Some of The Terrors of Organized Religion Throughout History:
Written 1990 - 2011
by: David Rich

   

What is my hammer you ask?
I understand how it is very important to first understand the author's motivations. To see what their 'hammer' is, so you can read between the lines, and hopefully weed out that sort of personal agenda in order to find the unbiased value in what they have written. Don't get me wrong, I am a spiritual person and do my best to live an honest and ethical life.  I just have a problem with most any organized religion of any substantial size group. I realize that most people are too lazy to think for themselves, so there plenty of slick talkers who feed off the need of these many who would rather be spoon fed their religion like mindless sheep. Told what is right and wrong, or just what to believe. You can see my Business Integrity Awards from the Better Business Bureau, and read our web pages on Ethical Responsibility and Our Path to get a better feel for who I am and where I am coming from with all this.

Actually, I was raised a Mormon in Utah and was all into it and even submitted to do baptism for the dead in the Ogden Temple. I was ordained a Priest before I saw the light of how screwed up this all was. They put a lot of pressure on young men to go on a mission for 'The Church' to dedicate 2 years of their life full time, but I could not seem to find the passion to make sure everyone became a Mormon to be saved. I felt if a person lived a good life, yet was not baptized in the LDS faith they would not be punished for it.

Since then I've seen how the LDS Faith does not have the answers. Most of the people I know still wrapped up in The LDS Faith are miserable. Pretty much everyone I saw would take the sacred sacrament each week, even though it would be blasphemy if they didn't deeply contemplate his sacrifice and the wrongs they've done and intend to make amends and permanent changes for the better. I was pretty certain most of them were not doing this. Just going through the motions and not wanting to stand out, making people wonder why they didn't partake of the sacrament (which was actually based on a psychedelic mushroom ritual dating back before Adam & Eve). I also felt it was wrong seeing the strong women of my life willingly subjugated by men of 'The Church' as sub-human. The whole curse of the black people also seemed messed up as well.

It has taken me decades to sift out the bogus Church influences, but I feel I have healed nicely. I have come to realize there is no Hell or Devil type character to influence us to do evil. That is just our own selfish and inconsiderate choices. We shouldn't place the blame elsewhere. I am sure you would find the book Journey of Souls quite illuminating. A whole lot more than the Book of Mormon. The fear of Hell was just conjured up as a way to better control the masses so they would not rebel against their unethical rulers.

Case in point: It is no secret that our history was primarily written by the winners. You can bet that if we were to hear the other side's slant on what happened, it would sound quite different. The only thing that is relevant is the truth, but when the facts often cannot be ascertained. Historians need to focus their study on the psychology of what the motivations were on both sides of any conflict to determine what really happened back then and why. Without the 'why' there is little relevance. The outcome is only the product of the most cunning and ruthless that prevaled. By their own recent admissions, those in control of the Bible were not held to strict ethical standards through the ages, and if you factor in the greed and hunger for world domination, it puts a whole different slant to what has become our history. Which is the only reason we are in many of the predicaments we are in now.

I would have thought my personal ideals of ethical responsibilities had come largely from my strict Mormon up-bringing in Utah, but I have sadly found that few Mormons can compare to my sense of ethical responsibilities.  I was jaded to Mormon Doctrine in my later teens and have fought to eradicate their blatant misogynistic teachings. A recent book titled: 'Journey of Souls'  written by Michael Newton Ph.D. clearly shows how most organized religions are far from the mark of the universal truths of life and the spirit realm. That book also helps give us an unbiased better understanding to the purpose of life. It does not give the impression that there is a need for organized religion in our lives.  About the only thing that matters in life is the personal contract we made for ourselves with our higher wisdom, for the things we want to do and learn in this life, with the help of our spirit guides who are here to gently keep us on track.

To be blunt, I feel that enough people have been abused, robbed, tortured, and killed in the name of 'God' to last an eternity.  This last Millennia has been an atrocity of carnage in the name of God and continues to this day.  I think it is time for a new era. I am hopeful for us, entering the new Aquarian Age for this new millennia.

