I don’t usually knock religions. I know that for millions of people living in poverty and unbelievable squalor, religion gives them the only hope they have. I have to respect that. On that basis is this article written.
The utter betrayal of humanity by its religions is no minor thing. The fanatics, the pedophiles, the corruption and the total failure of religions to achieve their missions are inexcusable. Like politics, religion is now a simple executive task for plodders, a corporate business with no redeeming features. That’s not good enough.
The Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, no longer represent anything but political power. Communities live in misery. The message they’re given is nothing but excuses to hate. Spiritual life is the mere recital of doggerel, and the demand for money.
The greatest betrayal of religion
The greatest betrayal is simple enough – The hope is given of a better existence. The fact is given of unredeemed poverty, tyrannical conformity. With this obscenity comes an ugliness of small, petty minds unworthy to mention any god, let alone claim to be experts.
Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.
Cowering behind scriptures, the religions spread their hate and filthy horrors in the material world. Ancient hatreds, thousands of years old in some cases, infest the world. The resulting spiritual cowardice of the religions is extraordinary. No issue is permitted to intrude on this festival of failure, whether it’s the total mismanagement of human affairs or the hideous, poisoned world in which humanity exists.
If the original gods have gone, the gods of greed, crime, malice and the Great God of Endless Excuses remain. Tell the Devil he’s out of a job; the religions have done what no incarnation of evil could ever do. Those who live in this world need no hell, no Purgatory, and certainly no more smug fools making life worse every second of every day.
The history of religions as actual arguments and practice is baffling:
- The Christian idea of “man has no free will” is a case in point. If that were the case, is god a mere cheat sheet? If everything is preordained, what is the point of it? How do be fruitful and multiply apply to serial abuses by the clergy? Is anything really being done about it? No.
- Islam was at one point the most progressive, enlightened religion in the world. More actual progress in the sciences was achieved by the original Islamic civilization than perhaps any other than the Chinese. Now, it’s at war with itself and the world, based on truly ancient hatreds, money, and current power politics.
- Judaism was the foundation of the monotheistic religions. It has an unmatched record of genuine scholarship. Now, it seems dogmatic and insular. How are scholarship and dogmatic insularity reconciled? Not well, it seems. Even with good reasons in the course of history, Judaism of all religions should know that scholarship and dodging real issues with scriptural conveniences can’t work.
The religions can’t have it both ways. You’re given the privilege of teaching, and you start wars? You persecute the students, and only slavishly reciting the messages of hate permits them to graduate? This isn’t religion; it’s incompetence at best, blatant hypocrisy on average, and genocide at worst.
How many damn fools does it take to find a god? Far too many, apparently. Even the basics are ignored. The only reason religions have lasted so long in their hypocritically righteous stupor is by a curious, if appropriate, fact. Religions have survived not by their official pomposity, but by the work of their people who are rarely acknowledged, or more often ruined by their work.
In South America, the first to raise the issue of the slaughter and extermination of the natives was a Jesuit. Yes, a Jesuit, supposedly one of the most dogmatic, ferociously conventional forms of Catholicism. This poor man simply told the truth. Was he thanked? Hardly. Not for about 300 years, when modern history caught up with the facts.
We had a friend who was a refugee from communist Hungary. He wanted to practice his religion. When he came to Australia, he was astonished. In his home town, the priests were actual social workers, the real Christianity of the dim and misunderstood European past. He went back to communist Hungary, rather than worship in Australia. All he could see were priests going through the motions; there was no Christianity as he understood it.
There are endless stories of religion failing to live up to its tasks. The religions are dying of themselves. They’ve polluted themselves with the very thing they were supposed to cure. When the Romans became Christianized, there was an exchange of values. The Christians became Romanized. The most corrupt, venal society passed on its genes to those least able to understand them, the (relatively) simple Christians practicing their then much less complex faith.
The great betrayals of religion
This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?
The pattern has repeated often enough. Martin Luther went to Rome, went back to Germany, and planted the Reformation in the minds of Europeans based on the corruption of Rome as he saw it. The Inquisition created its own worst enemies out of its centuries of injustice. The net effect of the two religious forces was a century of war.
There is not, and never has been, any Scripture which condones injustice. Injustice is a plague on this world which everyone knows all too well.
There is no Scripture which condones abuse of believers. How many believers of different religions are abused on a daily basis, either by deprivation of needs or actual physical abuse? Hundreds of millions, directly or indirectly.
There is no Scripture which permits the abuse of children. Now pedophiles are betraying the children of worshippers, and the churches cringe behind lawyers, rather than addressing an actual issue. This is now discovered to be a universal problem with many religions.
Jesus, Mohamed and Moses were opponents of tyranny, physical and spiritual. Now their religions support tyranny, act corruptly, uphold the miseries of human life, and demand respect? It’s not likely to be forthcoming. The message of hate is failing.
Perhaps fittingly the religions also betray themselves. It’s hard to imagine any more thorough way of bringing religion in to disrepute than the usual evasive business of every religion every day.
Where and when does it end? Soon enough, apparently. The religions are losing their believers, and their practitioners. There is no longer a use for beliefs which aren’t even practiced by their most fanatical adherents.
Maybe the hope which all these people have will come true. If so, it won’t be as the result of the maniacal hatreds promoted by the religions. It won’t be because some simpering coward in a cassock refused to see the truth. It won’t be because some damn animal uses god as excuse for atrocities.
The hope will come from recognition of the irreconcilable differences between the true messages of the religions and the vermin who pervert those messages. When the hopeful leave the rotting corpses of the religions and simply pursue their hopes, the religions, and their obscenities, will be truly dead.