But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.”
I have spent the last few days immersed in Dan Brown’s latest book, Origin. I can’t say that I have loved all of his books, but I will say that a few of his books definitely made my “top ten” list. My favorite books mix learning with excitement, and Brown is a master of that technique. He takes years to research between each novel, and it shows. His love of art, history and religion is evident in this book as it was in several of his others.
I have always envied those who believe so ardently in their God. There must be a sense of peace in being able to place your life and future in the hands of something or someone you believe to be all powerful. I am too much of a questioner to believe something so completely. It is not that I disbelieve that there is more to life than one can scientifically prove, it is simply that I can’t accept it unquestioningly.
Mark David Chapman, a Beatles fan for many years, murdered John Lennon after Lennon's comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” Chapman had become a "born again" Christian, and joined extremist prayer groups who participated in album burnings, boycotts, etc. They made a joke referencing Lennon’s song, Imagine. The line read, “Imagine, imagine if John Lennon was dead.”
Chapman went farther than imagining and then plead guilty “based on what he had decided was the ‘will of God’.”
I am so horrified at the way people misuse religion, that sometimes I need to take a breath and realize that they are not representing the entirety of those who believe. The hypocrisy that these supposed worshipers display though, make me wonder if they really believe that they are paving their way to a superior afterlife.
I do believe that if there is indeed a higher power, he/she is surely not condoning murdering doctors to prove the sanctity of “pro-life.” My God, who supposedly created all people, would not believe some were destined for hell for simply living their lives in a peaceful manner that fulfills them. He would save his wrath instead for those who use their words and their weapons to hurt those who travel different paths.
Like in all areas, we often hear more about the bad than the good as far as religion is concerned. We hear about the extremists who wield weapons and the religious leaders whose words are their weapons. We watch politicians attempt to institute unfair laws in the name of their God, while people take part in hateful marches claiming they are standing up for their God. Don’t believe that they are the representatives of religion.
When I attended college, a group of friends and I decided to go to different places of worship each weekend to see the similarities and differences of the various religions. We listened to prayers, hymns and sermons and talked to the worshipers, and we found many more common denominators than we did differences. Be it a Temple, a Church or a Mosque, each place exuded feelings of love and peace. The worshipers were welcoming and we never felt like intruders. No one questioned our religious beliefs or our chosen lifestyles, they just invited us to join them for the experience.
It is time for us to turn our backs to those who preach a religion filled with hate and join together with the rest of humanity (those who are believers in a higher being and those who are not). I know that Lennon’s song extolled a world without religion, but I am imagining a world where the religious and the non believers will “live as one.”
A complete review of Dan Brown’s Origin follows this blog.