The PR of Prejudice in Religion
Lets chat about the PR of religious bias, shall we? Everyone has it, and it is different for everyone.
I am going to pick on one major institution of new media now. In previous posts I have commended them and defended them and have generally taken a lenient approach to their content publishers’ and editors’ prejudices. However, now I will say there is a line that needs to be halted. Not for my sake. Not for any individual’s sake. But for the sake of peace and happiness in our society.
The Huffington Post is generally a left leaning organization. There is a great deal to admire about the evolved Liberal Principles, from equality for all, personal and corporate responsibilities, freedom of speech and religion are heavily promoted and defended and the rights to make what should be personal choices are well defended.
In some cases, their prejudice clouds reason and historical fact, and that is ok in specific situations. However, it does appear that Liberalism, as demonstrated by The Huffington Post, and Liberal Principles are evolving again.
Take the conflict in the Middle East. On one hand, intervention is bad and the Muslims should be left in peace and supported. On the other hand, Israel is the devil and should not be allowed to possess their historically owned land and that they retaliate with force against aggression means that they are the aggressors, ignoring facts like Hamas is willing to use schools and hospitals as bases of operation and use innocent civilians as human shield.
See a double standard? Liberal reporting on these conflicts is in turmoil, because the new media cannot seem to separate what is in actuality two distinct types of conflict.
Now, looking inwards at domestic prejudice, there has always been a fight against uprising new religions. It happened in the 1500’s with the advent of Protestantism, it happened again in the 1800’s with Mormonism, and it is happening now with Scientology.
If we look at the arguments from Protestantism against Catholicism, one of the main points was corruption of money and power in Rome. Against Mormonism, an argument was made for the sundering of families and fiscal corruption. Against Scientology similar arguments are made.
But let’s really analyze that shall we?
In Judaism, there is a version of excommunication for those who cannot agree to live by their moral code, wherein they are considered nonexistent by the entire community, and are never acknowledged by their families.
In Catholicism, excommunication means not being able to take part in the Holy Sacrament and receiving absolution for ones sins.
In Scientology, you are declared an enemy of the church, which really just means that you are excommunicated.
Does this mean Scientology is evil? By weighing their function against two of the oldest and most established religions of the world, we can render a valid judgement.
Some people complain that Scientology is a money scam and designed to impoverish others.
Well, the same was said of Catholicism, which is part of how Protestantism gained momentum. Paying the church exorbitant amounts of money to be granted access to heaven was a common practice. Unethical? Yes. Immoral? Definitely. Evil? Possibly. But do we condemn the Catholic Church for its past? Not usually, no.
Do you give money on collection plates at Mass? Yes? Well some of that goes to your priest, some of it goes to the Church and some of it goes to people in need. Does that make it wrong? I don’t think so.
In Judaism, there is a similar function, except it is done on non-major holidays and sabbath prayers.
Does that make these religions wrong for trying to survive as entities fiscally? No. Because they serve a purpose for their communities spiritually. If there was no need, no one would pay for it.
This addresses two of the biggest complaints people have with Scientology.
But let’s frame the argument in terms of the founding of each religion.
Without the benefit of knowing one has been at the founding of any particular religion let’s just use secular history as an even baseline.
Does anyone really believe that John and Peter, two of the first apostles, actually knew what Jesus meant when the first of them was born 60 years after his death?
Does anyone really believe that a man climbed a mountain top and spoke to god learning all 613 of his commandments for mankind?
Is this any more bizarre than believing and reading or listening to the evolution of a religious philosophy as it was being codified?
It is not for me to tell you what is right, but it is my intention to help you make good decisions. So, I will be promoting this view and hoping that we can all become more tolerant and friendly with each other. Just like Catholics are not demons, and Jews are not money grubbing imps, Scientologists are not cultists who are after your money and your obedience.
Let’s all learn to live with each other and respect each others belief systems. No one is saying you have to believe in them. Just live peacefully together.