Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Church of Reality

Recently, I was doing my daily web reading and came across a link to the Church of Reality. I was very curious, so I clicked on the link. What I found was an interesting manifesto written by Marc Perkel. Perkel, calls himself the “First One,” because it was his idea. Fair enough. The church’s mission statement is “If it’s real—we believe in it,” but at the same time questioning what is real.

What is reality? That is a good question since reality is different for everyone, and defining reality has been the subject of philosophical debate for centuries. I think Perkel’s intentions are not necessarily in creating a religion per se, but questioning the religious landscape that exists currently in the United States. What is portrayed by the main-stream media to be the prominent religious viewpoint is disturbing. For the past couple of decades Christianity in America had become synonymous with backward thinking. On subjects such as abortion, gay marriage, evolution, and stem cell research have brought out the worst in the Christian community, and have colored all Christians with one brush. I think Perkel’s site is a reaction to a very vocal minority group that has become so intertwined with the current President’s administration and Republican Party. Perkel makes a good point by stating we need to think and question, and religious people do just that. Not all religious people are mired in absolutism. Not all religious people reject reason and science.

So, why set up a religion? Why create a religion based on a structure that you do not like in the first place? What does an Atheist need with a religion to believe in to begin with? Perhaps it would be better to restructure the Church of Reality as a philosophical system. Personally that would make more sense rather than mimicking the very institution you do not agree with.

I don’t want to come off as bashing Perkel’s vision. I’m only raising questions, and I believe he would agree with questioning. Also, I agree with many of Perkel’s views on issues such as patriotism and the death penalty. The site is an online tome, and is worth visiting. The address is http://www.churchofreality.org

Parting Shot

Rev. Jerry Falwell died of an apparent heart rhythm abnormality today. He was 73 years old. Falwell was the founder of the Christian Coalition and was a TV Evangelist, and his television ministry mobilized millions of votes to get Ronald Regan elected President.

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