Religion: Accessory or Original Factory Part?

September 27, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Posted in religion | Leave a comment
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I wasn’t raised in churches, my nose clasped between Gospels. In my rather atheist or at the very least agnostic britches, I still found a need to poke and prod religion and figure out what makes it tick. Why is it so polarizing? Why is it a staple to some regions, some families, and a distasteful hobby to others? Rather than concern myself with fucking it and forgetting it – finding my butt on a pew or mattress come Sunday morning – I wanted to know why Religion sticks in my craw.

Religion wasn’t one of the “parts included” when I was growing up. It wasn’t an accessory I sought to acquire until high school during the final course in a long line of religious requirements. More correctly, I began to wonder if religion was an accessory or a missing factory part.

In my customary slumped, unladylike posture I listened as the teacher marked up the blackboard with Karl Marx’s philosophy of religion.

The previous year I’d written a paper for Psychology class examining whether religion is a figment of our imaginations. I just did an extensive Yahoo search of my old email address and was distressed to find no remnants of that paper. As my memory is equivalent to that of a goldfish’s – 3 months – on a good day, I can’t remember what my exact conclusions were.

Philosophy of Religion was my way of peaking behind the curtain and unmasking Oz.

On the surface, Marx wrapped my answer with a giant velvet bow. The opium of the people. Flowers adorning our chains. Religion is an addiction, the magic smoke to the law-abiding layman. It’s the flowers that mask the chains weighing us down in worldly suffering. Suffering. That vertex upon which religion rests, sending us into the ranks of believers and suspect. Why is there suffering if God is so good? If God is good. We prioritize. We’re realistic.

Point A: Worldly Suffering exists. If A is true, then what is the point of life? Where’s the end? Why does it exist? To balance that equation, we have Point B: religion and all its trial, tribulation, and redemption. Since A is true then B must be true.

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” (Voltaire)

If religion is the chute that activates when we’re born and begin our decent into life, what happens when that chute doesn’t activate for some of us? We’re left to find a different means of landing safely.

Despite seeing religion as a symptom rather than a solution for humanity’s suffering, Marx does not condemn religion.

“Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.”

He condemns religion’s proffer of supernatural fixes to suffering. Religion, as i see it, does not encourage its believers to accept or even see reality. Religion is a matrix, engrossing its believers in a fabricated reality where every action and thought is mediated by a supposed kingpin running a fairytale endgame.

I understand that religion holds societies together, sewed in the seams of our justice, morals, our DNA.

But I don’t understand why we can’t pluck the living flower and live morally.

What disillusions me is the church’s grasp on religion. I think we need to wrest faith away from the church; turn away from religion and embrace spirituality.


Unnamed Angel #1.

If you

want motley lives:

though I’m but a Pearl Gate

pantryman, grant faith a stay of

piety.

-2010 BMC. Cinquian.

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