What is Your Guide for Life?
We all know how the Christian Bible is a guide for many people through out the world. We should keep in mind that it is just a set of words written by mere mortal men that was selectively compiled by a different group of politicians over a hundred years after JC was killed. I can only hope there are not many naive enough to believe it was actually written by 'God'. Even if the original authors had some inspiration and the best of intentions, those words have been translated, altered, and reorganized in such a way over the centuries to be intentionally manipulated to serve a different purpose that the original text. Another case in point is how the term 'Satan' means human adversary or enemy and the term 'Devil' means the temporal desires of man. Has this not been perverted by religious scholars to inspire fear in us of a supernatural being? This web site goes into a more concise detailed explanation of these statements:

http://christadelphianals.org/do_you_believe_in_a_devil.htm

I am not claiming to be a Bible Scholar, but this is quite clear in the simple fact that there are several different versions of the bible out there. Some versions tell of Adam's first wife Lilith. The whole book of Enoch was removed from most versions. I could go on and on, but I would rather not. How could a person find the parts that had not been altered? If so, would those parts have much relevance; hence the reason it was not altered over the millennia?

As to a map metaphor; would you follow a map that we all knew was intentionally designed to mislead us? At least when I read a sci/fi book, there is no delusion that this is a work of fiction. At best it is just displaying some good psychology for us to decide if those philosophies have any value we want to try to implement into the real world over time.

When I use a map, I expect the creator to have made it as accurate and true as possible. Without some hidden agenda of course. Any large corporation could write an advice book for life in general, but we would not expect it to be written unbiased. If a certain pharmaceutical company wrote this guide for life, you can bet it would lead people to a dependency on their products. No matter how well and clever it was written, that is their only true motivation. Without a tight set of accuracy and ethics a map would be useless.

My ex-wife once asked why we were not given an owner's manual with our bodies. After a while, I responded with "We were. It is our conscience, amongst our set of sensors. If we only choose to listen". Some would work to suppress their conscience in order to survive with all the nasty rotten things they do to their fellow man out of selfishness or just a lack of empathy and consideration for others. If not, it would surely drive them to madness.

I would like to think we all have a conscience. While in the outer dimension, when the conscious mind and our subconscious is joined (or in other words when the heavenly veil is lifted as some would prefer to say), our conscience is no longer able to be suppressed. I feel this would be like what they describe as the fire and brimstone we will have to endure for eternity if we choose to harm others.  I suspect we are then able to see the aura of those we hurt, offended, or took advantage of. We will see how deeply our victims were wounded by our actions, or lack of action. To have complete recall in intimate detail. I feel sorry for those individuals who have chosen that path.

Then there is the Wiccan Rede: 'An it harm none, do what you will'. This is to mean that you are not to harm yourself as well.  I do not profess to have a great divine knowledge of the world's path in the coarse of our evolution, but where it comes to my personal life, I feel I am fortunate enough to be guided by a higher source. I do not desire to be a leader or a guide for others, since it was written that the “Devil” will deliver 99 truths to be able to slip in that one lie. How would we know for sure just whom we were working for. With those odds, most chances are that you would not be working for the divine being you had intended to. But since there is no such thing as Satan, we have the added responsibility to own our faults and indiscretions, and not blame it on “the devil made me do it".

As I explained to my kids, “God may be the father of your mind (Spirit, Soul, what have you) and I am the father of their body”. I figure that was about all they need to know on this subject. All the other answers are within you, just as long as one is willing to be in tune with their conscience.

There are several hundred different organized Christian Religions through out the world. They often profess to be the only "true Church".  That all the other churches are so far off from the truth that they are demonic in nature.  Assuming that there was one of these churches that really did happen to get it right, and could manage to maintain this truth for more than a few months, the chance of finding that one church with a life time devoted search is like looking for a needle in a hay-stack. I suggest that needle may not even be in that hay stack, so why waste your time searching for someone else to hand you all the answers. Wake up from that long sleep you have been walking through.

