How did it come about that parents ‘feel’ this obligation – this insistence – that they teach their children to believe in their religion? That’s where most people’s beliefs come from – their parents. Although as adults, we insist that we believe what we believe because we CHOSE to believe the way we do… We’re unwilling to admit that we are simply the product of our environment – how and where we were ‘raised’ – has had more influence in who we become than any other factor. I know, as a parent, that that’s what we do – we teach our children how we ‘want’ them to act and think. We might even tell them that, when they grow up, they can decide for themselves but, until then, we decide for them.
Even though, when we’re teenagers, we say that we will never be like our parents – we end up becoming them. Of course, now I see that it makes perfect sense that we become our parents. We literally ARE them. Their programs were downloaded into us at conception when the sperm fertilized the egg. Simplistically speaking, their DNA combined to make us. Then, from the moment of birth, they pass on their beliefs and ideals. We learn their language. They dress us up and teach us what looks good and what doesn’t. They take us places with them and teach us what kind of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable – to them and to society. They take us to church and teach us about ‘God’ and sin and love and hell. They send us to school where we’re ultimately dumbed down and taught to conform – so that we’ll know how to conform when we get out into the ‘real’ world – the world of capitalism and greed and corruption – and, hopefully we’ll be able to get a good job and make enough money to survive.
But, this religious brainwashing (OK, some will call it teaching) is actually fanatical in some circles. We as parents, never see that we are imposing our beliefs on another. We don’t look at it as ‘imposing’. We define it as providing guidance and we do it in the name of ‘love’. We really just want our children to be ‘just like us’. So, in looking at this topic, I have to go way back – in history – to show how this brainwashing came about.
Almost 2,000 years ago, after this person Jesus Christ was killed for professing some rather simplistic beliefs about the equality of all: Do unto another as you would have them do unto you; and, Love thy neighbor as thyself. His followers, whom Christians know as his apostles, went against his wishes and deified him. Jesus never asked to be worshipped. He had asked these guys to ‘follow him’ – follow his example. No one knows where he really came from. Yes, we’ve all heard the stories about his virgin mother but, c’mon, let’s be real, here. There are some who have theorized that Jesus was the bastard son of Julius Caesar (hence the initials JC) and Cleopatra’s relationship and he had to be taken out of Egypt for fear for his life. There were a few stories about him as a boy then, nothing more until he was 30. More theories say he was taken to Tibet, as his guardians feared for his life, where he studied with Masters prior to his return to Israel. (Many of his teachings and exploits are similar to those one can find documented in the Masters of the Far East books.) So, for a few years, he preached about simplistic values as the secret to a happy and fulfilling life by using stories that they could understand. One must realize that the Jews had been hoping for a savior for a long time and, his followers were convinced that this had to have been ‘the guy’. Obviously, the Jews renounced him as their savior. After all, he didn’t conform to their definition. But, those apostles were a persistent bunch and they went around telling and retelling stories about him. (As the stories were told and retold, is it possible that some details may have been exaggerated or embellished?) Many people of the day were ready for a change, as worshipping their gods hadn’t improved their lots in life. So, they decided they’d worship him, too. And what started out as a small cult following, kept growing and growing.
Almost 300 years after Jesus’ death, the Roman Emperor Constantine heard the story and decided to convert to Christianity. The ancient Roman gods had been worshipped for centuries and, this was a new, different idea. Understand that the Roman Empire included most of Europe, modern day Turkey, the Middle East and northern Africa – basically everything that bordered the Mediterranian sea. So, when the Emperor decided this was going to be his religion, he wanted the entire empire to embrace that religion as well. Simply put, he wanted to ‘standardize’ religion. Within the Empire, there were so many different countries that believed in so many different ‘gods’, he believed that by imposing a standard set of beliefs, he could control the masses better. So, he called the first Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. He had all the tribal story tellers, historians and Christian leaders come together to agree upon set teachings that he could enforce throughout the empire.
