control

When Religion is Controlling Not Charitable

The reasoning—though it may be anything but reasonable—behind granting US churches tax-exempt status derives from an attempt to prevent government involvement with religion per the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

What happens when religion, some sects masquerading as spiritually devout in pursuit of all-mighty greed, becomes invasively and pervasively involved with government in an attempt to control all citizens?

Because, there’s that other clause in the First Amendment about free exercise of religion. Which doesn’t mean one church gets to freely force the rest of us to practice what they preach. And yet, there are far too many instances of it.

Blue laws are a glaring example. Those state-mandated regulations in places like Virginia wherein the purchase of alcohol in stores is prohibited on Sundays. The day of Christian worship. Because someone decided long ago that we’re all supposed to be in church—their idea of church—on that particular day.

Another example is dry counties in Texas, where evangelicals commanded that, because they don’t drink (or dance,) no once else should either. Or is there a presumption that all Texans are supposed to be Baptist and white like the blue-eyed Jesus in their churches?

A particularly pernicious situation is forced prayer in public schools. Not parochial schools, but schools funded by the American taxpayer, not all of whom are so-called Christians against the Establishment Clause.

Who gave those patriarchal pinheads control over anyone’s free will? Any law, regulation or rule based so clearly on religious dictates is blatantly violative of the US Constitution, so why do they continue to exist?

And who told the Catholic Church they run the country? This is the USA, not the Vatican or the Spanish Inquisition. It is beyond dictatorial control to refuse to give Communion to our president because they respect the Constitution.

Unfortunately, some states allow religious control of local governments, including Utah, Texas, Virginia, and more. The so-called religion they seek to shove down the throats of the rest of us is suspiciously and sickeningly based on misogyny and other forms of bigotry, including blatant racism. How convenient for the white males that came up with all “the rules.”

The reason churches are spared oversight by the IRS is they are considered public charities. Meaning, religious organizations are supposed to do charitable works for their communities, as opposed to telling everyone in America how to live their lives in an attempt to control the universe.

When priests and preachers dictate from the pulpit, directing their flock to vote for a particular candidate or they will go to hell, when they instruct people to hate homosexuals because they’ve decided their god hates them as well, when religious patriarchal dictates treat women and minorities as second-class citizens, it’s not charitable. It’s tyrannical.

And the Catholic Church might deny Communion, but they’ll still take your tithe. Plus, child abuse and pedophilia are crimes in the US. Are they sins per Catholicism?

It’s bad enough we’ve got ignorant fascists infiltrating all levels of government in an attempt to destroy our democracy, but when they do so spouting biblical verses while claiming their god is American and white and loves guns, it’s a special kind of heinous hypocrisy, and idiocy. And it has no place in a secular society.

Because that’s what America is. Secular. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the Ten Commandments.

Religious fanatics have turned liberty into an ugly, selfish word. Liberty University being one hypocritical red flag. This while they spout about their freedoms as if they and no one else are entitled to the rights bestowed by our Constitution. And if their god is so powerful, what do they need assault rifles for? Or does thou shall not kill not apply to them either? Along with other rules they don’t follow as they demand the rest of us do.

Attempts to eradicate female autonomy in the name of religious morality is a thinly veiled cloak for control wielded over women as the sole gender that can give birth. Men who want to control women use religion to conveniently deem that their deity is male and white, and all women and nonwhites are inferior to them.

In Being Alien, fourth book in my Other Worldly series coming this fall, protagonist Rowan Layne refers to the burning of women for witchcraft:

“I was thinking about the hypocrisy of religion when it comes to how women have been treated historically in the UK and US—all over Earth. It bums me to know the alien revelation hasn’t changed things, that there are idiot misogynists roaming the galaxy. I’d hoped hatred and bigotry were merely humanity’s greatest flaw.”

People will apparently always attempt to control what they ultimately cannot, and unfortunately they use self-styled religious morality to do so.

H.L. Mencken, American journalist known as the “Sage of Baltimore,” said:

“It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.”

In 1943, Justice Robert H. Jackson said in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

It’s true. Religion is a matter of opinion, not proven fact. And it’s not the rule of law in the US. It never was.

Perhaps people could focus on practicing personal and professional ethics and a modicum of integrity, as opposed to subjective morals based on a fanatical, twisted idea of faith that insists on an inappropriate role in our government.

1 thought on “When Religion is Controlling Not Charitable”

  1. It was the rigid dogma of the Catholic church that drove me out of it. The fact that they accumulated vast wealth and suppressed other early teachings of Jesus (for example, the Gnostic gospels) just turned me off.

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