In many cases church has become little more than a social gathering, where they may talk a good deal about theology, but actually have a rather small awareness of the sprit realm, if any. For many it is nothing more than a place to gain status and business contacts, or even used as a closet swingers club. Not up-front adultery though, but more about tawdry cheating in secret. Then there is the sick and twisted dogma they spit out with the bad examples of their church leaders. All one needs to examine is the works of the people in these organizations to see the perversions within.

Alternative to Organized Religion?
I do not profess to be an authority of religious studies, but from my limited experience; they are not all that God-like. At least not the God I am willing to honor. There are different forms of pagan, or nature-based theology which were around before the time of Adam, that were systematically weeded out and suppressed throughout this last Millennia. If it were not for Lady Tia, I may not have taken Paganism seriously, as all I had seen of it was the young bitter goth sects, and from all the bad press, the media. It did not seem to fit with my spirituality and ethics, but now I feel comfortable in it's actual theologies. Yes, that would mean I am a witch, or "wise one" as that word actually means

(see Lady Tia's Wiccan web pages for more details).

One of the best aspects of Paganizm; is how there is not a set of leaders who would profit from lots of followers, and there fore motivated to promote expansion through proselytizing this faith. Paganizm will not have missionaries going door to door, since it is clearly not for the masses who need to be spoon-fed their religious doctrine. Those who look into it need to study all they can and to make their own experience. Few people it would seem have that sort of aptitude and drive. I see any spiritualism as enhancing one's psychic abilities to become more in tune and aware of our universe that is not so visible and tangible.

There is a common outcome for people who have had near-death experiences. Those who were career-driven and motivated by success and money seem to loose that drive and focus more on family and friends. That to me is more the word of God that anything ever written.  We need to try and tap into that sort mentality without the advantage of having gone through this reminder of what we are here for.

For more good books to feed your soul, I recommend anything written by
Richard Bach, Robert A. Heinlein, Star Hawk, or James Redfield.


'I believe we are all one connected through divine energy, so to hurt others is to hurt ourselves'

10 Myths Many Religious People Hold About Atheists, Debunked
Atheists are moral, loving and multicultural, and you might even find them in foxholes.
September 13, 2011 By Amanda Marcotte

In a regular poll conducted by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell on American political attitudes, atheists recently lost their spot as as the most disliked group in America to the Tea Party. Still, number two is simply way too high in the unpopularity rankings for a group of people who just happen to spend Sunday mornings in bed instead of in church. Polling data shows that nearly half of Americans would disapprove if their child married an atheist and nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t see atheists as sharing their vision of American society, numbers that outstripped similar prejudices toward Muslims and African Americans.

Of course, the real reason atheists are so hated has little to do with jealousy for all their free time, but largely because most Americans are better acquainted with myths than with the realities of atheists' lives. Unfortunately, atheists often have these myths tossed in their faces, usually by believers who would rather talk about what they heard atheists are like rather than uncomfortable subjects such as the lack of proof for any gods.

These myths do more than hurt atheists. They also harm the basic religious freedoms of all Americans, regardless of their beliefs. Religious freedom and tolerance don’t mean much if they can’t be expanded to include those without religion. With that in mind, here’s 10 of the ugliest myths about atheists, debunked:

1) There are no atheists in foxholes. There are many variations on this myth, but the basic idea behind it is that atheism is a luxury of the problem-free, and as soon as they feel fear or weakness, atheists will run straight into the arms of religion. This myth irritates atheists, because it tries to make a virtue out of preying on people’s weaknesses in order to sell them a lie. If you heard a marketer brag that he targets people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal illnesses because they’re easier targets, or a guy say he likes to cruise funerals because grieving women are easier to pick up, you’d think that person had no morals at all. But targeting people in moments of weakness to sell them religion is regarded as a normal and even virtuous strategy for proselytizing.

