Monday, August 16, 2010

Organized Religion

Anne Rice, the famous and wealthy novelist (she wrote about vampires), has left Christianity, sort of.

She was raised in Christianity, rejected it most of her life for atheism, then went back to it, and now has left it. Her problem is with organized religion. She doesn’t like some of the doctrinal stances, so she’s leaving. She’ll stay home to read and pray quietly, but she’ll no longer be a part of Christian fellowship.

More and more Americans are fed up with organized religion. They don’t like the corruption, the moral rigidness, and red tape.

I understand but consider the following thoughts:

That Bible that Anne Rice will read quietly? She has it because organized religion made it possible. If she uses a prayer book for meditation, she has it because people in organized religion labored so people like her could have one. It’s likely that she’s able to read, write, and make her living because of the education she got from organized religion. If she were to get sick and have to go to the hospital, there’s a good chance she’d go to one that exists because of organized religion.

Because of organized religion we have orphanages, foster homes, schools, soup kitchens, beds for the homeless, schools and colleges, relief agencies, and counseling services.

Organized religion is not a faceless entity. It’s a group of exhausted people. They’re not getting rich either. We hear and read about a few religious leaders who scam the public, but by and large most employees of these service agencies eke out a living at a fraction of the salary their education warrants. They work long hours that tax their health and strain their family relationships.

They would tell you that we need MORE organized religion, not less.

Anne Rice can sit in her nice home and read her Bible in quiet self-righteousness. Many Americans are choosing to do the same.

Shame on them.

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