Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is it worth selling your soul to win a war?

I must preface this post by saying I know there are wonderful religious people who I feel do the things Jesus would choose for them to do. They feed the hungry and provide what they can for the needy. I know there are people like that and I admire them for their efforts.

Then there are the other religious people. These are the troubling ones. These are the ones who seem to hide behind religion as they do deeds which seem contrary to the very religious views they claim. These are the ones who seem to welcome the fear of terrorism as it gives them an excuse to do things most of us find repugnant. They would appear to sell their righteous souls in order to torture another human being, all in the name of a claim of feeling more secure and more safe.

George Bush said he would be a “uniter”, and to some degree he has been. He has united much of our country in fear. As a result, much of our country has been willing to give up their soul, their purpose and their core beliefs if it makes them feel safe.

Why are so many willing to sell their soul to win a “war”? When you surrender your ideals and yourself and your soul, how can you say you have won anything?


Blogger ZILLA said...

Doesn't organized religion, to a degree, unite people in fear?

Is it harder to unite people in hope?

December 13, 2007 3:04 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

As someone who does believe in Jesus and does practice their relgion (Catholic) I must say that Zilla is quite correct. Sadly so.

And PoP- another great and thought provoking post.

Any understanding of God that I have does not guarantee my so-called "safety". Any understanding of God that I have does not mean it is ok to hurt others in order to gain my own means.

Any understanding of God that I have does not even remotely allow for God "loving" some folks more than others... i.e. Americans, or a particular denomination or whatever.

As a result of my own understanding (and I did not come to this alone, there are others like me, I can assure you) there is no way that any of the fear-mongering, hate and small mindedness that GWB and company have promoted can be Christian in any way.

It is complete power, control and manipulation on their part. (and sadly on the parts of many, many others)

So you are right- one's soul is not to be surrendered to these things. Sadly, many souls are surrendered to that just every day in this pathetic country.

December 13, 2007 3:21 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

The dwindling number of "religious right" followers who blindly believed Falwell and Robertson, that Bush and his many wars would be the greatest gift of their lifetime, have suddenly realized what the Bible says about the rising of "false beliefs."

Doesn't "false beliefs" aptly describe the love of war for Bush and Robertson?

December 13, 2007 3:50 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Very well said PoP. The propaganda of fear can affect everyone - and make them compliant to the leaders' policies. Bush and Co. have done such a great job of this. Look at England, where terrorism has struck more recently. Their current leadership immediately asked people to be calm and to understand that these are crimes more than anything.

It's odd that Americans who may be more secular than religious seem more alarmed and less afraid than many who believe in eternal life and that they've been saved.

It's also odd that the more progressive and socially active churches have been so quiet the past few years.

I think the religious right is about to be voted into the wilderness - hope so.

Outside the US, very few countries have managed to convince their people that this is a 'war'.

December 13, 2007 4:54 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

We've won cognitive dissonance. Illusions can be quite powerful. People need that protective figure. If you're scared all the time, and you have some rube on the tube waxing idiotic about terror, then it must be a Very Important Issue. If Gore had been president and all the talk had been about global warming, that would be the Very Important Issue on the minds of the citizens. I trust the American people as far as I can throw a VW bus.

December 13, 2007 5:34 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

A lot of people respond to fear by lashing out those they are told are the cause of their fear but these are the weak minded and who use their religion as an excuse for their behavior.
Apathy is the great sin of America. Everyone is busy with things they think are more important than paying attention to what is being done in their name (torture).

December 13, 2007 5:35 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Once your soul is gone, you don't have to worry about those pesky morals and ethics disturbing your conscience, you simply stop caring.

December 13, 2007 6:21 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

Great post, PoP. Re Gary's comments about how the British govt encouraged people to be calm and regard the "terrorism" as crimes--that's really the only rational response. In contrast, these days, Americans clutch their chests (and their pocketbooks) in fear whenever a fly farts. It's all about the American belief that we're the best so everyone wants to take what we've got. Paranoia and insecurity, mascarading as some fucked up version of natinoal pride. Shit, I'll give the govt we've got to any country in the world! On second thought, I wouldn't wish these assholes on my worst enemy.

December 13, 2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger Forty Paws said...

Along the lines of Gary's and Dguzman's comments, Europeans have been living with terrorism inside their countries much longer than Americans. They are unfortunately, used to it.

As for those religious "souls" willing to sell themselves to torture another being or to win a war, did they really have a "soul" to begin with? I think not or they could not condone their acts.

December 13, 2007 7:10 AM  
Blogger annie said...

i.m.o., religion BEGAN as a way to control the populous. and it worked very well. obviously. this reign of neocon christian terror turned me off to religion, once and for all. good posting, p0p.

December 13, 2007 8:12 AM  
Blogger Joe the Troll said...

Forty paws is right, these folks didn't have ideals in the first place. There's nothing new about people talking religion without living it.

"It's also odd that the more progressive and socially active churches have been so quiet the past few years."

Not when you consider that many churches that preached against administration policies were threatened with the loss of their tax exempt status.

The thing is, nothing new is happening. This crap has been going on since religion was first created. Americans like to pretend that they're facing a new situation, but that's bullshit. Many in other countries, and in the comments above, are acting like America has invented this behavior, and that's bullshit, too.

December 13, 2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger Targa said...

If there was a God, George W. Bush would have a massive coronary and keel over on Christmas Eve.... but, since there is no God, he will live to a ripe old age, all the while justifying what he did to Americans, civil liberties, and especially the poor and middle class... and Fox News will continue to give him air time.

Happy Holidays America. '08 will be a doozy.

