"Religion is all about rules." If I did a charitable act every time I heard this complaint I'd be in heaven rubbing elbows with St. Francis. I haven't been as charitable as I should've been so, alas, I still find myself halo-less and trudging along in this valley of tears. But my quest for sainthood aside, I can tell you this: religion is not about rules, it's about truth. Truth to guide us, truth to feed us and truth to make us free.

When people play the "religion is about rules" card, it usually means they don't like the rules or don't believe that rules, at least religious or moral ones, exist at all. But this is a crippled ideology, and one that leads to spiritual senility. Liking the rules or disliking them is not the issue-- it's about accepting the freedom contained therein. We can live a world of make-believe, a world of lies and half-truths, but our choices would make no sense.

Accepting and conforming ourselves to the truth that is gravity is what makes Air Jordan, supersonic jets and human canonballs possible. If Michael Jordan stopped believing in the rules of basketball maybe he would've made a good ballerina, but basketball would not have changed to accomodate him any more than it changes to accomodate Martha Stewart.

And if Jordan had decided to reject the law of gravity, truly believing that he could fly (e.g off a cliff), he wouldn't have made basketball's hall of fame. He would have wound up in the annals of unfortunate events, a case of majesty without meaning. So, like the truths of the physical world (gravity, Jordan and 360 dunks), the truths of religion require our allegiance. Disliking, voting against or vetoing truth will not change it. It is what is.


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