Religion Doesn’t Have A Prayer - 3
Religious Abuse as a Global Phenomenon
Today's lesson and purging has to do with the wider implications of religious abuse as a global phenomenon. We are all aware of the presence of religion in our world. What we are not aware of is its pervasive impact on all of us occupying this planet right now, regardless of whether we are actively practicing our religion, or have rejected the idea altogether an declared ourselves agnostic or atheist.
These two latter classifications are obviously in direct opposition to the religious status quo that permeates every culture on this planet. We would not have agnostics or atheists if there weren't any religions present which these two groups reject. This type of opposition is referred to as “reaction formation” in psychology. Declaring yourself to be 180 degrees away from a belief system is to be as strongly affected by it as those who are active participants. In other words, the global influence of religion affects us all, including those who reject it.
To claim that you are not influenced by religion is to suggest you are from another planet where such a thing does not exist. On this Earth, we all swim in this soup called “religion” whether we agree with its mandate or not. There is no escaping its influence, so we must come to terms with it in a personal and meaningful way.
This whole process we are engaged in here is about healing ourselves. It's about ridding our body, heart, mind and soul of this poison emanating from the existing religious practices of the day. We are declaring ourselves FREE in the truest sense where our hearts are no longer encumbered by religion's worldwide influence. We want to be outside of religion's scope of influence, swimming in the soup of clear spirituality. As mentioned earlier, we are only truly free when we feel “indifferent” to religion's presence in our world. No more wasted energy hating the institution and no more anger left in our psychological inventory. We can accept its presence without animosity and we can truly let it go, once and for all.
Such a result only comes when we've made a firm connection to the loving presence of God within our hearts. Religion, as an entity, has relied on this God presence remaining hidden from our awareness. Why? Because once we connect with Source, we are no longer captive to the idea that religion is the only route Home. In fact, the sooner we abandon religion and replace it with genuinely helpful spiritual practices, the sooner we connect with our God Source. By capturing us in its web, religion has taken us away from Source, the same way any abuser isolates their victim and makes them totally dependent on their captor.
Religion came into being to fill a vacuum created by our disconnection from Source. How and when that happened I am not sure. But clearly it did and man-made religion was created to fill that gap.
The past few thousand years have been a time of deep loneliness for the human race after that original connection was stripped away. Was it our fault? Was it some kind of outside influence? It doesn't matter. We were willing participants of a sort at the time and decided to let our childish egos take the helm. That has led us to where we are today, inheritors of religious doctrines that never made any sense and have never been relevant, except to those who would take us prisoner.
Yes, egos stepped to the fore and declared themselves carriers of the truth. Snake oil salesman appeared everywhere, selling some concoction of ideas that people bought into. This is no great mystery; it is still going on today. The more successful of these entrepreneurs evolved the religions that we now identify as mainstream. And the whole world is held hostage by ancient scriptures and the alleged words of various prophets who were regularly misquoted. Every major religion has its prophet and all of them are equally limiting and misguided in their application of his or her words.
They all say the same thing. “Our way is the right way.” “No, ours is the correct path.” “You're both wrong, ours is the only true religion.”
When our connection to Source was stripped away we humans went scurrying about like panicked insects who had just lost the cover of their hiding place; and we were ripe for the taking by self-appointed influence peddlers who saw a new way to enslave people into their brand of thinking. At the time, there was great competition for the hearts and minds of individuals who no longer knew which way to turn. That aching loneliness made our ancestors easy prey after that calamitous tear in our Spiritual Fabric.
We lost God that day. We probably permitted that disconnection at some level because egos everywhere were rearing their ugly heads and wanted to be Gods unto themselves. That predisposition is still in evidence today. We see it most prominently in the endless parade of charlatan dictators who kill off their opposition in order to achieve absolute power over a population.
We don't have to look far to see the catastrophic effects of dictators run amuck. Last century the world saw Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and a host of minor players who acted very much the same but never achieved the same levels of renown. In the last 30 years we've seen Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugawbe and Kim Jong Il.
What we don't recognize as similar to dictatorships are the world's religions which were created by men for the advancement of their earthly agenda. Religious leaders are not elected but appointed by an in-house group of middle managers who have all risen through the ranks by picking each other for promotion. Even the so-called election of the Pope is limited to the votes of Cardinals, who guess what, were appointed by a Pope. We the public, have no say in any of this. Like any dictatorship, or communist government, these activities are conducted behind closed doors by men we never elected. The way religion differentiates itself from the garden variety dictatorships is to play the God card. And who gave them that power? We did! By abdicating our own authority and capitulating to theirs.
