Andy Canfield
Information Management Systems
andycanfield@yandex.com

Religion

This is what I teach my children

  1. Every person is a child of God. We use the word "person" deliberately. It includes every human being. If we ever find persons on other planets, each of them is be a child of God. If computers every become advanced enough to become persons, then they will be children of God also.
  2. God loves each of his children. He may be upset at what you do, but he still loves you.
  3. If you have a big problem, ask God to help you. God will see you through it. It may not be the answer you want, it will not be the answer you expect, but you are in the hands of God and he will be with you always.
  4. I use 'he' only because of the limitations of the English language. God is not male, neither is she female.

Philip K. Dick said "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away". Suppose you believe that the phone number of your local hospital is 123-4567. You dial it, and they answer, and you ask them for medical advice, and they give it to you. Then, suppose, that you stop believing in it. You stop believing that the phone number of your town hospital is 123-4567. You may even stop believing that your town hospital has a telephone. You may even stop believing that your town has a hospital. So of course you won't call that number any more. You may phone your best friend, and get medical advice from her, but you won't bother phoning the hospital any more because you no longer believe that dialing that number will put you through to the hospital. It might even put you through to someone else, you don't know. Prayer is like that. It's easy to talk to God, but if you don't believe God is listening on the other end of the line, then of course you won't pray.


Judaism

Except for the usual Christian familiarity with the Old Testament of the Bible, I know next to nothing about Judiasm. I would like to learn more.

Christianity

I attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) for ten years. I did not get baptized. Finally they threw me out. The basic problem is that the Mormons are terrified of God, and terrified of themselves. They do not trust God, they trust in their faith, which means they trust in their belief in their faith, which means they trust in themselves. So I am too casual for those uptight dogmatists. I am not afraid of God; God is my friend. People say that God is our father. Well, what kind of father would condemn his own children to eternal suffering just because they disobey him? My earthly father Leonard Canfield would not do that. I am a father and I would not do that. So how can I believe that my heavenly father would do that? The Mormons are idiots

I got thrown out by a missionary because I am incredibly evil. David M. Senior intervened and I was allowed back in. Then David M. Senior himself threw me out because I am too sexy for his teen-aged lady virgin missionaries. I am 66 years old; that's quite a compliment! Virgins be aware! Your savior awaits!

David M. Senior explained that I am unacceptable because I pick and chose which (Mormon) commandments I obey, and which I will not obey. David, that is basic protestantism. I was raised a Protestant. I will not hand over my region to anyone else; Not to Moses, not to Jesus, not to Mohammed. I have a close personal relaionship with God, and I will not divert that through anyone else.

I have read "Divergent Paths of the Restoration" by Steven L. Shields and I feel better now. Apparently it is a recurring tradition among Mormons to announce yourself as a prophet, then get thrown out of the church, then found your own church. Higher up on the page you can see what I teach. If you agree, you can join me.

It seems to me that the whole thing about Jesus bing the "Son Of God" is a concept left over from an archaic political theory. The son of the King becomes the new King.

Islam

I respect the doctrines of Islam; I have read an English translation of the Quran twice. But there are too many places in this world where, if you are a Muslim and you stop being a Muslim, they kill you. So even if I believed everything in Islam, I would not dare tell anyone for fear that someday I might change my mind and be executed.

One of the things I doubt about Islam is that in the Quran it says that Mohammed was the last prophet. Since I read "Divergent Paths of the Restoration", and learned how everu tinhorn Mormon tries to set himself up as a prophet, I can see how Mohammed being the last prophet saved the Muslims from a lot of infighting.

To me, a prophet is simple someone to whom God gives messages to be passed on to others. God gives me messages, but he has never told me to pass them on to you.

Buddhism

Almost every woman I've ever made love to has been a Buddhist. Maybe I'm good karma.

As far as I know, all the major (Western) monotheistic religions teach that you are born onto this Earth, live here for a while, then die. After you die you spend eternity in Heaven - a nice place, or Hell, a nasty place. You want to get to Heaven. You get one and only one shot at it. Read the wrong book and you'll burn forever.

That seems to lead to a lot of desperation. You must fear other religions because they are Satan's trick to chain you into Hell.

Buddhism, on the other hand, teaches that you are born onto this Earth, live here for a while, then die. Then you are born again, live again, and die again. Born, live, die; born, live, die, over and over. The goal of Buddhism is not to get to Heaven; The goal is to get out of the birth/ death cycle. To get out of the cycles, your mind must reach a state of tranquility the Buddhists call "Nirvana".

There is no pressure to reach Nirvana in this lifetime. You can be reborn and reach Nirvana during the next lifetime. Or a thousand lifetimes after that. Everyone will reach Nirvana eventually; it's just a question of how long it takes you.

This eliminates fanaticism. You want to be a heretic for a few thousand years? Fine; say "Hello" when you get back.

It eliminates intolerance. My Buddhist friends in California told me that they consider the Catholic Pope to be a good Buddhist. The famous Erawan shrine in Bangkok is a shrine to the Hindu god Brahma but Buddhists worship there freely. Whatever path is right for you for this lifetime, walk it in peace and tranquility and reverence.

Do I believe it's true? Yes, I do. But I'm not worried about it. There are parts of Buddhism I don't umderstand, like: how does a dead person's karma refocus onto a single newborn baby? Maybe I will understand that in my next lifetime; no rush.

After I die I might go to Heaven or I might go to Hell. But I don't need to go to Heaven; I've been to Banphai, and that's pretty close. I'll go wherever God wants to send me.