Thursday, January 24, 2013

Does the Internet Spell Doom For Organized Religion?

NOTE; THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY REFERS TO "ORGANIZED" RELIGION, NOT SPIRITUAL BELIEFS OR SPIRITUALITY. I WANT TO MAKE THIS DISTINCTION BECAUSE, AS A BELIEVER, I AGREE THAT ORGANIZATIONS THAT USE SPIRITUALITY TO FILL THEIR COFFERS BY MANIPULATING BELIEVERS NEED TO BE CONFRONTED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CONTRADICTIONS BETWEEN WHAT THEY PREACH AND HOW THEY OPERATE. OUR ABILITY TO ACCESS INFORMATION HAS TURN ON THE LIGHTS SO THAT WE NO LONGER "BLINDLY" FOLLOW WHOEVER HAS A PULPIT AND ALLOWS US TO, AS JESUS TAUGHT,  LOOK "WITHIN" WITHOUT A GUIDE TO DRAG US ALONG LIKE A STARY EYED TOURIST.
A traditional religion, one built on “right belief,” requires a closed information system. That is why the Catholic Church put an official seal of approval on some ancient texts and banned or burned others. It is why some Bible-believing Christians  are forbidden to marry nonbelievers. It is why  Quiverfull moms home-school their kids with carefully screened textbooks. It is why, when you get sucked into conversations with your fundamentalist Uncle George from Florida, you sometimes wonder if he has some superpower that allows him to magically close down all avenues into his mind. ( He does!)
Religions have spent eons honing  defenses that keep outside information away from insiders. The innermost ring wall is a set of certainties and associated emotions like anxiety and disgust and righteous indignation that block curiosity. The outer wall is a set of behaviors aimed at insulating believers from contradictory evidence and from heretics who are potential transmitters of dangerous ideas. These behaviors range from memorizing sacred texts to wearing  distinctive undergarments to killing infidels. Such defenses worked beautifully during humanity’s infancy. But they weren’t really designed for the current information age.

READ ABOUT IT HERE;  Does the Internet Spell Doom For Organized Religion?