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PostReligious Sects and Divisions are Universal; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA, 08/20/17 10:00 am)
Ric Mauricio writes:
Enrique Torner (August 7) stated that Hinduism is "so complex that even scholars in the field disagree among themselves." Ah, thank you, now I don't feel that I am in a lower caste when it comes to understanding Hinduism. But does anyone see the larger issue here? Doesn't that statement apply to all religions? All religions, from paganism to Judaism to Islam to Christianity to Buddhism have different sects that interpret the teachings differently, in some cases, very differently.
In the one religion I was brought up in, Christianity, there is Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and what I call Other (Mormonism, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.). Even in my current non-denominational gathering, there are some "very fine people" who tender some very unchristian (imho) thoughts. And I often get into trouble asking questions, especially questioning the logic.
In Islam, there are the Sunnis and the Shiites. Talking about the Jihadists, I am very happy that my fellow WAISer, Jordi Molins, is OK after the Barcelona attack. But check out the Jihadists. They are very religious, some more religious than most. They pray to Allah at the appointed times, yes, religiously. Would we call them "very fine people?"
What I find interesting is that the teachings of Siddhartha (Buddhism) and Lao Tzu (Zen) have been turned into religions. They have even created a mythical fat being depicted as the Buddha. If I read Buddhism correctly, the Buddha is our own enlightenment. It is not a other-worldly being. Ditto for Zen. In fact, I often wonder whether Jesus meant for his teachings to be turned into a religion. He was always butting heads with the religionists of his day, the Pharisees.
So what is my point? My point is that we have created all these gods (I actually like the Mighty Thor and Hercules; very creative) and stories, then we fight over these gods and stories. If one were to follow the logic of religions, one would come to the conclusion that there is no logic in religions. That's why people fall into despondency over questions like, "if God created a perfect world, why does he (or she) allow such bad things to happen?"
By the way, as to the question of what the United States (or any other country, for that matter) worships, it is the Golden Calf.
I have yet to read Tor Guimaraes's book, but I suspect that he may be closer to the truth than most of us can imagine.
JE comments: Ric Mauricio refers to Tor Guimaraes's God for Atheists and Scientists. As for all religions having schisms and sects, does this apply as well to Baha'i? I know of only one "universal" Baha'i belief/institution. I hope Vincent Littrell will respond.