Posted on 28 January 2011.
In a certain Christian group in Friendster, a certain Jean asked:
…if you are a skeptic or atheist, why you choose
skepticism or atheism? What are the benefits with your choice of being a skeptic or atheist? If you are a believer before, then why backslide from being a christian, your reasons?
The best way to answer Jean’s question is to use one of my favorite Disney characters Pocahontas.
I was (and still am) fascinated by “Pocahontas.” I am referring to the Disney version; naturally this version does not include her having the Christianized name Rebecca and her death for catching smallpox in England and the tragic death of John Rolfe after he returned to Chief Powhatan and delivered him the bad news.
Back to the Disney version of Pocahontas, I adore the song “Colors of the Wind” sung by Judy Khun .
In the song from the movie itself (Not Vanessa Williams’ version) it began with the lyrics, “You think I’m an ignorant savage. And you’ve been so many places; I guess it must be so. But still I cannot see, if the savage one is me. Now can there be so much that you don’t know? You don’t know…”
If I was still a Christian, maybe I might say that Pocahontas’ song was addressed to me. You see, too much fanaticism in religion tends to make you too intolerant with other life forms in this planet. Naturally, your tendency is to say that you, as a chosen of God, know what is best for everybody. If people only accept my belief (like Jesus saves) then that person is saved…in my Christian standard of thinking.
Those “ignorant savages” who don’t heed my warning will naturally be condemned to eternal damnation in hell.
Now, have you heard the parable from a Native American… Well…I guess not since this Injun guy is..er anonymous.
Anyway “Anon” (as he calls himself) has a story that tells about a young boy who asked his grandfather about these two wolves inside his mind. These two wolves constantly fight with each other. One wolf represents hate, arrogance, anger, intolerance and superiority. The other wolf represents love, peace, tolerance, understanding, empathy and compassion. The boy asked his grandfather who of the two wolves will win. The Grandfather replied, “The one whom you feed.”
It’s a simple Native American tale. For a Christian who is too hooked on his faith, the story is nothing more but empty babble from an aging Navaho. But for someone who left Fundamental Christianity, it speaks to the heart. That is the problem of fundamental Christianity. Yes, it speaks of love to your neighbors, yet it also speaks damnation, death and destruction to those who don’t follow its rules, doctrines and dogma.
Notice that we can find verses in the Bible that kindle spirits of intolerance toward people of different faith. It is a high priority on Christianity to love its model of a god. The book also contains records of mass murder and crimes against non-Hebrews. Yes, we can read the story of the Good Samaritan yet we can also read the story on how Jesus treated a non-Jewish woman – describing her as sub-human, as a dog.
This kind of mentality lingered till it reached modern Christian fundamentalism. Today, we can see literature from Christian book stores condemning those who practice New Age Religion. Cautioning people as if those who practice New Age are carrying a contagious disease. Rather than knowing why these people have engaged in this new religion, the majority of Christian fundies label these people as deceived fools.
In my Christian years I always thought that I was on the right side. Naturally, all those outside my circle are wrong. So being a Christian, it was my firm belief that everything outside my bubble of influence is from Satan the devil. There is no other choice.
Notice these few examples of how the most famous Christian Evangelists think these days:
Josh McDowell (author of “Evidence That Deserves a Verdict”) said in a Youth for Christ rally in 1994: “Tolerance is the worst roar of all, including tolerance for homosexuals, feminists, and religions that don’t follow Christ.”
The authors of that Christian book series “Left Behind” said that those from other religious faith should all be burn in hell howling and screeching.
Some American soldiers in Vietnam justify the massacre in Mai Lai that butchering babies would purge Vietnam of the commie stain and that they were on God’s side.
Susie Shellenberg explained it on her radio program “Life on the Edge”, “If you are a born-again Christian, you will go to heaven; if you’re following another religion, then by default you will go to hell.”
This is what Fundamental Christianity is all about.
Let us continue:
You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and trees and creature
Has a life, has a spirit has a name.
If you try to listen closely, the song highlights the animistic qualities of Native American beliefs. It should since “Colors of the Wind” was based on a Native American poem.
Native Americans and their culture suffered badly in the hands of the oppressive white invaders, both ethnically and their beliefs. Just read the accounts of what Fr. Serra did to the Native Americans in California.
Let’s not go farther, we can’t deny what Spanish missionaries did to the natives of Philippine Island. Today, thanks for the brain-washing, Filipinos now are condemning their own past heritage as pagans and uncivilized before Spanish Christianity. This is very sad.
“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.”
Now you know why I left Christianity. The message of the song which Pocahontas sang is my reason why. The meaning is very clear. Intolerance with my fellow humans is a big cause why I am not a Christian anymore. Now that I left Christianity, I can now walk in the footstep of a stranger and learned things I never knew. Contrary to Christian claims, I now saw that there are also splendors outsider the Christian bubble of authority. There are some god-beliefs that are not as harsh as that of the Christians. Hinduism is a good example: Instead of having a jealous God, the Hindu Brahma declared, “I am the same to all mankind. They who honestly serve other gods involuntarily worship me. I am he who partakes of all worship, and I am the reward of all worshipers.”
The Bible teaches that slaves must obey their master yet a simple man named Epicurus, a man to whom no revelation was ever made, a man who has never heard the Jewish god nor has read the Christian Bible have said “Will you not remember that your servants are by nature your brothers, the children of god? In saying that you brought them, you look down on the earth, and into the pit, on the wrenched law of men long dead, but you see not the laws of the gods.”
We find the Bible God speaking on his chosen favorite people to buy bondsmen and bondwomen. Zeno, founder of Stoics, centuries before Christ was born insisted that no man could be the owner of another. Jesus, the Christian Messiah, was silent on that matter.
The same God also ordered his chosen people to kill foreigners who entered His temple yet a pagan named Cicero, who had never read the Bible, declare, “They who say that we should love our fellow citizen but not foreigners destroy the universal brotherhood of mankind, with which benevolence and justice would perish forever.”
Epicurus, another pagan, gave some marvelous guidance for human conduct that says “Live with thy inferiors as thou wouldst have thy superiors live with thee.”
The Bible God ordered his soldiers to spare not even the women, the suckling, the young people and the old folks in war. Seneca, a human being said “The wise man will not pardon any crime that ought to be punished, but he will accomplish, in a nobler way, all that is sought in pardoning. He will spare some and watch over some. Because of their youth, and others on ignorance. His clemency will not fall short in justice, but will fulfill it perfectly.”
Today, Christianity turns its head and accuse these noble pagans as “worldly fools!”
The song “Colors of the Wind” tells the beauty of animism in Native American religion. Here she talks about spirits in Nature that guides humans to their everyday life. There is really no talk of dogmas and doctrines, just an unfettered devotion to the world around you. It’s a simple form of worship.
Which reminds me of another story. A Christian evangelist tried to persuade a Hopi woman to read the Bible and accept Jesus as Savior and God. He handed a copy of the Bible to the woman so she could read it. The Hopi woman politely declined the offer and said, “You said that the Bible is where I can find god, yet if you leave that book outside, the rain, the wind and the Sun and all the elements outdoors will destroy it along with your god. Yet my God is the rain, the wind and the Sun and all the elements outdoors, so why will I need the god inside that book?”
Now that I left Fundamental Christianity, my perspective is much wider and I became happier. The chain is broken and I have stopped feeding the first wolf.
I hope that you have read my message and understand why I left Christianity. I wish that someday you will realize my choice so you may not be deaf to hear the voices of the mountains and not be blind so you can paint the colors of the wind.