(from Oct 17, 2010)
I had an Uncle who was a lay minister at a local Assembly ‘O God church, where I grew up. But I spend a good many Sundays, as a young boy, sitting on wooden benches, or hard metal folding chairs, attending the non-denominational, fundamentalist services that my paternal grandmother attended, when she wasn’t hosting the services in her own home. And though I had ample opportunity to hear the ‘Word of God’ being extolled, chapter and verse, in both psalm and hymnal, I admit to having spent a good deal of time lost in my own thoughts concerning the many mysteries contained in ‘The Good Book.’
However, after what, looking back, seems like a lifetime, I came to realize that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And that, as such, we come to discover and appreciate a broad range of infinitely more subtle truths, as they are allowed to gestate and come to full term in the nurseries of our minds.
But this can only happen if we allow ourselves the time and permission to bear the seeds of germane thoughts and ideas, as we nurture and prune their development, in order to more faithfully reflect the lessons learned and the insights gleaned, from those experiences of our own and other’s – sometimes over the course of an entire lifetime.
But that presupposes the intellectual ‘right to life’ that I think the founding fathers of America felt had to be protected, when they followed up and enlarged on the notions first put forth in that wonderful document, The Declaration of Independence, by establishing a constitutional government freed from the gruesome grasp of religion.
It also points to the absolute horror that I see taking place, when it comes to the murder-by-abortion of innocent inquiry – in its tender youth, – by religious zealots who wish to cut out this – dare I say, “god given” – seed, and make forever barren this womb of the mind. First, by scarring its walls with the introduction of any number of assorted and sundry points of someone else’s brittle and misguided points of doctrine, and then by cauterizing it closed forever beneath the burning brand of some bigoted belief.
And the fact that they can then parade the newly minted zombies about in their Sunday best, as examples of exemplary child-rearing, is only doubly horrifying to those of us who can only mourn the damaging effects to the intellectual clarity and curiosity, of the brainwashing that has been allowed to significantly dull the mental prowess of these young victims.
Simply put, a child’s intellectual right to life should be protected from early abuse, at the heavy hands of religious indoctrination.