An Atheist Sermon


We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. 

We are spiritual beings on a human journey.

- Fr Teilhard de Chardin and others

Jesus_mac



And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made

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Why is a modern atheist like me a student of a Jewish preacher from 2,000 years ago?

Because I believe our bad monkey behavior has no future. Many great teachers have taught this over the centuries, with the clearest challenge coming from my Master Jesus. It would be heartbreaking to wipe ourselves out just as we reach the threshhold to the stars. 

What’s wrong with this picture? What’s wrong with us? Can we save ourselves from ourselves? If not, we are obviously not going to make it to the stars, perhaps not even to the end of this century !!

Religions are the problem, not the solution. They endorse and promote what the rulers of society want for their own benefit - wealth and wars - even at everybody else's expense.

Christianity is Paul's religion - a religion of credentials from the past, doctrines, dogmas and institutions - later established as the state religion of the Empire by Constantine. It endorses society's morals - teaching that is OK to climb society's ladder, stepping on the poor and join armies and murder - for the Empire.
But Love, courage and freedom is Jesus' religion - breaking free of society's doctrines, to love, risk and care for each other - weak, sick or poor, and refuse to kill and steal for kings and barons - or modern nations of the megarich
.

I agree with Jesus that we need a new start, both as a society and as individuals. 
He saw the end of his world order coming, and the Romans really did destroy Jerusalem in the year 70.
Today, we can also see the end of our world coming, this time by our own hands.

I see 2 steps to Jesus' new start - a radical new way of saving humanity:

1 - Guide yourself from within,
           instead of being channeled by the external forces of society and religion

Yes, We created society. It took us to the Moon. BUT it also teaches greed and racism, war and militarism, mostly to benefit the wealthy. We are all part of society, but to be effective and guide society you must also have the ability to separate from it. Some break free of society. Who has this kind of courage? Jesus, Buddha, Tolstoy, Gandhi, MLKjr, Dorothy Day, Rosa Parks, Rachel Carson - You? Me? 

     Isn't it amazing how one loving heart is powerful enough to change the world?

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2 - Where you find evil, return good.  

From nature, we know that like produces like. Figs produce figs. Grapes produce grapes. Apples produce apples. Similarly, Evil produces evil. War produces war. Hate produces hate. So, returning evil for evil, bad for bad, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, produces more evil in the world. As MLKjr pointed out“An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind,” but . . . 

      by replacing evil with good, we increase good in the world, and decrease evil.

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Yes, most of religion is bogus bull. 
Even the actual teachings of Jesus are hard to find in all the clutter. 
But there is also treasure here.

The lesson is - You can do this:  Break out of the herd  . . .  and Take the next exit.

then:    1 -  Guide yourself from within.

2 - be one of the new humans who go beyond the golden rule, 

   replacing evil with good wherever you go.


Finally, know this:

                Like the Master,
                    We can become so free and strong
                        that we can give our last heartbeat
                            and feel not sacrifice, but fulfillment.

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Bring me my Chariot of fire!

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Suggested reading:      Tolstoy: The Kingdom of God is Within You

 Book - Amazon , Commentary - Wikipedia

This is the book that launched Gandhi and MLKjr.
You will have to translate from the 1890s to today, but
It will challenge everything you were taught.

© Gareth Harris 2019                                      Email: garethharris@mac.com                  See also: ThinkingTalkingComputing.com