“Whatever Your Religion, We Are All One Family”

We’re all God’s children, can’t you see?
One giant, global family
We all love God, it seems to me
It’s just what people do!

“God-consciousness” is all around
Wherever humankind is found
It shows us all our common ground
I’m just the same as you!

One sees it best when one ignores
Religion’s role in bloody wars
A history that underscores
The way that faiths divide

The truth, so far as I detect,
Is, each and every separate sect
Will claim to be the one correct
And God is on their side

Y’know, it’s funny. I have heard that there are two sorts of people who view religion through the lenses of fundamentalism: fundamentalists and atheists. The majority of religious people are not so rigid; they are the moderate and liberal believers, the cafeteria Catholics, the warm and fuzzy spiritualists, the people who think, just maybe, that Deepak Chopra has a point. They are what much of religion is, rather than what the books say it should be.

One such example showed up in the Huffpo–an essay with the same title as my post here, by a rev. Ed Bacon. It’s the sort of thing my sister would love, and which I find cloyingly saccharine. He writes of how we are all really the same, in the manner that only the privileged can; it’s as if he “doesn’t see religion”, like Stephen Colbert doesn’t see race, and like the able-bodied tell my nephew they don’t see his wheelchair (“I really can’t see how you missed it; I’m sitting in it right now”).

The amusing bit, though, is the juxtaposition between his pollyanna writing and the cynical, often atheist, commenters at Huffpo. They certainly do see religion, and a good number of them don’t like what they see.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    “Whatever Your Religion, We Are All One Family”

    It’s a pretty dysfunctional family.

  2. Sastra says

    Yes, I find it curious. If someone believes that God is so diverse, so open, so ecumenical and so tolerant that no religion is wrong — there is no one right way to understand God, they are all simply different paths on the journey to the same unifying Truth — then this believer must think that the religions which say otherwise are wrong. It’s entailed in the belief itself. People who disagree with this believer don’t understand God correctly. Unlike, of course, this believer … who does understand God the right way. And tells those people who see God in another way (as caring very much for the “details”) that they need to change and see God the right way. Because their way is wrong.

    Pointing this out really seems to drive them wild. It takes them by surprise, apparently. It’s as if they think you’re pulling some sort of verbal or logical trick on them, like saying that being against bigotry is bigotry against bigots. But to the atheist, this happy-clappy “we’re all one religion” version of religion isn’t a solution to the problem. It isn’t a wise and wonderful way to transcend the different versions of religion.

    It’s just another version of religion.

    It’s another view of God arguing against other views of God and it doesn’t somehow stand out as “more true” or “more real” because it tries to solve conflict in one area by moving it down the line. There’s still no way to objectively check on who is getting divine inspiration which seeks to find God as God, and who is forming God in their own image. They ALL claim to be in that first selfless position. It’s not helpful.

    And note that this line still doesn’t include us — the atheists. Or, perhaps, it won’t include the outspoken atheists, those who think that one ought to be clear and direct and truth-seeking and isn’t content to just shut up and change the subject. A version of All One Religion which includes people who don’t agree but don’t make waves hasn’t figured out a way to get everyone together by harmonizing everyone’s view of religion. They’ve only figured out that, if you want to have a nice diverse yet harmonious religious get-together, then make sure everyone stays away from the topic of religion.

    Big deal.

  3. Sastra says

    From the article:

    And experiencing God-consciousness may feel different to different people, of course. Whenever you have a flash of love, innocence, acceptance, inspiration, awe, wonder, or when you’re moved to tears or filled with joy, remind yourself: This is the real me. This is how I was created to be. This is a moment of God-consciousness.

    No it’s not. Nice try.

    So, either “God-consciousness” actually INCLUDES “atheism” and not being conscious of God — which makes me suspect someone is playing fast and loose with the definition of “God” here… or atheists never feel “a flash of love, innocence, acceptance, inspiration, awe, (or) wonder,” nor are they moved to tears. Unfeeling robots, every one.

    Of course, I know the rejoinder. Atheists ARE conscious of God; they just don’t know it. Which not only changes us into the sort of robots who don’t have a lot of insight, but it seems to put a damper on the all-fire importance of focusing all your conscious attention on God, God, God.

    At any rate, I hate it when they slip some highly dubious argument for the existence of God under the radar like this, shrouded in religious privilege so thick that, as you say, they think they “can’t see religion.”

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    To hijack a story title from Theodore Sturgeon:

    If all men were brothers – would you let one marry your sister?

  5. Aratina Cage says

    Y’know, it’s funny. I have heard that there are two sorts of people who view religion through the lenses of fundamentalism: fundamentalists and atheists.

    That is funny. As atheists, we are telling them (theists) to stop making it all up and look at what your horrible texts actually say (often in comparison to facts about reality) and what your horrible organizations actually do and say. We can’t really help it that fundamentalists tend to be a little less loose in how closely they match their beliefs with what the texts actually say (in some parts) or with the gist of what the texts actually say.

  6. says

    Which god, of the dozens in current use? Or does this guy mean to say that Jesus also incarnated as Rama and Krshna? That Muslims worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? That Jews worship a deity manifest on earth as holy fire?

  7. says

    Two things. This is hilarious:

    Deepak Chopra has said, “Evil is a wound inflicted in separation and only healed in unity.”

    How is this not fundamental religion:

    Deepak Chopra has said, “Evil is a wound inflicted in separation and only healed in unity.”

    Sorry, saying we are all created by God is not liberal or new age airy fairy
    comicness (LOL).
    He betrays his bullshite openness by the same old creationists clap trap.
    This crap makes me more sick than just straight out Christianity, this fusion of religion and new age touchy feely.

  8. Didaktylos says

    (further from #1) – and Cousin Ida is not speaking to Cousin Doreen because she filched the Spode tea-service that Great-Grandmother had promised her was hers when she passed away

  9. says

    ” Whenever you have a flash of love, innocence, acceptance, inspiration, awe, wonder, or when you’re moved to tears or filled with joy”

    I’ve had that experience, then the Ecstacy wore off.

  10. johnwolforth says

    I dropped belief, but still went to church for a year or so, until I saw how my support of any Christian church supported fundamentalism of the most extreme nature. This is a difficult case to make, so I will only point out that fundamentalism does exist. Bible believers are on science committees in the federal government. If that type of belief didn’t exist, I wouldn’t care about people reading horoscopes or singing about Jesus, peacably. But it does exist, and that is a reason to fight all irrationality of any kind.

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