The Utter Hypocrisy of Faith

This is the cover of this weeks Time Magazine.  I am extremely tolerant when it comes to matters of other people’s concepts of faith. But, there comes a point when I ask myself, what is faith? What do I have faith in? I truly hope the sun will rise tomorrow, but frankly, I don’t count on it. I hope it will be a nice day and I use the wisdom of various scientific disciplines to help me predict the immediate future, but, I don’t count on it. I try to retain the hope that the innate genetic instinct of self preservation will guide humanity into a more stable, sane path, but I don’t count on it.
It’s curious to me, that the most innately moral and stable and saner people I know are all agnostic or of the atheist persuasion. To be fair, I know many profoundly religious people who are truly empathetic, selflessly generous and socially aware, but, lately to even admit this is giving ammunition to those who want to use and misinterpret the graciousness of others to promote their own scurrilous agendas. Case in point, a week ago, Bill Donahue dishonestly distorted the meaning and intention of Richard Dawkins statement in his 2006 book The God Delusion, that the Catholic Church has “been unfairly demonized” in regards to the charges of sexual misconduct and abuse, to somehow justify his position that the legal cases against the Catholic Church in these matters are unjustified and in effect a “witch hunt”. His Catholic League took out a full page ad in the NY Times to make his case that the charges amount to that homosexuals were somehow unfairly taking advantage of the church by trying to portray the abuses as pedophilia, when according to him, “the children involved weren’t raped” they were active participants.
Of course, Dawkins was trying to be realistic and fair in his investigation into this issue and should be commended for it, but his attempt to be fair was unfairly hijacked by Donahue…..
One has only to look at the real records to realize that the majority of the cases were not of a homosexual nature and that the majority of the cases took place between youngsters and mature, adult priests. But, in the world of Faith and the manipulation of interpretation, if you are a true believer, you only have to turn your head and look away.
That is one of only a myriad of issues I have with the concept of FAITH. Americans regard the Constitution as a sacred writ. But how many Americans know anything about the Constitution? In the minds of many it is the Constitution of Independence…a weird construct, like a Holy Card filed away in a dusty prayer book. A concept with out any real meaning which can be interpreted by shysters, like a snake oil selling preacher in a tent to mean what ever they want the language to be manipulated to mean.
The Constitution was adopted in 1787. That was 224 years ago. It was written as a framework to protect the rights of the states and citizens thereof in the operating environment of the 18th century.
It worked to a point and has been amended and stretched to its breaking point a number of times. In other words, we are running a country in the 21st century with an operating system that has been hacked together since the end of the 18th century.
How many times in the last 5 years have you had to upgrade the operating operating system of your computer? How often do you have to upgrade the security protection of your system? How often do you have to run anti virus programs to protect your system from subversive viruses?
This is real time, not dream time….
So, while the majority of Americans are dreaming, encased in the synthetic fantasy of a perfect democracy and not knowing what the operating system of America is about, it has been systematically hacked by those who want to exploit every flaw and as the system gets older, it becomes less responsive and more open to hacking. Faith means nothing. Being good because you don’t want to go to hell is so fucking lame. You either have a true moral compass or you are adrift. Being good because of the threat of eternal damnation is a joke to me. Hitler professed to be a christian, republicans and Wall street bankers who destroy the lives of the poor profess to be fervent christians. The decision to be socially responsible takes guts, determination and action. You can either live in a dream or choose between passive “faith” and active hope.
I chose HOPE a long time ago… and every day I say “Thank You” to Sister Mary Theonella for beating hope into my skull against a ceramic wall in St. Monica’s Grade School in Detroit. I have become and will always be, your very worst nightmare…..umm Sister Mary Theonella, if you want to get a preview of hell, click here, NOW!

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21 thoughts on “The Utter Hypocrisy of Faith

  1. Ah, with ‘Holy Week’ and the Jewish Passover in full swing, this article becomes even-more poignant. I had a long discussion a few days ago on the subject of religion and we all concluded that it is mostly a sham.

    Here’s my point about Jesus- his 12 apostles hung with him 24/7 for 3 full years and they didn’t ‘get it’ at all. They abandoned him to save their own hides and didn’t understand the very treachings that he preached to them.

    Yet, here WE are 2000 years later and we are supposed to believe all of that stuff. If THEY didn’t get it, how are we supposed to? Or is it all myth?

  2. I wrote about the real destructive use of religion as a political tool in the country I live in today.
    The basic concepts are always good. Jesus used language to illustrate his concepts, as any good teacher would. Then he became a myth, the myth became institutionalized.
    Why haven’t we evolved past the point of having to have a magic show as a form of behavioral modification? I’m a modern boy who refuses to live in a medieval world.

  3. I don’t think Jesus is myth, my friend…And, for some of your other posts I know you don’t either. But, the problem began 2000 years ago as you state when the Papacy was created and Catholicism became the official State religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine about 313 AD. Jesus’ message became lost in the Roman Church theology and doctrine. This lost of his metholdolgy was then even further lost with the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Now we had hundreds of “religions” affecting the real teachings of Jesus. And, this gets to the story you highlight in Time…

  4. I don’t think Jesus is myth, my friend…And, for some of your other posts I know you don’t either.

    Is that so? A myth is a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event , with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation.

