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Charles Karel Bouley

Charles Karel Bouley

Posted May 1, 2009 | 05:00 PM (EST)

The Majority of Muslims Who Attend Mosque Weekly Feel Torturing For Their Cause Is Just**


**It's Not True

The headline "Majority Of Muslims That Attend Mosque Weekly Feel Torturing For Their Cause Is Just" got your attention, didn't it? It's not true, I made it up, but the thought of it probably already angered some. It wouldn't surprise me, however. After all, religion, organized religion, has tried to oppress me, as a gay man, as well as all women throughout the world, for years. And more people died during the 300 year Inquisition in the Name of the Lord, the Crusades or the Salem Witch Hunts than in both world wars. Now, it's time America wake up to the fact that Christians in this country have become just as radicalized (albeit in other ways) as those who pervert Islam (or insert religion here) elsewhere. In fact, it's time we reassess this idea of a Christian nation and start the honest debate of how does having these often radical theologies of organized religions tied up in our government and public fabric actually benefit our nation or national dialogue as a whole.

The real headline is "Majority of Christians That Attend Church Weekly Feel Torturing For Their Cause is Just." A majority of those in the survey that identify as Christian or Catholic are, in fact, not in line with America's values and ideals in the 21st Century (or 19th, for that matter) with their stance on torture. According to a new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life more Catholics and Evangelical Protestants, more good, God-fearing, church-going pious Americans think torture at some times or some point is acceptable. Those that find torture unacceptable (or "rarely") are in the minority: 42% of Catholics (can you say Inquisition?) and 49% of Protestants.

Conversely, those that identify as secular oppose torture and are in line with America's ideals and values, without divine intervention. 57% of atheist, agnostic, spiritual, non-religious, secular Americans think, as does President Obama, that America and Americans should not, do not, will not torture.

Now, this story is buried in the news. The media is making a huge deal over a flu that will not harm most Americans and not making a huge story out of the fact that within our midst are blatant hypocrites with no real moral compass of their own that bring little to nothing positive any more to the national table or debate.

Think about religion, the source of hope, love, acceptance, the panacea for this life and the next if you read the literature, religion saying that taking  a human being and simulating drowning is all right. Imagine people that believe in a risen Lord, a Lord that himself according to legend was tortured at the hands of those that wanted him to denounce his cause, a Lord that forgave the thieves next to him and ministered to those that were outcast, imagine them believing hurting another is acceptable. In their stories it was noble to die at the hands of oppressors, not become one, or so I thought. Imagine that those that preach the sanctity of life, of legal contracts like marriage, allowing their government to perpetrate inhuman acts, acts that no other species on the planet does to one another, in the name of freedom, liberty and justice, in the name of love, kindness and prayer? It's beyond hypocritical, it's mentally unstable, to profess such piety and wisdom, to profess to have answers and real solutions, to espouse goodness and blessings from the divine and then even think that hurting another human would be acceptable in any deity's eyes. Perhaps the unenlightened ancestors of their faith didn't know better, but we've evolved over the hundreds of years that religion has tried to run amok or should have. Actually, the survey proves many have not.

And as for religion's place in the United States as a whole, all it does is divide the people, instill hatred and violence and distract politicians and population alike from the real work of the nation. Millions spent opposing a woman's right to choose or gay this-or-that while millions go hungry, homeless, victims of poverty, of the economy, of illness, under-insured and under-served, and yet these behemoth tax-exempt entities get to enter politics any time they like with their might and money and ability to mobilize their masses. And now, it appears, these righteous churchgoers have weighed in on terrorizing other humans for information for their cause. They have shown they are, in fact, able to be radicalized easily to go against the very ideals of their country and values of the civilized world (not to mention a few treaties and conventions).  Torture is illegal but what's worse, it's immoral. It doesn't work. It's not civilized. And it certainly isn't Godly.

So when does America, and Americans start realizing that faith, prayer, belief in a divine, worship, fellowship and dogma are fine when kept in check; but when left to their own devices that history has shown that each and every one of the stringent religious ideologies pervert in to hypocritical entities that seek power and control and that will bend their doctrines or their beliefs to suit the rigidness of their overall goals? If it's all right to torture under some circumstances, is it all right to kill? Some Muslims, Irish Catholics, Protestants, Jews...well, some of every religion have thought so. Is abortion wrong if you're aborting a future sinner? What other arguments for unspeakable acts will they condone in the name of the Lord and from a place of blessed goodness? Killing women for having men in their house, beheading people for loving those of the same sex? These are all good, religious principals in some parts of the world. The Pope said we should embrace aliens as Children of God but not those with which he disagrees. Go figure.

As Miss California goes around with visible augmentation to God's original design professing piety in the name of institutionalized bigotry, as 50 people die in Iraq because some religious fool has a point to make, as Sunnis fight Shias, Catholics battle Protestants, as women are imprisoned under Sharia law for nothing, or eight year old girls have to divorce their 50 year old husbands in unions blessed by Allah, and as Americans go hungry and homeless as the pious spend over $500 million nationally to fight "immorality" by tax paying Americans in the form of marriage amendments and another half a billion to prevent women from seeing their doctors for legal medical procedures, as religious institutions stand accused and convicted of covering up sexual abuses on American children and those that perpetrated them by order of their robe-clad hat-wearing then Cardinal now Pope...as all of this continues we now see that more of them than not think torture is fine as well.

It's no surprise, but it's my last straw. Organized religion has no credibility when it comes to its productive place in the national body politic or conversation. On a community level, perhaps there's a need, but I can't think of one thing a church does for a community that other community members don't do every day and not in the name of the Lord. Caring for one another, helping, gathering, ministering, sharing isn't relegated to those that believe in a God nor are the two mutually exclusive. Americans care for each other, or should. Humans care for each other, or should, without any impetus from the divine. The fact that we're all here together at this point in time trying to survive should be enough.

Many countries chased the overly pious and religious organizations out, and some like France and Canada continue to crack down on the power and scope of churches and their members.

Torturing someone is mean and mean people suck, which means more Christians and Catholics in this country now suck.

We don't need mean people in power any more. Cult worship is bad and leads to extremism. The proof is in.

Now what America? Maybe we should pray on it.