Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Faith and Fences

There is a difference between religion and faith. Religion is a set of rituals, stories, and artifacts. It is the science of remembering one's faith. Faith is a set of principles—irrevocable, inalienable laws of human conduct.

As such, faith is difficult to grasp by itself. Therefore, it manifests itself in religious practices. On the whole, religion does not exist only in a church, synagogue, or masque—nor does it require them as anchor points. In its most general definition, it does not even have to be a matter of theology, but perhaps one of ideology. Every tribe has its ideals.

The problem comes when religion is followed in lieu of any faith. Without faith, the rituals of religion are merely handicaps. The routines are just meaningless routines. The artifacts become mere trinkets. The stories, while still entertaining, lose their fire with repeated tellings.

Lack of faith leads to a scarcity mentality—the feeling that resources are finite and running out. Ironically, this mentality kills the courage which is required to make the bold moves necessary to grow resources into abundance. It is the role of free thinking media creators to liberate others' minds from such a mentality.

Sometimes, it is possible to change the system from within, but other times it is necessary to begin anew. Performers are leaders who rekindle the fire of dying religions—those which lack faith, and those which are tyrannically rigid. Creators are leaders who start a new fire where there is no fixed religion, or where there is so much schism that a new order is needed.

For our media to become useful to a free and democratic society, it must begin to focus its stories on the division between a true heart of faith and empty religious rituals. This need not be theistic, but it requires a belief in something, even if it's belief in one's own abilities.
FEATURED MEDIA: Rabbit-Proof Fence - When the "protector" of Australian aboriginal people places three young girls in a camp where he intends to "civilize" them with the religion of the whites, they escape. To find their way home, they follow (on faith) the 1500 mile long "rabbit-proof fence" which divides the continent.

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