Since the beginning of time, man has looked to the sky and considered whether there is a greater power. Religions around the world flourished, each with their own personification of God. It’s estimated that there are 4,200 religions, 12 of which account for 83% of the global population.
The question is, do organized religions actually make the world more peaceful and secure? In recent centuries religious fervor has not been a positive influence. Millions of innocent people have been slaughtered in the name of one god or another.
Too often, evildoers justify their nefarious actions with their religious beliefs. There are many different opinions about the applicability and true intent of religion. It is indisputable that “holy men” have played a great part in disrupting our lives.
Between 1045 and 1492 Catholics went on a rampage and attempted to convert or exterminate those who worshipped God in a different way.
Radical Islamists in the Middle East, to this day, target those that do not bow to Allah. They refer to their sacred scriptures in justifying violent actions.
The Catholic Church has let its followers down many times over the centuries since Jesus Christ walked on this Earth. And today we know that sinful and misguided priests abused many of those that depended upon them for spiritual guidance. The disclosures began with sexual assault of boys. Then we found out priests were violating female members of their flocks. Nuns were assaulted. Even rampant priest on priest abuse has occurred.
The most horrible aspect of these revelations is that priests represent God to their followers. And, they used their positions of power to sate their most salacious obsessions.
Equally distressing is the fact that leaders of the Church have protected known abusers and relocated them from parish to parish in a cover-up that endangered even more innocents. In the meantime priests were telling us that eating meat on Friday, missing mass on Sunday and using birth control were mortal sins punishable by eternal damnation.
The current pope, Francis, was advertised as a man of change and action, but he has been a horrible disappointment. Francis has been slow to respond to accusations of abuse, cover-ups and other atrocities mentioned earlier. His objective, and those of his predecessors, is clear: protect the Church at all costs.
Similar to his predecessors, Frances has not been moved by the need for global birth control to stabilize population growth and foster disease prevention. It’s continues to be a mortal sin to use birth control.
And he has broken his promise to be more tolerant by not overtly recognizing gay and lesbian marriage. The Church continues to proclaim these relationships are sinful and unnatural. It’s crystal clear that the pope was cut out of the same cloth as the conservatives who elevated him to pope.
In the Middle East, Shiites and Sunnis fight for dominance of Islam. Holy men instruct their followers to terrorize, disrupt and kill fellow Muslims, who pray to the same Allah. Instead of bringing Muslims around the world together in peace, officials of Islam are endorsing brother versus brother violence.
Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are in a death struggle to overtake the Middle East and then the entire world. The US has reluctantly sided with Sunnis rather than trying to find a path to peace with Iran.
Evangelists have been unwilling to support the domestic tidal wave that endorses equal rights for the L,G,B,T,Q,I,A community. There is no conceivable societal benefit to be derived from the prohibition of same sex marriages. Every American, in fact, every citizen of the world, should be free to find and marry the one that they love. To fight this tsunami of tolerance and good faith is doing nothing more than making our world a more hostile place.
Frankly I couldn’t be less interested in the opinions of religious leaders relating to politics. I don’t care what Pope Francis thinks about Donald Trump. The pope should be focusing on his own problems and not others. Holy men around the world must work more diligently to clean their own houses and preach love, respect and comity to their followers.
There are good reasons why the US adopted a policy of separation of church and state at the outset of our nation. America is great today because we know that religion does not mix well with politics.