Friday, March 07, 2014

Let's look at it another way.

If you haven't read my last post, go back and read it now.   This post is related, so I want it fresh in your mind as you read this.

Got it?  Good, let's get started.

This morning, I read a post over on FreeThought Blogs by Dana Hunter about why she wants to dump Religion.

Good read, huh?

I heartily agree.  My favorite line is where she says, "But without religion, we wouldn’t make our worst ideas, impulses, and mistakes sacred."

I think that is the money quote, right there.

Religion gives us the excuse for being bad while pretending (often even to ourselves) to be good.  That is compounded when we fail to call out those who are doing that when we recognize it.  Remember how I said that if you fail to speak up when you see oppression that you are complicit in the oppression - that you are therefor on the side of the oppressor?  

Yeah, that.

Even the worst of the extremists have to be sensitive to public and peer pressure when their fellow Christians, especially the mainstream religions, stand up and proclaim them to be wrong and acting contrary to God's word.  They might argue theologically, but when the demographics are demonstrated to be going against them - illustrated by a drop in support by those giving money - they will eventually have to back off and take stock of themselves.  Or at least shut up and stop looking like fools.

There are so many problems our society needs to be addressing now that allowing those extremists to distract us by pushing their own agenda is harmful to the country by allowing those unaddressed issues to fester and get worse.  The jobless rate won't fall by itself.  Corporations that see themselves to be above the law won't get reined in and forced to be better citizens without explicit and forceful government action.

And as long as we have religious extremists obstructing every move the government tries to make to address these issues, they get worse, and the extremists get bolder.  They do, after all, claim to have God on their side, right?  See what I mean about religion being harmful?  How we can take the worst possible behavior and make it sacred?  Untouchable?  Something that can't be compromised over?

This is a perfect illustration of my point.

So, what's the solution?  For normal people to get involved.  Stop allowing the extremists to use the name of your religion to push fascist policies that do nothing to solve current economic, financial, and foreign policy problems unrelated to those policies.  Do that by getting involved in politics on the local level and throw out the extremists.

VOTE!!!  Get your family and friends to vote, talk to them, help them to see how damaging the extremists are while they preach fascist political values as if it were real Christian theology.

While they do that, they not only harm the country, but they are giving your religion a bad name and forcing many of your Christian neighbors to want to leave the church because of values they cannot tolerate.  They are contributing to the death of religion in this country.

You may think that it is a bit strange for me to advocate for and predict the eventual end of organized religion while I encourage members of that religion to fight those who are advancing the end of it.  Even as I push for and favor that end myself.

But I do love this country, and I see those extremists as damaging to the very fabric of our society.  I do know that the collapse of organized religion will (and is) causing social unrest and confusion.  In times of rapid social change, that is inevitable, however.  I know that.

But we don't have to allow people to make it worse by obstruction and deliberate sabotage, and I would rather see that collapse be easier and take longer by encouraging people to fight those extremists.  Even if their participation is not helpful to my own agenda.

I like to think that my agenda includes making this country a better place, and if that means religion has to stick around longer because we defeat the extremists, then I can live with that.

In the end, what matters is making this world a better place to be, live in and raise our kids in.

That makes the fight worth it.  Will you help?

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