The Evil(s) of Religion


A friend of mine, who was a professor and director of plays in which I participated at the college I attended in the 1970s, posted on Facebook a black-and-white photograph of a happy woman in attractive attire cutting a birthday cake slice for herself. This woman lived, just a couple of years before the time we were both at Georgia College, in pre-Islamic-Revolution Iran. My friend added a statement to the photo-post: “Religion is evil.”

My lengthy thoughts follow:

I agree with John’s statement. Look at all the evil men with evil motives who have used religion of all kinds, including Evangelical Christianity with all of what I once thought were scriptural guarantees of protection against evil men using it for evil motives.

No religion will automatically, facilely protect you from an evil or even simply greedy human being using that religion to prosper himself disproportionately or hurt you. Established knowledge and wisdom in using it might help you more.

Ask the Native Tribes, many of whose members converted to the faith the colonizers brought over here: the very faith that was used to justify exile and genocide of those Tribes, and many, many broken promises to them. I think the historical record also shows that many were FORCED to convert. Such love and compassion there, eh?

Religion is evil. I agree, especially having lived through, and not yet being done with, the age of Trumpism and the Religious Right, who are arguably neither particularly religious nor remotely correct.

We relative few who continue to believe in order to bring out some of the (we hope) intended and designed good in it that we have discovered …

… are still vastly outnumbered by evil, greedy men with shrewdly designed techniques, which they are perfecting all the time, for corrupting and spreading harmful religion-based and faith-based viral ideas. And, after all, who can be sure we’re not also wrong in our bull-headed tenacity? We’ve seen but a glimmer of the Light we believe is there, and this world has acted like a fun-house mirror, rather than a clean window, to transmit that glimmer.

If you sold a drink that led directly or even circumstantially to as much harm to as large a number of human beings, you might soon and rightfully be urged to take it off the market, because you are selling poison: even if it did amazing amounts of good to a small number who could understand the fine print and drink it correctly. All their championing of that Narrow Way cannot hide the fact that THE DRINK ITSELF, and the way it was merchandised to the millions, provided the broad way that led to the destruction of so many others.

Yes, I am still a believer, a seeker of that Narrow Way. I just am having a lot of trouble with some of what I’m thinking about that right now, given all of this, and all of what I’ve seen, experienced, lived through that relates to it. And with so many people wanting us to be “a Christian nation,” I’d have to say, sadly, that almost everything about society and culture in America relates to it.

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