posted on Apr, 3 2011 @ 04:48 PM
As a former Christian, I have seen both sides, and I must admit that belief in God, does have some remarkably appealing psychological benefits. I
have come to suspect that the main appeal of religion is that it gives adults permission to live in a pretend world as if they were a child. Many of
us probably remember fondly when we believed in Santa Clause and would lie awake in our beds at night listening for his arrival on Christmas Eve. As
a adult Christian, I found myself anticipating Christ’s return in a similar way. However, I am convinced that this appeal is part of the formula
that leads to a form of enslavement. Sure, in most cultures, acceptance of religion is voluntary (if you are an adult), but it is based on false
promises. People think that they will be rewarded in the afterlife for good behavior in this world.
When I was a child, my father was a church custodian and he had his tithes subtracted directly from his paycheck, however, when we went to church on
Sunday, my mother still felt compelled to put money in the collection plate. Naturally, my father’s pay as a church custodian was rather small, and
my mother did not work, so we really could not afford to contribute twice to the church coffers. Eventually our poverty caused us to miss church
because we had nothing left to contribute. If the church is really concerned about the plight of the poor, why do they use collection plates which
put an almost irresistible social pressure on the poor to contribute?
I have also seen firsthand, how the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control in the Philippines has created such a large surplus of labor, that
the “rich” (rich in the Philippines, in most cases, would be equivalent to middle class in the U.S.) can have a live-in maid for the equivalent of
about $50 US per month (plus food and board). If a Filipino manages to get a 4 year degree in Commerce, they will be qualified to compete for store
cashier jobs that pay about $4 US per day. (After 6 months of employment they become eligible for government mandated benefits at which time they
have a high probability of being laid off.) Wouldn’t these be considered “slave wages”? (There are even doctors in the Philippines that
become nurses, so that they can get jobs overseas that pay more.)
In India, the Hindu based caste system also guarantees a supply of cheap labor, and since membership in a particular caste is not voluntary, this
seems to be a much more obvious form of slavery. And if American women were suddenly placed under the same rules as women belonging to Islam, how
would they describe their new position?
In my opinion, the rich and powerful, around the world, rely on religion as a means of control and therefore they do what they can to preserve it and
promote it (as long as it does not interfere with their own political desires), regardless of their own personal beliefs. (Communism became its own
form of religion, with the State playing the role of God, so conventional religions were seen as competition that needed to be eliminated.) As people
become more educated and have greater economic opportunity, religion begins to lose its grip and in order to survive, religions are forced to
liberalize their rules. These liberalized religions are more concerned with controlling the thoughts of it’s members, so they may serve a
political role, than controlling their actions, and therefore individual members fail to see themselves as slaves in any way.
And if believers are not slaves, then what role does worship play? If seeing his/her people on their knees in worship is what God requires, then what
kind of God is he/she? If you had the power to create living intelligent beings, would you want them to worship you? If I were a “god”, I would
be embarrassed to have people worship me and I would despise it, and yet every religion seems to require it. If a political leader requires worship,
he is considered a despot, but a god that requires worship is just being a god.