THis is a paper I have been working on for my comp 2 class i think i finally finished it.                                  

Religion: theistic worship which has a long and violent history that continues to this day. This single fact alone makes it apparent that religion is detrimental to a functioning society.  In a sense a society overrun with religion could be deemed as a dysfunctional society.  In America the majority of  citizens claim Christianity to be their faith of choice, ranging from moderate Unitarians to extreme fundamentalists. The basic foundation of fundamentalist beliefs lay claim to an exclusive morality, not available to anyone who thinks or believes differently than them.  Christians are loud opponents to anything logical, political, scientific, and any other belief system, or lack thereof, that does not believe Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior. People need to call into question the validity of their beliefs if they find murder, delusional imagery, superstitions, bigotry, torture, or terrorism to be a recurring theme within their faith.

            Throughout the history of mankind many wars have been started in the name of God. Even in 2001 a holy war was in the works against the middle east, due to some unprecedented terrorist acts.  Christian Americans were calling for the blood of the heretic evil doers, and our nations leaders jumped to the call with a slightly different agenda on hand. Somehow ten years later we ended up in a holy war with the wrong people which is still ongoing , an insane amount of debt, and a collapsed economy.

           When religion gets brought into the world of politics the only thing to expect is a jumbled mess.  We will find ourselves with leaders not with the best interest of the people, but with the best interests of their faith at heart.  They could be found trying to change the curriculum within public schools by promoting rewritten history books to reflect their beliefs, tax money has been spent on religious monuments in places they do not belong  such as nativity scenes or a sculpture of the ten commandments on government property , and they  ignore logic when legislating. The irony is, when it comes to the stories of many different deities such as Jesus, the context of the story was about doing good and being kind to others less fortunate. Yet here we are in 2011, with the ability to feed and heal the poor, but Conservative Americans, where pretty close to 100%, are associated with some sort of Christianity, are against anything that is going to cost them more taxes. Yet every Sunday they have no problem shelling out approximately 10% of their income to their place of worship, where the money is used for the church and tax write offs are presented to the donors. This last week our government officials were gridlocked about the budget, with conservatives threatening a government shutdown if Democrats did not cut funding from Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provided limited healthcare to low income women, by providing mammograms, and pap smears in effort to catch cancers in early stages.  The simple fact that planned parenthood also provided abortions, a service that angers Christians to the core, was the fire that made conservatives target that organization. Despite the fact there are instances where abortions are necessary to protect the health of the mother, and it is inhumane to force unwanted children into this world.  The fact that Christian Conservatives are against government healthcare, and welfare for the poor,  makes it clear they are pro money.  Jesus said "Again I tell you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."(Jesus Christ, Mathew 19:23-24). With all that in mind it is pretty clear that this group of people do not adhere to a what would Jesus do mentality.  After all Jesus did say "As you have done to the least of these you have done unto me." (Jesus Christ, Mathew 25). It's as if he is telling his followers, what really matters is how the less fortunate are treated. Would Jesus advocate the persecution of gays, or fallen military families?

     Americans try to justify forcing their faith in politics by arguing that America is founded on Christian principals by Christian men.  Despite the fact, when sifting through historical writings by our founding fathers, the opposite is reflected. Figures, such as Benjamin Franklin who pointed out "My parents had given me betimes religions impressions, and I received from my infancy a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. But scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself." (Benjamin Franklin, page 66), Thomas Jefferson who observed "neither Pagan nor Mahomedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion. Shall we suffer a Pagan to deal with us and not suffer him to pray to his god? Why have Christians been distinguished above all people who have ever lived, for persecutions? Is it because it is the genius of their religion? No, it's genius is the reverse. It is the refusing toleration to those of a different opinion which has produced all the bustles and wars on account of religion. It was the misfortune of mankind that during the darker centuries the Christian priests following their ambition and avarice combining with the magistrate to divide the spoils of the people, could establish the notion that schismatic might be ousted of their possessions & destroyed. This notion we have not yet cleared ourselves from." (Thomas Jefferson page 267),and the icing on top of the cake would be the Treaty of Tropoli written by Joel Barlow a politician and diplomat under John Adams presidency , that proclaimed  "As the Government of the United States of  America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." (Joel Barlow).  On the other hand it is likely that today's Politicians love Christians. Simply because Christianity is a very effective tool to manipulate the masses into voting for something, by dressing it up in God.  All these reasons and more are evidence enough to suggest that, no matter who or what you believe in the best place to practice, is in the privacy of your own home or place of worship.

