5/12/2012 | Share this article:By Carl S ~
As a True Believer, one’s worship and dependency on invisible supernatural forces restrained your goodness, as you spent time, labor, money in appeasing, pleading with, and most of all trying to ascertain the particular will of that deity for your life. You examined your motives and your relationships to others in that context. You examined your virtue in comparison to that of the examples of other 'holy' ones held up to you. You were involved in self-criticism based on beliefs you had been taught to be the most important matters in life. All of these things, if you notice now, are taught to be "Other- centered,” but are actually self-centered.
You invested your emotional needs in being involved with invisible power(s) you have no evidence for existing, as you traded control of conscience and open-mindedness for the assurance of those who peddle 'faith' and ’hope.‘
You invested your entire well-being as a free individual, in an assurance program payable AFTER you are deceased. (None of the "recipients" have given testimonies of reaping it‘s benefits.) Meanwhile, the sellers of this plan continually urge you to continue to make payments, which they collect. But, if you notice, those not in The Plan are no better off than those in, and no worse, either. They're not buying, not gambling. Nevertheless, the sellers are very persuasive in their trade of getting people to keep buying what they don't need.
A man I knew in the army was proud of his church. One day, in a discussion, he said, "My church is Christian. We threw away the Old Testament." Makes sense. But he didn't take what WizenedSage calls, "the next step," because if he really read the New Testament, he would have thrown that away, too. The very fact that when Christianity took power in the Roman empire, for the first time in history, members of the same religion persecuted and killed other members, should have ended it then. (And here you thought purges started with Stalin.) Investors in The Plan also silently support the past - were not all those evils for the "greater good" of God's kingdom and the reward of eternal payoff?
What would the world be like without the Plan? A world where houses of worship were converted to humanitarian purposes solely, where entertainment might even include hymns, spirituals, along with folk songs, rock, and comedy? Shelters for the homeless - all those spaces! What if an after-life nebulous, vaporous, invisible plan was shelved, replaced by a Make-A-Wish philosophy of life? Lives pointed away from personal "spirituality" to caring for and about others in toto. Religions demand one be unequally yoked between the demands of personal spiritual self- fulfillment and love for one's neighbor. This is frustrating for even the most committed of their adherents. It is unreasonable and self defeating. And it's no surprise that most believers reject some or most of these demands; the most sensitive leave with feelings of guilt, sadly.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation came about as a way for children with life-threatening medical conditions to have a wish fulfilled. This program has been successful for not only the children, but parents, siblings, friends, as well. A make a wish life stance says that this is the only life we will ever know, so let's do what we can to make each other's wishes come true, as long as no one else's life or liberty is interfered with or hurt. (This runs contrary to the denial of life and liberty religion supports in placing faith above those rights.) It means helping others to fulfill their potentials, to help eliminate suffering however possible. It is very life-affirming, positive, freeing from the futile petitioning to invisible, "supernatural" ghosts who do not do these things. Free from the Plan sellers, ghost writers for the Ghost or ghosts who are discontented, unappeasable by humans "as they are." The rewards are NOW in life: in the smiles and gratitude and knowledge that one has taken charge of one’s own life, as satisfying and fruitful. Every expenditure of time, money, conscience, goes to doing real and productive good. One escapes from the closet where the deity and self have resided, to the openness of getting out of oneself, depression, anxiety. Please realize that life is too important to be wasted on religion.
That last sentence will entice the question: So why do you, Carl, spend so much time dedicated to religion? I write not for but against religion, mainly because of the negativity it caused for those on this site, and to prevent more of it in the future. Let me explain.
Even the occasional readings of testimonies on this site over many months have led me to conclude something: The people who are damaged most by religions are sensitive individuals; sensitive to others, to justice, injustice, and to truth. Yet they have been damaged, humiliated, emotionally brutalized, sometimes by fanaticism, but usually by well-meaning believers who practice the traditional “ends justify the means” of indoctrination. Motivations notwithstanding, these traditions are despicable, immoral, and indifferent to truth. And the sensitive feel this, yet are taught to mistrust their feeling as evil or pride filled, and to obey their authorities. They are fed "truths" they are allergic to, that run against their sensitivities and sense of morality while everything lies there waiting to be vomited up (at which point they will be further debased and/or rejected, for their honesty). Tell me if I am wrong.
All indoctrinations are taken seriously by the sincere and trusting sensitives - and naturally, these don't work for them. It is the "tough" ones who survive intact, those potential soldiers of Christ or Allah or whichever current god is popular; authority gives them the outlets for indifference, justification for their prejudices. Still, others less "tough" mouth the words, don't take indoctrination so seriously even though the propaganda says that the raison d'etre is contingent on rituals and dogmas.
The sensitives who take indoctrinations most seriously suffer quietly, psychologically, emotionally, even to the extent of punishing themselves because they cannot adapt to the bullshit they've been fed! Think about this, though: It is the sensitive among us who make profound changes to society, who point out injustices, put themselves in the spotlight for justice and truth, who have us look at all aspects good and bad and in between that we weren’t aware of before their pointing them out. Faiths would blunt their keen edge, reduce their compassion, and have them accept intolerance with unquestionable obedience to an arbitrary authority. There is no respect for sensitivity in religions.
I write to ex-believers and those who might be so, to ask that you be true to your sensitive natures more than ever. I congratulate you for being so, in spite of the efforts against you which you have endured and continue to endure. Please continue to purge the poison out of your system and to help others to do so.
Religions are often defended as agents for good, ignoring the examples of damage to individual sensitivities and the destruction they caused in the past, and their meddling in our mutual social lives. My plan, like the Make-A-Wish approach, has its own faith, hope, charity, based on our mutual humanity and our needs. No dogmas, self-delusions. We have the power, not the salespeople for the invisible "powers." In fact, for your personal emotional well-being and that of others, God is an impediment.