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Forum Post: What do different religions, say, about this time. What are the similarities. How do you think the various religous leaders of the world will react to occupy?

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 13, 2011, 4:40 a.m. EST by blazefire (947)
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I noticed a post about what Jesus would say about occupy, and I wondered. I wondered what Buddha would say, or confucious. I wondered what Mohammed would say (someone having posted that too). I wondered about hindu's, and wiccans, and religions I don't even know of. I wondered what things could be said from that perspective, as a whole, and wondered how much we all actually have in common.



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[-] 1 points by XylitolEater (19) 10 years ago

Are you curious about the opinion of the prophets/founders, the followers, of the leaders? That is three distinct "classes", at the very least.

Many of the religions of the present day began partly as movements against injustice and suppression of the system of their age - historical forerunners of Occupy to a certain extent, we could say, in religious garb. Buddha raised his voice against caste system. Jesus voiced his opinions about the clerical elite of his age and threw out the crony capitalists from the Jerusalem temple. Mohammed was dissatisfied with the ruling class of his home city; the reform movement initiated by him tackled, among other things, female infanticide and total dependence of married women, and encouraged education (for women too) - quite ironically for some, he was a progressive in his age. Luther was angry for the corruption of the Church. Of course, it would be a grave error to underestimate the differences in their theology and teachings, but the liberation from the evil overlords of this world and from the ignorance was a recurring motive for them, along with many more of their "colleagues" with lesser renown and/or success, from Jan Hus and Münzer to Nanak and Chaitanya.

Now, most of the religious/clerical leaders of our age are made of quite a different stuff. Most of the "prophets" (let me use this collective term for the above-mentioned for lack of a better) brought quite a charismatic effect on the populace. A wave of relief and liberation after an oppressed life, and maybe even more importantly, a sense of community. The people wanted to conserve these, and therefore formed institutions around the new teachings - most of the known "prophets" didn't found institutions, only spread the word. Transferring the trust enticed by the founder onto leaders of the institution, they actually empowered them; lacking the ability to recognize either spiritual purity or material benevolence, they went with organizational skills and rhetorics as to whom to choose as successors who will give them guidance.

The cleric who thus got power over the mind and values is not much different from the entrepreneur, who, by hard work, competence and luck, got power over livelihoods of people. Their privilegized status is enjoyable, and that - if they do not resist their greed that is there in everyone of us - will entice them to seek even more power over even more people. Put a child before a mountain made of chocolate: few children will be able to contain themselves and resist the urge to engorge themselves. And seeking power is just as hard-wired as seeking the sweet taste, or sexuality. This will make members of the clerical mass to go even against the teachings of the founder whose principles serve as the reason their church/sect/denomination is there. They might antagonize with other religions (and, of course, "heretics") that might endanger their privilegized status by converting their followers. They might downplay the non-hierarchical and empowering original teachings and over-emphasize the statements that urges order and to combat sinful tendencies, creating special roles for themselves that allow to be a go-between between the earthly and the divine. In the same time, they may dilute the very same original teachings that encourage people to resist their greed in order to give "their" religion more appeal through its "easiness", to the point of forming theologies like "the gospel of prosperity", an ideal religious ideology and ultimate conscience number for the 1% and those who aspire to be.

In this state, the churches most often become the spiritual branch of the 1%, along with government, military, media and the corporate sector. All these phenomena are aspects of a common centralization, that may be necessary for a society to even survive, but in the same time is prone to over-extend and become a menace to the very same society that it was to serve. In the beginning of the twentieth century, corporations enticed governments to indict the 99% into the military to rob territories from their rivals; and church and media helped convince the people that it is actually a good idea. Nowadays, the situation is not too different.

There are supporters of Occupy among government officials, soldiers, celebrities and entrepreneurs, so we can be sure that we will find religious leaders as well - but for them to support Occupy, they have to take decisions that will adversely affect their own personal status. It is a decidedly harsh step to take, for them.