress went further to say that the qualifications of the next president are that he be a "born-again Christian" and added that his horse in the presidential race was named Rick Perry, the homophobic Governor of Texas. So all you of mainstream religions like Jews, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians etc., are not qualified to be president, according to Jeffress.

Having never attended Dr. Jeffress' church, and having no intention of doing so, i can only surmise about what might be preached as gospel thereabout. Is it about how the constitutional wall that separates church from state does not really exist, that homosexuality is a sin, that the world was created and did not evolve? Three conjectures that are dead wrong.

Everyone has a constitutional right to say anything. It does not have to be factual, and it is up to us to be jussmartenuf to separate the pepper from the flyspecks.

Dr. Jeffress and the people who agree with him are not an uncommon phenomenon; they are replicated in mass. They exist in a state of confirmatory bias and will continue to do so, as long as Jeffress and his ilk continue to teach their learned ignorance.

It is our obligation as thinking beings to object to such nonsense.

The ninth rule of the Roy Rogers Riders is "Love God and go to Sunday School". Not bad advice, but it all depends on what my Sunday School is teaching.

For what it is worth, one of the Republican presidential candidates (the one i think is the best of the lot), Jon Huntsman, a Mormon, said of Dr. Jeffress, "He is a moron."

I agree.

1 comment:

  1. This post is right (hate to use that word!) inline with the philosophies of People For the American Way. I, like you, believe that everyone has the right (ouch) to believe in whatever they want. I believe that this right and power extends past the US Constitution, and should be granted to every being in the solar system. Unless they're tacky - then there's just no reason I can accept that.