The Hypocrisy of Organized Religion
This lens may be upsetting to some, irrelevant to others, and agreeable to a few, but I feel it is an issue that I must write about.
To start off, let me first say that I believe in God and I am a very spiritual person, but I do not believe in organized religion.
I do not believe that a person must have a religious affiliation to have a meaningful relationship with the Creator. I don't believe that one will burn in Hell for not going to church. Nor do I believe that the only places that one can pray is in church or at the dinner table.
I have nothing against those who proclaim to be religious unless they are practicing hypocrites. Every one has the right to believe what they choose, and this lens is about what I believe.
Intro image courtesy of http://tikkiro.wordpress.com/2008/11/
The Religious Right
Why is it that Congress thinks it is their job to tell women what to do with their bodies? Do we tell them what to do with theirs? I don't think so. Why is it that men think they know what is best for women. Congress is mainly made up of men, not women. In fact, only 17% of Congress are women, yet their main goal is to penalize women for being women. It takes two to create a fetus. Women can't do it alone, yet men are trying to force women to suffer the consequences of an action that they themselves take part in.
These same men are against abortion, yet they want you to have sex with them and they don't want you to have birth control to avoid pregnancy. This is a very bad Catch 22. They take Viagra to be sexually active, but women are left holding the bag afterward. This is the perfect set up for the creation of deadbeat dads, if ever there was one.
The sexual double standard is ridiculous. Rush Limbaugh can get caught sneaking Viagra into another country so that he can have sex, but a college student who wants to avoid getting pregnant is a slut. There is something fundamentally wrong with that.
Listen guys... if you want to have sex with women, you are going to have to share in the responsibility of the out come. If you don't want to be on the hook for a child, use birth control. If you can get drugs to help you get it up, you should be willing to help your partner avoid the need for an abortion. Birth control is necessary. This planet is over crowded as it is and you're taking drugs to assist in that problem. (unwanted pregnancies) You can't have it both ways. Either allow women access to birth control and abortions or keep it in your pants! Men are 50% of the problem yet women are forced to take 100% of the fall out.
The irony of the whole thing is that the women who choose to keep their unwanted babies stick it out, while the men run for the hills to avoid paying for the life they helped create. Then they bash women who decide not to keep their pregnancies.
I am a married mother of two, so I know what it is like to have kids and chase a father for support. I divorced my first husband for getting someone else pregnant while I was pregnant. Well, that was part of the reason anyway.
Women have the right to choose whom they have sex with as much as they have the right to avoid or end an unwanted pregnancy. I am willing to bet that if men could get pregnant this would not be an issue.
What really upsets me is the fact that these pro-life people are hypocrites themselves. They want to protect the unborn, but are willing to kill living people while bombing abortion clinics.
Women should have the right to choose when to become mothers.
The lies they come up with to further their position are incredible! Now they say that rape does not produce pregnancy. That women's bodies produce a sperm killer while being raped. Bull shit!
The United States of America is NOT a Christian nation. We are a nation of many faiths, born out of the desire for religious freedom. Our country was founded on the principle of freedom not to be a nation of one faith.
So why are so many people trying to push Christian morals onto people of a variety of faiths? Religion has no place in governance.
These people are hypocrites. The law of their religion states that 'thou shalt not kill', yet they bomb clinics, killing people.
To be Christian is to be Christ like and wasn't it Christ who saved the prostitute from being stoned to death? Aren't men usually the ones who pay for sex in the first place? If men wouldn't be willing to pay for it, there would be no prostitution. I find it laughable that men will pay for Viagra, and prostitutes, but they aren't willing to pay for birth control.
I personally take offense when people start shouting that this is a Christian nation. I do not claim to be a Christian and I don't even want to be lumped into that demographic. I've never met a Christian that was Christ like. That includes my parents. I see self proclaimed Christians out there doing things that are anti-Christ like. Hypocrites... all of them!
It seems to me that the religious right picks and chooses which things are right in the eyes of their God. Men should be able to have all the sex they want and women should suffer the consequences. How many of these politicians cheat on their wives, which is against their religion? How many have had children as a result of their infidelities? Why didn't they use birth control? It is okay to cheat on your wife, but it is not okay to use birth control while doing it? That doesn't make sense.
How many of these self proclaimed Christians are the subject of sex scandals? It is truly a joke; one that has devastating consequences. Even our Catholic president, JFK, cheated on his wife. The hypocrisy of it all! Don't get me wrong, I think JFK was an awesome president, but he was a Christian that didn't act Christ like.
Women have been taking care of their own bodies since the beginning of time. Why is it that men think we are no longer capable of such a thing?
