Itís difficult to understand the intention of a book like Religion The Destroyer of Common Sense and Logic, other than the authorís desire to enter the dialogue and exchange his views on religion and the power of belief. At a whopping 645 pages, many readers will shy away from the weighty content, much of which is controversial to say the least. But those who do plod on and make it all the way to the end will certainly be intrigued. This book will be a hard sell, but no doubt one that will serve to spark much thought and debate.
The author, C.P. Cornelius, has no academic background in religious studies. He is instead a long-time student of religious thought, having personally grown up Christian and, of course, having his own spiritual awakening, which led him to explore the truth behind various traditions and then write this book about his own quest to find that underlying truth behind all these teachings.
Cornelius examines the major traditions of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity, combining personal interpretation with some solid facts, although the book leans much more towards the former. He looks at the connections between faiths but focuses more on their differences and on how the truth in his eyes has been distorted by extremist interpretation, especially when it comes to Islam and the teachings of the Quran. But he also dishes out much criticism in all directions. In his eyes, there is but one truth, and that truth should apply to all religions, so why then does it not? That seems to be the main question the author is exploring.
The author seeks to show the illogic of religion and often does, yet he just as often makes his own stand towards illogical extremist opinion, as when he states that entertainment, sports and television are all infused with the devilís works. Granted, there is a lot of crap and egomania involved in those industries, but they are not run by the devil. More like people who enjoy making huge sums of money! And, of course, he is totally against abortion and also feels stem cell research is evil. As the mother of a disabled child, I am often amazed at how my child is considered a throw-away, but an unformed fetal cell is cherished and honored. Some divine truth.
But he does redeem himself many times over with direct and uncomfortable examinations of Christianity and the other ďbigĒ religions, using dozens of quotes and passages from holy texts to support his claims. He does not mince words when it comes to what he sees as the failures of many followers of religious traditions to tell the truth, face the truth, and live the truth. I agreed with many of his points about the lack of congruity in world religions and the need to put an end to extremist thought, and I must say his interpretation of the Holy Spirit sounds downright metaphysical, as does his description of the life force he feels is behind all things. This is a big book full of moments that will confuse, inspire, anger, annoy, and educate the reader who approaches it with an open mind. Mostly this book will make you think. And I must give kudos to any author who takes on this massive a volume of work, and gets it out into the world, where the dialogue is ongoing and in need of all the fresh approaches and ideas it can get.