Religion and its Defects Organized religion is a facet of society that acts as a frame in the development of an individual, whether growing up with a religious fanatic family or in an atheists structured home the majority of the views expressed are views from one’s own family, not his or her own understanding. In many if not most cases an organized religion takes away from one’s own personal growth; which in turn creates an easier path into indoctrination. “Religion can contribute to personal and national identity” (Lee 26).
Controlling through ones emotional fear leads to war, hate crimes and genocide. In such cases as the 9/11 attacks on the United States by Al Qaeda, the Crusades a war between Christians and Muslims held in Jerusalem (middle-ages. org), and the Holocaust a persecution and murder of six million European Jews ( ushmn. org). Individuals have all been forced into violent acts following the framework of their religion, without the understanding of what the intentions of their religion truly are.
The religion that one follows does not necessarily demonstrate the views of that person as a whole, for example Rich McSheehy believes that the attack on America was committed by Al Qaeda [Muslims] with some sort of radical Islamic hatred of the Christian and Jewish west. Overall the negative actions of organized religion outweigh the dubious actions of the organized religion followers. Consequently organized religion is a calculating oppressive power that gives man an inadequate excuse to murder, and exiles others over their differences.
Organized religion is nothing more than a cult that feeds off power and the control of others, more so than the personal development of those religious followers. Organized religion has conjured itself in to a dirty business scheme that takes advantage of innocent individuals, looking for an outlet to their terror ridden lives. Organized religion has become a financial empire more than a personal ideology. Christianity for example is one of the most prosperous religions in the world according to adherents. om, a governmental verified statistical web site. From the multimillion dollar ministries such as Joel Osteen that charge an average of $20 per ticket for his God driven messages, as stated on his personal web site joelosteen. com, to the shady infomercials that succeed at bribing hopeless individuals into spending hundreds of dollars on bottled water with a holy label slapped on it; When in actuality the water has never even come into contact with anyone or anything considered holy.
Holy water is a form blessing that was established as efforts of adding God into another part of the lives of the religious followers (religionfacts. com). The organization of Christianity becomes more than just faith it becomes an excuse for scheme artist to pad their conscious. In such ways the organized religion organization has slowly become more about the profit rather than the savior. As stated by Lawrence Kushner, author of I’m God Your Not, “Mankind devoured organized religion to where religion is not looked at as gateway to heaven, but rather a spiraling stairwell to hell” (191).
More than demon exorcisms are being performed within the faith having ministries, a profit off of the need of people has elevated the organized religion into an unstoppable brainwashing monster, that poses as a hand out to those in need when really they strive for wealth. Not talking about the religions organizations that use their controlling powers for the better of mankind, but those that feed on the innocent. Ministry organizations bribe families into just freely handing money away, without a clue of where the money goes.
Churches all over the world hold an offering at the beginning of service, freeloading off the hard work of others. The members of that church have no idea where that money is going, or what the money will do for or to them in the future. A plate is passed around the pews, and people throw money into it, looking at the next person to see how much they put in, just to outdo them. That is really what an organized religion becomes, a competition between neighbors, more so than a faith based organization.
When being part of an organized religion one becomes consumed in the competition with of the followers and lose sight of the faith aspect of the religion. Meursault stated that he, “was assailed by memories of life that [weren’t his] anymore, but which [he’d] found the simplest and most lasting joys” (Camus 104). The life of being in an organized religion becomes hard work and the memories that are left behind are not ones remembered on purpose, but salvaged for personal reflection. The history of man and his control driven passion through organized religion has had more than a negative appeal to the world.
The Holocaust for example, was a “systematic bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime” (ushmm. org). Members of Hitler’s regime followed him and all of the cruel actions he displayed towards others that had a different look than him, in the desire of their so-call religion; A religion that controlled the men of Hitler’s regime with the promise of false hopes. The affects of organized religion drag individuals into a task in which they otherwise would have not participated in, such as the murder of approximately six million Jews.
Nowhere in the Holy Bible, does it spell out to kill those that do not follow the footsteps of God, or to rid those that are different from thyself. In fact commandment six of the Christian holy text of Exodus 20:2-17 reads that “Thou shall not kill” (Holy Bible KJV). The actions taken during the Holocaust took upon the principle of Hitler telling the world that he wanted to cleanse his country in efforts of eventually cleansing the entire world of nonbeliever and sinners, but in fact Hitler was in the search from individual power and success that had nothing to do with the Christian religion, or the Jewish people.