Another thing that really bothers me is the fact that it is usually the man who tells the woman that he wants her to get an abortion. It is usually the man who pays for it. Yet it is men who are trashing women for doing exactly what they are being told to do, by men.
So guys, make up your mind. You can't have it both ways.
Planned Parenthood is a wonderful institution. When I was a teen, that is where I went to learn about my body. I got birth control from them so that I wouldn't have a baby until I was ready to be a mother. I watched many of the girls I went to school with become mothers before they were ready and I didn't want to make that mistake. I didn't want to be in the position of having to decide on whether or not I should have an abortion.
Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can learn about the things their parents won't talk about. My mother knew nothing about STDs and had no reason to discuss birth control with her teen, due to the fact that I was not married. It is these types of issues that make Planned Parenthood so important. I was lucky she talked to me about my period. Some mothers don't even do that. So what is a girl to do? Make an appointment at Planned Parenthood, that's what! Of course, that could get you killed in the next bombing.
This makes my blood boil
I just read yet another article about priests raping children. Now it appears that one priest has been caught exchanging cocaine for sexual favors, with boys. He actually stated that he prefers boys under the age of 16. He was caught on tape talking with a drug dealer about arranging for boys to have sex with and this guy is a personal friend of the Pope! Will he be charged and convicted? I doubt it. He has Papal protection. He may be sitting in a jail cell right now, but I bet he won't be there for long.
This makes me sick. The hypocrisy of it all. The church condemns those who have premarital sex, outside the sanctity of marriage, yet they feel it is completely fine for priests to rape children. What is wrong with this picture? They condemn the gay and lesbian community, yet it is fine for grown men to have sex with boys. Tell me where their precious Bible says it is okay to have sex with little children? The Catholic church is crumbling, but the people who practice this religion are turning a blind eye to these crimes. They not only look the other way, but they defend these criminals.
I asked my Catholic mother how she can support and practice a religion that behaves in this manner and she couldn't give me an answer. Finally she shrugged and said, "...a few bad apples..." I say bull shit! There are many more than a few, and it appears that it is not just a few. It seems like every day there is a new story about rapist priests. It appears that the congregation can look away as long as it isn't their child that is being molested. How does one justify these acts? My mother refuses to talk about it. She however is the most devoted Catholic I have ever met. I wonder if she'd sing a different tune if she were molested by a priest. Of course that wouldn't happen because she is not a boy.
The Catholic church condemns birth control, abortion and homosexuality, but is defends child rape. This makes no sense at all. They do their level best to protect those who rape our children. It disgusts me.
I gave my mother a hard time for sending money to the church every month. Her defense was, "They do good things with that money." To which I replied, "The richest religion on the planet only wants your money to settle lawsuits against the rapists in the fold." She got mad and stormed off. Could it be that she was offended because I hit the nail on the head?
It's a good thing the Rapture didn't happen. All the guilty priests would have been left behind. Could that be why Catholics don't believe in the rapture?
Do Muslim clerics or Rabbis rape children? It seems to me that the problem is with Christians. Christians behave badly and point the finger in the other direction. Catholic priests are Christians, are they not? Did Christ rape little boys? I don't recall any Bible passages that would indicate such. To be Christian, by definition, is to be Christ-like.
What does it mean to be a 'good Christian'? One has to wonder, if the men called into the service of God are raping boys. Is that what it takes to be a good Christian? No thanks, I think I'd rather rot in Hell. It rather gives a new meaning to the giving of your first born son, eh? Christ was supposedly a protector of children, not a pedophile. How can a priest forgive sins when he's out there sinning himself? It is hypocrisy!
Perhaps the world should come to an end. It sure seems to me that we need to start over. Those who rape children deserve a bullet in the head, not a papal blessing. "...pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death..." Bring it on! Priests aren't supposed to have sex with women, or even themselves (masturbation is a sin), but it is okay to have sex with an altar boy? What is up with that? No wonder there are so many confused Christians out there. Look at the role models they have to work with.
In Milwaukee Post, Cardinal Authorized Paying Abusers
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.
Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”
But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.
A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican
approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.
“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” said Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the archdiocese. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”
Cardinal Dolan, who is president of the national bishops’ conference and fast becoming the nation’s most high-profile Roman Catholic cleric, did not respond to several requests for comment.
A victims advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent a letter of protest to the current archbishop of Milwaukee on Wednesday asking, “In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”
Experts in the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse say that payouts to dismissed priests are not uncommon. When a man becomes a priest, the church is expected to care for his needs for a lifetime.
The newly revealed document is the minutes of a meeting of the finance council of the Milwaukee archdiocese from March 7, 2003, which Cardinal Dolan attended. The archdiocese was facing a flood of potential lawsuits by people claiming abuse, and the church’s insurance company was refusing to cover the costs because it said the church had been negligent. The minutes noted that “unassignable priests” — those suspected of abuse — were still receiving full salaries.
