HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

A label is man-made and don't let anybody force it on you unless it truly describes you. It is degrading what they are doing to you. 

The dark side of defining

Each person defines herself or himself. Too many let others define them but that means nothing for you know you best.  An imposed definition is not a definition.  Nobody can define you.  You cannot define custard as tea - so an imposed definition is worthless and if it matches the right definition that is not because of any merit in imposing definitions but down to luck.  Imposing definitions is inherently disrespectful.

How does one define oneself in the world?

First is it in terms of what you think/believe or like?

Second or in terms of what you do not think/believe or like?

In fact you will try to make it the first but you are wrong. To accept anything is to reject everything that is contrary to it. And there is only one possibility accepted out of many perhaps countless ones. So you are more defined by what you reject (or ignore or consider unimportant which are rejection in a sense) than by what you accept.

Don't confuse dehumanising with objectifying

Dehumanising does not necessarily entail seeing other people as objects.  A husband who cheats on his wife is treating her as unimportant but if she finds out he will feel terrible.  It is a person he has hurt.  Dehumanising can mean treating a person as an object not seeing them as one.

Can you really hate a dinner or a dog or a concept the way you hate human beings? No. In fact you just dislike those things intensely but your feelings towards people who see as a threat to you are more than just that. Proper hate only happens between human beings. Thus dehumanising does not mean you really see the other people as objects but that you make yourself think of them as objects meaning you know deep down they are not. It is because part of you knows they are human that you can hate them. To treat them as objects and get into the habit of looking at them as if they are you need to label them. Bad is a label. Toxic is a label. Satanic is a label. And there are religious labels. A label is fine if it is true and not based on stereotyping. It is stereotyping to call everybody put through the Catholic system and still in it a Catholic. Whether they are really Catholic any more you need to see inside them.  Their faith is their core so if it is not Catholic then they are not essentially Catholic.

Sacraments of initiation

 

Catholicism puts a label on the children it baptises.  They are called Catholics and treated as Catholics from that time on.  The rite supposedly removes the tendency to sin and forgives original sin.  A rite that gives membership and no detectable changes to the person or their soul is just an excuse for sticking a label on. Catholicism is sectarian because it labels and that label has had terrible consequences for vulnerable Catholics and people who were not baptised as Catholics.

A label for the sake of a label is a bad thing. A label that is applied for reasons nobody can test is the worst of these. What if a new political entity comes along and says that some God initiated all who ate turkey last Christmas into his family and Church even though they don’t know it? It is obvious that they are trying to make those people labeled and thus somehow less than human. Religious labellers like to say their labels make you more human but that accuses those without the label of being less than human. And they would say they make you more human anyway.

Abandon the religious label to gain real respect
 
A religion's faith determines how it sees and values you. So if a religion is wrong it is valuing its idea of you and not you. Consider Roman Catholicism. This religion does not treat you and approach you as a person but as a child of a God who exercises his authority in and through the Catholic Church, his only true and authorised religion. The atheist treats you as you without such accoutrements and without the filter of religious doctrine. So if you know the Catholic Church or any religion is false then get out of it. The God believer treats you as something to be used in the service of God. They might deny that they believe in exploiting people. But in the light of the fact that God supposedly is forced to tolerate evil for a greater good, what if using somebody for God was the lesser evil? If God comes first then you have to be open to using even if you will never have to use. The more errors a religion makes about your role in the world, the less it is valuing you for you. It is valuing you as a religionist or "spiritual person" not as a person. Even if the religion disapproves of hurting others, it is helping that hurt to take place and its being unable to see it makes the problem worse not better. If the religion is unlikely to be the true religion then leave it.

It is dehumanising to even label truths religiously!!

Roman Catholicism seeks you to label truths as Catholic.  That is an abuse of truth and those who need the truth.  It is not a Catholic truth that torturing a baby is wrong.  It is just a truth.  Don't steal truth for the Church.  What next?  The Big Bang being a Catholic truth not a scientific one?  To label truths is just a way of reinforcing your own religious identity and your label.  Only the Church benefits not you. Truths affect you and labelling them is just a way of manipulating and unduly influencing you.

Protecting bad religion by making out criticism is racism

Those who call Jews or Muslims or whatever a culture or ethnicity or nationality are ignoring the members of those faiths who have no ties to those things.  They want to get critics of those who carry the name of being Jewish or Muslim labelled racist.  This is about politically correct ideology and not the truth.  Labels smooth the way for manipulators.

Finally

A religious label is intcresting for it cannot be the only religious label you have. The Catholic label does not mean you deserve only that label. Your label could be Protestant in some matters or heretic.  What if you are 70% pseudo-Catholic?  Heretic is the label you should prefer to Catholic if  you are cherry-picking the Catholic religion.

A religion that has a low number of truly dedicated believers is a religion that is really about labels and a social structure involving Church leaders than about religion as such. If religion causes trouble and hate and violence even without trying to then fake religion will be an expert at that.

The religious label certainly helps religion do harm. The label is better at harming than religion itself. The religion will use labelling in order to do harm.  With racism people of colour are picked on but religion is about creating us and them labels which inevitably lead to discrimination and something akin to racism.

The religious label is popular for bad reasons.

It helps a person who feels discriminated against blame the discriminator – "he is against me because of my religion" – instead of themselves.

It helps a person get the benefits of the religion even without committing to it sincerely. For example, Catholics who never darken a Church door turn out their children for showy and opulent first communions. 

It supports the tyranny of cultural religion for few in a religion really match up to the standards.  For example, an active homosexual in a relationship cannot have full membership in the Catholic Church - for example, he cannot become a priest.

Some religion is so thin and its members so shallow that it is little more than an excuse for an "us not them" ambience.

People become Protestant who never formally resign from the Catholic Church.  People become Catholic or Protestant who never formally resign from the Mormon Church.   When a Church makes up its numbers it ignores things like that.  Labelling becomes a tool with which to exaggerate numbers and believers and this gives the religion power and a louder voice in society than it is entitled to.

The doctrine of the soul is an excuse for making religion you.  The soul is supposedly the real you and it is protected from sin and evil by prayer and grace and God's truth.  This means that the soul needs Catholic sacraments and Catholic doctrine if Catholicism is the one way set up by God to get you to Heaven.  So the soul if not Catholic needs to be and should be and is made to be.  Such ideas make the member of a religion identify with the religion.  The religion loves this for the person will claim to be personally attacked or offended if anything critical is said.  This is useful for empowering religion by making critics silent.  It gets you to think that to insult your religion or to question it is to personally attack you.