Re: Mandatory Prayer

Unca Jones (best-smith@TRIAX.COM)
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 09:59:38 -0800

The act of giving should be unconditional. As much as spirituality and
faith can have profound effect in strengthening the resolve of those who
have lost hope and determination, in and of itself religion can
undermine the purpose to which it aspires by driving away those whos
stomaches and souls seek tangible relief. It is a sad history of the
Judeo/Christian missionary ethic that belief in their dogma is the only
route to heaven, that ALL others are heathens to be forced to the "one
true way". If we examine history through modern times religion has often
caused more strife than elleviated. One only need look to decade and
century long tensions in the mideast, Ireland, China (the Boxer
rebellion), India, Africa and other locals to demonstrate that
indigeonous populations rarely appreciate their beliefs tampered with.
In truth, religion is an intensely personal matter reserved exclusively
as contract between the individual and percieved deity; whether that
deity be god, tree, 57 Chevy or cosmic muffin.
     Sure, each church will undoubtably have by-laws and other strings
attached to further desire for converts, however to hold charity hostage
to ideology is counterproductive. Have religious councelling available
to those who want it. Shoving it down the throats of hungry homeless
only sours the meal.
     In my mind it would make more sense to dispense solid life skills
like job training, family economics and anger management than
pie-in-the-sky idealism. 
     On a personal note, I have my private beliefs but you won't hear
them here, those beliefs may help me through my often troubled days,
however, they may mean nothing but personal self-gratification to the