Say the word famine to any number of people and they will know exactly what you are referring to as an extreme scarcity of food but if you were to ask someone what it means for there to be a spiritual famine, what might they say?
I bring this up because; it would appear that many people today are suffering from a “spiritual famine” of sorts. While there are thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of spiritual practices and places that people go to be “spiritually fed,” it most certainly is evident that there is still a void that many are seeking to fill. Look around, turn on the TV, read the news, and you will see masses of spiritual and religious fanatics who use their religious dogma as license to judge, condemn, abuse, kill, destroy, and /or to terrorize. And for the record these religious fanatics exists in various branches of religion not just the Muslim one as so many people are so quick to vilify!
Do a search and you will find headline after headline of examples of “Religious Terrorism.”
“Gambian President Yayah Jammeh threatens to 'slit the throats' of gay people and no white person can do anything about it.”
“Following the theology of “What would ISIS do?” a “Christian” lawyer living in California has proposed that the state start executing all gay people with bullets to the head.”
“Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe has gotten tens of thousands of views on YouTube. In it, Anderson declares that no "queers" or "homos" are allowed in the church, and never will be as long as he's pastor. He goes on to say killing gays is the way to an AIDS-free world by Christmas.”
“ISIS terrorists pose as gay men, lure victims on dates, then kill them: social media”
“Killed for 'being gay': ISIS savages blindfolded man and threw him off tower block - then stoned him to death when he SURVIVED the fall”
Why would anyone use their religion to harm another? I would say, based upon my own experiences and studies, that the reason people choose to express a desire for a person to be killed due to race, class, color, class, sexual orientation, gender, or any xenophobic rationalization is due to the individual, the perpetrator of the “hate”, they themselves do not have a True sense of self. It is precisely that sense of self that assists us in developing and evolving into greater awareness which is in truth really less about developing and more about discovering and revealing what is already inherently there as our Divine selves.
Religion when void of true spirituality, a true spirituality is one of compassion, love, respect, and unity for all is as useless and empty as reading a recipe and expecting to be fed. If people are not being fed spiritually they starve and in that starved state they lash out at the world; it becomes a battle of us versus them – Christians versus Muslims, Heterosexuals versus the entire LGBTQ community, Whites versus Blacks, Men versus Women, Americans versus Immigrants, etc., rather than each of the “opposing” sides sitting at the table to break bread and fellowship as brothers and sisters of one family having realized they are not in opposition afterall.
Because of my own personal history and background with religious persecution and bible based hate, for the sake of conversation I’d like to mention the Bible. You say you read the Bible and that because it says you are to kill, destroy, stone, etc that which is an abomination to the Lord. . . My question is in all honesty what rational reason could you possibly have to legitimize your reasoning and make you choose to or want to kill another person? Now remember, I am speaking from personal experience with this issue and I have been told, because the Bible says… So I say, based upon the words in the Bible which say to stone or kill another person you feel you have that Biblically sanctioned right or duty; especially when you do not religiously follow EVERY passage with that same fervor?! So if you do not follow it, why are you so quick to kill, hurt, harm, ostracize, demonize, anyone else?
Recently Oprah produced a series of shows entitled “Belief” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CaxRCV3syc which delved into various faiths around the world. I noticed how many people attacked her on social media for her non-Christian beliefs, refusal to proclaim the name of Jesus, and for being the anti-Christ . . . I had a response to some of those comments:
Raymont Anderson: If people spent more time focusing on what they believe in and why and less time being concerned with what Oprah believes and why. .. We could end racism, sexism, audism, heterosexism, poverty, and war... in a year. How about folks stop focusing on the splinter you think is in her eye and focus on the beam in your own...?? And remember. . None of us know her heart mind or soul. Heck many of us don't know our own which is why we humans are so quick to judge. .. Remember that commandment by Yeshua about love? ♡ Thank you Oprah Winfrey for being you and doing all you are doing to raise the consciousness of the planet! **sincerely Rev Dr Raymont Anderson July 29 at 11:16pm
Remember that spiritual void I mentioned?
Many attend churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, ashrams, retreats, prayer vigils, meditations, and more in the hopes of feeling something and receiving something; receiving a healing, an answer to a question, a sign telling them what to do in life, where to go, or who to marry. . .
Many are seeking, which is a normal, natural, and necessary part of life, and yet so few are finding. It is in this lack of finding that they are responding by projecting their anger, frustration, and fear onto an external enemy. Someone has to be blamed for the condition of the world and more importantly their personal condition of living! Someone has to be blamed for the sins of mankind; a scapegoat, a fall guy, a patsy. And so they use their religion, their religious authority, as a “weapon of mass destruction.”
In addition to those mentioned above, there are the spiritual bypassers who will not become socially active and choose to be removed from the world by completely denying the issue at hand, for example White privilege does not exist, Racism does not exist, Homophobia does not exist, etc… and so they do a spiritual bypass and ignore the world of effects! Now I understand the spiritual point of view which they are using as the blanket to hide behind and I may address this in a future post, however if your house were on fire would you deny the reality of the house and simply pray? If your child were struck by a car, would you pray rather than call 9-1-1 since their body isn’t “real” and only their “spiritual self” is the true essence of their being?
There are also the Spiritual addicts. Those who jump from workshop to workshop, book to book, online seminar to online seminar, all in the hopes of receiving that ONE key to salvation, awakening, and/or enlightenment!
Why are so many clamoring and clinging to feed off of crumbs when they could be nourished fully?
Are some people more comfortable as victims and so they need to be famished in order to complain?
Is it easier to be hungry? Or is the issue that it is easier to complain about being hungry rather than work to be fed?
The road most travelled is quite often the road that leads to an empty table; why do so many choose to dine there?
The road less travelled takes work, practice, responsibility, and discipline; is that what keeps the spiritual belly grumbling for lack of nourishment?
Is it our fear of the work required to transform, fear of the new self that will emerge from the cocoon?
As Marianne Williamson says, “it is not our darkness that most frightens us, it is our light!”
Do we cower in the darkness, hungry, and angry; lashing out at others like scared cornered animals simply because we are too afraid of our own magnificence?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Righteousness meaning Truth, that state where wisdom and truth reveal to you your genuine, authentic Self and you know the Oneness of I Am as You.
XO Namaste * Om Shanti * Shalom * As-Salaam-Alaikum * So Mote It Be * E pili mau na pomaika`i ia `oe
Sincerely Rev. Dr. Ray