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Troy

Religion itself is harmless. It is like a gun. A gun by itself is harmless.

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"Religion itself is harmless. It is like a gun. A gun by itself is harmless."

The above was an analogy made by Waterstar in I thought it was interesting enough to spawn a seperate discussion on the topic

Interesting analogy Waterstar. A gun's sole purpose it to cause harm. Otherwise it would not need to exist.

What would you argue is religion's purpose? How has it be used in this country as it concerns Black people? Has it done more harm than good?

On a global scale has the impact of religion been good or bad?

Note: I'm making a distinction between "religion" and "spirituality".

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I guess I'll just dive right in. I think Waterstar's analogy is on point.

And...I think that a gun's purpose is to harm people, yes. And that too is religion's purpose - through power & control.

And I’m not going for it. Why on earth would I need to join a religion and have somebody - another human being just like I’m a human being - tell me how to get to heaven? How would he know the answer to that question and not me? He is made of the same substance that I am made of. He is just as flawed as I am and yet I’m supposed to believe that he has some special understanding? And I am supposed to believe that it is wise to let him convince me with some words in a book that I should follow him into his religion, as opposed to maybe my neighbor down the road who picked a different type of religion with a different set of rules for heaven? That sounds crazy to me! But this is what people do every Sunday.

Coming up I was exposed to tons of different churches and religions because my mom was searching for something. And I noticed that each time we ended up at a new church there was the same dance. We’d get taken into some conference room or back room. The representative would begin with the books - always the books - that were supposed to prove that this way was the right way into heaven. And then after the books came the rules. Telling us how we had to dress, what we could or could not eat and when, how we should talk, what we should or shouldn’t put up with, when to give them our money and how much. It was ridiculous.

At the end of the day, I was born with the same tools spiritually as everybody else. No man or woman can get in my face with a book and tell me that I should be doing this or doing that or living this way or that in order to get into heaven. For real? Really? hahahaha

And as far as what it's done for Black people in this country? Well, from my observations I would have to say it has kept us in a different type of slavery, where now our minds are stuck. Those of us that are deep in the church allow it to take over everything. I've seen women who want to leave their abusive husbands stay, just because their preacher told them something about what the Bible said. I've heard of an instance where a child was molested but nobody said anything because the teen that did it was the son of the preacher and they wanted to protect the First Family. I've heard of people writing out that 10% check for tithes even though they didn't have money to pay their rent.

That's not to say that all churches are bad. I have an uncle who is a preacher and he really wants to save the world. His heart is in the right place and so he will be just fine. But the system of religion itself, all good preachers aside, was set up to control people, in my opinion. And many religious leaders still use it for that, and it works too.

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Wow it only took you 11 minutes of thought Writergirl :-)

I feel everything you are saying but I still have a problem with the analogy. Again, a gun's sole purpose is to 'cause harm -- even when hunting.

Religion, unlike the gun is used for both good and evil.

I think the world would be a much better place without guns.

I think the world would be a better place if religious practice were more spiritual.

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Awl helllllll nawl, I KNOW you ain't tryna diagree wit Waterstar WEST! :D Don't mind me, I'm trippin off Nick West from "35 and Ticking".

Those are interesting questions.

Perhaps I should have simply said that religion is like a tool in that it is, by itself, harmless.

I went on to use the example of a specific tool the gun, which is a tool that has been used to take lives. On the contrary, has tthis particular tool, the gun, not also been used to save lives?

For the person who comes to rob the man who was in his house, the gun that he has is being used for negative reasons. Yet when he breaks in the house, he is surprised to discover that the owner of the house is waiting for him with a gun...a much bigger one that happens to, quite literally, scare the crap out of the burglar. The owner of the house tells the burglar to put the gun down and he does... Guess what? That gun in that the owner was holding probably saved his life. The owner's gun probably even saved two lives that day, because I know the owner very well. Trust me, he would have fought until the end. I'm glad it didn't get to that point though. You know what? I'm glad that he had a gun.

A gun is a tool. By itself, it can do nothing. Even a person has to load it in order for it to deliver a deadly shot. Let's take a gun that is 'not' loaded though. Somebody can take it a beat it upside somebody's head to take a life...but could they not do the same with a shovel? Was a gun created for the same reason that a shovel was created? Not in the sense of the purpoe of these two tools. However, at the end of the day, whatever tool is used to take a life which has the potential to harm can and will harm. Ever read these medication labels? LOL That's some deadly stuff, Man. However, it is used to make people feel better. Yet, if used in cetain ways, it can make people feel much worse... can even kill them (and IS killing them, but that's another subject).

