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?

Patrick H
Gormley


Religion acts like a political entity and is a political entity
 

FOREWORD

 

If religion is about some kind of idolatry or addiction to religious ideas, a spiritual fantasy, then what stops it falling apart in a free-for-all?  When there is no reality check you don't know what tomorrow will bring.  So religion handles this by causing an addiction - perhaps a mild one at times.  And it handles it by being parasitic on politics.  Believers need some kind of validation from politicians and then if the religion is powerful enough the politicians will need some degree of validation from religion. The religion does good works to get the political validation and clout. That is nothing to celebrate for politics is rarely decent and honest. That is why praising the social work of a religion involves the risk of validation and strengthening a political-religious arrangement. Religion gets its power to persist largely from the corrupt and vile political world. If religion is good this is certainly not good.  No matter what religion is, we cannot become part of the support mechanism.

 

Where you have anything at all you have politics in some form or another.  Where there is no religion there will be politics. So religion then to remain in power and to stay in existence must have some supportive relationship with politics and/or politicians.  Religion needs politics but politics does not need religion as much!  Being a person of religion means  having some sort of relationship with politics.

 

Religion is a huge ideology for it tends to persist and specific forms will not go away. This causes a marriage with politicians in some way for they want to use this persistence, this refusal to disband and let the religion die, for their own ends.  It is good sense - if a system of belief that forms a community is going to be around then form enough ties with it so that you can travel with it and use it.

 

RELIGION IS WEDDED TO FILTHY CORRUPT POLITICS


Page 123,124 of Mere Theology by Alister McGrath states that historian Martin Marty found five characteristics that show when something is a religion. Marty said that politics has these features as well. McGrath then says that if religion harms then so does politics. But he says we need not worry. The problem is not with religion or politics but fanaticism. He points out that you get fanatics in politics and in religion and even in atheism!
 
The fanatical politician will be seen as psychologically disturbed. He will see himself as being disturbed. It can easily be proven to him that he is going too far.
 
The fanatical religionist is different and far more dangerous. For him, his convictions are not based on natural things but on revelation from God. He has another source of knowledge. It is individual to him. He is immune to any reality check barring a reality check on the beliefs of some others.
 
Even the likes of Florence Nightingale would be a fanatic if her belief was, "The evidence I have for my faith is not the evidence of this world but the evidence given by the Spirit of God present in my heart and testifying to me." Her attitude is extremist even if her outward behaviour is beyond reproach to atheist and believer alike.
 

 

Christianity bears the marks of politics, takes account of it and fitting in with it and is the creation of politics (Catholicism is created by the Roman Empire) which is why as Martin Dillon's book God and the Gun tells us its clerics to terrifying degree are pro-violence. Politics is inherently about fear. Fear is the Politician and the political partyís fundamental emotion. Fear gives birth to and accelerates other negative feelings such as envy, jealousy, greed, anger and disgust. For example you fear Person X. Then this leads to you being angry with how you fear Person X. Anger tends to run away with itself so soon you get angry at Person X and everybody who is nice to X.

If religion keeps away from politics it will not last and it would be suicidal. Religion has to wed politics and that is what makes it dangerous.  You cannot separate religion from politics for religious people are political and they are political with the religionís endorsement or tacit permission.  Such endorsement or permission is itself political.

 

What does a religion do?  Maybe that is too narrow.  It is more important to ask what kind of ideology it represents.  An ideology is an idea or set of ideas that people act like they are addicted to.  How can you tell when something is ideology?  The hatred you get when you challenge it, and how its followers don't tell you the full story, and how they try to silence you (one way to do that is to put what they say beyond the realm of testing) and how they treat complicated matters as if they were simple (eg abortion is reduced to "The unborn person has a right to life" which ignores the countless different circumstances that make abortion a morally neutral or a wise decision).  We know people would die for the stupidest and most dangerous ideologies.  Ideology has risks so is it worth having religious ideologies?  No - for surely there are enough of ideologies that are not religious!

 

A serious and organised religion will:

 

- Filter information and lie and tell-half truths and thus manipulate the people just as politicians do and they are no example for the politicians they breed

 

- end up with leaders to speak for it who will be sought after by politicians and monarchs.  They will be recognised leaders even by non-believers. Thus they get influence in the nation

 

- Help people feel enough and sense enough that their lives are valuable to them and others and God and if it seems to deter suicide that is of grave importance to the state for it is the citizens who are being protected

 

-Be organised in such a way that it gets political attention and intervenes directly or indirectly or both in politics

 

-Keep up charities and hospitals and schools etc

 

- Not respect the separation of Church and state.  The law of the land may consider religion's views of ethics and what the law should do.  Some religious policy makers hide the fact that their religion is influencing them.  Religion always comments on politics despite telling politicians to keep its  nose out of its business

 

- Strongly assert and support its idea of family life

 

- Puts social responsibilities on people and gets them ostracised or pressured if they will not comply.  Social pressure leads to political pressure and is indeed a part of it.

 

- Controls social customs such as no work on a Sunday and rites of passage and even how women dress

 

Here are our concerns:

 

Many people worry about organised religion full stop for being organised means it has power and the state even if secular will take notice.  If the religion is man-made then it has no right to the power for it takes it on the basis that it is the truth and the truth is good for us.

 

If you dislike organised religion then organised state religion is a bigger headache for you.  A state religion carries the marks of being a political power.  In England not too long ago being baptised Anglican gave you special rights while "dissenters" were persecuted and downgraded.  A state religion that is one no longer still carries the marks of a political force and seeks to hold on to whatever power it has.  Catholicism and Protestantism tend to manifest as state Churches. 

 

Religion might call itself the family of God or the kingdom of God or something else ethereal but it lives and functions like a society and societies impact on society which involves politics. Religion is a social entity and cannot avoid doing something to politics. It cannot live in a non-political vacuum.
 
Politics is doubtlessly the root of all evil. The root never looks that bad until the poisonous plant appears.
 
Even when politicians do good, there is a catch. People can kill each other over who owns a country that is little more than rocks and shrubs. Religion if it is a form of politics is therefore bad and dangerous as well. But it is worse in the sense that politics is a necessary evil but religious politics is not.
 
Religion often denies it gets involved in politics. Then the next thing it tries to use faith and religion as an excuse for urging you to vote a certain way. Catholicism says you cannot vote for pro-abortion candidates.
 
Religion plays the ethics card when it wants the state to sanction its idea of morality.
 
Religion expects its politician members to bring their faith into the government chambers.

 

Politics and religion both lie the absence of war is peace

 

Politics inherently is the lie that the absence of war is peace. It takes advantage of the people and the people cannot see that peace is deeper than that!

 

Christianity will see war as the absence of peace in the light of the doctrine that God is so good that evil is not real but is just good in the wrong place and time.  Evil is just good that lacks something.  Evil is the absence of good.  Health is not just the absence of sickness.  What use is having no sickness?  You want to feel wonderful as well!  Health is both the lack of sickness and on the positive side, a sense of wellbeing.  Peace is more than just a condition of non-violence or the absence of war. It is more than just not being at war. Seeing peace that way means that even when violence happens it is only a symptom of an illness that is there. It is not the problem but the sign of the problem.  This prevents diagnosis and softens the opposition to war that it deserves.  Its subtle permission.  Its lacking hope of real peace.  That sense of war being inevitable is too negative and hinders real peacemaking and conditions society and the next thing predictably it ends up at war.  It prevents proper healing in the aftermath of war.  We see now why any peaceful believers in God must be held to blame in some way for bloodshed.  They add to the problem and denying makes them a thousand times more culpable.