Organized Religion and Organized Crime…

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Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making this up and I am not saying this lightly. If any of you have bothered to keep up with my articles and posts here on GRP, you probably know that I hold religious beliefs. So yes, I know that what I’m about to say will sound somewhat hypocritical. In fact, I think it will sound very hypocritical coming from someone like me. Anyway, just so you’ll know, I’m not posting this because I think religion is wrong; I am posting this because our (at least majority of Pinoys anyway) take on religion itself is wrong. I honestly don’t think believing in God is bad, it’s the way some of us like to take advantage of other’s beliefs that strikes me as wrong but very wrong. So okay, enough excuses, I know that you guys will want me to get to the point.

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Anyway, let’s start with my take on religion. Of course, I’ve already shared some of my own viewpoints in some of my articles. However, if you want a much deeper look in how I see things and how it all figures with a higher power, all I will say is that it all goes back to having a sense of personal responsibility. I, for one, believe that there is a God and that he created and watches over us. I, for one, believe that everything I do, have done and will do will have their own consequences and that I will be required to face them in time. I, for one, believe that God has a plan or purpose for each of us that is of benefit to our fellows regardless whether some of said people don’t believe in Him at all. I believe that God sees us for who we really are and that, in order to be truly “good people”, we must also keep an eye on who we are in the dark. We must be honest with ourselves and struggle to make the good choices even if the world is flooded with convenient but often selfish choices.

Now look, you don’t have to share my beliefs. I don’t really care if you have your own belief system or if you don’t have one at all. What I’m trying to point out here is the fact that Pinoy culture is so mired by the filth of corruption, that even religion is badly affected by it. While I have always believed religion to be a kind of guide to people, I can’t help but notice that there are so many people who are all too willing to take advantage of some of religion and how it affects people.

Imparting A Sense Of Self-Righteousness

Sadly, no real religion is safe from this. In the Philippines, you have the Catholics, the Protestants and the Iglesia ni Kristo all vying for the position of being “holy”. I have mentioned in some of my previous articles that religion has become more of a status symbol for people rather than something to warrant a sense of responsibility.

I think that it should be more like: “I’m a Catholic/Protestant/INK, therefore I should follow Christ’s teachings and be good to others.” However, what comes out is: “I’m a Catholic/Protestant/INK, therefore I’m cooler than everyone else.” Indeed, it comes out more like a mace we use to bash people we don’t like or don’t belong in our circle than something that gives us a sense of responsibility.

It Condones Violence

I’m looking at you, Islamic radicals and you Catholics and Protestants who seem to have nothing better to do. Connected with the above, religion and its tendency to make one seem “more holy” than others becomes a ground not just for self-righteousness, but also violence. It runs along the lines of: “They don’t believe in the same things we do so they must be evil!”

This kind of thinking has been used since time immemorial to mobilize people into war and commit atrocities all in the name of righteousness and a false sense of loyalty to God.

It Perpetuates Apathy To The Environment

I have seen this kind of thinking in both some Protestant sects as well as the INC. Apparently, they believe that this world isn’t ours to begin with and we therefore shouldn’t worry about it. We should simply let it go to Hell (literally and metaphorically) as we wait for a savior who will spirit us away.

However, I do remember the Old Testament mentioning that we are the stewards of creation, not simply tenants within it. Indeed, a lot of the environmental issues of today can be traced back to our abuse of nature.

It Creates Unnecessary Fear

Ah, this last part is probably one of the bigger issues that I can’t help but notice these days. And yes, I have been to an INC sermon and know that their ministers just love to do this. It’s always about doomsday and how only the righteous will be saved and everyone else will go to Hell.

Well, excuse me, but I don’t think that spreading fear about doomsday strikes me as something honest people will do. Like a business, it only gets more people to buy your stuff because of the fear it creates as fear is after all one of humanity’s biggest motivators. Scaring people to join your religion is no different from scaring people with chemical attacks so they’ll buy your gas-masks.

It Affects The Government Too Much

I see this everywhere. There’s a reason why in more developed countries religion takes a backseat to government. Religion is based on faith while government should be based solely on empirical evidence, solid proof and quick and efficient action. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to case.

Year after year, the Catholic Church constantly blocks attempts at social progress because some of them might be considered “immoral” even when they may end up alleviating some of the major problems the country faces. Year after year, the wrong officials get voted into office because of the INC’s block voting.

***

I’m betting that some of you have been offended and are mad now. In fact, it’s safe to say that you guys are probably absolutely murderous by now. Well, good. At least I got through to you.

