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Motel Iscariot

Organized religion, in particular encompassing the Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, is far too often an excuse for murder. Christianity alone is the largest agent of censorship in the history of western civilization. It has provided an excuse for fascism and sexism and racism and homophobia. The quirk we see in practice every day of adherents picking and choosing which aspects of their dogma they should abide by is itself an acknowledgement that the greater belief structure holds flaws, like embracing a blissful ignorance. Religion has proven itself as an excuse to afford more importance to imaginary friends than to the flesh and blood people around us. Shockingly, have the capacity to be irreligious and moral, because nobody really needs a fictitious acquaintance to inform them to lead a just life, but rather amazingly can reach those conclusions without eldritch assistance.

Not to throw bricks through church windows though. I just think that organized religion can be so blatantly hypocritical, but obviously a belief in something not of this world has unfortunately been the only thing possible for far too many people to believe in at all. And there is a perfectly valid truth in that, in wanting to rise above this mess and achieve a oneness with something greater than our lot. The urge to gnaw through our collective blue collars in pursuit of our fullest potential is a desire which should and probably could be shared by all parties in a healthy world.

I think the Book of Revelations doomsday fetishists, religious extremists eagerly awaiting Armageddon or Ragnarok or whatever, secretly just want to watch everyone burn. Regardless of whatever love their chosen theologies purport, they ultimately hate everyone who happens to be different from them to such extremity that they want to see them all die miserably.

But what if, should the multiverse be however many billions of years old, it is all still very young in its infancy? And billions upon billions more years from now, our species will have spread out and explored outer space, evolving and populating each and every planet in each and every galaxy in each and every solar system. What if the end is not near; what if it is all just beginning, still, in the grand scheme of things? Isn’t that a lovelier thought than platitudes toward damnation and beseeching of hellfire?

Perhaps the true problematics can be found in how the loudest elements of religious groups want to control all the things. Fundamentalists of any organized faith system, especially Christians but most assuredly extending into the other Abrahamic religions across the five corners of the globe, constantly misconstrue not getting what they want with being persecuted. In that sense, it eats them alive knowing that their brand is not accepted by the whole flaming world. Others have made the argument that such extremists are not merely the loudly vocal minorities of whatever church, because if the greater whole were opposed then they seem to make little or no efforts in correcting their embarrassingly unstable brethren and thusly policing their own. I would argue that self-policing does occur regularly, only that it tends to be the populist elements that get the tar and feathering.

Currently, we are seeing a growing divide involving irreconcilable differences between Capitalism and Christianity, with much focus in regards to the Roman-Catholic papacy. Pope Francis, the latest pontiff, is decidedly leftist in many of his views, which are leading to a rather sharp schism among Catholics the world over. Now, as Roman-Catholicism wields more power both politically and financially than any other modern theology, this schism could well result in devastating effects upon the world at large. Christians, especially the Catholics of old, preach that the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and that the meek will inherit the Earth, all of which conforms nicely with the ideologues of leftism.

Being poor is neither a crime or a sin, and to deem it otherwise is to allow your Capitalism to show. Yet if the global population today can agree on nothing else, it can certainly agree on the sad state of affairs that compassion is lacking everywhere. Millions of refugees affirm this.

Whereas today’s more conservative Christians in America find fault in the socially-aware statements issued by Pope Francis, the Vatican of a century ago presented a reversed difference of opinion. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical called Testem benevolentiae nostrae, to the archbishop of Baltimore. Its purpose was to call out the heresy of Americanism, to not allow civil liberties to trump the laws of the church. And now, we have the 180 of Pope Francis issuing encyclicals pleading for civil liberties to indeed trump all laws. Granted, a hundred-plus years have passed, but that is an extreme turnabout. It can partially be credited to the mass of industrialization and commercialism built up over the twentieth century and through that, I suspect that it can also be directly attributed to the Prosperity Doctrine.

