Religion: Political Scare Tactic |

Religion: Political Scare Tactic

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Charlie Owen blogs for the Vail Daily.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction.”- Blaise Pascal

Religion is one of the oldest social institutions in the history of mankind, and perhaps nothing else since its inception has shaped the habits, customs and beliefs of the human race more strongly.

Organized religion has spawned many positive things in this world, but just like any powerful force, it can be twisted and turned into something negative.

Today, religion touches almost every issue in the political arena. If looked at rationally, religion’s involvement in politics uses propaganda, asserts a one-sided agenda and downplays the legitimacy of those who do not hold the same beliefs as those in power. While there are many other things about our government ” and those around the world ” that are broken, radical religion’s influence on foreign and domestic policy is the largest and fastest growing component of a spreading malady.

Propaganda comes in many forms and takes root in the minds of anyone who cares to listen, forming an even deeper schism between people who do not care to understand each other. Ever since the attacks of September 11, 2001, our leaders have constantly reminded us of the danger we are in as a nation, and it seems that at any moment attacks from Muslim or other non-Western religions could come in the form of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Muslim leaders use hatred and zealotry as tools to foster a growing resentment towards Americans and Jewish people. The politics of fear-mongering is proving to be a valuable weapon for governments around the world. And much more damaging than any gun or grenade, religious punditry alleviates guilt on a wholesale level. What better way to justify a war that will keep us secure as a nation, and keep the pockets of the wealthy stuffed with oil money.

With the current attitude of the GOP, it is unlikely that any critical social, scientific, or political breakthrough will come any time soon. There seems to be little room for discussion or debate on the floor of the House or the Senate because the balances have been tipped so far to the right. If an issue is brought to the attention of the American public and the “powers that be” decide it is not in their best interest (because it goes against their faith), that issue is quickly brushed aside as being null and void. The controversy surrounding stem cell research is a great example of our government going against the best interest of the American public. Many scientists around the world see stem cell research as the promise of the future, but it appears to be quickly dismissed by the Bush administration as being immoral and a corruption of human life.

Global warming is often scoffed at by far right-wingers in power as a myth, even as growing evidence suggests that it is the most plausible cause for current weather patterns. Evolution seems to have a “bead drawn on it” as well, coming under heavy fire by religious and political activists who are in favor of a far less scientific theory of our origins.

Funny, the last time I checked there was just as much proof of the existence of a God as there was that evolution is a fact and not just a theory. And who’s God is the right God? What if Christianity is wrong and Islam is correct? Or maybe Zeus is still sitting up on Mount Olympus laughing at all of us.

It is easy for some politicians to thumb their noses at anyone who does not agree with their worldview, and they do it all in the name of God. Telling the United Nations that it is worthless and outdated, bashing democrats and calling anyone who does not support the war in Iraq “unpatriotic” are just a few of the ways that the GOP belittles the opinions of others on a global scale. If you are not a part of the 700 Club then you don’t deserve to say anything because nobody wants to hear your pagan hedonistic opinion anyway.

A rampant fanaticism is tearing away at the political fabric of governments across the planet. From an ultra-conservative Bush administration to a violent Hamas and Taliban, radical ideology has washed away almost two hundred years of moderate philosophical progress.

The Bible has replaced the constitution of a democratic nation. The Koran is turning fanatics into human bombs. Reason and diplomacy will soon be a thing of the past unless “we the people” decide to take the government out of the hands of these mad men.

In other words, if Armageddon is coming, we are the only ones who can stop it.

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