Am I afraid of eternal damnation? Yes. Can I do anything about it if God decides to throw me into the Lake of Fire anyway regardless of anything I’ve done? No.

I believe that God is good and I believe strongly in the idea that he sent me here for a given purpose. However, I can admit to the fact that I’ve also done a lot of things I’m not proud of. If He decides to toss me into a burning meat grinder for treating my dad like crap, so be it. If He decides to submerge me in a seething lake of carnivorous maggots for letting my dog’s family die and leaving him to live a miserable life and die a lonely death, that is up to God.

I fear eternal damnation, true that. But that doesn’t mean I won’t accept it if that is indeed my fate for being a horrible person.

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28 Comments on “Organized Religion and Organized Crime…”

  1. A religion can be viewed in lot of ways, depending on the people associated with it. For centuries religion has created wars, forged peace, and changed the history of a lot of nations. Up to this day, it still holds significant influence over humanity.

    So, is religion good or bad? I say it’s both. It depends on how it is used by people.

  2. In my case, I find most religions as scam. If you teach people that what you are telling them is the ultimate truth despite millions of evidences that it isn’t then that’s lying and scamming.

  3. Dear Grimwald,
    pls take a look at Europe. Now where is the demarcation line between better governance and poor(er) governance? There is a huge difference between North/West Europe and South Europe. And where do most religious people live? In south Europe (Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy).

    Please name me an overwhelmingly religious country that has a good democratic government that supports human rights completely? Brazil? Forget it. South America? Forget it. Africa? Forget it.

    Its really about time you should become far more critical about your own god. He loves everybody/everyone, but he hates/loathes homosexuals.
    Why are you always refusing to be critical about your own religion? Or are you afariad that so called friends might start to unlike you (for speaking the truth)? Or were you never taught to be critical?

    1. I think Grimwald is an escapist living his life in fictions, whether it’s anime, video games or dusty religious tomes. It’s one way to cope with life in this country.

      1. I agree with you, Dave.

        Thats why its always fun to read his articles. But cant take him too seriously.

        1. Robert, Dave, Yawn:
          What a cesspool of cynics you all are. I for one wish I could ESCAPE outta this cesspool of corruption you call a world.

          It has reached rock bottom. Today’s majority are BLIND AS BATS toward anything that smacks of a higher consciousness.

          Any wonder predictions state that END TIMES is at hand!

          Good bye – i’m outta here. I’m even turned off of Grimwald by now, after having just read at least one of his comments, and no doubt there’s loads more of them. I’m only sorry I bothered to post here altogether, as its to a blind and deaf audience.

        2. Mi,
          I dont consider myself to be a cynic but a realist. Cynicism leads to nothing but realism should open eyes and to wake-up calls.

          Only the individual Filipino can change its own fate. But I dont have high hopes that that will happen anywhere soon.

          You have to get rid of that family culture (including Utang na loob) and PH have to stop procreating beyond their means. Then and only then they stand a chance for a better (read: more comfortable) life.

      1. Thanks Grimwald for the link.
        When you published that article, I did read it. What can I say? The movie genre of “Human Centipede” is not among my fav film genres. I even didnt know the movie title nor the director’s name.

        Just for your information: my fav movie genres are:
        – (political) thrillers (Ex: Enemy of the state, The firm, A few good men, All the president’s men)
        – non-fiction/real-events films (Ex: Munich)
        – WW2 movies especially about resistence/sabotage
        – documentaries (the latest I have watched is “Red Army” (2014))

        Okay, a little bit about your movie – Human Centipede. Without having watched it, the genre is about creativity and having a free mind (script, dialogue, directing, producing). Similar to Game of Thrones. You like it or you dont. I have downloaded a few episodes of GoT but I didnt become a fan.

    2. “Its really about time you should become far more critical about your own god. He loves everybody/everyone, but he hates/loathes homosexuals.
      Why are you always refusing to be critical about your own religion?”

      You don’t mean like critic like an atheist even when you’re a Christian, right?

  4. I don’t believe in Organized Religions. They are made for business. Look at the religious leaders; they live in large houses, eat good foods. While their poor followers live in squatter’s dwellings and poverty.

    Hey Thaddeus; have you considered the offer of those Islamic Radicals, to spend your eternity in Paradise having sex with 72 virgins?

    It’s the best offer, you can have…

    1. Eh? No. Don’t much like virgins.

      You really wanna know what I’d like if I get to heaven if I’m allowed to ask that is?

      Just give me to MILFs (the moms not the stinky terrorists) and I’ll be satisfied!