We descended into an abject allegiance toward a religious form of dictatorship, where “the emperor truly has no clothes.” Religion is nothing more than sleight of hand. Magicians know how to fool people and religious leaders have taken a page from their book. They've given us a great Show with all their pomp and circumstance, their gilded castles, their lovely outfits and their alleged reverence for an invisible and often nasty deity, with only one goal - fool us into believing they have direct access to God and we don't.
Are we done yet with this wide eyed admiration of an “idea” based on falsehoods, lies and deliberate misrepresentations of the truth?
This rift we've had with our Godhead connection is about to be repaired. The evidence is everywhere. A most striking example is the visible panic religions are currently exhibiting at the loss of their numbers and their mounting difficulties with recruitment. It's appalling to watch them scurry about and insert themselves into political debates such as “Open Borders” in the United States in the name of God given freedom. Bullshit! Their real agenda is recruitment. They need a fresh crop of uneducated, easily frightened, superstitious individuals to bring into their ranks and fill those empty pews. These pathetic little papacies that declared themselves as spiritual leaders are now scurrying around having 2 for 1 sales for those who are easily duped into believing they are sinners.
Here's an example from my former religion, Catholicism. My favorite uncle, who passed away 3 months ago, was originally married in the Catholic Church. Within 15 years that marriage was over. My uncle obtained custody of their 4 children because he was able to prove that his ex-wife was incompetent to take care of them. She did in fact exhibit visible signs of mental illness. Once he obtained custody, sadly he was forced to give the two younger children up for adoption. He did manage to set up a home for himself and his two older offspring.
During this period of being single he met a woman who was equally unhappy in her marriage and was ready to bolt. They dated and eventually married in a civil ceremony because of Catholicism's total rejection of divorce. My uncle wanted desperately to continue his membership in the Catholic Church. The Church authority made arrangements to have his first marriage annulled so he and his second wife could have their union ratified in the church.
“We don't do divorce, but we can 'annul' your marriage, even with children involved. How does that sound?”
This is good marketing. The church can provide a way out of a bad marriage while preserving your membership in the religion. “We don't do Divorce, like those other guys, we do annulment.” Would that come under the heading of Catholicism's Red Tag Days? What struck me as odd was that a marriage could be annulled in spite of the fact that it produced 4 children. Maybe this is hypocrisy or maybe it's just good business.
Are these religious leaders cognizant of what they are doing when decisions like the above are delivered? I haven't analyzed them as a group, the way you can analyze a more recognizable business leadership. The Catholic Church for one is a closed system, so that type of access and examination is not yet possible.
Are they totally flawed Dr Moe? In my life, I have met some good priests along who regard Rome (Catholicism's Head Office) as some distant relative whose authority they feel free to question. I have performed couple counseling with a priest and his girlfriend who were going through a rough patch no different than any other married couple might face. This priest rejects the notion of Celibacy and sees no need to abandon his faith while having a normal and fulfilling relationship with his common-law wife. My mother's youngest sister became a nun and went off to third world countries to do missionary work. She spent over 35 years in Peru, providing medical treatment to the poor, spiritual guidance, and yes, CONDOMS, so that families wouldn't be overrun with children they could not feed.
This whole idea of trying to understand religion is complicated by their regular usage of doublespeak, references to bigger than life prophets, regurgitations of so-called sacred scriptures and the pomp and circumstance they try to wow us with their funny hats, long robes and curved staff to emulate some historical sheepherder. I got another glimpse of The Show when my granddaughter was being confirmed into the church. Just more sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors or one millionth rerun of an age old sitcom, if you prefer.
Sadly, we created religion out of a need to have some ongoing contact with our God. We abdicated our personal responsibility to Connect with Source and left that task to the most incompetent and power hungry among us. We accepted religion's influence in our lives because it made good business sense for them while providing us with an avenue for community.
Who knows where and when our connection to Source went off the rails, a catastrophe that left the spiritual marketplace wide open for self-appointed know-it-alls who stepped in to fill the gap. We got lazy and we let them do it. When sleight of hand is the method of control, then you have to be a willing participant in your being taken hostage. There is no iron cage, but there is a psychological cage or web, and you have to choose to be a part of it. This is rarely a conscious choice, more a case of indoctrination. As children we had not choice. But as adults it turns into an abdication of personal responsibility to review the facts and make a decision for yourself. It might seem easier to just go along, but that proves to be the more painful path in the end. To summarize this point, that's how God became male as a direct reflection of religion's patriarchy.
