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Religionism’s Endemic Hypocrisy and MoneyAuthor of this text: Richard Bozarth
many times has it been preached to Us the People that mere exposure to
religionism will make us better people? Members of Congress have declared that
if the Ten Commandments are placed in public school classrooms, the beneficial
moral influence the faith-based posters exert would preclude or at least greatly
reduce the odds for one or more students turning into murderers. Part of W.
Bush's reasoning for letting faith-based organizations take over the
government's responsibility to provide social services to citizens who need them
is that social services provided in a religious environment will exert
beneficial moral influence merely from the environmental exposure. However, if
that was true, then shouldn't those who are the most deeply submerged in the
mire of religionism be the most moral citizens in this country or any other? If
true, the answer has to be "Yes," but history and current events
relentlessly and mercilessly provethe
answer always has been, always
is, and always will be"No!"
The hypocrisy that is SOP for religionists does not allow „Yes" to
happen. There it is.
is a way to demonstrate this that is easy to do. All it takes is time and a variety of news sources. It is highly relevant to the negative consequences we
can expect if W. Bush's faith-based initiative is passed by Congress and
survives the inevitable test of constitutionality in the U.S. Supreme Court.
These negative consequences are already happening as a result of the expansion
of using faith-based organizations to deliver governmental social services made
by previous, similar, smaller-scale violations of the law known as the First
Amendment. They're happening because religionism exerts detrimental moral influence, and one of the worst effects of its detrimental
moral influence is making hypocrisy endemic among religionists. They rarely
walk their talk. Whenever one of them does actually walk their talk, the rest of
them are flabbergasted and proclaim that person to be a saint!
negative consequences also refute convincingly the argument that mere exposure
to a poster of the Ten Commandments will cause those exposed to experience
beneficial moral influence. One of those commandments is „You shall not
steal" (Exodus 20:14). It's repeated again in Deuteronomy 5:19 in case the
Jews didn't get the message the first time. When the rich young man asks
one-third of Christianity's imaginary three-part deity, „Master, what good
deed must I do to possess eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16), among the list of
recommended behaviors is „You must not steal" (19:18). A person
doesn't need to be an archbishop or TV evangelist to be able to figure out that
stealing is a serious no-no for Jews and Christians. Nor does one have to be an
imam or guru or roshi or shaman to know that stealing is generally a „holy"
no-no for all religionists, even if only limited to within their sect or cult.
The ancient „holy" commandment is also one that cultural evolution has
not rendered obsolete, and it is actually extremely easy to obey; therefore,
stealing is one behavior that ought to be powerfully responsive to the kind of
moral influence religionism exerts.
works this way when dealing with the treasures stored up on Earth: the
religionist talks "You shall not
steal," then walksoff with some
other person's or organization's property or money. This stealing often involves
swindles that betray the trust the sheep have in their shepherds, who fleece
them relentlessly — always have, always
are, always will.
The Ten Commandments could be tattooed on the backs of their hands and still
fail to exert beneficial moral influence sufficient to enable them to resist the
lure of easy money. Nowadays that easy money is often enough the government's.
Am I lying? Is this a wild hypothesis generated by my Atheism? „No!" and
„No!" Just start collecting news stories about religious leaders who
commit money crimes. There is no need to go spelunking in esoteric sources
covered with dust or finding seldom-surfed strands of the Web. The news stories
will be found in ordinary news sources available to every person in the U.S.
willing to subscribe to them, such as newspapers, news-weeklies, and other
magazines that include reporting on current events. It won't take long to
accumulate a fat file!
are three news stories that were published in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Each one
should have given W. Bush, FBI czar John Dilulio, and Marvin Olasky, W. Bush's
compassionate conservatism guru, second thoughts about the wisdom of using
faith-based organizations to provide governmental social services. The New
Jerusalem Church of God in Christ received over $1,300,000 from the federal
government to provide meals in day-care homes. However, these homes did not
exist. The addresses given to the government were for vacant lots and abandoned
houses. Seven religionists were involved in this scam. Without Walls
International Church in Tampa, FL, operated a faith-based driving school called
Restoration & Evangelism Advanced Thru Community Training. One service
provided was illegally fixing over 1,000 truck drivers' license tests, charging
up to $1,300 to do it. Drivers from 19 states came to them to be fraudulently
licensed before they were busted. Among Clinton's controversial pardons were
four Hasidic Jews who had been convicted of stealing over $40,000,000 from the
government. They created a faith-based school to receive the money, which came
in the form of education grants, small business loans, and housing subsidies.
The problem was this: the parochial school, like the supreme supernatural entity
these men worship, did not exist.
As the file increases in bulk, remember this: If
religionism truly exerted beneficial moral influence, those most deeply mired in
religionism would be the ones most heavily influenced, thus the most moral of
all humans. Then ask this question: how many exposures to the Ten Commandments
would it take to prevent religious leaders from stealing? If W. Bush would
create a President's Commission on Separation of State and Church, that question
could be one of the research projects. Wouldn't that be an interesting report? I predict confidently that the results of that research, if conducted with
scientific integrity, would not disturb or surprise any Atheist or Freethinker
on this planet!
leaders have committed money crimes, are committing them right now, and will
continue to commit them for as long as there are sheep needing shepherds to
fleece them!A person does not have to
be a New Age reincarnation of Nostradamus to make that prediction! Of course, if
religionism actually exerted beneficial moral influence, religious leaders would
not make the prediction come true. If W. Bush hopes that they will not after
they get much more numerous opportunities to do it, then obviously he needs to
know this: that hope died several thousand years ago! In fact, it died about
five minutes after humans began storing up treasures on Earth rather than
waiting to enjoy imaginary treasures in some imaginary heaven. There it is.
religionism's detrimental moral influence inevitably
turns religionists into hypocrites, the lust for money corrupts them with
such efficiency that it competes with the corruption caused by the lusts for
political power and sexual pleasure. If it was true that religionism exerts
beneficial moral influence, then religious leaders as a whole should demonstrate
at least above average moral behavior. They do not. Religious leaders as a whole
are the most corrupt religionists. The money crimes religious leaders commit are
all too common. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after
year religious shepherds fleece their flocks without any evidence that their
religionism restrains them. The only difference is how big the news story is
when they are finally caught.
person doesn't have to be skilled in esoteric exegesis of Jeremiah or I Ching to
be able to predict this: if W. Bush can fulfill his campaign promise to finish
the job of transferring governmental social services programs to faith-based
organizations, news stories about their money crimes against the government will
become all too common.
Published in the September/October issue 2002 of the
« Articles and essays (Published: 28-05-2003 Last change: 21-09-2003)
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