In the minds of Hitler’s followers demeaning talk of their religion began to stir questions and rebellion for so long that they begin to believe the demeaning slurs chanted to them, instead of use their own minds, and followed Hitler. “The Nazis also used radio propaganda in the Arab world, according to Tarek Fatah, author of The Jew is Not My Enemy. Six million Jewish believers all suffered under the fatal fellowship of an organized religious group. According to encyclopedia. jrank. rg, Melford Spiro, suggests that religion is an institution consisting of culturally patterned interaction with culturally postulated superhuman beings, Phrasing that the follower of the religion are as far away from the actual religion as possible. Jewish author Kushner establishes a fear for the Christian religion, simply not just because of the juxtaposition between the two religions, but “[he] is wary of Jesus because of the history and what so many of those who said they believed in him have done to [his] people” (118). The religion has nothing to do with the people that choose to follow it.
Man creates his own perception of what and how an organized religion should be ran and followed. The mentality of man will never and has yet to change in the recent years, when comes to dealing with power and control over another. The Christians and Muslims war of the time that took place in Jerusalem in 1065. The simplicity of the fight is a straightforward as the name of the two organized religious groups, the Christians and the Muslims, or the Saracens (middle-ages. org). Irony embeds itself all throughout the Christian religion.
In the Holy Bible there are many inconsistencies as to where Jesus was born and to what land is considered “The Holy” land. The Holy Scripture states in Matthew 2:1-6 that there would “come a ruler who will be the shepherd of people [from] Israel. ” This scripture force Palestinians to believe that Jesus true birth place is in Bethlehem, not in Israel, because of what was stated in Matthew; then again in the Holy text there is another conflicting statement in Luke 2:1-7 where Luke describes that Joseph and Mary, Jesus earth parents were residents of Nazareth in Israel.
Jesus is constantly referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” (religioustolerance. org). It is apparent that man wrote the Holy Bible, because of all the lost in translation facts, and how each book in the Holy Bible has an opinion on where Jesus was born, and how those who believe in him should behave. It is just like man to slightly change the rules a little so that the game ends in his favor. “Medieval Christianity invoked the love of Jesus as the source of hating the Jew [and] Muslims” (Fatah146). The word “crusade” literally means “going to the Cross. Hence the idea at that time was to urge Christian warriors to go to Palestine and free Jerusalem and other holy places from Muslim domination. The leader of The Crusades was Pope Urban II, a Pope called for the elimination of Muslims from what was perceived to be the holy land. The justification that individuals give on account of their own agenda and to what their perception of what is right and who is right. Once again the organized religion, which is run by man, is the responsible for the persecution of others. Those that suggest that this punishment was justified because it was based on biblical laws add insult to injury” (Fatah 142). In more than one incident has organized religion been the excuse to oppress others. Men, women, teens and children are all persecuted for their faith or difference in appearance. In America since the September 11th attacks Muslims have been scrutinized, diminished and discriminated against, regardless of their connection to Al Qaeda, or lack thereof. [There is] a distinction between the American public and the government” (Shiekh 53). American people are somewhat accepting when meeting people of different descent, but after the brutal attack the American people became outraged and without fully understanding the situation, began to blame all Muslims for the death of such a large amount of Americans. According to Irum Shiekh, author of Detained without a Cause, The FBI assumed that Muslims were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and as a result, Muslims became suspicious.
In The Stranger Meursault is exposed to such acts when he is accused of murder. “If you go slowly, you risk getting sun stroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church… there is no way out. ” (Camus 17). This quote is a metaphor that describes the cruelty of society, once it has established a view of a person. Meursault describes how there is no way out, regardless of what is done the viewpoint of society will forever remain; Making it so incredibility hard to put an end to Muslim mistreatment.
The affects of organized religion have been repeated amounts of the negative effects, the most recent ones being the Islamic attacks on the Coptic Christians in Cairo, Egypt, in early May 2011 and the Showang Protestant church congregation in Beijing, China during Easter week of April 2011. In both cases individuals were murdered as a result of religious extremist groups who are an organization of individuals who become consumer in the perfection of others through the jade ego of their own religion according to Dr.
Bob Murray of The American Journal of Psychiatry. In any case having a religion does not combine ones belief with those if an extremist. As in The Stranger by Albert Camus, Meursault is never described as having a religion yet his lack of religion places him in a group that others find reasons to dislike. ” Everybody knows life isn’t worth living. Deep down I know perfectly well that it doesn’t matter whether you die at thirty or seventy, since in either case other man and women will naturally go on living” (Camus 114).
Cynical behavior is common among religious extremist, rowdy around camera crews stirring emotional rumors in other congregations. According to Leonard Leo the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedoms (USCRIF) rumors often trigger tension between religious groups. USCRIF takes steps towards creating balanced international religious freedoms. Throughout The Stranger Meursault comes face to face with a series of questionable moments all in his debate on life and death with the Chaplin.