The minutes say that those at the meeting discussed a proposal to “offer $20,000 for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion the process).” Instead of salary, they would receive a $1,250 monthly pension benefit, and, until they found another job, health insurance.
The first known payment in Milwaukee was to Franklyn Becker, a former priest with many victims. Cardinal Dolan said in response to a reporter’s question at the time that the payment was “an act of charity,” so that Mr. Becker could pay for health insurance.
According to church documents, Mr. Becker was accused of abusing at least 10 minors, and given a diagnosis of pedophilia in 1983. The church paid more than $16 million to settle lawsuits involving him and one other priest.
The Milwaukee Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2011, in the face of potential lawsuits by 23 accusers.
Sell the Vatican: Feed the World - End World Hunger
The Religious Right?
It is amazing that we, as humans, have failed to learn from the mistakes of the past. We still cling to religion to guide us and we still sit in judgement of others who are not like we are. We fight wars in the name of God, even though the commandments tell us not to kill.
All governments that have operated as theocracies, in the past, have fallen into chaos, yet we still try to use religion as the basis for governing. Just about every person running for a government office touts their religious convictions, hoping that there will be enough people of a similar bent that will vote for them. The laws of man and the laws of God should not be confused. Laws created by men should apply to all men, not just those who are viewed as less than those who created those laws. However, all too often, the religious views of our law makers end up in the final draft of new laws, and that is not right. Just because you believe in a certain doctrine, does not mean that everyone else should believe your doctrine too, or that they are less than you for having different beliefs.
The founding fathers of this nation knew that religion and government do not mix. That is how this country came to be. Who are we to undo everything they stood for and built this country around? Religious freedom means the freedom to believe or not in whatever God you choose. If I want to revere the Egyptian Sun God, that is my right. If I want to worship the Christian God, that too is my right. Religion and politics do not mix. We should not be subjected to a barrage of 'Vote for me I'm Christian, don't vote for him because he's Muslim.' A person's religious views should not be the basis for getting elected.
Have you every noticed that Republicans are more likely to use their religion more than any other party, as a campaign platform? Have you also noticed that these are the same people who have a problem telling the truth about anything. Look at the Bush administration. God and Country!
When will the Christian right stop attempting to ram their beliefs down the rest of our throats? When will they start telling the truth and stop baring false witness against their competition? They shout their piety from the roof tops and then break all of the commandments they claim to hold dear. How many of these politicians have trouble with the adultery thing? It seems to me that all of these political figures who can't seem to keep it in their pants, are Christians. Hypocrits.
Don't you find it interesting that the same people who think abortion is murder have no problem sending soldiers into a country not our own, to kill innocent women and children? Did these people ask to be shot, or bombed and killed? Not anymore than a fetus asks to be aborted.
I vote for the person who makes the most sense, not the one who carries a Bible with him everywhere he goes. What say you?
I believe in God, but I do not run around trying to micromanage everyone else by telling them that they should believe what I believe. Go ahead and base laws on the ten commandments, it is a good place to start, but don't base everything meant to control the population on your religion. What is yours may not be mine. It is called FREEDOM!
Religious Zeal and Hypocrisy
I was raised by a Catholic mother; therefore, I have experienced the Christian Syndrome first hand, and it amazes me how many self proclaimed Christians live a lie. First, let us define Christianity, or the act of being a Christian.
The word Christian means to be Christ-like. How many people who call themselves Christian really act Christ like? Not many that I have encountered. In fact, this lens was inspired by a local who wrote an editorial in the paper expounding about how much he dislikes our government helping those in need. This from a man who shouts his Christianity from the proverbial roof tops.
One comment he made in the piece was referring to the victims of hurricane Katrina and how he doesn't have a problem with people living by the shore, but he doesn't want to have to pay (through his tax dollars) to rebuild after a disaster. Does that sound very Christ-like to you?
That's like saying that those people should fend for themselves because they chose to live near the ocean. Should no one help him if a natural disaster takes out his home? What if his house were struck by lightening and burned to the ground; should no one give him so much as a tent to sleep in? I say yes.
How many conservative politicians campaign on a platform of God and country, claiming they will bring back family values and inflict their morals upon the nation, just to turn around and get caught breaking those commandments they claim to hold dear? Isn't one of those commandments, handed down to Moses, supposed to say, "Thou shalt not commit adultery?" Yet it is in the news every day how some revered republican has cheated on his wife.
I see it every day in my own community, where self proclaimed Christians only observe their religion on Sunday; the rest of the week all that charity goes right out the window. They bare false witness against each other!
