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Why do I think that all organised religions are really just politics?

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I have come to the conclusion that all religions are man made enterprises designed to provide a ruling class with a tool for controlling the masses.

My view is based on an analysis that reveals that the religious elites usually insist that their interpretation of their "holy" books is the only acceptable one. There are, of course, exceptions, such as the more enlightened Buddhist sects but the generalization seems to me to be valid. Certainly my own experience provides confirmation of this.

My wife chose to go to the Women's Fellowship of the local Anglican Church when the children were involved in the youth fellowship. The leader of these meetings was the vicar's wife whose qualification for the job was assumed rather than explained. One evening the subject was the "headship" of men. Apparently there are texts in St Paul's gospel that insist that women must always be subservient to the men in their lives. My wife took issue with the vicar's wife saying that in our household, husband and wife share the responsibility and the decision making. She was told she was wrong and when she argued that the issue was a matter of interpretation of the text, she was told that she wasn't allowed to make her own interpretation, only the ordained in the church (and presumably their wives) were allowed to interpret the text. This is, of course, a particular example of the phenomenon but I suggest that it truly represented the "teachings" of the Anglican Church in Sydney.

The vicar in question was retired early because of proven paedophilia. He was later defrocked though it took the victim many years to succeed in her efforts to achieve this because of the culture of "protection of its ordained men" which existed in the Anglican Church at that time. This culture may still exist as we have seen no evidence to the contrary.

All of this simply confirms my view that the "ruling elite" are intent on controlling rather than educating the masses. This is of course characteristic of all ruling classes of all styles of politics which is why I class organised religion as "political".

Reading Isaac Azimov's "A Choice of Catastrophes" I realised something that I had hitherto failed to realise. Every organised religion seems to have has been invented to solve some major social problem.

He quotes a piece of the history of the Jewish people. Judah was conquered by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar and many Jews took refuge in Babylonia but they had a longing for the "good old days" of the Davidic dynasty. To avoid charges of treason against the rulers of Babylon, they used a kind of code to identify their returning king as "The Messiah" (i.e. "the anointed one"). The return of the "King" was idealized as the introduction of a new golden age.

This is a wonderful example to illustrate that "religion" is really man made and essentially political.

While I have no problem with people believing the teaching of the various religions, I object to the claim that they are "right " and I am "wrong". They are, in my opinion, free to believe what they like but they are not at liberty to "impose" their beliefs on others.

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Created: 16/8/06 and last revised 17/11/07
Author: Robin Chalmers Copyright in all the material on this site is asserted by the author
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