I’m not religious but…

Why do we follow rules…  Is it because they are on the books as laws and we must follow them because there is another law which says we must?  Or is it something deeper than that?

I like to think it is deeper than that.  Hurting another person, stealing from him, or doing anything to harm him in any way is just simply innately wrong…. not just legally wrong.

“So what if I cut you off in traffic?  That’s not illegal.” 

“So what if I walked away knowing you gave me $20 too much in change?  That’s not illegal.”

“So what if I spread rumors about you to make your life a miserable as I can?  That’s not illegal.”

“So what if I walk past you in the street disregarding your need for food or shelter?  That’s not illegal.”

All of these above statements are true.  But if you replace the word “illegal” with “wrong,” then they would all be false.

Some religious groups tell us that we must follow their beliefs, believe what they believe, and say out loud the things they say out loud in order to know God and to receive everlasting salvation. 

These people are hypocrites.  In their next breath they say “You can not do anything to earn salvation.”  Well, what about your previous edict where I must do this or where I must do that…..

You don’t need religion to know God.  You don’t need to “accept” anything to know God.  You don’t need to “say” anything to know God.  You already know Him from birth.  He put HIS laws into your heart the day you were born.  The truth is that you don’t need some other man telling you what you need.  Not even me.  You already know God. 

Right and wrong are found in the heart, not a law-book…..  nor a Bible.  Proof of that is the twinge of shame you felt when you saw the 4 “so what” examples above……  That friends is God within you.





About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

3 responses to “I’m not religious but…

  • margaret

    There are words of wisdom here, yes. Simplification is good – to an extent. We humans love to simplify – to an extent that often makes us lazy. Honestly, without “rules” can one raise a child? I suppose, but the chances are that child will turn out to be quite a monster – or at least go through quite a few “hard knocks” before realizing the error of his (her) ways.

    There are some religious that say “this” is the only way. As a Catholic it is my responsibility to the best of my ability to understand why my church teaches what it does. Those outside of the CC do not have to “obey” it … and the CC does not say they are the only way to heaven… they do say it is the “fullest expression” or whatever the phrase is, but certainly God knows hearts, and He judges the knowledge, understanding, and actions of each and every heart (soul).

    The Catholic Church will be the first to tell you the entire “truth” is not found in the Bible… as it was written after the formation of said “church”. I could discuss (not argue) this topic all day as I find it fascinating… much disagreement and bad feelings often spring from a difference in defining certain words, phrases. A favorite of mine is when Catholics say “I prayed to Mary”… many protestants just about fall over. Ha! “Pray” in this instance is not “pray” but more of a “called upon for Mary to pray for us since she sees the face of God and was the mother of our Lord”… quite different… BUT I digress.

    I feel the essence of your poem is a question asking “are we born with a fundamental “right and wrong” within us?”. IMO (and I believe the CC) Yes. But of course, again, a child raised with no limits… well we all know how that often turns out.

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Margaret. I’m Catholic also. And I believe what you said is mostly right. The thing that got me thinking about this was a coversation I had with someone on an antique radio website that I belong to. A small gardening cart had disappeared from his porch. He checked the security cameras and discovered an elderly woman probably 75 to 80, and suffering from dementia, had spent 45 minutes on his porch earlier that day, mostly just scratching her belly. But before she left she noticed the shiny cart and then took it with her.

      This guy is upset that the police told him there was nothing they could do, despite the fact that he “burned a dvd for them of the video” and insisted that he wanted to “press charges!”

      I’ve seen Alzheimers patients wh froze to death after they got out from their caregivers attention. I’ve seen them die of hypothermia from being rained on. I’ve seen them hit by cars, and one cut in half by a train after he fell asleep on the tracks. I’ve seen them kicked out to the street by spouses who could not handle it anymore.

      And this guy wants to “press charges.”

      I think if a baby were put onto a deserted island and somehow raised alone he would probably be more apt to burp, fart, and pick his nose in the presence of others without any shame or hesitation what so ever! But I also think even he would know that killing this man would be wrong and that he would be less likely to do that than the rest of us. The Catechism kind of says that in a way….. Not that I would ever suggest children be allowed to guide themselves. Of course they need guidance…. Hell, I still need guidance. 🙂

  • ramblingsfromamum

    I am not religious and therefore use my ‘common sense’ and my ‘upbringing’ to advise me what is right or wrong. We as children are taught limitations, had guidelines. It’s my conscience that I deal with if every I feel I have done something wrong.

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