Thursday, April 10, 2008

religion vs. faith

This is a very very first draft. I don't think it's super organized or coherent or inclusive of everything I would like to address, but feedback would be nice.

Hypocrisy in Contemporary Organized Religion
Why religion is obsolete in modern society

I must preface this with the statement that this is meant to be an outpouring of my own personal opinion regarding organized religion and the problems it poses on society. This is not meant to change anyone else’s beliefs concerning organized religion. This is not meant to be disrespectful, or sarcastic, or the answer to the world’s problems; rather, it should be considered with all seriousness and self-examination, hard as it may be to turn the light of criticism within yourself. For all intensive purposes, “religion” and “faith” are to be considered two completely different ideas, religion being a structure with a history, and faith being a personal exploration of one’s thoughts and hopes for the world and beyond.

The word “hypocrisy” automatically sends bristles up people’s spines when referred to in religion. In contemporary society, we are riddled with molestation, abuse, embezzlement, and fraud in all spiritual sects. Catholicism is an easy one to point fingers at, with a two thousand year history it is not difficult to find stray sheep amongst the millions of followers. Mormanism is in the spotlight right now with the discovery of hundreds of sheltered followers, virtually all who have been removed forcibly from society or without outside knowledge of culture and been brainwashed to perform acts of polygamy and pedophilia. In considering “brainwashing”, the Manson Family is also in the public eye with their seemingly obvious hypnosis and delusions of a worldwide overthrow, with their charismatic leader ultimately ruling the world as God, Man’s Son through ritualized slaughter.

None of these “religions” have anything to do with faith. Faith is a hope, a dream, a prayer, an idea, anything that opens one’s mind to a possibility, perhaps without reason or explanation. Religions are all very intimately similar, with their beliefs of a creation myth, rules for living a basically good life, and ideas of a life beyond this life. The only differences in the major religions and their sects are rituals and names, essentially. To those who believe that life on Earth is the end of the road, why do billions of people every day sacrifice themselves to a never ending assembly line of mindless, thankless tasks that make the world go round? If I truly believed that when I die, nothing remains beyond that, I would not be living my life in structured institutions that serve to better me as a person to be a constructive member of society. Karma dictates that any action one takes, they will receive an equal return of good/bad. Black/white. This is a very simplistic way of convincing people to be robots in a factory society.

Fear and laziness go hand in hand when discussing organized religion. Who gives man the power to declare saints and holy men? God? Many things are carried out in the name of God, and not all of them are for the betterment of the world’s condition. Does anyone really believe that the atrocities of the Children’s Crusade were necessary, and dictated by a loving higher power? Hindsight is always 20-20, yet we are unwilling to point a critical eye at ourselves. What’s done need not always be done. Laziness and apathy and fear of change have chained society to organization of faith and have virtually destroyed any remnant of actual faith that could possibly be left to experience. We are the walking dead. We are the zombies without choice or desire to experience a real emotion that comes from being an individual rather than an insignificant speck in an ocean of humans.

Ultimately one must realize that the leaders we have put in charge of our eternal salvations are human. The Pope himself was born from carnal relations between a man and a woman, was raised by parents, went to school, and lived a life before becoming the head of a regime with political and economic ties. There is no organized religion that has been able to completely separate itself from society without falling into the atrocities that a lack of society and basic human goodness provides. The argument that people need a support system to use fellowship amongst believers to deepen one’s relationship with whatever god they believe in is an obsolete notion that defines religion apart from faith. Everyone contains a spiritual well of sorts that experiences drought as well as overflow. It is up to the individual to discipline themselves into exploring and analyzing ideas that will ultimately lead them to enlightenment instead of relying on someone to make their decisions for them.

1 comment:

Micah Moves said...

wow, this is written so well! I really enjoy this topic so I look forward to reading your final draft. You are awesome, Beth!!