Christianity is the only religion that I know of to have a plethora of different denominations, and these people attack each others' beliefs too. It is not enough to be a Christian, but you must be a certain kind of Christian (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc.). Why are there so many denominations? Could it be that each one interprets the Bible slightly differently than the others? To make it more suitable to their own lifestyle, perhaps?
You cannot convince me that all of the ancient people of the world are burning in Hell because they lived before Jesus Christ walked the earth.
Christians are not the only ones who practice religious hypocrisy; they all do. Every religion that I have studied either briefly or in depth, does the same thing.
If you're not Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, you are evil. So, you're damned if you do or damned if you don't in someone's eyes.
This I find interesting: Christians were Jews prior to Christ. The first Christians were Jews! Yet, Christians put down Jews all the time.
All of the Holy books say essentially the same thing; be good to each other, it is wrong to kill, yet how many people have died in the name of God; not because they were criminal, but because they didn't believe the same doctrine as their attackers?
I remember a Mormon coming to my door and giving me a copy of the Book of Mormon, and the first thing I read in there was a passage where Jesus commands one man to kill another. I'm not buying it. What happened to Thou Shalt Not Kill?
I am sure God never meant for His commandments to apply to some, but not all. All three of the major religions are fraught with contradictions. As far as I am aware, the commandments were not handed down with conditions. Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless...
I'm sure that Allah never meant for people to kill each other over whether or not they are practicing Muslims any more than He meant for the Crusaders to kill the people who would not convert to Christianity.
According to the Christian Bible, God gave man free will. That means the right to choose. He told Christ's disciples to spread the word, but not to kill those who wouldn't listen.
In my opinion, all religions are guilty of hypocrisy. I focus on Christians because they are the people I come into contact with most. I have never met a Christian who did not judge others, yet it was Christ who said, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Or, what about, "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord."
I have a serious problem with those who do not practice what they preach, especially when they preach with self righteousness and zeal.
Spirituality and Me
I may not be a religious person, but I am spiritual. I have a personal relationship with God.
I talk to Him wherever and whenever I want to. I don't justify my actions using His name. And, I don't tell others what their relationship with God should be like, or if they should have one at all. That free will thing...
I do not believe that there is a right or a wrong way to worship. If you want to talk to God, then do it. If you don't want to believe that there is a God, then don't. It's your choice.
All I really think that God cares about is that we humans be the best humans we can be and that we treat each other well.
We shouldn't lie, cheat or steal because those things hurt someone else. I strive to be a better person today than I was the day before. I don't think God is asking any more of me than that.
Supreme Court rules no Nativity scene in DC
The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the United
States' Capital this Christmas season.
This isn't for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find three Wise Men in the Nation's Capitol.
A search for a Virgin continues.
There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.
The Separation of Church and State
My understanding of the meaning of the phrase, 'Separation of church and state' :
It is true that the forefathers of our great country, fled to the Americas to be free from religious persecution. England had a state religion, and if you were to live a happy life there, you had better subscribe to that religion and practice it in the state dictated way. Many folks could just not go along with that and left, to live their lives as they saw fit.
When founding this country, our forefathers wrote in plain language that there must be a separation of church and state; meaning that the government would not enforce the practice of any particular religion. That the people of this country were allowed the freedom to practice any religion, or no religion as they saw fit. It was not meant in the way that people attempt to use it in this century.
Isn't it funny how so many people are up in arms over things like public displays of religious holidays and are screaming that it is unconstitutional to allow them on public property? This is not the government trying to control the religious beliefs of others, but supporting a groups of people in their right to religious freedom.
I'll bet that these same people who attack such things as public nativity scenes and the like would riot if they were not given time off on these religious holidays, or didn't receive overtime pay for working them. 'Don't force me to look at Christian religious symbols, but you'd better give me the day off on Christmas and Easter!'
It is all about respecting one's religious beliefs, not forcing them on those who do not believe the same way.
I would never go so far as to say that the United States of America is a Christian nation, but I will say that it was founded by those of Christian beliefs. This country is now home to many of many different faiths. None have the right to say that they are the right faith; not in this country. Our employers observe employees rights to their religious holidays, regardless of what they may be, if they didn't the courts would be jammed with those types of law suits.
Why are people so in love with being offended? I am not Jewish, but I have no problem with public Menorahs's; I don't claim to be Christian, but I have no problem with a nativity scene being set up at the town hall. Next, people are going to be calling for the destruction of churches, because they display religious symbols. Where will it end?
Why can't we just let people be who they are, without trying to convert them into something else? That is the principle this country was founded on. Religious freedom is not the abolishment of religion; it is the acceptance that all people have different beliefs and that no particular one is more right than another.
