City College Times

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Organized Christianity is flawed because man is flawed

Christianity is good for people on an individual level

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Organized religion has many problems with it. Violence, distrust and abuse exist within the various dogmatic organizations. It was true in the past and it is true in the present.

Religion is a nuanced, intricate subject, and is a concept of right and wrong, or how one should live his or her life.

One aspect of Christianity that bothers us, though: the human aspect. The human aspect is the wonkiest aspect of it all. Christianity is organized to follow leaders: Archbishops, Popes, and Patriarchs. This is a problem.

The problem with this all stems back to the fact that, according to the faiths, humans are imperfect. This is shown throughout various actions. The entity of the Bible, an important text in all of the Abrahamic faiths, deals with original sin. Adam and Eve bit the forbidden fruit and got cast out of the Garden of Eden, with men having an “Adam’s Apple” to carry the burden around forever.

People are corruptible. People are sinners. People are the ones who abuse power. Back in October, the current head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, defrocked a couple of Archbishops in an ongoing sexual scandal.

People who are part of the ministry are supposed to be better than that. Sexual abuse, abuse of power, is not what any religion wants, regardless of family or denomination, wants in their ranks.

Abuses like this have precedent. The Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition. There is talk of an armed conflict in Eastern Europe with the Patriarchate of Constantinople Bartholomew recognizing the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian one.  

Catholics are not evil. Protestants are not evil. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists are all not evil.

Christianity and its organizations provide valuable things to any society. They do charity work, give a sense of community. Sources of morality and strength. Militant atheists who oppose all churches are wrong. The churches can and do good things.

However we must remember that organized religion is a man-made structure. Religious authority figures have power, and not all of them handle it well. Pope Pius the Seventh is referred to as Hitler’s Pope, and is alleged to have had a hand in the holocaust. People can be corrupted and sinful.

Religion is a powerful force in the world, with its leaders often have power imparted to them. Religious leaders often give their opinions on issues to sway the hearts and minds of the masses.

Due to the impact and sight that religious leaders have, their positions have always been political. Local Ministers are often regarded highly within their community as leaders. Popes can call for religious wars. Patriarchs can excommunicate people, effectively choosing who can and cannot go to heaven. Religious leaders have sway and power, and that is the problem.

Religious leaders are human, and thus flawed. They are susceptible to ambitions, lust and hatred. Politics have split Christianity before, like the Great Schism and the Reformation.

Leaders can forget that they are supposed to focus on the spirit and not the body. They get caught up and dragged down with religious dogma and politics. That is how we get battles over Bible editions and other small arguments. Religious conflicts might never die down. Ask Israel.

It is the duty of people to keep the core of their religion at heart. Religious leaders offer good guidance and leadership, but the masses must remain vigilant to ensure that religious leaders do not contradict the teachings and values of their faiths.

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The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956
Organized Christianity is flawed because man is flawed