Page Update: Saturday, October 5th, 2002

The Inaccessible Religion


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David Berry, 2002
acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"
Based on Ranchos Church, Taos by Georgia O’Keeffe (1929)
Part of the Relgion Paintings Series.


    There are many religions that are exclusive or inaccessible. This may be a restriction by the religion or by something we find so disagreeable that we exclude ourselves. The doors and windows become shut and sometimes merge into the structure until any access becomes a matter of busting through walls. Such a barrier may repel those outside, but also protects those inside by establishing common morals and spiritual beliefs. One of the key functions of religion is providing such a foundation to a community. Personally, I have never found a harmony between my own faith and any single religion. I have less concern about this as I realize that God may be on the inside, but God is also wherever I may find myself on the outside.
    
    For a religion to thrive we must be part of it, constantly giving our own personal effort to live in a religious community and to do the work that makes a church become a spiritual family. Embracing or rejecting a religion is not just a matter of agreeing or finding fault with a particular aspect of dogma -- it is about the integration of yourself within a greater community. What more important community is there in a person's life than the one based on their faith and God, no matter what religion is practiced?

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