The Corporate “Religion World” has once again got its trains on the wrong tracks and headed at each other. The more prosperous the corporate business is, the more convoluted and more disasterous the likely crash will be that awaits the rest of us. Highlighted by Mike Huckabee and his inference that in someway, Romney’s Mormon faith is defective. But don’t overlook the Pope reaffirming the singularity of Roman Catholicism as both the true church and of course, always correct in its teachings. He asked parishioners to forgive the Jews and work to convert them. Press reports discuss each of these in theological terms as if there is a logic that can prove a point that has been thrown out. You can learn far more by looking at the economics behind statements like these. More church goers liking what they hear, means more money for the church.
All organized religions exist because of two facts. (1) The religions produce a series of products (such as stimulating music, feel good sermons, “get out of jail cards”(forgiveness for your transgressions), dramatic churches or meeting spots, and dynamic speakers) that their customers find acceptable. (2) In return, the customers agree to contribute enough money to make the religion happy. As in any business, one searches for better products and ways to earn more money.
Over the years religions have found words that sooth, lift, ease, and refocus the listener. The listener has a hole in his spirit and the religion finds words to help fill the absence. Religions often are important to pass on a sense of moral values such as “treat the other person as you wish to be treated” (good outcomes) and “eye for an eye” (usually not good results. But when, as there always will be, conflicts within the code of rules of each religion, the religion always pulls out the ace of trump and says “it is so because God said it was so”.
So, we can have a President who says he talks to God regularly and invades a sovereign country bringing death and destruction to both Americans and Iraqis. He insists that pro-life is the only way and yet does nothing to support the young born into untenable situations. He supports the death penalty and looks the other way on the dangers of AIDS. He is sure that all his positions are what God would want.
We need to reject this type of argument amongst the 2008 candidates and insist they use facts and possess a consistent personal set of principles and values. “Not for Profit” Humanism might be a way to end the discussion closer “god told me so” that distorts so much of our political discussion today.