An Evil Word

December 28, 2010

Religion.
It’s a topic I rarely touch.
I mean, incase you hadn’t noticed, the name of my blog isn’t “Religion With Desteny”.

I am Agnostic.
I will not believe in God until I am proven he exists.
And no, preaching to me about what the Bible says and telling me about various “miracles” preformed by God isn’t going to prove to me he exists.
I do not believe in anything blindly.
Not God, not ghosts, not Bigfoot, not the Lock Ness Monster.

I want to touch on religion a bit today, though.
Although I am Agnostic in my personal beliefs, I am also very open-minded on the topic.
People are free to believe what they want regarding the subject, who am I to say that one religion is wrong?
I have no real beliefs on religion, God may exist… but until I am proven he does, you wont see me skipping to church in my Sunday Best every weekend.
The various religious beliefs of others don’t offend me, as long as they don’t try to convert me.

The entire point of this post, however, revolves around one little word: “cult”.
When you hear the word “cult”, what comes to mind?
Personally, I think of black robe wearing people, their faces hidden under large hoods.
These people are circling a fire, saying a prayer to the Devil before sacrificing a goat to him and drinking the blood of the poor little guy.

I was surprised when I found Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word “cult”:

1: formal religious veneration
2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual
3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious
4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work; especially: such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad.
b : the object of such devotion
c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
I think meaning #3 is the best at describing the way your average person perceives the word “cult”.
But, what is an unorthodox religion?
It’s a religion that isn’t conventional.
It’s not the norm.

I was learning about a religion I had never heard of last week.
I have a friend on Facebook who belongs to a church I was unaware existed.
They have different ways of celebrating holidays, yet they are considered “Christian”.
This information peaked my interest and I started doing my homework.

It seemed to me, after a couple of hours of reading, that this person belongs to a small, very new (in comparison to other religions) church.
While reading, I started thinking about the word “cult”.
Would someone consider them to be members of a cult?
I mean, I have heard countless people refer to the LDS church as a cult…
Does this church fall into the same group?

Since Thursday of last week, when I learned about said church, I have been thinking about the word “cult”.
I have wondered what makes what we refer to as a “cult” really just that.
I’ve come to a conclusion…

We all know that the two topics you don’t discuss at family gatherings are religion and politics.
People generally have such strong beliefs regarding both topics that any conversation between two people with differing opinions can turn into an all out brawl!
Democrats hate Republicans… Republicans hate Democrats.
I have never had strong religious beliefs, so the idea of a Catholic hating a Mormon seemed strange to me at first.
When I took a second to think about it, it really didn’t seem that strange at all.

I know I can’t stand liberal, pot smoking, peace-loving, tree hugging hippies.
There is something wrong with those freaks.
So, if someone celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles instead of Christmas, there must be something wrong with them, too, right?
Humans weren’t made to get along and live in peace… even if we have come to accept the various political beliefs of other people, we still can’t understand when they tell us their religious beliefs are different from our own.

The person who caused me to look into this, the person who made me think about the word “cult”, my friend on Facebook, lost multiple friends over the last week because they don’t agree with my friend’s beliefs regarding Christmas.
‘Tis the season, right?

No matter what your religion, I will not say you are wrong.
I don’t know who God is, I don’t know why we are here on Earth, I don’t know what happens when we die.
If you have a book you read and a church you go to that helps you understand the answers to the questions that every human asks themselves, then that is wonderful.
I don’t have any idea what the answers to my questions could be, and currently I am fine with that.
I can think of no religion that meets my take of the definition Merriam-Webster provided me for the word “cult”.

 

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