SOC: Religion and Government

Laws, David (
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 14:06:31 -0400

I recently pulled out some of my personal notebooks from years gone by.
I am surprised to find my 'religious' views have changed little over the
years. The only caveat to this is that I am now (almost) certain God
doesn't exist as I was brainwashed to believe 'He' did.

I suddenly realise that throughout my life I have never equated religion
with a concept of god(s). Religion is a system of beliefs. The concept
of god is a power ploy for control over the believers. I do not suppose
we will ever know for sure but the 'god' concept is probably the origin
of government.

This idea brings up whether the concept of 'democracy' or 'communism' is
a religion. It seems ALL religions involving 'supreme beings' attempt
to convert by intimidation (Believe THIS or you are WRONG!). These
practices always seem to slowly develop more and more control over the
organization. I'll pick on the christian religion for starters:

Originally started as a splinter group breaking away from the prevailing
power elite.
Simple 'rules' (the Ten Commandments)
Open to everyone
Just 'believe' and you're in


You can't do that and be a true believer!
Ceremonies and rituals developed (to distinguish the true followers?)
Power struggles, rewriting of it's history and bylaws.
The church at Rome became the universal (catholic) voice of truth for
Persecution of non-believers.

Then it got worse.

You HAD to be 'blessed' by the leaders to even be involved in
non-religious activities (such as running your own slice of the world)
You couldn't explore new areas of endeavor (spiritual or otherwise)
unless in doing so you advanced the religion.
You got killed for not believing, whether you were guilty or not
Turn emotions against logic, if you make it illegal to question, all the
masses have left is emotion.


A splinter group broke away from the power elite, refuting many of the
demands of the established organization. Unfortunately, the above
scenario happened all over again.

Government has many parallels.

Break away from the existing power with fewer laws and more freedom.
Everyone has a voice.
Powerstruggle ensues.
Vote for an accepted 'believer' who will then 'have your voice'.
You can't do THAT and be a good citizen!
Persecution of those who speak out against the state.
Appealing to emotion.
Ad infinitum.

"A rose by any name would smell as sweet."
"Religion is the opiate of the masses."
"When the state does something 'for your own good', be frightened."

My questions are: Will we ever be rid of 'religion'? Should even try?
Is the cycle unbreakable?

David R. Laws