a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX
I disagree with the premise. In summary, you posit that religion is meant to make everyone calm, to place people in a stupor, within which nothing
I would argue that, depending on the particular belief system adopted, and how thoroughly that belief is assimilated into the mind of the individual,
a real religious experience can in fact enliven, energise, and motivate people to see what is broken in the world, and do whatever little they can to
mitigate the negative factors playing into life on this planet.
The other thing to remember, is that there is a difference between taking a religious belief to heart,operating every day of your life to the best
standard you can manage using the belief system you adopt to guide you though, and merely paying lip service to belief, and showing up at a place of
worship to be seen to go through the motions of belief, purely as a social exercise.
More than any other thing, false belief is toxic. When dealing with religious organisations, it is all too easy for a narcissist and a manipulator,
to twist a phrase, to quote out of context, and all to easy for such a person to gain power and place in an organisation, which allows them the
opportunity to mobilise a significant body of people, toward whatever end they might be able to con people into achieving. That end might be utterly
at odds with the gist, the thrust of the belief system they use to justify their ends, but will be used to justify them anyway.
This has happened to Christianity more times than I can count in its history, and is happening to Islam today, as well as all the other religions.
Essentially, the most important thing to remember about religious belief, is that holding a faith, believing in something, does not make a person as
bad as the worst excesses of the faith they hold, because almost invariably, those who are not in the news after blowing someone up, or stabbing
someone to death for holding a different belief than their own, are just getting on with things quietly, doing what they can to improve the lot of the
human race, by not being raging bastards all over the place.
That does not get anyone in the news. However, when ever someone does something awful because they have been conned into believing that one or
another deity requires it of them, that makes the headlines, sparks debate, and all of a sudden the xenophobia is flying in every direction, with
people fearing the faith and not the faithless, because they do not see the normal, free, peaceful and caring side of faith, but the rictus mask of
My personal faith is an accord between my self and my God, and because of the toxic nature of organised religion as it stands in the world, I cannot
accept the behaviour of a great many people who profess to share my faith. As far as I can tell, a great many people who say they believe in Jesus,
have absolutely no conception of what it really means to follow his footsteps as closely as they can, because for many, it is all about the Church,
rather than about the message which should be spoken within it.
I can only imagine that there are similar issues throughout religious circles, no matter what religion one cares to discuss. So remember to be clear
in your head about what you mean. Faith, held strong in the heart, does not placate, rather it motivates. It does not make things easier, but adds
layers of complexity to life.
It only fails to do these things, for people who have never really understood what it is for.