Beyond concerns about manipulation are the concerns about accuracy. Believers argue religion offers unique comforts to people in fear or pain, but what many atheists realize is that religion often provokes more anxiety and fear than it soothes. If we accept that God is all-powerful, as many religions claim, then it’s like being in an abusive relationship that can’t be escaped for eternity; a relationship with a God who will throw us into hell for not fearing him and who allows horrors like the Holocaust to happen. Many religious teachings aren’t actually that soothing at all if you take a step back and look at them clearly. For atheists, believing that evil is more an accident of nature than something imposed on us by an inscrutable supernatural being is the far greater comfort than any prayer could be.

2) Atheists are just angry with God. Atheists often point out the logical inconsistencies of many religious beliefs---such as the belief both that God is all-good and all-powerful, but he somehow also allows evil to exist---and believers use that to conclude that atheists are angry with God. We aren’t. You can’t be angry with a being that you don’t believe exists. I’m no angrier with God than I am angry with Zeus or the aliens that keep kidnapping drunks sleeping in their cars. Anger with religions for promoting false beliefs isn’t the same thing as being angry at the being that believers invented.

But I also have to quarrel with the very notion that a person’s arguments can be dismissed because of anger. Smugly accusing someone of anger doesn’t do anything to discount the content of the argument. I’d argue that people who see vile behavior in the name of religion and don’t get angry are the ones who have something wrong with them.

3) Atheists are aggressive and rude. This myth has been around in various forms for a long time, but it really took off after the rise of “New Atheism,” which focuses its energy on disproving religious claims instead of merely pleading for tolerance of atheists. This myth only persists because belief is unconsciously privileged over atheism, causing people to believe it’s somehow ruder for an atheist to say, “I don’t believe in God and here’s why” than for a believer to intrude in your personal space with pamphlets, attack people when they’re feeling low with religious claims, knock on your door to proselytize, or force your children to recite religious language in school. Objectively speaking, believers commit transgressions against good manners far more than atheists. But atheist arguments tend to disturb believers more than arguments for God disturb atheists, so atheists get an unfair reputation for being rude, even when they are merely outspoken or unapologetic.

4) Atheism is a white dude thing. It’s easy if atheism makes you uncomfortable to write off atheism as the hobbyhorse of a tiny minority of men with overly high opinions of their own intelligence. That men such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins get most of the media attention devoted to atheism only reinforces this myth. If you scratch the surface, however, you’ll see that the ranks of outspoken atheists have far more women that the media would let on. Atheist blogger Jen McCreight grew so tired of this myth that she compiled an extensive list of prominent female atheists such as Susan Jacoby, Rebecca Watson and Lori Lipman Brown. Greta Christina followed up with a list of prominent atheists of color, such as Debbie Goddard, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Hemant Mehta. Women are specially targeted for religious oppression around the world, so of course, many of us will be open to arguments against the legitimacy of religion.

5) Atheism is just a faith like any other. You occasionally see agnostics trot this one out, as well. The idea is that arguments for and against the existence of any gods have equal value, but it’s simply not true. The logical position toward an extraordinary, supernatural claim is skepticism until proof is offered, and so far none of the thousands of gods that have been claimed to exist throughout history have lifted a finger to prove themselves. In fact, most believers grasp this for themselves; they automatically disbelieve all religious claims except their own, barring actual proof that never produces itself. Atheists just do religious people one better, and make no exceptions for a religion because it happens to be the one we were raised in or convinced by friends to convert to.

I always flinch in embarrassment for the believer who trots out, “Atheism is just another kind of faith,” because it’s a tacit admission that taking claims on faith is a silly thing to do. When you’ve succumbed to arguing that the opposition is just as misguided as you are, it’s time to take a step back and rethink your attitudes.

6) Atheists don’t have a moral code. Atheist are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of hell. Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear you saying that the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from. This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority.

