Monday, April 5, 2010

Religious fraud

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There are religions around the world – such as the Catholic Church (in various countries), various mystic groups in India and sects in various countries which solicit money from people on the basis of fear, guilt or social pressure. These efforts involve subjecting people to public mocking or shame by compelling them to give money in private. Surely it would be more considerate and humble to actually give money in private, if only for the sake of the poor. Even for the rich. The idea of giving money in public can only lead to vulgar displays of wealth, for a religion which surely has monetary resources in abundance. Anything less simply looks like ‘cold hearted’ business. Are religion clergy the saints they are depicted as, or are they the worst form of manipulators?
What of paying penance to atone for your sins. Is that a legitimate practice? Why is it bad for people to be concerned by material wealth, and yet it seems to be the sole consideration for moral virtue in churches around the world. I wish I could say it is mastery of manipulation; but simply it is mastery over fools. We might well hear from religious leaders who condemn casinos for taking money from people who can ill-afford to lose it, and yet are the churches not going the same. Why would you seek a relationship with god if you did not need some material reciprocity, and would you not be peeved if you needed food, but only got advice from a clergy? The vice being: You have not got enough faith; keep searching, and it will come to you. You will finally meet someone who is as guilty as you. That is virtue? Well I do not doubt that there are other ‘true believers’ who would actually concede some material benefit so that these people may benefit. I have no doubt that reaching the bottom can only result in people seeing nothing but ‘blue sky’ ahead; most particularly in a welfare state where is really never was so bad, and where an adjustment of personal expectations can give one a lot of relief which one might interpret as a ‘gift from god’. Or is it simply we stopped wanting the intangibles?
Andrew Sheldon
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon