The devil is riding the pulpit

Most religions are based on being right over all those who practice something other than their “faith.” But by any measure of goodness and doing “right” as a human being, religion is more often than not the realm of the “devil,” not “God” and goodness.

For example, Christians say they follow the teachings of Christ, yet their behaviors often demonstrate the opposite, as though they have adopted the teachings of the devil. The various flavors of Christians want harm to befall anyone who doesn’t believe in the manmade religious tenets that they say were delivered by God. Some say God hates people who don’t fall within their homegrown, narrow bar of what is “right” and “just.” That includes anyone who is gay, had an abortion, voted for Joe Biden, got a COVID vaccine, believes in global warming, has sex before marriage, is against guns, doesn’t go to church, is homeless, has a drug problem, celebrates holidays (Jehovah’s folks), drinks recreationally, and other badness.

As you can see from this list, politics and religion have merged into a nasty pancake batter of judgment and self-righteousness that is so far from what Jesus practiced that it’s impossible to take these so-called Christians seriously by any measure. Jesus helped and hung with the homeless, prostitutes, criminals, the aimless and anyone else that society rejected. He tried to show people that goodness and forgiveness is the way to being a true God-ful person. Even as he suffered on the cross, he entreated his God to forgive the men who put him there.

Today’s (and yesterday’s) punitive versions of religion, whether Christianity, Islam or any of the rest, seem more the realm of the devil. That little red guy with the forked spear telling people to judge, kill, put in prison, punish, hate, smash, hit with cars, shoot, sexually abuse, or refuse education, lives and practices in every church and house of worship. While forgiveness messages sneak in once in a while, the tsunami of hate messages overwhelm the good, bringing a blatant disingenuousness that wears the devil’s pointed horns, loud and proud. The absolute lack of credibility of almost every religion because of these moral failings, is the true face of the devil.

Judging is human and we all do it. But when it is couched as religious righteousness and superiority, it then enters the realm of evil. Jesus said, if you do wrong and you know what you are doing, it is evil. He also preached forgiveness over all else, care for one’s neighbors and those on hard times, a love for all, no matter what. Christianity of today would be as blasphemous to Jesus as the turning of a house of worship into a house of sin.

How about dropping the righteousness and replacing it with listening, compassion, forgiveness, and a long self-assessment of whether you are practicing a form of religion that makes the world a better place? The bible was written by men. Period. They took a mashup of beliefs and stories and turned it into a guidebook that worked for them to gain financial, political or sexual control over others. They took the good works and words of a special man, Jesus, and turned it into a judgmental religion. Then they used the bible to slaughter millions across the ages — my religion or death. If you were so certain your religion was “right,” why the need to slaughter those who practiced something else? Reminds me of the anti-vaxers who verbally and physically attack people who wear masks. What the fuck, people?!?!

There are truly good religious people who live their lives in faith, helping others, forgiving, not judging others to the point of hate. But they are like the beautiful butterflies in a swarm of locusts, overtaken and pushed down to the earth, their messages of love and grace crushed in the dust.

There is a whole lot of goodness in the world and in people. Now if only religion would stop listening to the devil, a whole lot of great things would follow. Amen, people. Amen.

From Lady Proverbs, somewhere on the Oregon Coast.

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