Critique of Practical Religion - Division I - Chapter 8

Chapter 8



How does a practical religion take form in America? Is it practical or ideological?” a questioning Muhammad gently asks the question. “How do we apply it in American morality?”


I believe that the practical applications or actions lie solely on the will of each American citizen. But, understanding it comes from sound judgment. Practicality lies in the understanding of it.” Gracie intervenes. “We as Americans tend to implement our beliefs in what we feel is morally right.”


I think that what is morally right is at the seed of the convictions, hopes, and faiths of America. We live in a pluralistic society with different beliefs and convictions. In the heart of religion in America it is ideological, and in the actions of our ideas lies the practical applications of sound judgment.” a stern responds Belinda looking at the group.


Are we suggesting that there is a duality of religion in America? Or in the duality of religion itself?” An eager Benjamin innocently asks the whole group. “Can we have a practical religion in America that reflects all of our beliefs?”


Yes, we can. I believe that religion contains an interdependent relationship with our ideology and practicality. I believe that a doctrine of any religion or conviction is a simple and practical judgment of it. We form a complete religious idea of it and then form practical actions in implementing it.” a sense of purposeful contributing Black adds. “But, how do we in America implement them?”


I believe that we as Americans type up fliers and bulletins, speak to people about our faiths, volunteering at charitable organizations that reflect our religious beliefs and convictions, and participate in study groups and schools.” Muhammad responds. “But, are we not fusing our religious beliefs and convictions in our daily lives at work, school, or social settings?”


Yes, I think that we tend to tie our personal convictions in them. But, here in America, the separation of church and state is crucial. Our American philosophy of morality is supposed to make everyone equal, regardless, of their religious beliefs and/or convictions. That's the gift of America. To promote equality and religious tolerance in all of it's citizens.” Black responds. “It's not always easy, but they should leave it all at the door. Our first president was neither a Federalist or Anti-Federalist, but was in- the-middle of it all. He separated church and state.”


Why, yes. He did. That mediation of both is what made the beginning of democracy strive. The debate between the Progressives and Republicans has been going on since the beginning of our country. But, we as a nation were involved in a duality of the origin of freedom.” Benjamin cautiously adds. “But, how does that play into the America?”


There lying in the background of the conversation, are Black's friends who have maintained a watchful eye on the transitional shelter while he engages in the debate, as groups of transitional clients are pretty close with each other because looking out for one another is the only friendship (as well as other behaviors) they posses. But, one of them is looking eager to join in the conversation. Benjamin takes notice and asks:


Young man, would you care to join in on the conversation?” He adds. “It looks like that you have something to say.”


Yes sir. I just wanted to mention that America is like the transitional shelters in our alley. On one side, we have a church founded organization, while on the other side, we have a non-religious organization. Each is encased in a square of one squared block and with every left turn, the result is always the same; - much like the city of Washington D.C. The alley between both transitional shelters represents the mediation between the duality of God and Humanity.”


That's a pretty good observation. I didn't see it that way.” Sarah responds. “Do you care to join in?”


I think that we would love to hear more observations from you.” Peter replies with an inquisitive nature.


No sir. I have to look out for any possible eruptions. Sometimes, things can get out of hand here. The stress of a transitional shelter can bring out the worst, as well as the best of anyone.” The happy client replies.


Meanwhile, the door of the ARCH opens where another employee of the transitional shelter finishes his shift, as the long day of catering and servicing to the needs of the transitional clients can deplete the energy of one. But, there is always a cheerful and optimistic side where the smiles of Terrence keeps the full-buzzing energy of the transitional clients.


Terrence is a stocky, African-American gentleman standing at 6 feet 2 inches tall, as his size and power is hidden to most. He is a polite, warm-hearted gentleman where any transitional client can find humor and empathy in his conversations, but he can also be firm and stern when needed in a confrontation. He is undeniably passionate about his contributions to the best interests of the transitional clients, as he is about his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.


Hey, Terrence. How about your Cowboys? They're not cutting it my man!” One transitional client reveals. “What is happening with Tony Romo?”


I don't know. He's frustrating. I don't know what to think of the Cowboys. I just know they need to win.” He kindly responds with a big smile. “I don't think Jason Garrett is cutting it.”


Haha. The Cowboys stink is all I know.” Another client mentions.


Yes, they do, but I have hope.” a big smile comes over him.


He turns to Matt and asks:


Is everything okay? I was hearing some commotion from inside the ARCH. Is something going on?” a concern looked comes across his face. “Can I help?


Yes. They are a little upset about a rumor that is going around. I may need your help. Can you stay awhile?” a caring request comes from Matt. “I can pay a little overtime.”


I'm off the clock. I don't mind helping any of you. Sure, I have a few minutes to spare.” He replies. “Just remember to root for my Cowboys.”


Or God.” Vinny replies.


It's getting near the end of the break for the American volunteers, so they starting wrapping up the meaningful conversation and debate of American values and morality, in order to finish the weekly gathering of countless souls, for they're far-and-in-between these days not only in the transitional shelters, but in all of the vast, partially-dormant American Societies which can utilize the best interests of social issues. Miracles come to nearly all, and this misunderstood social scene is not excluded from it.


And, we can all agree that a practical manner and disposition in a belief or religion, is required for the success of America and Humanity?” the inherent questioning nature of Hope reveals. “And, having a practical and simple understanding of our beliefs leads to a successful conviction, as well as governing country?”


Yes. In my belief, the Holy Bible is filled with practical wisdom and is misinterpreted by nearly all people who believe in an ideology, rather than, a practical understanding of it. It may lead to confusion, but it possess a sound judgment of a belief and/or conviction. It's the heartbeat of any religious institution or government.” a resounding judgment and enlightenment comes over Muhammad. “Then, are we to agree that all our beliefs in each one of the countless doctrines should posses a practical manner, rather than, an ideological interpretation of it?


I believe so. And, the practical application and implementation of them, allows each person the natural, self-evident right of human nature the right to believe in what is personal, rather than, what is governed by a form of government.” Sarah adds. “I think that we should be accepted regardless of our personal beliefs and convictions. However, if those beliefs and convictions are harming society as-a-whole, then we as individuals have the right to investigate the moral agent(s) and/or organization(s) without violence.”


I would agree with that.” a sense of surrendering perspective bellows in Peter voice. “I can foresee a bright future for me.”


I would like to think so.” Hope kindly adds.


Shall we get back to the practical application of a belief in Humanity by serving dinner to the transitional humans?” a gentle, caressing tone comes over Benjamin.


Yes.” All reply.


They all starting making their way back to the small, make-shift kitchen with a sense of urgency in their large strides. They softly, unwrap the aluminum foil that protects the hot dogs and chips hoping for a-sense-of-grand-purpose in the direction of the weekly severance, as witnessing a miracle of the lighting of the long-white, thin candle has given the much-needed-breath-of-life in their sense of being.


One or two? Mustard or ketchup?” Muhammad kindly asks.


One. With ketchup only.” A giddy transitional client blares.


But, there is a silence in the atmosphere. Silence is golden, but it can be an eerie feeling.


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