FEAR — Origin of Religion — Continued
A ruler’s dream! If one could gain control of the developing creed; place into use the rules that would be most helpful to the ruler; justify it for being mandatory because God said so; use personal leadership and charisma to train and imbue the most trusted adjutants in the same belief; a tranquil status quo could be maintained; and then, because of resulting peace, ‘it would be possible to reduce the money allotted to those guys who made the spears (the greedy arms dealers). The monarch would be wealthier. This concept could be thought of as occurring centuries before ‘Old Testament Moses,’ but note the brilliant, masterful, imaginative way in which Moses controlled his rebellious followers, and how he embellished his religion by the use of the Ten Commandments. Though thought of as legendary pre-history, or as religiously mystical, the Moses account is consistent with both the Bible and the above description of religious invention or modification, though, of course, the Bible credits God for the Ten Commandments.
So, the fear-control relationship of politics and religion has lingered through the leader-priest to the present time. In both testaments of the Bible, the national political control was administered by the priests, that pattern continuing under the gods of the Romans. Religion was usually part of national governments during much of the first two millennia AD, bringing with it wars of the bigotry of fixed belief, the most obvious example being the bloody Crusades.
In The Great Quotations, circa 1900, David De Leon, Socialist leader noted, “The moment religion organizes into a specific creed, it becomes a political force. From Moses down to Brigham Young every creed founder has been a state founder.” Prior to 1870 the Roman Catholic Popes retained their control of Italy, but then the minor states of Italy formed a unified, singular, central Italian government, and the Roman Catholic Church lost its power and direct political control of Italy. Because of the influence and immense wealth of the Roman Catholic Church, the restive nation, under the influence of Benito Mussolini, signed the Lateran Treaty in 1930, which: 1. allowed compensation by the Italian state for the extensive church properties outside the future Vatican; 2- Decreed that Roman Catholicism would be the sole religion of the state (Italy); 3. allowed the Roman Catholic territory and property in Rome to have national sovereignty — a country within a country — ‘The Vatican’ in Italy. In the Vatican, the creed had morphed back into an official religion and political force. For sure, there was no separation of church and state in the Vatican.
I deplore the influence that organized religion plays in politics in many countries. The overt, and covert, attempts of the “religious right” to dominate national policy in this country is still based on fear-control and is not consistent with freedom of religion and the diverse opinions of the American populace. The United States is officially a secular nation, NOT a Christian nation.