Why Religion And Morality Do Not Go Hand In Hand
In The Beginning
The one thing that all religions seem to have in common is that they claim to know those things that they could not possible know, like what happens to you when die and the same time demand that we pretend ignorance about those things we must surely know, for example the world is for older than the 6 to 10 thousand years, as biblical that literalists would have believe. When it comes to the later, the most luminescent example one could one could ever hope to give is the treatment. In all religions, both polythic and monotheism religions, women are considered to inherently be born to a lower position. There is no mystery to what is behind this line of thinking. One must only read the text from the religious holy books.
Take for example the story Genesis where the character Eve, is accused of having no small part in having man banished from the Garden of Eden. At the same time maintaining an image which fits perfectly into the image that bronze man, held of women, that is, she was copious, naive, stupid and basically amoral character who helped bring mankind down by giving him the fruit of knowledge. And the child minded woman theme was really driven home by the fact that she allows herself to get duped by a reptile, i.e. the snake in the garden. Since the story was written prior to the New Testament and Christianity, there was no devil on demand, or any other being from hell which wasn’t brought until the dark ages, we know that the snake is but a lower creature in the story that represents temptation and would seem to be another obstacle to guarantee man’s failure in paradise. At this point in the story, the heroes of this chapter would seem to be little more than play things with the tree of knowledge and a roaming predator whose sole purpose would to be screwing up the works. But more to the point, she also helped expose the “great flow in man” which is that he is easily corrupted and led astray, since Adam did accept the fruit. The question that those within the religious community fail to ask is, “how did this great flaw first appear anyway?” Since, we’re supposedly “created” than the biblical god of Abraham, if your monolithic, or one of the many god’s for the polytheistic, must have placed it there as a sort of self destruct button which would all but guarantee our failure in this great experiment. The follow up question must be, was this flaw put there on purpose, or was it accidental. Either way the implications are rather serious.
If this great flaw was supposedly placed in man by accident, than the idea of God being fallible would become invalid since it would have been his mistake which led man and woman to a future of endless war, starvation, rape, ignorance and so on. At the very least one would have to say that such a God, should he or she exist, was incredibly apathetic about his or her work, possibly lazy and extremely incompetent and since the mistake was never corrected he would have to be to admit to the mistake and let man and woman trip all over themselves. The nearest solutions to this problem seemed to be the great flooding, plaques and a human sacrifice quit out of the preview of two thirds of the world at the time.
If the flaw was placed there on purpose, than the Old Testament God would have to be one of the worst characters in fiction. To play such a game with a species who is quit aware of what is going on round them, would make a the biblical god dictatorial at the time and capricious, apathetic to his or her own children’s needs and since he constantly demand praise, would seem to have the self esteem of menopausal house wife.
Religion And Women’s Rights
Non-the less, biblical cultures seem to have let this figure off the hook, women on the other hand have not been so lucky. Even for the cultures that do not follow the Adam and Eve myth, women in most cultures do seem to be taking on one burden or another. Let’s take countries that practice sharia law as a prime example, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq now thanks to George W Bush’s administration’s illegal war in the country. A woman who is raped in any these countries can be sentenced to death, divorced by her husband or disowned by her own family. The rapist himself would simply have to pay the husband for the crime, a monetary sum, not for committing a crime against the woman but for the destruction of the man’s private property.
Not long ago I spoke with an Egyptian friend of mine about the women of the Muslim faith being forced to wear burqas, we both agree that anyone should wear what they want to but as a pointed out, it would be horribly dishonest to make the claim that it’s a choice in the more conservative neighborhoods. After all what would/does happen to those girls who refuse where cover themselves like bee keepers? The most likely outcome I pointed out was that they probably be ostracized by their families and even disowned by their fathers. My friend, whose own father threatened her with death on more than one occasion for not being a proper Muslim, a situation she escaped from, that for many of these girls, the greatest fear is not what their families would do to them but rather they were taught to fear the lust of men.
But the treatment of women is far from the short comings in religion’s moral pool and Islam has no monopoly on shady practices of any sort. The Catholic Church is by far and away the king of despicable fraud.
The Catholic Church
All across the US, Catholics pay homage to the institution and this especially true among those who fall under the broad brush of Hispanics. This is especially important to remember when taking into account the millions of dollars spent on right wing groups, as Eduardo Galeano pointed out in his book, Upside Down, who have turned much of South and Central America into a killing floor. These groups include the Regan administration’s favorite narco-traffickers, the Contra’s of Nicaragua and the death squad of El Salvador who claimed the life of the Jesuit priest and civil Rights activist Oscar Romero during one of his sermons; the killers have been attached to the School Of The America’s located in Fort Benning Georgia. SOA, nicknamed the “School Of Assassins” has been behind the training of most of the death squads from Mexico down into Peru and everything in between. There most famous graduates are Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Manual Noriega, both of whom were well known for some of the largest massacres in their respective countries. At the time the Catholic Church was most involved in the funding of these right wing groups, all in the name of fighting communism and keeping down organized labor unions, most of the drugs being shot up into the veins of American students came from the very same nations, as well as the same political bodies that both Oliver North and the pope considered as pillars of their region.
But the Southern region of the Americas is far from the only region where the Catholic Church’s reach could be felt. As the novelist James Carroll, a Catholic himself points out in his book, Constantine's Sword; one of Adolf Hitler’s formal allies after taking office in 1938 was in fact the Catholic Church. In fact the Pope Pope Pius XII ordered those within his mass to sing praises to Hitler on his birthday. And as the ovens of Auschwitz were burning bright and Jews, Gypsies, socialists, union leaders and the mentally retarded were either being gassed, burned alive or the subject of some horrid experiment Rome thought it appropriate to take a vow of silence when it came to the holocaust, that is until it became politically impossible to continue to do so. Some morals hu?
During the early 1990s, when the news broke that a slew of Catholic priests were under investigation for child molestation, the first impulse by the church was not to talk to the victims and their families to get a better understanding of what the children went through or bring the rapists to bare their punishment but rather they head of the church involved itself in what could described as one of the largest cover ups in the world. The head of the church at the time even chastised legal authorities for getting involved in the case, claiming it was a church matter and that it should be resolved from within the church itself. And instead of reprimanding the accused, the simply moved the different suspects to different perishes without ever telling unsuspecting parents.
Religion And Politics
The 2012 Republican candidates running for president, aside from Huntsman, and perhaps Ron Paul to lesser extent, have taken on the face of the so called tea party, which holds favor of only 34% of the American electorate, while getting more than twice that in air time by the mainstream media. To put it simply, this is a party of no-policies outside of smaller government, because the government should not overstep it bounds and infringe of God’s laws, which means ⅔s of our everyday lives, though they seem to have little problem letting corporate American impose its will on our social lives. But more to the point, of all of these candidates, Rick Perry is the most unabashed about eroding the line between Church and State. One only needs to read his stance of evolution, calling it “only a theory with gaps.” And if that’s not bad enough this is a man who believes in the biblical account of the end times, and could very well have his finger on the button. Sleep well.
Until Next time.
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