26 Why A Person Is Born Into A Religion

The persons belonging to such a religion are born into it because they belong to it. They are marked by the God of that religion before birth.

They can emancipate themselves only by individual thinking.

Aside from the group destiny, the individuals of course have their own thoughts of greed, hypocrisy and oppression exteriorized to them in the events which are their destiny. If they have engaged in persecutions as joint enterprises, it may be that they will be together in groups when the arm of the law smites.

The priests of any particular religion are not exceptional in the desire to maintain themselves in power by whatever means they can. The French priest Calvin, the Scotch Presbyterians, priests of the English Church, the Puritans of Massachusetts, including the witch-killers of Salem, all were eager to stamp out heresies and were oppressors.

Everyone who persecutes others and seeks the supremacy of his own doctrines, justifies his atrocity by the claim that he benefits those whom he tortures.

However, hypocrisy and the arguments which were a screen in days of theocratic domination, are no protection when payment is exacted, and the lesson of tolerance and broad sympathy with humanity has to be learned in the school of the law. The priests, executioners and mobs meet their destiny singly or in groups.

As to any theocracy, monotheistic or polytheistic, none of them is, as far as the persons who live under it are concerned, any better or more lenient than the most brutal of barbarous despots.

Each god is jealous of power, and the priests of one religion declare war on the worshippers of other gods. The gods are not the ones that are killed; the people have to pay with their lives during the cruel religious wars of the priests.

The gods at the heads of all religions are nature gods created by men; they are not Intelligences.

This is indicated by the fact that they have priests who represent them; by the element of fire, air, water or earth, to which they belong; by the sense or senses to which they are related, as sights, sounds, tastes or odors, which are used in rites and symbols in their worship; and, by the fact that each of the gods is worshipped collectively and is believed to be exterior.

All this may be learned by one or a few in a lifetime, but the majority of the adherents of any religion remain together and experience in groups whatever destiny their devotion, sincerity and honesty, or their prejudice, bigotry and hypocrisy, or their arrogance, fanaticism and cruelty in their religious belief brings to them. Thus religions provide group destiny.

The group destiny of those who live under a clerical oligarchy is governed by the same law as that which affects the group destiny of those who live under other forms of oligarchical government. Oligarchies of aristocratic landowners, of soldiers, of bureaucrats, of money-kings, of political bosses and of labor leaders, all have similar aspects.

Sometimes there are hereditary features in these institutions; however, here as well as in the so-called heredity of a physical body, the hereditary feature is merely a means of working out the destiny which is always a precipitation and concretion of the thoughts of those who are affected by these forms of government.

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