I have no problem with atheists, unless they are those who would take away another person's right to believe in God. I would never tell someone that they are wrong for not believing in God, and I expect that those who do not believe would respect my right to believe.
I think it is ridiculous that in public schools Christmas break has been transformed into winter break, that Easter vacation is now spring break, and that the celebration of Valentine's Day has been transformed into Sweetheart's Day, in an effort not to offend (be politically correct.)
If you don't like the Christmas tree in your public school, don't look at it. If you don't like the nativity scene in front of the courthouse, look the other way. It is that simple.
No one has the right to force God into or out of the lives of others. Period.
I have never heard of a single instance where the government of the United States has ever attempted to control the religious views of the people. It is the people who are trying to control the views of others.
I don't know of any instance of people being told they cannot speak their native language in their homes and with their friends, but expecting the peole born in this country to learn to speak another language, just to get a job, is insane. If you want to live here, you should learn to speak the language. Personally, I am tired of receiving government correspondence in five different languages, being that I only read one. What a waste of tax dollars.
English is the language, 'In God We Trust' is on the currency; get over it!
Religion and Politics
It seems that the religious right (republicans) want to include their religious beliefs in the way we are governed. The non-religious seem to want to banish God from everything to do with government, like nativity scenes on public property. What do you think?
Should religion be kept out of politics?
A Few Words From Jimmy Carter
Holy Bible BatMan!
I was watching a program last night that had to deal with the Ten Commandments. It was very interesting, and it cemented some things that I had already thought about religion, and the Catholic faith, in particular.
It reinforced thoughts and feelings I have had about religion as a whole, and the Bible more specifically. I have always wondered why people revere the Bible the way they do, as The Word of God.
According to this program, there were more than 600 commandments, but they were edited to ten. Edited by whom? By men of course, and more specifically, the Catholic church. Perhaps they thought that 600 rules to live by were too many. At any rate, the Bible and Catholic mass were delivered in Latin, a language that common people didn't understand, nor speak. The Bible could only be read by clergy; therefore, it was the clergy who interpreted it to mean what they wanted it to mean as a method of controlling the actions of the masses. It wasn't until King Henry the VIII broke from the Catholic church and created the church of England, that the Bible was printed in English. Again, this left it open to another's interpretation of what it said. So, who really knows what the original text had to say?
By Henry's printing the Bible in a language that most people could read and understand, the Catholic church lost some of its control over the people and the Protestant Reformation was born. This meant that people could read the Bible and decide for themselves what it meant. However, to this day, peoeple go to church to have someone else tell them what it means.
This confirms to me that the Bible was not, is not the word of God, but the words of man. It has been rewritten so many times by so many people, who is to say what it really said? Does anyone have an original copy? Even still, I am sure that those who originally wrote it did not take direct dictation from God. Why would the Almighty need a man to do his writing for him anyway?
What language did/does God speak? How did he select those he would speak to for the composition of the Bible? What made Mathew, Mark, Luke and John so special? How does one get a hot line to heaven?
If the original authors of the Bible were Jews, who translated the text into Latin? Why was it translated into Latin? Who decided that the Pope should be in charge of the Christians in the first place, and why were the clergy the only ones allowed to read scripture? If the Bible is the word of God, you'd think they'd want everyone to read it.
I think that the Catholic church kept the Bible to themselves in order to be able to tell everyone else how to live. It was how they exerted power and control over the masses. Look at how many people have died, historically, in the name of God, either by having committed sins against the Ten Commandments, or by forcing others to believe in the Good Book and the God that dictated it.
Ironically, many people have been put to death for departing from the Bible teachings, yet the Ten Commandments clearly state that killing is against God's law. So, I have to ask, did God give the Catholic church amnesty from that particular law? Did God speak to Pope Gregory, or another pope and say, kill them if they break my commandments, and you'll still be righteous? Perhaps God should have been a little more specific in his list of things that man should not covet, like thy neighbor's children. Man is not supposed to have sex with his neighbor's wife, but what about all of the clergy that have a penchant for having sex with our children?
What about the deal for living in poverty? Aren't priests supposed to give up worldly possessions and live in poverty? Why then is the Catholic church the wealthiest on the planet? Why do so many send money to the church? Why do priest parade around in the finest vestments? Why do they always have food to eat while others are starving? The Catholic church is the longest lasting government on the planet. Why? Because they have God on their side. The church uses fear of the unknown to control people and it works for them.
You can get people to do just about anything in the name of God. The Catholic church ordered the deaths of all non-believers. Now I ask, is that any way to convert people; under the threat of death? Are these people going to be true believers, or will they just go through the motions to avoid death? How can a religion preach that killing is wrong and then turn around and have people put to death? Hypocrisy. How can a religion preach that sodomy and fornication are sins and the same people then turn around and sodomize children?
