Homegrown religious extremists…..our own religious fanatics: Part 1 

 

As a population, we are quite possibly one of the most malleable, willingly manipulated and obtuse societies in the world.  While we love to point our fingers at someone “over there” and claim they are our enemy, we fail to see the enemy in our own camp; and this is the real enemy and the same enemy which will see us to our demise.

 

What has to have been one of the most successful public relations campaigns ever devised was the recreation of fanatical fringe religions, into acceptable religious institutions.  At the same time this conversion took place, Christ was recreated, morphing from the Prince of Peace, into the god of despair, death, war and oil. 

 

In the name of this new “prince”, we decimate indigenous populations, starving them, denying them basic human necessities and blasting them off the planet.  Those that remain are bombarded with chemicals and toxic gases such as depleted uranium, slowly killing those that survive the initial attack and rendering 70% of their offspring as horrendously deformed.  Oftentimes, individuals guilty of nothing more than location and ethnic heritage are imprisoned, deemed terrorists with no evidence they are, and tortured into confessing to things they know nothing about. 

 

While any normal human being finds these things alone enough to make them cringe with disgust and revulsion, those who have succumbed to the twisted dogma’s and doctrines of the so-called evangelical and fundamentalist movements seem to relish these things, for some reason believing that “God’s work” is being done.  I have to ask, what god is it these people believe in? 

 

Religion always needs a target; an enemy that the followers can align themselves against.  Without this enemy, religion will not survive.  This has been true through religious history and has resulted in wars, genocides and other destructive actions.  When religion obtains too much power, someone has to die!  An enemy must be created or realized, and the followers must be encouraged to band together to decimate the targeted enemy.  In my opinion, nothing is more treacherous, more murderous, than a religious fanatic who has been carefully schooled in the fine arts of mysticism and magical thinking into thinking that blood must be shed to prove his/her allegiance to God; or one who thinks a seat will be reserved for them in heaven by virtue of having condoned, or participating in, blood shed.  It is all that holds them together as a religious group whether here at home or “over there”. 

 

For many followers, the coveting of wealth and riches far exceeds their common sense.  As camera’s pan the audiences of mega churches, it’s stunning to realize that the majority of the people in attendance appear to be middle to upper class; people who most probably are well educated and somewhat affluent.  In the past, the congregations of these kinds of fringe religions would be populated mostly by the poor and uneducated; people who were desperate for help and who could be easily swayed into believing the preposterous and unbelievable claims being made.  I have to ask:  What makes otherwise rational people suspend their ability to think critically, analytically, and accept the most preposterous and malignant false preaching’s as some kind of truth?

 

Thirty years ago these kinds of churches that promote racial bigotry, religious wars, prosperity doctrines, magical miracle beliefs, mystical prophecies, faith healing, laying on of hands, tithing to make yourself rich, Zionism, anti-Semitism, charismatic beliefs, end-times false doctrines and a multitude of other twisted up recreations of bible scriptures and the true intent of God, were openly despised and marginalized; and rightly so.  Not one of those in these congregations of fools can or will read the bible objectively. To do so would force them to a reasonable conclusion that what is being preached is less about God and more about enriching and empowering the preacher.  Just to make sure they aren’t faced with any contradictory evidence, most will carefully note the passages issued by the pulpit and faithfully only read those. After all, why confuse the issue with pertinent information?

 

But here we are with millions of otherwise rational people willingly submitting to the same kind of religious radicalism and fringe religion zealotry that they claim to despise in others.  Hysterically claiming they are being victimized by others who view their attempts to control everyone else and to supplant their beliefs on everyone whether they like it or not (another of those enemies they need so desperately) these lunacy religions wreak havoc on our society by injecting fringe radical idealism into the mainstream.

 

Spreading their malignant messages of oppression, religious terrorism and unmitigated hatred of anyone not willing to join in, these homegrown churches are no less a threat to our survival as a cohesive nation.

 

It is my opinion that religion in all its forms (as opposed to genuine faith) is a blight on humanity regardless of who is promoting it.  Radical, extremist, zealotry loaded religions right here at home will do us nothing but harm and in fact is nothing more than our version of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Islam or any of the other religions we love to point our fingers at and cry “enemy!”.

 

© 2008 Marti Oakley