That Old-Time Religion?
Posted on March 30, 2010Is it me or are most major religions in some serious need of adult leadership?
Protestant sects, in the United States, are preparing for the imminent arrival of Jesus by arming themselves to the teeth and making plans to bomb local police stations and the families of police officers.
The Pope is under intense scrutiny for covering up sex-abuse of priests under his authority when he was a Cardinal, while the Catholic Church is apologizing all over Europe for various abuses against kids.
Islamic radicals, in the name of Allah, not only blow up their co-religionists (and themselves) in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but they also convince some women to strap bombs on themselves and kill innocent subway riders in Moscow.
Radical Jewish rabbis push for more settlements in Israel armed with guns and the Torah.
We may or may not be approaching the end of days. According to the Inca tradition, we are slated for extinction in 2012.
And that may make some folks very happy, especially those who have invested so much of their time and energy in preparing for the end of the Earth (you can probably include Al Gore in that group).
But for the rest of us, especially those of us who won’t start to collect Social Security for another couple of decades, it will be a bitter disappointment to realize that all that money we put away for our retirements was all for naught.
Karl Marx called religion, the “opiate of the masses.” But these days, religion is not playing the role of opiate. More like LSD, if you ask me.
Religions, when they work well, bring order to chaos, purpose to life, and hope for the future. When they work poorly, religion brings chaos to order, more hope in death than in life, and a sense of foreboding for the future.
When the Incan civilization started collapsing, it was the religious people, through ritual sacrifice gone awry, who helped bring along its demise.
The world’s great religions need to get together and plot a strategy. The clergy needs to lead us to greater understanding and greater harmony, not to fanaticism, discord, hatred and moral chaos.