Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I meet a lot of interesting people, many in the hospital, and taxi drivers. I am especially interested in people from far off lands and different cultures. I love talking with Muslim men about their views on religion. Some still have their wives in burqua or hjab. I do not hesitate to probe and speak openly. After all, we are ships passing in the night and we don't have much time to get to know each other. I am happy to tell you that most of the Muslim men I talk with are not unreasonable. They are products of their culture and tradition. If they were exposed to other views, they could be flexible.

My view is simply this - All religions are men's ways of trying to understand God. Some of religion is about health and our relationship with other people and animals and the earth. 

Some of religion was created to control men and use them - their minds, their labour, their wealth. It's politics and has nothing to do with God. But there is enormous power in "using" God. "You must obey me because I have a special relationship with God, and if you disobey me God will make you sick. He will kill your cattle and your children and poison your wells..."

Some of religion is about the tribe. My tribe is better than your tribe because my God is bigger than your God. So don't try to take my land, my wives or my food. Even the apes practice this kind of "religion."  

These ancient religions need to be revamped to allow for another search for God - science.  

Religions are like roads. You can get to your destination by many different routes.

Stop killing people in God's name.

Stop judging people in groups. 

Get to know the individual, and speak frankly, openly, without guile.

Shakespeare gives us good advice - Hamlet
  • Polonius. Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame! 
    The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, 
    And you are stay'd for. There- my blessing with thee! 
    And these few precepts in thy memory 
    Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, 
    Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. 
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar: 
    Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, 
    Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel; 
    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment 
    Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware 
    Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in, 
    Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee. 
    Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; 
    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. 
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, 
    But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; 
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man, 
    And they in France of the best rank and station 
    Are most select and generous, chief in that. 
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be; 
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend, 
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. 
    This above all- to thine own self be true, 
    And it must follow, as the night the day, 
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell. My blessing season this in thee!

1 comment:

Phyllis Carter said...

I was pleased to see that my most recent encounter with a Muslim man was well received. He was eager to know more when I told him about the Hubble Telescope web site and Grand Canyon.