Tag: Religion

Anti-Religion Doesn’t Always Mean Anti-God

Anti-Religion doesn’t necessarily mean “Anti-God”. For example, I had a conversation recently with a Vietnam veteran who is ultra conservative, loves his country and is unashamedly a believer of God.

There were two things that I found fascinating, and almost contradictory, about this gentleman:

1.) He said he would never stand for the pledge of allegiance.

Being a patriotic veteran, he said he would gladly fight for his family, for his friends, for his country and for freedom. The issue he took with the pledge wasn’t based in anti-Americanism, but rather with the wording of the pledge itself.

The line in particular he found troublesome was “I pledge allegiance to the flag”.

The flag, he suggested, while representing our liberty and values, was an inanimate object, and pledging allegiance to it he saw as a form of idolatry. He believes the pledge should first declare “I pledge allegiance to God above all else.”

2.) He said he would never step foot inside of a church again.

He views the church as the paragon of evil; the bastion of corruption seeking only to accumulate power and wealth rather than to solely teach the word of God.

Long before he moved to Texas he was a Baptist deacon at a church in Minneapolis and became privy to the corruption inside its walls. He left the church and devoted his life to serving God, not religion.

As someone who is critical of religion, I’ve never begrudged anyone their right to believe in what they wish to believe in. My issue with religion doesn’t revolve around the concept of a higher power.

In fact, I find agnosticism and freethinking less dogmatic in contrast to outright atheism. As an admirer of theoretical physics I find it’s imperative to keep an open mind to the possibility of an inexplicable, omnipresent force that may have had some deliberate impact on the creation of the conscious mind.

We simply don’t know how reality came to be or what it actually is. As such, I find it’s arrogant and presumptuous to declare that you have an answer to the greatest questions of all time.

Religion, specifically Abrahamic derivatives, has historically aimed to use force rather than free will; indoctrination over enlightenment.

One could argue, as our aforementioned friend has suggested, that the coveting and accumulation of wealth and power could very well be an assault to God. Religion itself may be the Anti-Christ. Who knows?

What I do know is that institutions of power, such as the Church, have historically executed great atrocity in the name of God. These oppressive organizations may not be accurately representing  their God.

 

Weed Smoking Nuns Denounce Religion

The Sisters of the Valley are “self-ordained” nuns that grow marijuana/hemp in California and sell cannabis based products.

Last year, Christine Meeusen and 6 other members of the order claimed $750,000 in sales last year. Their best year since they started in 2015. The Sister’s mission is to empower women and provide what they call medical and healing products.

What I think is perhaps more interesting than the fact that these nuns grow marijuana/hemp and sell cannabis based products, is that they are anti-religion.

“We’re against religion, so we’re not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices.” Meeusen’s sister Kate told NBC.

These nuns make it clear, despite their monikers, that they are not an order of the Catholic church.

I’ve always held the position, as an agnostic, that I respect people’s belief in a higher power. In fact, I think people are better off believing in a higher power. My objection to religion has never been based merely on someone’s spiritual beliefs, but rather the oppressiveness of the religion that is attached to those beliefs.

So these nuns are both confusing and intriguing to me. I’m not sure how you can be a nun and profess that you not only do not belong to a religion but also are anti-religion.

It’s quite fascinating and it makes you think. (Well, it makes me think.)

I think if more people renounced their religions and concentrated more on their relationship with whatever they perceive God to be, then the grip of religious-based oppression would weaken across the world.

According to Lifeteen.org, a christian blog that aims to perpetuate the anti-progressive teachings of an ancient religion to children, claims that Marijuana is evil and you shouldn’t do it. Big surprise there.

I never understood why the church was so against marijuana.  Anti-marijuana rhetoric propagated by the church helped in creating a voodoo pharmacology based propaganda effort to subdue society into thinking it was evil.

This fortifies a moral foundation that ultimately leads to the suppression of individual liberty.

Did anyone in the church stop and think that maybe God wanted you to use this plant?

The Sisters of the Valley did, and these nuns are pretty cool in my book.

Photo Credit: NBC

To Threaten Your Kids with Hell is Child Abuse

To threaten your kids with Hell is child abuse. It’s imperative to understand the difference between ‘education’ and a ‘threat.’

Psychological abuse is, admittedly, an often overused term in our society. Although there is a range in the degree of severity of so-called psychological abuse claims, this one, whilst controversial, is an authentic case.

Religious leaders claim that hell does exist and that they are merely cautioning children of the ramifications they will face if they disobey. They insist it is no different than a parent threatening their children with chores or other punishments; and that it is permissible.

There’s a difference, however, between teaching and threatening. You weaponize your faith when you use Hell, which is violence, as a threat to obtain simple results from your children. Results that could very well be obtained without threatening the use of violence.

Some child psychologists argue that once violence is introduced as a promised punishment for not following an order, whether it’s a belt whooping, a fist to the face, or eternal damnation, that you’re entering into the landscape of abuse.

If you’ve ever been in a Walmart you’ve likely at some point heard a parent exclaim to their child that “If you don’t stop, I’m gonna bust your ass”.

You probably felt disgust when you heard it. You probably made the determination that the parent is unfit.

Now what if they said “If you don’t stop, your bones will be crushed by the fallen Angel Lucifer and your flesh will burn in Hell for all eternity”?

It’s actually, arguably, worse to threaten your child with Hell. But why?

A direct threat of violence is a personal attack. Simplified, it is merely an interaction between two people. No one else is involved. It’s between the individual being threatened and the individual who is making the threat.

When the promise of hell is introduced, you’re looking a something much deeper. You’re bringing an outside force into your threat. The outside force is ‘Satan’, his demons and the whole of Christianity. (Or any other religion that uses threats of violence or hell as a punishment for disobeying.)

These reinforcements you’ve summoned into your threat are codified by an entire religion.  It’s not just you making the threat anymore.

If you threaten a child with swift violence, it’s him or her against you.  If you use Hell as your threat, it’s now your child against an entire system.

The effects of this can be somewhat detrimental and long-lasting.  You’re scaring your children with any threat of violence, but you’re absolutely terrifying them with the threat of Hell and making them feel utterly hopeless.

An Alternative

Nobody is perfect. We’re all human and we’re always looking for answers of how to solve problems. Some people don’t realize the damage they may be doing to their children with threats of violence and hell.

You want your child to behave and to grow into a responsible adult. There is a solution to achieving this without using any kind of threat of violence or hell.

You want to caution your children of potential risks they face from the actions they choose. A child must know that if they wield a fork and put it into an electrical outlet that it has the potential to hurt them. This is called education.

Stick to the facts. I understand that people have different spiritual and religious beliefs and that’s fine, but concentrate on educating your children on the dangers they will face in THIS world rather than a world we don’t know exists or not.

Be cool and collected when educating your children on the dangers and possible ramifications they will face because of their actions. There’s no need to threaten them.

Education and facts are key.

Keep a balance. There’s definitely a need to educate your children on consequences they may face because of their actions. It is also beneficial, however, to speak of the positive things they may receive for their good behavior. Remind them of life’s rewards as well as its punishments. Don’t threaten and don’t bribe; just make them aware.

 

Sources:

American Psychological Association

American Humane Association

Mayo Clinic

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