After reading the first part of A History of God, a book by Karen Armstrong I was left thinking she was a bit biased and that she seemed to have strayed from religion and formed her own thoughts and opinions to justify The Bible and God not being a reality. In my own opinion I thought she wasn't very religious just based off that alone. I felt that your not suppose to analyze who wrote the Bible your just suppose to believe it no questions asked. After listening to this ON BEING Archived Broadcast on Karen Arrmstrong I realized she is actually very religious and she has a lot of the same thoughts and opinions as I do myself about religion. As I have learned through many lessons in life, never judge a book by its cover.
At a young age Armstrong became a nun and was in a structured religion where she wasn't encouraged to think or explore and like I said before, not to question and not to express doubt. Before I was under the impression that when she left the Convent it was because she lost sight of God, which may be true but now I see she wasn't spiritually connected but longed to be. I believe she needed to find God on her own terms and not have it forced upon her in other words. She needed to be able to have her own thoughts and opinions not just be told what to think. When she began to learn about Judaism in Israel she learned religion is not about believing things, but about doing things and living in a compassionate way that changes you. I completely agree with that. I have always believed that you can read the bible every day of your life but never do anything for anyone and live a cold life. The true people that shine in Gods eyes are those that have true compassion for others and always put other people before themselves and help someone every chance they get. Karen was open to learning about other groups of people in different religions where they fast, pray facing Mecca, etc. She wanted to know why they did these things, instead of automatically thinking that it was wrong. I am eager to learn more about different faiths and exploring, I don't feel that that makes a person any less religious if they are just trying to see what other faiths see and wanting to understand why their God is a different God than the one they grew up learning about. I have often wondered how so many different religions could exist with people who have different views on who "God" is and how we came about. Karen learned a little bit from each religion and realized there is no wrong religion. I've always wondered how do we know which religion is the right one if each one believes they are right and what they believe is the right way? She learned God is not just a bigger and better version of us but a reality that is entirely different. My perception of Karen Armstrong has changed, when she was asked if she thought she was religious she said yes. I believe that. She has faith and compassion and that is what's most important. She writes to let others learn what she has about different traditions and how they can nourish you. I no longer think that she is biased but that she is very educated and wants others to think outside the box and not be conformed to ONE way and that it is the only way. She wants people to come up with their own beliefs and opinions not just go off what other people say, but truly learn for themselves. You have to find God within yourself, God doesn't just come to you and say here I am and tell you what to do!
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