Organized Religion: The Foundation of Many of Humanity’s Problems

There’s a seemingly endless list of topics that are almost constantly debated upon, not just in the United States, but across the globe. While every country, culture and person is different – we’re also not that dissimilar from one another when it comes to a lot of things.

For instance, the topic of organized religion. Throughout human history, in essentially every culture, there’s been some form of organized religion. And, throughout human history, in essentially every culture, organized religion has often been a source or cause for incredible violence, hostility and ignorance.

In fact, when you get right down to it, the world (and humanity for that matter) would be a whole hell of a lot better off and peaceful without organized religion.

Now, I’m not saying faith can’t be a great thing. But there’s a difference between faith and organized religion. As a Christian, I consider that my faith. However, organized religion is essentially the human way to use a faith to manipulate large groups of people extremely easily. Not only that, by manipulating faith, you can get people to act completely irrationally, often against their own best interests.

Just look at terrorism right now. The driving force (other than poverty which is really where a lot of this is rooted) behind global terrorism is those who’ve taken Islam, twisted it for their own benefits, and turned it into a weapon. Terrorists have created armies of people brutally slaughtering women, children and tens of thousands of innocents in the “name of their religion.” If your God tells you that it’s okay to slaughter children, rape women or behead the innocent – then you really need to find a new God.

But even outside the radical aspects of Islam, the religion has been used to be extremely oppressive – especially toward women and homosexuals.

Though Christianity is far from innocent – especially historically.

In this country alone, we’ve seen religion used as a mechanism to defend slavery, the genocide of Native Americans. segregation, bans on same-sex and interracial marriage and now the blatant discrimination of other human beings simply because of who that person loves. And those are just a few of the “major” issues. Progress in the United States has constantly been held back largely by people who’ve cited religion as one of their driving forces against that progress.

Even if religion isn’t a key cog behind the actual obstruction, we’ve seen people support the entire Republican party’s platform of policies that favor the rich at the expense of everyone else simply because they oppose abortion, gay rights or some other social issue related to their religious beliefs. Not that the GOP is really a “Christian party,” they’ve just been masters at using religion to (as I said earlier) get large groups of people to act irrationally and vote against their own interests.

And because it’s nearly impossible to reason with people who are essentially zealots – facts and reality often don’t matter a great deal. These are the folks in this country living on Social Security and Medicare, educated in the public school system, who say they don’t need help from the government and oppose socialism.

Again, to zealots, facts typically don’t matter.

And while there are many other reasons why ignorance exists in the world, a whole lot of the issues we do face have some sort of ties to organized religion. In turn, this makes organized religion one of the roots of a whole lot of our problems as a species in general. So much progress and advancement is held back because there are those who believe earthquakes and tornadoes are God’s way to “punish” people; climate change cannot possibly be real because God controls the weather; and somehow an “all-loving God” would support people often acting out in horrific or disgusting ways to show “how much they worship” whatever deity they believe in.

As I’ve written before, I often like to imagine a world without organized religion – it seems like it would be a much better place.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • David Ish

    Mark Twain a lot to says about xtian, (didn’t like it). I get disability. if any who gets social security and doesn’t like government mail their checks to me.

  • MyLovelyNose

    Finally, something that needs to be said somewhere other than free-thought pages.

  • ShibumiMC

    Since ancient times, in China “belief” is based on a non-religious philosophy involving no spiritual beings. That philosophy is articulated in the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching. These are essentially atheistic guidelines and rules for ethical, compassionate and collaborative existence in a social world. Far beyond what we see in “religious” environments.

    • Dgently

      In China, if you accidentally hit someone with your car, you typically run over him again to make sure he’s dead. The reason for this is because courts have a set amount you need to pay the family for killing someone, whereas if you merely injure or maim you could be stuck paying medical bills for the rest of the victim’s life. Also, in butchering dogs and cats, the Chinese prefer to skin them alive…apparently, something the animal produces while being tortured makes them tastier. So, yeah, China isn’t always entirely ethical or compassionate.

      • PRIME79

        A few years ago our government out right lied to us, with out pause or apology, invaded and over threw a sovereign nation killing 100s of thousands of their people for absolutely no justifiable reason, a nation that has NEVER harmed the US(kinda like Iran) and paved the way for the extremely batshit crazy religious nuts over there today. All the while also lying to us about torture, “enhanced interrogation”, thats some bullshit you try to sell to 10 year olds, it was insulting. Its also pretty much just christians(lots of them) vs Muslims(lots of them) in general doing all of it. America damn sure isnt always entirely ethical or compassionate. We also nuked 2 civilian population centers awhile back at the end of the second great war. China’s government is indeed harsh but their culture, while advanced, is still pretty conservative/traditional and they have over a billion people to look out for. Their militarily is easily in the top 4 if not 3 on earth…easily, but they at least have the decency to not sic them on weaker nations just because they can because “god and country” or some such nonsense…..or “Allah akbar”….or some such nonsense. You may disapprove of their culture but lets not pretend America has room to talk ethics and morals about any 1st world nation. And the issue here is religion which China has been dealing with for thousands(3 I believe) of years to Americas few hundred. They are doing pretty damn good without it constantly being in peoples faces. Im curious, if you take away islam and christianity why would lots of Americans and lots of Middle Eastern people hate each other so much?

      • Dgently

        Where did I comment on the greatness of America? Where did I say that ours is a culture to be revered? I was simply commenting on an earlier post that seemed to imply that the Chinese culture had a lock on spirituality/morality. You seem to have read an awful lot into my post that simply wasn’t there.

  • Felix

    Well said. Organized religion has been a problem for quite a long time. And don’t confuse it with Faith.

    • PNUT1

      Why not ? They are both b.s.

  • Kendall Gray

    It’s OK and a little funny that some of us call ourselves Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish and hate organized religion. Of course had it not been for organized religion none of us would have heard of the scriptures the various religions are derived from.

  • Joaquin Blanco

    Organized religion can easily be converted into fanatism becoming desensitized and inhumane.

  • breed7

    Religion is nothing more than irrational superstition that came about as our ancestors attempted to ascribe purpose to things they didn’t understand, and it became part of society as a few smarter people discovered they could use it to control everyone else. It’s time for humanity to leave these Neolithic beliefs behind us, the way a child outgrows the belief in Santa Claus.

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