“Following Blindly” by Travis Horlacher

This was sent to me by Travis Horlacher, asking me to post it here. Feel free to post comments and I’ll forward them to him.  -Eric

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I understand that you can actually feel that you are not following blindly because you are on the inside just like I was at one point in my life, but if you look at it from the perspective of someone outside of the church you might notice how it looks like you are indeed following blindly.
You aren’t making the decision to follow them blindly. Your decision to follow them has been made by all of your religious training (the scriptures that you and the people who have taught you find specific value in), but your decision to follow these leaders has indeed caused you to follow them “blindly” as many of us see it.
Some people have stated that they are just as confused by the decision as I am. What this tells me is that following these leaders’ decision to make what I see to be a bad decision is, in the case of these people, is not because they agree with the decision on their own but because their logic or the spirit tells them to ‘follow the prophet cause he knows the way’. What I’m seeing is that you may have made the nonblind (I think I just made up a word) decision to follow your prophet, but by doing so you are suddenly following that prophet blindly by doing what is told to you by that prophet despite any leanings you may have against the decision.
What I’m trying to say is that I understand that many of you have made a nonblind decision to follow the prophet, but doing so comes at the very high price of ‘following blindly’ if you do it in this manner.

I don’t mean this to be offensive, but this is how I feel about it and you have to know that if your reasoning behind supporting the church’s decision to politically support Proposition 8 in California is based on following the prophet then realize that it is hard for anyone else to agree with any assertions that you aren’t just following blindly. Your decision to follow isn’t blind, but when you actually do follow your following is just that, blind.

-Travis Horlacher

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2 responses to this post.

  1. While I think that a lot of people make a conscious choice to follow a religion or religious leader, and agree with everything they say, I think that most just need an explanation handed to them about life, the universe and everything (to quote a favorite book). And those people find some explanation (via religion) that makes some sort of sense to them, and are afraid to upset the delicate balance of reality as is is explained to them. So, they close their eyes and ignore everything else, assuming that “there are just things we don’t know about God”.

    When people question it, they usually either leave the religion entirely, or find that they are satisfied with having a different understanding of some things than their chosen religion provides.

    However, most churches condemn that sort of questioning, and fear that they are displeasing God because some leader told them so, prevents people from questioning. That is where ideas like the dinosaur bones were just buried by God, or that Adam and Even coexisted with the dinosaurs, come from.

    I am a person of faith, but I believe I have a broader understanding than any single religion. I choose Catholicism for many reasons, which I won’t go into here, though I don’t believe they have some absolute line to God that no one else has.

    Anyway, back to your subject, I think that people “follow blindly” because they can’t come up with the answers themselves, and if they think too hard about it, it would cause great turmoil in their lives. At least, that was true for me, growing up. The choice to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses was very difficult, and I refused to consider any sort of religious ideas for kind of the same reason I’d followed the religion. Considering the questions surrounding God, human existence, etc, were just too much for me, and so I “followed blindly” the idea of agnosticism for a long time, because it was easier.

    Clarification: I don’t think every agnostic or atheist is “following blindly”, I just think it’s true in some cases, like mine.

    Religion and faith are such difficult subjects to discuss!

    Reply

  2. Posted by James R on March 31, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I find it interesting, though, that religion is not the only thing followed blindly. In fact, the only way possible to not follow blindly, or at least to have blind belief, is to know. Therefore, an argument about knowing whether or not God exists ensues. But that’s not all.
    Naturally, we want to have an explanation of why things happen. As a human race, we cannot accept something happening for absolutely no reason. But, when we couldn’t find a reason, we would make something up.
    Honestly does one believe in the Christian God today? The Greek gods and Roman gods I’m sure where just as believable in their time. Before you start defending your God, think:
    In the 1950’s, what would have happened if you went around telling everyone about Facebook? No one knows, because it wasn’t possible, since the building bricks to bring about Facebook weren’t even in place. This example isn’t applying to anything in specific. Just hopefully, you can see the point I’m trying to make. And, I’m sure someone arguing that Thor doesn’t exist would have been ridiculed in ancient times similar to an atheist being ridiculed today.

    Reply

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