Posted by: chlost | April 10, 2010

Religious experiences

The world of organized religion has been hit by more scandal.  The Roman Catholic church has to face the fact that their leader was involved in hiding a child molester, thus allowing further victimization of more children.  It doesn’t help that the  abuse seems to have focused on young boys.  The church’s anti-gay teachings has come face to face with its “passing” of abuse by males against young boys.

Organized religion, particularly the super-conservative Christian brand seems ripe for this type of abuse.

When a leader of a group is deemed infallible, what possibly could go wrong?  When a bureaucracy unrivaled in political intrigue and power is in place, how could there be abuse?  Please.  The Church is designed for abuse to be rampant, and the covering up of such abuse-whether sexual abuse, physical abuse, or financial abuses.  I don’t understand how anyone could be surprised by this.

I was raised Lutheran.  My husband and I decided relatively late in the game to have our children involved in a church.  Our theory at the time was to give them some education as to the Christian religion to help prevent them from being subject to the cult mentality of the Evangelicals in our area.  That worked.  None of our children are evangelical.

Little did I appreciate at the time, however, the cult mentality of  mainstream organized religions.  I understand that not every church or religion is based on intolerance and hate, and I appreciate the role of some churches in the support of social justice.  However, recent incidents make me even less likely to ever become involved again in any organized religion.

The protesters at the West Virginia mines claiming that the deaths of the miners is retribution by god for the US’ support of gay rights.  The breaking away of a group of Lutheran churches because the official doctrine of the Lutheran Church accepts non=celibate gay clergy.  The Roman Catholic Church’s complicity in the sexual abuse of children by its priests.  These are just the beginning.

I have to believe that if there is a god, she is shaking her head and weeping in utter despair over the actions of those who are doing these things in her name.  However, as time goes on and these types of incidents continue, I believe less and less that there is a god. 

I have been questioning my own beliefs for quite some time.  The holocaust remembrance day today has brought this to the forefront of my mind, as well. 

Humans are animals.

We may try to dress ourselves up, laugh at the “primitive” beliefs and rituals of our ancestors (worshiping the sun?). but we are no different (worshiping with wine that turns to blood?).  When push comes to shove, we push and we shove.  We do horrible things to each other.  In fact, we are surprised when we hear of those who do not.  We call them heroes.  We award them.  It is so unusual that we have ceremonies honoring them, with medals and 21-gu salutes. 

I am struggling with this.  If you have found answers, I would be interested in knowing what was the process you went through and what, if anything was the deciding factor for you one way or the other.  Is a religious experience just another word for hallucination?  How do I work through these issues?  Especially in light of our crazy, mixed up, religion as a weapon of hate society?

But please, no proselytizing.



  1. This is a theme that comes up in my blog often and will again in the coming weeks. Watch this George Carlin video on Youtube:

    I think in the first two minutes it will pretty much sum up what you were likely thinking. He even has an opinion of why god could likely not be a “she”.

    The number of us who started out as believers and through life experiences have come to realize there is no there There, is steadily growing… You are not alone.

  2. I understand. It bothers me a lot, too! I’ve always been a questioner — I drove the nuns crazy as a kid. Right now I’m trying to decide what I want to do about it. The idiots at Faux News who claim to be Christians scare me — if they are Christians, I’m quitting the club.

  3. Back when I was going to the Episcopal church, I told the priest I only believed in a metaphorical way and he said, “We don’t ask you to check your brain at the door.” Ultimately, though, I felt like I was so at odds with the theology and the patriarchal language that it was no longer workable. So I’ve melded Quakerism and Buddhism into a practice that works for me.

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