Saturday, May 8, 2010

When God Made Me

Neil Young isn't really one of my favourite musicians, but I love this song (skip ahead to about 5:27). All of its questions, in one way or another, hint at something very close to my view of religion and spirituality—and a few other things, come to that.

You see, as heretical as it may be, my beliefs go so much further than the words of the Apostles' Creed or even the slightly more-detailed Nicene Creed. I believe that the countries we come from, our racial backgrounds, even our religious beliefs (or not, as the case may be) do not matter to the Divine. I do not believe that only humanity was created in the image of the Divine; to say so, especially since God is most frequently visualized as male, particularly by the adherents of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), to say that only humanity was crafted in God's image is the exact sort of arrogance and disregard for the rest of Creation that pushed me away from my original spiritual path. I believe that not only "True Believers" are God's beloved children. I believe that God does not approve of the wars that people use Her/Him/It/Them as an excuse for fighting. I do most emphatically NOT believe that there is only one way to know the Divine. (All things considered, if I did believe that, I'd be a terrible hypocrite.) I do not believe that we were given the capacity to love only to be told that we must love only certain people in certain ways. Our voices were not made to be silenced, no matter who we are. Vision isn't to be disregarded when it shows something of which we do not approve or which we do not understand. And compassion—perhaps the greatest gift of all—should not be shoved aside, but used to help people (and animals, and the environment) that need help in the way that best suits their needs—and, if applicable, what they want as well.

I don't understand the exclusivity argument from anyone anymore. If this makes me even more of a heretic than I already was, so be it. I'd rather be a compassionate heretic than a "One Way—MINE!!!" Bible thumper any day.

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When God made Me - Neil Young

Was he thinkin' about my country or the colour of my skin?
Was he thinkin' 'bout my religion and the way I worshipped him?
Did he create just me in his image, 0r every living thing?

When God made me, when God made me

Was he planning only for believers, or for those who just have faith?
Did he envision all the wars that were fought in his name?
Did he say there was only one way to be close to him?

When God made me, when God made me

Did he give me the gift of love to say who I could choose?

When God made me, when God made me
When God made me, when God made me

Did he give me the gift of voice so some could silence me?
Did he give me the gift of vision not knowing what I might see?
Did he give me the gift of compassion to help my fellow man?

When God made me, when God made me
When God made me, when God made me

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