Sunday, May 29, 2011
Printed by permission from Author Gino Montessi - RELIGION a series published on the Examiner.com
Religion and Society
The world is full of wretchedness, of which, according to many religions, you are the cause.
Therefore, I will hold you responsible for the tumor that you’ve blighted us with. A tumor that is cancerous, swelling at a rapid pace, disfiguring human minds. A tumor diagnosed as religion.
You have somehow turned religion, something that is supposed to be good, into an evil institution. I believe that is your greatest victory against God, since I highly doubt he would want such a thing to exist. That is of course, if either of you is real.
One of the regretful aspects of this tumor is that it imposes its belief system on people regardless of their faith. For example, look at Blue Laws, legal laws based on Christian beliefs that enforce religious standards upon us. In many states, such as Arkansas, Utah, Connecticut, and Indiana, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sunday. Why? Because Sunday is, for many Christian denominations, God’s “holy day”, and we shouldn’t drink, but spend that day in prayer. That limits our personal freedoms and our free will choices.
In states such as Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arkansas, Mississippi, and many more, an Atheist cannot run for president of the United States even though it is considered unconstitutional federally. Here is Sec. 4 of the Bill of Rights for Texas:
No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall anyone be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
The pledge of allegiance has "under God" in it and money has "in God we trust," that can be very offensive, especially for non-believers. Also, what about the religious fanatics who exclaim that you have “sinned” or you “need to be saved?” You also continue to deceive many of these “religious” people to knock on our doors to spread their propaganda like winds spread forest fires.
You’ve created religious institutions that inhibit women from having a choice by preventing abortion. Here in California, Pro-Life Mission: International believes abortion is a sin and is attempting to take away a woman’s personal right to decide what to do with her pregnancy. That is just one of the many groups that fund such agendas.
One of the most revolting and asinine aspects of religion is how it holds back homosexual freedoms. Many Evangelical Christian groups were behind Uganda’s Anti Gay Bill Law which could have allowed for the death penalty to those who are gay and lesbian; luckily you lost that battle.
Here in California, religious support allowed for Prop 8 to pass, preventing homosexuals from marrying. Religion, theoretically, is about love and acceptance, but yet the complete opposite is often practiced instead.
Religion on Pope, Church, and Condoms
So, Satan, you’ve managed to put your sharp and fiery claws all over organized religion tearing the skin layers of peace and harmony, leaving the flesh of deception exposed. With your interference, churches don't have to pay taxes thus increasing the financial burden on the rest of us:
Consider that for every tax dollar a religious organization does not pay, you and I pay it on its behalf. Many are among the wealthiest organizations in the world. A 1986 estimate showed religious income in that year of approx. $100 billion, or about five times the income of the five largest corporations in the U.S. All tax free!
With your meddling, the cons of religion now continue to overshadow the pros, just as the attention demanded by a new born overshadows the attention given to its older sibling.
I’ve also detected that you may have infiltrated many Christian groups here in the United States, especially the ones that are attempting to block Stem Cell Research. With Stem Cell research, we may be able to cure many of the diseases that are afflicting us today, like ignorance afflicts Sarah Palin.
I see you have also gotten the Pope to do your bidding. I guess money and power are simple enticements for the “infallible” man. The Pope, Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church, said that the distribution of condoms aggravates the AIDS problem. This allows for the spread of STDs and unplanned pregnancies. What kind of morality tolerates the proliferation of diseases among fellow human beings? If that is morality, then I am not moral.
Furthermore, the Catholic Church has covered up many sexual crimes perpetrated by Catholic priests. No wonder the Pope is being charged with crimes against humanity. Many guilty priests were let free, unlike the 50 million so-called “heretics” killed and tortured by the Papacy in the Middle Ages.
Religion on Sexuality
Your sadistic traits are running rampant among religious spheres, repressing sexuality and instilling guilt in its believers.
