I always seem to have something on my mind; thankfully this website is a place for me to let it out instead of bottling it all up. Before I delve into a long diatribe about my resentment toward organized religion, I will make my disclaimer: I feel that a lot of good has come out of organized religion, and there are truly honest people out there who don’t take advantage or exploit religion for their own personal gain. My Aunt Linda is living proof of this.
But having said that, I think organized religion is also the cause of a lot of misfortunes in our world. First I’ll get the war thing out of the way. Religion has been the basis for hundreds of years of killing each other simply because one religion doesn’t see eye-to-eye with another religion. Imperialism and nationalism are also a large cause of wars, but religion is usually tied in with nationalism, and imperialism is a result of strong nationalism. I also see a lot of hate inside people from resentment toward other religions.
The next aspect about religion is the financial component. People donate substantial portions of their pay cheque to their churches. A lot of this money goes toward the upkeep of the church, property taxes, and some churches spend a substantial amount on the Minister/Priest of the church. I’m aware of churches where the Minister lives a relatively lavish lifestyle in a very sizeable home with all his expenses paid for, including University educations for his kids. I’m also aware of people who can’t even afford to send their own kids to University, but still dedicate a substantial portion of their pay cheque to the church only to watch the Minister’s children going to University out of the Church’s offerings.
One of the pillars of Islam includes obligatory almsgiving where wealthy Muslims must share a percentage of their wealth with the poor, but it doesn’t say that money needs to be given to the Church. I believe in skipping the “middle-man” and donating directly to those who need it. I feel very strongly against donating to a Church where perhaps only 5% of the money you donated will actually end up with the people who need it.
Don’t even get me started on Catholic Priests. There’s the story of the 2 Priests who apparently helped themselves to 8.6 million in collection plate money. How does a Church allow a Priest to steal 8.6 million?? Then there’s the never-ending list of Priests who like to touch youngsters; things like that happen when you ask a man to abstain from his natural human instincts for his entire life.
I truly believe many people in churches have good intentions, but sometimes money talks and serves to distort rational thought. I personally plan to explore all sorts of religions throughout my life, but you’ll have trouble finding me sitting in a pew and dropping a $20 in the collection plate.