Why Religion Is Oppressive


Subtitle: “The rules of the Abrahamic religions may have once helped societies survive and thrive. But in a modern context many are change-averse and oppressive.”

Another example of how I feel the morals of religions are based in the values of primitive societies, struggling to survive thousands of years ago, whose morals are not necessarily applicable in modern society. Can we not all grow up?

A close look at history suggests that moral and spiritual changes occur independent of religion, and then religion gives voice, organizational structure and moral authority to those changes—and often claims the credit.

Why do churches so often have to be forced to admit what has become obvious on the outside — that slavery is wrong, that no skin color or bloodline is spiritually superior, that love can grow between two people of any gender, that women and children are fully persons and not possessions of men, that the pleasure and pain of other species matter profoundly, or that bringing babies into the world with thoughtful intention helps families to flourish? [the linked post has several links to phrases in this paragraph]

Religion, by its very nature, is change-averse. Each religion explains and sanctifies a specific set of cultural agreements — a worldview that is a snapshot of human history. Most of today’s largest religions emerged during what is called the Axial Age — a time in which male superiority was assumed, the wheelbarrow had yet to be invented, and nobody knew that the other side of the planet existed. People at the time were doing the best they could to understand what was real and what was good, what caused what, and, especially, why there was so much suffering and death. They fused what they knew about the way things worked with their understanding of human power hierarchies, and they made gods in the image of men, both literally and psychologically. They turned rules into Rules.

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