There are no questions about it about it, religion, like it or not, is a big part of people’s lives. They either love the religion they are part of, they hate all religions equally, they question religion in general, etc. You get the point. I know people who are staunch Atheists, some are Christian (various sects), a few are Islamic, some Agnostic, etc. And no matter who you talk to, if they are open minded about their beliefs, everyone has an opinion about religion, and the religions of others and the world. Despite the fact that most of our mothers told us to not discuss religion or politics if we wish to keep our friends. Personally, I believe that you can learn much about a person by understanding both their religion and how they live their religious beliefs.
Despite what any given religion’s written word may say, the leaders of that belief or church has differing views which are laid out in their dogma. Dogma is essentially the tenets, principles, or policies of that particular church as determined by the leaders (usually) based upon their written text. And some dogma will be in direct conflict with the written word.
In my personal opinion, the original ideas behind the religion itself are good; however, men tend to bastardize everything that they come in contact with. In essence, or at the very basic principle of the faith which people follow is a relationship of some sort between them (as individuals) and their Creator (God). The Church, or religious, leaders tend to make this relationship a little different by associating them (the leaders) and the Church with God.
What most people don’t realize is the fact that 99.99% of the churches out there are actually corporations. Corporations by definition are not entities of God, but are figments of state creation and thereby owe allegiance to the state – NOT to God! They sign up with the IRS to become a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization, after filing their Articles of Corporation with the state. Which means that they can make all sorts of money, give enormous salaries, purchase property, etc, all in the name of the Almighty. So long as there is profit, per se, all is good…so, how is that of God? Those churches which show actual allegiance to God are not corporate in nature, but are made up of and by the people.
My intention is to write more on this more on this subject, overall. Most of my experience is within the Christian community, as I have more time studying the Biblical Text. But I have friends that are Islamic, and I have studied other religions. So, I imagine we will see where this leads us. I must admit that my beliefs have evolved over the course of time and have come to rest with the fact that I am a Deist (as I base much of my decision making upon reason & nature); although, I could be considered a Christian-agnostic (because I believe in the ultimate cause as being God, but ultimately how things occurred is not completely knowable; with my understanding of the Bible and all the contradictions I still lean toward that possibility.)
What are your thoughts on this write-up, or subject in general?