Water. Water can give life. Water can take life. Water is a giver of life, water is deadly. Even water is a tool. Heck, your hands are tools. The two same hands that can be used to administer CPR and help save a person's life are the same two hands that can be placed around a person's neck to take a person's life. Everything available is a tool. Science is a tool. It's just that the most important tool of all, which is the mind, is being used for misanthropic purposes rather than truly humanistic purposes and so the master tool (the mind) has developed a culture in which science serves to kill, destroy, and exploit much more than it does to heal, cure, and restore. So what do we see? We see the evolution of tools which are created for the purpose of death, destruction, and exploitation...but without human operation, these tools would be powerless.

So now we get to religion. My religion cannot kill you anymore than your religion can kill me. Why can't my religion kill you? That's simple; because I have none. lol Seriously though, let's take this scenario.

Here is Reverend Porkchop. He is very smart with pimp bones in his body. He builds up a hustle *oops* I mean a congregation. Most of his members are single black mothers who are poor, poor single black mothers who ain't got but so much yet freely gives it to their 'pastor' who freely takes it. Revernd Porkchop speaks to them on how Jesus is the "healer of broken hearts" and how all their earthly suffering will earn them heavenly paradise. Word is really getting out that Reverend Porkchop is "on fyah fo da Lode" and his ministry grows. He begins to attract many more single black female members, but of higher socioeconomic status. After a few years, Reverend Porkchop has himself a megachurch. He done came up *oops* I mean "his ministry's been blessed". So much that now, he is Bishop Pork Tenderloins and he is a best selling author of self-help books for women's empowerment. YOU know Reverend Porkchop is a vulture, doing much more preying than praying, preying on the unique situations that sisters in America face... Oh but don't you say NUFFIN bout Bishop Pork Tenderloins to da sistaz he's pimpin cause "he is a man of GAWD!" Meanwhile, Bishop P. Tenderloins is pimpin the heck out of our sisters in the name of the lord..using religion to pimp and exploit the people.

On the other hand, there is another pastor by the name of Pastor D. Peoples. Pastor D. Peoples started having visions of what he was being called to do when he was young. He has a sincere love for the god that he serves and he also has a sincere love for the people who he believes that his god has called upon him to serve. Pastor D. Peoples builds up a ministry which is centered around helping the people to improve spiritually and socially. Pastor D. Peoples refuses to accept faith based ("initialtive") money because he feels that this is but a tool used by the government in order for pastors to become its tools and Pastor D. Peoples says that he will be tool to nothing except the god that he serves, that he is there to serve his god and that god told him to serve his people. Pastor D. Peoples' church is community oriented. He allows the space to be used to workshops that will build up the people of his community. He does not shy away from HIV/AIDS awareness in his church; as a matter of fact, every Wednesday of the week, the church offers testing. The church has a food program and various outreach programs. Pastor D. Peoples has a very loyal following. The members of his congregaton say that "he is a man of Gawd" and while Pastor D. Peoples is clearly in a position to use religion and his charisma to exploit the people, he does not; he tries his best to build them up.

On a global scale, the impact of religion has not been bad. On a global scale, the impact of what has been done in the name of religion has been atrocious.

The mind is the ultimate tool and because this tool is being used for the purpose of killing, destroying, and exploiting, the society is full of all kinds of tools which were created for this purpose and the mind continues to develop in the midst of a the lack of a true sense of humanity, the lack of balance, the lack of compassion and the lack of a higher sense of responsibility, so the real fault is not on the "things' created rather their creators. Whenever medicine is strong enough to take life yet not strong enough to cure; whenever there is no money to sustain pre-k programs yet there is plenty money to develop drone technology; whenever any gift from Mama Earth to her children such as land is being sold, you will see evidence of a decaying of the most important tool ever known to mankind...And trust me, if mankind is headed for destruction, the origin of mankind's destruction will not be found in the things that mankind created rather in the minds of those who created these things.

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Here's my take. Before you assess religion you have to consider its origins. Scientist theorize that our brains are wired to be in awe of the unknown and that there are indications that a “god gene” exists. Anthropologists declare that, indeed, belief in a higher power has always been present in the human condition and this is what gave rise to myth and idolatry. From this It can be deduced that religion is something that comes natural to humans. It is organic. It was not originally a tool, but became one when man decided to manipulate it.