    Where are the ‘facts’ about the man named Jesus in the Gospels? The current nonsence of Obama and the birthers pales in comparison with the lack of evidence that this man, Jesus, lived and did what was written about him. Two of the 4 cannonical gospels [Mark and John] mention nothing of his birth or his lineage. Mark was the original, of course, but Matthew and Luke have included stuff that contradicts each other. Very odd stuff.

    Tangentially, isn’t it amazing that many birther-Christians question Obama’s birth, but believe every work in Luke or Matthew about the ‘birth’ of Jesus. Amazing stupidity.

  5. TJ Smith runs a conservative blog and made this recent statement:

    Obama is a fool, and we need to be rid of him now. He still has 22 months to destroy this country, and at the rate he’s going, it won’t take that long.

    I wonder if Mr. Smith too is a birther? He sure hates the man, doesn’t he? Just out of curiosity, Mr. Smith, how do you propose to get “rid of him now?” Assassination?

  6. “Be still and know that I am God.” Pretty weighty shit there my brethern. Then, of course, there is the Double Slit Experiment to consider.

  7. I absolutely give credence to the historical record that there was a religious and social reformer who was named Jesus as well as to the existence of Gautama Bhudda. These facts I do not dispute. It is the need for humans to construct an institution around these individuals, mythologize them and embellish and re interpret their words to fit an agenda.
    Faith, as I see it, is a defense mechanism that evolved to keep us from going crazy at night when we looked into the universe. It is the way we rationalize and accept our place in the universe with out asking dangerous questions.
    It served its purpose in social organization over the eons. Consciousness evolves as the organism evolves. Our intellectual abilities have evolved but we are still constrained by a system of controlled beliefs.
    The Catholic Church was the most powerful control in early European history. By controlling the access to the supernatural, and access to the concept of salvation, it was able to supercede temporal authority of kings and emperors for centuries. The cracks began when the corruption of the institution and its need for temporal allies led it to cede power to the Frankish Kings of France.

    Then, as the papal crisis of authority occurred, with dual papacies and countries supporting one pope against another, the evolution of the process which led to the challenge and triumph of protestantism was a natural progression.

    I would say, if one made the observation that there seem to be more atheists who were once Catholics, and I would contest that statement as being purely subjective and not based on any real fact, but accepting that , then perhaps the institutional flaws of the medieval institution and it’s outward ritual and display are less effective in maintaining the existential “Fear” that true belief demands.

  8. I wrote the above comment before breakfast, now there’s a damn unicorn in the garden and I would like Jade’s advice at how to deal with it. He says his name is “Bruce”….

  9. Sorry about the unicorn, Microdot. Do you have any holy water? I think that if you sprinkle some around your yard, they stay away for a month or so.

  10. M_R…He is in the Roman tax records. The Romans kept sure records for tax purposes. Need to remember that the conquered terrotories were for the greater and honor of Rome. This meant natural resources, people for slave labor, food, and taxes. There is an historical Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

  11. Maybe TJ’s statement about Catholics becoming atheists has some merit. While I had Catholic elementary, secondary, and university education, I was not brain-washed. All levels were open to science and mathmatics, theology in high school and especially at a jesuit university was openly discussed. While I can be critical of my high school priests they did openly talk about Jesus and his message. We have to remember, and this is to M_R, our despised history and economic teacher who played “bingo and bongo” on us, out of the classroom he was an union organizer and consultant to union and trades. Why? Because he believed in the words of the Catholic Bishop Conferences. Moreover, he had us read the Papal Encylicals on social work and unionism. Believe they were Quadrogessimo Anno and Rerum Novarum, thats a long time ago, lol….Now, getting back to TJ, my point is that the Church may have planted the questions about holding to the faith or not believing in that doctrine. As long as the Church could have us believe all the ideological beliefs we remained on faith…But as we matured and read more, the Church began to lose members. It’s that dichotomy in the Church of Heaven and Hell and as long as we could accept that there was a loving God and Jesus and a vengeful, vicious, hating God, all was OK. But, many of us began to question that dichotomy because of the life of Jesus and his parables in the New Testament. Therefore, we left the church…

  12. UptheFlag writes, I was not brain-washed…theology in high school and especially at a jesuit university was openly discussed.

    Bingo! “I was not brain-washed.” There you have it in a nutshell. This point alone ought to be enough reason to explain why many Catholics no longer find chruch an important part of their life. Further, those who attended a liberal Catholic college, as UptheFlag points out, were given many opportunities to question Faith.

    The Fundamental Bretheren, on the other hand, had doctrine and fear beaten into them from their earliest days. The reason than many of them ‘believe’ is that they know nothing else and are scared that they will go to Hell [Newsweek] if they don’t recite those ‘magic’ words about ‘…Lord and Savior.’

    The folly of it all, especially 11 years into the 21st century, is darkly humorous if not pathetic.

  13. There was a discussion of faith today on Morning Joe let off by an agnostic. Afterf he said his piece, the panel was relieved to have a priest and rabbi to talk with, as they could relate to their vision of stuff more easily.

    The humor came shortly thereafter when each of these men centered their faith on miracles. For the rabbi, it was the miracle of the Passover when the “angel of death” did not commit infantcide on the houses with lamb’s blood smeared on them. The priest, of course, centered on the raising back to life of a dead body.

    The panel seemed to be more comfortable with this “view” of religion.

    Go figure!

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