While historically more common among Protestant faiths, Prosperity Doctrines can be found in a number of other denominations of Christianity, with such religious leaders as Pat Robertson going more and more in that direction as time goes by. The premise is that true believers can in fact know heaven on Earth, chiefly in the form of monetary successes. And on the sadistic flip-side, that if followers are struggling in the tangible world, then their faith must not be very real or strong enough. Such doctrines have surged in popularity in recent decades, alongside the misplaced need to see a conjoining of Christian ethos and Capitalist pathos. The teachings of Christ maintain that life is the most precious commodity, whereas Capitalism preaches that money is the end-all, be-all. The almighty dollar actually does hold more weight than either Church or State in today’s world, with the Vatican today holding more wealth than the many nations in debt around the planet, including America.

Not all citizens of the world regularly attend any church, and not all citizens of the world can even vote, yet every last one of us is bred to obsess over money. Indeed, survival itself rests entirely on our finances, and upon the economy maintained in good faith by our chosen leaders. More than ever before, we find ourselves living in a time where everything has a price, especially life, death and the pursuit of happiness. Money can be a means to an end, but not the end unto itself. You do not have a family in order to make money, you make money in order to have a family. So what divides the church is essentially the contest of which holds more value as a resource, life or capital.

Pope Francis is accumulating detractors within his own faith for his call to arms to empower civil liberties around the world, which would seem to place him on the side of life. Said detractors, however, are too busy pursuing money to have apparently read Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, which sagely expresses how “anyone who can appease a man’s conscience can take his freedom away from him”. In the real world today, the conjoined Christian ethos and Capitalist pathos shamelessly conspire against Pope Francis, pronouncing a preference of financial rewards for the few over the right for everyone to lead a healthy and promising life. Basically, detractors of the pontiff get their panties in a knot whenever he challenges the fruits of industry. Meanwhile most folks have been programmed by society into trusting that someday they too will personally enjoy those very same fruits.

As Capitalism infects everything, so too have Prosperity Doctrines increasingly infected the ideologies of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. How best to explain what we are seeing unfold amidst the deniers of Pope Francis? Research led me to a noted heretical movement called Positive Christianity, which was essentially an early Nazi plan to appeal to Christians across Europe. Likewise, the Reichskonkordat was a later treaty signed between Nazi Germany and the Vatican, to theoretically grant the Vatican safety provided it kept its nose out of political reindeer games, namely of the sort pursuing civil liberties for one and all regardless of race or creed.

The Nazi intent through their Positive Christianity denomination was to ignore the passive sides of Christ in exchange for his kinetic roles, praising his worldly successes as a teacher and leader of men at the expense of his otherworldly promises as a messiah or prophet. Orthodox religions all share in common some form of belief in an afterlife, which is generally regarded as a response to how life is conducted in this world. With Positive Christianity (and prosperity doctrines) the afterlife is instead seen as a reflection of how life is conducted, so that if someone is suffering then their faith must not be devout enough, or if someone is a captain of industry then they may as well be clergy. Suffice to say this garnered less than satisfactory results at the time. The Catholics today on the other hand, the ones upset by opinions from Pope Francis, are surreptitiously also made to obsess over the physical instead of the spiritual. Strain only to achieve heaven on Earth in one’s lifetime, and not bother so much with spiritual sacrifices chancing towards immortality beyond. Rebuild the world in your own vainglorious image, or the vainglorious image of the highest bidder.

This means that the modern Catholics who oppose Pope Francis, whether consciously or not are acting well in keeping with the historic tenets of the Nazi variety of Christianity. And they are pissed that their faith contradicts their politics, validating that line from the Brothers Karamazov to the nth degree.

Imagine such worldly authority freed at last of its final vestiges of humanity. Orthodox religions arguably have always served as a gateway drug for those people who cannot and will not take responsibility for their own actions because the afterlife is more pressing. To not leave everything up to the will of whatever intangible superior requires accountability, and Capitalism has never been great with accountability, because nothing may interfere with the profit margins. Workers will do anything under the delusion that they can someday magically become the next CEO. And now we are witnessing that same detrimental misconception projected onto one of the oldest existing institutions on the planet.