State Religion

lunamoth

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MO State Religion

I don't think this bill will pass, but it is an interesting (and I think frightening) development. Is this a step toward a Christian theocracy? I love my religion, but this makes me cringe. Politics and religion are not good bedfellows.

lunamoth
 
Sorry, I just noticed that the link does not work unless one registers. It's a short article and basically says that a bill is being presented to the MO state government to make Christianity the official state religion. Having just moved from MO I can attest that are a lot of non-Christians there who might have an objection to this. A lot of Christians, as well.
 
Namaste lunamoth,

the link worked for me just fine...

here's the part that really troubles me:

"The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs. "

that is, it would seem, a direct Constitutional violation wherein the rights of the minority is protected from being infringed by the majority.

sheese...

metta,

~v

(the link isn't working now, it is behaving like you indicated)
 
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It's disturbing that someone would purpose this bill. I hope that this bill burns quickly because it's unconstitutional. One thing I learned the past few years is that anything could happen, hopefully this won't be one of the things that happen to pass.
 
It won't pass - the Atheists United will see to that.

The repeated attempts to do these types of things - official state religion, banning abortion (South Dakota), prohibition of same-sex marriage as a constitutional amendment, violating the right of privacy (PATRIOT Act)... is what bothers me. Proposition after proposition, the same unconstitutional requests are being made but in a different lingo.
 
They're being made because all branches of government are run by the Republican party, with a president who admited to being an Evangelical. They believe that they're able to pass these laws because their votes are what got these people in. If their desires aren't met their votes will changed. The Patriot Act is a deep concern since this power can be used improperly. How can we be certain that the president or anyone else would use this power responsibly. I think the bait is too tempting and that someone will bite and cause all sorts of trouble in the US.

Back on the topic, pushing for official State religions sounds like it'll alienate all other religions (since a majority of the country is Christian). Somehow I think it could be a political weapon similar to how Bush threw his religion around to get votes. It's an effective weapon in the hands of someone who can use it. No offense to anyone but people can be stupid when you get them in the right frame of mind.
 
MO is Missouri, central USA. It is the light-brown, Missouri-shaped state in the middle of this picture.


lunamoth
 
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Kindest Regards!

Of course, the thought struck me...It is OK to advocate a "One-World" religion, but it is not OK to advocate a "state" religion...

Am I the only one who sees the problem with this? It is OK to advocate "my" religion as being the only one the world should follow, but I'll fight tooth and nail against "your" religion as being the only one for the world to follow...speaking abstractly, of course.

Which is why I have said all along, leave well enough alone. In the words of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgeson of Supertramp in the song "Child of Vision": "...find your way to heaven, and I'll meet you when you get there..."
 
But Juantoo, the One World Religion that I've seen most people advocate (certainly with exceptions) ... isn't my religion vs. yours. Agreed, that will never - and should never - fly. Such thinking, needs its wings clipped.

If One World Religion were inclusive vs. exclusive, then it might be okay. Same with State Religion, which I think will come to pass, and on the way to One World Religion, there might be localized versions of this same general religion, just as there are currently sects of pretty darn well every recognized major (and minor) religion. I don't like the word, sects, though, at least - not spelled that way.

But, but, but - I resist! Yes indeed, I can feel that. Many do, and I along with them. The world has not yet seen on a wide enough scale, imho, any form of religion practiced which is worthy of become the One World Religion. Why? Because there are still disagreements with other religions! And so long as this continues, it will not be time (circular reasoning, kind of). Mob rules is not the proper grounds to sanction the unification of church & state. And right now, folks often cannot get past the divisive state. No matter how much some people would like us all to dance around happy & gay wearing party hats and saying, "We agree about everything!" .... it's just not going to happen. That stage, is obviously quite a ways off.

What dismays me, however, is that there are folks who object to Unity of belief and practice on general principle! Somewhere, the worst form of reverse psychology imaginable must have backfired, or become so familiar that it is accepted at face value! And thus, anything that smacks of Ecumenism, or the coming together of the faiths, is evil. I pity such people. The opposite trend is to gloss over any purely surface differences as just a matter of aesthetics, or semantics. The core truths are the same, after all, so who cares if some people pray facing east, and others chant hare krishna, right? :p I know, let's just write one universal prayer and take a line from every religious tradition's prayers ... and build the Esperanto of religions! :eek: Yuk.

