A Closer Look At Organized Religion Essay

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A Closer Look at Organized Religion: Its Impact on Our Society A recent study revealed that in the last 50 years between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic Clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases with children (Vexen 8). A corruption this deep within an organization that claims to found their belief systems on love, kindness, and doing the right thing is a clear sign that something is not quite right with organized religion. This may, in fact, be only the tip of the iceberg. It is clear that throughout history organized religion has always played a significant role, if not the largest. Religion has been a huge variable in almost every war from the Crusades to the modern war in the Middle East. Religion has continued to have a huge grip on our way of life, belief systems, cultural values, etc. Unfortunately, the hold it has on society also instills a plethora of fear, guilt, and intolerance into their followers. Organized religion has many benefits to it, however, the problems such as war and persecution, abuse of the environment, and control for power far outweigh those few benefits. Because of the violence and corruption found in organized religion, a path to ending the power they hold would be to educate young children about all belief systems, opening their minds to multiple belief systems before they begin to blindly follow one faith or another. Organized religion has been around since the beginning of civilization, when people needed something to grasp onto to answer questions about life and to give them hope that life did not just begin and end on earth. Since then, it has grown to become the biggest influence on most people’s lives. Superstition, religion, and belief may have been the first things the human species attempted to display in writing for record keeping (Vexen 5). “Once something is codified in writing, it becomes ‘set in stone’: the longer it persists, and the more people who read it out, the more it defines cultural truths. The more often it is written down, the harder it is to challenge” (Vexen 5). Through this time, organized religions grew and spread rapidly throughout different cultures, alienating them more and more from each other and building a foundation of intolerance and hatred that still runs rampant within society today. When mass amounts of people are persuaded by religion they can do horrible things and wonderful things in the name of their faith, unfortunately the leaders of most organized religions do not always promote what is good and righteous (Ganly 1). The history of religion is, for the most part, gruesome and evil. By creating something as large and pervasive as religion, mankind paved the way for the few power hungry individuals to take the beautiful idea of religion and to twist it, along with its followers, into the corruption and hypocrisy that continues today. Religion did not begin with the intent to cause massive war and persecution, create a power struggle, or cause hatred between groups of people. Religion began because it is a part of human nature to be curious and fearful. Before religion, human beings knew nothing about the world they lived in. Naturally, across the globe, different groups of people created answers to their many questions and based their faiths on them. The most common question of all: What happens when we die? “The only problem comes when you organize these beliefs into religions… then you get the conflicts that lead to violence and real evil. As soon as belief ceases to be personal, it causes great problems” (Vexen 4). Although most religions have an after life and a higher being (or beings) the followers tend to see their beliefs as so radically different from one another that they isolate themselves into their own religious faction and want nothing to do with any belief that is not compatible or understandable to their own. With any organized system (hence the name organized religion), there is always a leader that the members can look up to