Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just Say "NO!" to Religious Fanaticism

The Baptist Minister thinks he was right to burn the Qur'an, after all "The Muslims are the Apostates and will burn in hell!" Conversely, the Muslims think they have the only right view, "The Christians are the Infidels and deserve to die!" With each religious group convinced they have the exclusive channel to "Truth" there can be no cultural growth.
Muslims and Baptists are not the only religions on the planet who have this mentality. As an ex-member, I know Jehovah's Witnesses think similarly, too. Their philosophy is, "Anyone who is not a Jehovah's Witness is going to die at Armageddon!" That's why they go door-knocking — to gain converts and "save souls." My childhood friend Vicky was Catholic and she declared openly, "You are going to burn in hell if you don't go to my church!" Different words, same mentality.
I believe religions enable a "Dark-Ages" type of thinking and behavior. Ancient religions that resulted from ancient "holy" books may have some historical value, but their theology cannot possibly apply to modern-day societies. Such "holy" books were written by men from ancient times. Sure, these men claim they were "channelling" inspired utterances. Just remember, the inspiration is only as "clear" as the channel it comes through—imperfect men. In other words, the "prophets" are still human.
The mistake religions make is their members turn channelers into gods. The "prophets" seem to make the worship of humans mandatory. Once the channeler, prophet or elder attains "god" status, members can no longer say "no" or question any words uttered. Therein lies the disempowering aspect of religion — the dysfunction of religion. When members cannot say "no" to their religious leaders, they no longer have possession of free will — their elder/prophet/god has it.
Realizing this inability to say "NO!" to religious leaders demonstrates that the Polygamous sect of the FLDS in Bountiful, British Columbia is filled with disempowered women and children who are unable to say to their prophet/god, "NO! I do not want a polygamous marriage with you!" Their very survival is on the line. "No" is not in their vocabulary—"Be sweet" is. The women and children do not know that they can say "NO!"
After leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses, I promised myself I would never give away my ability to think again. Give religion even more freedom to control and manipulate people's minds? Repeal the law on Polygamy? I think not.
Yes, I am human. I have a brain! And I have every right to retain that gift of free will. Simply put, that freedom enables me to say "NO!" when it feels healthy to do so. Give that gift of freedom away? "NO!"

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2011. Permission is granted to copy and re-distribute this transmission on the condition that it is distributed freely.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the blog. Jesus was a rebel against the religious authorities. Just because you are "anti-religion" or calling for reform does not mean you are not spiritual and holy. How spiritual you are depends on the respect you have for others' fee will, your own release of egoic desires, and your personal practices and choices as you go through life.