dissolved. Her husband’s death was not enough to make her available because the church
saw an opportunity for earning!
Later Popes started giving away free ‘Dispensations’ to those who travelled to Rome
and pledged their obedience to the church. They realised that members of their flock
who were prepared to make the commitment required to undergo a long journey were
like unpaid ambassadors for their faith and they would probably make generous donations
while they were around with no need for coercion. History site link click here
Catholic Priests still offer ‘absolution’ in the confessional for the price of a
minor punishment in the form of expressions of loyalty to the faith: Hail Mary prayers.
What’s wrong with that you may ask? Well, if you can cast off your bad deeds and
become ‘clean’ again, you are being released from responsibility for your actions
on Earth. It’s a bit like James Bond’s ‘Licence to Kill’!
A Brazilian gunman recently killed twelve schoolchildren; his suicide note revealed
that he expected to be forgiven!
Do we really want members of society to have church permits to be irresponsible?
Especially now that it turns out the Roman Catholic clergy were absolving each other
from child abuse!
That episode has adversely affected recruitment to the priesthood and membership
of the Catholic church but, strangely, had no affect on Tony Blair who crossed over
from Anglicanism none-the-less! The former UK PM was recently pelted with eggs, bottles
and shoes (at a signing of his book in Dublin) by anti-war protestors expressing
disapproval of what they consider to have been an illegal invasion of Iraq instigated
with ‘born again’ USA President George W Bush in 2003. More? Click here
Should you Endorse Religious Crimes?
If your football supporters club started fighting with the arch rival club and someone
died, what would you do?
I’ll tell you what I would do. I’d resign. There is no way I’d want to belong to
a club whose members did that. Belonging means accepting, condoning and sharing responsibility
for the group’s behaviour.
Some religious people are waking up to this and distancing themselves from ‘organised’
religion because they don’t agree with some of its members’ activities or the more
damaging parts of its ‘creed’. They effectively start a little religion of their
Sadly, some of these people are charismatic leaders and their little religion grows
into a cult like the ‘Branch Davidians’, 82 of whom died in fires at a siege of their
premises at Waco in Texas in 1993. Several mass cult suicides have occurred, see
This phenomenon illustrates how innocent, ignorant and desperate people are extremely
vulnerable to falling into the trap of religion. An exceptional leader can amass
a flock of followers willing to sacrifice their own lives for him and his false promises.
There is a strong negative correlation between the level of education of a society
and its religious fervour. In Western Europe and the US East and West coasts, where
many have higher education, secular opinions prevail. Nowadays less than 7% of the
UK population regularly go to church.
It’s conditions of desperation and ignorance that enable religions to thrive.