Alternative Religion: Is There Such a Thing?

Alternative Religion: Is There Such a Thing?

The little boats saved the troops at Dunkirk.

I’ve had enough of alternative facts. I’ve had enough of powerful people either in our government or operating as talking heads, obscuring the real tenants of religion. Whether you are part of a church or not–I hope you will agree with me that some of the basic principles used to found “this shining city on the hill” have been kidnapped by powerful people who do not care about their fellow man or woman–not in the least little bit. They could give a damn about loving their neighbor, unless that neighbor can grease their palm and make that first or second yacht a possibility. But if the neighbor is asking for legal help, looking for work, asking for good medical care, wanting her child to get a good PUBLIC education–FORGET ABOUT IT.


You might already have stopped reading, but in the hope that you will continue to hear me out, I will not use real names. But I will state my case.

In our country today and maybe across the globe, there now rises an alternative religion. It preaches through various voices that hating another man’s religion is okay. Much of this comes from ignorance. Yes, there are members of a certain faith who have twisted its basic tenants to support killing anyone who does not agree with them. THAT IS WRONG. But there was a period in past centuries when Christians armed and ready, took to their horses and in the name of Christ killed many. This was called the Crusades. Click on the word and read about it. The Crusaders USED religion to gain power. Wow, not a new concept. It’s going on in our country right now.


I found the following sentence while thinking about writing this post. I don’t know who said it: You push people down and you have two choices. RAISE THEM BACK UP or arm yourselves. There is much truth in these words. But also a problem. With there being two sides we want to believe that one side is right. That one side is moral.

OKAY: One side is working to live, feed their families, and practice their religion. The other side is filled with hate, doesn’t want these people to live, take care of their families and practice their religion. (I started to write this post on Friday, having NO IDEA that #Charlottesvillle would occur. But it has.)


To be a preacher, sometimes all you need is a great voice, a few great lines and a Bible. You have to have a Bible. People come. People listen and they pay you. You are on your way. You can say outrageous things in the name of God. (In my day, there was that preacher couple. Millions flocked to them. She wore all that mascara. He went to jail.)

Here’s my question today. I’m a Catholic. But I don’t pretend to have read every page of the Bible. In college, I studied with teachers who used what is called EXEGESIS: an explanation or critical interpretation of a text. What this process does is get a person away from literal word interpretation. Like: if you sin with you hand, cut it off. The Bible as a holy book has been used to enslave and hurt human beings.

Jesus spoke in parables and this is my favorite. In fact, I wonder if modern preachers like that mascara lady just ripped that page right out of the holy book.

Luke 18:9-14 Two men went up to the temple to pray,one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


Wow, my head kind of zinged when I typed that very familiar phrase. Servants? But the point I want to make is if you are a preacher of any religion or a senator, representative, mayor, the president–you are a public servant. You work for THE PEOPLE. ALL THE PEOPLE. Supposedly you work for peace; you work to prevent wars that kill people, not start them. You work for your citizens, your military, your diplomats. You work for me, for all of us. And burning in your heart, should be the desire to think: the people first, not my bank account.


To wind this up, let’s remember DUNKIRK. My husband and I saw the film this week. Generations of Americans have no idea what Dunkirk was. Not a clue. But you could say the story of Dunkirk is a kind of religion, if you are using the definition A SYSTEM OF FAITH. The men in the little boats believed in their country and their countrymen. They were willing to give their lives for that faith.

Pressed to the edge of the sea by the Germans, thousands of British soldiers and other Allied Troops were evacuated from the beach at Dunkirk between the 27th of May to the 4th of June. Wiki Says: British press later exploited the successful evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and particularly the role of the “Dunkirk little ships”. Many of them were private vessels such as fishing boats and pleasure cruisers, but commercial vessels such as ferries also contributed to the force…The term “Dunkirk Spirit” refers to the solidarity of the British people in times of adversity.[49]

I feel a thrill that is hard to describe every time I watch the clip below. Yes, it’s an old movie, but maybe in a small way watching these PUBLIC SERVANTS risking their lives connects me to the small things I have done: helping one of my students whose parents had no time for education; holding the hand of one of my patients who was losing her baby and had no one to cry with her.

