Logically, I cannot understand how the followers of any religion can have such unwavering blind faith in religious texts and practices and not question any corruption or contradictions. It seems the majority of true believers trade their critical thinking skills for exchange of feeling of belonging to the group, becoming the metaphorical and literal sheep. One of my favorite quotes was on plaque in my high school junior year history class that read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is my belief that religious people do not remember corrupt leadership of the past and keep repeating the same mistakes in following the same leadership style over and over, like sheep being lead to slaughter.
I believe organized religion may look good on paper but when humans get involved then manipulation is used to satisfy their religious leaders’ lust for greed and power which contradicts the very beliefs the religion was founded on. Many religious founders seemed to practice what they preached, however, once they die, the leadership that follows seems to travel the road of corruption in order to maintain or gain additional power (Armstrong, 2002). Historically, wars have been fought, assignations committed, persecution of other religions, land conquered, and even beliefs changed over time to fit the needs and wants of the current leader over the common good of that same leader’s own people (Esposito, 2011). These corruptions are not isolated to solely the Old Testament era; even current religious leaders abuse power. I can recall the headlines I have read in Yahoo News over the years about Christian televangelists who have stolen money from church donations or committed adultery, to Catholic priests sexually assaulting children, to Mormon sect leaders taking minor children as wives, to Jewish leaders selling organs on the black market, to Muslim dictators manipulating religious beliefs for political wins, to an Amish leader ordering “drive by shootings” on a neighboring “rival” Amish group. These contradictions of behaviors versus their own belief systems have led me to not believe in organized religion in any form.
My Background and Religious Exposure
Religion was not a building block in my home as a child. My birth mother and stepfather were non-practicing Baptist and Catholic, respectfully. The bulk of my religious encounters occurred during my enrollment at MHA, an international boarding school ran by St. Benedictine nuns and my enlistment in the U.S. Air Force. That boarding school exposed me to girls from different countries, cultures and religions that would not have occurred if I had attended public high school. In the Air Force during basic training, the drill instructors highly encouraged airmen to attend church services, as it was the only place to cry, relieve stress or relax from being under the watchful eye of one’s drill instructors. I actively sought out different services in order to gain better...