Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Easter is on the horizon, and it's got me thinking about the impact of Jesus Christ's life.

Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus Christ stood against religion, not for it. It seems almost anytime he healed someone, he upset the religious status quo. He confronted tradition, challenged dogma and exposed hypocrisy. Eventually, it was the religious leaders of his day that orchestrated his murder. I've often wondered just how welcome he would be today in the numerous churches that bare his name. Has anything really changed?

Anyway, here are some quotes about religion that I think Christ would approve of...

Steven Weinberg
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.

Anais Nin
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

Richard Dawkins
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

Sinclair Lewis
When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

Georgis Harkness
The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.

And from an unlikely source, Larry Flynt
Religion has caused more harm than any other idea since the beginning of time. There's nothing good I can say about it. People use it as a crutch.

From what I read in the Gospels, Christ would agree.


Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Christ condemned the Pharisees for their perverting of religion, of their using at as a shsckle to bind the Jewish people.
Since Christians believe Christ his disciples right in that respect, it follows that he would have approved of churchers today.
Surely Christ intended his message to be eternal. This is why he left his disciples to carry on his message anf found the church 'On this rock I build my church'. The Church today is simply the successor and outgrowth of that apostolic mission.
I would agree that people often use religion as a crutch. They pray FOR things rather than in recognition of things given. This is why I confine my own praying to prayers said at mass.
The whole point of Free Will, is you have to help yourself, not demand things be given you.
In response to Steven Weinberg- the Holocaust?
And look at people like Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
Certainly we should never blindly accept dogma, but we should learn to understand what concepts are contained therein. I have read the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, Bhudda's Life and the Book of Mormon.
I remain quite an Orthodox, Thomist, Roman Catholic.

Peter said...

Mark 8:15
And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Herod (meaning hero) represented the political realm, the pharisees represented the religious realm. Still stands true today.


james higham said...

...Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus Christ stood against religion, not for it. It seems almost anytime he healed someone, he upset the religious status quo...

Got it in one, Onyx.

Onyx Stone said...

Different people mean different things by "religion". I suspect that Peter (author of the post) like me thinks of religion as "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" - man-made bossiness that keeps people away from the Word of God.

Whereas Crushed By Ingsoc probably includes those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as 'religious'.

Ghandi and Dawkins warned about religion for very different reasons. Dawkins is critical of any belief in God.

The real difficulty for the individual is when - inspired by the Word of God he associates with the good people who teach the same. Then, having invested personal commitment at every level, begins to find that the unwanted baggage of man-made religion is seemingly inseparable from that group of good people. One begins to see in his own actions and in his group aspects of the very negative religion that Jesus himself stood against.

Hence Peter's question: "I've often wondered just how welcome he [Jesus Christ] would be today in the numerous churches that bare his name. Has anything really changed?"

For men like John the Baptist, Jesus and Martin Luther it became a question of - do I work within or without this organisation? (Or do I have a choice?)

For others (perhaps a greater number who are not called to be the great leader of their era) it becomes a question of - how much do I throw myself into this organisation, and how much do I keep all these things in my heart?

The group of believers, (sometimes called "the body of Christ") is doctrinally essential, and practically a place of beauty and the love of God. Yet it is human and flawed. Therefore, every individual must be careful to govern his own actions and beliefs according to his own reading, and ultimately give an account of himself alone.

mawm said...

It is not religion that is the problem, but the people who use religion to do despicable deeds.

I have always thought that religion provides a philosophy by which one can lead one's life. The preachings of Jesus are just as relevent today as 2000 years ago.

There are some religions that preach gentleness and harmony and there are others that promote hatred and violence and I despise anyone who uses the pulpit to do so.