I’m against using religion to fill your bank account. If you want to be religious, fill your heart and soul–take care of others, consider others. It’s A FACT — it will fill you up. PS: See the new film, though the clip below is great, part of the film MRS. MINIVER.

Photo Credit Taylor Homes



17 thoughts on “Alternative Religion: Is There Such a Thing?

  1. I really liked your post, great content and STRONG points, but I truly loved your “play on terms” by using ” alternative religion” a real quotable keeper. George Brooks

  2. The “Mrs. Miniver” clip is very powerful with its cumulating numbers of small boats all prepared to confront danger and death in order to rescue brave men at a moment of crisis. More than anything else, its a scene of community in which a shared spirit animates many people bringing them together for collective action. As you note in history this has sometimes been a phenomenon used for evil – we all know the examples – and at times for the greater good. I know we all agree that we must discriminate one from the other and must commit ourselves to acting for the good in people and in our society. There are alternate religions sometimes rivaling each other using hatred and violence. You know where I stand. And will stand. My boat’s alongside yours and ready to go.

    • I love you, John. Thanks for your words. Yes, when we read scripture we must use it for the greater good and speak in terms of inclusion and help those who need a hand up, not a boot-kick down. We have seen what evil power can do, and to think even today some people aspire to that. I know we will head for the waters of blessing in the same boat. Me

  3. I find it interesting that this week’s Boomer Highway was only a thought, before the Alt Right movement engulfed the news with their activities in Charlottesville. In America, we encourage freedom of speech, and the ability to demonstrate peacefully. Unfortunately some people took advantage of our founding fathers’ words and arrived at this peaceful meeting with weapons, carrying shields, and wearing helmets.

    The Mrs. Miniver film clip is a shining example of the heart of a good countryman. A person who will step forward for country, even at their own risk. I witnessed over the weekend American citizens in Charlottesville and Seattle resisting the Alt Right movement by showing up and saying, NO, this is not America. Some paid the price, but they emboldened the rest of the country and shone a light on the problem for all to see. It makes me proud to be an American, and know that inside of many of us, beats a heart that wants no bigotry, no hatred, and wants to help our fellow man. And I thank BOOMER HIGHWAY, for being a part of that voice.

    • Well said, as always. When even preachers speak hate to their congregations, it is emblematic of the fact that we are so off the rails, so wrong. Behind it, it seems to me, is greed. SHARE THE LAND, a friend of mine said back in 1970. Some people today just cannot get their heads around that. We cannot embrace Nazis in any way. THANKS.

  4. I am not a supporter of organized religion. I think power corrupts and that kind of power really corrupts. I know one of Trump’s “preachers” (ha) very well and I also know a lot about behind the scenes. It’s enough to put you off religion for good. spirituality is a different story.

    • Carol,
      I honor your decision. We all need to live for good and not be side-tracked by people who have POWER over us. That’s what can really mess up the pathway to togetherness. THANKS for reading.

  5. I’m not a churchgoer these days but I did go when I was a kid. It’s so sad how angry and unloving of anyone outside of their circles some of the self-proclaimed public faces of Christianity are compared to what I was taught as a kid at Aiea United Methodist Church and by the Episcopalian fathers who were some of my teachers in high school.

    I’m always glad to run across Christians that sounds more like the love-thy-neighbor, do-unto-others version I knew back then. Thank you.

  6. This is the perfect quote for this time in history. Thank you Beth.

    Luke 18:9-14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


  7. I have stayed away from organized religion for my entire life and have always preferred doing my own thing. There are many good people of all religions but there is a special place in hell for those who use it as a call to action when their motives are far from holy.

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