It seems fitting to pen this piece on Easter Sunday even though I have been thinking about it a long time.
A disclaimer, while I am a Christian by inclination and environment, while I believe in the teachings of Jesus, he is not my savior as I believe the messiah has not come yet. I also believe that Jesus is not the only path to heaven otherwise a lot of good people are going to be left out and I don’t believe God would do that as while there are many religions, there is one God and God has a home with many rooms and each religion has one of those many rooms.
Consider morality and ethics – for either or both to be legitimate nowadays religions insist that those subjects must come from religious teachings. The religion most insistent about this is the Catholic Church who has a long track record of hijacking occasions and teachings that existed long before the Catholic Church, easter being one of them. The Catholic Church did this to gain acceptance as quickly as possible and the power that went with the acceptance.
Of how to teach children important values, the Catholic Church would like to exclude government intervention. There is this article by Pope Francis when he was a Cardinal, so it is a modern, very modern, train of thought. Religions, like governments, like to gather as much power unto themselves as they can for they all share one common failing – they are human beings who feel their way is best and should be the only way. The best religion is one one that teaches you how to live your life without them and an awareness of God to have faith that you can get through most anything.
Both governments and religions, being human beings, eventually compromise themselves and fail as moral authorities. The Catholic Church with it’s pedophiles and institutional, systemic coverups is a great example of this. But it’s not limited to the Catholic Church. How many ministers, pastors and lay people have you heard of that have betrayed the faith placed in them? There is also a concerted campaign by governments and atheists to undermine religious teachings.
Religion has a valuable place in this world – all religions – regardless of how one faith feels about another. Extremists warp the place of religion but all extremists represent is themselves and every religion has these people. But religion isn’t necessary to learn morals and ethics or to be moral and ethical.
When you ask, who can I trust to teach me, the answer is yourself. lessons in morality and ethics have been around since the time of the ancient Greeks, the people who are the foundation of modern thought. It takes reading, watching and listening and when you’re a child, someone to start you out – your parents, teachers, preachers – the ones that talk to you, not down at you, not the ones trying to impress. It is the ones who have an eye on the future and making it a place where common sense and courtesy prevails.
If at some time any of these people seem to be hypocrites, just remember they may say one thing and do another, it’s because they are trying to avoid teaching you their bad habits and teach only the good habits, because they are people and know their failings but live to a higher standard.
So when it comes to morals and ethics, just remember, you don’t need religion to teach you what is right or wrong, they have their own problems to resolve first and that you can be moral and ethically on your own, all it requires is character and integrity. And if you fall, get up, dust yourself off and learn from the fall. You don’t have to stay down because people will walk all over you then. And then, if you need it, God will be there for you.