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Thread: Stop Dissing Religion

  1. #1

    Default Stop Dissing Religion

    This is a trend I've noticed recently which is really starting to piss me off a bit. I'm not naming names, because it's well more than one person doing it. That said, those whom are doing it know who they are. I mean the comments here and there to the effect of:



    Organized religion is almost always evil and the world would be better off without it.
    Now I agreed with this for a long time- mostly when I was an idealist teenager who could only see the world in black and white. But let's face it, this isn't a black and white world. Can organized religion cause problems? Yes, it can. And the problems it does cause are often major ones- see more people in the US thinking evolution is lunacy, for example. But to me, those who say "organized religion is evil" are making a bizarrely short-sighted judgment.

    If you want to take my church, we've participated in numerous civil rights marches over time, hell I march with mine in a pride parade in Pennsylvania annually. We've also organized a movement called Standing on the Side of Love (Standing On The Side Of Love) for various rights movements- immigration, BLGT, etc. And we're not the only one that's done so. There are also plenty more like us- we just don't make the news, mostly because we don't do crazy shit like burn Qu'rans.

    And ok, I can also hear people saying I've given in to the mind-control and group-think. Absolutely not- if my posting history hasn't made this abundantly clear by now, I'm not sure what will. But not all organized religions are dogmatic. The Roman Catholic Church is. Most Protestant ones are as well. But then again, mine isn't. In my church, I follow a neo-Pagan path. Other people I know specifically to identify as deists, humanists, Christians, and Buddhists. Hell, I even know a few atheists in my congregation. They're all lovely people. And personally, it's given me a community in which I practice my activism, my personal religious rituals, and have a community where we mutually nurture each other's spiritual development.

    So all in all, let's stop saying again and again that organized religion is an inherently bad thing. It's a bad thing when the wrong people run it- which is a problem of the people in charge of certain groups, not the of the concept nor of the groups not run by crazies. Saying that organized religion is evil only shows the person saying it has, ironically, given in to a group-think of their own choosing.

    ---------- Post added at 02:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:05 AM ----------

    To be clear- I'm not saying that everyone has to believe organized religion is wonderful. Not at all.

    What pisses me off is that people who think so do absolutely nothing to present their feelings objectively.

  2. #2

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    I was considering making a thread similar to this one, not too long ago.

    I want to believe that organized religion has its merits, and I'm trying really hard to believe that. Sometimes, though--when I see bible thumpers standing on the corners of crosswalks between me and my classes--I just feel...so...frustrated.

    So, I am very happy to see something positive for a change--coming from your experiences--and I'd love to see more from other members here. I might be naive, but I feel healthier and happier thinking that the world's religious people are not all crazy bigotists out there to damn me to hell.

    Besides, I know that's not true! There's gotta be some reasonable well-balanced happy folks out there.

  3. #3

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    As a "Christian" (haven't gone to church "forever") I'll be biased sure. However, just saying relgion is bad and that it shouldn't exist is really just... stupid.

    but of course don't let me stop you.. you can bitch about it, if you like. As long as I can bitch about you bitching about it.

  4. #4

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    OK, now I can't speak for your church, or it's morals, beliefs, or practices since I don't know anything about your church. I do know that I personally do not like organized religion, and refuse to take part in what I consider to be one of the largest con games in history. I don't believe I have ever said organized religion is evil, but I do know It starts more problems world wide than anything else. Most wars (especially in the middle east) are over religion. Other areas of the world have evolved to a point where we can (for the most part) set our differences aside, and live peacefully together with those who believe differently from ourselves. Now you are right; not all religious groups are evil or feel they they need to kill non-believers, but there are those that do. Their heads are filled with junk that makes them believe they will go to heaven, or wherever if they kill in the name of their god. Crap like that is what causes problems, and will eventually destroy the world as we know it.

