So What's Up With the GW Bush
Promotion of Religion Campaign?
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 013003)

If it's not one religious notion GW is trying to get the
government to sleep with, it's another. The latest, in
his State of the Union address? Well, religion to solve
the supposed drug problem, but of course. The fact
that the overwhelming majority of drug users are al-
ready religious fails to register in the President's pre-
sumed notion that religion is an overwhelming force
for "good" ...

Belief in God palliates drug use? Religion is good for
health? Prayer is good for health? The constant mes-
sage there is don't worry about religion as to whether
it's true or not -- leave that up to your learned religious
leaders and just comfort yourself by buying into the
notion that religion is a social good, no matter the con-
sequences of extremist devotion to it, and despite the
heavy bias in flawed studies designed to prop up reli-
gious faith.

And for politicians like GW Bush, they latch on to that
religiously-inspired notion, as follows:

o they pump up religion as it's advantageous politically
   for them to appear as if they're at the right hand of
   some perceived all-powerful creator deity thingie,

o they schmooze with other monotheistic religion fol-
   lowers in order to promote the ecumenical lie that
   all religions are "good / true" and that all worship the
   "same" God and that "One Nation Under God" applies
   to "any" God (all Gods), not primarily to the Christian
   notion of God,

   and

o they promote the religious apologetic that Islamic
   extremism is *not* based on devout devotion to an
   all-powerful creator deity thingie called Allah, aka
   God.

GW, you must understand, while politically motivated to
act as if he's God's chosen leader, is also a victim of
childhood brainwashing which most Americans, even in
the current day, subject their children to.

Another quirk in GW's State of the Union address was
his referring to God as a supporter of freedom. How in
the world one would disingenuously attempt to prop up
that notion is beyond me, what with the long bloody
record of religious totalitarianism, the continued promo-
tion (in many faiths) of notions of immortal torment, and
the historical intolerance of religious faith leaders and
followers clearly standing as testimony against such a
stance.

In the current day, Islamic theocracies are freedom-de-
nied, by definition, and the only reason America remains
a nation of freedom and liberty is because our founding
fathers had the wisdom to keep the government out of
religion (and to keep religion out of government, in large
measure if not totally so). However, efforts by legislators
in the last few decades, and especially by GW Bush in
recent times, have attempted to promote combining God
and religion with government activities.

Power / control / money are central themes of what's left
of the ancient religious faiths, as well as what politics is,
at its very core, all about.

How does religion play into the hands of political leaders?

First off, ponder the way religious leaders are indoctrin-
ated into positions of power.

There are many religious leaders who have received a
well-rounded liberal education, and are fully aware of the
gaps in the foundational religious ideologies, the myths,
and the way all of that has been used to manipulate and
control people in a manner far removed from logic, rea-
son, and respect for open-minded pursuit of verity.

Some of those religious leaders use religion as a tool
for personal gain, religious perpetuation, and self-serving
goals. Most of those religious leaders combine both the
negative and positive aspects of religion, genuinely doing
what most would perceive as "good" in a substantial part
of their efforts. Almost all religious leaders, whether well-
intentioned or not, seek to perpetuate the religious organ-
ization they belong to as a primary focus of their reason
for being.

Shifting from the religious leaders who have received a
well-rounded liberal education > > > to those who have
received a fundamentalist education, large numbers of
religious leaders have been steered away from doubt
regarding their religious faith, so much so that they gen-
uinely believe that following a particular religious faith is
the actual personification of an omnipotent omniscient
almighty super-being, the ultimate "good", God.

For those religious leaders, when you combine the ability
to control masses of people with a dogma that is earnestly
and devoutly devoted to self-perpetuation (supposedly for
the "good" of the people), the risks of over-zealousness
and deceit are increased, no matter how well-intentioned
the individuals involved were when they began their reli-
gious endeavors.

Nevertheless, even though we, as a society, can do much
better than relying on the ancient myths for guidance, I must
in a moment of honesty admit that the good side of religious
endeavors are a substantial element in the hearts and minds
of a significant number of religious leaders and followers.

GW Bush is but one example of how all that religious pro-
motion can play out in the lives of children led to believe
in such things (a rather embarrassing example, in my view,
but opinions differ widely on such matters).

The fact that religious devotion results in many adopting
a closed-minded stance towards open-minded search for
verity stretches credulity when it comes to their desire to
be perceived as enlightened and / or well-meaning, when
all is said and done.

The alternative to religious-based views?

