Why Religion in the 21century?

  • September 29, 2013 · 4:00 PM
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Why religion in the 21century?

The seizure of monastic lands and buildings in the 1500s by Henry VIII and the dissolution of monasteries in England and the later acts during the French Revolution as well as various anti-clerical European governments during the 18th and 19th centuries, resulted in the expulsion and suppression of the religious communities and an adoption of secularism. The government of Turkey is an often-cited example in Islam, following the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate and foundation of the Turkish republic in 1923.

Why are synagogues “sold out” on high holydays? Why the Bible Belt is expanding, why the mosque empty in the 1950s, is full in 2013?!

The resurgence of Fundamentalism and Political religion is a new and dangerous trend; why is it occurring?

Why fanatics are hijacking the silent majority that just sits back and lets it all happen without protest, without outrage?! Is it amnesia, apathy, or fear? Fanatics bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill, fanatics stone, hang, rape victims and homosexuals. It is fanatics who teach their young to kill.

Orthodox Jews are imposing on and interfering in the secular governance of Israel, Muslim fanatics are terrorizing their own into religious submission, Christian fundamentalists of George Bush’ ilk hijacked America for two terms; why we let it happen?

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it is too late. Why?

And the most perplexing question; after the French Revolution, after the age of enlightenment, after the anti-clerical policies, and the adoption of secular education, after the separation of church and state, and after the scientific and industrial revolutions and the advent of the modern era, there are still today whole masses of religious worshippers attending church, synagogue and mosque. Why?

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  • Joel but you can call me J.

    Great meetup !

    Thanx for. Organizing

    October 3, 2013

  • Jean B.

    Where is the meeting?

    September 29, 2013

    • Andrea

      Hello Jean We meet at Niky's place - 326 Carlaw, Ste 202 - the sw corner of Dundas and Carlaw

      September 29, 2013

    • Jean B.

      Ok... But I won't be able to make it. Next time hopefully. Have a good discussion!

      September 29, 2013

  • Jean B.

    And certainly one can make the argument, like Locke did, that violence done to another because of religious disagreement is un-Catholic, or un-Christian. Similarly today, many acts of violence done in the name of Islam have no justification in the Koran- the stoning of women for the sin of adultery, for example. Perhaps my view is that the evils done in the name of religion are not that different from evils done outside of any appeal to religion. Groups of people terrorize others out of fear, ignorance, and intolerance.

    September 27, 2013

  • Jean B.

    Interesting discussion on this tread! I think it would be useful to find historical examples to focus on. At least two come to mind: the wars of religion in Europe in the 16th-17th cent., and the controversies around Islam and its alleged association with terrorism today. In both cases, violence can be traced to intolerance, mistaken beliefs and assumptions, and the appeal to religion for political ends. The Catholic Church was viciously intolerant in the 17th century, and earlier with the Crusades and the Inquisition. But we don't say today that the Catholic religion was responsible for those horrors. We say the Church was responsible, and/or specific individuals within the Church. Religion seems to be different than the particular groups that lay claim to it.

    September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had to cancel due to another engagement, but it looks as if it will be a HOT topic!

    September 27, 2013

  • Arif

    Before Einstein said, "Science without religion ...." in the 3rd file Religion and Science II, he said, in the first file, Religion and Science, he also said,that "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary."

    But he also talks about the "Cosmic religious feeling" which he believes is the "... most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling ..."

    Btw, his reference to religion is very different than what Niky is referring to. For Einstein, as rational beings we can decide our "Ten commandments using our common rational sense, including hen and ho to love thy neighbor ..."

    I think we'll save ourselves much talk if e defined / agreed what the terms mean such as spirituality etc.

    Happy reading @ www.sacrd-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

    September 25, 2013

  • Roland

    If you are going to bring up a topic entitled, “Why Religion in the 21century?” a fair and balanced view should be outlined in the description. It is not.

    Kathryn’s thoughtful post provides a question that is more reminiscent of the above description: Why does Politics keep hijacking Religion? There is considerably more good being done within the confines of religion than the media ever shows. As for Melicent’s post, you seem to have a rather shallow understanding of our society. From the statistics at Non-Catholic children enrolled in Catholic schools, including Muslims. Or look at why so many Catholics have become disaffected from the Church (hint – it doesn’t have to do with the scandals and teachings as much as you think).

    As Benjamin Franklin said, “Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.”

    September 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      So you think that I "seem to have a rather shallow understanding of our society"? Non-Catholic children enroll in Catholic schools for good reasons. In some neighborhoods, Catholic schools are more prestigious and offer better academics than public schools, and parents who send their children to convent schools in countries like Italy and India do so with the full understanding that their children will be surrounded by teachings of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and convent schools accept ANY fee paying students, regardless of different religions/faiths because the money is good. I know what people tell me about their experiences in Catholic schools and they're never happier than when they transferred to public schools. It's important to LISTEN to what people believe in and what they DON'T believe in.

