Preface: I wish I could take credit for the following, especially in light of some of the node discussions that have sprung up here in the last week or two. Substitute race or sex or sexual preference or ethnicity for religion, and the same message holds. But I can't take credit for it. It's circulated around the pagan community for some time now, always attributed to "anonymous" or "author unknown", and I'd love to give hearty congratulations to whoever did write it. It's a lesson in humility for anyone regardless of their belief system. With that out of the way...
To: Our Children of Earth
Subject: Idiotic Religious Rivalries
Dear Children (and believe Us, that's all of you),
We consider Ourselves pretty patient folks. For instance, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right.
And about evolution? Boy, nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to take place, cell by cell, and gene by gene.
We've been patient through your fashions, civilizations, wars and schemes, and the countless ways you take Us for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.
We want to let you know about some of the things that are starting to tick Us off.
First of all, your religious rivalries are driving Us up a wall. Enough already! Let's get one thing straight: These are your religions, not Ours. We're the whole enchilada; We're beyond them all.
Every one of your religions claims there is only one of Us (which by the way, is absolutely true). But in the very next breath, each religion claims it's Our favorite one.
And each claims its scriptures were written personally by Us, and that all the other scriptures are man-made. Oy Vey. How do We even begin to put a stop to such complicated nonsense?
Okay, listen up now. We're your Father and Mother, and We don't play favorites among Our children. Also, We hate to break it to you, but We don't write. Our longhand is awful, and We've always been more of "doers" anyway.
So all of your books, including those Bibles, were written by men and women. They were inspired, remarkable people, but they also made mistakes here and there. We made sure of that so that you would never trust a written word more than your own living heart.
You see, one human being to Us, even a bum on the street, is worth more than all the Holy Books in the world. That's just the kind of folks We are.
Our spirit is not a historical thing. It's alive right here, right now, as fresh as your next breath.
Holy books and religious rites are sacred and powerful, but not more so than the least of you. They were only meant to steer you in the right direction, not to keep you arguing with each other, and certainly not to keep you from trusting your own personal connection with Us.
Which brings Us to Our next point about your nonsense. You act like We need you and your religions to stick up for Us or "win souls" for Our sake. Please, don't do Us any favors.
We can stand quite well on Our own, thank you. We don't need you to defend Us, and We don't need constant credit. We just want you to be good to each other.
And another thing, We don't get all worked up over money or politics, so stop dragging Our names into your dramas.
For example, We swear to Us (smile), that We never threatened Oral Roberts. We never rode in any of Rajneesh's Rolls Royces. We never told Pat Robertson to run for president, and We've never, ever had a
conversation with Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggart! Of course, come Judgment Day, We certainly intend to....
The thing is, We want you to stop thinking of religion as some sort of loyalty pledge to Us.
The true purpose of your religions is so that you can become more aware of Us, not the other way around. Believe Us, We know you already. We know what's in each of your hearts, and We love you with no strings attached.
Lighten up and enjoy Us. That's what religion is best for. What you seem to forget is how mysterious We are.
You look at the petty differences in your Scriptures and say, "Well, if this is the truth, then that can't be!" But instead of trying to figure out Our Paradoxes and Unfathomable Nature, which by the way, you never will, why not open your hearts to the simple common threads in all religions?
You know what We're talking about. Love and respect everyone. Be kind, even when life is scary or confusing. Take courage and be of good cheer, for We are always with you.
Learn how to be quiet, so you can hear Our still, small voice. (We don't like to shout).
Leave the world a better place by living your life with dignity and gracefulness, for you are Our Own Children. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that can die surely will, and the parts that can't, won't.
So don't worry, be happy. (We stole that last line from Bobby McFerrin.)
Simple stuff. Why do you keep making it so complicated? It's like you're always looking for an excuse to be upset. And We're very tired of being your main excuse.
Do you think We care whether you call Us Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Diana, Wakantonka, Brahma, Cerridwen, Father, Mother, God, Goddess or even the Void of Nirvana?
Do you think We care which of Our special children you feel closest to, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Gerald, Mohammed, or any of the others?
You can call Us and Our Special Ones any name you choose, if only you would go about Our business of loving one another as We love you. How can you keep neglecting something so simple?
We're not telling you to abandon your religions. Enjoy your religions, honor them, learn from them, just as you should enjoy, honor, and learn from your parents.
But do you walk around telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs? Your religion, like your parents, may always have the most special place in your hearts. We don't mind that at all.
And We don't want you to combine all the Great Traditions in One Big Mess. Each religion is unique for a reason. Each has a unique style so that people can find the best path for themselves.
Know that Our Special Children, the ones that your religions revolve around, all live in the same place, (Our heart), and they get along perfectly, We assure you.
The clergy must stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where there is none. Our blessed children of Earth, the world has grown too small for your pervasive religious bigotries and confusion. The whole planet is connected by air travel, satellite dishes, telephones, fax machines, rock concerts, diseases, and mutual needs and concerns.
Get with the program! If you really want to help, then commit yourselves to figuring out how to feed your hungry, clothe your naked, protect your abused, and shelter your poor.
And just as importantly, make your own everyday life a shining example of kindness and good humor. We've given you all the resources you need, if only you abandon your fear of each other and begin living, loving and laughing together.
We're not really ticked off. We just wanted to grab your attention because We hate to see you suffer. But We have given you free will to choose your own paths, and We just want you to be happy.
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,