The Demonization Of Organized Religion


Why do some like to demonize organized religion? Simple! It is so easy. I mean, it is easy to attack an institution because there is no mess, so to speak. That is, it’s ‘not personal.’ Organized Religion is of course, no different than any other organization when it comes to this. I mean attacking ‘the government’, the ‘corporation,’ or the local school board, makes for good conversation, and for many of us it’s just plain fun.

The problem, of course, is that we tend to create ‘straw-man’ of these organizations. With religion, we can make sweeping statements about their policies and procedures because…well, just because we want to. No need to know all the facts or ramifications behind institutional decisions because it is so much more enjoyable to speak out of ignorance because if we learn the facts, well…we might not be able to enjoy it so much.

A few years ago the church to which I belong announced a new policy. Upon examination it wasn’t really a new policy as much as it extended its scope. Within minutes of a policy that was ‘leaked’ by some ill intention person, the pundits and naysayers weighed in on the motive, intention, and dastardly evil ways of such a policy. No point in studying out the complex nature of such a decision when you can throw a few stones with impunity.

Having spent decades as a leader in an unpaid clergy, my personal experience in trying to maneuver the ins and outs of the complex nature of society, with all its nuances, is very difficult. Most often any decision that you make regarding almost anything is met with opposition. You are ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Despite what some would think, I don’t ever recall making a decision based on hate, or with the purpose of trying to hurt people. In fact, such an inside view gave me a first hand look of how much “organized good” that was done for people.

I suppose that Christian churches could be places where nothing more is taught than to love others without requiring any more out of its members. But then, it wouldn’t be a ‘Christian’ church, because the founder of that church, Jesus, gave commandments. He not only had expectations for those who followed him, but he gave pretty specific guidlines about what was and wasn’t acceptable behavior in his followers. Jesus taught: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15), meaning, he had rules.

There are requirements to be a follower of Jesus Christ and sometimes that means one has to swallow hard, and examine how we are personally living up to the name of Christ, who we profess to worship.

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