There's been a video going around called "Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus." Originally I think it was finding its way around Facebook, and since I don't have one, I hadn't originally seen it. However, someone posted it to one of my friends' Tumblrs and so I ended up being in the digital loop that is normally constrained to Facebook. When I first watched it, I pretty much agreed. But what sort of person would I be if I just took one person's opinion and accepted it without looking at the others? I started to look at the video responses. And what I found began to add a whole new separate part to this story.
Here's the original video, entitled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus."
So now that that's floating around in your head, I next watched this video called "Why I Dislike Your Poem, But Love God."
He does it in the same manner that the first video did: spoken word, lyrically; almost rapped. He makes a lot of good points. He brings up a lot of the criticisms that many people had while watching the first. That Jesus IS religion. That what Jesus did is the center of our religion (that's my take on it anyway). Unfortunately while the first video had tons more "likes" than "dislikes," everybody seemed to be hating on this guy.. and I honestly cannot for the life of me figure out why.
Another video called my eye, called "I Hate Religion, and Jesus Too."
This guy's youtube tag is TheAmazingAtheist, and even though I am a wholehearted believer, I decided to watch it. He makes some really good points. There are, of course, things that I don't agree with that he says. But he points out some of the flaws in the logic of the original video. While he perhaps may have taken it to a more harsh and extreme level, he's entitled to that. Regardless, I'm glad I watched. I would encourage those reading to watch all three, especially if you consider yourself a devout Christian. For me, I think it's going to change how I look at things. And it's going to change how I attempt to grow more spiritually.
For me Jesus and God are at the center of my religion. They are the reason for my religion. Without them, what would we be believing? There are and will always be flaws with the church. Unfortunately, things happen. And no matter how high up the Christian totem pole you are, you are not entitled to anything. I love my religion (Catholicism) but that doesn't mean that I endorse everything that happens to or by the people that claim to share it. I can only control one person's actions, and that is those of myself. But even I by myself can make a difference. It reminds me of that story with the boy walking along the beach throwing starfish back into the water... An old man saw him and thought the boy foolish, saying 'you're never going to save all of them, and they'll just watch up again tomorrow. It won't make a difference.' The boy picks up one starfish and throws it into the ocean. Looking back at the old man he says, 'It made a difference to that one.'
Amen. So, it can be rough sometimes. But that's okay. Religion isn't perfect. We're all a work in progress. Life, is life. But I still love having something like the church that I can be a part of. It's like a little reminder to myself that I can always be better. And while we can strive for perfection, though we may never reach it, we can always change the little things -- bit by bit.