Organized religion is similar to carrying a loaded firearm: in the wrong hands, it can cause needless misery, detriment, and the figurative and literal death-toll can be astronomical.
Adversely, organized religion, when placed in the careful, warm hands of a mindful, respectful, and diligent person can be a positively life-altering experience with endless blessings.
Unfortunately, when the term ‘organized religion’ is uttered, majority of those without a binding faith in the spiritual realm, the former is what they visualize.
I feel I should get this out of the way first and foremost:
1.) I despise the improper use of organized religion.
2.) Actually, I dislike the robotic term “religion” generally speaking.
3.) I’m a Christian that dislikes plenty of fractions of my faith.
4.) I believe in God and without a doubt that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
I was completely overtaken and perhaps you could throw in the word “brainwashed” by Christianity – the RELIGION – for over 20 years.
Maybe not 20 years consecutively, but 20 years, nonetheless. The organized Christian religion — the one I was raised in, confused me at times and basically told me this in summation.
“You can’t come to God if you have flaws. You have to be perfect, Tammy. You’re too chubby. God won’t accept you. You have a stutter. God won’t accept you. You aren’t aesthetically pleasing. God won’t accept you. You stole a piece of bubble gum once, God hates thieves, He won’t accept you. You think interracial couples are okay?? God hates you. You don’t think homosexuals will burn in hell, Tammy?? Yeah, you’re burning in hell with them. You think God loves everyone, Tammy!?!?!? SIN. SIN. SIN.”
That’s the poor use of organized religion in a nutshell. Basically.
At the very least, that’s how organized Christianity (it’s what I call the religious right — typically Fundamentalists) is perceived and those misguided and malicious ‘doctrines of God’ are
BRAINWASHED embedded into the minds of every breathing youngster having the misfortune being raised in such an environment.
In particular, organized Christianity beats into your head to have this blind faith into what they are preaching — preaching THEIR agenda, not God’s. I may add, much of what they pound into you behind the pulpit, is nothing of what authentic Christianity is about.
Jesus never taught religion. Oh no. My Jesus taught faith and love.
I’m getting too far ahead of myself, though. Let’s start with the overwhelming misuse of religion in history to justify mass killings, genocide, mayhem, thievary, and war in the name of a deity.
It doesn’t matter if it was done in the “name of Allah” or in the “name of (any) God” or in the “name of Christ” or done in the name of a falsified religion (cult). What does matter, there are multiple examples of how people from various religions misused their deity to perpetuate their political ideals further. In the process, millions of people have been killed, displaced, raped, and brutalized.
In the name of religion.
In Myanmar, a Buddhist monk is the inspiration for a campaign of ethnic cleansing directed at Muslims and other minorities. Reported last spring, there was an incident that Buddhist witnesses attested to in which 20 young Muslim children were beaten, killed, and then dismembered.
Another occurrence is the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka which has been ongoing for multiple years. In 2008, the US State Department issued a report that noted that the entire Sri Lanka population only contained 16% of ethnic Tamils — overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils. From February 2002, 7000 people had been killed — including 1200 children — to November 2005. The Sri Lankan Air Force had bombed 52 schools, 1607 Hindu temples, 32 hospitals and the public library of Jaffna, the repository of much Tamil cultural history.
Then there’s the enormous Israeli-Palestine divide which has been fueled by conflicting claims to history as well as territory.
During the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict, recent numbers have shown that over 100,000 people were killed, 20,000 to 50,000 women were raped, and over 2.2 million people were displaced. As if these atrocities weren’t bad enough, those that were sent out to do the killing and raping were “blessed” by priests. Those “religious” individuals were also tied with Western Christianity extremists and Neo-Nazis during this time.
These are just a few examples of how organized religion – much like firearms – is a detriment to our livelihood and our basic inalienable rights when it falls into the wrong hands.
With that being said, organized religion CAN be something that’s truly great. However, I think what I observe in America, in terms of Christian Fundamentalist, may not be as perverse as any of the aforementioned crimes against humanity in the “name of religion” but it’s still deleterious.
If we are being honest, fundamentalist religion, specifically Christianity, is an abominable, cancerous social construct that breeds and spreads hatred, dissension, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and crackpot intolerance against anyone who doesn’t believe in their asinine interpretations of a holy book.
If you are reading this nodding your head, then you are not any part of a fundamentalist religion. At all.
I’m speaking of the ones who mask their politics and sociopathic delusions under this facade of “doing God’s work” when in reality they are abusing a deity that I hold dear to my heart.
I’m speaking of the ones who misuse a religion and its people to further their narrow-minded, vulgar, intolerant ideals to promote a self-centered and false theology.
That KIND of organized religion is a moral, spiritual, and emotional crime against humanity that makes any deity weep bloody tears.
That KIND of fundamentalist crud that I have observed on national t.v. for decades is more abusive and perverse than any sin organized religion “claims” they are spiritually and physically eradicating.
Adversely, organized religion can be a breathtaking experience when properly utilized.
Actually, I’m not even comfortable saying “organized religion” while pushing for a different take on the word. In my opinion, that words has that MUCH contempt, it’s hard to use it in a positive fashion.
Instead, an organized faith (faith is far different than a robotic religion) can be a nurturing environment for countless acts of love, respect, and compassion for all walks of humanity.
One significant difference between those that have hijacked “organized religion” and those that beautifully exercise “organize religion” is the epistemological humility the preferred group exhibits.
Epistemology is referred to as the “theory of knowledge” and looking past the jargon, the term “epistemological humility” means “I know, but I could be wrong.”
An even better example of this, is from Bertrand Russell, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but the wiser men (and women) so full of doubts.”
Without having to carry on with my opinionated vernacular, that quote sums up the two different and prevalent uses of organized religion (faith).
It IS the fundamental extremists of Christianity (and any other religion) that are SO certain of what they know of God through their horrid and wrongful interpretations of the Bible and other holy books. They are so arrogant in their statements and misinformed beliefs, that they become intolerant cesspools of ignorance, religious elitism, and further promote millennials’ disdain for any sort of connection with Christianity or any other religion for that matter.
Specifically, they use the Bible for their asinine construct to perpetuate a false doctrine that’s only a concept in their twisted minds to further their political agenda. In actuality, it does not even align to what the Christian God – *my* loving, merciful, and joyous God – is.
They prey on the weak-minded and don’t teach the vulnerable legions the historical, political, social, and cultural climates of the time. They don’t teach the vulnerable that the Bible is amassed of 66 books that were translated by men and translations were besieged by these men’s biases.
Every religion today must take responsibility for its own fundamentalism – because religious fundamentalism is probably the most dangerous thing in the world at the moment. Christian or Muslim. I’m not making any distinction. – John Dominic Crossan
Again, there is a enormous deferential in taking the Bible – or any holy book – seriously (which I do) and LITERALLY (which I do not).
Organize religion (faith) is like carrying a firearm – in the wrong hands, it’s dangerous and deadly – but in the right hands? It’s beautiful, artistic, and gives believers the one thing that is stronger than fear.
Hope for second chances.
Hope for new love.
Hope for new relationships.
Hope for a reality that is brimming with compassion, humility, and joy.
Hope for security, peace, servitude to our fellow man.
Hope for something that’s bigger than ourselves.
For we belong to God and God does not belong to us.