The Bible, a book I am sure you compiled, is “stern and judgmental on sex. It forbids prostitution, adultery, premarital sex for women, and homosexuality.” Let’s go to the source and see some examples of this repression in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a religious doctrine that gives the principles of the Christian religion):
1. Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and punitive purposes. Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
2. By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful has been in no doubt and has firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here, sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."
3. Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman.
It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
It is unfortunate that many believers have feelings of remorse for having premarital sex, lustful thoughts, or even for masturbating. It is biologically sane to experience such things. Sexual repression creates many perversions within society such as the molestation of young kids by Catholic priests.
They also get the worst press because, unlike other religious denominations, Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate. They have to fight their sexual yearnings on a daily basis. They aren’t allowed to satisfy their natural needs. When you are deprived from such biological tendencies aberrant sexual behaviors will ensue.
Sexuality shouldn’t be subdued but embraced! Let’s melt the iron bars that are constraining our sexuality. Let’s detach ourselves from the sexual tyranny that is pestilential to the social order. Once we are liberated and boundless, the deviant behaviors will begin to decline, much like the US dollar.
In fact, if God really does exist, he gave us sexuality as a gift to enjoy and use. Yet, you want to suppress that to make people miserable. It’s an epidemic that flows unbridled into the subconscious and unconscious minds.
Sexual abstinence? No thank you, the only thing I will abstain from is the mental slavery you’ve created in religion.
In the meantime, I will reap all the benefits sex has to offer: and relieve stress, boost my immunity, burn calories, enhance my self-esteem, improve cardiovascular health, diminish pain, decrease chances for prostate cancer, develop intimacy, and improve sleep better.
Not only will I wear a condom for sex to protect myself, but I also put a condom over religion everyday so it doesn’t affect me.
Religion and Child Abuse
Let me digress, and address other tactics you use to confirm the malignant nature of Religion.
A tactic worse than the groping of children by Catholic priests is the mental abuse given. Molestation is appalling and has affected numerous families. But think about the minds of children all over the world that have been molested.
Children are indoctrinated, not educated. Some are told that they will burn in an eternal hell of fire if they sin. To them, hell offers violence and pain and this has damaging effects on them even up to adulthood and old age. Fears and insecurity tend to eclipse the joys of freedom because of what they have been programmed to think. Nathan McKaskle said it best when he said:
Religious indoctrination is an assault on children, an assault on their capacity for individuation, curiosity, self-validation, and critical thinking skills. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand that if you are a child born in Syria to Muslim parents, the likelihood of your growing up as anything other than a Muslim is infinitely small. Whatever it is we believe we will inevitably act upon those beliefs in some way, either consciously or unconsciously. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if those beliefs were based on the twin pillars of truth, reason and evidence, rather than bigoted and potentially destructive conclusions?
A prime example of how these beliefs are acted upon is in Colorado. Parents of a sick child chose to abstain from medical care and instead they decided to pray, thus allowing the death of their baby boy. Congregants of Church of Christ steadfastly oppose any medical intervention in case of sickness and in instead opt to pray because it is “God’s will.” According to TIME Magazine, these beliefs have “led to the deaths of more than 172 children between 1975 and 1995 — all because their parents refused to seek medical treatment for their children's illnesses. Autopsy reports; show that many, if not most of the children, could have been saved easily with simple antibiotics.”
Surely you sent your demonic minions to possess that family, hence resulting in the death of an innocent little child. Next time a baby in somebody’s family starts coughing, sneezing, and burning up; they should remember this family, and imagine what their lives would be like if that baby died because they chose to pray instead of getting medical care. The notion that some followers would go to such an extreme for religious purposes shudders my very soul.
You surely are a depraved and malevolent angel. Why God created you in the first place is nonsensical, like marijuana prohibition. In actuality, asking why God doesn’t just get rid of you all together is probably the most crucial question.
