Tuesday, 12 June 2007

WHY RELIGION IS AN ABUSE

In a strange display of undoing progress and socially backwards movement, religion is making a comeback into State influence.

Most notably so in America, with George Bush winning elections by waving a Bible, and justifying war by saying God told him to do it. But, religion has also impacted British politics to a certain degree recently, with Tony Blair saying God will be the one judging him on Iraq - not the electorate, apparently. 'God' appears to be a bit of a get out of jail free card right now, which gets me a bit worried.

Religion is an abuse.

People are voting out of religion. George Bush quotes a Bible passage and masses of Americans support him blindly - they don't care about his policies, they just assume that they'll line up with Christian beliefs. The ridiculous thing is that they actually don't - Bush is using religion as a means of control - killing in the name of a man that preached peace and understanding. He has distorted religion to fit his agenda. Religion has always been distorted to suit what the authority wants - Israel is 'the promised land', Jihad earns you a place in heaven, the slaves had to obey because of the teachings of Jesus.

All religion is is a tool for authority figures to use to rally support, and keep people in line. Treason is a sin - the oppressed workers who make an attempt to revolt will go to Hell. Theft is a sin - even when a man is starving, he can't steal a handful of grapes.

Religion is also used as a tool to kill opposing ideologies - and changes constantly, from culture to culture - in the '50s Jesus hated communism - where in the Bible does it say that? It wasn't Jesus that hated communism - it was the authority. The authority attached Jesus's name to their ideologies, knowing thousands of people would then be forced to agree with them, for fear of going to Hell. Every time a politician invokes God, he is telling people that they will go to Hell if they disobey him.

All religion is a means of control.

The highest authorities constantly manipulate religion to assert their own authority - all religious people from the top down have been tricked, tricked in to believing in a system that keeps them under control out of fear (you will go to Hell if you break my ideology), and tricked into upholding and legitimising a system that keeps them under control out of fear (people join the clergy and people try and increase Church attendance in their neighbourhood).

Religion was born out of both ignorance and a desire for power in certain people - religion came before science, as an explanation for what people did not know. People are not naturally rational beings - it has taken thousands of years of progress to get to the point where we are today, with proper scientific methods of developing beliefs and obtaining knowledge. Religion was created in a time where people could be easily fooled- and ironically, one of the reasons people believe in mainstream religion today is that it has been around for so long - as opposed to religions like Scientology, which are widely dismissed as nonsense. Scientology is no more unreliable then any other religion.

Religion not only is a means of control, but has inherently harmful factors that benefit no one, such as an opposal to the use of condoms in Africa, where AIDS is plaguing the population. This is not a manipulation of religion - merely the destructive power of people following groundless, outdated law that was written for a different culture by desert mystics.

Obviously, apart from these few factors, and the fact that religion tricks people into believing falsities, religion is not bad in itself - it is whether those manipulating it are good or bad that makes the difference. Religion can be used to manipulate people into doing many virtuous things, such as charity - as shown by organisations such as Christian Aid.

However, although pragmatically religion can be used to do beneficial things, ideologically, the idea of lieing to and threatening people with images of Hell and burning bodies to do this, when there are alternative, more respectful ways at hand, is unacceptable for me. Religion is an abuse, and all those who believe are with the victims.

5 comments:

Wanna be philosopher said...

Like how you preempted the pragmatic approach there, but I wouldn't have argued with you anyway, regardless of whatever potential benefits religion could provide in this context its merely being used to brain wash the couch bound, less than active citizens in society. But consider what shapes the political sphere, maybe not in the U.S but certainly here. Isn't it those most active politically in society that shape the image of our political sphere while our couch bound friends just go with the flow? Consider if you will the blow back from the Gulf War. Even while Blair attempts to play the "god" get out of Jail free card. The majority opinion is still that it was a stupid mistake and Blair is still being held accountable.i think. In relation to the U.S..ah well they had a good run x

p.s I hope this made sense

Wanna be philosopher said...

case and point mon amis

Taking Liberties

Bella said...

Religion is what men who want control did to spirituality. But religion does help some people get through a difficult life, without any great har to anyone else. The trouble only really starts with fundamentalism when people adopt 'religion' to hang their psychopathologies on. If you don't like something in yourself, project it onto others and then you have a good reason to harm them... It's all fascism...

de said...

"George Bush quotes a Bible passage and masses of Americans support him blindly - they don't care about his policies, they just assume that they'll line up with Christian beliefs"

--------------------------

This is exactly why the English should just stop commenting on American politics and Bush all together. Every bloger from England that I have read, hates Bush. That isn't what bothers me. What bothers me is that they assume they know America, and state things that are not true; the fact is, they don't know shit. The statement above is a good example. First of all, America has very religious roots and traditions; compared to America's history and other presidents, the extent to which George Bush incorporates religion into his politics, is average at most. Also, being an American that voted for Bush, I resent America and its citizens being characterized in such an inaccurate and simplified way. By doing so, this writer smears America and contributes to a large amount of anti-America propaganda coming from Britain. I don't know if I would vote for Bush again, but, religion had absolutely nothing to do with why I voted for him in the past. Not because I am not religious, or not of a Christian religion, but because despite what our ungrateful, USA hating friends across the ocean think they know, many of us Americans are actually pretty smart people. In general, we have more complexity than a pitch fork, and, we do actually put thought into some things between our barn raising, tent revivals, ho downs and Christian right pot lucks.

Please believe me that you have very little insight into Bush, America, nor us Americans - - as evidenced by your attempt to author about us, so please stop writing about us.

Wilf said...

In reply to "De":

First of all, if you start counting from when a country was born, to say that George Bush is of "Average" political religiousness is actually a far more worrying statement then I was making, and an irrelevant one.

I'm not attacking George Bush exclusively, but all leaders that use religion as a tool of control (including your forefathers, if you want to bundle them in - I actually disagree though, I think the forefathers of America strove to keep the state and Church seperate, drawing influence from John Stuart Mill). Bush is one of many - however, he is the most powerful one today.

Just because you personally voted on matters you claim to be irrelevant to your religion, by no means did many of your country members. Can I direct your attention to this graph:

http://www.pollingreport.com/images/GALvotefor.GIF

This is empirical evidence supporting my argument. More then you have cared to offer.

And at any rate, the religious climate you grew up in would most probably have shaped your political views. As American conservatives have long been manipulating Christianity to their own ends it is little wonder that you voted for Bush.

I refuse to be silenced by an inaccurate appeal to ignorance - your faux-intimidating isolationist views have no place in today's borderless world. Globalisation means your argument (which sounds like it was directly lifted out of a 1930s political speech) is redundant. New York is only seven hours away from where I live, news reporting is global, and instant. I know what is happening in your country.

Just for good measure, I'll add that I spent much of my childhood in the states.