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The Problems of Religion

Religion encompasses a range of experiences that profoundly impact individuals and communities. On one hand, it fosters a sense of belonging and spiritual fulfillment, connecting individuals with a higher power and promoting moral values. However, religious belief presents challenges, particularly with rigid dogmatic beliefs that conflict with modern knowledge. The Bible, for instance, requires updating as some parts are unclear or contradictory. Failure to adapt beliefs to contemporary standards and scientific advancements creates discrepancies within religions. Extreme religious practices, including harmful cults promoting suicide, further undermine the principle of non-harm. Religion's power lies in its ability to use hypnotic suggestion, blending beautiful teachings with potential propaganda and profit motives.

TV evangelists leverage suggestion to encourage monetary donations, although God, as creator of the universe, does not require money. While some religious charities effectively aid the needy, others view donations as income. Preachers attempt to alter reality through words, though physical miracles do not happen.

Anyone who becomes politically active can soon discover that Bible teachings influence the opinions of many Americans on issues involving nuclear war, overpopulation, conservation, women’s rights, gay rights, racial equality, corporal punishment of children, church-state separation, sex education, science, abortion, contraception, censorship, capital punishment, and other subjects.

The Bible portrays a punitive deity, and despite various translations, it is largely revered in society with little opposition.

The closest to a popular Bible rewrite is "The Message" written by Eugene H. Peterson. It translates the Bible into our contemporary language. But the writer, does not dare to change the original meaning of the Bible.

 It is time we had a new, kind, wise, and scientifically-minded God to foster wisdom, peace, and ecological consciousness through a religion allowing continuous revelation. However, entrenched dogma prevents even minor changes in meaning, despite the Bible being translated approximately 900 ways.

Old religious organizations face numerous challenges, including religious extremism leading to violence, cults manipulating followers, discrimination against minorities, denial of medical treatment, suppression of science, divisiveness, child and forced marriages, institutional corruption, sexual repression, and censorship of free speech.

A suggestion is made to consider joining the Unitarian Universalist Church, known for its inclusivity regardless of individual beliefs, and a belief in science.

Specifically, here is a list of some of the evil committed by old religious organizations:

Religious Extremism: Some very religious individuals or groups may interpret their religious texts in an extreme and literal way, leading to acts of violence and terrorism in the name of their faith. This kind of extremism can result in harm to others and damage the reputation of the religion.

Cults and Suicides: Certain religious groups or cults with charismatic leaders can manipulate their followers into harmful actions, including mass suicides, child exploitation, or other abusive practices. In Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, over 900 people drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.  In 1997, the Heaven's Gate cult committed mass suicide and 39 people died.  In 2000, 300 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God were found dead in a Kanungu, Uganda church.

Discrimination: In some cases, extreme religious beliefs can lead to discrimination against individuals who do not share the same faith or beliefs. This can manifest as discrimination against people of other religions, the LGBTQ+ community, or women.

Denial of Medical Treatment: There have been instances where religious individuals or groups have refused medical treatment for themselves or their children based on religious beliefs, leading to preventable illnesses or deaths.

Suppression of Science: In certain religious communities, the rejection of scientific principles, such as evolution or climate change, can hinder progress and scientific education.

Divisiveness: Very religious individuals who hold extreme beliefs may isolate themselves from mainstream society or create divisions within their own communities, leading to social fragmentation and a lack of cooperation.

Child Marriage and Forced Marriages: Some religious groups practice child marriage or forced marriages, which can have severe consequences for the individuals involved, particularly children and young girls.

Institutional Corruption: In some cases, religious leaders and institutions have been involved in financial or sexual misconduct, damaging the trust of their followers and the reputation of the religion.

Sexual Repression: Extreme religious beliefs about sexuality can lead to sexual repression, guilt, and psychological distress. This can affect an individual's mental and emotional well-being.

Censorship and Suppression of Free Speech: In certain religious societies, there may be a culture of censorship and suppression of free speech, stifling critical thinking and open dialogue.

No Concern For the Environmental Movement: The Bible points our that humans have dominion over the Earth and thus environmental issues are placed secondary to human needs and interests. If the environment gets worse we all suffer.

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