Maybe you can answer that for me? If, of course, you aren’t too busy collecting the souls of the Bush family, Pope Benedict XVI, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and the heads of the IMF, World Bank, Monsanto, etc...
Religion and Women
Now, Satan, I’m not finished listing all the things that I hold you responsible for. Child abuse, both mental and physical, is a reality in religious realms. Another reality that you have diseased religion with is the discrimination against women and other groups of people.
The Elders Organization says, “Tradition and the distortion of religious values have been used as an excuse to mistreat, and discriminate against, women and girls across the world.”
In the name of religion, women are paid less than men in the workplace even though they perform two-thirds of the labor in the world. They are abused and mistreated; 1 in 3 women suffer this in their lives.
Daughters, wives, sisters, aunts, become the “property” of their husbands and fathers. Their voices are muzzled by the man’s hands and if any sound reverberates through the cracks of his fingers, they are victimized.
In Zimbabwe, a 14 year old girl, who’s a member of the Johanne Marange Apostolic sect, was forced to marry a 67 year old man for religious tradition.
Picture your daughter, niece, or sister being groped by her 67 year old husband. Imagine his wrinkled and veined hands traveling up her inner thighs in search of his destination. Once he disembarks, he travels even further throughout her ripe body, heading north, passing through her adolescent stomach, to her nubile breasts, assaulting them with his deathly fingers.
Is this your way of satisfying your sordid sexual desires Satan? Child marriage surely allows for such defilement, especially of young women.
Besides the physical harm, it denies girls of their fundamental rights:
Every single day, it is estimated that more than 25,000 girls under the age of 18 are married. At this rate, 100 million more girls – around 10 million each year – will become child brides over the next decade. Child marriage is most common in the developing world, where one in three girls is married before she is 18 and one in seven girls is married before she is 15. This practice not only harms the young brides, but also impedes the development of their communities and societies as a whole. Child marriage puts girls at risk and perpetuates poverty. Girls face huge risks when they marry young. They are much more prone to death or injury due to early sexual activity and early childbearing. A girl under the age of 15 is five times more likely to die in childbirth than a woman in her twenties.
The immoral ethics you encourage mushroom out to many levels of society. Religion is the radiation in the atomic bombs; Nagasaki and Hiroshima are the minds of humanity.
Religion and War
Satan, Lucifer, Antichrist, Devil, or whatever you go by these days....the most vile aspect of your desire to destroy rationality is how religion discriminates against itself. From: Jews vs. Christians vs. Muslims vs. Hindus vs. Buddhist vs. Taoist vs. Protestants vs. Catholics vs. Mormons vs. Anglicans vs. Puritans vs. Baptists vs. Methodist and Shiite vs. Sunni and so on.
This example is a grain of sand at the beach. According to the Religious Tolerance Organization, “There are about 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.” This is also not counting the numerous Pagan religions that have existed throughout history.
It is illogical to have so many schisms in religion. They all derive from many of the same points, love yourself and one another, but instead, they practice quite the opposite. The ruptures within religion have dismantled civilization one piece at a time.
In no specific order, let’s look at the numerous wars and death that religion has caused, no thanks to you of course, Satan.
The Holy Inquisition, in Spain, Portugal, and other countries was led by the Roman Catholic Church who fought against “heretics.” It is estimated that roughly 32,000 people died.
The Crusades were religiously sanctioned wars that were waged again, by the Roman Catholic Church. It was Christians against Muslims, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Jews, Pagans, and many more. Numbers of those killed range from 3-9 million.
The Troubles in Northern Ireland, unrest of Protestant majority vs. Catholic Minority, death toll reached up to 40,000.
Partition of India, a conflict between the Hindus and Muslims over the independence of India after colonial Britain left. Death toll was about 1 million.
The Thirty Year War was fought in Europe and began as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics. Causality estimates are at about 8 million.
Taiping Rebellion, a religious turmoil that dealt with Christianity against Confucianism. One of the worst death tolls in history, losing the lives of 20 million people.
