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Five Things Religions Shouldn’t Do

I’ve been participating on the religious bulletins at amazon.com. There are some very intelligent people who hang out in the that forum, which I guess is not to surprising, as it is amazon. There are also some very dumb people. It’s quite fun!

All the discussions over there inspired me to write this amazing authoritative ideological masterpiece about what religions should not do. I know, I know, you can give me the Nobel Peace Prize later.

1) Holy War

Please, as a world, can we finally just decide that killing each other over religion is a really bad idea? These meme should not be difficult it spread, especially if the religious “Moral Majority” vocally denounce those in their group who advocate any type of religious violence.

2) Government

A good modern day example of why theocracies are a bad idea is Saudi Arabia. Christianity joined up with Rome within a few hundred years of its birth. Islam was a religion with political goals right from the start. Outside of that dynasties ruled as gods, going back to the earliest agricultural city-states. So the idea that religion should not be running governments is relatively new. There is a very good reason for this, though, and that leads to the next thing religions shouldn’t do.

3) Persecute

No religious group should ever persecute another religious group, ever, for any reason. Due to the traditionally hybrid nature of church and state, persecution of other religions became an excuse for invasion and war. See the genocide in Joshua for a pertinent example, but there are many others. But there is more to persecution than War. Ostracizing people, considering them second class citizens, telling them they are going to hell. You shouldn’t treat other people bad simply because they don’t believe your religion, or believe something weird. Persecution should not be allowed, including persecutions for religious reasons.

4) Science

Let’s face it, Science and Religion are always going too have an uneasy relationship. Myself, I’m a firm believer in NOMA. But it’s important to remember that the Catholic Church still has egg on its face for prosecuting Galileo. If fact, religion as a whole was discredited for that move, so they should be very careful when making claims that can be checked by Science. If you need an approximation of objective truth, use the scientific method. If you’re looking for meaning and purpose, philosophy and/or religion are your best bet.

5) Control Adherents:

I’ve been following the Anon vs. Scientology protests, and I’ve really been thinking about how much control people give to their religions. Many of them are so intertwined that it completely consumes their life, even coming before family and friends! In the “religious practices” meaning of the word, these behaviors mark the members of “cults”, where religious behavior is reflected in every single thing the adherent does, to reflect their complete devotion. This sort of control is NOT HEALTHY, and religions should not venerate this behavior, or require it. Other inputs are necessary to have a full and well-balanced view of the world.

We’d all be a lot better of if religions didn’t do these things. Anything else?


Primary Thoughts and Saudi Arabia.

Posted Date: January 10, 2008 – Thursday – 5:58 PM

Since Dick Cheney has decided to step down, we’ll soon decide who to elect in ’08, clown on the left or joker on the right? But first we’ve got to figure out who that clown and joker will be.

The big issues are Civil Rights, “The War”, National Debt, Oil, and Radical Religion. Since radical Muslims provoked this”War on Terror”, our National Debt has doubled and civil rights have seriously eroded. We are a few trillion dollars away from insolvency, with no end in sight on Iraq. We are at the Hubbert Peak, and still don’t have a good alternative to foreign oil.

Watching “The Kingdom” gave me a renewed interest in Saudi Arabia. This is a country where all these issues intersect, and yet you rarely hear it mentioned by presidential primary candidates.

The 911 terrorists were Saudi.
Saudi is the only dependable source of petroleum.
It is controlled by a radical religion
There are few civil rights, especially for women.

The oil crisis of ’73 was instigated by Saudi Arabia, until we brokered a deal with them. This should have been taken as a warning, but Carter was ignored (and he’s pissed, LOL). Now we are facing the same crisis, only it’s physical resources, not politics, and there will be no negotiation.

So we can reduce environment, energy, oil, WOT, and radical religion issues into one question: “Mr(s). Candidate, what is your position on Saudi Arabia, and our relationship with them?”

Obviously there is much more to it than that, but Saudi serves as an excellent lens to view these things through.

It is clear that money we pay Saudi Arabia makes its way through Islamic “charity” organizations and into the hands of terrorists. We are supporting our own destruction.

Saudi will not be able to continue the current output of oil, so alternative forms of energy are not an option, they are a requirement. As is energy reduction.

We have spent trillions of dollars chasing down a motley band of Saudi radicals. We instead find ourselves invading a country that had nothing to do with it.

The War On Terror has actually CREATED more terror than it has stopped, making the entire campaign part of the problem, not the solution.

Intending to keep us safe, our own government has suspended basic principles of civil rights. People distrust the Federal government more than ever, a reasonable reaction to their behavior.

All of these issues combine, like one big knot. Whoever we pick as the next CEO, he is going to have to deal with this, and I do not envy that person.

Young Iranian Bloggers

Posted Date: September 25, 2007 – Tuesday – 6:59 AM
Here’s an interesting link to a disinformation blog on the rise of youthful Iranian bloggers. It’s part of the blog series on their anthology “Everything You Know About God Is Wrong”

A ray of sunshine on this cold day. Many thanks to those crazy freaks at disinfo.