The Role of Religion
Submitted by Steven Kaszab
What significance does organized religion have these days? Easter celebration has now past, as too high celebrations in the Islamic and Jewish faiths. Candy for the kids, while worshipers touch ever so lightly the divinity of God and its significance in our lives.
I wonder what Jesus, Mohammed and Moses would say if they indeed saw what their people have been up too, what they have created here. What decisions have we made that has a mighty effect upon others in this world, and even the planet it self?
I see the world though both rose colored glasses (optimist) and cruel skeptics eye glasses. I see beauty and goodness, while at the same time horrors of what was, what is and what can be. It seems to me that organized religion presents itself above this fray, advising, cajoling and directing their membership towards something better, often unworldly and yet also preaching that we must invest ourselves in this world making it better too.
Pope Francis recently spoke about how humanity has enslaved many while the world claims to have ended slavery. Our very existence, our survival as a people has placed others at risk, enslaving them to their demographic, that is to say what, where and how they were born into this world dictates where they will be free or enslaved to poverty, racism, political manipulation and intrigue. The Church of Rome, The Great Leaders of Islam and The Jewish Faith talk a good talk, but will not walk the good walk towards our neighbor’s liberation from slavery. Poverty still exists, while these religious institutions thrive with a abundance of wealth and influence at their finger tips. Billions of dollars lay unused, managed only to create more wealth for these institutions. While their membership work to assist others as religious people should, the horrors of this world continue to grow, unstopped by our religious leaders words. Pope Francis pointed out that religious freedom is violated and sometimes trampled upon in many places in this world, often crudely and openly, other times more subtly and hidden from sight. Religion often talks about itself, how it is perceived and treated, often oppressed or misused.
When was the last time a religious leader took matters into their own hands? Yes some Muslim Leaders call upon the faithful to “jihad” against those of another religion, but have you seen anyone upturn the tables of money changers recently? Have any of them turned water into wine? Have any of them been able to make the waters of oppression split before them recently? These acts can be seen as metaphors of human action, calling upon the world’s wealthy and Banks to end poverty, take the old world and make it anew, splitting the oceans of political inaction and make a difference for the poor, oppressed and lowly amongst us.
Liberation Theology was once an important influencer upon religious institutions until the top brass realized where it was going. The leaders of organized religion saw that this theology would and did point its finger of judgement directly at these institutions. These religious institutions of wealth and power had become a part of the problem. Humanity should value life, freedom and justice above all, but instead wealth and power remain the supreme objective for many.
Is religion important to you? Has it liberated you from your dependence upon high tech, money, pleasure or your ego? The worlds holy book places the spiritual above all else. A journey towards understanding yourself, and therefore understanding God. If God is within You, then you can accomplish great things. You can cry out to the world “I AM”. Yes You are a God, and only You can change this world for the better.