From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.
– Rabindranath Tagore
On an unstable day filled with hail bursts and wind gusts and a lightening strike or two, I watched Bill Maher’s movie Religulous. It was, in a word, horrifying. A horrification most likely amplified by the weather. Luckily the tree which always threatened to wipe out our house in such weather is gone. Sadly, so is neighbor who refused to chop it down. But I didn’t do it. Honest. His was a natural death.
Bill Maher is a comedian with a nighttime talkshow which is, like all talkshows these days, highly politicized. He’s also famous for being an outspoken atheist and pot smoker. Religulous (an anagram of religious and ridiculous) is basically about people whose beliefs cannot be swayed by any amount of logic. I don’t know how he rounded those folks up. That must have been some casting call.
I’ve known and worked with Muslims, Jews, Sufis, Hindus, Witches, Satanists, Atheists, Agnostics and Transpeople of all varieties. Not to mention a plethora of Christians. Most did not feel the need to convince me that their path was the only one. Oh, one particular Charismatic Catholic claimed that God had a message for me through her and it wasn’t good news. But since she specialized in only channeling dire warnings from the Supreme Being about my fate in the hereafter, I didn’t pay much attention. Although when you’re a child, it’s always upsetting to be bullied by God’s Special Whisperer.
Which brings me back to, how did Bill Maher find so many people who have no doubt they are absolutely right? The Bible was written by God; Mary was a virgin, Jonas lived in a whale and Jesus never had sex. And if you doubt any one of these “facts” you are going to hell, even if you follow the commandments to the letter.
To me, this is intolerance and bullying. Because. . .
I hope your celebration of spring is full of love and completely devoid of any discussion of hell.
18 thoughts on “From the Solemn Gloom of the Temple”
Saw that years ago…
It’s hard to feel compassion for those who are so judgmental and self-righteous. Should I feel pity? Should I pray about it? I don’t know. Avoidance is my general plan.
I feel pity for the children of self-righteous people – I’ve known a few and boy did they suffer. Happy Easter Joey!
It seems to me that if we were all able to tolerate other people’s beliefs, the world just might be a kinder place.
You’re absolutely right. No one has the right to tell other people they’re going to hell.
If you find a wall and hit your head against it then you ain’t hurting the wall. So don’t argue with walls.
Enjoyed this post, Jan, and the freedom and respect of your message. I also enjoyed the appropriate video clip of Cab Calloway. Especially love the parting words, and my best to you, too, for a spring weekend of love and sweetness, devoid of any discussion of hell.
Thanks Jet. I’m a big fan of the old Broadway musicals and could probably write about them forever! Happy Easter! Hope it’s a magical one.
I saw this too. As a friend of mine says, ” it takes all kinds of people to make a world”…. sigh! Although you have to admit it is pretty amusing.
I’ve actually known people like the ones Maher interviewed and they weren’t uneducated and so I just don’t get it.
Love and light and no discussions of hell whatsoever. We did however, offer up some condemnation for an over-done rib roast! 🙂
I’m not sure if hell is interested in over-done rib roast but then what do I know. . .
I love the quotes you included in this post. Your review of this film reminded me again to be grateful for all the mysteries of our universe. Happy spring!
I really think they are mysteries and that people shouldn’t be kind to each other out of a fear of hell.
Should have been kind only out of a fear of hell.
And they all seem to have forgotten one very important thing…God is love—or so the Bible claims. Aren’t politicians the ones who try to sew fear, or maybe it only seems that way? In any event, that’s why I say, let God (and no man) be your judge. Didn’t Jesus once say “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” Makes you wonder if all those who felt that they were absolutely right actually do walk on water, doesn’t it? 😀
I think that people who condemn people who don’t believe as they do should go out and walk on water or attempt to live inside a whale. Lol!