Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Legitimacy in religion

8/24/16

 

A multitude of world problems come about because people claim ostracism, segregation, condemnation, and oppression as legitimate religious practices. That is even true here in America where the very definition of religious freedom has degenerated into a sacred right to marginalize the most vulnerable people among us- the poor, the immigrant, the unemployed and unemployable, the prisoner, the sexually or spiritually different.

 

Freedom of any real sort does involve the liberty to mistreat one another in countless ways, but a true sense of religious freedom does not allow any of us to hide behind a mask of religiosity in so doing. Yet, many in the ranks of institutional Christianity do just that. They vociferously and endlessly rail against outsiders and justify it as a religious duty. If any dare to question such, they are routinely shouted down as enemies of religious freedom and persecutors of the faithful. Concurrently, these ones who seek shelter behind religion, actively work to gain control over every aspect of society- schools, government, even commercial interests- so as to promote and enforce their theology. The resultant joining of business and Christianity has reduced Jesus to little more than an advertizing gimmick.

 

Calling attention to this spiritual malpractice is not an assault on anyone's religious freedom but rather a simple noting of how what some call Christian conviction is nothing more than a blatant violation of the essential ethics of Christ. Yes, you are free to behave hurtfully and destructively but not to label that as an exercise in religious freedom or patriotism or any other noble sounding term.

 

If your religious conviction requires you to practice oppression, then you are free to do so but don't expect outsiders, especially those being oppressed to honor your "right" to be exempt from criticism and resistance. The pushback is not religious persecution but simply another exercise in religious freedom, the right to reject and refute all the many aspects of harmful religion.

 

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