Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bullying in the Name of God

What can society do with religious bullies? You find them in most religions of the world today. I certainly experienced it in my life, starting with my father and working up the patriarchal line of elders who finally judged my faith as "defective" and disfellowshipped me.
 

Parents Voice

Religious bullies are alive and well in Burnaby, BC these days. A group of fanatical right wing religionists are currently trying to force their influence into the public schools by demonizing gays and lesbians. How traumatic if one of their own children have such leanings. Is it likely these children would — or could — talk to their parents about their so-called "illegal" sexual feelings? Why don't parents realize their oppressive views could hurt their most "precious possessions" as they call their children? The group includes some Christians, some Islamic Muslims, and other right-wing religious folk. I feel sure at some point they will reach a divide, since religion ultimately divides, like oil and water. An excellent example of a religious divide is found in the Bible at Genesis Chapter 11, describing religious disorder while building the Tower of Babel, resulting in the scattering of the various groups.
 

Islamic Muslim and Sharia Law

I watched a Sam Harris Video which attempted to answer some questions in response to the Norway terrorism by the zealot, Anders Behring Breivik.
 
We have learned that Mr. Breivik has a religious past; however, he did not figure he would be praying about his vandetta. And he certainly had strong opinions about Muslims. Religion can sure mess with a mind.
 
I agree with Sam Harris' theory that "political correctness" is an impediment to discussion about the failings of religious beliefs. In my opinion, no one is allowed to freely speak about the flaws of religion. The only people who feel no constraint about speaking out are considered racist of bigoted by much of society. As a result, the loudest voices are the fanatical religious voices spouting dogma that does not serve the highest interests of humanity.
 
Perhaps the Norway shooter felt he was giving Islamic Muslims a taste of their own medicine. While I do not condone violence in any shape or form, the question needs to be asked: Was Breivik engaged in his own version of jihad—holy war—to protest his perceived Muslim onslaught? Little did he know his actions would spark a response from the Islamic community: Oslow Today, London Tomorrow: The Sharia is Unstoppable.
 
In the first few moments of the above video, a general and clear announcement was made that some Islamic Muslims intend to bring Sharia Law to the UK, to Europe and to the world. Is it a coincidence or did this video spark the rioting which began a few days later in the UK? Imbedded in their theology is the Quranic teaching to convert or kill the Infidel (non-believing humanity) by jihad.
 
So much for exercise of free will and choice. Surrender or die is the message. Surrender—the very meaning of the word Islam.
 

Fundamental Latter Day Saints (FLDS)

Justice has now been served in Bountiful Lister, BC (the legal name). Interestingly, Bountiful is a made-up name by the FLDS prophet, perhaps associated with the baby-making/production line of the polygamous community: teen virgins for the prophet. Consequently, Warren Jeffs will be spending the next 30 years in prison for his child molestation in the name of God. Perhaps more corruption will be unearthed shortly.
 
When asked whether he was ever taught about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Truman Oler, a young man who left Lister after being denied an education, said, "The one thing [church leaders] are trying to do is use that right to protect themselves," he said. "We never as children knew of charters and rights and freedoms." Read the entire article by Daphne Bramham, reporter for the Vancouver Sun here.
 

Jehovah's Witnesses

I know from being an ex-member of the Jehovah's Witnesses religion that their legal department pays off victims with member donations. For the most part, they have kept themselves out of the sex scandal news—at least up till now. But I personally know of several instances of sex abuse hidden under the rugs of the Jehovah's Witnesses Watch Tower Society. Thanks to the sheer volume of complaints made against them, light is now being shone on the corruption in the Jehovah's Witness religion. Read more from victims of the Jehovah's Witnesses religion.
 

Catholics

Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, himself a Catholic, has strongly criticized the Vatican for what he said was an attempt to frustrate the Cloyne inquiry, accusing it of downplaying the rape of children to protect its power and reputation.
 

A Call to Dialogue

In these few examples of religious corruption and abuse, perhaps there is a question to ask oneself. What will I do personally to begin to promote dialogue on the subject of religious abuse of any kind?
 
I have begun blogging about the issue.

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.