Meursault’s cynical attitude towards religion forces the Chaplin to fiercely reply with the remark of “if you don’t die today then you’ll die tomorrow or the next day” (117). The Chaplin places an endless spiral on Meursault life. In this particular situation the Chaplin urges Meursault to become something he’s not, knowing that his final days are inching near, and instead of leaving Meursault with his happy thoughts of Marie. The Chaplin agitates Meursault until all the joy of life that Meursault once had is squeezed out in attempts to convert him into believing in a God that Meursault cannot physically touch. I thought so much about a woman, about women, about all the ones I had known, about all the circumstances in which I had enjoyed them, that my cell would be filled with their faces and crowded with my desires” (Camus 77). Meursault is a prime example of the control and power that an organized religion has on individuals. It is almost like a wind tunnel that once it catches onto the tail slowly but surely consumes the entire person, For Meursault he become completely consumed “When[he] entered prison they took [him] away [his] belt, [his] shoelace, [his] tie and everything [he] had in [his] pockets”(Camus 78).
Meursault is first subject to the rule of an organized religion through the oppressing views of society. Camus began the novel with the death of Meursault mother, and Meursault not expressing any emotion towards her death. As the novel progresses a dreary sense of control begins to set in. Constantly Meursault is complaining of the sun, “the whole time there was nothing but the sun and the silence, with the low gurgling from the spring and the three notes” (Camus 55). In a symbolic way Camus is referencing the sun as the powers of an organized religion.
The sun has attributes of the whip on the globe in Greek mythology (www. pantheon. org) in which act as controlling tools towards the men and women in the world, the same way the sun controls Meursault, pushing and confusing him to kill a man that he would have otherwise not killed. In the same way the sun controlled Meursault decisions in such a manipulative way is the same way the Al Qaida manipulated the minds of the three men responsible for the twin towers and pentagon attacks. “There are strange texts in which defy understanding” (Lazarus 159).
Man today cannot fully understand the meaning of the holy text today, because according to William Lazarus, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament was written in Greek and Aramaic. The Koran was written in Arabic, all languages have been translated into English. The men of Al Qaeda were brainwashed into thinking that they acts they were to commit would be something heroic for their religion, and for Allah, the almighty one in the Muslim region. In the Qur’an is a state that “If anyone harms (others), God will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, God will show hostility to him. Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1625. The young men of Al Qaeda were men like Meursault, lost souls without a real care in the world, “It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really nothing had changed (Camus 24). To be a true follower of Allah one would have to know the Qur’an most if not all of its teachings. Allah does not teach that Muslims are superior to all other faiths; it is the man that leads the religion that partakes in the religion who developed his own ideas of how the religion should be run and what the qualifications should be.
The United States suffered a great loss during the September 11th attacks, not only in the amount of lives that were lost as a result of the collapsing of the twin towers but also the amount of American that were emotionally and mentally lost as a result of that tragedy. In that attack on America not just Americans suffered a loss. There are a great deal of Muslims then and today that ridiculed and persecuted by the American public, all at the hands of a menacing organized religion leader. Some might think that an organized religion is something that act as a benefit towards individuals, leading them into a happier and healthier life n which betters the societies downfalls. Religion and faith are given credit for a great deal of positive things in the world today, such as health, positive community members. A study of prayer use by patients showed that 47% of study subjects prayed for their health, and 90% of these believed prayer improved their health (Godandsicence. org), faith healing. Faith healing has been in the news more than once or twice in the American public. This yet again is another example of organized religion taking the life of an innocent person.
Does an organized religion not allow an individual to have their own judge of character or common sense? That is the feeling that was pushed on Meursault through The Stranger “My fate was being decided without anyone so much as asking my opinion”(Camus98). In the case of the faith healing families the child is the only one that suffers. The affects of faith healing have become so drastic that the “The Oregon Senate voted to drop faith healing as a legal defense to murder after repeated deaths of children in a local church community” (Abdollah). Organized religion takes people and capitalizes on their weaknesses. Many religions have destroyed what we are” (Henningfeld 73). Organized religion plasters a smile and positive language onto the cover of their lies and deception, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Holy Bible Mathew 7:5). The “good book” states in plane English that before anyone can attempt to fix another they must look at themselves, but leaders of organized religions never do. In Organized religion “Every stone sweats with suffering” (Camus 118).
There has not been one person that has not suffered from playing part in a organized religion. Religion is not the issue when talking about society, the issue resides with those who lead the religion to fulfill their own needs. If not through money schemes such as the holy infomercials, then through a systematic upbringing of people full of hate of other because of what is seen or displayed. Millions of innocent individuals have been the subject of humiliation, genocide because of close minded people who make judgments without proper information.
Through generations of ignorantly developed people, the world today is full of racism, radicals; “Christianity in America… is moving, changing and dividing” (Cox 114). evolution is bound to occur, but to what extent should religiously active individuals cast out others. Looking back on the world and all of the innocent deaths that could have been prevented, the most prevention would have come from a lack of organized religions. “A wave of poisoned joy rose in my throat”(Camus 110), to discover that lives can mean so little to another human. Meursault fought for so long to keep his sanity in what little world he had.
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