Bosnian War, or also known as the Yugoslavian Wars, was Orthodox Christians vs. Muslims and Roman Catholics, killing about 300,000.
The list is exhaustive and can go on and on like debates between Republicans and Democrats; therefore, I only mentioned a few of the religiously infused wars that have slaughtered human beings.
Now, it is important to understand that not all of these wars were based on religion solely. They burst with political, economic, nationalistic, territorial, ethnic, and ideological undertones. Religion is and was used by those in control to wield economic and political power.
In the Civil War, Bible verses that were in favor of slavery were used by racists in the South to justify their bigotry. The Dutch Reformed Church also used pro-slavery Bible verses to rationalize the apartheid in South Africa.
Many defenders of religion tend to think that these religious atrocities are footprints in the sand that have been rinsed away by the swell. But, in modern times, the footprints are still apparent and continue to multiply!
In Sri Lanka, places of worship are tainted with human carcasses and blood due to the Buddhist and Hindu conflicts.
Saffron colored Buddhist robes are being stained red in Thailand due to the Buddhist and Muslims disputes Currently, in many areas of the Middle East; Jews, Muslims, and Christians are killing in the name of God.
Muslims and Christians are also clashing in the Ivory Coast, Cyprus, and East Timor; rotting human flesh, vaginas mauled, and piles of executed bodies abandoned.
Kurdistan, Kosovo, Bosnia; orgies of slaughter take place, heads leave necks, labor is enforced, human bones charred, marriages imposed, families stolen from loved ones to never be seen again.
Macedonia, Philippines, Chechnya; mass collections of humans ejected from their habitats, food supplies choked till loss of air, and bullet shells are the seeds in the soil.
Uganda, Sudan, and Nigeria; Children abducted and get a makeover from harmless, naïve, and pure to malicious, corrupt, and ruined. Their cartoons are hate, executions, firearms, destruction, and rapes. Walls, floors, and ceilings are decorated with blood and flesh, clouds precipitate bullets, hearts beat while they dance in flames, and cherries burst along with the woman’s dignity.
People have killed, tortured, raped, and pillaged in the name of religion. I don’t want the blood on my hands to glide down my fingers and descend into a puddle of guilt. I want no part of an institution that is culpable of such atrocities. I will stand over the puddle, atop a jacket of virtue, condemning the wrongs and unearthing the rights.
Religion and Prayer
Mr. Satan, the world isn’t where it should be. It is in detestable conditions. So much anguish and yet you have fooled people into fixing the world’s woes with prayer.
How you’ve convinced people that praying works, bewilders me. A Duke University Medical Center study of 700 patients found that:
Praying for patients undergoing heart operations does not improve their outcomes. It found those who were prayed for were as likely to have a setback in hospital, be re-admitted, or die within six months as those not prayed for. Music, image, and touch therapy did appear to reduce patients' distress.
In that case people should stop praying altogether!
It is insulting when people say they will pray for me. This is what I tell them:
Is something wrong with me that you need to pray for me? I am content with my life, I don’t need your pity, and I don’t need to be saved.
If you believe praying works, why waste your time and pray for me when you could be praying for those that need it more? Kids in Haiti are eating dirt cookies, limbs are being severed off in wars all over the world, and people are being raped, abused, and exploited. And yet you have the audacity to pray for me? Keep it!
Also, what makes you so special that God will answer your prayers and not someone else's? Maybe he “blessed” you with a “miracle?” Maybe your family member survived cancer against all odds. Well, why did God allow you to get cancer in the first place? Perhaps someone you love survived a horrific car crash. So why didn’t God just prevent the car crash altogether?
Was it a test or a life lesson that Almighty God wanted to teach you? Was he just working mysteriously again? What kind of omnipotent and peaceful God uses us as pieces to his board game?
