Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Not What I Expected

God Is Not Great:  How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

Nonfiction

This was not the book I thought it was going to be.  I suppose I expected an atheistic rant against Christendom but it wasn't that at all.  And, I expected that because many of my Christian friends warned me not to read it.......which, naturally made me want to read it more as I am something of a rebel and don't like to follow any one's lead.  I like to check things out for myself and then decide. 

I'm glad I did.  The author does not specifically pick one religion but fairly discusses many different religions and some things they all have in common:  subjugation of women, wars fought on supposed religious grounds, ridiculousness of food practices (i.e. pork, 'Fish Friday', etc.).

I really liked this book.  It caused me to examine my own prejudices and long-held beliefs and ask myself the Why's of what I believe and practice.  There is a danger with this book--it will cause you to think and probably re-evaluate your own world views on religions that are different than your own.  You might be surprised to find how many commonalities there are more so than differences.

I sincerely believe this will cause no one to become an atheist but probably rather become a stronger proponent of their faith.  Any faith that cannot stand up to some examination isn't much of a faith, I find.  And, really, I believe that society focuses too much on things about religion that just isn't very important in the long run (example--month long Facebook rants about 'X-mas' takes the Christ out of Christmas, which of course is ridiculous as a learned Christian knows that the X is actually another marker, or symbol, of Christ from long ago).

It was very interesting but would probably be offensive to some ultra-conservatives.  Of course,they wouldn't go near it with a ten foot pole anyway just based on the title.

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