1/09/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
Religious organizations and their leaders complain of the “war on religion” whenever they can't bully others into giving them what they want, even at a cost to everyone else‘s civil, moral, and human rights. Critics are accused of hating them, of being evil in opposing them. Indeed, judging by the reactions of religious spokesmen, whenever any person points out false propaganda perpetrated by clergy, or the contradictions and ridiculousness in their scriptures and dogmas (i.e., facts), that person is “making war on religion.” But, let's not forget, religions started the “war” in the ﬁrst place. And they keep it going.
War needs propaganda and trust, and not necessarily truth, to begin and continue the combat. In the religious wars, all's fair and the ends justify the means to advance the kingdom of God. Who created this idea, who is trusted, and whose interpretations of reality allow this tradition to continue? This begs the question: should we care, or should we just we accept the traditional that faith and trust such as this is harmless and a positive contributor to society? Or must we deal with the facts that such systems give reasons to oppose them?
What is called “faith” involves trust. Religious faith involves special trust - demands in which the believer wills himself to accept dogmas. But, if you believe blindly, and trust wholeheartedly, without evidence, whatever your clergy tells you as true, then you are willing to accept lies. If you insist on believing what may in fact be lies, and deny all access to facts, you need to be aware that there are consequences to believing - not only for yourself, but for others. My rights are threatened and denied as a consequence of your insisting that your beliefs are sacrosanct and unchallengeable by reason and evidence; beliefs you refuse to consider with regard to truth in the ﬁrst place. (And you expect to be respected for this?)
There are consequences:
Whenever a young woman dies unnecessarily in a hospital because of the unquestioned, therefor unopposed, beliefs of that hospital's denial of a life-saving abortion to her, that is the consequence for an innocent woman.
When a woman is denied essential healthcare needs because faith-based lawmakers have taken them away, she, the innocent, pays the consequences, sometimes with her life.
Any time lawmakers allow their uninvestigated, blind beliefs to override and deny rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice to others, by continuing to give irrational, unsubstantiated, superstitious beliefs their loyalty and immunity from criticism, then innocent people suffer as a consequence.
When a man, believing what his clergy taught him, unquestioningly, without evidence, brought that indoctrination to real life and applied their belief-insistence (that god talks to people)in order to create an actual war in Iraq, thousands of innocent civilians died as a consequence.
Whenever authority-figure men of God are immune from inquiry or investigation, then they are not subject to checks and balances, and their absolute faith corrupts absolutely. Whenever their words are held sacred, accepted blindly and willingly, there is the danger that innocent children will suffer, and have suffered, as a consequence.
Innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered in Rwanda, urged on by the trusted clergy.
When the Catholic Church exercises its “faith” in Africa, where the faithful have been indoctrinated from childhood to believe whatever it teaches, and follow as sheep refusing to use condoms, millions of innocents suffer and die from STD’s as the consequence.
In an entire country raised to respect authorities who were as unchallengeable as its clergy, a leader lied to its citizens about the Jewish people. He was believed and trusted because they wanted to believe him without evidence. Positive information about the Jewish people was suppressed as information not in agreement with the “truths” the churches had been teaching for centuries in that country. Millions of innocent men, women, and children suffered and died horribly as a result. These too are the consequences of the same revered religious tradition of accepting authority on faith, entrusted in its spokesmen.
When a faith-based organization is exempted from national laws every other organization must obey, citizens may be prejudiced against in employment because of their differences of faith or non- faith. And every time churches ﬂaunt the laws in order to force their agendas and get away with it (as in promoting political candidates), they are privileged above the citizens who do not enjoy tax-exempt status.
Whenever televangelists, with their “authority,” and “faith healers ,“ con money from the poor, and any time priests offer prayers for cash, the “ faith” entrusted in them has consequences for the gullible.
And every time a girl is genitally mutilated according to a faith-tradition, she undergoes needless, poisonous suffering in her lifetime, even death, as consequences of her mutilator’s trusting, unquestioning, obedience.
Every time blind faith trumps the reasoning and evidence which are necessary to ﬁnd truths, there are consequences. The costs are too high. One must not allow them to go unchallenged. In spite of the fact that some may have their comfort zones of belief disturbed and their faith-doors rattled.
Because there are so many individuals who prefer their addictions, and refuse to consider the damage that their respect for “unquestionable” dogmas can lead to, others do suffer.
The addiction to and respect for religions is continually disrupting education, critical thinking, rational discourse, our legal system and our human rights. Its intransigence is blocking progress in our entire society. These are the consequences for everyone.
These are facts, not faiths. And these facts alone are very good reasons to war against religion.
Any other examples you can cite on this subject, are most welcome.