Politics, esp. in the US, is pretty much one big power trip, isn't it? And there are those who will do anything at this point to seize more power. One more way to maintain control in this lovely bi-partisan system of ours. :(

andrew
 
Kindest Regards, Taijasi!

If One World Religion were inclusive vs. exclusive, then it might be okay.
But this misses the point (if I see this correctly), in order to be "inclusive" it must of necessity dilute those it includes. If my faith walk works just fine without dilution or inclusion, why bother? Same goes for other faith walks. Hate to say it, but it seems to me the motivation behind "inclusion" is political power.

Now, I could extend further and provide reasons specific to my faith as to why not to do this, but in the interest of keeping this subject wide open, I will refrain for now and resort to my old friend greek logic.

Now, I have no qualms with those who espouse Universalism, or what I feel is a bit more sedate form of the same thing, B'hai. Certainly there are good things to be learned from both of these as philosophies. But to imply that either of these, or some new amalgam, is preferable as the "New Age" medicine for the whole world, is to greatly underestimate the value of each of the other major world faiths in their proper context. Not accusing, merely stating my view.

Same with State Religion, which I think will come to pass,
Ummm, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is the social norm throughout most of recorded history. Separation of Church and State is a very recent accomplishment, and it is still not a global reality. There are many nations who still accord a mandated religious position, even if that religion is "no religion." There may or may not be some lattitude within for alternate (and more important, legal) religious expression in any of these, but in many cases there is not. Right or wrong is irrelevant, it is how things are at this moment.

there might be localized versions of this same general religion, just as there are currently sects of pretty darn well every recognized major (and minor) religion.
I could, if I were of a mind, list how each and every major world faith became a major world faith, and how each left in its wake a series of "sects" or "denominations" as it spread throughout its region. Many of these "sects" are amalgams of the conquerer with the conquered, whether the conquest was peaceful or by force.

The advocates of a One World religion wish to amalgamate all religions, requiring dilution, and most likely still sectarian differentiation. Old habits die hard. This can actually be a good thing.

The world has not yet seen on a wide enough scale, imho, any form of religion practiced which is worthy of become the One World Religion. Why?
Could it be that the fault is not in religion, per se, but in humans simply being human? Why would a unified religion fix human nature? I dare to contend that a unified religion could not fix human nature, and so (like any religion blindly followed) would be but another instrument to use people.

Mob rules is not the proper grounds to sanction the unification of church & state. And right now, folks often cannot get past the divisive state..."We agree about everything!" .... it's just not going to happen.
Nor, in my opinion, should it. Unification on a global level has the ulterior motive of political control. In that much Marx and by extension Lenin are correct. Whereas Marx looked to "free" the people from the bonds of religion (the opiate of the masses), he overlooked the intrinsic need for religion in the everyday person's life. Unified religion acknowledges that need, and then seeks to exploit it. I have little doubt it will be attempted, I question how successful it will be, and the sincerity behind the motivation to do so.

What dismays me, however, is that there are folks who object to Unity of belief and practice on general principle! Somewhere, the worst form of reverse psychology imaginable must have backfired, or become so familiar that it is accepted at face value! And thus, anything that smacks of Ecumenism, or the coming together of the faiths, is evil. I pity such people.
Yet, you see me in practice here (and I assure, in my "regular" life as well) being accomodating of other faiths while retaining my own. There are points I disagree with, and I am certain the same is true in reverse. And yet, I can treat others as brothers and sisters without surrendering my own sense of faith and self. I have little problem with ecumenism as a principle, I have a great deal of problem with ecumenism as a political mandate.

The core truths are the same, after all, so who cares if some people pray facing east, and others chant hare krishna, right?
So why fix it if it ain't broke?

Politics, esp. in the US, is pretty much one big power trip, isn't it? And there are those who will do anything at this point to seize more power.
But at the global level it is not???
 
