Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

I’m no longer a very religious person. I’ve given up on the notion that organized religion can be beneficial. People suck too much. Something that has the potential to be a positive force and a change maker has become commercialized and is now filled with so many charlatans and con artists that it’s hard to tell who’s a real believer anymore. There’s an almost cult like dogma oozing out of the doctrines of the various groups. A nasty, self-righteous undertone that poisons those who spend too much time in contact with it. It steals logic and legitimacy and in some cases, life. As I listen to the illogical vitriol and trash being spouted by persons purporting to be believers in a holy and benevolent triad, I’m reminded of how easy it is for religious/cult leaders to wreak absolute havoc. How easily they speak sweet words and convince people to look past what is right in front of them. And my brain keeps repeating the phrase ‘…don’t drink the Kool Aid…’. For those of us who do not know the story of the Jonestown Murder Suicides which claimed the lives of 909 persons, take a look at how blind faith claimed the lives of so many people including women, children and infants…

It’s sad and more than a little disturbing. I know that for myself, religious teachings provided a foundation for morals and ethics and taught me, through the teachings of Jesus, how to treat people. I learned the concepts of forgiveness and non-judgement. I embraced ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ and ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ and ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. I treat people with respect and whereas I disdain hypocrisy and evil, I try as much as possible to see the good that’s in anyone (if it exists that is).

The new converts and the fully indoctrinated do not share my views though and that’s fine. I can only hope that one day they’ll realize that religious teaching separates the sheep from the goats. I did not come to religion out of fear of death and hell, I did not seek God because I was told that he would bless me and I would be rich, I did not seek him out of a desperate need for solace from the pains caused by humanity. I chose to believe because of what I observe in the natural world. I chose to believe because I made a connection for myself, not through another human being, but through direct communication and communion, by seeking the answers for myself and not by accepting another person’s interpretation of what I can read and analyze from my  own perspective. I do not follow blindly. I ask questions and I’m not opposed to being corrected or even being proven wrong.

I can see the protests forming. But bear in mind that your reality is not mine. I’ve gone to the same church for three and a half decades. In that time we’ve had five pastors and countless visiting pastors and speakers. I’ve heard Bible verses dissected and interpreted from multiple perspectives with different conclusions formed and different lessons taught. Many of those interpretations have been contradicting. After a while, the teachings became a cacophony of divergent understandings and ideas and opinions. If so many people can read something, understand it differently, apply it to their lives and believe so wholeheartedly that they’re right that they share their interpretation publicly, wouldn’t it therefore make sense for me, an intelligent, educated person, to read for myself, understand for myself and apply for myself. Hmmmmm…..Read that again, I beg of you.

I’m not even so much concerned about the individual deficiencies. What has become most alarming over time are the societal impacts of this rabid and unreasonable dogma that so many people have adopted. We’re judging people and hating people, ostracising people and killing people in the name of religion. In the name of a God who we in one breath say is benevolent and merciful and in another breath say commanded you to take a life because that person does not look, or speak the way you do or believe what you do. We’re spewing and spreading hate in the name of a Jesus who dined with sinners and embraced those who had been cast out and refused to allow a woman to be punished for something the Bible actually outrightly says is wrong.

But it’s the why that bothers me most… I haven’t quite figured it. I see another human being, flesh and blood like myself, declare that he/she is ‘anointed’, ‘called by God’, and people follow that person. People do what that person says. Believe what that person tells them. Unquestioningly. Is it that there are some people who are so charismatic that they can convince a decent, well-thinking person to believe that hate and judgement are acceptable, that when they sin they deserve compassion but when others sin they deserve hell-fire? Or… Is there an abundance of indecent, deviant persons who are just waiting for someone to unleash them on society?; who are waiting for the right figurehead to give credence to their hatefulness? Are so many of us so vile and evil on the inside that we need only the slightest prodding to let that ugly show?

I’m beginning to fear that it’s the latter. There seems to be a latent and vicious anger present in a significant number of people. But it’s not innate. It’s learnt. It’s very likely seeded at a young age, by an act committed against them, by words said to them, and it bears fruit in the presence of validation. If we are not loved, if we are not taught to love how then do we become loving people. To compound it, we are being poisoned by these people who prey on the vulnerable. Who instead of seeking to help and heal the wounds, exploit them for their own amusement, for their own agendas, for their own financial gain. And it’s killing us. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, economically. We are dying of ignorance and gullibility and narrow-mindedness and misplaced faith. We’re drinking the Kool-Aid and trying to force it on those who don’t want it or don’t have the power to refuse it. We’re tarnishing the minds of our children and then lamenting the consequences with an air of shock that is almost laughable. We’ve become dependent on what we assume is the physical representation of a spiritual entity. We no longer seek divinity for ourselves but vicariously from someone who too often lacks goodness. And when we’re dying, when our spirit and our goodness and our decency have withered away we blame everyone but ourselves. Seek for yourself, understand for yourself, don’t drink the Kool Aid someone else mixed for you because you can never tell what the true ingredients are..

5 thoughts on “Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

  1. Lovely write up. Most religions are now ruled by agents so the preaching and versions are no longer the pure and original ones. These agents mould religion to suit themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Too true. It’s sad. I used to attend church regularly but I’m so underwhelmed by everything about it now. It’s all about whose religion and whose denomination and whose version of God is better or more right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. well said! It’s quite like politics, in a way! everyone has their own ideology…and everyone is out to prove that they are better.


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