December 13, 2007 9:24 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

And the irony of it is, how many acts of terrorism have actually taken place on American soil? I don't understand why America is so obsessed with terrorism. I read on TomCat's blog that 30,000,000 Americans go without medical and dental care, and millions go without food or housing! That's MORE than the population of Canada. American bills itself as the greatest nation in the world, and yet they carry on an expensive and unnecessary war, while 30,000,000 of their own countrymen are living in abject poverty.

Where does religion enter into that? Didn't Jesus say to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick? Why aren't the so-called religious folks doing that. instead of fighting an imaginery battle?

There is no excuse for what is going on in America today, and the rest of the world is looking on in disbelief and disgust. It's up to the American people to change it!

December 13, 2007 9:45 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I have to disagree to a certain extent with Zilla and FranIAM on this one. Organized religion doesn't unite people in fear, at least not all organized religions. It isn't "fear" of God in the respect to being afraid that is taught. When they say we should "Fear God", the meaning of that is to respect God's wishes. Is it fear of damnation that drives a person to believe in God? Maybe some, but not all. It's the hope of redemption and for eternal life that unites believers. Many of those who are religious don't just give to charity or help fellow human beings out of fear of going to hell if they don't, they do it because they want to show God the same love for our fellow humans that God shows for us. It's a gift of sorts. At least that's my impression of my Catholic teachings. I don't fear hell, because I know that I live and love for God, not the devil. I would like to think that I would be the same person that I am if I belonged to a religious institution or not. I also believe that you don't have to know God or believe in Him in order to attain eternal life in heaven (hopefully that doesn't sound condescending or preachy, that's not my intent).

Those who use the name of God in order to hurt others, will pay a very heavy price, IMO, and that most assuredly includes preachers, priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and Popes.

Those hypocrites of the religious right fringe groups are hurting every Christian in the world with their lies, hypocrisies and racism. They'll pay for way or another, they will pay if not on this earth, but through eternity. (Sorry again, I don't mean to sound preachy or anything-those are just my belief's and I respect anyone who doesn't hold those belief's).

December 13, 2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I also want to add that religious institutions are run by human beings, not angels, and many will use this to give themselves a sense of power. Humans aren't perfect, no matter if they are wearing the clothes of a preacher, nun, or Pope, so they will misrepresent the word of God in order to keep their power. But I don't blame religion...I blame humans for the disaster they've made out of the simple job to spread the real word of God.

Ok...enough. Sorry, hopefully nothing I said was offensive to others.

December 13, 2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

All it takes is one hypocrite and the world judges the sincere in the same context. You are right about what you said.

December 13, 2007 10:31 AM  
Blogger Dave The Angry Rhode Islander said...

Should we really be surprised at the bloodiness of the religious? Look at religion, especially Christianity; it's bathed in blood and gore.

How many of you grew up in a home with a sculpture or picture of a dead man nailed to a wooden cross? This is the first exposure to religion that so many children get.

Look at the incredible popularity of Mel Gibson's torture-porn movie about Jesus. Christians loved it, exactly BECAUSE it was so graphic in its depiction of his suffering.

Christians are told that they are bad from the moment of birth. They are sinners. They will suffer eternally in hell. They will be tortured infinitely. Unless...

It's a terribly twisted form of mental abuse, but hey, believe what you like. I just refuse to be surprised when one of them shoots up a church or starts an illegal war or cuts her babies arms and legs off or condones torture and so it goes.

Why should we be surprised at the bloodiness of the religious when the bible is full of horror? Isn't a key part of the religion the concept that all but good Christians will die during Armageddon?

Belief in a religion so steeped in violence, hatred, revenge, vengeance, and torture can only result in people who find such things acceptable.

December 13, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

Great post! The kind of "religious" people who are big on fear and hate give themselves license to act that way for one big loop-holey reason: "God's will." That is, their sick interpretation of same.

And that is what is so disturbing about Bu$hCo and his fanatical followers: these people actually believe they are justified doing ANYTHING THEY WANT, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, because it's "God's will."

That way, they can invade a sovereign country, use torture, actually plan to nuke other countries, all to win "the war." What war? Why, the war of Good versus Evil, of course.

They actually believe there is such a war, and that they are fighting on the side of "Good." Therefore, they want to WIN AT ANY COST. Anyone who opposes them is "obviously" EVIL. In fact, they may be SO evil that they need to be put in camps before long. And so on.

I just hope they don't end up destroying everyone on the planet.

December 13, 2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

A good point of discussion. There is a difference between Faith and Religion, the latter of which is man-made. I have tremendous optimism that we will get this country back on track, safe and secure.

December 13, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I sold my soul to rock and roll years ago.

December 13, 2007 12:53 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

Those American selfrighteous fundamentalists... the Christian ones... what are they called... EVANGELICALS... man they sound all BAD BAD BAD!!

December 13, 2007 3:06 PM  
Blogger Human said...

"Do it in the name of Heaven, You can justify it in the end".


December 13, 2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Don't look at me. I didn't sell my soul to win a war. And I didn't vote for Bush either time.

December 13, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

The way I see it, Goddess has died.

December 13, 2007 4:39 PM  
Blogger Gort said...

God is dead and people like this killed him.

December 13, 2007 7:25 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I think the problem is that there are two different versions of Jesus.

One is the real Jesus who taught, love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, generosity to the poor, and even the separation of church and state.

Because the religious-right theocons prefer hate, feat, intolerance, condemnation, vengeance, favoritism for the rich and even piety codes set into law, they invented their own Jesus to support these things: Supply-side Jesus.

December 15, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Religion is no longer the opiate of the people. It seems to be the thing which now drives them into a killing frenzy.


December 16, 2007 1:25 PM  

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