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Following on from yesterday's apocalyptic theme, today I have good and bad news.
The bad news is that the world will end on October 7, 2015.
The good news is that it's now October 8th so I guess whoever was spouting the bad news was wrong (again).
It never ceases to amaze me how easily some people are lead -- usually by charismatic individuals or groups promising free lunches (often in the afterlife).
This latest revelation of "the end" was delivered by the E-Bible Fellowship who had already misread the signs and delivered an earlier warning which signaled "the end" was going to be 21st May, 2011.
If these clowns really were into the teachings of the bible sufficiently to predict with any accuracy "the end" then they'd have also read the bit from the book of Matthew where it says "of that day and hour knoweth no man".
Hell, even I know that bit and I'm not in the least bit religious.
The amazing thing is that over half a million people have "liked" the E-Fellowship's FaceBook page. Are there really this many morons in the world today?
When it comes to religion I don't consider myself a follower of any religion although I do not rule out the possibility of a "creator" -- albeit my view is that he's more likely to be a scientist than an omnipotent "God" as portrayed in the Bible.
Despite my own reservations about the whole concept of religion, I do accept that others have "faith" and a strong belief in the concept of "God" as portrayed by contemporary churches. "Good for them" I say. They have as much right to believe in their God as I have not to. While I may not agree with them, I'll fight to the death for their right to freedom of thought and belief.
However, religion is a nasty weapon and has probably accounted for more deaths over the millennia than have all the guns, knives and clubs in the world. One only has to look at the actions of "Christians" during certain periods of history and, more recently, the actions of radical Islamics to see just what a dangerous thing religion really is when it's in the wrong hands.
I find it interesting that we strongly regulate access to guns, explosives, poisons and other things that can kill -- yet we have no such regulation over access to extremist religions and "cults" which have been proven as a major catalyst for murder and terrorist activities.
There's quite a dilemma there -- how do you ensure the individual's right to freedom of belief and association whilst also stopping radical extremists from using religious belief as a tool of control over the feeble-minded?
One thing that gobsmacked the hell out of me happened when I attended a meeting of our local district council a few weeks back...
The first thing they did was recite a little prayer, asking for God's help and guidance in their jobs.
Are people who rely on the guidance and assistance of some divine deity really the kind of people we should have managing our public resources and many millions of dollars in public spending?
Ought we not have a bunch of folk who are a little more confident in their own abilities to perform the tasks before them?
And what happens if someone of a non-Christian faith is elected to this council? Will they have to bow their head in respect to a Christian God? Might that not be seen as highly disrespectful to Buddha, Allah or whoever is their own deity?
To be honest, in its purest form, religion is probably not a bad thing. It provides support and moral guidance in its teachings and acts as a unifying force which transcends social caste, race and gender.
Sadly however, as is always the case where "power" is involved, most religions have been corrupted by greed, self-interest and lust.
One only has to look at the levels of sexual offending within the ranks of the Roman Catholic church, the radicalisation of Islam and a whole host of other examples to see just how prevalent and damaging this "human corruption" of an otherwise worthy message has become.
I am at a loss to come up with a solution to this problem -- perhaps readers have some suggestions.
Exactly how do we preserve the right/freedom for people to accept the beliefs and religions they choose, whilst protecting the world from the corruption that such religions inevitably endure at the hands of the unscrupulous and power-hungry who so often inveigle their way into the hierarchy of such institutions?
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