Before anyone decides to get their backs up or bent outta shape, I am not talking about a specific religion. What most people don’t realize is that for each religion there are multiple dimensions. There are fundamentalists, moderates etc, but that is not what I am talking about. There are two levels of religion. You have the Organized Religion Level and the Personal Religion Level. As much as the Organized one would like you to believe that it and the personal level are one in the same, it just isn’t true. There is a big difference. You could say organized religion is how people act in a group and personal religion is how they act individually. Of course, there is going to be some cross over but for general purposes this definition works. Which brings us to the point of this article, which one of these religions is worse?
Some people might contend that neither is bad but I really don’t think we can say that. Organized religion regardless of a specific ideology has been responsible for a great many ills through out human history. It is still going on today. Others might contend that only the fundamentalists are the problem no matter the ideology. The problem with that argument is that the fundamentalists feel it is the moderate and the occasional believer that is the problem. In effect, canceling each other out as a mean to an ends of a debate. Of course there are going to be the few that claim it is ideology that makes the difference when if Organized religion is bad but I think we can safely say that ideology doesn’t have any bearing on which one is bad and which one is good because all organized religions have been used to justify many crimes. Still, is organized religion worse than personal religion.
Most people, admittedly Christian, that I know who practice a religion hold to a different standard themselves and others. When they talk about others they use their Organized religion views but when discussing subject on an individual level they use their personal religion. Here is an example. When discussing gay marriage many of the Christians I associate with all claim it is against the bible and that God frowns upon the concept of two of the same sex getting married therefore they are going to hell. When asked about how they personally feel about it. The freely admit that they themselves would not be gay but don’t have a problem with someone else being gay. When asked how that effects their view on gay marriage most individuals don’t have a problem living next door to a married gay couple but they still think it is a sin. In this example there is a definite disconnect between the individual religion and the organized religion. The point isn’t that they oppose or agree with gay marriage but that when justifying it on a large scale they adopt the organized religion approach but when discussing individual actions they revert to the personal religious approach.
Now the same applies to the other side as well. When bashing religion, as I tend to do. I focus on Organized religion and sometimes will forget to tell those I am discussing with that individual religion I am fine with. To be honest, I am guilty of the same practice. Which is something I have to be careful of. Personal beliefs are just that personal. I don’t care if a person doesn’t want to be gay or disapproves of gay marriage. A person who has a personal belief that abortion is wrong is fine. Why? Because most people don’t believe if forcing their beliefs down to others. Mostly due to the fact they don’t want it done to them. It is different when they are discussing or arguing on a organized level because it is safe for them. Any fault you find can be dismissed with a hearty, “That was other Insert Religious Believers Here.”
So which is worse? I am pretty sure it is obvious to most by now which is the worse between the two. Naturally this isn’t complete and is based on generalizations. Don’t dismiss it just because of that. Think about it. Think about how you view your beliefs and how it differs when you are discussing your beliefs as a collective unit.