March 22, 2006
In Deo Speramus
I decry the power of the Church and its use of that power, in America in particular! Throughout the world, as all know, the churches are so organized as to have the wealth, size and formation of a great corporation, a government, or an army. And in America, the wealthy individuals who rule in corporate affairs appear to be attracted to the church by reason of its hold not only on the mind but the actions of its adherents. Politically, socially and otherwise, they count on its power and influence as of use to them. And not without reason, since especially among the ignorant and poor, its revealed wisdom counsels resignation and orders faith in a totally inscrutable hereafter. In short, it makes for ignorance and submission in the working class, And what more could a corporation-minded government or financial group, looking toward complete control of everything for a few, desire?
Yet the Church, realizing the power of wealth as well as mentally-controlled numbers, seeks to gather to itself all it can. Each year in America we see its influence grow, the political and “educational’ activities of the Catholic Church in particular being everywhere apparent. Thus, the phenomenon of a religious adherent such as Al Smith, seeking from a people whose political as well as mental independence is not acknowledged by his Church, the official (in the sense that an American President has that) control of the same. And not only that, but the spectacle of many of the most grasping commercial magnates in America being elevated to leadership in the Church.
The sentiments expressed in the few paragraphs above might have been written yesterday. Yet they were not. They were shamelessly lifted off the internet by yours truly from a portion of a largely unknown book published in 1931 entitled Tragic America, written by none other than Theodore Dreiser. Jerry Doolittle’s previous post, which mentioned Theodore Dreiser, got me interested in his work, none of which I had previouly read until today. Obviously Dreiser was a man of his time, and perhaps also, a man ahead of his time as well.
Posted by Buck Batard at March 22, 2006 04:52 PM
From Bertrand Russell’s essay, “Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?”:
The injustice, the cruelty, and the misery that exist in the modern world are an inheritance from the past, and their ultimate source is economic, since life-and-death competition for the means of subsistence was in former days inevitable. It is not inevitable in our age. With our present industrial technique we can, if we choose, provide a tolerable subsistence for everybody. We could also secure that the world’s population should be stationary if we were not prevented by the political influence of churches which prefer war, pestilence, and famine to contraception. The knowledge exists by which universal happiness can be secured; the chief obstacle to its utilization for that purpose is the teaching of religion. Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific co-operation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.
But Chuck, just Imagine which kind of world we would live in without religion!
No crusades, no inquisition, no suicide-bombers, no Pat Robertson, no anti-semitism, no pogroms, no blessing of soldiers before they go to war, no artificial cultural differences between people, no Pope to ban contraception in the face of AIDS and an already overcrowded world, no rabid preachers imposing hell and damnation upon innocent kids, no female genital mutilation and a lot of other things I don't even care to think about.
Just Imagine the terrible loss ...
Above posted by Peter, anonymous by mistake.
The Bishop of Oxford said whether there is a "God module" is a question for scientists, not theologians. "It would not be surprising if God had created us with a physical facility for belief."
There is an answer to every question, if you don't have to come up with hard facts.
Also read: http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/images/new_page_2.htm