Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Catholicism is Pro-persecution
 
The most common form of religious persecution is people being punished for forming a new religion. A religion that opposes forced conversion may still persecute anybody who tries to contradict it and win followers from it.
 
Catholicism persecutes new religions by using social pressure to stop new religions appearing. It likes to condition people so that even if they hate every word that comes from the mouth of the Church, they will still go to the Church for weddings and funerals and baptisms and put down "Roman Catholic" on the census form.

Social pressure keeps religion and religious people from being as bad as they could be or as bad as they want to be.


CHURCH SPEAKS

 

The Christian Church in its Catholic and Protestant forms has ensured that in wartime, if you are an atheist, your conscientious objection does not matter and you will be conscripted. This poisonous and murderous decree is replicated in most countries of a Christian background. In the United States, the following definition of conscientious objection applied: "A firm, fixed, and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and/or belief." It is up up to the state to decide if a person is really sincere in their faith. And how do you prove a person really is firmly anti-war unless they have got chance after chance to fight but refused? So it is biased in favour of religious doctrine in that way. And there is no concern if your objection is ethical and not religious. It discriminates even against religious people if they do not base their objection on religious grounds but on ethical or humanitarian ones. The implication of the definition is that unless you go to Church regularly your objection to war means nothing and you must be compelled to fight. In fact ethical objections to fighting should be what matter in a secular state not religious ones. And it would mean that anybody could form a religion of one or two people to get out of fighting for a worthy cause.

 

St Augustine argued that killing heretics is not persecution but is punishment for they are guilty of a spiritual crime, heresy, that is worse than say violent crime or murder. The Church reasons that deliberately propagating error naturally leads to violence and trouble for it allows corruption and fear to arise. So if the heretic is non-violent he is still to blame for making violence and even murder possible. It seems then that any intolerant sect that uses Augustine's logic should not be accused of persecution. If Catholicism condemns persecution then let us not be reassured that it will never attack us. It might. The persecutor who does not see that he is persecuting and who sees himself as a punisher will be harder to correct than the one who does.

 

The theologian of the Catholic Church, St Thomas Aquinas argued that unbelief and sin keep you out of heaven and salvation and harm your soul. Thus unbelievers, he told us, need to be locked up and controlled in case they draw others away from God and keep them away. “They should be compelled by the faithful, if it be possible to do so, so that they do not hinder the faith by their blasphemies, or by their evil persuasions, or even by their open persecutions.”

 

Islam today is the religion most associated with the religious habit of forcing others to follow its rules and beliefs. In the past its intolerance was eclipsed by the machinations of the Roman Catholic Church which used fear and persecution to get converts and keep them. The Bible contains incitements from God towards violence and hatred and bloodthirstiness that surpass anything Islam has ever been accused of.

 

Christ, supposing he existed, believed he should walk into his crucifixion because of his faith that God wanted him to die.

 

The Catholic Church still claims to be infallible even though many of the times it used this infallibility in the past at councils of the Church were to encourage war against “heretics” and persecute them.

 

The Church always ordered Catholics what to believe and then at the end of each declaration of a belief it said, “Whosever denies this let him be anathema”. The apostle Paul used this formula in Galatians. It means not just accursed but to be extremely accursed. We see what the Church is really like. It pretends to oppose sins not sinners. It pretends to hate sin not sinners. But then why doesn’t it say, “Whatever shall contradict this belief, let it be anathema”? It puts the Anathema on the person.

 

The Catholic Church cannot condemn religious terrorism. Nobody can take its condemnations of religious violence and hatred seriously and maybe it doesn’t want us to. The Church today condemns totalitarian regimes. But no matter how secular such regimes are, the fact is that they are claiming to be somehow infallible. They are religious regimes because you need to claim supernatural help if you wish to make an infallible authority of your regime.

 

Religion by encouraging the idea of infallibility has to take responsibility for making people want to feel that such regimes are infallible.
 
