Throughout history, it has been shown that the main purpose of religion is to control and subdue the population. Many religious authorities have used the context of their particular religion to induce fear and conformity in their congregants. Religion has been used to gain and to consolidate power for religious authorities. Churches are some of the wealthiest owners of real estate and/or other businesses since they are tax exempt in the United States. The Vatican is worth over billions and many ministers live lavishly while many congregrants are struggling socioeconomically.
Even outside of church affairs, religion is highly influential especially what is taught in schools, particularly the issue of evolution and sex education. Many religionists are strong advocates of teaching creationism and the theory of intelligent design. They are also strong proponents of teaching abstitence only sexual education, forbidding a more intelligent discussion of sexual education in our schools. They strongly contend that teaching children about contraception and other forms of birth control is analagous to given an unabrided license.
Religious interference is furthermore evident regarding women's reproductive issues. Women's right to choice and to have reproductive freedom is being assaulted continuously. Yes, the purpose of religions is to have the power to subject people to their way of believing and thinking. Religions maintain that they are educating people about God and/or the Universal Force and people's relation to the latter. However, as history has aptly demonstrated, the purpose of religion is pure unadulterated power and control. Let's weigh in on this.
Let's stop blaming religion for the ills of humanity. The Catholic Church was an incredible power base, at one time. It was the only organization within Europe which was organized across all borders. Power breeds desire to maintain power. Their tactics were little different than the tactics of the powers in the individual kingdoms.
When Europe went through its imperialistic stage, the church naturally wanted to extend its power along with them. It worked hand in hand with Spain and Portugal to decimate Central and South America. It was welcomed on the boats and encouraged to participate with all nations. Where America was concerned, the newer sects were encouraged to board the boats and leave. Blaming the church for conditions and behavior patterns is only fair, in my opinion, because the church should have been a leader; not a collaborator not a seedy organization based in greed.
I see the bitterness of religious behavior over the centuries as a naive sadness that human nature cannot be turned to higher aspirations.
The wealth of the church is for its members to ponder. If they contribute, in support of the activities and structure; they are free to do so. I'm not certain I would support taxing all religious organizations but I do think the ones whose sole purpose appears to be lining the pockets of a few at the top should be viewed as entrepreneurial and taxed accordingly.
I don't know that your complaint about schools is something to be concerned with. Fringe groups mount attacks, but few of our schools have a high enough percentage of fringe group parents to warrant concern. High profile cases in the news are the exception, not the norm, and are newsworthy simply because the media knows we will watch.
I'm not certain I see religion in politics as any different from other groups seeking to mold policy and sway public opinion. They have their platform, as do other groups. They have their rallies (more often than other groups, but similar). Sooner or later the Republican party is going to realize that pandering to the conservative religious base is why they are consistently losing elections and members. They will either change or die. Every dog has its day and the sun is fast setting on conservative religious interference in other people's lives through legislation.
You have prresented an intelligent and logical premise. You are so succinctly correct and sharp regarding your analysis of the situation at hand. Many people are not evolved at the stage where they can claim their own spiritual power so they subvert this power to the religious authorities. There are so many people in this postmodern era who still maintain that ministers, priests, and other religious authorities are messagers from God and can do no wrong.
This so evident among many Roman Catholics regarding the issue of the sexual abuse of children by priests and when the children report this, they are severely rebuked or worse by their parents who in their estimation that priests can do no wrong. If a parent believes their child and report the abuse, the authorities oftentimes ignore it and sometimes treat the perpetrator with kid gloves, often transferring him instead of imposing harsher penalties. Not only the Roman Catholic church but there are some ministers who also perpetrate the same behavior and they are treated with kid gloves.
Too many people gave their spiritual power away to their churches. It is time that they take spiritual matters into their own hands and own their spiritual lives so to speak. Religions and churches realize how so many people give up their power and use this to exploit and subdue the masses so to speak.
I see what you are saying, and agree. But, I don't think people want power, spiritually. I don't know any Catholics, but the people I know sucked into the Protestant faith want a shortcut to God. They run across me and need to share what their minister said. As if it had authority. If I ask what they think, it quickly becomes obvious they didn't. This is not difficult to understand. The whole concept of heaven and hell, cosmic retribution, a father figure God makes no sense and they know it. They are good, compassionate people attempting to find spirituality. In desperate need of it. And the faith they choose is about the only option they have in order to have a live person speaking directly to them and sharing a cosmic vision.
We all want to know what it all means, but when we make a choice on who to believe we let them lead. And people crave consensus and validation of their beliefs. Once this happens, power ensues and abuse begins.
It doesn't matter what the belief when you put your faith in others first. And the problem isn't limited to cosmic questions. That, to me, is the tragedy of our world. The inability to think and stand alone. The fear of being unique. The need for consensus. The bowing to and protection of the collective ideal. It permeates everything from religion, to atheism, to sports organizations, to politics and professional organizations.
Emile R, you are so right. Many people are afraid of their own spiritual power. They want religious authorities to tell them what to do, when to do, how to do, and when, what, and how they should think. Somehow in their myopic minds, they feel more secure. Only a few people chose to be outside of a religious paradigm. Better yet, there are people who hate and complain about their respective religion. I ask them why they don't leave and they give me a quizzical look. They refuse to leave yet remain and do lip service to a religion and ethos they hate. Totally leaves me nonplussed to say the very least. People still exist at the mass consciousness. That is so sad that people choose to be considerably less than what they could be as full human beings.
They can't be afraid of something that's never been shown to exist. That's like saying many people are afraid of leprechauns riding unicorns.
That would show the success rate of the religious indoctrination machine, having created that myopic mind and need for authoritative guidance.
That too demonstrates the success rate of the machine.
If folks never develop a thinking mind, they will unlikely break the cycle of indoctrination.
Such are the results of the machine.
The transfer of knowledge pertaining to the rational concept of a higher being having created the earth has continually perplexed many who lack the ability to understand the flow of warmth created by the first heartbeat. Just like many humans who continually question why the moon circles the earth and the earth circles the sun, those who do not believe in the higher being continually challenge those that do.
Truth is that not even the big-bang theorists can determine who or what created the big-bang. While speculation is the right of all who possess the ability to openly think, it is not intended to provide a path to ridicule those who recognize the positive power presented by loving God. With each heartbeat, the loving one continues to warm all those around them as they enjoin others with that same loving warmth.
While the human mind is a voluminous vector, it routinely becomes a disparate precipice when conjoined with pretentious contempt that presents self-centered conjecture rather than a truthful perspective. Each element of individual perception applied subsequently to the originating contempt then expands the presumption as supportive expletives bound the requiem.
A concave human mind then bends the blatant precipice into the brink of a dangerous situation. As the geometry of the disillusioned expands through idealism worship the course of reality theory transcends physical rather than moral phenomena. It is the worship of the physical that degrades society and inflicts the individual with disbelief. Those who are cured find the light through self-reflection. Those who deny continue to spread depravity in the perilous façade.
“1 Corinthians 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.”
Considering it was those who fought to retain the belief that the sun also circles the earth do we find reason to continually challenge those beliefs.
At the very least, they are being honest about what they know and what they don't know. Can we say the same thing about believers and their conclusions?
Like that conclusion, for example.
More precisely, it is "worship" that degrades societies and inflicts the individual with dishonesty and delusion in whatever it is they worship, real or imagined, the physical or the mythical.
When a person thinks that he is of cosmic significance normally he would think highly of himself. I think this is where religious people's egocentrism comes from. Also, Christians spoke the words of God which they consider as lord of all so they must think they have some sort of power and authority to those who do not believe, or sinners.
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