Back to the new religion.
Here is something I want everyone to consider. Most people fervently believe that whatever ancient-ass text they hold sacred is the true revelation of what exists beyond physical existence. Christians have historically placed a high premium on martyrdom--although no one is shamed for choosing not to die for their faith, those who do are generally venerated and hailed as courageous.
I'm sure that there are plenty of Christians reading this article thinking that same thing, that they would die for their faith. They believe so strongly in the veracity of the bible, that nothing could ever shake their faith. But why are you so certain that your story is the right story? How can you be sure that it's the full story?
For every rock-solid-faithed Christian, there is a non-Christian who is just as solid in the faith of their religion, whether it's Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, or Sikh. They believe in the unerring veracity of their sacred texts just as strongly as Billy Graham believes in the bible.
So what do most people do at such an impasse? What do we do when rival groups of humans claim that their book is more true than someone else's? Most people just reject the other texts as being compeltely false, or tools of the devil, or just "well intentioned but misguided." Some go so far as to say that rival texts are just plain "made up."
Here's a thought: what if they're all made up? Isn't it odd that these texts sort of mirror the culture that wrote them? Certainly, the culture came before the texts. Hebrew/Jewish culture existed long before even a word of the bible was physically written. The bible is very different from the Quran, and both texts are reflections of the very different cultures from which they sprang.
So you've got groups of people who all claim that outside groups are all incorrect. You know what that means? It means that everyone thinks that everyone else is wrong. So who the hell is right? How does that Bufallo Springfield song go?
"Nobody's right if everybody's wrong."
So the Church of Camwell takes an Aristotelian approach to this quandary. Rather than just abritrarily picking a text that fits with our sentiments and feelings, we accept all texts as conveying some truth about existence beyond the physical. As Aristotle said--and I'm paraphrasing here--no single person can have all the answers, but humanity as a whole sees all of truth.
Christians will say "well God says that the bible is his word!" The problem with that is that the Muslims say the same thing about the Quran. Just because someone, somewhere, said that "this is the word of God," doesn't make it true.
If I told all of you that my writings were divinely inspired, you would laugh at me just as everyone laughed at Joseph Smith when he made up the Book of Mormon. So why would you not apply the same scrutinizing eye on your own sacred text? In short: because you don't want to deal with the discomfort of doubting your most long-held convictions.
Think of it as like looking at a map. There are several ways to get to your destination, and you can see that. You see that there are many different routes to get from A to B. Some of those routes will make more sense to you than others. Some routes are more dangerous, some more lengthy. Some routes take you through the mountains on rocky, unfamiliar backroads, others keep you on the highway doing 70 the whole way.
However, the incontrovertable truth is that every path you choose to take will get you to where you want to go. Once you realize that the path you choose is based purely on your own preferences and biases--some people just don't like driving through the mountains (me)--then you will have made your first step towards a legitimate journey for Truth and self-discovery. Don't avoid the mountain path just because you're afraid of it: you never know what you may find out about yourself.