Let the Roman Catholic Church speak:

 

Those who, simulating a kind of religiosity, condemn

 

—1. the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood,

 

—2. the baptism of children,

 

—3. the priesthood and other ecclesiastical orders, and

 

—4. legitimate marriages,
we expel from the church of God and condemn as heretics, and prescribe that they be constrained by the secular powers. We also bind up their defenders in the fetter of the same condemnation. Canon 23, SECOND LATERAN COUNCIL (1139)

 

We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy raising itself up against this holy, orthodox and catholic faith which we have expounded above. We condemn all heretics, whatever names they may go under. They have different faces indeed but their tails are tied together inasmuch as they are alike in their pride. Let those condemned be handed over to the secular authorities present, or to their bailiffs, for due punishment. Clerics are first to be degraded from their orders. The goods of the condemned are to be confiscated, if they are lay persons, and if clerics they are to be applied to the churches from which they received their stipends. Those who are only found suspect of heresy are to be struck with the sword of anathema, unless they prove their innocence by an appropriate purgation, having regard to the reasons for suspicion and the character of the person. Let such persons be avoided by all until they have made adequate satisfaction. If they persist in the excommunication for a year, they are to be condemned as heretics. Let secular authorities, whatever offices they may be discharging, be advised and urged and if necessary be compelled by ecclesiastical censure, if they wish to be reputed and held to be faithful, to take publicly an oath for the defence of the faith to the effect that they will seek, in so far as they can, to expel from the lands subject to their jurisdiction all heretics designated by the church in good faith. Thus whenever anyone is promoted to spiritual or temporal authority, he shall be obliged to confirm this article with an oath. If however a temporal lord, required and instructed by the church, neglects to cleanse his territory of this heretical filth, he shall be bound with the bond of excommunication by the metropolitan and other bishops of the province. If he refuses to give satisfaction within a year, this shall be reported to the supreme pontiff so that he may then declare his vassals absolved from their fealty to him and make the land available for occupation by Catholics so that these may, after they have expelled the heretics, possess it unopposed and preserve it in the purity of the faith — saving the right of the suzerain provided that he makes no difficulty in the matter and puts no impediment in the way. The same law is to be observed no less as regards those who do not have a suzerain.

 

Catholics who take the cross and gird themselves up for the expulsion of heretics shall enjoy the same indulgence, and be strengthened by the same holy privilege, as is granted to those who go to the aid of the holy Land. Moreover, we determine to subject to excommunication believers who receive, defend or support heretics. We strictly ordain that if any such person, after he has been designated as excommunicated, refuses to render satisfaction within a year, then by the law itself he shall be branded as infamous and not be admitted to public offices or councils or to elect others to the same or to give testimony. He shall be intestable, that is he shall not have the freedom to make a will nor shall succeed to an inheritance. Moreover nobody shall be compelled to answer to him on any business whatever, but he may be compelled to answer to them. If he is a judge sentences pronounced by him shall have no force and cases may not be brought before him; if an advocate, he may not be allowed to defend anyone; if a notary, documents drawn up by him shall be worthless and condemned along with their condemned author; and in similar matters we order the same to be observed. If however he is a cleric, let him be deposed from every office and benefice, so that the greater the fault the greater be the punishment. If any refuse to avoid such persons after they have been pointed out by the church, let them be punished with the sentence of excommunication until they make suitable satisfaction. Clerics should not, of course, give the sacraments of the church to such pestilent people nor give them a Christian burial nor accept alms or offerings from them; if they do, let them be deprived of their office and not restored to it without a special indult of the apostolic see. Similarly with regulars, let them be punished with losing their privileges in the diocese in which they presume to commit such excesses.

 

There are some who holding to the form of religion but denying its power (as the Apostle says) , claim for themselves the authority to preach, whereas the same Apostle says, How shall they preach unless they are sent? Let therefore all those who have been forbidden or not sent to preach, and yet dare publicly or privately to usurp the office of preaching without having received the authority of the apostolic see or the catholic bishop of the place", be bound with the bond of excommunication and, unless they repent very quickly, be punished by another suitable penalty. We add further that each archbishop or bishop, either in person or through his archdeacon or through suitable honest persons, should visit twice or at least once in the year any parish of his in which heretics are said to live. There he should compel three or more men of good repute, or even if it seems expedient the whole neighbourhood, to swear that if anyone knows of heretics there or of any persons who hold secret conventicles or who differ in their life and habits from the normal way of living of the faithful, then he will take care to point them out to the bishop. The bishop himself should summon the accused to his presence, and they should be punished canonically if they are unable to clear themselves of the charge or if after compurgation they relapse into their former errors of faith. If however any of them with damnable obstinacy refuse to honour an oath and so will not take it, let them by this very fact be regarded as heretics. We therefore will and command and, in virtue of obedience, strictly command that bishops see carefully to the effective execution of these things throughout their dioceses, if they wish to avoid canonical penalties. If any bishop is negligent or remiss in cleansing his diocese of the ferment of heresy, then when this shows itself by unmistakeable signs he shall be deposed from his office as bishop and there shall be put in his place a suitable person who both wishes and is able to overthrow the evil of heresy. CANON 3, FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL (1215).