People, who pray, do it for many selfish and altruistic reasons. So how about you stop praying for peace and get up and actually do something about it!?
You pray for those that are suffering and yet suffering continues. Instead, go and volunteer with an organization that helps those in need.
You pray to win in sports. Perhaps you should train harder and practice more often to win.
You pray for the health of you and your family. Why not change your sickening eating habits and exercise a little more?
You pray for “our” soldiers but not the people they are killing. Get your sons and daughters out of the military altogether so they don’t have to kill other human beings.
You pray for money, why not attempt to save more and stop falling for commercialization by buying useless products?
You pray for love yet you don’t love yourself.
Transform that prayer into action. When life’s cruel realities meet you at your front step, don’t turn to a remorseful prayer, but to an internally positive and constructive energy that will enclose the negativity and gloom and dispel it.
Whatever you’ve prayed for, go out and get it. Don’t leave in the hands of God. There is no predetermined purpose to life. The purpose to life is what YOU make it. Don’t blame things on Satan or give credit to God. You are in control of your life, embrace it, YOU are the one behind the wheel, you decide which way you want to go, and if life crashes right into you, know that prayer would have never made a difference.
Religion and Happiness
Satan, I am sure you are exhausted reading this letter of criticism, but your scorching breath has gusted all over organized religion and I can go on and on with my criticism. It doesn’t even appear that you try to hide your fiendish ways very well. From religion and its stance on society, sexuality, children, war, and prayer, it’s apparent that organized religion is injurious to humanity.
Granted, religious organizations can help many people, especially the destitute by giving them shelter and food. Let’s not forget that many religious people really enjoy the social gathering aspect; the traditions, the songs, the rituals, and the overall community feel.
However, anything that religion brings to society that is good can be done without religion. People do not need religion to congregate, sing, or to feel a unity in the community. Particularly, they do not need religion to be moral, compassionate, or helpful.
Moreover, it seems that your demonic influence doesn’t carry to all countries in the world. The nations that are most irreligious, such as Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, are the happiest countries in the world. The world’s happiest countries are the least religious countries! Coincidence or does God happen to live in Scandinavia?
According to Phil Zuckerman, author and Huffingtonpost writer:
The sociological fact is that the most irreligious nations right now are among the most successful, humane, moral, and free, while the most religious nations tend to be among the most destitute, chaotic, crime-ridden, and undemocratic. A similar pattern also holds true within the United States: those states and counties that boast the greatest numbers of strong believers and regular church attendees tend to have higher poverty rates, child abuse rates, violent crime rates, and lower educational attainment rates than those states and counties characterized by more secular populations.
From economic prosperity to low crime rates, from equality between men and women to excellent child welfare, from life expectancy to low rates of H.I.V., the relatively godless (or at least God-indifferent) nations of Denmark , Sweden, Norway, and Holland suggest that secularism - and acceptance of gay marriage, specifically -- doesn't bring down the wrath of God at all.. And yet when we look at the most religious nations in the world - especially those that severely condemn homosexuality, such as Iran, Angola, and Mauritania -- we see extreme poverty, high violent crime rates, oppression of women, dictatorship, warfare, corruption, etc.
Statistics continue to show that religion is disadvantageous to the socio-political health of countries. And in its defense, religious followers say, “it’s the people who are corrupt”; well yes, that is true, but organized religion in itself is corrupt because it is organized by people!
Or, should we put the blame on you, Satan?
Religion or Spirituality?
Lucifer, you were once the favorite Angel until you let greed get the best of you, just like God – well, at least Old Testament God. In this letter I have been very disparaging towards you, and I think for good reason! You have polluted society with religion, like the BP oil spill in the Gulf; you destroy not only the physical, but the mental.
In spite of your success in dismantling society, you will not achieve your goal. You will fail like you did when you tried to be more powerful than God. Little by little, people are beginning to change their consciousness and are seeing the faults and delusions within religion. Like the passing of an ominous storm, the sun’s rays will puncture through the murky clouds bearing brightness.