    There is no real proof or anything that leads me to believe there is a god, or that he cares about us if he does exist. All we know is what is written in a book, and that book could have been a fictitious tale written to amuse children for all we know. People who want control over others have been known to say, do, or make up things to get that control. If I wanted to be treated like a god, and had a group of Naive people I though would fall for it; I would do the same thing. Look at David Koresh and his followers. How many followers did he have believing he was the messiah before he was killed by the ATF. Now I don't agree with the ATF in this case since I don't feel they had a legitimate reason to attack his compound. I'm just using this as an example to make my point.

    People like to believe there is a greater power; it makes them feel like there is more to their existence than a simple accident.

    My problem with organized religion is financial one as well. I've been to church several times in my life, and have moved from church to church looking or the "right one" for me, but have always been turned off by the outright greed. I've seen some of them actually demand that you put money in the collection plate. I've also seen some where you can tell the money is used improperly. When you have a church that's falling apart, and the pastor is living in a $500,000 plus house and driving a $100,000 car, you know there's a problem. Then there are the ones that make you wonder why they need millions of dollars in A/V equipment when a simple Mic and PA should do fine. I always feel like I've been tipped upside down and shaken before I leave.

    Now I don't intend to argue my beliefs with anyone, so don't start attacking me. If you want to comment about your own beliefs, and feel I'm wrong; point it out and move on.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    OK, now I can't speak for your church, or it's morals, beliefs, or practices since I don't know anything about your church. I do know that I personally do not like organized religion, and refuse to take part in what I consider to be one of the largest con games in history.
    And yet you choose to speak for my church anyway by making broad generalizations that leave no room for exceptions. Are you saying organized religion as a whole is a con-game? Or are you saying that numerous 501(c)(3) incorporated religious organizations are cons? The two are incredibly different. The former suggests that absolutely any building or group of people using the term church (or various equivalents) are involved in a con, be it as victims or con artists. Which is more than a bit ridiculous.



    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    There is no real proof or anything that leads me to believe there is a god, or that he cares about us if he does exist. All we know is what is written in a book, and that book could have been a fictitious tale written to amuse children for all we know. People who want control over others have been known to say, do, or make up things to get that control.
    Valid, and I fully agree.



    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    If I wanted to be treated like a god, and had a group of Naive people I though would fall for it; I would do the same thing. Look at David Koresh and his followers. How many followers did he have believing he was the messiah before he was killed by the ATF. Now I don't agree with the ATF in this case since I don't feel they had a legitimate reason to attack his compound. I'm just using this as an example to make my point.
    Also entirely valid.



    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    My problem with organized religion is financial one as well. I've been to church several times in my life, and have moved from church to church looking or the "right one" for me, but have always been turned off by the outright greed. I've seen some of them actually demand that you put money in the collection plate. I've also seen some where you can tell the money is used improperly. When you have a church that's falling apart, and the pastor is living in a $500,000 plus house and driving a $100,000 car, you know there's a problem. Then there are the ones that make you wonder why they need millions of dollars in A/V equipment when a simple Mic and PA should do fine. I always feel like I've been tipped upside down and shaken before I leave.
    Now the question here is whether or not you've taken your own personal experience and extrapolated it to be representative of all churches. Doing so would be patently ridiculous. By the same logic, a person could conclude from the September 11th and London Underground attacks that all Muslims wish for the Western world to be nuked into oblivion.

    ---------- Post added at 03:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:17 AM ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    My problem with organized religion is financial one as well. I've been to church several times in my life, and have moved from church to church looking or the "right one" for me, but have always been turned off by the outright greed. I've seen some of them actually demand that you put money in the collection plate. I've also seen some where you can tell the money is used improperly. When you have a church that's falling apart, and the pastor is living in a $500,000 plus house and driving a $100,000 car, you know there's a problem. Then there are the ones that make you wonder why they need millions of dollars in A/V equipment when a simple Mic and PA should do fine. I always feel like I've been tipped upside down and shaken before I leave.
    These churches are essentially cults. The only difference is the management is exploiting the dim-witted not to satisfy their crazies but to satisfy their mortgage payments. There are a number of churches well known for this behavior. If these are the ones you've walked into while exploring what's out there, that doesn't mean in any way that they're a representative sample of what's available to you. It means that they have the best marketing department. Most churches don't advertise much.

