I read this tonight on FaceBook and thought I would repost it, since I like the way Jim Palmer succinctly stated how religion screws up people’s lives. I can relate to every one of these, but am glad that I don’t live under any of them any more, thanks to God’s grace and peace to All mankind.
A 16-Step Religious Guide To Sabotaging Your Life:
1. Begin with the premise that there is something hopelessly and incurably wrong with you.
2. Believe that your humanity is your problem, an obstacle to overcome, and an evil to repress or eradicate.
3. Pin your hopes on the afterlife, and don’t get too attached to the herelife.
4. Mistrust what you most deeply think and feel.
5. Give others the power and authority to determine what your beliefs, values, opinions, goals, desires and views are.
6. Fear, reject, condemn and close yourself off from anything that doesn’t fit with what you got in #5.
7. Focus on behavior modification, checklists, do’s and don’ts, obedience, and keeping the rules when it comes to living your life.
8. Give up or kill off all your needs and desires as a sign of spiritual maturity and call it “dying to self.”
9. Make sure everything and everyone in life is assigned a label or put into a box.
10. Label science, psychology and art as “secular,” “carnal,” or “worldly,” and stay away from it.
11. Consider talk of love, unity, harmony, peace, beauty and oneness as childish, foolish, idealistic or dangerous.
12. Draw a line between “sacred” and “secular” and divide up the world accordingly.
13. Divide the world up into “us” and “them,” and stay away from “them” and judge them from a distance.
14. Lock up and throw away the key to your sexuality and get busy focusing on something that is holy.
15. Put forth a valiant effort to project and maintain an image that lines up with the expectations of your religious community, and hide the ways you don’t.
16. Don’t ask questions, rock the boat, challenge authority, think for yourself, or listen to that voice inside… just keep doing or believing even if it violates something deep inside of you.
– Jim Palmer