Thursday, 5 July 2012

Is organised religion the playground of the devil?

“16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
Proverbs 6

These were the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ as espoused by Solomon some thousands of years ago, but changes over the centuries have left us with envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. This list of do not’s, together with the ‘Ten Commandments’ list of do’s, was supposed to give us a set of rules that would make life richer and fairer for all. Unfortunately the organised religions of all countries seem to be breaking these rules on a daily basis. Now the transgressions cannot be hidden and Twitter spreads the news like wildfire.

The Roman Catholic Church is in the news again taking some of the heat off the Islamic Religions and the Church of Scientology. The Catholic hierarchy is accused of covering up the confessions of a paedophilic priest and moving him to a safe place instead of reporting him to the police as would be required under law. Hiding the truth is worse than telling a lie. The police are now considering prosecuting those involved in the cover-up.
“In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell
There is no doubt that within each organised religion there are pious men and women who seek to be a living example to those around them, let’s hope they are not demoralised by those not so pious. Unfortunately there are some who are affected by the power put into their hands and seek to take advantage of those that put their trust in them, I won’t elaborate on that, but leave it to your own experiences and imagination.

Many religions become wealthy using unethical methods and/or moral blackmail; others may require their believers to give 10% of their salary. Money is the root of all evil? Once the religion acquires wealth the leaders find that money gives them power and then power corrupts. Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887 was moved to write:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
There are many people that think organised religions are the Devils playground, some even write books about it. There is no doubt that many religions, east and west, act in a way that restricts human rights, and that some are worse than others, for example some religions have ‘religious police’ that make sure their members are towing the line. Have you sinned today?

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