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Re: [atheists-36] Re: Boston Tragedy: It's the "God"-word problem again . . .(original essay)

From: Daniel S.
Sent on: Sunday, April 21, 2013 10:37 PM
Thank you, Norma, for a simple yet proufound and beautifully stated concept.  The slim hope I still hold for civilization depends in large measure on this understanding reaching every heart.  --Dan S.
-----Original Message-----
From: Norma Jeane Young <[address removed]>
To: atheists-36 <[address removed]>
Sent: Sat, Apr 20,[masked]:53 am
Subject: [atheists-36] Re: Boston Tragedy: It's the "God"-word problem again . . .(original essay)

I am again very troubled by all the trouble that the "God-word" is causing in the world.
I think that we would all be better off if we just simply threw the word out of our global vocabulary.
It has caused too much strife & human misery for centuries & untold bloodshed.  The word is more of a hindrance than a help.  No one can Really define the word--yet will kill for their own limited definition of "God" -- as if all the wisdom in the world resides in them -- one person (or one belief system of looking at the world).
I would offer the word Love in its place.  We all know in our hearts & our essences what Love is.  It's that "warm, fuzzy feeling" you get when you feel close to someone or something --appreciate the beauty of life in some form.  Hate is the "cold, prickly feeling" that comes from feeling separated from someone or something.  Hate is what causes people to do violence to a member of their own species or another species -- or even to inanimate objects.  It is a lack of Love -- first for oneself -- then leading to a lack of Love for another.
The beginning of Love is Respect.  The recognition that we are All One Human Family.  And we are all equal in the sight of Love.  We all have the same human needs for love and connection.  It is the Ego, which sees itself as separate & apart from love -- that causes all the problems.  Real Love is Beyond Ego.  It has Self-Respect AND Other Respect. 
I happened to have the TV on tonight when the police were in the process of taking into custody the second of the two brothers suspected of causing the Boston Marathon tragedy & spin-off tragic events that flowed from that.  I sat in transfixed surreality as if I was watching a fictional crime show--not real life.  While I was glad they had caught the other man, I was also saddened at the terrible waste of human life -- especially in young men who looked like human beings you could like -- & who could have done something wonderful with their lives -- & wondered what had caused them to commit these terrible acts.
One reporter spoke about the background of the brothers--how they & their families came to this country to escape the sectarian & civil war violence between their native country of Chechnya bordering Russia.  A tape was played showing the uncle of the two brothers condemning the actions of the two brothers & pleading for his nephew, the 19-yr.-old, still on the run at the time, to turn himself in.  I thought how ironic it was that the families had come to the United States to escape the violence in their own countries & then some of their own family committed violence here upon innocent people.  When I listened more & I realized the underlying roots could come in part from religious extremism, I was further saddened -- but also remembered that religious extremism comes in many forms -- & is also present in Christianity down through the ages as well -- with The Crusades, The Dark Ages, The Inquisition, etc., where religion has been used to manipulate people to do horrible things to themselves & others.
When President Obama made his statement in the live coverage & concluded with a remark intended to unite & comfort people -- that we are a nation "under God"; upon reflection, I thought it ironic again that he was using the same word "God" --that was perhaps part of the problem in the first place today with the brothers who may have somehow twisted the definition from their religion to hurt others (if religion is a causative factor in their motivation).
As I reflected further on the live coverage I had seen (I had not been following the story in detail through the week, although was aware the tragedy had happened on Monday); I thought of the irony in Pres. Obama's statement and how he was using a word that has "built-in limitations & separations." I thought to myself that the "God-word" is just too "loaded & limited" a word to be clearly understood or peacefully used.  Because -- Whose God are we talking about anyway?  The Christian "God" or the Buddhist "God" or the Hindu God(s) or the American Indian "God" which they call "The Great Spirit" & feel its essence in Nature -- or? or ?, etc., ad infinitum.  I don't think you can find two people in the whole wide world who would Exactly agree on what "God" is!  A universal definition of "God" is just not possible.  And it's certainly not worth killing over.  Therefore, I feel we should just dispense with the word altogether.  It causes too many problems.
I feel sad that people get Attached to the Word, "God" -- to their Own interpretation of it -- & forget that it's only a Word.  It's not the REALITY itself.  The Reality Itself is very subjective, elusive & nebulous.  The definition of "God" is certainly something that should not be fought over & cause wars & murder.  
The 8-yr.-old boy who was one of the three killed I think had the truest & most sensible thing to say before he unfortunately breathed his last breath:  He said that people should stop hurting each other
Yes; I agree with him.  People have been hurting each other far too long in the name of "God."  That's why I think we should Throw Out the word "God" altogether & just talk of Love -- And WALK the Talk! 
Love is Universal.  "God" is not.  Nobody can agree on what exactly "God" is.  But down deep, everyone knows what love is -- they either have experienced it -- or long to experience it--even if they're not aware of that longing.  Either way, it means that's who we are Naturally:  Love.  It's just Natural to want to love & be loved.  That's all babies want.  To be fed (of course) & sleep -- but beyond those basic needs, they just want to be loved.  THAT is who we are Naturally.  I choose to "believe" that we are "Naturally Good (Love)" -- not the opposite -- as some religions would have us believe.  Attitudes & behavior that deviates from that as children grow up is because of what they're exposed to in anti-human, negative religions or other belief systems that are ego-serving & not Love & Life serving.
I heard a quote many years ago that made a lot of sense to me:  "Whatever the problem is, Love is the Answer."
Accountability is part OF love.  Making amends, asking forgiveness from those one has wronged is part of the process.  There can be no real end to war unless there is the healing of forgiveness; otherwise the hurt continues to fester & cause desire to hurt others ---- even innocent others, as these two brothers demonstrated.  The vicious cycle of "tit for tat" is endless unless people get tired enough of the carnage and destruction and decide to stop it.
Our earth is in peril -- & the inhabitants of it because of this endless cycle of war -- mostly religiously caused -- or caused by ego manifestations like greed, etc., all coming from the root causation of fear & the lack of realization of WHO we are:  One Human Family with Love as its Foundation.  A baby (ideally) is created in love, raised in love & grows up to Express Love. Even if we weren't ideally conceived or raised, we All have Choices -- of whether we want to live in war (separation) or in love and peace (connection, unity). 
Fear is the opposite of Love.  Fear causes hate. And hate causes violence.  Violence destroys.  Love creates.  The familiar, eminent slogan of the '60's says it well:  "Make Love Not War."  
--Norma J. Young 


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