Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12: This is not a sermon...

......this is a about the disaster that we call organized religion. And that ain't no sermon.

Nor do I care about the hocus pocus of The Bible - about whether there is a heaven or hell or Jesus walked on water, or whether there is a God who can do the 100 metres in nine seconds flat. Worse, these things are based on self-interest. And self-interest is NOT what religious teaching is about. (or it shouldn't be.)

Religion should be a force that gets out noses out of our own belly buttons so we can see the world around us, and can make informed judgements about how we should behave toward each other. I see little of that in our churches - and none of it on our faith page in the TandT.

(Their is one exception today - a sort of double exception. For the first time  in my experience, the faith page recognizes that Christianity is not the only faith in New Brunswick. Tiferes Israel Synagogue will hold an annual Holocaust memorial service. I wonder. Will any of Moncton's churches have a sermon on  how this mass murder was carried out by devout Christians?

The speaker will be a woman from The Netherlands whose family secretly sheltered a Jewish family. But remember - this was exceptional. Most Netherlanders were Christian, and as anti-Jewish as Hitler was. They volunteered in the tens of thousands for Hitler's armies. When Jewish survivors returned to their homes in the Netherlands in 1945, they were greeted with property tax bills to cover their time in death camps. And Christian British, Canadians and Americans were just as bad.)

Most of the Ten Commandments are not about the hocus pocus of religion. They are about the way we behave toward each other. And that's true of all the world's major religions. And they all come to much the same conclusions. And we're ignoring those conclusions. And we 're paying the price for it. The problem is not that we are disobeying some God, and he's mad at us. The problem is we are ignoring essential behaviour that would protect us from destroying others, ourselves, and this earth.

Capitalism as it is practiced today, is as anti-Christian as you can get. It's only principal is greed. It's only moral code is to get rich by making everybody else poor. It supports killing on a massive scale all over the world. It is now happily risking nuclear war and the horrors of climate change - though these are as likely to destroy them as us. And it's all to make a  handful of people even richer.

But church doors are wide open to them - and they can enter without the fear of hearing a word about what it is they are doing. (Or they can escape us lower orders by building their own chapel, naming it after themselves of course, putting a clergyman for rent in the pulpit, and sitting back in assurance they will not hear anything disagreeable.)

The churches even play a propaganda role to benefit the rich. When the World Trade Center was bombed on 9/11, some 2700 innocent people were killed.  The churches went into an ecstasy of mourning and condolence.

Then Bush and Blair lied that Iraq had been involved in the attack, and lied that it was developing a nuclear bomb. We know these were lies because even official American documents now admit it. That war was fought to destroy Iraq, to deliberately impoverish it,  and to loot its oil. Nobody will ever know how many innocent people were killed in that war, how many women were raped and murdered,  how many children were killed, starved to the death, crippled, orphaned. Looking at all of those, the numbers must be well over two million. But the UK and the US had chaplains there to assure the boys they were doing God's will.

From 1990 to today, our side, including Canada, has killed something like ten million Muslims. The US has been killing innocent people with drones for a good ten years in Yemen. Nobody can even guess how many have been killed. Today, two of the world's richest countries, the US and Saudi Arabia, are slaughtering the people of Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Heard anything about it in church lately - or perhaps even a prayer at a pancake breakfast?

We are living in a post-revolutionary world. The greedy and thoroughly immoral capitalist has been witih us for centuries, and have used killing to get what they want for centuries. That's what the western empires were all about.

The revolution is that they now have destroyed democracy in all the world's major powers. All of them, including the so-called democracies are now run by the very, very rich. They also own almost everything you get in both news and entertainment. And it's just about all propaganda and lies. We have been living through the greatest revolution in history.

If any people in this world are evil, it is them. But I don't think they are evil. They do evil, of course. But only if there's money in it.  Their real problem is not evil, but a greed that makes them stupid. They don't realize that in destroying us, they are destroying themselves.

There is much more violence to come. The war on terror has created more, far more terrorists - and on both sides - than ever existed before. And the bullied nations in Latin America and Africa and the Middle East are hitting back. That will mean more brutal responses and an upward spiral of violence.

We are also watching a collapse of US stability as the American oligarchs leave families in the US to suffer sharp declines in living conditions so that the rich can get bigger and even more corrupt contracts out of government.  In return, they pay virtually no taxes. No society can survive that. It's simple matter of arithmetic. And it helps to explain why the US is becoming increasingly a violent place.

And the churches? Jesus must weep to see them.

The economic system we have doesn't work. It's always been bad to have an economic and political system that doesn't work.  It's terminally bad to have such a system coupled with the destructive power we now have. The world cannot survive greed, selfishness, stupidity, suffering on this scale. That's why religions developed in the first place.

Obviously, we're not going to get a whole hell of a lot of guidance from our Christian churches. The TandT faith page now recognizes the Judaic faith. Could we now occasionally hear from Muslims, Confucians,and others who live here?

Tomorrow, perhaps, we'll take a look of how the Irvings, far from being vital to our economy, are actually a drain on it - just like their American social circle..              


  1. The accelerated violence is what really disturbs me.The US and Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen is their latest criminal act. Countries who hold the power militarily, never give up that power. The US will not retreat one inch. My contention that a third world war will happen and who knows what the results will be.Countries in South America are starting to reject the US's domination. the more the world rejects this world domination goal of the US, the more threatened the US will feel and as we all know the pretend threats that are called threats to American security incur much violence. What will the violence be like when the US realizes it can't expand its empire?

  2. Graeme, forget Religion, the Believers have Faith and that is all they want. I am an Atheist or a Bright and proud of it. Born as a Baptist. Children should not be part of any Religion until they can reason. Then if they become believers. God help them LOL