            Part of being a free thinking individual is questioning what you are taught. When people get past The fear of questioning the validity of their beliefs they will find themselves within a new world of information and enlightenment that they never knew possible.  One step to determine the legitimacy of A dogmatic system is through comparison.  The Jesus story resembles that of many pagan deities such as Krishna, Horus, Mithra and even a man known as Apollonius of Tyana, that existed around the same time as Jesus. Even to the point that these gods were all born of a virgin, visited by three men with gifts that who followed a star to locate the baby, as a child began to preach the word of god, Had 12 disciples, was hung or crucified on a cross, died and resurrected three days later, and was known as the Messiah, The Son of God, and The Light. Christian traditions and rituals very closely resemble that of Pagan rituals. Before Christianity, Pagans cut down trees and boughs of evergreen and decorate their homes with it to celebrate the winter solstice also known as Christmas. They believed evergreens had magical powers because unlike other vegetation did not die during winter. They also decorated the tree with candles to honor their sun god.  Easter is another Christian holiday that was modeled after Pagan rituals. Christians celebrate the resurrection of their god on Easter, whereas Pagans celebrate the fertility of mother earth they even decorated eggs as part of the ritual. If there is a god the Bible is not a reliable source for what god/s wants for us. There are multiple conflicting passages within the bible, starting in the first two chapters of Genesis. In chapter one of Genesisyou find that Adam and Eve are both created at the same time. In the following chapter you find a much different account, Adam is created first and after becoming lonely, then God creates Eve from Adam's rib. The salvation story has three conflicting passages as well, one claims to reachsalvation you must simply confess your sins, another claims salvation cannot be gained unless baptized, and finally the third claims the kingdom of heaven is off limits unless a person eats the body of Christ and drinks his blood. Theologians study the stories of the bible and search for evidence of truth through archeology. There has been no record of a Moses, there isn't even any evidence that Jewish people were slaves of Egypt. God is viewed as infallible, therefore the bible cannot be the word of God since the stories cannot even be kept straight. Believing otherwise is incredibly ignorant. To put it simply the bible was written by man. Devout Christians don't blindly follow any other men, so why would a group of individuals blindly follow the writings of men who lived in a time of extreme superstitions without any modern science? If there wasn't any dispute on the validity of stories in the bible there would not  be so many different sectswithin Christianity. How valid can a religion be if it's followers cannot even agree with each other.

            Humans are incredibly greedy beings, unless there is some type of reward they don't typically participate in something that takes up precious time. Which is what makes religion appealing to people. No one wants to think that this life is our only chance at happiness, wealth,and peace. It is after all a morbid and depressing thought, whereas an afterlife and eternity in paradise is an very uplifting and appealing idea . Others may need the Hell factor to get through this life with morale. And then there are those who believe for insurance purposes. If there were no promises of heaven or forty two virgins and threats of eternal hell fire, would people even waste their time? It truly does not matter what the reasons or basis for religious beliefs are. Whether you are Christian, a Scientologist, a Muslim, or Pagan, what really matters is that we set all of that aside, remember that not one belief system is any less valid than the other, and strive to be compassionate and practice good will, not in the name of  religion but in the names of each other.  "This is my simple religion. There is no need of temples; no need of complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." (Dalai Lama, page 52)

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Apr. 12, 2011 at 12:56 AM

Very good! A+!! ;-)

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