Sunday, February 12, 2012

Freedom of Religion

If you have come here thinking I wish to bemoan President Obama's attack on religion as beemoaned by the Catholic Bishops and others on the Christian Right, you would be wrong.

As one who was baptised Catholic some 69 years ago and one who was educated in Catholic grade school and high school, I have some knowledge of how the Bishops and the Pope thinks.

First, there is nothing democratic about the Catholic Church. In its hayday, it functioned as a monarchy and often controlled the Kings and Queens of Europe. It wasn't so much that Rome fell as it was the Holy Roman Empire that met its demise.

The Catholic Church philosophy is really quite simple. It is a "my way or the higway" approach to everything. Another way of putting it is to say, "Believe us and obey us or you will suffer for eternity in Hell." That has been the Church's philosophy since the close of its crusades and its inquisitions.

Here in the USA, we have written into the Constitution the Freedom of Religion clause. This is good but it also implys Freedom from Religion. But do we really have freedom from religion when politicians seek to impose their religious views through secular law? This is what the Bishops seek along with many on the Christian right.

If you have been born and raised Catholic, you know the Church makes every effort to control your life when it comes to sex. Nothing so dominates Catholic religious teaching as does sex and for a very good reason. If you can control a person's sexual life, you can control their mind. You can control them when you see them and you can control them when you don't see them. You can make them feel guilty 24/7/365 and get them to go to Confession to save their immortal souls. They becom "faithfully obediant."

Christian churches in this country would behave like the Taliban if they could get away with it. They would impose their will on all religions and those without any religion through secual laws if they could get away with it.

As things now stand, they pretty much have their cake and eat it too. They have their rights but they are exempt from the obligations most citizens are obliged to follow. The most obvious example is freedom from paying taxes. Every religious property shifts their tax burden onto their neighbors tax burden. In the case of the Catholic Church, it was under the opinion that it need not report crimes committed by its priests to the police.

I have nothing against anyone practicing their religion so long as their practice does not require anyone else to abide by their rules.

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