The Catholic church, and Christianity are fraught with inconsistencies and double standards. Die for God, kill for God, observe the Ten Commandments lest ye burn in Hell. Don't worry about the one that says, Thou Shalt Not Kill, because if you do it in the name of God, it's okay.
What's the big deal about judgement day? I thought that was when God would punish all sinners. Why would he need to do that when we already do it for him?
Religious texts were written by men and have been used by men to control even more men. It has worked well. Humanity has been enslaved by religion, not freed by it. To me, the Catholic church represents the epitome of elitists.
Another thing I have never understood is the notion that man fear God. 'I'm a God-fearing Christian'. If God is a benevolent God, why are we supposed to fear him? How does one love and fear the same thing at the same time? Shouldn't Satan be the one we fear? After all, he is the 'bad' one.
The hypocrisy of the Christian faith astounds me and you can see it in the news every day. So called God Fearing Christian politicians who cheat on their wives, condone the torture of terror suspects, the Pope turning a blind eye to child molesters in his charge, and how many corporate money-mongers call themselves Christian? They worship money, and God? I thought that Jesus condemned the money changers. These people break the Ten Commandments all of the time, but still we look to them for guidance and leadership.
People say that the United States was founded on Christian principles; oh yeah... which ones? Politicians break the false witness commandment to get elected all of the time. We call it a smear campaign.
This country was founded on the religious freedom principle. People should be able to worship or not worship any God at any time in any way. Government should not control our belief or lack of it, in God. Yet politicians use a religious platform all of the time. 'I am a Christian, with Christian values, vote for me!' Then the media reports on how he cheated on his wife. The true meaning of separation of church and state means the the government should not tell anyone what God to believe in or how to worship that God. That's all; it means that the government does not endorse any one religion. This is not a Christian nation; it is a nation of many faiths. The problem is that Christians don't like that. They want to be in control. To those people I say, go to Rome.
It shouldn't matter what religion a head of state practices; what is important is whether or not he can lead people. However, politicians use religion to get votes.
I believe in God, but I don't believe in religion. My relationship with God is between he and I and not to be governed by the likes of mortal man.
My take on the Bible...
The Bible is a subject of great curiosity for me. Each religion has a Holy book, they all say basically the same thing but are these books truly the word of God? I don't think so. Obviously, the Christian Bible as well as all Holy books, were penned by men. Men who took it upon themselves to speak for God.
The Bible has been interpreted and misinterpreted so many times, by so many different people, that how can it truly be the word of God any more?
The way I see it is this: Man wrote these books in an attempt to explain things that were not explainable at the time, and to set up a system of control. Do as the Good Book says...
For example: meteors raining down upon the earth could be interpreted as punishment from God for sins committed by man.
I believe that the Bible is in part a historical record of events and part mythology. Rather than having a different God for everything that happens, like the Greeks and Romans, Christians, Muslims and Jews promote only one God; He is responsible for all that happens natural or otherwise.
If God is a benevolent God, as the Bible says, why do Christians believe he is to be feared. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say, "I'm a God-fearing Christian." Why would benevolence inspire fear?
According to the Bible, God does not approve of gossip; the ten commandments (that false witness thing again), but how many, "God-fearing Christians," gossip every chance they get? I mean some people use card parties and other social get-togethers specifically so they can gossip, or at the very least, listen to some.
The Bible, as with any ancient text, is subject to interpretation and it appears to me that man has taken many liberties in their interpretation of it, for self serving ends.
I think the Bible, when and as it was written, was meant to be a guide to good living; the establishment of ethics and morals, a history book, and a story.
How many versions of the Bible are there? King James certainly took his liberties with the re-writing of the Bible.
Most Popular Bible Versions
New International Version
New American Standard Version
New King James Version
Revised Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
The Living Bible
New Century Version
How can there be so many 'versions' of the Word of God?
I am sure that it means something different to each reader; a personal sort of thing. However, it is more often used as a tool to control the lives of others by theological governments; the Pope, in 1199, banned so-called unauthorized versions of the Bible. Whose job is it to authorize the bible? A man? Then there was the Spanish Inquisition... I wonder what version was promoted by the Inquisitors?
Don't forget the Church of England and its humble beginnings. Henry the VIII created his own religion because the Pope would not let him get divorced under the doctrine of the Bible. Henry didn't create his own version of the Bible, but created his own religion, making himself the equivalent of its Pope.
All of this leads me to question the validity of the Bible, its true origins and authors. What does the Bible really say; not the versions for sale today, but the original document?