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Juantoo, on the last point, I will cite the example of the United Nations. With as much zeal, zest, enthusiasm, and patriotic pride as many folks display the Stars & Bars, I wave the banner of the United Nations! :) As far as political Unity ... this is the best thing we've got going so far. Is it perfect? No. But neither is American "Democracy." Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? No. That is dualistic thinking. Just because, as G.K. Chesterton has put it, Christianity has been found difficult - and not been tried, does not mean you should abandon the effort. And the same with American Democracy. And the same with a Federation of Nations. Amen! :)

Re both state and world religion:
Juantoo3 said:
in order to be "inclusive" it must of necessity dilute those it includes.
I disagree. What you describe is only indicative of the present state of things. Those of us who believe in the desirability of a world/state religion, as well as the desirability of the unification of church & state, are well aware of the difficulty we face in attaining the goal. We know how much resistance we face, and why. And though accused again & again of being insensitive, and bent on wiping away all forms of religion except "our own," we know - that this is not true, for it is not, in fact, what we desire ... nor how we work. And although I cannot claim to represent in all ways the greater forces to which I refer and with which I would seek to cooperate, I do stand by that Cause with all the loyalty, and bearing the utmost of Respect, just as the average Christian stands by his recognition of the great exemplar of Unity & Cooperation (the Christ), and the institution of the Church. :)

The sticking point, which people come to again & again, is the feeling that something which is sacred to them - be it some particular form of worship, some particular form of tradition, or one of the many personal beliefs which occupies the form of their faith - is going to be taken. But did not Christ say before, I come not to destroy, but to fulfil (?). And such, exactly, is the effort of those who work toward religious Unity, vs. the spirit of plurality. A plurality of approaches is yet still desirable, and necessary. No one (rightly motivated) seeks to remove it. But agreement as to the world need(s) at this time, and the role(s) religion can serve in working towards it - is what we seek. A body divided against itself, cannot stand. ;)

And yet, thus far the political Leviathan (which we both acknowledge) - continues to stand in our way, taking rather than giving to the people, and increasing its rampant devastation of our culture and crushing our human spirit. This beast must be tamed, and religion/spirituality has everything to do with that, as well as the spirit of secular humanism, so absent in the minds & hearts of the majority of politicians today ... whether or not they go and bow in the churches & synagogues on the Sabbath. Why should church & state remain separate in the long run? Do we feel that Humanity can never overcome our pettiness, and because evil will always triumph over good in our human hearts??? Does it seem sometimes that we will never learn to get along, and be able to allow Spirit to guide our entire Nation, and indeed, our World Politic?

I'm afraid I cannot agree with those who have so little faith in the potentials of the human Spirit (which is not different than that of the Divine). I believe our innate human nature is Good, and that in time, perhaps sooner than we think, we Will prepare room for the Coming One - in our hearts, in our minds, and in all our daily affairs. Not just as individuals, but as groups, at every level. The Unification which we all inherently desire - yet which some (many?) of us fear, since it has been so long since we have seen it truly demonstrate - Will come to pass. But we must work for it. Not simply wait. It must be forged and won, not freely handed to us as the reward for fighting amonst ourselves, and for ignoring the teachings of the world's great saviors. :(

Yes, we are far from perfect, and certainly we are prone to mistakes and to error, but if we allowed this type of thinking to cripple our efforts, we would never get anything accomplished! It is not with such thinking that the many Humanitarian agencies move throughout the world today, but with the spirit of Loving Cooperation and one-pointedness. Committed to the ideals of service to others, there are many philanthropic and altrustic groups of today - whether religiously sponsored or comprised of the secular Humanists. Their goal is the same: to alleviate unnecessary suffering, wherever it may be found, and to teach and embody the new values - which are necessary if we are become a sustainable world society (the true global village). And the goverments, and religious bodies, that can keep up, will be a boon to the people. But the so-called "leaders" (whether political or religious) whose lives & careers are built on corruption, will be toppled, along with their legacies & constitutencies ... as it should be. Woe betide those who yet stand & work amidst any of these last lingering bastions of selfishness!

Perhaps, since there is considerable concern, it would be helpful to look at the ideals and values which any state or world religions would have to embody and teach, were such to become possible. Instead of looking at forms, which is our immediate gut reaction and an expression of resistance, could we instead contemplate Spirit? That of Unity and Cooperation? I know we can do that! It's how we got this far in the first place! :)

cheers,

andrew
 
Kindest Regards, Taijasi!

Perhaps, since there is considerable concern, it would be helpful to look at the ideals and values which any state or world religions would have to embody and teach, were such to become possible. Instead of looking at forms, which is our immediate gut reaction and an expression of resistance, could we instead contemplate Spirit? That of Unity and Cooperation? I know we can do that! It's how we got this far in the first place!
Actually, I have looked a little at both the spirit and motivation behind unification, enough to know I disagree. I mean you no malice, I accept you have your point of view and direction to work for. I have mine, and it is not the same. Not better, not worse, just different. If I am swept away with the old guard, then so be it. I know where I will wake up the next day.

