As one who has been deeply religious in the past, I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that religion as it exists today is a sham.
I have no problem with people practicing their chosen religion.
After all, I was once an evangelical Christian, inviting people off the street around to my house for Bible study. Spent years reading the Bible from cover to cover.
My view at the time was if you don’t follow the Bible and the word of God, you’re going to Hell. Period.
After years of studying the Bible, I’ve come to the conclusion that all that religion does is makes the people at the very top rich.
Most major religions own stocks, shares and land. The Church Commission, for example, (a body set up by the Church of England) manages an investment fund of some £5.2 billion, held mainly in property and shares)
And while I appreciate that of the major religions there is a token effort to maybe feed the poor and help the needy, religion seems to exist nowadays to make money – lots of it.
In the years I went to church, it was a given that you would put your hard-earned cash in the collection plate, the more the merrier.
My Church Elders lived in huge mansions and drove the latest cars.
No mention of how much they contributed.
It occurs to me that if you were a criminal, setting up a church would be an ideal way to launder money – dirty money gets “donated,” clean money comes out. Tax free.
As I immersed myself deeper into the Bible, I had questions – lots of them:
Why no mention of dinosaurs in the bible?
If Adam and Eve were the first humans on the planet, where did everyone else come from?
If the Great Flood wiped out everyone apart from Noah and his clan, how did they repopulate the earth?
If Jesus was nailed to the cross through his hands, would that have been enough to support the weight of his body? (There is a train of thought which suggests the Romans hammered nails in through the victim’s wrists. Nails through the hands would tear due to the weight of the human body)
In response to these questions, I was told that the Bible was not to be interpreted literally.
All you need is faith.
And presumably, money.
All religious institutions need money. Your money. Year after year after year.
I realize that buildings need to be maintained. Religious leaders aren’t teaching the Word of God for free.
Why should they, when willing flocks attending once a week provide plentiful tax-free funds?
Most of the people I speak to about religion profess to belonging to some religious group as a form of identity.
But when I ask what defines them as belonging to that particular religious group, their answers often fall flat.
Often membership of that particular group in their eyes doesn’t require them to attend any services or sermons at their particular religious institution, they don’t really read their particular Holy Book, and aren’t too hot on spreading the Word of their particular religion.
They are a Christian/Muslim/Sikh/Catholic/Protestant because they are. So there.
It also occurs to me when people try to justify killing and bombing other humans (often with the justification that God is on their side – George W. Bush? – ) or the well documented cases of priests interfering with children, if religion was truly believed and followed by people at the very top, none of these things would take place. Not with the true threat of eternal damnation to look forward to.
In closing, I respect everyone’s right to follow their chosen religion, if in turn they respect my right not to….
Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 2013.
All Right Reserved.