A Brief Outline of the Harm Done by Improper Religions

Thomas L. Wayburn

I. Churches promote immoral institutions like free-enterprise, commerce, trade, business, capitalism, etc.

These infringements upon the freedom of nonacquisitive people are causing nearly all of the evil in society.  It is the great religious lie that violations of religious morality are responsible for society's problems, whereas no direct or even indirect link can be found.  On the other hand, every evil can be traced directly to competition for wealth and power, which is what free-enterprise, commerce, trade, business, and capitalism are all about.

II. Churches promote the work ethic, which perpetuates the immoral and anachronistic institution of employment.

A. The work ethic promotes the mean-spirited notion that one who doesn't work shouldn't be allowed to live.

B. It promotes the harmful notion that, provided one does work, one should be allowed to do anything.

Thus, evil-doing businesspeople are highly respected members of society.  Notice that when Exxon gets busted for some egregious environmental violation, the CEO of Exxon is not asked to resign from his country club.  Needless to say, he is not excommunicated from his church.

C. It promotes the notion that, if an activity is not onerous, it's not work, which discourages intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is doing something for the pleasure of doing it.  This is the motivation that results in the best work done most enjoyably.  When one is motivated completely intrinsically, i.e., when all extrinsic motives are absent, we say that we are "in the flow".  This is certainly one of the most desirable states of being.  Extrinsic motivation is behind slavery (both chattel and wage slavery) and constitutes the principal reason why nearly everyone hates his or her job.

III. Churches accustom people to believing in a superior being or person, which promotes tyranny.

If one believes that Jesus is better than you, it's not such a big jump logically to believe George Bush is better than you.  If George Bush is better than you, maybe your boss is too.  As William Morris said, no one is good enough to be someone else's boss.

IV. Churches promote the notion of personal salvation as opposed to happiness for all through political and economic reform.

This is the same quibble I have with psychotherapists, gurus, and stockbrokers.  Personal salvation does not prevent the death by starvation of millions if not billions.  Only political change can help anyone by helping everyone.  No one is well off in a world where the vast majority are miserable.  This is the moral position - soon to become practical position - as the threat of world  terrorism and revolution grows.

V. Churches accustom people, especially children, to lies.

Nearly every religion is full of lies even if it is only the lie that the religion is useful, the burden of proof of which, i.e., that it is a lie, lies with me and must be proved separately for every religion.  Most religions are so absurd, though, that this is easy.

A. People who believe religions believe other lies more readily, particularly the lie that the US is the greatest nation on earth, with the greatest economic system, government, etc.

B. Also, they tell lies more readily.

VI. Religion causes war.

VII. Churches attempt to impose their own irrational morals on everyone, which is unconstitutional and which, in addition, promotes the behavior they wish to prohibit.

A. They promote and tolerate legal restrictions on most modes of sexual expression in violation of the Constitution.

Children, for example, need sex from the moment they are born.  One of the great wastes in the world is the waste of sexuality of children.  The prohibition of sexual  contact between children and adults, among children, among members of the same family (in the era of birth control), among members of the same gender, among different species, between or among consenting adults regardless of marital status, etc. is irrational and probably psychologically harmful, especially to children.  Since laws prohibiting sexual acts are irrational and since irrational moral prohibitions are religious in nature, laws prohibiting modes of sexuality constitute laws "respecting [regarding] an establishment of  religion".  On the other hand, religions rarely are interested in rational morals regarding freedom, truth, or the environment.  (Rational morality requires that epidemic disease be prevented or wiped out.)

This is the beginning of the great religious lie that social problems are caused by violations of religious morality rather than by political and economic injustice, most of which is tolerated by religions.

B. Churches do not recognize the constitutional right of people to enjoy the drugs of their choice.

The "unalienable" rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness - not happiness but the pursuit of happiness - are enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.  Clearly, these rights, stated in 1776, would be included among the rights referred to in the Ninth Amendment (1791) that are retained by the people even though they are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Religionists believe that people who sell drugs to people who want drugs should be punished by the law but that owners and managers of chemical plants who force people to ingest carcinogens whether they want to or not should be protected by the law.

C. Churches hope to gain sufficient power that they may eventually commit genocide on non-coreligionists.

History teaches that, after everyone is forced to conform to the morality of the dominant religion, it frequently becomes a capital offense not to be a member of the dominant religion.  Perhaps this is a long way from happening in America.  Perhaps not.

Houston, Texas

August 15, 1992