I wonder how often am I going to write about the same subject during one lifetime? I guess until I get it right. What subject is that? If your answer to my query is organized religion, then you must be familiar with me and know the things that are always on my mind. This topic was the motivation for one of my first serious works of art entitled "Religion Kills."
What was I thinking when I was putting the composition together? I was trying to find a way to express what I believe life should be and what I perceive as reality. It all started during my youth before I became a teenager. I was raised in the Bible Belt of North Carolina. I was taken to the Baptist church every Sunday. I was told about the presence of a God. I began to feel close to what I imagined God to be, but I didn't feel God's presence in church. I felt it when I was alone walking in an open meadow or a forest trail. I would observe all the beauty surrounding me. I began to love and appreciate all the vegetation, wildlife, ever expanding sky, and endless stars at night. I was in awe of creation. In my youthful mind, all this beauty was perfection. I was so grateful to be a part of it.
Then it happened one day. I matured and discovered I was gay. I was told by the church I was condemned to hell, and I was an abomination. I couldn't understand why I would be created and damned in the same breath. That is when depression became part of my existence. I attempted suicide a couple of times in my early teens by swallowing a bottle of aspirin, and another time drinking Real Kill Bug Poison. I must have a strong will to live, because I pushed aside these thoughts of suicide. I began a journey to discover why the human race thinks the way it does. What is religion? How did it all begin. Why do we believe the things we do?
The entire subject of religion is too much for me to deal with, and I don't have all the answers. One of the few things I do know is that religion is made by man. It has always been that way ever since man began to communicate. Religion had more than one purpose. It was used to control the people, and was used to give meaning to unanswered questions about existence. One of the things I don't understand is if religion was use to educated people why hasn't it progressed with the new knowledge we acquire. Why are the various Bibles of the world not updated with our new discoveries and understandings. The Christian Bible for example was initiated by Constantine over 2,000 years ago. It is a collection of popular writings during that time that Constantine put together for the people. The thing that bothers me is these ancient writings are being use for good and evil. For an example, the Klu Klux Klan based their justification for hatred and murder on phases they found in the Bible.
Why is religion allowed to be used for evil? Anything used to instill hatred, and used to justify destruction and death is not good. If we all come from the same creation, them we are like children of the same parent. No parent wants any of his children harmed or killed for any reason. Isn't this an easy thing to understand? If God is the father, then we are the family. Our father wants us to find a way to work together to save each other. Everything else is a lie.