Peace.
 
it would be helpful to look at the ideals and values which any state or world religions would have to embody and teach, were such to become possible.
Of course, this returns me to my original comment. If Christianity were that "world religion," I suspect you would cringe, as would most others who were not Christian. Likewise, if Buddhism were that "world religion," I suspect you and many others would likewise cringe. Yet, it is an underlying premise of every major world faith to improve the lot of the world, just like the underlying premise of "world religion." So, in the end, we really are talking about "mine" vs. "yours." Whether or not you see it.
 
I'm afraid I cannot agree with those who have so little faith in the potentials of the human Spirit (which is not different than that of the Divine). I believe our innate human nature is Good
I am not certain if this is directed at my comment about human nature, but I will proceed on the presumption that it is.

I have no reservation about the "potential" of the human spirit, but I do not presume that potential is equivalent to that of the Divine. In fact, to me it is according the same value to both the potter and the clay. Is the thing made greater than (or equal to) the Maker?

I also see a possible misunderstanding regarding human nature. Yes, our spirit has potential. How seldom we live up to it, because our nature is fallen. Human spirit is inherently good, but that does not mean all things human spirits are capable of are good things. We fall, and we fail, and we come short of the mark. Were it not so, we would have no need for spiritual guidance or religion in any form or manifestation. In other words, if humans can only do good, why bother with any religion, including unified religion?

A unified religion changes none of these things, and can only serve to exacerbate the problems inherent in them. Unified religion cannot cure humans from the simple fact that they are, and always will be in this existence, human.
 
I guess ... that regarding human nature, Divine nature, the importance & value of religion (both personally, and in group context, or in terms of the world picture), and also as concerns the spiritual path, plan & destiny for all of us - I can sum up my views very succinctly in the Vision/Ideal of Jacob's Ladder, which recently came up in the Conversion/Initiation thread.

I think that all of life tends - gradually & generally speaking - towards betterment. We may at times take three steps forward ("up") and only one in reverse ("down"), yet at others, we will move forward only one step, and backwards two. The general trend, however, is forward. I believe that this is thanks to God, as well as owing to - our deepest, human/spiritual nature, not despite it.

We have fallen from states of greater spiritual Unity - with less pronounced individual(ized) consciousness (and Intellect) ... into apparent disparity and separateness, yet this affords us the opportunity to perfect ourselves - in accordance with the Divine Plan. Thus, I take it as the obeying of God that we have Fallen, not a disobeying. This is a thoroughly Gnostic view, and an esoteric one, at odds with the more common Christian viewpoint. No problem; we can agree to disagree on this one! :)

Religion, I think is what helps us along as we Universally ascend Jacob's Ladder, which is the process of the Prodigal returning to the Father's House. Each step, each rung we climb, brings us closer together ... and helps us to better understand our relationship to each other, to the Divine, and to all of (His/Her) Creation. After a certain point, I am convinced, we will no longer need to keep making distinctions between our own Highest (or most Spiritual) nature, and God's. They are one and the same, imo and findings. Which means that God is then the Eldest among Brethren, and truly - an older Brother ... not a "parent" at all, except in the sense of a Divine Steward, and one who stands far ahead of us on the Evolutionary path.

Yep. That's a far cry different than what many believe. But then, as I look up I notice that this is a Secularism forum (oops), and it's on Politics and Society that I'm posting this anyway. So, hmmmm. This post is getting off topic.

Suffice it to say, that a State/Global Religion, if properly instituted, would exclude none, potentially include all, be inherently offensive to none, and would embody all the highest ideals which each of currently existing religions does, while also allowing for all forms of worship as currently practiced in the many, disparate traditions. Personally, I have do difficulty picturing it whatsoever, for it is what I think has been preached Universally by the worlds many Saviors, Prophets, and Teachers. But because we often insist on dead-letter, and do not see beyond forms, we have trouble with a common vision.

