Thursday, October 2, 2008

The mafia of the clergy

Religions have changed so much over time. Take any religion and see how it was practiced a thousand years back and how it is practiced today. You will find many differences.

One might argue that time changes everything. So, why should religions be different. You have to adapt to the changing circumstances. Agreed.

I strongly believe, however that the changes in a religion should not alter the fundamental principles of the religion. And this happens ever too often.

Why do such changes happen?

I believe that a section of the clergy of most religions have vested interests in promoting their own 'interpretation' of the religious texts and they promote and expound these interpretations as if they were the 'absolute truth'.

Further, they also add the rider that their interpretations are 'God's word' and going against them is equivalent to blasphemy. The laity have no option but to acquiesce.

Many of our religious texts are written in languages that are not widely spoken today. This makes it all the more difficult for common people to read the texts and get a first-hand account of what they say.

The clergy have usually studied these languages and are therefore able to read these texts and understand them. Many of these texts are also written in a form of poetry. Liberal use of analogies and maxims offer themselves for varied interpretations. Theoretically, we cannot find fault with an interpretation. But it is possible that the interpretation is at variance with what was originally intended by the author.

Another tactic used by the clergy is to tell the laity that they are not 'intelligent' enough to question the knowledge of the monks that existed hundreds of years back. So, if a group of monks laid down a law two hundred years back, they knew what they were doing. Never mind if it goes against an individual's common sense. Again, blasphemy if you question.

It is only a part of the clergy that has these traits. Definitely not all. There are many who genuinely strive for the common good without any selfish motives.

Religion is an intensely personal thing. It should not be followed due to scare of something bad happening. It should be followed voluntarily, if at all. It is there to give us peace. It is there to fulfill the need for filling up a spiritual vacuum.

3 comments:

s said...

Am not sure if uve heard this story. Anyway , here goes..

There was a very learned, elderly and wizened monk with a very large following of disciples and a pet Cat.When the monk used to sit down for his daily prayers, this cat used to get on his lap, play around and generally try to catch his attention. So, finally the monk resorted to tying up the cat for the duration of his prayers.
And thats how things went till the monk breathed his last.

Now, that it was up to his disciples to 'keep up' their masters teachings,.. et al.
But they couldnt understand the significance of tying up the cat during prayers.
Just incase they were not following some important ritual or a tradition , they continued to tie the poor cat everyday during prayers.
And thats how a weird tradition was born.

long story huh?

Pie said...

Its true...religion is a very personal thing! I cant help but wonder how such highly educated people actually 'force' religion on others. The bigger joke is when people claim their religion is better or bigger or more effective than the others. How can you possibly be arrogant when it comes to religion? I fail to understand what else is left to follow if you miss the basics!

Anonymous said...

Not long ago, I started to visit a group of Sufis (Islamic mystics). The Sheik stated several times, that is was very important to ask questions about religious traditions in order to have a better understanding of them, as well as to discover their true origin. Following his advised, I wanted to understand why Benedict XVI would say that "Homosexuality is an intrinsic moral evil" in a letter that was written to all the Bishops of the Catholic Church. I did some theological research on the subject of homosexuality and came to realize that despite the incredible amount of education the Catholic leader has, he is still blind to some basic divine truths. His arrogance does not allow him to see how much harm he does, not only to homosexuals, but to the Catholic Church and to the world. His theological teachings, far from helping to bring about the kingdom of God, he destroys it but instigating against those whom God has given another gender, who at the same time, perhaps, mirror his own sexual orientation.