Open-minded search for verity and elevation of respect
for humankind based on the principle of social gain and the
knowledge that this is our one and only *sure* opportunity
to maximize the human experience. As such, it behooves
us to create an environment whereby the probability for
fulfillment and happiness resides not in delusion / deceit /
myth / cons / threats, not in the supposed gains from im-
mortal wonderlands -or- avoidance of supposed pits of
hell, but instead from the definite gains we know we can
experience in this, our one and only *certain* opportunity
to do so.

Another way of looking at it is that humankind can fight
and struggle to get as much of the pie as is possible, with
the result being that an overwhelming number are miser-
able and the only ones having a fulfilling existence are the
small minority at the top -or- humankind can recognize
its nature of fulfillment through satisfying social interactions
which respect the rights of all to live in peace, security, and
happiness, by sharing and caring for one another.

I suspect that religion is more directed towards the former
principle (with a small minority given the power / control /
money, and the rest being forced to conform / follow to
merit the leftovers of the pie) than they are the latter, know-
ing full well most religionists (and most in the world, at large)
are in denial regarding the divisive and inequitable nature of
religious faith and society.

It never ceases to amaze me how folks (religious and non-
religious) can be so comfortable with the notion that person
A can have millions of times more (power / control / money)
than person B, and even while person B is dying from lack
of food or clothing or medicine or shelter, the typical re-
sponse is to blame person B for it, as if person B is merely
an infinitesimally minute entity in this life compared to per-
son A. The insanity and unjust nature of such an approach
defies logic and reason, and can only be bought into by
using the same technique of denial, delusion, and apolo-
getics that religious faiths are built upon.

But, for the religious, they then follow justifying inequity
with stuff like "we're all equal in the eyes of God", claiming
that person B will do just fine in an afterlife if they only be-
lieve in the right God in the right way, perceiving this life
as a mere way station on to the grand eternal payoff.

Now, they may implore person A to help person B, they
may try to guilt-trip person A, but by no means will they
actually attempt to change the corrupt system which cre-
ated the inequity in the first place. Why? The system (reli-
gious and political) is corrupt, and is geared to have the
power / money / control in the hands of a small minority,
with everyone else struggling over the scraps, beholden
to the rich and powerful for without their blessing, the
rest are f****d, if you know what I mean.

How does all this differ from the days of feudalism, totali-
tarianism, empire? Amazingly, very little, for still, like then,
the system (religious and political) is at its very core de-
signed to place as much power / money / control as pos-
sible into the hands of as few as possible.

Is there an opportunity, in a democracy, for the corrupt
system to be changed, for more equity, fairness, and re-
spect for verity to rise to the fore? Well, that begs the
question of how would a political group go about reach-
ing the heights of power and convince a majority that the
ways of the past can be altered for the betterment of the
many . . .

. . . and, for that, I have no answer but to say that yes, it's
possible, but living within a system designed to perpetuate
the way things are and have always been, I suspect that
changes will come more as a result of technological ad-
vances than they will from utilizing the traditional avenues
of access to political power, for it's in those traditional
avenues that the temptations for corruption exist. It's dif-
ficult to become part of a corrupt system without becoming
corrupt your own self.

The old adage, absolute power corrupts absolutely may
be trite and lacking somewhat in pithiness, but put another
way, the odds of being corruption-free are dramatically
reduced when one utilizes traditional paths to power.

We've seen it time and time again throughout history, no
matter how noble and well-intentioned a groups' goals
were at the start, once placed in power, the means to that
power were so corrupting that the leaders themselves be-
came corrupt. Notable exception, at least in my own mind,
and perhaps this is merely a reflection of what I've been
led to believe, the "founding fathers of America" (waves
flag - recognizes the naivete of that view, acknowledges
the negative aspects of the founding fathers, but neverthe-
less wants to admire them for what they were able to
achieve) . . .

How would technological advances break the cycle?

Maybe, just hoping they will, as it's difficult (from the stand-
point of odds and reality) to conceive of the current system
changing for the betterment of the many, as those in power
have a vested interest in using technological advances to
hold onto their power.

However, that being said, the nature of the technological
gains we're beginning to experience is that a power shift,
a new paradigm, is occurring even as we speak. This very
post is an example, the ability of a single all-but powerless
human on the planet to offer opinions to millions of others
who have access to the internet, instantaneously and with-
out censorship (well, at least without censorship in some
parts of the world, as no telling what filters this post goes
through in parts of the world that monitor / filter internet
traffic).

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