As I mentioned in my last post, we’re getting ever so close to publication of Shlomo Attia’s breakthrough novel. And from the beginning of the process which began nearly four years ago, he warned me that writing this book and promoting his concepts might create controversy among my friends and acquaintances. He was right. I’m already finding that the logo alone is enough to turn off some readers even before they’ve checked out his blog, read his story and absorbed his synopsis. The man is a believer in individual liberty, in limiting the size and scope of government, and in empowering all people to work at fulfilling jobs to enable them to earn plenty of money to support themselves and their families.
He also believes that the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob, the God of Ishmael and the God of Jesus is the God of All. So far, so good. But there’s more. He also believes in reincarnation. And he believes that hell is not a fiery punishment reserved for bad people when they die: he believes hell is life on earth. And therein lies the rub with most traditionally religious people of all faiths and denominations.
In my daily life I regularly encounter Catholics and Christians who seem to believe that if you’re not onboard with their religious beliefs, you cannot possibly be a constitutional conservative. Which I find both perplexing and wrong – not to mention alienating and destructive. I have many friends on social media and real life who are not practicing Christians yet believe strongly in limited government, individual liberty, religious freedom, peace through strength and generally speaking, the principles outlined in the United States Constitution. Some are “New Age-y” types; others are Atheists. Are we to kick them out of the Tea Party movement because they don’t share the same religious beliefs?
To that end, even within the Christian denomination I’m sick of the in-fighting: Evangelicals attacking Catholics for “worshipping” Mary, the Mother of Jesus (they revere and respect her, but the “worship” falsehood lives on), Catholics attacking Protestants, and each denomination claiming they’re right and everyone else is wrong, wrong, wrong. Hey, each group has an absolute right to their beliefs and ensuing opinions based on those beliefs. But that’s my point: we should all be united in the effort to preserve every individual’s right to worship as they see fit — even if that form of worship conflicts with your own.
As long as a person’s religious beliefs do NOT compel them to engage in human sacrifice; mutilate genitalia; hijack airplanes filled with innocent passengers and crew for the purpose of crashing them into the ground or ocean in the name of Allah; rape; pillage or otherwise harm another human being’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; I really don’t care what they do. It’s about freedom. It’s about having the free will to worship (or not) as you please, WITHOUT the government forcing you to violate your religious beliefs. If the faithful person in question is completely WRONG in his beliefs and practices, I suppose God will sort that out with him or her at the end of their life, anyway.
Isn’t individual liberty something we should encourage all Americans to support? So why are so many purposely creating dissension in the ranks over religion?
I never thought I’d ever be one of those people who decries man-made religion. But after spending several years researching and writing Steps To Salvation, I’ve had an epiphany of sorts. Study the history of money. Study the history of the Vatican in 15th and 16th centuries. Study what really prompted the Protestant Reformation (hint: indulgences, a sickening practice of extorting money from the well-meaning faithful to spring the soul of their loved one from purgatory). It’s been an enlightening road, to put it mildly.
At the same time it’s not my goal to force anyone to believe what I believe. But that is exactly my point: let’s all support each other’s right to follow our faith, free of government interference. You may not agree with someone else’s denomination of Christianity. Fine. Is it really necessary to attack them over it on Facebook and Twitter when all of our liberties are under fire and we need every single liberty-loving American in the fight?
Alienating others by chastising them over their religious beliefs is not doing our cause any good. On the contrary, it’s creating a lot of unnecessary drama when we should all be united in the cause of restoring and reserving the United States Constitution.
Getting back to Steps To Salvation, Shlomo’s vision of the future is a world in which all countries operate as constitutional republics, allowing people to live in freedom, create businesses without the boot of big government on their necks, raise their children to be responsible and respectful, and understand that there is One God for all. Hence, his concept of The One God Religion. In his fictional, future world of the novel most people willingly choose to become members of The One God Religion, which creates peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Key word: willingly. I suggested that we had to make it clear that those who made the shift did so out of free will, but that there are still people in Salvation Time who opted to keep their traditional denomination (whether Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, etc). There are others who don’t worship at all. Once again, it’s all about freedom and personal responsibility.
Ultimately, the book is a vehicle for Shlomo’s practical solutions for vital industries like energy, education, food and medicine, and his reform ideas for the justice and prison system. He’s a Tea Party kind of guy, which is how I met him in the first place. His philosophy is sound. That’s why I really hope the traditionally religious won’t throw the baby out with the bath water simply because they don’t like his spiritual beliefs — beliefs that evolved not only from a lifetime of questioning his own traditional Jewish upbringing in Tel Aviv, but also a clinical death that prompted his soul’s visit to heaven back in 2003.
This week we’re making final edits. With the entire book cover completed (thank you, Kia Heavey!), it won’t be long until it’s online and available for purchase. Stay tuned!