If anything, atheism correlates to better behavior on average. Atheists are under-represented in prison, for instance, and more religious nations have higher rates of violent crime, teen pregnancy, early adult mortality and even abortion. But setting the numbers aside, we can see that even religious people generally believe that morality exists outside of religion. After all, most religious people condemn people who commit acts of evil in the name of religion. If religiosity were the measure of morality, terrorists who murder in the name of God would be more moral than atheists who pay their taxes and give to charity. You’ll find few believers agreeing that a murderous terrorist for God is a better person than a nonviolent atheist, showing that believers grasp that morality doesn’t come from religion, but that we can measure religious claims against our pre-existing understanding of morality.

7) Atheist lives are bleak and lack meaning. Those in the atheist activist community find this one particularly insipid, because we so often deal with people who suffered religious abuse and were only able to find peace by abandoning religion. There’s really no reason to believe that happiness and fulfillment come from a supernatural place, or else believers would have no need for fulfilling work, loving families, friends, and hobbies, since their spiritual beliefs would suffice. Most atheists actually find our lack of belief in a supernatural being makes it easier to fill our lives with meaning and joy. Since we don’t believe in an afterlife, many of us find ourselves more motivated to make the most out of the time we do have instead of looking to the next life to make us happy.

8) Atheists are hedonists who don’t understand the true meaning of love. As an open reproductive rights supporter, I’ve certainly faced my share of believers accusing me of being an atheist so I can simply indulge my sexual appetites and avoid some abstract true meaning of love. It is true that one of the benefits of being an atheist is that you’re no longer crippled by religious phobias that assume that sexual fulfillment and real love are mutually exclusive, but that certainly doesn’t mean atheists don’t feel genuine love. I suspect some Christians enjoy making high-minded claims about feeling deeper love because they know there’s no way to measure their claims. But the higher divorce rates in more religious states don’t bode well for claims that sexual purity and Christianity make love deeper and truer.

9) Atheists have no way to cope after losing loved ones without the belief in an afterlife. The belief that religion has sole ownership over death is so ingrained that it often causes believers to behave in inappropriate ways toward grieving atheists, using the occasion of a loved one’s death to try to coax us into taking up religion. Some believers who do this are openly predatory, but some mean well, and simply can’t imagine how atheists cope without telling ourselves pretty stories about an afterlife. Atheists have every right to be skeptical of the argument that belief in the afterlife quiets the pain of grief. After all, many religions teach that the dead person could be burning forever in hell, which can cause far more anxiety than relief.

I imagine the nothingness of death is much like the nothingness that existed before birth. Believing in the afterlife seems to have more to do with the egos of the living than concerns about the dead, and by letting go of the need to make the end of someone else’s life about your own fears of death, many atheists can focus on working through the grief in a healthy way. So please, believers, don’t use the death of loved ones as an opportunity to proselytize.

10) Atheists are out to destroy Christmas. It’s September and so this myth is relatively quiet, but it tends to come out every year after Halloween, to accompany Christmas decorations going up. For Fox News, ratcheting fears about a “war on Christmas” has replaced caroling as the annual holiday ritual. It’s all very silly. Atheists don’t oppose ritual or holidays. Most atheists in America tend to see Christmas as a mostly secular holiday celebrating family that can be turned into a completely secular holiday with a few minor tweaks. Even the few atheists who don’t celebrate Christmas at all certainly have no plan to make war on the holiday, beyond simply requesting that the government obey the First Amendment by not promoting Christianity above other beliefs, no matter what time of year.

In my experience, non-believers have some of the best Christmas celebrations around. You can get a tree and decorate it in punk rock style, or put up a pro-atheist sign in your yard surrounded by festive Christmas decorations. My family tends to prefer all-night poker games for Christmas instead of going to Christmas mass--all the family togetherness, but with less boredom. Or you can choose to have “Christmas” in July and save yourself the expense and headaches of holiday travel.

Debunking these myths about atheists in print can only do so much to quell believer fears about the supposed atheist menace. Even better would be for believers to find themselves an atheist, and instead of simply attacking them with these myths in an effort to frustrate them into submission, instead get to know them better. You might find they’re basically like everyone else, except more rested on Sundays and less afraid that invisible beings are judging them for masturbating.

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