Guns and the bullets that are their components are manufactured items specifically created for the sole purpose of inflicting damage, not only to people but to objects. A loaded gun is a latent danger. It doesn’t have to be wielded by a person. It can fall from where it has been placed and can accidently discharge a bullet that does harm to some person or thing. Circumstances do not transform a gun. Even when it inflicts damage on a threat, it is doing something bad to this target because it will either kill or maime or destroy it. The NRA likes to exonerate guns with its double talk about people killing people, not guns.but this is just a smokescreen to cloud its ulterior motives. Even an unloaded gun is a killing waiting to happen.

Religion per se is not harmful because it is generic. The harm came in when it splintered into name brands, - denominations that are inherently harmful because intrinsic in each one is the idea that my belief is more valid than yours. And implicit in this belief is the idea that in the eyes of the god who is the supreme honcho, I am more worthy than you. And to enforce this idea I have and will become bellergerent. All of which is why religion too often does more harm than good.

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Wow it only took you 11 minutes of thought Writergirl :-)

I feel everything you are saying but I still have a problem with the analogy. Again, a gun's sole purpose is to 'cause harm -- even when hunting.

Religion, unlike the gun is used for both good and evil.

I think the world would be a much better place without guns.

I think the world would be a better place if religious practice were more spiritual.

I agree. I also took a moment to rethink my response & yes, the analogy is slightly off.

I'm sitting here trying to come up with a different analogy, and I'm having a brain fart. If I come up with something, I'll post it.

Waterstar, BTW, I'm lol @ Bishop P. Tenderloins! :D Why does he sound familiar?!

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It is said:

"God made man. Man made religion."

It is also said that:

"Man made God in his image."

LOL There are many, many Biishop P. Tenderloins, Writergirl.

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Waterstar I think the burglar argument quickly falls apart when one considers that a burglar without a gun would pose less of a threat to the home owner -- indeed the burglar would be less likely to try to rob a home, without a gun, if they knew the occupants were present.

Many users of guns have done so in the name of religion. If this is true, what is more dangerous the religion or the gun? I think it is obvious when one considers the number of people killed in the name of religion before the gun was even invented.

So while I was busting balls over the analogy I agree with it in theory, but no in practice:

I submit that the gun "by itself" (without people) is indeed harmless. I also propose that religion has the same characteristic

Since guns can't exist without people they can't be harmless, and the world would be better off without them. Does this analogy hold true for religion?

Someone on twitter told me, "You need comprehension,analyzation and critical thinking." in response to a tweet on this conversation. I invited them to join the discussion and help me out.

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Troy, I would like to hear your thoughts on this post mostly because I called myself analysing and attempting critical thinking when I wrote it. I did a lot of pondering before I came up with my conclusions.

Here's my take. Before you assess religion you have to consider its origins. Scientist theorize that our brains are wired to be in awe of the unknown and that there are indications that a “god gene” exists. Anthropologists declare that, indeed, belief in a higher power has always been present in the human condition and this is what gave rise to myth and idolatry. From this It can be deduced that religion is something that comes natural to humans. It is organic. It was not originally a tool, but became one when man decided to manipulate it.

Guns and the bullets that are their components are manufactured items specifically created for the sole purpose of inflicting damage, not only to people but to objects. A loaded gun is a latent danger. It doesn’t have to be wielded by a person. It can fall from where it has been placed and can accidently discharge a bullet that does harm to some person or thing. Circumstances do not transform a gun. Even when it inflicts damage on a threat, it is doing something bad to this target because it will either kill or maime or destroy it. The NRA likes to exonerate guns with its double talk about people killing people, not guns.but this is just a smokescreen to cloud its ulterior motives. Even an unloaded gun is a killing waiting to happen.

Religion per se is not harmful because it is generic. The harm came in when it splintered into name brands, - denominations that are inherently harmful because intrinsic in each one is the idea that my belief is more valid than yours. And implicit in this belief is the idea that in the eyes of the god who is the supreme honcho, I am more worthy than you. And to enforce this idea I have and will become bellergerent. All of which is why religion too often does more harm than good.

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Cynique I essentially agreed with your assessment.

I agree with you position on guns 100%

I saw a documentary once that suggested that our predisposition to believing in God was natural. I certainly believe there is a natural tendency for mankind to understand his origins and purpose. Short of having the answers we come up with "stories" to fill in the gaps.

Religion has played a major role in filling in those gaps. Now when those gaps are proven wrong with scientific discovery and religion fails to adapt then it become problematic, dangerous even. Galileo was labeled and heretic for proving the earth revolved around the sun?!

So while competition between religions has been bloody enough. The Galileo situation is an example of religion, in isolation from any other religion is battling reality.

Of course one can come up with many contemporary examples of different religions battling reality, with consequence just as damaging.