Are we presently imperfect, with a long, arduous road ahead, including a certain inevitable degree of conflict & struggle? Yep. Will that stop us from reaching the Goal? Nope. I don't think so. God's Plan, or just - someone's bright idea about how nice it would be if we were all on the same page for a change. I think it will happen. If we don't live to see it soon, then I still think our labor is not lost. We just have to learn to see beyond the present generation. :rolleyes:

[Oops, I just saw your earlier two posts, Juantoo. As for the form of a State/Global religion, we haven't seen it yet - at least, not in practice. I could argue till I turn blue in the face that it is Christianity ... and that it is also Buddhism... but so long as there are those who can only shake their head and say, No, man, they're not they same ... then my words are empty. That's another, Let's agree to disagree case. The Divine is either - Universally present, or Universally absent. At one level, I don't think there's any room for a "middle ground." But, if it's the former, then I think it's obvious - that the Divine is not universally present in the same degree, or in a state of "Perfection," as it were. How could the Divine not be perfect? Again, wrong thread. How could anything that is "of God," not be God? Not be Holy? Not be perfect, from a certain point of view? One is reduced to semantics - if we find ourselves looking out upon Creation, with a failure to behold/perceive the Glory of Creation in even the smallest unit of life. Even secularism, which removes morality from the religious context, can admit of a `Good' within us all - and by extension, within all of life. Even Beauty, can be observed in the Order and Ritual of Wall Street. ;) ]

Peace,

andrew
 
taijasi said:
No problem; we can agree to disagree on this one! :)
Surely that is the problem right there, a state religion or worse, a universal religion does not agree to disagree, it requires the agreement of all. Otherwise it is not a universal religion.

taijasi said:
Suffice it to say, that a State/Global Religion, if properly instituted, would exclude none, potentially include all, be inherently offensive to none, and would embody all the highest ideals which each of currently existing religions does, while also allowing for all forms of worship as currently practiced in the many, disparate traditions.

So, no one excluded, based on the ideals of all our religions and allowing for any form of worship and practice? Wow, that sounds a hell of a lot like what we have now.

taijasi said:
As for the form of a State/Global religion, we haven't seen it yet - at least, not in practice. I could argue till I turn blue in the face that it is Christianity ... and that it is also Buddhism... but so long as there are those who can only shake their head and say, No, man, they're not they same ... then my words are empty. That's another, Let's agree to disagree case.

If you claim that we can all be both Christian and Buddhist then it seems your words are empty. Furthermore you seem to completely misunderstand both groups.

For Christians to be considered Buddhist, they would surely have to accept that their God is imperfect and impermanent and that only the Buddhas are perfect, that their Karma will determine the circumstances of their next life in this world and that there will be no end to suffering in this world.

For Buddhists to be considered Christian, they would surely have to accept that God is eternal and omnipotent and that he created us, that Jesus was God's son and God Incarnate and that after death, there is only heaven or hell (or possibly limbo).

These are faiths which are totally at odds with one another. And the differences do not end here. Even in the monotheistic faiths, which from my point of view seem so very similar, there are differences which simply cannot be reconciled.

To unify Christians and Jews both parties must agree whether Jesus was God's son and God Incarnate or just a wise teacher.

And to bring muslims into the fold, will they agree that mohammed was in fact, not god's messenger, or will the Jews and Christians believe his words and follow the quran which tells them that their own texts are corrupt and invalid.

What of Baha'u'llah? what of Krishna? must we all believe in them or must their respective groups reject them?

These vague claims that we can and should unite all religions based on mankind's inherrant goodness are very nice, but I see no way this can be done without either choosing one single religion for everyone or hybridising so many different faiths together to the point where each is unrecogniseable.

All we need to do is accept each other's beliefs and love each other. For me, that is the ultimate, and indeed, the only form of universal religion available.
 
Awaiting,

Because this may not be the appropriate thread, I will respond at this point only by saying that I think a proper consideration of whether or not "one religion" is desirable, or attainable, would require an unbiased look at the history, origins, societal & geographical context, and time period (of inception) of each of the religions you mention - and others.

But you've summed it up quite nicely, and provided a cornerstone for the future world religion - right here:
Awaiting_the_fifth said:
All we need to do is accept each other's beliefs and love each other. For me, that is the ultimate, and indeed, the only form of universal religion available.
Out of this, the possible Unity I speak of will grow; otherwise (and lacking this), I agree - it will not happen. ;)

And the sooner that Bill (mentioned in the first post) dies, the better. :D

Namaskar,

andrew
 
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