There’s numerous stories about that first Council of Nicea, the result of which was the publication of the first version of The Bible. Theologians have dedicated their lives to researching and understanding what really happened there. All teachings regarding reincarnation were suppressed. Some say that some of the Gospels were left out. (Although, none of the gospels were actually written during Jesus’ life.) Some say that Constantine didn’t seem to care what beliefs they decided upon, he just wanted them to come up with ‘something’ and, that he finally went in the room where they were meeting and grabbed the stack of documents, threw them on a table and, the ones that remained on the table were included and the ones that fell on the floor were omitted. Interestingly, the most influential writings of the New Testament were some letters written by a convict, that had never even met Jesus, who said Jesus had come to him in an apparition while he was in jail. (How would that fly in today’s society?) But, many of Christianity’s beliefs are based on Paul’s writings.
So, now we have the Emperor of Rome, declaring that Christianity would now be the Empire’s religion. Thus, all subjects were told what to believe for fear of retribution from the Empire. And so the brainwashing began. Parents telling their children that “this is what we (have to) believe”.
A couple of hundred years later, this guy, Mohammed, orphaned as a child and grown up as a laborer, became disenchanted with life in Mecca and went off to live like a hermit, in a cave, for a few years. When he came back, he started telling stories about how Allah had come to visit him in the cave and now he was The appointed prophet and, basically, if someone didn’t like it, he’d whip their ass. He, too, had a small cult following at first but, as time went on, he became a strong leader, eventually spreading the Muslim faith through military conquest. Another example of forced belief.
While the Old Testament in the Bible documents two and a quarter million people being killed at the hand of or, direction of God, untold millions have been killed in the name of God, or religion, since that first publication of the Holy Bible – the “Good Book”.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church was more powerful than governments and basically ruled many countries. The Crusades pitted Christians against Muslims for almost 300 years because of the Muslim occupation of the “Holy Land”. Another interesting tidbit is that both Jesus and Mohammed were said to have ascended into “heaven” in Jerusalem, hence the importance of that as a ‘holy’ city.
For almost 800 years, through Inquisitions sponsored by the Catholic Church (into the 1800s), anyone whose beliefs were not consistent with those of the Church, could be imprisoned for life, tortured, or killed for their heresy. During the Inquisitions, the purpose of the punishment was not so much for the individual but, to strike fear among the general population, to make sure they conformed to the accepted religious teachings. Understand that until the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism and Christianity were synonymous. There were some individuals that simply couldn’t stand the corruption within the Church so, they took their Bibles and went off and started their own denominations. (Some of those denominations had inquisitions, too.) And when the opportunity came to settle in a new world, there were entire religious factions that migrated to the Americas so they could freely ‘practice’ their faith. Although, the inquisitions continued on a smaller scale as evidenced by the witch hunts carried out by fanatic religious leaders in the early days of this country.
Obvious to anyone of intelligence, there have been centuries of forced belief. Maybe that’s why Christians and Muslims embrace violence as a solution. It’s been the cornerstone of their respective faiths – the key to both spreading and imposing their beliefs. Killing someone in the name of “God” or “Allah” makes it OK. Take note, though, that it’s never been the Church leaders or the leaders of countries that go to war. They have it figured out. They’ve allowed this con job of forced belief to perpetuate for centuries. They can send their brainwashed followers to do their killing for them.
I’m still amazed when I encounter people who vehemently defend their Christian ‘faith’. People will claim that they came to their own conclusions to believe what they believe. And I say bullshit to that. They are the product of religious brainwashing. They believe what they believe because of the country they were born in. In all probability, if they had been born in Iran, they’d be Muslim. If they’d been born in Tibet, they’d be Buddhist. India – Hindu. Etc. They believe what they believe because their parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ told their children what to believe out of fear. Fear that their child could be imprisoned, tortured, or killed if they didn’t follow the prescribed teachings of their ruler’s religious beliefs. And every generation has participated in continuing this brainwashing – it became part of their DNA programming long ago and they don’t even realize it. Only now, they use the fear of God’s retribution instead of the fear of government/political backlash.
Church leaders know this. But, it’s in their best interests to perpetuate the con. Why? Because church business is Big business. Religion is a money-making proposition. Billions of dollars are spent on building churches and mosques, publishing prayer books, Bibles and Korans, not to mention the religious idols industry. Churches select charismatic speakers/personalities to run their organizations for a reason… They want to keep you coming and they want you to brainwash Your children and most of all, they want your money.
Suggest to Stop all religious brainwashing and subscribe to the simplistic message of Jesus: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and, Love they neighbor as thy self. This is about treating All as One as Equals and is as simple as the Equality equation: 1 + 1 = 2.
Stand up for World Equality and an Equal Money System.