    ---------- Post added at 03:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:26 AM ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyDoggy View Post
    People like to believe there is a greater power; it makes them feel like there is more to their existence than a simple accident.
    Your arguments seem to be slanted strongly toward Western (Christian/Jewish/Muslim) religions specifically, and theistic churches in general. What about churches that have atheistic contingents? Mine is one such, but there are more.

    Also, you seem to be really stuck on the notion that religion centers around God. Yes, it does for many, but that's *far* from universal. There's a book written by Thomas Jefferson colloquially known as The Thomas Jefferson Bible, more formally titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Jefferson was a transcendentalist, and what he did was essentially to take the Holy Bible and excise any passage with supernatural content- leaving behind an (admittedly tiny) tome that described the life of Jesus. You don't believe in God, and I don't blame you. But to throw out the life of Jesus and all its messages of kindness, love, and charity is cutting off the nose to spite the face; it's rather short sighted. If you do, you're choosing to judge a message not by virtue of its content but by the warped minds perverting it. Who's being conned, again?

  6. #6

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    Im not one th really be motivated enough to post anything huge but ill sum it up in a sentance i guess...

    "If there is a god and or gods and or some form of diety, they arnt getting any respect from me in the afterlife." And that pretty much sums up my personal feelings on religion.

    And if anyone wants to do it, i am pro "dont ask dont tell". :P

  7. #7
    AmbezeSubHealth

    Default

    I know of 5 churches in my area.

    One regularly preaches the prosperity bible. I call it the church of the money

    Another one is where the pastor suggested that the reason for a bloody conflict in Israel was because the Jewish authority was planning on giving permission for a gay pride parade in the "Holy Land" I call the church the church of pitch forks and torches.

    Yet another where around the time of Halloween and on radio the pastor stated that if you vote for Hillery Clinton you go to hell.

    Still another where the Old testament Brutal sentences for certain crimes where supposedly a testament to God's love. Also one of the members believes that birth control is murder.

    There is a Church where the pastor supported Pat Robertson's election bid for presidency. That church regularly speaks christian dominion speak.

    Most of these Churches my mom found. She has a knack for finding bad churches. I sincerely doubt there are many good churches in my area.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmbezeSubHealth View Post
    I know of 5 churches in my area.

    One regularly preaches the prosperity bible. I call it the church of the money

    Another one is where the pastor suggested that the reason for a bloody conflict in Israel was because the Jewish authority was planning on giving permission for a gay pride parade in the "Holy Land" I call the church the church of pitch forks and torches.

    Yet another where around the time of Halloween and on radio the pastor stated that if you vote for Hillery Clinton you go to hell.

    Still another where the Old testament Brutal sentences for certain crimes where supposedly a testament to God's love. Also one of the members believes that birth control is murder.

    There is a Church where the pastor supported Pat Robertson's election bid for presidency. That church regularly speaks christian dominion speak.

    Most of these Churches my mom found. She has a knack for finding bad churches. I sincerely doubt there are many good churches in my area.
    Once again, these all sound like Christian churches.

    Have you ever tried a Jewish or Muslim holy group? Or one of the variously-associated Religious Society of Friends?

  9. #9
    Ishav

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    Atheists who say 'Religion is evil organized or otherwise' get on my nerves just as much as creationism. Why? Because they are the embodiment of all the things in religion they hate, which is the intolerance that religions have of other religions.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightFox View Post
    Once again, these all sound like Christian churches.

    Have you ever tried a Jewish or Muslim holy group? Or one of the variously-associated Religious Society of Friends?
    Isn't suggesting a christian go to a Jewish temple or a Muslim mosque sort of like getting a atheist to go to church weekly and actually believe in god? Frankly I think if there are no churches you like in your area for whatever reason, you have a right to not go to them.

    The lead pastor at mine has a saying "Being in a church doesn't make you a christian, as being in a garage doesn't make you a car."

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