Religions Gone Awry, Systems Rendered Asunder

Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

Islam promotes discipline and ends up glorifying violence. Christianity promotes love and ends up glorifying sex. Buddhism promotes non-possession and ends up glorifying money. Hinduism promotes India. Judaism promotes Israel. How did our major religions go so badly wrong? Good question. An even better question is how to set them right again. It won’t be easy.

Religion was long ago taken over by politics, and used as a tool for manipulation, souls for sale as the price of politics, people’s desire for meaning in life reduced to authoritarian submission and hopes for the best. Truth, beauty, and goodness have been traded for sex, money, and violence in some devil’s bargain, arbitrage of the soul, leveraged buy-outs of vestigial beliefs, so much debris and detritus…

Muslim Mosque in Sri Lanka

Muslim Mosque in Sri Lanka

People see misguided misanthropes like ISIS/ISIL and say, “See? That’s Islam, for you, religion of peace, yuk yuk.” Their point is taken, of course, just biased, bigoted and bellicose. When they see pedophiles and perverts, they don’t say, “See? That’s Christianity, for you.” But they could, and probably should. Ditto for Chinese economically viral expansionism, the Japanese version before it, and miniature versions found in all East Asian nations, i.e. Chinatown. That’s Buddhism for you: a passion for personal passivity, and anything for a buck.

Political and economic systems fare no better. Democracies promise free speech but settle for Internet trolling under pseudonym ‘avatars’. They promise ‘one man one vote’, but settle for ‘one man one car’ from their capitalist hand-maiden apologists. You’ll need one. Who has time to vote anyway? Time is money. Communism promises to equalize economies and succeeds handily, at the bottom, everybody poor. Plato’s ‘benevolent dictatorships’ are looking better all the time. Welcome to Thailand, no education required. We’re too cool for school, anyway.

Cathedral in Sri Lanka

Cathedral in Sri Lanka

But racism and sexism are doing just fine, thank you, especially racism, especially if you’re Prez of the USA. Oops, too much Coppertone™. Add language and culture to suit individual tastes. At least Latinos got the good grub. Maybe we should set up one long taco stand along the US border—with take-out. Gardeners and laborers are okay, though, as long as they sleep downstairs, i.e. without papers.

Women do better, as long as they’ll work harder for less pay; they always have. Some call it ‘good karma’. We do need them, after all, for breeding purposes, if nothing else, real or imagined. Prostitution is being driven off the streets worldwide, only to find a safe haven on the Internet. Wear protection. Weekly and monthly rates are available. Foreign female trade shows and tours are flourishing. Girls from China and Ukraine are particularly fetching… good (low) prices; wonder why? Mamasan.com always gets her cut. No tickee, no talkee…

Hindu Temple in Sri Lanka

Hindu Temple in Sri Lanka

Carry any argument or belief system to the logical conclusions of its lowest common denominators and that’s what you get, paths of least resistance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Carry an argument to its highest most challenging conclusion, and the results are entirely different. Islamic surrender yields supreme self-discipline, not violence. Christian love yields communion and brotherly love, not sexual promiscuity and perversion. Buddhist non-possession yields self-sufficiency and sustainable economies, not corruption.

‘Secular humanists’ like to snicker about religions, assuming the enlightenment of their ‘agnosticism’ and atheism, but they probably shouldn’t. Liberalism is dead, for better or worse. Faith in humanity? Yeah, right. We can do better than that. Some countries have many religions within their borders, very good. The fact that we create the gods that we need doesn’t lessen their importance or efficacy.

Believing in something is good. That is what it is to be human. That should be the goal of any and all religions, the many faces of God, the deistic dialectic. All paths lead there, over hill and dale. Mass is over.

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