Class Warfare Blog

January 31, 2018

What Religion … Trying to Control Us?

I continue to insist that no matter why a religion was created in the first (or second, third, etc.) place, it continues to exist because it controls the great masses of a society to the benefit of the religious and secular elites. The easiest example is Christianity. If Christianity had not supported slavery, it would never have become the state religion of Rome and would have remained an obscure Jewish sect.

Fast forward to today and Ireland is having a referendum on the legality of abortions. In the U.S. there has been a massive anti-abortion campaign being waged for the last thirty years (at least). A primary source of the energy for the “opposed” position on abortion has come from the Catholic Church.

So, what do you think the scriptural basis for this opposition is? For some, the important distinction was of “ensoulment,” the exact moment in time a fetus receives its soul. So, what does the OT have to say about this? While the Hebrew Bible only requires a fine for the loss of a fetus through the actions of another, whatever its stage of development, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Hebrew text (a pre-Christian translation that the early Christians used and quoted extensively in the NT) introduced a distinction between an Aristotelian “formed” and an “unformed” fetus and treated destruction of the former as murder. The debate was over when the fetus became “formed.” So, the scriptures were distorted to include Greek philosophical distinctions by Greek translators. (The NT is rampant with such things, both segments having their science based upon Aristotle or superstition.)

The “debate” was not settled quickly (nor has it been settled now). In 1679, Pope Innocent XI publicly condemned sixty-five propositions taken chiefly from the writings of Escobar, Suarez and other casuists as “at least scandalous and in practice dangerous.” He forbade anyone to teach them under penalty of excommunication. The condemned propositions included:

  1. It is lawful to procure abortion before ensoulment of the fetus lest a girl, detected as pregnant, be killed or defamed.
  2. It seems probable that the fetus (as long as it is in the uterus) lacks a rational soul and begins to first have one when it is born and consequently it must be said that no abortion is homicide.

That these teachings that were being condemned were of Jesuit Catholics, it can hardly be claimed that scripture is crystal clear on the topic.

Of late, the idea of ensoulment at the moment of conception has become popular, but not because it is supported by scripture, just by the Catholic hierarchy, which means it is political.

Now, why would Christianity in the form of the Catholic Church and many Protestant sects (allies in the anti-abortion movement), have its position “evolve” in this manner? For one, each religion has seen itself involved in a war of attrition. People in general did not tend to lose their faith (it wasn’t healthy) but to dominate, more “believers” were needed, consequently more and more children were favored. The Catholic Church didn’t just oppose abortion, it has opposed all artificial birth control methods. More Catholics means more power and that is the name of the game they are playing.

It is a bit of fun watching the Catholic Church squirm as it is rapidly approaching “majority minority” status. The highest birth rates in Catholicism are in Latin America, Latino Americans, and Africa, etc. Pope Francis may come from Argentina but his parents were Italian and of Italian-extraction, so he is far from being a South American, just another overseas Italian and the church does love them some Italian (aka white) popes. How well that will continue to go down as Catholics become more and more brown and black skinned is what will be interesting to watch.

Still, the name of the religion game is to control the behavior of the masses to the benefit of the religious and secular elites. Since, for example, 96% of Catholic American women have used artificial birth control at some point in their lives, that control seems to be slipping. Ireland has approved gay marriage and may decriminalize abortion.

But the Catholic Church and other churches will continue to have opinions, backed with political muscle in these debates. Be sure, however, that there is no clear guidance from scripture on these and many other issues. (The Catholic Church also extols “tradition” as a basis for their opinions which equates to “the way we have always done things” which, surprise!, puts them in control of their opinions.)

And what do you call someone whose political stance is to preserve the status quo and all its institutions? Answer: a conservative. More and more the “opinions” of churches (for example, on the fitness of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States) is determined by their conservatism rather than their professed faith.

The game is all about power … over us. Are you surprised?

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11 Comments »

  1. It isn’t as if we don’t have enough humans on this planet as it is … but now we must allow ALL babies to be born (no matter their condition) just to satisfy some vague and difficult to pin down “scripture”(?). Along with, of course, the reasons you mentioned. Humans can be such dorks. SMH

    Like

    Comment by Nan — January 31, 2018 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

    • I think the really outrageous aspect of this is never discussed. If a woman dies in childbirth or is damaged in childbirth, she will have no more babies. There is no respect for women as people in these conservative churches, none whatsoever. God has declared you to be a second class citizen and they are even writing books as to how you can learn to accept this. Men have always feared the power of women, in that they are needed to continue the species. Early on men did not even understand where those babies came from other than from women. Since there was a mystery and women had this power, it was “all in” to control them every which way you all could be controlled. Men have even enrolled women in the process.

      The effing Catholic Church still thinks you are incapable of handling the duties of a simple priest, let alone any of the higher offices. The misogyny runs deep. The creeps like Pence who think an unborn child is more important that its mother, a women who is a source of a great many more children, is an example of how extreme they are. Humans, the men involved in religion, aren’t just dorks, power-hungry, raving misogynist assholes is closer to the mark.

      Sorry for the rant. If we can’t abuse our colleagues, who can we abuse?

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:46 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 31, 2018 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  2. From the Talmud, Halacha (Jewish law) defines when a fetus becomes a nefesh (person):
    “…a baby…becomes a full-fledged human being when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the fetus is considered a ‘partial life.’ ”

    Case closed, Christians…. Or do you want to ignore your “Judeo-Christian” heritage?

    Like

    Comment by john zande — January 31, 2018 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

    • Unfortunately, for some, “partial life” is enough of a reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Nan — January 31, 2018 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

      • Of course, and they’re certianly free to demonstrate 1) that souls exists, and 2) identify the exact moment this soul “enters” the fetus.

        Like

        Comment by john zande — January 31, 2018 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

        • I thought that was what the “machine that goes “bing”” in hospitals was for. Didn’t the Monty Python troupe invent that?

          On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:09 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — January 31, 2018 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

          • That’s the most important machine in the entire hospital 😉

            Like

            Comment by john zande — January 31, 2018 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

            • Possibly because the hospital sold it and is leasing it back to change accounts?

              On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 2:43 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Like

              Comment by Steve Ruis — February 2, 2018 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

      • That’s all they want us to have. Some science fiction stories play upon the these that some people will be able to extend their own lives by using the life energy of others. This is a theme as old as civilization.

        On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:01 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — January 31, 2018 @ 1:12 pm | Reply

    • I thought most people knew this so I didn’t belabor it (yes, that was a pun). In retrospect, prolly shudda used it.

      On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:59 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 31, 2018 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

  3. Of course religion is trying to control us. Just look around this ‘Merikkka we live in. The fundamentalists want a theocracy. All of us who do not buy into the xtian BS must stand firm against that. As long as we resist them, they cannot win. We also need to try and educate all people that religions are ALL man made. Every single one of them have been created by humans, usually men who have zero real job skills but want to live the ‘good life’ of privilege with a nice paycheck. I refuse to buy into any ancient myths as fact/truth/history. Myths have their place in our humanity, but even old (now long dead) Joseph Campbell who was a great scholar of myths said that when you take myth as fact, real history, or truth, you destroy the myth. I have a few of his books and watches the PBS series that was done with/about him back in the 1980’s, he did another shorter series of talks with Bill Moyers on PBS back about then. I found those to be very interesting, but I still have an interest in different belief systems, I just don’t buy into any of them.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — February 1, 2018 @ 12:06 pm | Reply


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