Monday, January 9, 2012

Religious Power

What is different in the world today, and reminiscent to the times centuries ago, is that in some religions and belief systems, priests, rabbis, clerics, shamans, gurus and imams are now seeking the power that used to be reserved for chiefs, premiers, presidents, kings, queens, tyrants, dictators and despots.

In many ways religious leaders are seeking a return to a time when the spiritual hierarchy yielded great power. 

The religious leaders of Iran, Iraq, Al Qaeda, fundamentalists in Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia are grabbing and holding power to say nothing of the quiet usurpations by spiritual keepers of fringe Christianity in Rome, Constantinople, England and the strict evangelicals of the world.

Centuries ago one or more of the other of these has maintained control of the population or at least dominant influence over the populace through fear of eternal damnation and or the terror of force through the exercise of power.

We, in this United States amalgam of tolerant beliefs, must be very careful that we do not relinquish our powerful and secular  constitutional franchise to the vocal intolerants of religious fervor.

It has happened in the Middle East with militant and controlling clergy with blind followers and it could happen in America if the silent and the tolerant majority are not vigilant and participatory in the electoral process.

Being conservative or evangelical is fine, so is being liberal or religious in structure, but if any fringe element succeeds through the ballot box with the result that all must believe and behave their way we could have a serious problem. It may lead our global, yet distinctly American democratic society into a national crusade of contensious idiocy.

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