“Religious freedom is not for republicans or democrats. It is for everyone.”
It was a quote similar to this that I heard on the radio this morning, from the Bishops, that nearly had me wrecking my car. ‘What!’ I screamed. What the hell does the Church know about religious freedom? And when the hell did they learn it?
Church, all church, has its collective head so far up its collective ass that it wouldn’t know freedom if someone pry-bared a millimeter of space up said ass just to let them see it. And I’m just not picking on my own church, I’m calling out to each and every church. You do not barter in religious freedoms. You barter in religious strangle-hold.
Historically, the church was never about freedom. Through the ages, it has used fear, persecution, more fear to keep its flock in line. It tortured and killed untold masses of humanity all in the name of God and so long as they supported this King or that Emperor, they were allowed to continue.
The Great Schism, when the Protestants broke from the Catholics was supposed to be about religious freedom. Bullshit. It wasn’t. The Protestant leadership proved no less power hungry, no less greedy than the Pope. It was more corruption and more burden placed on the masses.
Martin Luther, the rise of the Southern Baptist, all of it, none of it offered its followers religious freedom. It merely stymied them in a different way. Humankind was nothing more than a chattel, to be used for the church’s greater gain, and nothing more.
Women bore the huge brunt of this. Women were given no say in any aspect of their person. Their career, whether or not they would bear children, their sexuality, dress, manner of speech…all guided by men who supposedly spoke for God. Abuse, rape, murder and more condoned by a well-paid Bishop or the promise of a new Abby. And the plight of women has never really improved, even in this day and age. We are still subject to a male influence, if we want to be true believers, and frankly, that just sucks.
So when the Bishops tell me that religious freedom is for everyone, I want to remind them that it’s not. It’s only for those in power. Those who can sway votes or bring in cash or promise an bill or law appealed. These are the people who have religious freedom, not us. The rest of us get to live under their heavy hand, and we can damn well like it.
Well, I’m not and I won’t. And the only follow up to that is Amen!