We need to be religious WITHOUT religion. Mankind needs to shift from a religious indoctrination into a functional spirituality:
Establishment Religion, in many ways, seems to be rooted in a perceptual misunderstanding about life's processes. For instance, it presents a worldview that often puts the human on a different level than other elements of nature. Science has shown how human beings are subject to the exact same forces of nature as everything else. We have learned that we all share the same atomic substructure as trees, birds and all other forms of life. We have learned that we cannot live without nature's elements... we need clean air to breathe, food to eat, energy from the sun, etc. When we understand this symbiotic relationship of life, we begin to see that as far as 'relationships' are concerned, our relationship to the planet and nature is the most profound and important. The medium by which this is expressed, is Science , for The Scientific Method has allowed us insight into these natural processes, so we can better understand how we 'fit' into this life system as a whole....
The use of science and The Scientific Method, while often deemed cold and heartless, actually presents one of the most profound spiritual unfolding we have ever known. Unlike those who endlessly talk about peace, love and harmony among the peoples of the earth, science can actually work to make it happen. There is nothing more caring than The Scientific Method, for the results have proven to be cataclysmic-ally beneficial to the whole of humanity....
We must realize that we are on our own on this planet and it is up to us to change the world for the better. Science is the tool for this functional spirituality and if we work to apply its method for the betterment of civilization itself, we can reach the spiritual goals we have sought since antiquity....
Christianity says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Islam says, “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” Judaism says, “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself.” Taoism says, “Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.” All religions have the same message and yet we don’t put it into practice!
Satan, with functional spirituality, words would be acted upon! The screams of pain will no longer be disregarded but resolved.
Religion turns people away from God instead of bringing people closer to God. It is filled with dogmas, hierarchies, and rules. With this, God becomes impersonal, a supernatural deity, that works for its own purposes.
With spirituality, we are gods! We are in charge of our own lives! It comes from within; it has nothing to do with dogmas, hierarchies, and rules.
We shouldn’t criticize anyone for their personal belief system, but we should speak out against the institution of religion because it puts people into untenable boxes and tends to deprive them of the ability to look at things unemotionally.
Earth is on its death bed, which is surrounded by balloons, flowers, and get-well cards. The smell of the room warns of an impending loss. Heart moves at a snail's pace, sometimes temporarily pausing. IV’s are planted, slowly replacing what has been lost. Life support allows for the heart to sing its song; thump, thump, thump…..
Let’s not watch Mother Nature dwindle into such a painful demise. We can argue all day about who or what created the universe? If we came from a rib? If there is an afterlife? Or what the message of the Bible really is?
The fact is that we as a species are not where we are supposed to be. People are suffering as we speak; let’s stop worrying about all that semantic garbage and actually create a change for the betterment of the human race!
This letter may anger you, and at the moment I press “send,” you may plunge me into the very depths of hell. It is scary at first thought, but as I continued contemplating, I realized hell may not be that bad.
First and foremost, I don’t think I would want to go to heaven. It seems like a boring place. Isn’t hell filled with most of the intellectuals, writers, artists, sinners, drinkers, hookers, pot-smokers, and revolutionaries? It seems like a hell of a party. Granted, it may be filled with some wicked individuals but it counterbalances with all the exciting people history has ever seen.
Secondly, why would I want to be with a God that punishes people who don’t believe in him? An egotistical, impulsive, and cruel God who, “according to the Bible, is directly responsible for many mass-murders, rapes, pillage, plunder, slavery, child abuse, and killing.
Now, if God exists, and he is NOT the God in the Bible, I may skip out on visiting you in your smoldering abode. Don’t take it personally, but I would rather reside in heaven with a God that doesn’t judge and chastise. One that is moral, loving, and understanding. Chances are slim, because if that God did exist…………
I wouldn’t be writing this letter in the first place.
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