Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Big church = big abuse. So lets socialise rather than institutionalise

When I read articles like this...
http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=2db4346fb4f046232a2ea7db782473f9
... it panders to my suspicion that religion is (forgive the apparent paradox) God's cruel joke. After all,what place does old fashioned church have in the age of information?  Surely we should focus on exploring the unknowns rather than writing them off to divine providence; minimize uncertainty rather than prey on it.

It seems that all religion really provides, in this day and age, is an excuse for irrational behaviour or reasoning, and/or the opportunity to exploit that trait in an institutionalised way.  Evidently faith-based institutions are fertile ground for trust abusers: a surfeit of trust is bound to attract abuse.  Yet it's interesting to note that the more sceptical/questioning/'protesting' flavour of Christianity, Protestantism, seems to have far fewer cases of child abuse.  It does suggest a direct correlation between religion (in the sense of the degree of institutionalisation of faith) and sexual abuse. Or in plainer terms: the bigger the church, the bigger the abuse.

I actually believe in the power of faith. Any competitor knows (be it sport or combat) that having faith can give you a psychological advantage, just as anyone who has experienced a trauma can appreciate the comfort of faith. But in this age of global social networks, does it really need to be institutionalised? Why not belief clubs?

Checking the internet, many are already there: Jedis, trekkies... they appear to be cod-religious nouveau entities, but their zealots are no less faithful. They may lack the gravitas (and body count!) of a centuries-old institution, but I suspect they are also more honest, earnest and less prone to abuse.

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