That brings me to another conundrum - Would God really approve of man selling his word for a profit? Shouldn't God's word be free for all to read? Didn't Jesus oust the money changers from the temple because he said they had no place in the house of God?
My Problem with Religion
My Problem with Religion
In my humble opinion, Christians are the worst religious fanatics I've ever encountered. Historically, Christians have used their faith as a method of controlling massive amounts of people.
The Catholic church is the worst of them all. The Roman Catholic church is and has been the wealthiest church in history. They preach poverty, yet they have more money than they know what to do with. Well, that's not exactly true. They spend their money paying off law suits for their pedophile priests. That has proved to be quite expensive for them.
Catholics are the worst bunch of hypocrites I've had the misfortune of knowing. My mother is Catholic and she is a hypocrite too. I love her dearly, and would never encroach on her beliefs, but I do not share them. And, every month she sends money she doesn't have to the richest church on the planet.
Catholic faith preaches poverty and chastity, but they [priests] want all your money and they rape your children. They preach peace and love but reject all who are different than they are.
Who was responsible for the Spanish Inquisition? Christians, that's who. How many people were tortured and killed because of the Inquisitors' faith, a faith that says: 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'?
All of the holy texts say that killing is wrong, yet it is the Christians and Muslims, historically, who have fought wars in the name of God. It is still happening. Killing people is wrong. Killing people because they don't share your beliefs is going against the very God that you say you believe in.
Religion is government in disguise. It always has been and always will be. The hypocrisy of it all is that according to their own texts, God is the supreme ruler, not man, yet man is the one forcing control over others in God's name.
Christians are trying desperately to control the American government. Muslims are trying to control their countries and all of the others in the world. Holy war is an oxymoron. And those withour faith are trying to control those who do.
If everyone would live life trying to be the best person they can be, each and every day, not just on Sunday, this world would be a much better place. Who are we, as humans, to judge another and scorn them for believing differently than we do? God is our judge and we should spend more time worrying about our own life after death than worrying about what the other guy believes.
Christians don't even like each other. So much for brotherly love, eh? Each denomination slams the others. If they are all Christian, aren't they supposed to believe in the same thing? Then why do Baptists hate Catholics and vise versa? What I believe is right. What you believe is wrong. That seems to be the popular mantra among all who claim to be religious.
If you believe it, live it! Live and let live.
that God wants me to believe in myself.
Trina Sonnenberg Bares All
It's not what you think, but it will make you think.
'Forever and Always' is a memoir of faith, love, hope and survival. Her story is a testament to the Law of Attraction. It is a story that demonstrates the power of this universal law with in her own life so that you can see how it works in yours.http://stores.lulu.com/triizine
Bill Maher on Islam
Are you religious?
Religion and Racism
Are racists religious zealots?
I think that the answer to that question is, yes. White supremacists claim to be of the Christian persuasion. Most of the Christians I have ever come into contact with have been racist, or shall I say that most racists I've known were Christians.
Just look at all the flack President Obama has had to deal with because he's not of the Caucasian persuasion. He's black, he must be a Muslim, ect.. Don't vote for him, he's not Christian... Since when does the color of one's skin dictate their religion or their ability to govern intelligently?
Now, not all religious people behave badly; there are extremists in every camp. Islamic fundamentalists hate white Christians and Jews; the Chinese hate the Dali Llama, and on and on.I thought religion was supposed to teach tolerance and love, not intolerance and hate. Religion should incite peace, not violence.
Even those who practice religion hide behind perverted Bible passages to justify domestic violence and sex discrimination. Obviously it was a man who wrote that women were to be subservient to men.
What about the Bible passage that man is supposed to be woman's protector? Nowhere that I've ever seen does the Bible tell man that it is okay to beat his wife or children.
'Spare the rod, spoil the child,' is the most misinterpreted line in the Bible. Translated properly, the word rod means guidance. In other words, if you do not provide a child with proper guidance he will be spoiled. It doesn't mean beat him senseless.
The KKK claimed to do everything they did in the name of God. When did God tell these people that contrary to the ten commandments, it was their job to lynch all the black people they could get their hands on? Why would God tell men to destroy that which He created? Why is it wrong to burn the American flag, but it is all right to burn a cross? People say that America was founded by Christians.
The way I see it is that those who believe in God believe in the same God; they simply call him by different names: Allah, Jehovah, the Great Spirit, etc.. It is just a shame that so many have perverted religion to be the means to a negative end.
My God is no greater, nor is He any lesser than your God; because they are one and the same.