      September 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Many people do become disaffected from the Church, and if it's not the sex abuse scandals, it's certainly because they don't get anything from going to Church. My parents discouraged religion, and I convinced my parents to allow me to go to Sunday School when I was a child because I was curious. I learned that adults (teachers) can be so damned phony, and this was in front of the Sunday School class! If this is what children are witnessing from toddlerhood to their formative years, why would they even want to look up to these people as role models?

      September 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Melicent, why do religions allow this? The same reason we all get tricked, scammed, etc. : we don't see it coming! Deeply dishonest, greedy or "evil" people often have high IQs. At low levels, they steal your money- when they get high up in government, they cause Crusades and burn people at the stake, in the name of a highly spiritual being!

    In order to spread real Spirituality, as a race we may need to improve a great deal at learning to spot wolves in sheep's clothing.

    September 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, they used to burn people at the stake for any reason they can come up with. We all know a wolf in sheep's clothing, or at least we've met one in life. Lord knows I've worked with one and he is the biggest SOB anyone could come across. With a stupid manager who bought his lies about me hook, line, and sinker, his cruelty knew no bounds. Fortunately it "only" took a few months for her to see through to him and from then on she didn't let him get away with anything. I wanted to ask his parents why they thought sending him to Roman Catholic schools would be better than public schools, and why didn't they just teach him right from wrong at home.

      September 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Spirituality is not for everyone, and I've met plenty of people who are not genuine about living the life that they're preaching. Also, skeptics ask specific questions and they want specific answers. They don't want Bible verses to answer their questions, nor do they want to just believe. I believe that as a society, we can improve our lot by working at being more genuine with ourselves and toward others, and not be fazed by people who tell us how we can improve our lives by expressing their opinions and not knowing what they're talking about. In other words, we need to be better at communicating and trying harder to understand each other.

      September 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Religions are necessary for expansion of Spirituality. Religions are like schools. I agree with Roland, they do much good!
    We may not adhere to the specific "religion" we were raised with, but can still be grateful for their lessons. Niki, yes, spirituality is senior to religion, but this does NOT make religion useless. The ten commandments are great rules, but they are inferior to concepts like"love thy neighbour as thyself"; the first is religious, the second is spiritual.

    You can never completely separate religion and politics, because they both deal with: how to live your life. Religion touches upon spirituality and deeper emotions; those who want power see this and turn the situation to their own ends; i.e. corrupt religions.

    September 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Kathryn, I should ask: Why does RELIGION allow POLITICS to hijack RELIGION? Religion should be just that. Religion is supposed to teach people to do good, right? But, money is powerful and religion caves in. It is wrong to blame it on politics.

    What's more, a lot of supposedly Christians and Roman Catholics don't even go to Church, except for Christmas Mass and Easter and weddings and funerals. A lot of Roman Catholics go to Church for Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. I've known a lot of people who transferred from Roman Catholic schools to public schools. I know this is kind of off topic, but it is the same reason that Churches can't teach to keep its congregation, and the nuns at some Roman Catholic schools would beat children and threaten them with Hellfire and Damnation. Corruption happens a lot in religion because a lot of people twist religion/beliefs to suit them. So, religion and politics can be a bad mix.

    September 12, 2013

  • Niky S.

    Well Kathryn, this is exactly the kind of discussion I hoped this topic will provoke. The religion you are referring to is actually Spirituality. One can be secular and be Spiritual with out adhering to any specific religion, which is always claiming to be the only one that is right when there are so may ways in which one can be Spiritual.

    September 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I may attend if a spot opens up, but my viewpoint will be quite different from what I read about the topic! Religion is as old as the caveman , when humans first honoured their dead with graves and ceremonies for the afterlife. The question should read: Why does POLITICS keep hijacking RELIGION and using its power to foster political ends (i.e. money and power) ? From the Crusades (just politics) to the supposed Catholic -Protestant problems in Ireland (just politics) power groups ceaselessly piggyback on the power of religions and transform them into war-mongering organizations wearing stolen symbols such as the cross.

    As an educator, I am well aware of religious peoples' part in bringing education to the masses. If you can read, you probably owe that in part to religion.

    The modern materialistic world can never satisfy the innate yearning of the human soul that feels it belongs to something greater than a world of dollars and dust...

    1 · September 11, 2013

  • Pam C.

    Too bad but I'll be in Hong Kong. Look forward to seeing you all for the October meet. Have fun!

    September 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi, Pam. Have fun! Wish I could go there just to shop!

      September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My first meet up. I'm very excited.

    1 · September 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Everyone has their say at these meetings.

      September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, this sound interesting but I'm NO GOING TO RSVP YES until later in the month. Right now I have family issues to take care of.

    September 11, 2013

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