[Paleopsych] religion

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Feb 26 20:08:51 UTC 2005

It would seem to me that intrinsic patriotism
is noticeably absent from the current regime, 
which includes all of the incumbent politicians 
in both parties.  They serve those who bribe
them with campaign contributions, not the
interest of the country as a whole.

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Michael Christopher [SMTP:anonymous_animus at yahoo.com]
Sent:	Saturday, February 26, 2005 11:51 AM
To:	paleopsych at paleopsych.org
Subject:	[Paleopsych] religion

Lynn says:
>>For the intrinsically religious person, that is 
sort of what religion is like. There is a very quiet,
subtle experience of God tapping on one's shoulder, a
kind of reminder, "You promised to remember Me."<<

--That's a good distinction. Is there intrinsic
patriotism, a quiet, subtle voice reminding you that
you're part of a larger group, a larger world? What
would happen if one's political identity, one's
allegiance to a particular group or ideological
movement in a particular nation, conflicted with an
impulse toward patriotism to some larger body that may
be multinational and not associated with any political
party? Christianity and Islam seem to involve that
kind of conflict. The Body of Christ has no country,
and the Ummah of Islam is supposed to be beyond
borders. How is that conflict resolved in various

Another question: what happens if intrinsic religion
gets tangled up with extrinsic religion? As in the
person who has an inner spiritual experience involving
Jesus, who on remembering and retelling the experience
re-coats it with dogmas derived from his social group
about Biblical infallibility, religious politics, and
so on? Would such a person experience an intolerable
conflict, given that the thing deep inside which
provides a genuine spiritual connection to something
greater is distorted by ideas derived from culture?

I ask that latter question because in my own spiritual
experiences I've come across Jesus once or twice, and
he never said anything about gay marriage destroying
civilization. But if I'd had the same religious
experiences, which you would call intrinsic, while a
member of a Christian group, I might have ended up
coating what Jesus really was to me, deep down, with
some extra layers of dogma about what Jesus wants.
Biblical infallibility and literalism seem like a huge
stumbling block, and when politics is added, even more
so. These days, Christians who interpret the Bible
"wrongly" (for example, if they reconcile the New
Testament with gay marriage the way many Christians
forego the admonishments in the NT for women to cover
their heads, or if they reconcile evolution with
Genesis) are treated not just as theological heretics
but as political heretics as well. I've had numerous
right wing Christians tell me that evolution is a
"lie". Not just criticizing the theory, but claiming
that everyone who supports it is deliberately
deceptive. And a roughly equal number of Christians
have told me that it's impossible to reconcile gay
marriage with the Bible. What does one do if one has a
genuine spiritual experience involving Jesus, but
cannot conform that vision to the "political
correctness" of scriptural literalism and


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