UI – Part 471 – Are You a Reflection of Your Culture?
In a religious community or family does honoring God and family have more significance than the alternative?
As a secularist focused on the stance of other secularists, learning from other secularists, listening to other secularists, to the exclusion of opposing viewpoints, you may accept that you are and can only be true to yourself to be free. Independence means freedom from everything you have learned to this juncture, whenever that line is crossed from your culture to that of a new culture. Or who you are may be relegated to the society and culture in which you were birthed. As a member of the secularist society you grow to disdain God and seek separation from a supernatural power. God becomes a mythical creator, the Bible, its stories, even the evidence that supports all the claims, the prophesies that came to be, cannot be believed. Even when what surrounds is an everyday wonder, in many ways far exceeding complete understanding, and miracles that have happened lack the ability to repeat, and yet took place (to include the resurrection of Christ), doubts exist. Scientific discoveries need a credit as accepting God’s presence in discoveries violates the secularist’s worldview. The secularist cannot, out of arrogance, denial, or self-interest, accept God’s presence in anything. It is all about the person, the self, the ego, the ‘me’ without a greater than “self” influence.
For the religious they may learn the Bible early. They may attend church, Sunday school and even a religious school. They are filled with Bible stories and the Gospel. I too must admit my parents drugged me as a kid. They drug me to church every Sunday. My society, those in my community, were respectful of each other and how they lived, at least outwardly. It was a conservative lifestyle with God’s commandments a reminder of how to conduct oneself and live. We were told too we were free, forgiven of our sins, yet to love God and live with Christ as our example. Not everyone was fully convinced of the resurrection of Christ. That came with time and with a seeking heart to understand more fully God’s desires, his love for everyone and his want for everyone to love him too. For some the realization and being fully invested in faith in Jesus Christ never came.
I did not grow up in a wealthy community or suburb, but the streets of a major city. Welfare was not common. People worked for whatever they were able to buy, to even eat. I did not see our family’s lifestyle as a hardship although we had few of what today is considered common and expected.
The religious communities are societies within society. Religion is not just Christian (Catholic or Protestant), Jew, Hindu or Buddhist, it is also atheist, Muslim, Wiccan, Mormon, the environmentalists or some other spiritualistic orientation to which people give themselves. Secularism is a religion too. It is what a body of people embrace and collectively follow and support. It becomes foundational especially if there are texts, tenets, scripture, to support their cause and objective. Not all religions have a salvation goal.
Your environment, your education, the teachers that inspire, your religion, that of your parents, their dedication to work, or their faith, or other habits or practices (such as sports, or reading, or collections, or model building, etc.), exposure to trades, or skills, talents you have that you may discover, the laws you live under and obey, those that enforce the laws, your leaders and other everyday events collectively factor into your culture and how you reflect your culture. Your independence, that of wanting more or the same, becomes a reflection of who you are. Self motivation can lead you to new opportunities, even what you may believe. Restrictions on your freedoms, that of speech, thought or religion, can constrain the person that resides within you, as well as peer, family and community pressures.
You will learn from your culture, but whether or not you seek to improve it or change how you live, discovering for yourself a preferred path, is all a reflection of your culture, your independence, how you are loved, your freedom and heritage.
Grace and Peace