      😀

  5. that 5th point about is so true. reminds me of how congressmen justified their votes against the rh law by quoting scripture.

  6. The whole issue with organized religion is that they discourage independent thinking and would rather have you be a follower. Following what others tell you, not thinking at all.

    However, there are some beautiful things about organized religions. It gives people hope, knowledge that there is something greater than what it is now, and it can help drive people to be better.

    Shame you can’t seperate the good qualities from the bad qualities.

    And before you judge me, I’m a Roman Catholic.

    1. My dear friend Ricardo,
      hope doesnt pay the rent. And can you proof that there is something greater.

      Pls do judge me, I am an atheist.

  7. Just wanna ask, why did they call their religion Iglesia ni Cristo if they don’t believe in Cristo or Christ?

  8. Did you see the thrivemovement video on youtube?

    Though the producer (heir of Proctor/Gamble) claims to be non-religious, IMO he’s as religious as they come. Because the bottom line of GENUINE religion is:

    Love your neighbor as yourself

    And that is precisely his mindset. When he meets his Maker, there’s at least one dude who will be able to say that he put out his best efforts to try and turn the world around for the better.

    How many others can say that?

    Yes, at least one other, and that’s you, Grimwald for all your efforts put out thru your blogs.

    You can be proud of that.
    And FYI, I consider you to be VERY religious.
    No different from Mr.Gamble who considers himself to be non-religious.

    Because both of you are at least making stabs at changing the world for the better.

    1. Well to be honest, I don’t think we can really save it anymore. But that isn’t an excuse to NOT be a good human being anyway.

      If you’ve ever seen the Exorcist films, there is one thing in it I DO believe in.

      “The ultimate objective of good is not to vanquish evil but to survive it.”

      In a way evil is inimical even to itself. However, the good in people must endure one way or another. It doesn’t really matter all that much how. Be it in a blog or charity, it must somehow outlive the evils of the world.

      1. “The Codex Astartes is a set of rules. They guide us….shape us as Ultramarines…teach us how to hold duty and honor sacred above all. But how we live with those rules is the true test of a Space Marine…”

        -Captain Titus, Ultramarines 2nd Company

        Unlike some people, who view religion in general as Always Chaotic Evil, I view it in the same way as Titus views the Codex Astartes: it is how we apply the tenets of our faith in God/Allah/YHVH/(insert Hindu God here)/the State (as per Chesterton, who said that those who reject belief in a Higher Being ultimately bow down to the State, as was demonstrated in Soviet Russia) that serves as a true test of our character. I am a practicing Catholic, and if it means I will be looked down on, I will wear my proverbial Yellow Badge with pride, but even I think quite a lot of my coreligionists are living it wrong. To believe in a power beyond the world is never intended to be malum in se, and more often or not is rooted upon values which, one way or another, transcend space and time, seen through the lenses of a flawed humanity.

        1. If you’ve ever read the first book in the Grey Knights trilogy, you have a good idea on how typical Pinoys take their religion…

          I don’t think I want to elaborate from there…

  9. Sophie Neveu: Excuse me! “Who is God, who is man?” How many have been murdered over this question?

    Sir Leigh Teabing: As long as there has been One True God, there has been killing in His name.

  10. Yeah, I like this article since I share the frustrations of our shallow religiosity as a people. But I do think there are those who take religion seriously and I admire them for thinking critically with regards to the views of others and their own.

    I think religion, belief systems, philosophy have to also be examined further, not just the most pragmatic branches of knowledge. Even atheists in the Philippines and online are funny at times they just don’t want to examine their beliefs further and ask themselves how is their claims are true. We need better education all around. The government has to enable this to some extent (uh, by getting out of the way – economic freedom), but more importantly a paradigm shift in the culture (bottom up) to focus on personal responsibility in education, health and whatever else.

    Truth is, the advanced societies of Europe and the rest of the “first world” had a solid foundation of Christian values, tradition and principles to afford a good secular state (unlike the imploded communist societies that held on to atheism). They may seem to be jettisoning these foundations, but it is undeniable that only these can justify their beliefs now. Heck, even science itself exponentially flourished in a Christian Europe and Muslim Middle East compared to pagan spiritism that views the world as an untouchable divine.

    With more investments and jobs comes more education choices for Filipinos. We need to give everyone a fair go at life, so we are able to separate the industrious wheat from the indolent chaff in our culture better and let society evolve from there.

    As a religious person and a seeker for deeper knowledge and understanding, I appreciate this post.

  11. Don’t you all worry folks. I’m the only children of god. This only happens after I attend church. And it makes me think Jesus loves me more than all of you.

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