From here the various religions began disenfranchising whole sub-groups of individuals such as women, and of course all members of other religions declaring them inferior, ungodly and outright heathens. The most blatant disenfranchisement of women appears under Islam's Sharia law. Women must be covered from head to toe. Why? Because the religion is again a male dominated patriarchy who has declared women as temptresses. In order to be protected from women's wily ways, men have ordered them to cover up.
This is a total abdication of the male's responsibility for his sexual arousal and what actions may come about as a result. “My erection is your fault!” “My raping you is your fault!” My abusing you for what I deem as misconduct is your fault!” And there you have it - religiously sanctioned abuse of women with murder, if necessary, an acceptable option.
Here in Canada we've just had a prime example of this very attitude with horrific consequences. Four women were found dead in a submerged vehicle that appeared to have run off the road. Their immediate family had recently listed the women as missing in a formal report to the police. The dead included 3 teenage girls and an older woman age 52. After an all too brief investigation police laid charges against the very family members who had reported them missing. Charged with murder are the young girls' father, mother and elder brother. The older victim turned out to be the father's ex-wife. Investigators heard reports from extended family that the oldest daughter had been acting against her parents' wishes and rejecting the values of their culture and religion. Draw your own conclusions as to why they saw fit to kill all three of their daughters.
“Why am I going down this particular road” you might ask?
Simple! Religion is globally sanctioned insanity. It has nothing to do with God's truth and everything to do with controlling people, right down to their inner most thoughts. It has everything to do with egos and their self-generated power struggles. We have become a nation of souls whose collective diagnosis is severe mental defect, or “Psychosis” as my friend Peter puts it. And the inmates have not only taken over the asylum but brought us along for the ride.
Oh yes, as already mentioned several times, we are complicit in this collective madness. We were either willing participants who jumped on the bandwagon, or “laisser faire” abdicators of personal responsibility. Self-appointed do-gooders stepped into the breach offering a childlike (I believe in Santa) but successfully enslaving approach to the reality of our humanness. They created the artifacts that we subscribed to and are now consciously removing from our lives. As adults, Life requires us to choose. By abdicating responsibility we choose “not to choose” and suffer the consequences of our inaction.
Finally, after thousands of years of unchallenged spiritual slavery we have had enough. We who are making active choices in our lives are ridding our bodies, hearts and souls of the very poison we unconsciously allowed to enter our lives. It's a revolution for certain. All religions are vulnerable now. None of them can claim the high moral ground without being laughed at, especially as they walk out of a courtroom having just been ordered to pay millions of dollars in punitive damages. They are all scoundrels, cheats and liars and we're beginning to see it for ourselves. Their time is at an end.
Call it an experiment if you will, an experience in self-imposed abandonment through disconnection with our Source. Our ancestors took this road, and likely, in previous incarnations, we were actively involved in the choice. But now, we've had enough. We are prodigal sons and daughters who want to go Home again after this long period of drifting along guided by spiritually devoid egos. We are clearing ourselves now as we prepare to return Home to the Truth. The Truth we can see stands head and shoulders above anything we could manufacture while adrift in that sea of ego psychosis.
Spiritual solace can be found right where we left it, in our hearts and feelings, where the Source of our Being resides and waits for our call. He/She didn't leave us. We were the ones who left Home.
There isn't one manufactured religious enterprise that can legitimately make the claim that they know the way Home. As the byproducts of egos and a sick patriarchy all they can do is watch the real truth unfold before them. Yes, the very truth they have already began demonizing because it runs counter to their mission which is population control. Here in North America, Fox News (a right-wing Christian network) is the place to be for the most absurd, hideous and outright laughable distortions of the truth. Well dressed, good looking people, all talking their doublespeak, manufacturing their streams of unfounded allegations hoping something might stick. Preaching to the uneducated, the simple and the easily confounded, about the perils of sinful living and liberal politics as they define them.
The question is how do we return Home from this adventure into mad-land? By looking for and acknowledging the truth. By checking these truths against our heart reference which is our connection to the Divine. By saying goodbye to the snake oil salesman in our lives and taking responsibility for our choices. By choosing to heal ourselves of all the religious poison that has infected our lives. By saying goodbye to religion once and for all. Because we all want to be Home in the warm loving embrace of our Great Creator and swim in the oceans of True Love.
“Home is where the Heart is! Remember?”