In this episode I’d like to speak to the implementation and management of the religious principle called “sin” by the monotheistic monopolies throughout the millennia. Initially developed as a psychological measuring stick to evaluate the actions of others, the concept of sin has caused more psychological carnage than any other singular concept offered by religion. By being to deploy this psychological control, the carnage has included depression, lack of self-esteem, and more recently the explosion of PTSD symptoms. The primary issue that surfaces when discussing sin is that one is immediately faced with the arbitrary assignment of its value to actions of others. For if the assigner doesn’t subscribe to the belief, they react immediately by assigning the value of sin to the action. Let us seek the wisdom of Ó∂inn.
This assignment of the idea behind good or evil has been perpetuated by individuals since before the days of monotheism, so technically that in-of-itself is not just a monotheistic thing, however they perfected this by labeling it “sin”. As well as perfected its use against others within their community. Today I’d like to destroy some of the power that sin has played in forming most people’s underlying understanding of the world they live in. So, let’s look at the deployment of this idea of sin and working to dispel the application of this value to tasks committed.
When considering the idea behind sin, let’s look at the items that are defined in the monotheistic practice. First, we need to pull out our handy Merriam and Webster’s dictionary and see how they define sin.
Definition of sin
1a: an offense against religious or moral law
b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible (it’s a sin to waste food)
c: an often serious shortcoming : FAULT
2a: transgression of the law of God
b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
According to all the major monotheistic practices these are defined in their sacred books, supposedly provided to an individual by their deity on stone carvings.
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your god in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
The first three are to crush the competition to the new practices, as this newer practice demanded total commitment. The fourth was to ensure that people remain committed. The remaining ones are to try and define an honorable life.
Throughout history of human evolution we find the address of “evil”, or those things that were bad for our early ancestors became classified as evil. Animals throughout history have been exterminated because of their “bad” quality that was assigned to them arbitrarily by someone along the way. As an example we could say that rats were evil because they brought the bubonic plague to Europe, however it was no more the rats fault as it was the humans who became infected. However, none-the-less the humans of that era dictated that the rats were “from the devil”, and therefore evil. In many cases “the church” charged that it was the wickedness of the sinners that brought the plague upon the peoples, whereas they could be no further from the truth.
In my former life I studied and practiced the Christian faith within the monotheistic ideology. During these studies, an experimental theology course was offered, and provided a catalyst for me to examine the birth, and detailed growth of the Christian church. In 2001, I was ordained into the Christian ministry however, I was already well on my way to discovering true religious freedom. It was during these studies starting at Wayland Baptist University, and the Universal Life Church I discovered the original flaw that I couldn’t reconcile with my personal beliefs. That original flaw was that of individuals who lived before the introduction of this practice, were condemned because they didn’t “hear the words”. This was contradictory to what I felt in my heart. This same mentality applied to the indigenous peoples whereas they were condemned because they didn’t accept or hear the words. The problem there is that they were forced to comply or die.
It was these same principles that took English soldiers into the Middle East in an attempt to “free” Jerusalem, which would ultimately lead to a hundred years of war, killing tens of thousands of people on either side. The underlying doctrine that dictated that all must comply, or be condemned and die. In much the same way, the English monarchy determined that the Muslims who controlled the holy land were “sinners” based on their beliefs. However, just because the Muslim belief was different, this underlying ideology of labeling sin was greater than the desire for coexistence, therefore requiring that kings exterminated the sinners.
As history has had a history of repeating itself, we find that this idea of sin continued to kill, as the “Salem witch trials” rounded up (primarily women) and accused them of witchcraft then, murdered them, with nothing more than sketchy allegations against them. However this process of murder the differences, or non-conformists has been the mainstay for the Christian religion since it’s inception. Evidence continues to mount as we witness hundreds of thousands of individuals murdered at the hands of the church, in their “conform or die” March across the Western Hemisphere. In addition in the many indigenous peoples murdered, so too were wolves, wolverines, bears, and many other animals that were considered evil of bad to the missionaries and settlers of North America.
This has all been based on someone’s opinion of what is “evil” or a sin against their perception of a god. In addition, we witness an explosion of character traits that were attacked using this arbitrary assignment of “sin”. It encouraged the shattering of societies by sowing the seeds of distrust among the congregation. It also encourage the undermining of individual self-confidence by assigning all successful credit to this proposed deity, while keeping only the blame of failure. The psychological impact of this doctrine has repeatedly reverberated throughout the generations of the peoples of the world. But it just isn’t real. This has become a major focus of my current studies. The impact this has on every human being on earth, because if you aren’t practicing Christianity or Muslim, you are rebelling against it. I studied the Sikh, who simply say “we’re not Muslim”, simple rebellion against a monotheistic domination. The astronomical growth of atheism demonstrates the world saying “no more”. Yet, we constantly see these factions splitting away from the general body of Christianity and attempting to deploy the same tactics without the generations of killing and destruction. New practices like “latter day saints” and others sending their salesmen out throughout the world “saving” people. Saving from what? Freedom of choice.
Essentially, the church loaded the psychological “gun” at the turn of the first millennia with their unscrupulous grab at the early monarchy by promising obedience of the population using this new form of control, in addition to filling the coffers of the leadership, while making many of the churches very wealthy. By “converting” the monarchy, the new church was able to physically crush the non-conformists by assigning this value called “sin” to any act that conflicted with their beliefs. The application of this value was completely arbitrary, and dependent on who was at the top of the enforcement chain.
As future generations came into the world, these values were enforced on young children, forcing a major decision when they came of age. The decision to rebel against the older generations beliefs, or bow to them and conform. Throughout much of history we find that many chose the non-conflictive methods, however, this then fostered in the growth of atheism, and agnostic beliefs.
So, where does that leave us? What do we know now? Well, as many of you know, there is no love lost by me for the monotheistic practices of the world, and although the number of converts in Southeast Asia are supposedly on the way up, the reality has arrived of religious practices have become the social club of this generation. We are seeing the psychological weapon of sin being used in every media platform available, while the masses try to distance themselves as soon as an event occurs where the reality of what they created rears its head. We’ve seen countless times where a faction breaks off, and commits heinous crimes, and then the church immediately puts up its defenses by distancing the rogue group. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard about the Nation of Islam “being a religion of peace”, yet everywhere it is dominant, so is violence. Coincidence? I think not.
We must choose a path that calls us. The acceptance must fill the holes within our soul, and we must feel complete. How and where we choose to honor our God or Gods should feel as if you are talking to a friend. If monotheism does that for you, then believe. However, have knowledge as to why you do what you do, act with honor and truth above all. Be courageous to be who you are and feel the way you do. A perfect god or goddess will love you where you are, not where someone else thinks you should be.