Monday, May 9, 2016

Religion in the name of Religion?

This is going to be a hard one to both write, and read if you are one of my followers.
I watched 60 minutes last night and learned about the Yezidis in northern Irac who fled to the mountains and had one of their ancient cities destroyed by Isis.  I had understood them to be Kurdish people but now realize they are a separate religious group within the Kurdish people.They were assisted by other Kurds and allied fighting forces against Isis.  I was shocked and angered by the genocide being perpetuated against this group whom the terrorists have labeled devil worshipers.  After watching this program I was sick with anger and did some research on the beliefs of this ancient religion being persecuted.
I am not going into details; you can look them up yourself, but unfortunately was surprised to learn they are a closed religion who are monotheistic and practice endogamy.  Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific ethnic group, class, or social group, rejecting others on such a basis as being unsuitable for marriage or for other close personal relationships.
Endogamy can serve as a form of self-segregation; it helps a community Population genetics and inbreeding to resist integrating and completely merging with surrounding populations. It helps minorities to survive over a long time as distinct communities within societies with other practices and beliefs.
 the Yazidi are a Kurdish-speaking ethnoreligious group, which makes it complicated for scholars and historians to pin down the nuances of their religion.  They share a belief in Adam as the first man with Christians, Jews and Muslims but other beliefs seem to go back to the pagan era.
l also learned in my reading that some families within the Yazidi religion have participated in honor killings when their unmarried you have tried to run away and marry outsiders.

All of this leads me to my rant today. I really do hate religion and seriously believe, at times, that all religions should be destroyed.  I am a practicing United Methodist who attends Church most weeks and who participates in Communion and prayer for others; I love the old hymns of the church.  I attend Church because of the love and care and fellowship of the other participants. This  is what keeps me returning week after week.  I do not agree with the social position that Ministers of our religion cannot be practicing members of the LGBT community, not can they marry persons of the same birth sex.
What I cannot stand in any religion is what I feel is the hypocrisy in their professed beliefs and their treatment of their fellow man.  Particularly in my own Christian religion.  I do not like to even call myself a Christian anymore, but rather a follower of Jesus.  I have read the old and new testaments through and through several times.  I have attended college courses on religion and have participated in many Bible study groups as well as internal church courses.  I am a local lay leader and hold a weekly Bible study group in my home.
I believe What Jesus called the two most important commandments. I paraphrase:
  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ... ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ...
  2. These two commandments constitute my faith and beliefs.  Everything else is up for question in my mind.
  3. I believe all of the great religions have these two core beliefs somewhere in their theology and if they do not they should.  
  4. I love God, Creation, and all of the the fellow beings in the Universe.  I believe God or Being created everything. There is no beginning and no end.  There is eternal life and truth.  Being dwells within every thing and every creature or piece of vegetation.  I believe our task is to pass as gently as possible through our finite existence and to honor the being present within others.  We are to grow and learn and ultimately pass to whatever is beyond our own finite existence.  
  5. People and religions who feel it is their right and duty to impose their belief systems on others and who interfere with another's right to an existence filled with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness .I consider people like this are just plain wrong and their arguments upset me.
  6. Poobah has spoken again, alienating both friend and foe.  Woe is me.

PS Since this is a blog and not a formal piece I have not noted my sources.  I have plagiarized.  So sue me!