Why We Must Reject the Dogma of Religious Frauds and Find Our Own Truth

Create-Your-Own-Religiondisinformation author Daniele Bolelli is featured on Alternet with an excerpt from Create Your Own Religion:

The whole notion of creating one’s own religion goes against the claim made by many religions that they alone possess the Only Truth revealed to them by the deity of their choosing. In their eyes, religion is to be followed by human beings, but is never created by them. Countless people have been burned at the stake for simply urging others to challenge religious dogma and question beliefs. While this injunction is no longer followed literally, Jewish scriptures sanction the murder of anyone inviting us to change religious outlook. The Inquisition, which lasted over 600 years, fills the history of Christianity with plenty of mass killings of people whose only crime was holding unconventional opinions in matters of religion. Still today, in some Muslim countries, any Muslim who decides to abandon Islam faces the death penalty for apostasy.

Why such venom and brutality? Because many of those claiming to be speaking for God have little patience for people who want to figure out for themselves what life is about. What is so terrible about it? Because you should not search for what is wise and good. You should listen to what we tell you is wise and good.

In light of these attitudes, it should become clear why a call to “create your own religion” is by its very nature quite radical. But it doesn’t have to be that way. OK, since you are a most pleasant reader, I’ll share a secret with you. Lean toward me so that I may whisper it in your ear. . . . Everyone already creates their own reli­gion. Some people just don’t lie about it.

Did I say something offensive or shocking? It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. At the risk of raising the blood pressure of some modern wannabe inquisitors, let’s look at the ugly truth for what it is. Despite their professed devotion to a text or a teacher or a path, even members of established religions don’t observe literally the dictates of their religion of choice. Many believers claim to be strict followers of their traditions, and some actually believe they are. But the reality is that they all are engaged to some degree in a selective reading of their sacred texts, adopting what suits them and rejecting the rest. It’s a simple process, really. Pick up the sacred books of your religion, look for passages supporting your values, and adapt them a little to your liking. Then highlight their importance in the overall balance of the religion, and conveniently forget all those other unsavory passages that either downright contradict your values or support behaviors and attitudes that don’t fit with your inclinations…

[continues at Alternet]

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Totally agree.

    But I think there is another problem that needs to be confronted first. How can we continue to derive emotional satisfaction from a practice if we openly admit that it is based on faulty premises?

    “When my love swears that she is made of truth,
    I do believe her though I know she lies,
    That she might think me some untutored youth,
    Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.
    Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
    Although she knows my days are past the best,
    Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
    On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed:
    But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
    And wherefore say not I that I am old?
    O! love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
    And age in love, loves not to have years told:
    Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
    And in our faults by lies we flattered be.”

    Shakespeare caught onto Bolelli’s ideas several centuries ago, but clearly, because by definition, genius is beyond the ordinary man’s experience, we cannot expect such sophistication to be widespread.

    Because, I mean, really here, what is your thinking? Some radical evolution of social norms is going to turn Shakespeare into a common drudge? That is to flirt with madness.

  • Adamas Macalz

    sounds like chaos magick, without the magick.

  • believein1

    The Inquisition and Crusades were led by the Catholic church, not all Christians. That’s like someone saying you’re a cannibal like Dahmer just because you’re both white.

  • Josh Adkisson

    Lean in and I’ll tell you a secret–not every religion is Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam. In fact, most religions are not based entirely or even primarily on books. Catholicism is based on the Church, which has three pillars, only one of which is Scripture. Hinduism is based on a lot of things, part of which is a massive cannon which is not at all viewed in the way proties view the Bible. Of the various strands of Buddhism, insofar as they can be called religions, almost none of them base their lives around books, especially not the Zen Buddhists. The same can be said for Daoism and all the other folk religions in the world.

    Ultimately, the author simply doesn’t know his shit. He talks about Church history as if he actually knew something about it, when, in reality, all he is doing is taking isolated facts from history and stringing them together in a really shitty metanarrative, in order to sell a book encouraging an “edgy” concept–making up your own religion–that people have been doing intentionally since the sixties.