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Waterstar I think the burglar argument quickly falls apart when one considers that a burglar without a gun would pose less of a threat to the home owner -- indeed the burglar would be less likely to try to rob a home, without a gun, if they knew the occupants were present.

Many users of guns have done so in the name of religion. If this is true, what is more dangerous the religion or the gun? I think it is obvious when one considers the number of people killed in the name of religion before the gun was even invented.

So while I was busting balls over the analogy I agree with it in theory, but no in practice:

I submit that the gun "by itself" (without people) is indeed harmless. I also propose that religion has the same characteristic

Since guns can't exist without people they can't be harmless, and the world would be better off without them. Does this analogy hold true for religion?

Someone on twitter told me, "You need comprehension,analyzation and critical thinking." in response to a tweet on this conversation. I invited them to join the discussion and help me out.

Yes, a burglar without a gun would pose less of a threat to the home owner, yet I don't think that too many burglars with sense are going to try to break into a house without a gun, because it is always a possibility that someone is present. Do you know that the incident that I am telling you about happened in broad daylight? That's how bold and greedy people can get these days. I am not at all a fan of guns, but goodness knows that I was happy that the homeowner had that gun and I was happy that he knew very well how to shoot it. At the same time, I was happy that the homeowner was the person that he is though. Though he had every right to shoot this guy's brains out, he did not. The burglar would not at all have been so lucky with a lot of people. The homeowner has a gun not because he loves violence but because he loves himself and his family and will protect them by any means necessary even if it means using that gun. The burglar, could have killed him that day. Just like that. Over breaking into his house over some "stuff" and there is the life of a man whose love for his family and for others gone, just like that.

The missionary comes to "the primitives" with his bible in one hand and his rifle in the other hand to bring "civilization". What can the bible do without the missionary? What can the rifle do without the missionary? Neither the bible nor the rifle is on a mission. The missionary is on a mission to rob, kill, enslave, rape, and mislead, all in the name of his god. Is the missionary's god the problem or the missionary himself the problem?

Guns couldn't exist without people. LOL How could religion exist without people? Without people, what could possibly be the need for religion? That's like toilets. Without people, what could possibly be the need for them?

You wanna know the real deal? No people, no problems. You take all of the people out of the world and you have just eliminated every problem that the world has ever had.

Some might say that this sounds harsh, but hey, I'm probably agreeing with their god. Heck, according to the bible, he let the place flood more than George Bush let the 9th Ward flood out during Hurricane Katrina cause people were wicked as hell. You think that's it? According to the bible, next time, he supposed to burn this mutha down cause people wicked as hell. I don't see why he would make people them in the first place if he gotta go through all that, but maybe he is just as sadistic as the people that he made.

Hey, on another note, to my sisters who are christians, y'all better read that bible better before y'all go around talkin bout y'all want a man who's "god-like". What can you say when a crazy azz man is in the bushes in his pajamas outside your job? He gon' be like, " You SEDDDD you wanted a god-like man. Gawd a jealous gawd; I'm just bein god-like." Plus, you thought Sharazad Ali was crazy when she gave black men the option of giving y'all an "open hand slap". Yet the god of the bible would smite somebody for doing stuff FAR less major than what y'all do so what you think he gon do to you? Man, he put da G in "Gawd". Oh you think he chilled out on his violence in the new testament? HE KILLED HIS OWN SON because the people he made were so wicked and that's the only way that they could go to heaven, so WHAT YOU THINK HE GON DO TO YOU!? Are you SURE you want a god-like man? :D I know, I know. Some of you think I'm going to hell. Some of you been thinking that since I brought up Reverend Porkchop/Bishop P. Tenderlions. Don't you TALK about ma savior I meant ma PASTOR! Don't mind me, life is short and I have to make time to laugh.

P.S. Did you know that according to your bibles, gawd already knows who is and who is not going to heaven? It's kind of like pre-decided cheerleading tryouts. Are you sure you're being good for a good reason? Even Santa makes a list, checks it twice, and finds out who's been naughty or nice. As for Gawd, he has had that list since from how long and either you on it or you ain't. My word too, out of all the people in this world, only 144,000 gon be in that numba. You think YOU in it? Gurllllll/Boyyyyyy stoppppp LOL Am goin to hell, right?

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"I want to be a solder" looks interesting.

That 144,000 number always concerned me when I first heard the Jehovah Witnesses talk about it. Given the number of people that ever lived, the 144K figure is so small you may as well say that no one will be saved.

Then again, considering humanity's behavior this number may be about right

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