adventures in dysthymia

Monday, January 07, 2008

IT TENDS to bother me when (supposedly intelligent) people rant about the evils of organized religion yet have no problem with organized business, organized labor, organized government. Be consistent! If organization is bad (and having anarchist tendencies myself, I can buy that to at least some degree) then it is bad everywhere.

I do consider independent organized religion to be a powerful counterweight to the tyranny of state or economic power. It's no wonder that oppressive governments always want to control religion as well -- they want no rivals to their power. In a way, our current freedom of religion owes a debt to the Roman Church, which remained politically independent during the formative years of our modern European culture -- unlike the Eastern church which came under the control of the Byzantine emperor and his various successors in Russia, etc. Of course, the Reformation years changed much of that and, being only slightly cynical, it must be admitted that Protestantism was given a big boost by temporal powers that saw a chance to control the religions within their borders. (I would argue strongly that 'religious wars' are about economics and power, like pretty much every other conflict, even if the average soldier may think he fights for something else.)

The big problem with organized religion -- or organized anything else -- is that it is run by human beings. They will bring all their weaknesses and strengths to the institutions they create. Any institutions.

Enough of that; I could probably write a book on it but I gave up on being a historian long ago when I realized I much prefer to paint! Best decision I ever made...

I've been writing and polishing songs again. I have hundreds of them in various levels of completion and must get them organized. Not to mention all the poems. Oh my, Steve is going to be busy this year. But right now, the laundry is ready to hang out on this sunny morning!

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