What I believe does not make me better or worse than anyone else. Furthermore, I do not have any more right than the next guy to inflict my beliefs on others, and tell them they are wrong if they disagree. The difference between me and the proselytizer is that I can share my views without trying to convince another that they should believe what I believe. I am not going to threaten you with punishment, perceived or implied, if you think this lens is a bunch of crap. I respect your right to tell me I'm full of crap. I respect your right to practice your religious beliefs, just don't try to cram them down my throat, or put me down because I don't agree.
If we are all God's children then we are all God's children, not just the white people. Not just Jews or Muslims, or Hindu. This is a case of all or nothing.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/12/11/10393798...
"In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe."
The Law of Attraction
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Other links to look at
- An Atheist View
Atheists are the most hated, despised, and distrusted minority in America. According to a University of Minnesota study no other group, race, or affiliation is more hated by the American people.Some politicians, including Elizabeth Dole demonize athe
- Priest Sex-Abuse Case in Archdiocese of Benedict's Adviser - TIME
A parish priest near Genoa is facing pedophilia and drug charges just as the Vatican lays out new guidelines for responding to sex-abuse cases
Going to Church
What I think about churches-
What is up with going to church? You don't have to be in church to pray. The reason that Christians go to church, my humble opinion, is to listen to a man preach his interpretation of the Bible, to sing songs and fork over their cash to the collection plate.
This really cracks me up - Christians complain about the welfare system, and people getting a free ride, but they're more than happy to give financial support to a guy (minister) who spends an hour a week telling them how to live their lives; a guy who pays no taxes on his income or property (the church), lives rent free and has minimal living expenses to pay for on his own.
My mother, for instance, God bless her - sends a check to the Catholic Church every month. The Catholic Church is the wealthiest church on earth and my mother thinks she needs to send them money! (She is retired.)
This is a religious organization (church) that is able to cough up millions of dollars to settle law suits for pedophilia.
To be a Priest is to be committed to God (the oath of celibacy, and all that jazz). So aren't these child molesting priests cheating on God? Oh the HYPOCRISY!
TV evangelists have soaked their Christian followers for millions of dollars and many have then been exposed for the frauds they really are; yet the faithful still follow. TV evangelists have been caught breaking the very rules they preach to other people they should live by. Homosexual adventures, adultery, embezzlement, etc.. What is up with that? Then they say, God has forgiven me, so should you.
The fact is that we're all human, we all make mistakes, and those you may have hurt are the ones who you should be seeking forgiveness of.
What's up with confession? How is it that a mere mortal man (a priest) can absolve someone of their sins, just by listening to them and ordering some prayers? If a person can talk to God through prayer, why isn't it possible that sins cannot be forgiven when we pray on our own and must be confessed to another man? Three Hail Marys and an Our Father and you're good to go sin some more. Just come back and confess next week.
The world is my church. I can read religious texts anywhere I want; I don't need someone else to read it to me. I can pray wherever I want; on the toilet or in the shower if that suits me. And I don't need to give what little money I have away to a church. Geeze... you have to pay the church to get married. They don't call it a fee, but a mandatory donation of a specified amount. I had to pay the Lutheran church $50 just so their minister could marry me in a garden. (Like I said, the world is my church) What a wasted $50 that was!
If God requires poverty of the pious, why do these churches need so much money?
Articles on Religion
- Religious belief prevents animal adoption
Religious beliefs and public policy are keeping at least one of the many cats at the Frederick County Animal Control Center from finding a home.
- Catholic Cover-Up
What's fascinating in the steady onslaught of new incidences of previous cover-ups of child rape and molestation in the Catholic hierarchy is the notion that the hierarchs tended to see child rape as a sin rather than a crime. Hence the emphasis on f
- My Two Cents Â»Oil and Water...
Religion and Politics Don't Mix, So Why Does Everyone Seem to Put Them Together?
- Cardinal Has a Mixed Record on Sexual Abuse Cases - NYTimes.com
The record of Cardinal William J. Levada, whose Vatican office oversees abuse cases, shows that he often did not act as assertively as he could have.
- Literary Review - Richard Holloway on 'On Evil' by Terry Eagleton
Book review: William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, famously asked why the devil should have all the best tunes, and proceeded to plunder them for his own missionary purposes. In his stimulating new book, Terry Eagleton seems to have asked
- Strategic Acts of Kindness Teachings On Doing Good From the Bible, the Tanya, and Hinduism | Resourc
Lifeways Strategic Acts of Kindness - Teachings On Doing Good From the Bible, the Tanya, and Hinduism an article by Gregory Johnson Summary. This
- James Clark: Why Marijuana Decriminalization Should Be a Christian Issue
Far from signaling a Christian approval of using marijuana, Christian advocacy for decriminalization signals disapproval of the retributive response to drug abuse.
© 2009 Trina Sonenberg