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Mafia, Mob and Church
Entry 1275, on 2011-03-04 at 21:16:20 (Rating 4, Religion)
Christianity is a protection racket. I've just come to that conclusion. The idea which lead to this started when I was discussing various religious topics recently. The great claim of the Christian church is that Jesus will save you. But save you from what? I don't feel as if there's anything I need to be saved from, and I suspect that most people would feel the same if they really thought about it without any preconceptions. The obvious answer is Jesus saves you from what God has done to you. God created you as a sinner (and barely worthy of life according to some) but if you submit to Jesus then you will be saved.
So tell me, what is the difference between that and the local Mongrel Mob (a New Zealand gang) or Mafia or some other similar organisation saving you (for a fee) from the violence which might occur from that very same organisation without their protection? There's no difference as far as I can see except for one thing: the potential harm from continuing to be a "sinner" is zero (you won't really go to Hell) but the potential harm from the Mob or Mafia is real. So in some ways the criminal organisations (I mean the Mob or Mafia, not the church, although I can see where the confusion might occur) offer a better deal!
I do agree that there are a few people who genuinely are sinful (I don't mean in the religious sense, I mean they do harm to others or engage in other anti-social activities) who do become better people as a result of joining a church. But I think the vast majority buy into Christianity for no good reason and many become more sinful (in the social sense) rather than less.
It's a difficult case to prove because I know many religious people who are very intolerant of others but I can't prove that's because of the influence of their church. It could be that they are just naturally that way and were drawn to a conservative church as a result. It's a classic cause and effect problem. But even if that is true having their intolerant personalities reinforced by intolerant religious teachings surely isn't going to make things any better. They would have to be better off without that!
So what are some of the social sins which Christians become guilty of when they join a church? First, they are likely to become less progressive. Many churches suppress the rights of groups like women, believers in other religions, people of minority races, and people of alternative lifestyles. I don't think that sort of intolerance is healthy for society as a whole so intolerance is a significant (social) sin.
Another big problem is ignorance. Many churches actually encourage their members to be proud of their ignorance. They know nothing about evolution, or global warming, or foreign relations, or science, and they are so proud of that! The problem is these people vote and that can never lead to a better society. If pure ignorance leads to inaction on global warming for example then we all lose. Ignorance is the biggest sin of all.
If God really wanted to save us why did he make us this way to start with? And don't give me that pitiful nonsense about free will. Is it really free will if he makes us so flawed and the only way out is to submit to another religious figure? What is the alternative? It's like a fascist regime saying you have a choice: join us or be a political prisoner or perhaps be executed. Is that really an offer of free will?
I listened to a podcast recently about the Church of Satan. These people don't really think there is a devil of course, they just use him as a symbol of rebellion and true freedom from the despotism of God (which most of them also don't believe in). The Church of Satan seems a far better organisation than the Christian church to me. It doesn't operate a protection racket!
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